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Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:27

AMSTERDAM — The performance ‘Genial Anarchy – All chiefs, no Indians’ from director John Leerdan, confronts the people of Curaçao, with the same accuracy as Boelie van Leeuwen in his books. This is Curaçao, this is his people and despite all problems and unpleasant streaks we are proud of these, according to the performance by the Institute Julius Leeft! in the Amsterdam Paradiso.By our correspondent

 

Otti Thomas

 

‘Genial Anarchy’ is based on the homonymic bundle with columns that Van Leeuwen had written for the Curaçaose Courant. “All chiefs, no Indians. A nation of generals with carnival epaulettes. Those who cannot get used to this genial anarchy, are to repatriate or move to Aruba”, Van Leeuwen typified the Curaçao of the eighties. “We are a nation of undisciplined, inventive, naturally talented people, who cannot form a regiment.” His words apparently apply to the nowadays Curaçao.

A pistol-shot heard in the streets of Punda one day serve as stepping-stone for the individual scenes, fragments from the book and numbers on the lawlessness of Curaçao men and on demagogues. Inhabitants of Curaçao, recognizable to all, give their opinion on that pistol-shot when asked by World Broadcast journalist Abe Jansma, who was given a convincing rendition of character by presenter Frits Barend. A simple chauffeur who swears everything he saw or heard was black. An educated lady from Curaçao who talked about a three-cornered relationship that had gotten out of hand, and a Dutch retired couple that decided to leave the island owing to violence but had problems selling the boat. The interview with the Chinese restaurateur couple is hilarious when the husband in poor Dutch finally states he witnessed a necking and two dark-skinned men who had shot at each other. “Fuckie, fuckie, I wish I hadn’t seen this”, he repeated time after time, while his wife lists the meals and prices.

 

Proud

Although Genial Anarchy often causes people to laugh, it doesn’t shun moments of confrontation or emotion. The pistol-shot also plays a role in the life of the ambitious politician Yuchi Kirindongo and her mother Mai, played by singer Izaline Calister and Rina Penso. Mother Mai is convincingly desperate and angry when told her daughter is not honest ands ashamed that her mother is a cleaning lady. “The Curaçao people will never admit they don’t know something or can’t do something. A politician must not wear a mask because one day people will find out.” She warns her daughter for her relation with a wealthy politician who is married and plays a leading part in the drama later on, which involves a familiar taboo. Details are not given in connection with future performances. PS-leader Helmin Wiels and former politician Nelson Pierre are clearly recognizable in the conversations with the three Curaçao politicians on independence or actually joining the Netherlands. “You sound like Chávez, is one of the accusations. The three former premiers making plans for the future of Curaçao are clearly based on Suzy Römer, Maria Liberia-Peters and Emily de Jongh-Elhage, played by Paulette Smit, Manoushka Zeegelaar-Breeveld (who also wrote some of the texts) and Margie van Rijn.

A convincing and accurate image is given of Curaçao with the many characters. The fragments with information on the history of Curaçao, from the discovery to the appointing of the current task-cabinet, show that Curaçao is always on the verge of bankruptcy. The most important messages however are sung. ‘Mi Ke Sa’ strongly conveys the desire to know what Curaçao will be like in ten years, and ‘Lanta Para’ offers the strength to actually help the advancement of Curaçao. “We are already who we want to be. We are a dignified people, of equal standing… if only we realized it’s true.”