Darwin Winklaar
graduate of Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam


This work is the result of a deep investigation. Into the folk religious practices that are predominant in the Caribbean. Based upon the “altarismo” terminology proposed by Dr. Laura E. Perez. I am analyzing my upbringing and creating a series of altars that teleports the audience to the magical realm where my childhood memories are being venerated, healed, liberated. My thesis got nominated for the annual GRA awards and covers a journey where I speak proudly and non-apologetically about the vulnerable conditions and spiritualities of a working class single mother. I graduated with a performance where I venerated my mother with a cathartic cleansing ritual I named: “HET EXOTISCHE KUT VAN VIOLETA”, translates to “THE EXOTIC KUNT OF VIOLETA” I started using my mother’s rituals as a new way to decolonize all the belittlement I’ve encountered through out my years living in the Netherlands, especially all the words I’ve encountered to refer to my artistic practice (exotic, jet lagged, too colorful, too much, too kitsch, etc.) The decolonizing practice is seen as a means of bringing awareness towards marginalized cultures and their interrelationship with the more Eurocentric attitude we encounter in the academy. This gap, in-between space is fertile ground for conversations around the strive for cultural diversity. And the means to acknowledge and make resolutions with our colonial history. My work shows a conceptual process that transcends the fashion design field and operates on a multidisciplinary frequency. By my use of embodied storytelling, music, dance and singing I try to convey an artistic practice which reintroduces a new genre informed by my Aruban roots: Neo Folklorism.