This book was chiefly motivated by the fact that over the past years persons from the English speaking community in San Nicolas and other areas on Aruba have been over heard in conversations placing themselves outside the framework of Aruba’s national identity. Statements such as: “You know how those Arubans are” are often heard. Who are those Arubans? Who determines which person is an Aruban and who is not? Do some Arubans due to cultural structures and spoken language construct personal, social and cultural identities, which are not compatible with being an Aruban? Is there an issue on Aruba regarding who belongs and who does not? Is it reasonable to say that many persons in the community are caught up in an identity crisis? These are questions which have not been included in the national discourse relating to the national identity of Aruba. In actual fact this study which consists of this book and a documentary is an attempt at stimulating knowledge production and discussion regarding migration history, identification and self-representation of Arubans.
Right up to the 1920s many Arubans found their livelihood by migrating
Artwell Cain PhD is director/researcher at Institute of Cultural Heritage & Knowledge. Before that he was from 2009 to 2012 director of NiNsee (National institute of Dutch Slavery Past and Legacy). His research interest includes social mobility, racism studies, identification and the politics of belonging, representation, modernity/coloniality and civic education. Cain is author of several books and essays.