Debate Night with the Caribbean Diaspora

October 6, 2023 6:20 am

Stichting WeConnect and Pakhuis de Zwijger are organizing the networking event 'Diaspora Dialogues' in Amsterdam on October 10th. The goal is to let members of the Caribbean diaspora come together to have a dialogue on who they are, their experiences as a student or professional in the Netherlands, how they experience their connection with their birth island and in what way do they engage with the community on the islands?

The inspiration for this dialogue comes from the Caribbean community itself. Tanja Fraai, manager of the educational foundation WeConnect , noticed how involved Caribbean youth in the Netherlands are: "They want to commit to their community and sometimes feel guilty that they study, work, and develop here, far away from ‘home’. It is important that they come together and inspire each other."

This dialogue is called ‘Bou di Watapana!’ or ‘Under the Watapana!’. Various themes will be discussed under the proverbial Watapana tree. Programmer Kjelld Kroon from Pakhuis de Zwijger explains: “At Pakhuis de Zwijger, we engage in conversations aimed at building the city of the future. What I personally find crucial is that as a city, country, or community, we can show more understanding for one another, and that is achieved through having the challenging conversations. End of this year, the dialogues with other ethnic communities in Holland will continue. The Caribbean edition will hopefully have a follow-up in 2024!”

The dialogue is interactive with a lot of input from the guests present. Moderator Gilberto Morishaw, who will lead the evening, explains: “In this townhall session we want to create an inclusive dialogue where Caribbean people from differing interest areas, professions and studies can learn from each other’s past and present experiences and so enrich and empower our community to progress even further.”

Speakers with Caribbean roots
Speakers from almost all islands are participating. For example, Luis Anibal, a lawyer and investigative journalist from Aruba, will attend. Second Chamber member Jorien Wuite has a background from Sint Maarten. Tatiana Nicolaas comes from Bonaire and has further developed herself there as an artist and art teacher. Tirzah Richards comes from Bonaire and is a behavioral psychologist. Shakur Pelozo is a talented musician and filmmaker, grew up in Amsterdam and has his roots on Curacao. All of them have shown and continue to show a commitment to the islands.

Sign Up
Entry to The Diaspora Dialogues 'Bou di Watapana!' event is free of charge. Everyone who feels connected to the islands is welcome. Registration is mandatory and can easily be done via the website. There you will also find the program which starts at 20.00 hours sharp. Reception with a snack and a drink is from 19.30 hours. The location is Pakhuis de Zwijger (Piet Heinkade 179) in Amsterdam.