Our aim is to enhance nation building and social integration through examining the aftereffects of the colonial era in our post-colonial societies. Oftentimes we enthusiastically retell certain parts of our colonial histories, and even celebrate them. The painful and shameful bits however, are silenced. But we at the Warwarú ImageNation Foundation believe that we should watch the positive and the negative parts of our past with equal care and candor. Only then can we find ways to remedy our shared ‘colonial trauma’ and truly celebrate who we are as the products of our histories.
The Warwarú ImageNation Foundation combines academic research with arts, media and cultural events. We thus make information available in ways that are easily accessible, enjoyable and comprehensible by all of society. The foundation actively involves the community in data collection and knowledge production. Because we must all progress together.
The foundation primarily focuses on the Caribbean, and on Curaçao in particular. However, it draws from and reaches out to the post-colonial world at large. This means that we seek collaborations all over the world.
Our services pertain to people of all ages, genders, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientations.
In Papiamentu, the language of Curaçao, Warwarú means whirlwind or tornado. We use the symbol of tornado in a positive sense. A tornado tears down old structures and blows fresh winds of change. With the Warwarú ImageNation Foundation we want to do exactly that; deconstruct the old ideas that no longer serve us, and build new belief systems using new elements, as well as the good ideas that benefitted us in the past.
In our logo we merge the whirlwind with the old Adinkra symbol from Ghana, the sankofa. The sankofa symbol signifies that it is easier to move forward when we honor our past and incorporate it into where we are going. The result looks like a heart, which signifies that we acknowledge the strength of love as a healing and unifying force. This poses a stark contrast with the old colonial tools of fear and hatred, which break and disperse.
Ultimately, the Warwarú ImageNation Foundation works to enhance nation building. But what is nation building?
Nations are collectives of large amounts of people, most of whom do not know one another. In fact, the vast majority of us will never meet. Still we all feel united. This is so because we all share similar ideas or “imaginations” of our nation. We feel connected via the languages we speak, via the histories of our peoples, via our cultural traditions, religions, national anthems, flags, and via the soil of our countries. All these things are based on ideas, on images that were designed by leaders from past and present to create and secure national unity. And these ideas are spread via the big institutions of our nations, such as education, religion, media, and the legal system. So without these standardized ideas or imaginations that we all share nations cannot exist.
If we wish to strengthen our nations we have to examine these ideas or imaginations, and see where they need a touch up, a replacement, or an emphasis. Image and Imagination therefore lie at the heart of any nation. That is where change should be made first; when we change our minds the rest will follow.