Open Call: CONTESTED DESIRES

CONTESTED DESIRES is a transnational project exploring our shared and contested colonial heritage and its influence on contemporary culture.

Project Duration: 14th Feb 2020 – August 2021
Project Fee:  €4,339.98 (per diems, travel and accommodation are covered separately)
Artist Geographies: Caribbean based (Applicants must have proficiency in English)
Art form: Visual arts (including but not limited to: film, digital, sound art, installation)

From the Greeks, to the Romans, the Ottomans to the Venetians, from the seafaring nations of Northern and Western Europe embarking on crusades and trade missions, Europeans have exploited, imposed and foraged cultures and communities to build their Empires.

This legacy presents a complex shared cultural heritage, too often untold, unknown and contested.  A legacy where individuals, communities and nation states have constructed their identities through a mosaic of cultural choices and desires.

CONTESTED DESIRES is a transnational capacity building programme for artists and producers engaging with communities and heritage spaces. With a focus on exchange and learning, the programme will offer unique opportunities for artists and communities to explore our shared heritage through research, workshops, residencies and exhibitions.  Working in the UK, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, and Barbados CONTESTED DESIRES will dig deep to explore, and reveal the links between our shared colonial history and our cultural identities today – from the diverse perspectives of those working across Europe and in the Caribbean.

At a time of increasing right wing populism, CONTESTED DESIRES aims to challenge the de-stabilising and divisive impact of political landscapes of Europe both on the continent and in places like the Caribbean. The response to the complexities, diversity and expansion of European communities, continues to be met with the power play of fear-mongering, discrimination and exclusion; where its borders become its protectors and its heritage is used as a tool of inclsuion or exclusion.

Through a new and dynamic partnership, CONTESTED DESIRES connects six innovative arts and cultural organisations across the global north and south. Led by D6: Culture in Transit (UK) they include La Bonne (Spain), LAC (Portugal), Xarkis (Cyprus) and Fresh Milk (Barbados). ECCOM (Italy), cultural experts in the field of interdisciplinary practice, will develop a unique capacity building and evaluation strand to the project, in association with the writer and researcher, François Matarasso.

CONTESTED DESIRES is supported by Creative Europe, and as a legacy of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018, uses the positive forces of co-operation and co-production to address the ‘authenticity’ and values of the heritage we share.

 

ARTIST BRIEF

CONTESTED DESIRES will engage nine exceptional artists (from the UK, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and the Caribbean) to participate in this ambitious and collaborative project from January 2020 until September 2021. This call is for 1 artist based in the Caribbean (artist can be from any Caribbean country but must be proficient in English).

(For our partners’ calls, please see: D6: Culture in Transit, UK; La Bonne, Spain; LAC, Portugal; and Xarkis, Cyprus)

Please note: CONTESTED DESIRES will also release a future call for a complimentary artist film and video programme, which will be open to artists beyond the geographies of the partners to submit existing works that connect to the themes of CONTESTED DESIRES.

Working closely with producers, cultural experts and communities across a variety of local contexts, the selected Caribbean Artist will have the opportunity to be part of a programme of interrelated activities across several partner countries including research, training, symposia and the production and presentation of new work in site-specific contexts and online.

The selected Caribbean artist will participate in the following activities:

  • X 1 month-long European-based residency in Spain or Portugal (to be decided by the partnership), concluding with an exhibition/ presentation of work in progress. This will be a joint residency alongside two other visiting artists from the partners’ countries.
  • X 3 capacity building workshops in Portugal, Spain and the UK;
  • X 1 digital training lab in the UK;
  • Online presentation including the participation in a digital lab (May 2021, UK);
  • X 1 group residency and final exhibition of work in site-specific settings as part of the Xarkis Festival (Polystipos, Cyprus) in 2021;
  • Evaluation (as directed).

 

TIMELINE of activities for the participating Caribbean artist

Each artist must be available to participate in and commit to all activities listed. The selected Caribbean artist will participate in one joint residency in Portugal and a Micro Residency in Barbados, and a final joint residency with all artists in Cyprus. Please identify at application stage if you are not able to participate in any of these activities.

January 2020 CONTESTED DESIRES Artists announced
February 2020 Capacity building workshop 1 hosted by LAC (Lagos, Portugal).

Theme: Cultural Genealogies

An exploration of the genealogies of cultural heritage and their value in contemporary culture – How do we identify and map these connections from the perspective of those working across Europe and in the Caribbean? Are they valued? Who owns this heritage? How is this impacting societal change and intercultural dialogue on both sides of the Atlantic?

February – March 2020 Joint residency 1 for three artists (including the Caribbean Artist), hosted by LAC (Lagos, Portugal).
March – April 2020 Joint iterative exhibition by three resident artists, hosted by LAC (Lagos, Portugal).
June 2020 Capacity building workshop 2 hosted by D6: Culture in Transit (North East England).

Theme: Statecraft

An exploration of the construct of the nation state the workshop will consider: How do we navigate statecraft? How do we tell our histories and stories that  represent inextricable connections globally? How and why do value systems change?

September 2020 Joint residency 2 for three artists, hosted by D6: Culture in Transit

(North East England).

November 2020 Capacity building workshop 3 hosted by La Bonne (Barcelona, Spain).

Theme: Gender equality in Cultural Heritage

An exploration of gender equality issues considering issues such as access, participation and representation of women in the heritage narratives; the role of women as artists, and women in the cultural labour market.

February 2021 Joint residency 3 for three artists, hosted by La Bonne (Barcelona, Spain
March – April 2021 Joint iterative exhibition by three resident artists, hosted by La Bonne (Barcelona, Spain).
March 2021 Micro residency for Caribbean artist ONLY hosted by Fresh Milk (Barbados).
May – June 2021 Joint iterative exhibition by three resident artists, hosted by D6: Culture in Transit (North East England)
May 2021 Digital training lab for all artists and producers, hosted by D6: Culture in Transit (North East England).
August 2021 Group residency for all artists and final exhibition of work in site-specific settings as part of the Xarkis Festival (Polystipos, Cyprus). And launch of all artists’ digital works online.

 

ARTIST FEE

The total fee for the work described in the brief is €4,339.98 for which the artist is expected to participate fully in the programme. In addition to the artist fee, CONTESTED DESIRES will cover travel, accommodation and a daily per diem/catering for subsistence for international travel. Payment will be made according to an agreed schedule and on receipt of invoices.

The selected Caribbean artist will be provided a contract and will be managed by Fresh Milk. All copyrights for the work produced will remain with the artist. 

Please note:

There is a limited and finite transportation budget for the shipping of artworks. Selected artists will be asked to consider the mobility of their work.

 

HOW TO APPLY

CONTESTED DESIRES will be developed in response to the context of each place. Therefore, we are not looking for artists to submit fixed ideas or resolved project proposals in their application.

To apply, please complete an application form (available to download here) and send to freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com. Your application should be a single PDF or Word Document no larger than 15MB and must include:

  • Contact details
  • An artist statement (250 words maximum)
  • An outline of how you would like to approach the themes of CONTESTED DESIRES (350 words maximum)
  • A brief CV (2 sides of A4 maximum)
  • Up to 3 examples of relevant previous projects that demonstrate the quality of your practice and relevance to the selection criteria (below). For each project, please submit up to 2 images (or a URL for video/sound work) and a maximum 150 word description

Application opens:  WEDNESDAY 16th OCTOBER 2019
Application closes:  MONDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2019, MIDNIGHT AST
Shortlisted applicants will be notified by: WEDNESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2019
Selected applicants will be notified by: TUESDAY 10th DECEMBER 2019

All selection decisions are final.

 

ABOUT Fresh Milk

Mission:

Fresh Milk supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development and foster a thriving art community

Vision:

To nurture, empower and connect Caribbean artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide global opportunities for growth, excellence and success.

The idea for Fresh Milk developed over years of conversations around the need for artistic engagement among artists in Barbados, to strengthen regional and diasporic links and shape new relationships globally. The platform was established in 2011 as a social practice experiment to counter the nearly 100% attrition rate of BFA students at Barbados Community College, the only institution on the island offering a BFA programme.

The Fresh Milk studio is located on a working dairy farm; the name ‘Fresh Milk’ also references the idea of nurturing, as the platform is committed to the healthy growth of contemporary arts & culture in the region. By offering a safe space for people to innovate, gather, and create, Fresh Milk moves against the Caribbean’s traumatic history as a platform of excellence and diversity. Operating out of a former seventeenth-century sugar plantation, Fresh Milk aims to shift the kind of activity that happens in this historically loaded site by fostering an open, critical environment.

Fresh Milk spans creative disciplines, generations, and linguistic territories in the Caribbean by functioning as a “cultural lab,” a dynamic space for artists through local, regional, and international programming including: residencies, lectures, screenings, workshops, conferences, exhibitions, projects, etc. We aspire to be a sustainable organization contributing to a healthy cultural ecosystem.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

Artists will be selected on the following criteria:

  • Response to the brief;
  • Quality of visual arts practice;
  • Experience/ approach of engaging innovatively with local communities through collaborative/ participatory methods;
  • Interest in the role of contemporary visual arts in heritage contexts, with particular reference to the themes of the programme.

We welcome applications from artists with experience of presenting work both within and outside traditional gallery settings, and who are able to navigate multi-partnered projects in an open and collaborative way.

English is the primary language across the CONTESTED DESIRES programme. However, artists must be able to demonstrate ways of communicating effectively with speakers of other languages as part of the development, production and presentation of CONTESTED DESIRES.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact Annalee Davis, Founding Director or Katherine Kennedy, Communications & Operations Manager / freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com

Open Call: Tilting Axis Fellowship 2020

Het Nieuwe Instituut has joined forces with Tilting Axis to offer a Fellowship to one mid-career to established applicant based in the Caribbean. The Fellowship is supported by Het Nieuwe Instituut as lead partner and host, and will include collaborations with the Amsterdam Museum, De Appel, The Black Archives and Witte de With.

For Whom?

Mid-career and established researchers, artists, designers, writers, curators, or cultural producers based in the Caribbean region interested in building new links with cultural institutions in the Netherlands, and who have an interest in developing their practice around themes related to architecture, spatial practice, design or digital culture.

Goals

  • Develop, stimulate and visualise curatorial, design and artistic realities coming from the Caribbean region.
  • Enhance knowledge exchange and collaboration with a cross-section of Dutch cultural institutions.
  • Provide a variety of platforms for professional experience.
  • Produce critical knowledge on inter-disciplinary exchanges as well as visual culture.
  • Offer practical support and travel to the Netherlands for an extended Fellowship.
  • Engage with hosting and collaborating institutions to interrogate and challenge their institutional structures and methodologies.
  • Utilise the existing Tilting Axis network

About the Position

This Fellowship focuses on applicants living and working within the Caribbean region and is both research and practice-led. The selected applicant will be based in Rotterdam at the Het Nieuwe Instituut and will have access to other partner cultural institutions in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. A total stipend of 12,000 Euros will be granted by Het Nieuwe Instituut to cover living expenses and one round-trip airfare from any country within the Caribbean to the Netherlands. Accommodation will be provided for a period of six months for a maximum of 800 Euros per month. Stipends may be subject to a withholding tax. Specific details about the position will be discussed with the selected applicant.

 

Knowledge Exchange

The Fellowship will be developed through independent research; individual support and interaction with the Research Department team at Het Nieuwe Instituut; monthly meetings to discuss thematic and methodological aspects of the project; and diverse collaborations with partner institutions.

This Fellowship includes access to and collaborations with:

Het Nieuwe Instituut: The fellow has daily access to the facilities of Het Nieuwe Instituut, including the library, archives, exhibitions, workspaces and presentation spaces. Other resources may be available in concert with other departments of Het Nieuwe Instituut as well as its ongoing institutional partnerships.

The Amsterdam Museum: The fellow has access to the facilities at the locations of the Amsterdam Museum, including the library, archives, exhibitions, workspaces and presentation spaces. The team is willing to have in-depth conversations with the fellow and encourage proposals by the fellow for a (public) event such as a talk, screening or a different form of presenting their work and research.

De Appel: The fellow will have daily access to the facilities of De Appel, including the library, archive, exhibition, workspaces and presentation spaces. The archive is specialised in performance arts and contains books, magazines, drawings, letters and ephemera. The team and Curatorial Programme participants are also ready to welcome the fellow and provide contacts, feedback and are happy for the fellow to learn from new voices coming from De Appel.

The Black Archives: The fellow may choose to present the progress of their research during a public talk at The Black Archives in Amsterdam. While hosting a public talk, the fellow will be able to engage with our audience about Black and Caribbean histories.

Witte de With: The fellow may choose to participate in a dedicated public programme at Witte de With to present existing or ongoing research on contemporary visual arts or cultural developments in the present. Alternatively, the programme could be organised as a private session, in the form of a think tank, professional networking event, or similar, with the goal of discussing the fellow’s research topic or share information collected to date. Whatever format is chosen, this programme would be organised within the frame of the institution’s collective learning initiative.

 

Application

Applicants for the Fellowship are invited to develop an independent proposal outlining a clear interest in the areas of research/practice and organisations highlighted. The proposal should be content driven and can be based on already existing research or offer new projects. The fellow is not expected to produce an outcome or finished artwork, yet will be encouraged to publicly present the ongoing research interests whilst in the Netherlands. The research will also be disseminated on an ongoing basis via Het Nieuwe Instituut and partner institution’s website, newsletter or other publications.

The fellow will be invited to:

  • Make a series of presentations in Rotterdam & Amsterdam at host and partner institutions on their research/practice;
  • Produce a monthly text/sound/video/photo essay (6 essays in total). The series of monthly texts will be posted on the websites of Tilting Axis and Het Nieuwe Instituut, with links to the partner institutions;
  • Research could lead to an installation, exhibition or further events at partner institutions during or after the Fellowship;
  • make a presentation at the Tilting Axis meeting in 2020. The aim is to support the fellow’s travel to Tilting Axis 6, hosted by the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in Nassau.

A final report on the Fellowship experience is required.

 

Format and Submission Requirements

The Open Call will be available from 16 September, 2019, with a deadline for submission on 17 November, 2019. The call is open to individuals. Applications should be submitted in a single PDF file of maximum 10MB. In order to be considered, proposals should include the following information:

● A self-introduction in which applicants articulate the relation between their interests and the hosting/partner institutions. Departing from a curatorial, research or design and artistic ambition, we expect to see a statement of intent of maximum 1000 words. This statement should explain the applicant’s research focus, and its possible connection to architecture, design or digital culture, as well and the interest in the anchor and partner institutions.

● Relevant documentation of previous work, and/or links to audio or video files (maximum 10 minutes) in the application PDF.

● Indication of availability to take up the Fellowship from April – September 2020

Proposals should be written in English and applicants must have a working knowledge of English. While we understand that English proficiency may vary or that English may not be the applicant’s first or primary language, unfortunately, we are not able to offer translation support at this time. Applicants with specific questions are encouraged to contact ta-fellowship@hetnieuweinstituut.nl about the availability of any support service.

Proposals can be submitted to: ta-fellowship@hetnieuweinstituut.nl and copied to tiltingaxis@gmail.com with the subject ‘Tilting Axis Fellowship 2020 | The Netherlands’

Selection Process

Proposals will be considered by an international committee consisting of the Tilting Axis and Het Nieuwe Instituut teams along with representatives from the partner institutions including curators, academics, and museum professionals. The review committee includes:

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a phone interview with members of the selection committee.

 

About the Organisers

Tilting Axis

Tilting Axis is a roving meeting, pivoting on a Caribbean axis from which all other coordinates are viewed, understood and measured, facilitating alliances and increasing visibility of Caribbean contemporary art practice. It was co-founded in 2014 by Annalee Davis of The Fresh Milk Art Platform and Holly Bynoe of ARC Magazine Inc.

From its inception, Tilting Axis has grounded its concerns in the Caribbean as a part of a wider creative ecology, and the health, evolution and advancement, a primary objective of its annual meetings held inside and outside of the region. As a part of its expanded team. The core team also includes Dr Mario Caro, independent curator, board member at Res Artis, and Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Tobias Ostrander, independent curator; Natalie Urquhart, Director of The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands; and Lise Ragbir, Director of Galleries of Black Studies, University of Texas, Austin, USA.

Tilting Axis is the organisational platform that manages the annual meetings and coordinates the Fellowships in partnership with host institutions.

About the Partners

The Fellowship is organised by Tilting Axis in collaboration with a group of six Dutch partners led by Het Nieuwe Instituut, who will co-host the fellow in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam Museum

The Amsterdam Museum tells the story of the city of Amsterdam; about its past, present and the future. The museum considers it its social mission to make the story of Amsterdam accessible and to present it to as broad an audience as possible. We develop exhibitions, events, publications and other public products, in our museums as well as online. Innovation, hospitality, diversity, (international) cooperation and knowledge exchange are some of our most important values. The museum receives more than 500.0000 visitors each year on its four permanent locations in the heart of the historic city.

De Appel

De Appel is an Amsterdam based contemporary art institute that brings together people, objects and ideas to explore the unknown. With an experimental, open-minded and inclusive focus, the programs of De Appel serve the intellectually and emotionally curious, (non-) specialised art enthusiasts as well as seasoned art professionals.

De Appel organises exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures and gatherings that cross boundaries between the arts and other disciplines. These programs facilitate artistic and socially relevant dialogues with various cultural and societal organisations, both in Amsterdam and beyond.

In addition, De Appel is home to a world-renowned curatorial programme and houses an extensive archive and library. De Appel is continuously developing its programs and goals in order to remain critical towards its changing societal and cultural contexts.

The Black Archives

The Black Archives is a unique historical archive for inspiring conversations, activities and literature from Black and other perspectives that are often overlooked elsewhere.

Het Nieuwe Instituut

Het Nieuwe Instituut is the Dutch Institute for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture. The institute combines a research-driven museum, the State Archive for Architecture, the Agency for international programmes and for 2019 an un-official Academy under the title Neuhaus.

In an era characterised by radical technological, economic, cultural and social shifts, Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to illuminate and map the quickly changing world and foster discussion of it, in a networked fashion, with architects, designers, artists, knowledge institutes, cultural organisations and other agents. The institute organises exhibitions, lectures, and fellowships, carries out and publishes research projects, and develops international programmes at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Salone del Mobile in Milan, the Istanbul Design Biennale, and the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture in Shenzhen, among other forums. All Het Nieuwe Instituut’s activities are grounded in the principles of design and innovation – two concepts bound up with changing value systems and conflict.

Witte de With

Founded in 1990, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art was conceived as an art house with a mission to present and discuss the work created today by visual artists and cultural makers, from here and afar. It organizes exhibitions, commissions art, publishes, and develops educational and collaborative initiatives. This non-profit institution has especially worked with artists, and engaged audiences, who are interested in posing challenging inquiries and articulations of our present. While its program considers the contemporary, it also regards how art has been created and experienced in the past, and it imagines the futures art can come to shape.

 

#ask TVE 2019 – Community Feedback

As part of Transoceanic Visual Exchange‘s (TVE) community led curatorial approach to the selection of works that will be screened as part of our 2019 programme, we invite input from those living in the Caribbean and its diaspora to share their thoughts on what is happening right now in the areas of video art and film in their region.

#askTVE lets you submit your feedback directly to our team, which will add to the discourse in our community roundtable sessions and be taken into consideration when forming the final shape of the programme.

Respond to the form here!

About TVE 2019:

The Fresh Milk Art Platform (Barbados), China Residencies (NY and China), The Barbados Museum and Historical Society, I: project space (Beijing) and Alice Yard (Trinidad & Tobago) are partnering to screen a survey of of recent film and video works – screenings, installations, new media and expanded cinema – by contemporary artists practicing in the Caribbean, China and their diasporas for the third edition of Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE), a series of programmes taking place this year between Barbados, China and Trinidad & Tobago.

Fresh Milk announces participation in the international programme ‘CONTESTED DESIRES’

Fresh Milk is delighted to be a part of the team of cultural entities headed by D6: Culture in Transit whose collaborative project “CONTESTED DESIRES” was awarded funding by Creative Europe. We are the only Caribbean cultural organisation on the team, and we very much look forward to working with our EU partners between now and 2021 as the project unfolds.

See the original press release on the D6 website here.

CONTESTED DESIRES

D6based in Newcastle upon Tyne, has been awarded €199,937 to promote creative international connections and development opportunities between our region, the rest of Europe and beyond.

D6 is one of only a handful of UK organisations leading these international cultural projects, and the only one to be selected in the North East of England. CONTESTED DESIRES will include partners in Italy (ECCOM), Spain (La Bonne), Cyprus (Xarkis), Portugal (Lac) and Barbados (Fresh Milk). Through contemporary visual arts it explores our colonial histories and the impact this has had on our understanding of European cultural heritage and identity. At a time of increasing right wing populism, CONTESTED DESIRES aims to challenge the de-stabilising and divisive impact of political discourse where the complexities, diversity and expansion of our communities continue to be met with the power play of fear-mongering, discrimination and exclusion.

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CONTESTED DESIRES will work with artists and producers to engage with communities both in the North East and further a field to create spaces for intercultural dialogue. The programme will begin in September 2019 and over the next two years will offer unique opportunities for artists and communities, further enriching the cultural scene and supporting creatives to grow their experience and knowledge of the wider international arts sector. The programme will include artist residences, capacity building, exhibitions, public events and new digital work.

This is not the first time that D6 has attracted Creative Europe to the UK.  From 2014-18 Corners connected communities in the North East of England to communities across Europe. Through a creative programme, Corners drew threads between neighbourhoods built for industries that were no longer there or that had significantly changed.

At a time of such uncertainty with our relationship with Europe, we are pleased to have been handed the baton by the European Commission to continue to grow this region’s international collaborations, and by our international partners who chose to invest in D6 and in the UK when the political landscape is so uncertain. We are delighted to once again be bringing this investment to our region and look forward to the journey ahead.

Clymene Christoforou, Director, D6: Culture in Transit

Ethan Knowles’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

Bahamian photographer and writer Ethan Knowles shares his first blog post about his Fresh Milk residency. His first week has been spent familiarizing himself with Barbados and embarking on research into Caribbean identity, the archetypes/stereotypes associated with it, and how we see ourselves and shape our own identities from within the region. Read more below:

“Yet every place is both local and foreign. The same place is the site of two very different experiences.” – Lucy R. Lippard

Two planes took me from Bahamian to Bajan soil and soon enough I found myself in the shotgun of a friend’s car en route to Chefette. It was late, around midnight, and in my groggy but giddy state I chose the channa roti. It was a light unto my empty stomach.

The next day was a holiday, Whit Monday, so I started off the morning with a jog to get my bearings. I passed cows, fields of sugar cane, and more than a couple puzzled looks. It was a pretty hot day, so I’m guessing these guys were wondering why I was running. It wasn’t long before I began to ask myself the same question.

Around midday, I met the ever-welcoming Annalee Davis and went on a quick shopping trip with my flat mate during which I forgot many things and continued to fumble the rather simple currency conversion of 2:1. It didn’t matter though, because before long we were all at the beach in the glowing company of Annalee’s dog Mica. The afternoon wrapped up with calm thoughts about how Barbados and The Bahamas seem to have both more and less in common with each other than I expected.

The next day I met fellow resident researcher Kia Redman and Fresh Milk’s communications manager Katherine Kennedy. We discussed plans for the residency ahead before going on to explore the ample collection of the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

The next few days would fly by as I read contentedly for hours on end, diving into everything from gender theory to regional tourism to the poetry of Andre Bagoo.

See Me Here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits from the Caribbean

One text which caught my attention in particular was See Me Here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits of the Caribbean. This collection, produced by Melanie Archer and Mariel Brown of Robert & Christopher Publishers, seeks to investigate how Caribbean artists are crafting their visual identities and, by extension, how the region constructs its own images. Beyond the one-dimensional idyllic representations of the tourism industry, how are we portraying and expressing our own diverse identities?

In considering this question, I began to think about how I navigate my own Caribbeanness. I began to think about all those Caribbean meme pages I follow, about how culture, history and lived reality intersect in my own life. About how, in some ways, I conform to the archetypal image of the Caribbean male and, in others – if such a model even exists – depart from it entirely.

Another day passed before I would settle on the idea of conducting a collage workshop on Caribbean identity as part of my residency at Fresh Milk. I brought this plan to Annalee and she gave me a wonderful book on the work of the Kenyan collage artist Wangechi Mutu to consult in my planning process (funnily enough she is also a UWC graduate!). It was in dialogue with her work, and in the ongoing planning of my workshop, that I examined Stuart Hall’s insightful essay “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” which discusses a less conventional view of cultural identities as “the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narratives of the past.”

At this stage I am still working on finalizing the details of the workshop but look forward to it taking shape. Here ends my first week at Fresh milk, complete with raining mahogany pods, raining rain, and the occasional roar of a cow.