It’s been a week since I returned to Barbados – sorry this is late, but it just shows how busy and productive things have been at Fresh Milk, while we got everything in order for the arrival of the IBB team to Barbados, and preparations for FRESH MILK IX, which will be held Thursday, November 29th at 7pm. Never a dull moment!
Overall, the interactive Ustream project Creatives in Conversation which rounded off my set of interviews in Curacao was definitely a success. There were a few technical difficulties, but all the quirks such as jokes, impromptu karaoke sessions, IT technician Omar Kuwas having to usurp me as the interviewer when he possessed the sole laptop with an internet connection, and general good natured fun made it endearing, alongside the serious and very pertinent issues David Bade and Tirzo Martha brought up about the contemporary arts in Curacao and around the region. And of course, what I found to be the greatest aspect of the project was the response we got from our viewers. NLS in Jamaica hosted an event in a local bar to screen the interview, Ateliers ’89 in Aruba also tuned in, Fresh Milk was represented, and artists and interested persons from around the region and beyond (including responses from St. Vincent, the Netherlands etc.) all took part and sent in their questions.
The interest in the project, and David and Tirzo’s passionate answers show that there is a need for this inter-regional and international communication in the arts, and that the time is ripe for this interaction to take place. As Tirzo said, stop the circular conferences and stagnant symposiums – this is our chance to take collective action and find ways to really focus on and tackle the issues we have in the Caribbean together, as the ones actually affected by legislation passed from people who do not understand the situation. Creatives in Conversation showed that despite the difficulties in inter-regional travel, we can find alternate methods to at least make a start, and I think it could be a good idea for the informal art institutions (Fresh Milk, IBB, NLS, Ateliers ’89, Alice Yard, Popopstudios, Tembe Art Studio etc.) to schedule these streamed events on a regular basis, held in a different country each time, so we remain informed about what we do and circulate our own ideas on how we can strengthen the Caribbean art scene.
If you missed the interview live, you can still view it online at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ibb-live
That weekend, we took some down time and Holly, Erik, Marijn, David, Willy and I visited a turtle watching point, had lunch in a local restaurant and visited a couple of beaches on the Saturday. On Sunday we went adventuring to the East of the island, eventually settling on Caracas Bay, a rock and pebble beach with stunningly clear water. This was also next to Fort Beekenberg, which you could climb to the top of for gorgeous views over the island.
I already miss the students and staff at the IBB, my housemates Holly Bynoe, Erik and Marijn Habets, and our dogs Bruno and Tequila. I am very grateful to everyone who contributed to my time in Curacao. I have high hopes and expectations for the outcome of this residency, with the interviews which will be released in the coming weeks introducing a wider public to the Curacao arts, and the interactive platform that we would love to continue building to set the stage for an enhanced level of understanding and collaboration. We’re already well on our way, as Fresh Milk welcomed Tirzo, David, Erik and IBB students Dominic Schmetz, Kristel Rigaud and Rashid Pieter to Barbados this past Sunday. Looking forward to this week with them, and everything our partnership with the IBB will accomplish!