Open Call: Transoceanic Visual Exchange 2021

Important dates:

Start of reception period: May 4th, 2021
End of reception period: June 30th, 2021
Community of curatorial practice workshops: July – August, 2021
Public announcement of results: September, 2021
TVE 4 2021: November –  December, 2021

Call for Works:

The Fresh Milk Art Platform (Barbados) and TEOR/ética (Costa Rica) are pleased to welcome submissions of recent film and video works – screenings, installations, new media and expanded cinema – by contemporary artists, to be included in the fourth edition of Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE), a series of programmes taking place online this year, with accompanying screenings in Barbados and Costa Rica.

Submitted works must have been completed in the last five years and must be made by artists practicing in the Caribbean and Central America.

TVE 4 will be a collection of recent artists’ films and videos from each region. However, the final shape and content of the programme will be informed by a community curatorial process, which aims to involve and promote discussion within the wider creative communities of each participating initiative.

Working between the Caribbean and Central America, TVE 4 aims to negotiate the in-between space of our cultural communities outside of traditional geo-political zones of encounter and trade. TVE intends to build relations and open up greater pathways of visibility, discourse and knowledge production between the regional art spaces and their publics.

Submission Requirements:  

  • Must be work from artists practicing in the Caribbean or Central America;
  • Must be work that has been completed/made in the last five years;
  • Can be films of any length (shorts, experimental, features and video artworks);
  • Can be in any language (films originally produced in regional languages are welcome);
  • Up to 3 submissions per applicant are welcome;
  • Must be accompanied by a description of the work (500 words max), a bio (200 words max) and details of any technical requirements i.e. audio, installation, equipment required, preferred setting etc.;
  • Works must be mp4 files no larger than 100MB, or Vimeo/Youtube links;
  • Works must not have been submitted to the previous edition of TVE;
  • Please specify whether your submitted works have permission to be exhibited on an online space, particularly as the virtual aspect of TVE 4 will be a significant focus of the programme.

Selection Process:

One of the core values of TVE is the model of community curatorial practice as opposed to one of solely contracting curators or hiring a jury to review submissions in isolation. This has taken the shape of open roundtable conversations with interested members of the community in each partner’s country/region, where current trends, concerns and interests in the areas of video art, film and new media are discussed. After these conversations, the partners will convene to select works which align with and reflect the research gathered, including the community’s input in the design of the final programme.

What TVE 4 Offers:

  • Each selected artist will receive a stipend of $200.00 USD for their participation in the programme;
  • Artists’ work will be showcased in a virtual exhibition on the TVE website, facilitated and promoted by the TVE partners;
  • Artists’ work will be exhibited or screened physically in Barbados and Costa Rica (pending safety and with COVID measures and protocols enforced);
  • The artists’ profile will be permanently housed on the TVE website, and their work will be widely promoted throughout Fresh Milk and TEOR/ética’s networks in the Caribbean and Central America;
  • The artists’ will have the opportunity to grow their own networks and knowledge regarding video arts and filmmaking practices across the Caribbean and Central America, deepening understanding between the two regions and opening up greater possibilities of collaboration.

Deadline for submissions: June 30th 2021

Click here for the online form for Caribbean submissions
Click here for the online form for Central American submissions

To view this open call in Spanish, visit TEOR/ética’s website here

For more information on TVE and its first three iterations, visit the website transoceanicvisualexchange.com


About the Partners:

Fresh Milk

Fresh Milk is an artist-led, non-profit organisation founded in 2011 and based in Barbados. It is a platform which supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development, fostering a thriving art community.

Fresh Milk offers professional support to artists from the Caribbean and further afield and seeks to stimulate critical thinking in contemporary visual art. Its goal is to nurture artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for growth, excellence and success.


TEOR/ética

Located in San José, Costa Rica, TEOR/éTica is a private, independent, non-profit, dedicated to the research and promotion of contemporary artistic practices.

Throughout more than two decades, TEOR/éTica has worked as a platform that promotes the research and dissemination of contemporary art, with an emphasis on Central America and the Caribbean. It aims to create spaces for doubt, debate and the generation of critical thought relevant to its context. It does this through exhibitions, publications, talks, workshops, grants, an archive and a specialized library, understanding art as a common space from where to generate study and find other ways of being together that build collective learning.

Fresh Milk’s 2020 Highlights

Thank you for your continued support of Fresh Milk!

While it’s taken us a little while to share our reflections on the year 2020, we’re pleased to celebrate what we have been able to achieve in spite of the challenges that cultural workers everywhere have had to navigate.

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Still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has made our already precarious cultural sectors here in Barbados and across the wider Caribbean even more fragile. We have been challenged to find new ways to nurture one another, and Fresh Milk has participated in collaborations that have been beneficial to many artists in the region.

To learn more about the work we have done including CONTESTED DESIRES – an ongoing partnership with artist initiatives in the UK, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Italy; working with Le Centre d’Art in Haiti on a residency exchange programme; the most recent Tilting Axis Fellowship in partnership with Het Nieuwe Instituut in the Netherlands; or the pan-Caribbean CATAPULT project in partnership with The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) and Kingston Creative, see more below!

For 2021, Fresh Milk remains committed to delivering virtual editions of the programmes Caribbean Linked and Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE). These online platforms will unite artists across linguistic territories in the region, as well as expand our work with colleagues in Latin America.

If you would like to support artists participating in Caribbean Linked and TVE, or would like to lend support to the management of these various projects, go ahead and click on the donate button below! It’s very easy to support us and the artists we work with by making a donation through this PayPal link. Your contributions make our programmes possible, and gifts of any size are welcome.

While our artist residency programme is on pause now that we have honoured all previous commitments, we look forward to sharing an open call for a local project with three exciting components, which will take place right here in Barbados, in the parish of St. George.

Stay tuned for more details!

  If you’d like to work with us to build your art collection by acquiring work by local and Caribbean artists, please get in touch.

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We would like to thank everyone who worked with us, supported us, and express gratitude to the many artists who we have had the privilege of working with across the Caribbean during this very demanding year.

We are pleased to be able to share our 2020 reflections with you all and hope you enjoy this newsletter.

 

Aliyah Hasinah’s Fresh Milk Residency – Week 4 Blog Post

UK-based writer and curator of Bajan and Jamaican heritage, Aliyah Hasinah, shares her final blog post about her Fresh Milk international residency. Aliyah speaks about her last round of studio visits, trips to exhibitions and conversations with cultural workers in Barbados, ending her account of the residency experience with a series of questions to reflect on upon her return home. Read more below:


For the last 4 years, every time I travelled I collected a postcard. Postcards specifically featuring Black People portrayed in interesting (often racist) ways or of histories we may have assumed. When in Barbados, this trip I failed to do so. Having read excerpts of Krista Thompson’s ‘An Eye for the Tropics’, I felt the impact that the postcards I’d collected on my travels actually had. They continue the romanticism and acceptance of racism in these spaces, and it was profound for me to completely disengage from this practice on this particular land.

Barbados in November 2020, changed me. It chemically and spiritually altered me and gave a new clarity to my ambitions. A big thank you to my co-resident Pascale for being an incredible force and inspiration throughout this residency.

So the 4 weeks have really flown by. I’m not quite sure how the residency is over but it is. To say the experience was transformative is an understatement. My last week saw me preparing for Independence Day with many visits, including a preview of the Flower Forest’s new installations as well as meeting with Janice Whittle at Queen’s Park Gallery to discuss the NCF’s role in Barbados’ visual arts landscape and plans for the future..

I also had the honour of meeting Ras Ishi and Ras Akyem this week as well as talking to Winston Kellman. All of whom have been great inspirations of mine.

I could talk forever about these experiences but I will keep it short and full of photos instead. I also visited The Brighton Storeroom gallery to see their latest group exhibition..

I have a lot of questions (as always) brewing, these include:

  • How does the NCF get better at engaging with post-emerging artists and dissolving bureaucracy in their processes?

  • Who holds the White elites of Barbados accountable for the continued coloniality on the island and stringent segregation?

  • Why are some Slave Codes in Barbados still within the legal constitution? Why is drumming banned late at night ?

  • What does republic status mean for working class Bajans?

  • How can curators, artists and strategists work together to continue building artistic infrastructure in Barbados?

  • What does investing in Barbados’ art community look like for the art industries across the Caribbean and globe?

  • How do we amplify artists’ dreams into a reality? What needs to be understood and what knowledge shared?

  • Who will hail up and support the Black Visual Artists who involve a more radical praxis in Barbados?

Thanks again to everyone who’s been reading my blogs and feel free to connect with me on Instagram or Twitter @aliyahhasinah.

Nuff love and take care

Aliyah Hasinah x

Pascale Faublas’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 4 Blog Post

Fresh Milk shares the fourth and final blog post by Haitian resident artist Pascale Faublas, who is joining us as part of an artist exchange programme with Le Centre d’Art, Haiti, to create opportunities for women arts practitioners. Pascale reflects on some of the work being done by Barbadian creatives and regional arts spaces, and how they have continued to find ways of exhibiting and supporting artists during the difficult circumstances of 2020, as well as sharing her third piece created in Barbados. This programme is supported by UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) and the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL). Read more below:


EN FRANÇAIS

Semaine 4

Déjà ma dernière semaine de résidence artistique en Barbades !

Les artistes y déploient  des efforts d’ingéniosité pour quand même montrer leurs créations en ces temps de crise. Ainsi les oeuvres de la plasticienne Katherine Kennedy, aussi membre de l’équipe de FreshMilk, ainsi que des œuvres d’autres artistes locaux sont en cours d’installation dans la Flower Forest, un jardin de plantes tropicales normalement très fréquenté par les nombreux touristes de saison, absents cette année 2020. Il y a aussi l’exposition de groupe «PAST PRESENT FUTURE» à la galerie Brighton Storeroom située dans un marché fermier, qui fonctionne uniquement le samedi ou sur rendez-vous.

Parallèlement plusieurs institutions créatives de la région  telles FreshMilk en Barbades, Kingston Creative en Jamaique, Le Centre d’Art  en Haïti entre autres, ont crée des programmes innovateurs tels que des salons virtuels hebdomadaires , des résidences  de création a domicile , et aussi des session de formation . C’est ainsi que j’ai bénéficié d’une session  de 3hres sur la Gestion des media sociaux animée par la journaliste et fondatrice de Weekult Music Lab, Charlene Jamet dans le cadre du programme CATAPULT. Une démarche importante et très utile a l’heure  ou l’internet devient un organe de communication, de promotion de plus en plus indispensable pour les créateurs.

Cette semaine j’ai aussi eu le privilège d’être interviewée par Amyra Leon, une talentueuse poétesse, chanteuse, photographe et performeuse afro-latino-newyorkaise.

Jamais 2 sans 3, je dis adieu a l‘atelier de FreshMilk  qui m’a si généreusement accueilli, avec ma troisième création Mètrès Fanm.


IN ENGLISH

Week 4

Already my last week of artistic residency in Barbados!

The artists there are deploying ingenuity in their efforts to show their creations any way they can in these times of crisis. Thus the works of visual artist Katherine Kennedy, also a member of the Fresh Milk team, along with other local artists are being installed in the Flower Forest, a garden of tropical plants normally frequented by the many seasonal tourists, absent this year in 2020. There is also the group show ‘PAST PRESENT FUTURE’ at The Brighton Storeroom gallery located in a farmer’s market, which only operates on Saturdays or by appointment.

At the same time, several creative institutions in the region such as Fresh Milk in Barbados, Kingston Creative in Jamaica, Le Centre d’Art in Haiti among others, have created innovative programs such as weekly virtual fairs, creative residencies at home, and also creative training sessions. This is how I benefited from a 3 hour session on Social Media Management hosted by journalist and founder of Weekult Music Lab, Charlene Jamet as part of the CATAPULT programme. This is an important and very useful step at a time when the Internet is becoming an increasingly essential means of communication and promotion for creators.

This week I also had the privilege of being interviewed by Amyra Leon, a talented Afro-Latino-New York poet, singer, photographer and performer.

Never 2 without 3, I say goodbye to the Fresh Milk studio which so generously welcomed me, with my third creation Mètrès Fanm.


ABOUT LE CENTRE D’ART:

Le Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince is an institution that works towards promoting artistic creations by Haitian practitioners on the basis of preserved heritage values. Since its creation in 1944, this atypical space with multiple missions has been at the heart of societal and artistic evolutions. As the major protagonist in the reconfiguration of the fine arts realm in Haiti, Le Centre d’Art has been paving the way for several schools and artistic movements.

Despite the destruction of the infrastructure during the earthquake of 2010, Le Centre d’Art managed to save more than 5000 works and 3000 archive files, which are today preserved and valued. Since the reopening in 2014, Le Centre d’Art has once again become an essential part of Haitian culture.

Its mission is to support artists and their creations, and to conserve and disseminate Haitian visual arts. It is a resource space for artists, art students, art lovers, collectors and researchers alike.

Aliyah Hasinah’s Fresh Milk Residency – Week 3 Blog Post

UK-based writer and curator of Bajan and Jamaican heritage, Aliyah Hasinah, shares her third blog post about her Fresh Milk international residency. Aliyah continues to speak with Barbados-based cultural practitioners to form impressions about the island, its social landscape and stratification that exists in the space, in addition to visiting centres such as the Ngozi Farm and Cultural Sanctuary and the UWI Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination. Read more below:


This week’s residency was a meaningful one. I’ve spent a lot of time in conversations learning and listening so haven’t read as much as I would have liked. Nevertheless, it’s been another enriching week in Barbados.

My Monday started with an Interview being recorded of me for the Small Axe Podcast. Upon finishing this interview, I asked if the new series by Steve McQueen was to be aired in the Caribbean because I couldn’t watch it on iPlayer. I was met with an ‘I’m not sure actually’.

From this moment, the thing that has sat with me starkly this past week is the disconnect between the islands and diaspora and the very intentional legislation and governing bodies that enforce this as a progression from enslavement and colourist class stratification. Additionally, the 2nd or 3rd generation diaspora’s disconnect from the politics or culture of the lands they hail from, in not creating content or sharing it outside of the global north, also creates problems.

For the large part the Windrush experience is not taught in the school curriculum of the Island and the modern day Bajan political and cultural is not felt or bridged abroad. This disconnect and information exclusion means that a very intentional chasm is created purely from the absence of information and exchange. Steve Mcqueen’s ‘Small Axe’ not being available in the Caribbean is one such example. It is easy to then imagine the resentment that can begin to develop towards those who have left and the rose-tinted nostalgia or misunderstanding of the Island’s they knew of the diaspora. This dialogue between contexts is crucial in the art world, to both enrich the nuanced perspectives of Caribbeanness and likewise shift the axis from representation mainly being from the diaspora or of the light skin and white artists on the Island.

In Aaron Kamugisha’s essay on ‘Rihanna & Bajan Respectability’ under the section on the Caribbean Middle Classes, he recalls James Baldwin’s insights:

James’s analysis of the new elites closes with the ominoir observation that “the ordinary people of the west indies…. Do not want to substitute new masters for old. They want no masters at all… history will take its course, only too often a bloody one.’’ Over thirty years into a global neo-liberal project that has seen appalling levels of martial impoverishment for citizens of the global South, and soaring rates of violence in these societies, James’s warning appears more prescient than he could have ever imagined.’’

The function of the middle class in Barbados (as one of the largest of the Caribbean islands) has an intentional implementation to absolve the white ruling class and also white capitalists who sought a quick buck from buying up much of the island to further exploit the newly independent nation (through hotels and tourism). This class is very much segregated, almost apartheid like, on the Island. My British accent and redskin has made some of those I’ve interacted with a little too comfortable in the false assumption of my middle classness and acceptance of the status quo. The disdain for Black Bajan artists is abhorrent and I have to thank my elders Ras Ishi and Ras Akyem for their work and writing in the RA Journal in 1993 and how it still stands prophetic of what I have witnessed on the land my grandparents left almost 60 years ago.

I’m learning that there is a perception that Fresh Milk is elitist and inaccessible for most on the Island. Which I was unaware of prior to my residency. It got me thinking about the international intrigue of how blackness, where I grew up in Birmingham UK, was always more acceptable in gallery contexts when the black artist wasn’t from that place. Hence meaning white curators and institutions needn’t think about their complicity in upholding racist gatekeeping, because they’d distanced themselves from it but still represented blackness in an international context.

My plan when I came to do my residency was to focus solely on Black West Indian Art History and culture in the Caribbean. However, I have been confronted quite violently with the colonial history and enslavement period’s remnants in legislation and artist communities that have led to the unsustainable arts infrastructure on the Island. As a result I have delved deeper into this in order to understand the conditions and context the art I’m studying was moulded by. I hope to focus more on dreaming and making work in the last week of my residency, but believe my whole time here has been an immersive learning of Caribbean epistemology as well as embodied experiences – all of which will embolden my curatorial practice and projects.

This week I also met with Russell Watson at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, to look at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination. It’s an exciting space that I’m sure will continue to do some incredible work in supporting the critical discourse within the art scene of Barbados. We also spoke about the responsibility and place of healing in the development of artists’ careers here in Barbados. This video of George Lamming for the NCF is an apt example of the arts’ importance in Barbados’ future and present.

I also had the honour of going to Ngozi Farm and Cultural Sanctuary with Pascale, Dr Yanique Hume and my friend Amyra.

I was very moved by Ireka Jelani and her weaving practice and how she built her farm and sanctuary piece by piece. The love she showed us was testament of her power and I wrote something short after the visit.

SISTER IREKA

She stared through me with a soft urgency
Commanding of me a spirit I had quietened.
The asking in her eyes said –
let it out
Let us free up
Say what needs must sweetgirl

‘This whole Island was once plantation’

Remember you are of the land as much as of mind,
Tend to both.

Her Cassava fingertips have mended broken backs they say.
How we soothe wholesome spirit
With time
With air
In rain
With bush
With needs must
With love
‘Cuh me ah sey we is a humble people’

We forged in this limestone,
a life led by our spirits’ soft urgency.

Have a great week and thanks for reading my tangential thoughts.

Aliyah x