Baarmoederisme di Tonchi, mi mama

Irving Roosburg came to one of our workshops with this enigmatic painting that he had never shown to anyone before. We were quite suprised when Irving told us it had a lot to do with Trinta di mei, one of the major events in 20th-century Curaçao history. A strike at the Shell refinery turned into riots. The main objective was to fight social inequality and racism. This had huge effects on Curaçao-Dutch politics.

Irving: “Our neighbor Mack Alberto worked at the Isla Refinery in the 1960s. He was a very respectful, friendly and creative gentleman: he wrote poems, made sculptures and painted. Mack drove the only pink Cadillac on the island. He participated actively in the 30 May revolt. He was eventually arrested and had to go to prison.”

“While incarcerated he made this painting which he called ‘Baarmoederisme di Tonchi, mi mama’ showing the struggle of the Afro-Curaçaoan woman to free herself from Dutch European dominance. My father was a prison guard; Mack gave him this painting so it wouldn’t go to waste. My father kept it for years and then gave it to me. Mack Alberto died two years ago.”

“Mack drove the only pink Cadillac on the island.”