Transoceanic Visual Exchange Caribbean 2015 Video

Take a look at a short video about Fresh Milk‘s recent project Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) Caribbean, which was held throughout October. TVE 2015 was a survey of contemporary video art and film from across the Caribbean, Africa and Aotearoa that was presented in collaboration with Video Art Network Lagos (Nigeria) and RM (New Zealand).

Thanks so much to Sammy Davis for shooting and editing this video, to our local partners the Bim Films Festival, the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) Film Club and the Barbados Community College (BCC), and to Stansfeld Scott Inc. for their sponsorship.

Maj Hasager & Ask Kæreby – Week 3 Blog Post

Danish artists Maj Hasager and Ask Kæreby reflect on the third week of their Fresh Milk residency. They continued their public outreach programming and visiting each coast of the island to record the varying sounds of the ocean, as well as their investigation into the country’s complex history. Trips to loaded sites such as Gun Hill Signal Station and St. Nicholas Abbey raised questions not only about the island’s past, but how it is presented and reckoned with in contemporary society. Read more below:

Falling into the rhythm of spending a quiet Monday in the studio. Ask is giving an artist talk at Barbados Community College (BCC) today, and gets interesting questions in return. The quiet morning turns into an unrhythmical dance with different institutions in the Barbadian system. Nothing moves forward and I (Maj) am almost bursting with impatience. It seems like there is a lot of historical footage that is stuck in the back of government archives, and not accessible at all. Someone mentions over the phone that all the material prior to the independence in 1966 belongs to the British government, and every year the Barbadian government purchases some of its past… colonial powers apparently linger on when negotiating heritage.

Tuesday morning is Maj’s second teaching session at Barbados Community College (BCC) – a failed Internet connection at the college leads to an improvised session anchored in conversation and text on paper with a group of very engaged students. Connections are made between critique, history from below and individual praxes, and opening even more layers in the complexity of place, authorship and subjectivity. Tuesday evening is spent at Tiki Bar at Accra beach for a Fresh Milk lime, where artist Alicia Alleyne, Therese Hadchity, Annalee Davis, Katherine Kennedy, Natalie McGuire, Ask and Maj all meet – as well as director of the national trust Lennox Honychurch who comes by with his laptop to share his research on the Panama canal.

We can see one of the former signal stations in Barbados – named Gun Hill – from where we live. On a small hill top the red building seems far away. When we finally look at a map the distance is less than two km, and it becomes the morning walk up the steep hill – really appreciating the clouds’ mercy as we are making our way to the top. The view from the top is indeed splendid, and we have been told the Barbados National Trust is also trying to make use of the site for weddings and other special occasions, but we wonder who would want a backdrop such as this, which was built primarily to alert in case of more slave uprisings, two years after the 1816 revolt. Adding insult to injury, enslaved labour was also used during the construction of the signal station, and the British West India Regiments bought slaves to supplement their normal recruiting until 1807, when slave trade was abolished in the British Empire – though outside of the army, slavery itself was upheld until 1838.

The week slowly disappears – halfway through we visit more museums in Bridgetown, and Thursday Ask holds the second sound workshop, which adds to the layers of last weeks conversation. At dusk when we leave the studio at Fresh Milk. The colour palette of the landscape suddenly has similarities with old paintings of the Danish landscape. An odd sense of overlapping moments and time appears as the daylight fades.

The bus route 1A seems to have vanished into thin air, forcing us to reshuffle our tightly packed daytrip schedule on Friday. After 3 hours of rumbling we reach the north most part of the island and visit the beautiful site of Animal Flower Cave, named after the sea anemones that live there. It’s still quiet so we get a personal tour of the area from Don – including a climb down (and back up) the cliffs to immerse the hydrophone, which we later take out in the waters of the West Coast, completing its travel to the four corners of this microcosm.

It is noon and the sun is merciless as we are waiting for the bus in an attempt to find alternative routes to reach the old sugar plantation of St. Nicholas Abbey in the parish of St. Peter – which is rumoured to present a somewhat controversial interpretation of colonial history. The bus never shows up, but instead a kind person is offering us a ride back to Speightstown. It turns out that the driver is the artist Victor Collector, who is known for his realist landscape paintings of Barbados. Somehow he has been documenting the changes of the Bajan Landscape over the past twenty years, and on our way back to the city he stops along the way to describe the changes in the landscape, and how it looked when he painted different sites. He leaves us in Speightstown, and we manage to get across to St. Nicholas Abbey just in time to get a tour of the house. Almost through the tour, we are both baffled by the fact that there hardly is any mention of slavery.

When we raise it with the owner who happens to suddenly appear, he dismisses the lack of addressing slavery in their official tour by saying the world is built on exploitation, and that he is the descendant of white indentured labour in Barbados. Our claim is then why not take this as the point of departure to discuss the conflicted and colonial history, instead of whitewashing the present by only describing the architecture and current production, relegating any mention of slavery to witty subtleties from the tour guides? The film claimed to demonstrate the history of the plantation is a 1935 home video, with a voice over from 2000 that is so completely devoid of any sensitivity towards the past or the present, let alone empathy, that we are left dazed and frustrated from the deadpan voice, worthy of an auctioneer at a fish market.

We walk across the fields of the sugar plantation as the daylight fades – to catch another bus to continue our journey.



This residency is supported in part by the Danish Arts Foundation



The Fresh Milk Art Platform is pleased to present FRESH MILK XVIII, taking place on Thursday, November 26, 2015 from 6-9 pm. The event will feature Danish artists Maj Hasager and Ask Kæreby who are in residence at Fresh Milk for the month of November. Maj will be in conversation about her recent publication Making Visible with Barbados-based curator Therese Hadchity, while Ask will make a presentation about his work in experimental sound art and speak about the workshops he has been conducting at Fresh Milk.

Also on the platform will be members from local company Beyond Publishing, who will be speaking about self-publishing in the graphic novel industry in Barbados.

This event is free and open to the public. Limited numbers of Making Visible will be on sale, as well as graphic novels and t-shirts by Beyond Publishing.

Directions to Fresh Milk can be found on the About Page of our website here.


About the featured speakers:


Maj Hasager

Maj Hasager is a Danish artist and filmmaker based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She studied photography and fine art in Denmark, Sweden and the UK, earning an MFA from Malmö Art Academy, Sweden. Her work deals with power structures, identity, memory, the construction of history, and architecture, looking at how these interlinked phenomena are interpreted and represented culturally and spatially. Her artistic approach is research-based and interdisciplinary, and she works predominantly with text, sound, video and photography. The recent years Hasager has used oral history interview techniques as a method for accumulating information relating to personal stories, a site, and historical or political matters. It allows the material to unfold itself through different voices and from different perspectives and functions as a way of mapping an area or a context. Often these interviews lay the ground for the way she makes use of narrative forms and fictional writing as a tool to address personal stories in the context of socio-political matters.

She has exhibited her work internationally in events and institutions such as; Society Acts, Moderna Museet Malmö (2014), A voice of ones own, Malmö Konstmuseum (2014), Community works, Cleveland Institute of Art, 2014; Past Upon Past, Red Barn Photo Gallery, Belfast, Ireland (2013), Decembers, LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland (2012), Liverpool Biennial, UK (2010). She has been awarded grants in support of her work from the Danish ArtsCouncil, The Danish Arts Foundation, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut, Lebanon), ArtSchool Palestine, Danish Centre for Culture and Development and the Danish Arts Agency. She is the programme director of Critical and Pedagogical studies at Malmö Art Academy, and is a guest lecturer at the International Academy of Art – Palestine, Dar al-Kalima College, Bethlehem and University of Ulster, Belfast.

Ask Kæreby

Ask Kæreby

Ask Kæreby is a Danish composer. He studied music production in Copenhagen, earning a MMus degree from The Royal Danish Academy of Music.

Kæreby’s artistic practice is interdisciplinary and research-based, including elements of experimental composition, sound design and electroacoustic music. He is interested in the presentation of narratives by means of sound – not through traditional musical gestures, but using different approaches such as musique concrète or the futurists’ bruitism. Working in the intersection between known formats, Kæreby wishes to challenge our ways of listening – to music (live as well as recorded), to our surroundings and to (sonic) art.

He has been awarded grants in support of his work from The Danish Arts Foundation, Danish Musicians’ Union, Wilhelm Hansen Foundation, Familien Hede Nielsen Foundation, Dansk Artist Association, Ellen & Erik Valdemar Jensen Music Grant, Anders Månsson & wife Memorial Grant and Karen Margrethe Torp-Pedersen & husband Foundation.

Therese Hadchity

Therese Hadchity

Therese Hadchity is an independent art critic, curator and teacher based in Barbados. She was the owner/curator of the Zemicon Gallery in Bridgetown from 2000-2010. She has authored numerous catalogue-essays on Barbadian art and artists, including Ras Akyem Ramsay, Ras Ishi Butcher, Nick Whittle, Winston Kellman, Ewan Atkinson, Alison Chapman-Andrews and Eric Belgrave. Her current research-interest is in the impact of the transition from anti-colonial nationalism to post-colonial anti-nationalism on visual arts conversations in the Anglophone Caribbean.

beyond publishing caribbean logo-01

Beyond Publishing

For many people a comic book or graphic novel was one of the first fun, casual reading experiences, filled with various themes of heroics, bravado and thrill. They provide an imaginative escape from reality and may reinforce or shape cultural values through various themes.

Comics and animation have mostly been imported into the region, and as a result we have rarely seen the Caribbean experience or our own identity in this format. Although the group is relatively new, Beyond Publishing has made promising strides and has published 7 individual titles to date.

Beyond Publishing focuses on comics and graphic novels in digital or print media, showcasing stories with a Barbadian or Caribbean flavour through several genres: comedy, adventure, education and drama.

beyond publishing group

Beyond Publishing has won the following awards for their work:

  • 3rd place in 2012’s Automotive Arts Entrepreneurship Competition;
  • The series ‘Life and Death in Paradise’ has won two prizes from the Caribbean Advertising Federation Addy Awards: The Judges’ choice for WOW and a Gold Addy for Publication Design (Magazine or Book);
  • Offset #1 has won a 2015 Gold Addy for Publication Design (Magazine or Book) from the Caribbean Advertising Federation Addy Awards as well as a 2015 Glyph Award for Best Cover;
  • Hardears #1  has won two prizes from the Caribbean Advertising Federation Addy Awards: a Gold Addy for Book Design and another Gold Addy for Illustration.

Maj Hasager & Ask Kæreby – Week 2 Blog Post

Fresh Milk resident artists Maj Hasager and Ask Kæreby share the second blog post about their time in Barbados, outlining their busy week that saw them continuing to learn about the island through research in the Barbados National Archives and by traversing the physical landscape. Both artists also began their community outreach, which included Maj’s first session with BFA students at Barbados Community College and day one of Ask’s experimental sound workshops being held at Fresh Milk. Read more below:

The blessed rain pours down massively. After a dry wet season the plants, trees and animals feel energized and revitalized. Monday is spent in the studio and the rain creates a perfect soundscape on the metal roof, where the sound is intensifying and suddenly loosens its loud grip to make the wind and the surrounding sounds audible. The studio is quiet and we are planning the South Coast trip later in the week. Our plan is to see the majority of the island by local buses and it demands a bit of logistics, good walking shoes and some determination to make this happen – as time is a luxury that many visitors to the island seem short of. Insisting on taking our time is indeed in stark contrast to the past year of activities, and it is highly appreciated.

Annalee is waiting in her car outside the apartment – I (Maj) can hear her beeping and grab my things before closing the door behind me. We move down the hill towards Barbados Community College (BCC) where half an hour later I will give a lecture on my work to a group of students from the fine arts department. Hours later, I am enriched by the level of conversation and questions raised amongst the students, and I can’t wait for the next session where we will go more in depth in terms of a close reading of a text, and thinking through social practice together. As we are leaving the BCC, Annalee takes me to the top of the campus to show me an old derelict building – despite it falling apart you can sense the grandeur of the structure. She tells me that it is a former sugar plantation house and it sits fairly dislocated or perhaps amputated at the edge of campus. Here the generic campus buildings seem to be rejecting a contested past, and the neglect of the house (or perhaps its symbolic meaning of colonial power) seems to be a way to suppress a past by letting it dissolve slowly by time. Though perhaps forgetting, as Annalee mentions, that the first black Chief Justice on the island Sir Conrad Reeves lived in this house too.

History spills out of wooden drawers in the chilled archival hall of the Barbados National Archives where we arrive Wednesday morning. We are slowly chewing our way through archival documents – via neatly organized index cards in perfectly fitted drawers tracing migration movements after the emancipation in the 1830’s – in particular looking at the massive exodus of young Barbadian men leaving for work in Panama either constructing the railway or later digging the Panama Canal. We are following the trail of the “Panama money”, the encouragement – and later restriction ­– of migration, the riots in 1937 and the formation of trade unions. One thing leads to the next as the hours vanish in the archive. The archive itself is somehow stuck in the past, and the sounds of heavy books being dropped on tables echo in the vast space. At 4 pm the archive is slowly shutting down, and we leave the air-conditioned hall with a chill. Outside the archive at 4 pm on the dot, the art historian Therese Hadchity picks us up. She left Denmark 25 years ago, and we spend hours over coffee discussing contemporary art in the Caribbean, social practice and the potential pitfalls of this type of practice – to mention a few of the many topics covered over three hours in good company – definitely a conversation to be continued.

Thursday morning begins with some more work on the hydrophone (underwater microphone) – Ask is still attempting to secure the cable so water is kept out when immersed. Thanks to the Colleen Lewis Soldering Iron, Annalee’s extended family and local hardware and music stores, an improvised solution begins to materialise. The plan is to test it over the weekend when we are walking along the South Coast. Thursday is also the first session of the sound workshop that Ask is teaching. Six people turn up at Fresh Milk for the first dose of soundscape recording and composition – some have a bit of a shell shock. It is a rocky ride through Musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer, soundscape, acoustic ecology, Murray Schafer and the physics and technology behind it all. As the dust settles, questions arise and a most interesting debate takes form – I am very much looking forward to the continuation.

We head out early Friday morning, and as we leave the apartment at dawn, Annalee’s lovely father offers us a ride to St. Lawrence Gap at the South Coast, and thereby cuts our journey shorter by an hour or more. St. Lawrence Gap is the first place where we immerse the hydrophone fully in seawater, and thank goodness it is water proof despite its very homemade look. Maj has volunteered to be the assistant in the sea (what a dreadful task) and Ask is at shore with the recorder and headphones. Suddenly sounds of sand on the sea bottom are coming through and it is very exciting. The recordings continue throughout the weekend in different locations and both in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

We end the weekend trip at the Good Life Café near Accra Beach, where we meet the multitalented artist Mark King, who quickly turns out to be a stimulating conversation on both art and global politics.



This residency is supported in part by the Danish Arts Foundation

Tilting Axis 1.5 Report

At the invitation of Videobrasil’s director, Solange Farkas, the core organizations of Tilting AxisFresh Milk, ARC Magazine and the Pérez Art Museum Miami – had the opportunity to participate in the Public Programme at the 19th Sesc_Festival in Sao Paulo on October 8th, 2015 to present Tilting Axis 1.5.

L-R: Solange Farkas (Director of Videobrasil), Maria Elena Ortiz (Assistant Curator at PAMM), N'Gone Fall (Founding member of GawLab), Annalee Davis (Founding Director of Fresh Milk) and Holly Bynoe (Director and Editor-in-Chief of ARC Magazine). All images courtesy of Videobrasil

L-R: Solange Farkas (Director of Videobrasil), Maria Elena Ortiz (Assistant Curator at PAMM), N’Gone Fall (Founding member of GawLab), Annalee Davis (Founding Director of Fresh Milk) and Holly Bynoe (Director and Editor-in-Chief of ARC Magazine). All images courtesy of Videobrasil

Earlier this year on a trip to São Paulo, ARC’s director and co-founder of Tilting Axis, Holly Bynoe, met with Solange and Thereza Farkas, Director and Program Director of Videobrasil, to speak about opportunities available at the 19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil scheduled to take place during the 5-10 of October. During that initial meeting, Solange expressed interest in opening up the public programming while also being acutely aware of the of the way in which the Caribbean is being positioned in the continuum and discourse around the Global South.

Solange Farkas

Solange Farkas

Conceived as a mid point meeting, Tilting Axis 1.5 acted as a discursive moment to continue circulating the collective’s core methodologies. Goals included addressing the Caribbean’s peripheral position within larger global art conversations, generating awareness and sensitizing cultural practitioners in the Global South to Tilting Axis.

With an audience of about 30 members, the intimate gathering took place on the 8th of October at Sesc_Pompeia’s Theatre. Solange welcomed the panelists and remarked “It is a great pleasure to be part of this promising encounter Tilting Axis is providing. The Caribbean, despite its global relevance as a tourist destination, has yet to gain recognition as an inexhaustible source of visual art to its full potential and production. There is a clear difficulty in overcoming the ocean that surrounds this archipelago and Tilting Axis has a fundamental role in the unification of the region by hosting meetings and discussions and thereby increasing worldwide interest in the artistic production of the Caribbean.”

N'Gone Fall

N’Gone Fall

The conversation was chaired by N’Gone Fall, independent curator and founder of GawLab (Senegal) who framed the conversation and the larger platform as moments to think about factors tied to the invisibility and visibility of the Caribbean in the larger art world. The panel comprised Annalee Davis (Fresh Milk), Holly Bynoe (ARC Inc.) and María Elena Ortiz (PAMM).

Annalee gave background to Fresh Milk’s interest in Tilting Axis, spoke to why and how Tilting Axis developed and presented an overview of the inaugural 2015 meeting which took place at Fresh Milk in Barbados. Davis made comparisons between the 1st Mercosul biennial – curated by Federico Morais 20 years ago with a mandate to rewrite “the history of Latin American art from a non-Eurocentric perspective”; the Habana Bienal that began as a vital event to place Cubans and other artists from the Global South on the world map and the São Paulo Biennial originating with a goal to establish that city as an international art centre.

Annalee Davis

Annalee Davis

She acknowledged the 19th Festival as another cry to the world from the Global South, as Tilting Axis is a collective shout out from the Caribbean to the world, creating visibility and awareness of contemporary visual arts practices from the region. These platforms redirect the tilt to more horizontal axes of discourse which facilitate our listening to the polyphonic voices across the many art worlds, challenging the notion of one centre and one voice. Tilting Axis is contributing to this global chorus.

Holly spoke to ARC’s interest in Tilting Axis, the outcomes of the gathering and gave a synopsis of the four clinics along with the platform’s goals. Opening with the promise of an ongoing commitment to transferring institutional knowledge, developing exhibitions and programming opportunities regionally and globally; the core organizations involved have entered into a collaboration that is expected to help accomplish multi tiered levels of sustainability and organic growth for the platform and its deliverables.

Holly Bynoe

Holly Bynoe

Highlighting Tilting Axis’ presence, Bynoe reiterated that it is not to eradicate but to alleviate, calm and decentralize certain pressures linked to creative production by giving creative bodies agency and a framework to reestablish connections with each other. The connections forged from the meeting become less formal and more organic, engendering corroborative actions that are negotiated without scrutiny and leading to a continuation of works that expand upon the industry; its momentum and emergence.

María Elena spoke about PAMM’s interest in participating in Tilting Axis, as well as hosting the upcoming event in Miami in February 2016. PAMM started collaborating with Tilting Axis in 2013 as an effort to reconsider Miami as part of the Caribbean. María Elena explained that at first glance this could be seen as problematic, however, Miami has a significant position within Caribbean communities as a cultural hub. She also described how the decision to host the event in Miami actually came from the group at the first meeting in 2015. María Elena gave an overview of the next iteration, which will continue exploring the main issues raised in the first iteration in Barbados, specifically in the areas of Exhibition and Programming; Education, and Artists’ Movement and Mobility.

Maria Elena Ortiz

Maria Elena Ortiz

For PAMM, it is extremely important to address the concern of the local Caribbean community, which will also be reflected in the upcoming event in 2016. Tilting Axis 2.0 will continue to explore notions raised in the first iteration and make connections with Miami as a pivot to the Caribbean. The name of the 2016 program, Caribbean Strategies, considers possible strategies in the identified areas that could be shared, questioned, or reinterpreted across a transnational Caribbean.

As a result of the TA 1.5 conversation at the Festival, strong interest has emanated from the South African based quarterly publication, ART AFRICA, who have already discussed the possibility of including Tilting Axis in their THAT ART FAIR programme for 2017. In addition, they have expressed interest in offering a partnership to Fresh Milk to participate in an exhibiting capacity. Furthermore, ART AFRICA are looking to extend their network of contributors, and have asked if Fresh Milk and ARC would be interested in contributing a Caribbean perspective to their publication.

Also in attendance was Sharjah Art Foundation President, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasini and Tumelo Mosaka, independent curator of projects such as Infinite Island, Brooklyn Museum (2007) along with Till Fellrath, co-founder of ART Reoriented, a multidisciplinary curatorial platform based in Munich and New York.

The panelists at TA 1.5

The panelists at TA 1.5


  • Tilting Axis 2 will be held at the Pérez Art Museum Miami from February 19-21 2015. PAMM and Cannonball have confirmed a partnership which includes two residencies during February. Trinidad-based Marsha Pearce – scholar, researcher, educator and emerging curator – along with London based Bahamian visual artist Blue Curry will spend four weeks at Cannonball.
  • Fresh Milk is deepening connections with the São Paulo office of the Goethe Institute who is interested in fostering a collaboration with Casa Tomada to create possibilities for exchange between Brazil and the Caribbean. To this end, discussion is under way to potentially partner in the 2016 iteration of the Transcoeanic Visual Exchange project to platform experimental film between Brazil, the Caribbean and Germany.
  • The National Art Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) has confirmed that they will host Tilting Axis in February 2017. Natalie Urquhart, the gallery director states: “By bringing together arts professionals from across the region, Tilting Axis has provided an unparalleled platform for collaboration and exchange, which has already translated into several important initiatives. We are looking forward to continuing the conversation at TA 2 at PAMM, reporting on outcomes that have arisen out of the initial meeting and expanding opportunities further under the Caribbean Strategies program.

The NGCI is then committed to hosting TA 3 in 2017, the focus of which will be determined by the 2016 gathering, and to help keep the momentum generated by Tilting Axis moving forward.”

  • Another outcome from Tilting Axis 1 which was platformed at the conversation included the Arts Mentorship Programme, a one-year trial to be run in a partnership between the Cultural Skills Unit of the British Council Scotland and independent curatorial project Mother Tongue, the Cent­re for Contemporary Arts Glasgow (CCA) and David Dale Gallery and Studios. The geographical remit of the programme covers the entire Caribbean, regardless of language, and regional partners will be sought to assist the delivery of the initiative. It has been developed out of exchanges between Scotland and the Caribbean in 2014/2015, and therefore aims to directly target areas of need raised during scoping visits and the first Tilting Axis conference. The project will be aimed at artists, curators and writers at all levels: those in education, recent graduates, emerging practitioners and artist-led spaces; to professional platforms, organisations and institutions.

In the first year, the mentorship programme will deliver the following pilot projects which will be used by the organisers to assess the impact of the first year’s activity, and as case studies to apply for further funding beyond the trial. This partnership will offer two shadow curatorial placements at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, working with curator Remco de Blaaij. Additionally, between 2 and 4 remunerated internships will be granted to students and recent graduates in Barbados through an open call to work on the production and delivery of the exhibition Rum Retort. Programming will also be developed, including but not limited to exhibitions with David Dale Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland.

The British Council, independent of the mentorship program, has also begun initial conversations around a research curatorial trip scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Leeds and London in November, creating various platforms and opportunities for promoting a better understanding of collaborative and exchange possibilities emerging out of Scotland. Several curators from the Caribbean, Brazil, Mexico; including Holly Bynoe, who is currently Chief Curator at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; have been invited to participate in this research trip.

Tilting Axis 2 will take place at the Pérez Art Museum Miami on the 19- 21st of February 2016.


Read the Tilting Axis 1.5 report on the Tilting Axis website here.