Jose Maria Capricorne, Cinema Politics & the Art of Seducing The Working Class

Routinary has become the tactics to transform a public place of cultural creativity like a multiplex movie theater into an occupied space of middle and upper class subtly oppressing and limiting access to the struggle and working class a phenomenon often seen during many symposiums, conferences and lectures. This years second edition of the Curaçao International Film Festival was no exception to experience the love fest for social caste discrimination.

Deliberately low key wack promotion at popular radio stations with massive regular folks audiences and high concentrated daily promo activity in Dutch local and elite media produce these types of oppression climates. This is how they threw an invisible social cordon around the Curacao North Sea Jazz festival combined with mega expensive ticket prices which mostly people from the middle and dominant class could reach down deep pockets to pass through the gates.

Screenings like Maria Full of Grace and Ghett’a Life without Colombians and Jamaicans cheering or cussing the characters during scenes is raw proof how the marketing strategies were solely aimed at the more ‘educated’ classes that in the managements scheme of calculated thinking would show more appreciation to the majority of so called art movies.
Shout out to the slim crew of middle aged West Indian women that slung verbal ass-whooping commentary during scenes through the theater.

The local young talent filmmakers competing for an award also both visualized a story from a middle/upper class gaze which left you to wonder why talented young bloods from socially troubled surroundings never made the cut and if next year the organization will ensure the participation of struggling youths with cinematography skills. Their stories must be seen on the big screen, schools need to start with film classes and private sector better start funding it too if they really want to see the rise of a creative industry supported and held sustainable by a younger generation.

The Jose Maria Capricorne documentary ‘Wonderboom’ made by Tanja Fraai and Mike Ho-Sam-Sooi documenting the life and art of his graphics, strokes of his brushes, the sculpting hand of this man a co-founder of the only Art Academy that Curacao ever had from 1969 til the beginning of the 21st century when neoliberal budget cuts closed it and massacred 30+ years of art education.

Art education and appreciation for and by the working class was according to the makers of the film what Capricorne strived for. The regular youth in a public housing hood like e.g. De Savaan or Montana Abou, Seri Papaya, Barber, the Selikor street sweeper, the hair salon mami all getting down to the beneficial universe of art emancipating their spirits.

The premiere passed, the art elite socialites had their little private-public screening, out of the 8 popular radio’s only ‘one’ appearance at elite Z86 and Telecuracao doesn’t create working class attention to attract them to find out what this Jose Maria Capricorne is all about. It would have suited Tanja Fraai better if she arranged a public viewing via Telecuracao after the screening at the festival. She still has some days left to prove she really respects Capricorne’s philosophy and show working class people real love by doing a public free screening on national television this week. Shouldn’t be a tough thing to do with all her journo and media experience.
Emancipation through art is not an elite toy to play with.








~ Salutations to the Tanja and Mike for giving film workshops at schools.
Using the connects they have in Europe this could become structural instead of incidental.

~ Big up to the Searching for Sugar Man documentary. Working class warrior singer-songwriter Sixto Rodrigues staying true to his life script honoring the tales of people he lives amidst.

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