While in Barbados, Nyugen will be working on a project which contributes to a multi-part installation titled Lavway. (“Lavway” is Trinidadian patois for “le vrai,”or “the truth” in French, and is the name of a form of calypso that reports the truth as seen by the singer or composer.) Lavway will examine the education system in the Caribbean from late nineteenth century to present day with a focus on systematic omission of histories and contributions of people from the African diaspora. His Fresh Milk residency will be spent in part on research and collecting relevant objects, recordings, and texts in relation to this.
Letitia intends to use the residency to work on an individual poetic project, Melody of a Lost Woman. This series of twelve narrative poems will focus specifically on Bahamian womanhood and the effects of the patriarchy on the feminine existence within the Bahamas. The piece draws strongly on Moya Bailey’s concept of misogynoir, which refers to the violence that black women endure by the hands of black men. Her work and research in Barbados will question the ways Bahamian misogynoir differs from other patriarchal incarnations, and explore commonalities through Caribbean history and folklore to consider these experiences across the African diaspora.
Drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, Nyugen Smith is committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the residue of European colonial rule in the region. Responding to the legacy of this particular environment, Nyugen’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers. While exposing audiences to concealed narratives that distort reality, he destabilizes constructed frameworks from which this conversation is often held.
About Letitia Pratt:
Letitia Pratt recently obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the College of the Bahamas. An avid reader of fantastic fiction, most of her writing navigates the existence of black (feminine) bodies within that genre and draws heavily on stories within Bahamian folklore. Her themes often explore the function of art and literature within the Bahamas, and her most recent published work, ‘A Scene (of Two Lovers Contemplating Suicide)‘ discusses the concept of liminality within artwork, and how it’s the ability to occupy multiple spaces creates an active exchange of ideologies.