Cultural Practices of Citizenship
under Conditions of Fragmented Sovereignty

Gendered and Sexual Citizenship in Curaçao and Bonaire


How is citizenship practiced under conditions of fragmented national sovereignty? Departing from the recognition that citizenship is not only a legal status based on (birth)-rights and filial duties, but equally a notion tied to the histories of the nation-state, its claims to modernity, and its legacies of colonialism, slavery, and gender inequalities, the project examines citizenship in Curaçao and Bonaire in terms of practices and incipient struggles for political subjectivity. It asks how citizenship is culturally articulated by subjects facing multiple forms of systemic inequalities.

The research project consists of two multi-disciplinary doctoral projects on citizenship in relation to (1) sexual minorities and (2) gender relations, based at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Curaçao respectively.

Funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)


After the constitutional changes of 10-10-10, the island of Bonaire held a Referendum in 2015 asking the voters "Do you agree with the current status, which is a direct link to the Netherlands?". The majority (65%) of the population voted no. However, not much has changed.

(Photo from Julian Isenia's fieldwork trip to Bonaire in 2017)


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Gay Pride week Curaçao 1980. A radio interview and public theatre play were cancelled and censored respectively, due to homophobia by the Governor of Curaçao. The party, however, still took place.

(Photo from the archive of Grupo Homofilia Antiyano)


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