In the panel Networks of Care, Deborah Thomas, Quinsy Gario, and Wayne Modest discussed different forms of care, focusing on the clash between the care of the state and alternative forms of preservation, focusing on the care for heritage. Thomas recounted the story of the Tambufest, which preserves Kumina, a Jamaican folk dance of African origin. Kumina and the Tambufest present an Afro-Jamaican cultural tradition as embodied archive, showing how the past is not past but also present and future. The Tambufest works in ways quite different from the state’s approach to heritage, which Modest describes as a conscription of these practices by the state through festivalisation, heritagisation, and turistification. Both shed light on the ways in which the state exercises control and sovereignty over heritage by way of caring for it. To this control, they oppose practices inspired by spirituality and ritual that focus instead on surrender and vulnerability.
In their conversation, surrender and possession interplay with the vulnerability of practices heritages. Gario addressed notions of care in relation to communities from the Caribbean islands that share continued Dutch colonisation and occupation living in the Netherlands. When looking at Super 8 footage shot by his uncle, the painter Rudsel Martinus, he stumbled upon the images of the 1983 Antillean carnival in Utrecht, which he did not know about. Through his research, he discovered that the festival was organised by a network of communities across the Netherlands that chose Utrecht as location because of its central position.