Check out our complete artist list and book an appointment today!Ok MySpace dorks, lets be friends! For this pilot project Emanuelson documented Aruba during the celebration of it’s 60th carnival event and took a closer look at the Calypso art form on Aruba. Gregory Richardson is in process of completing my doctoral dissertation in this research area and thus this publication can be considered a prelude.
Gregory Richardson is a lecturer and researcher at the Instituto Pedagogico Arubano (IPA) and has also lectured at the University of Aruba.
On 19 December 2013 Pioneers, promoters, dj’s, writers, performers, critics and protectors of the calypso art form were present at Bonaire Bar in San Nicolas to take part on a discussion about calypso on Aruba. On 29 january 2014 a lecture and dialogue took place at the Instituto Pedagogico Arubano (IPA) where Gregory Richardson presented part of his research on Calypso in Aruba, the role of language in Calypso and political and social history of the art form.
Prior to the carnival weekend, both Gregory and Sharelly visited several secondary schools, Colegio San Augustin and John Wesley College, to give workshops, as part of the calypso educational series, on calypso history, language and meaning. It is within this context, and in part as a response to this need, that this project team ambitiously set out to document aspects of calypso and parts of carnival culture, as important elements of cultural heritage, on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. Employing a multidisciplinary and community based approach, this project was able to reach diverse audiences through different mediums such as radio, lectures, dialogues, film and a book publication.
Audiovisual recordings and the accompanying written documentation plays a crucial role in transmitting knowledge, in particular of the performing arts. Much like Zanten’s premise, we have also recognize, the importance of audiovisual recordings combined with written documentation as important vehicles for the documentation of performing arts.
Based on these ongoing developments, in a society where information is transferred for the most part orally, we find it increasingly important to start safeguarding, by means of documenting such an important intangible cultural heritage of the Dutch Caribbean. As it relates to Emanuelson, her main focus is to produce films and projects that will represent our islands with the input of its own community hereby stimulating a form of agency. Calypso having a long history in general and in Aruba, can tell us stories of not only carnival but also the historical development of Aruba. It is not a publication on the history of calypso music in Aruba but rather a book that aims to present and analyze new perspectives in the field of calypso research in a region (Dutch Caribbean) that has not yet sufficiently been explored.


He has several publications to his name including a book on the Aruban town of San Nicolas, called Sibling Voices of Sunrise City. Apart from Gregory, singer and teacher Kenny Meyers (Mighty Heads) also gave a presentation on the topic of calypso performance  and calypso writing with regards to the youths. The students got a whole new take on calypso music and an appreciation for an artform that previously received little intellectual attention.. Cultural elements such as song, music, drama, storytelling, crafts and skills amongst others, have increasingly been given less recognition and are sometimes even threatened with extinction due to the lack of documentation, lack of knowledge transfer and because of the influence of dominant global culture.
These methods have not only been employed to transmit knowledge and to bring about community awareness, but also to serve the purpose of documentation and therefore contributing to the broader goal of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage on Aruba, and thus also the Dutch Kingdom.
Documenting intangible cultural heritage is not the same as passing on the repertoire of a performing art. Both methods, in multiple ways, uniquely stimulate the senses, building forth on the other simultaneously which enhances the experience of the recipient and in that process also stimulating the likelihood of the transferal of cultural heritage from generation to generation. It has also been one of the main vehicles used by inhabitants of the region to document their histories via oral literature. Emanuelson sees sharing knowledge and documenting through the medium of film as a powerful vehicle for every generation. The documentary will combine history with contemporary narratives that give us an inside of one of the biggest events during the year.
This volume consists of 5 chapters each starting with a short introduction to place the writings in proper context as well as a foreword by renown Aruban psychologist drs. He has a M.Sc degree in Latin American and Caribbean studies from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and is currently pursuing a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. Apart from the dialogue that took place, the audiovisual project was presented by Emanuelson. A further dialogue took place where the audience could discuss on the differences of calypso, roadmarch and soca on Aruba. However, documentation could enhance, for instance, visibility inside and outside the community concerned.


It should be noted that much of the literature and other forms of documentation has been mainly based on Trinidadian calypso culture.
In this vastly growing film world we are confronted with many countries bringing in films to represent themselves but also to share stories and culture with a broad audience. A part of the culture that has been less documented has been the calypso culture beyond the anglophone Caribbean in Spanish speaking places like Colon Panama and Limon Costa Rica and also in the Dutch Caribbean, in places like San Nicolas Aruba. The history and culture that Aruba has combined described through the calypso lens are beautiful components to make a rich film that reflect Aruba and the Dutch kingdom in all its multiplicities. During Emanuelson’s research and production of her graduation work she started to collaborate together with Gregory Richardson on this project where together they wanted to develop ways to start safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of Calypso art form through writing and audiovisual means. Richardson hopes this book gives us a better understanding of the depth and complexity of Aruban calypso music and why more research has to be done in this field. Therefore documentation may play a significant role in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, if it is carried out in the right way (W.Zanten p).
The arrival of many Caribbean immigrants during the height of the petrol industry in the 20th century, in both Curacao and Aruba, provided an interesting mix of cultures, languages and ethnicities which in turn provided for a unique blend of experiences. It is within this mix, that Aruban calypso, with its distinctly multilingual character has been developed and has become very popular.
Her curiosity and adventurous nature coexist with a response-ability to engage in social, and political spatio-temporal contexts where she searches and reflects on personal and collective narratives concerning identity, language and history. However, Aruban calypso music has lost much of its popularity over the past 25 years as many in the younger generation don’t see the significance in preserving the artform and its elements like calypso writing, performing and extempoing (making lyrics on the spot). She recently started to experiment more with work that has and will developed into combinations of documentaries, audiovisual installations, cinema performance.



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