Aliyah Hasinah’s Fresh Milk Residency – Week 2 Blog Post

UK-based writer and curator of Bajan and Jamaican heritage, Aliyah Hasinah, shares her second blog post about her Fresh Milk international residency. This week has seen Aliyah continue her research into the history of Barbados, as well as make her own observations on the dynamics of the space regarding issues around race and class, and how contemporary realities connect with this history. She has also continued to meet and have studio visits with Barbadian artists, and is gathering ideas to work towards holding a workshop before the end of her residency. Read more below:


It’s been another week at Fresh Milk and I’m definitely learning so much about the structuring of Barbados’ economy, class system and art communities.

This week’s been one full of meetings, socials, studio visits and many an emotion. Firstly my homie Amyra Leon flew in from New York to see me and that in itself has been a huge blessing and spiritual moment.

At Fresh Milk I started the week off by focusing on learning more history of the African presence on the Island and so watched Hilary Beckles’ Ermie Bourne lecture.

I’ve summarised my learnings in this tweet.

Understanding the rebellious history and brutal quashings of Africans in Barbados has really brought me to a space of understanding some of the dynamics I see play out on the Island today.

The White presence on this Island is very interesting and precarious to me. It feels like I am back in Britain when I’m in spaces White people occupy here. The segregation and power still held by the colonial plantocratic society here scares me, but I also know it well having been surrounded by Whiteness in England my whole life. The way in which White People in Barbados inhibit space and the way I have seen some of them talk of Black Bajans in my presence disgusts me. History makes perfect sense in this regard. I am even more motivated to only centre Black Art and knowledge production in my curatorial practice. I have no time for pandering to whiteness or solution making for white people whilst I am on this Island, knowing the extent to which they segregate and benefit from the reparations of enslavement to this day.

Moving forward, on Wednesday I met the incredible Versia Harris, we spoke of contexts, dreams and installations of a fantastical nature. I’m very honoured to have met her and hope to work with her in the future. I also got the opportunity to meet some of the artists Fresh Milk suggested at Mojos this Wednesday.

On Thursday I dropped into one of Annalee’s classes at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and heard some of the ways we can map out cultural sectors on the island and what is needed for young artists to thrive. Annalee also gave a brief synopsis of the touristification of the island too, and how Brand Barbados has created a new dependency on foreign investment. Colonisers started the culture of external imports to the point where most food on the Island today is imported despite the wealth of agriculture on the land. Also interesting to find out that Palm trees were not native to the island and were planted in place of deforested Mahogany.

On Friday I had a lovely studio visit from Kraig Yearwood. We spoke about all sorts of things and I got the chance to see some of his work and catalogue. Amyra also captured some of this which I’ll be sure to share at some point.

I have treasured my conversations with fellow resident Pascale Faublas and learnt a lot about Haiti’s resistance culture and spiritual practices being indicative of the earlier period of decolonisation through the Haitian Revolution. Pascale reminds me that ‘Haiti is a lot more African in spirit’, which makes sense in alignment with their history.

This week I’ll be planning shoots, writing up my learnings, reading more and visiting more artists. I’ll also be organising a workshop before I finish my residency with my friend Amyra Léon to work with Black Artists on the Island on dreaming about futures, artistic possibilities and securing the bag. Stay tuned.

Thanks so much and I’ll see you next week

Aliyah x

Pascale Faublas’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 2 Blog Post

Fresh Milk shares the second 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 has had a productive second week, meeting a number of Barbadian creatives and having stimulating discussions about the regional art scene, as well as beginning to dive in to creating her own work in the Fresh Milk studio. This programme is supported by UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFDC) and the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL). Read more below:


En français

Semaine 2

Fresh Milk Barbados est une ruche effervescente, une plateforme dynamique favorisant les rencontres, échanges  entre les  créatifs de la Barbade et d’ailleurs.  En effet,  ma deuxième semaine de résidence a été riche  en  rencontres, dialogues et discussions sur la réalité, et les problématiques spécifiques aux créateurs de la Caraïbes, leurs inspirations, aspirations, perspectives de création et de diffusion de l’art de la région.  Apres avoir visité l’exposition individuelle  «This is how our garden grows » de l’artiste barbadien Kraig Yearwood, celui ci nous a rendu visite a FreshMilk ou il nous a fait une brève et intéressante présentation de son travail et de son parcours, s’est entretenu avec ma co résidente, la conservatrice Aliyah Hasinah sur la situation de la présence de l’art de la Barbade localement, dans la région et sur la scène internationale, discuter de la nécessité de la décolonisation des Arts de la région caraïbes.

Un cocktail « Meet and Greet » organisé par FreshMilk m’a permis de rencontrer plusieurs milléniaux créatifs de la Barbade et de planifier des visites d’atelier pour la semaine a venir.

Au courant de cette 2eme semaine de résidence, riche de ces échanges, et mise à disposition de son atelier de rêve, j’ai  heureusement entamé ma première création artistique que j’ai hâte de vous présenter.


In English

Week 2

Fresh Milk Barbados is an effervescent hive, a dynamic platform promoting meetings and exchanges between creatives from Barbados and elsewhere. Indeed, my second week of the residency was rich in meetings, dialogues and discussions on our realities, and the specific issues of Caribbean creators, their inspirations, aspirations, perspectives of creation and dissemination of the art of the region. After visiting the solo exhibition ‘This is how our garden grows’ by Barbadian artist Kraig Yearwood, he visited us at Fresh Milk where he gave us a brief and interesting presentation of his work and his career. He spoke with my co-resident, curator Aliyah Hasinah about the status of Barbados’ art presence locally, in the region and on the international stage, discussing the need for the decolonization of the arts in the Caribbean.

A ‘Meet and Greet’ cocktail hosted by Fresh Milk allowed me to meet several creative Barbadian millennials and plan studio visits for the coming week.

During this 2nd week, rich in these exchanges made available in this dream studio, I fortunately started my first artistic creation, which I can’t wait to present to you.


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 1 Blog Post

UK-based writer and curator of Bajan and Jamaican heritage, Aliyah Hasinah, shares her first blog post about her Fresh Milk international residency. Using this time primarily for research into the art scene and cultural policy in a Barbadian context, Aliyah kicks off her blogs by reflecting on some of the texts she has immersed herself in to ground her knowledge and understanding of the space, and looks forward to having more in-person discussions with artists, creatives and cultural practitioners as the weeks progress. Read more below:


It’s been a week since I started my residency at Fresh Milk with the intention of immersing myself in study to learn more about the art world and cultural policy in Barbados. Having not had the means to attend university, I’m always profoundly grateful for moments to study away from the day-to-day grind of trying to pay your rent in London, so hearing monkeys (my favourite animals) on the library roof has been a well welcomed change. I’d also like to thank Arts Council England for funding this residency because I’ve been LEARNING, I’ve been learning *Beyonce voice*. 

Prior to this, I met with Annalee Davis last year when starting my research into ‘Decolonising the Curatorial’, as funded by Arts Council England. My research was looking at the role of Crop Over as a space for exhibition outside the white walls of the gallery, a topic Claire Tancons discusses well in her essay ‘Curating Carnival’, and how galleries can never do justice to the embodied experience of carnival. 

Through my research, I sought to further understand the colonial history and how rebellions birthed art practices – or continued them – as we’ve always found ways to make art. Having only scratched the surface last year, I was keen to take more time to understand the layers and nuance of Bajan Art and cultural expression, outside of what was familial and familiar to me.

Just to prefix, I’m a loud mouth when it comes to explaining or calling out the manifestations of coloniality in the modern day in England. However, I’m very aware of my positionality as a curator from Britain researching in Barbados. My gaze does not come from one of authority but is an opinion formed from the research and conversations had with some of the island’s artists, art producers, essays as well as what I observe. 

One of the writings I’ve been reading this week that deeply resonated with me was Winston Kellman’s Between A Rock And A Hard Place’ published in Sustainable Art Communities, as edited by Leon Wainwright and Kitty Zijlmans. Kellman explores several historical threads to bring us to the modern day, including the relationships with the UK and US following Barbados’ independence in 1966.

Kellman’s particular highlighting of how western modernity has shunned Caribbean art practice of landscape painting and sculpture, alluding to it being devoid of conceptual fervour is, in my mind, linked to a colonial mindset that deems ‘conceptual art’ in a particular way. 

This perspective ignores the context of the space and time that these artworks were created in, and instead attributes an archetypal aesthetic to the notion of contemporary art as opposed to understanding that sculpture and painting of the island has a deeper rooted contextualisation in the resources i.e. clay, and historical craftsmanship of the land – and is therefore contemporary if it is being made in the present. This disregard for painting and sculpture subconsciously alludes to artworks, often by Black artists, specifically in the Caribbean, being inferiorized because of a lack of contextual understanding of how the work came into being, and is additionally sidelined in national and international discourses surrounding contemporary conceptual art. All due to a lack of understanding of the context of the work. 

Anywho, I could go on for days about the learnings of the last week, all to say I’m very excited to deepen my study and continue learning about policy, sustainability and the hopes/dreams of emerging artists on the Island. The culture is very much being pushed forward by multiple artists. It is with thanks to those who have laid the foundations that younger artists today are scoping out what is possible in the process of building visual arts communities and infrastructures across Barbados that do not solely privilege the tourist economy (more on that real soon, hold tight tourism as neo-colonialism and insert Mo the Comedian saying ‘Barbados’).

I’m excited to start my new week, meeting more artists, collectors and academics. I may also post some of my readings and thoughts on my instagram (@aliyahhasinah) as I jump into my second week at Fresh Milk.

To end lightly here are 5 songs I’ve had on loop this week:

Until next week.

Lots of love and take care

Aliyah xx

P.s. Here’s some of what I’m reading / have been the last week and will continue to delve into this week, and hold tight Caleb Femi on the release of his new poetry book ‘Poor’ which everyone should cop if they can. (Feel free to send me reading and art recommendations on twitter @aliyahhasinah)

Pascale Faublas’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

Fresh Milk shares the first 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. In her first week, Pascale introduces us to the experience of coming to Barbados during these challenging times, following travel protocols and transitioning into the start of her residency. This programme is supported by UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFDC) and the Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL). Read more below:


En français

Semaine 1

A année exceptionnelle, décisions exceptionnelles! En cette année 2020 marquée par la pandémie du Covid 19, ma résidence artistique a Fresh Milk en Barbades a été exceptionnellement coordonnée par Le Centre d’Art en Haïti et Fresh Milk en Barbades avec le support de l’Unesco et de la Fokal dans l’objectif de rapprocher les artistes de la Caraïbe et d’’offrir des opportunités aux femmes artistes en particulier.

Arrivée en Barbades le 1er Novembre, et suivant les mesures  imposées par le gouvernement, les 6 premiers jours de mon séjour seront conditionnés par ce virus, confinée dans une chambre d’hôtel désigné a cet effet , avec interdiction de prendre contact physique avec quiquonque pas avant les résultats négatifs d’un test Covid PCR pris au 2eme jour et un report de température tous les jours 2 fois par jour pendant 14 jours. 

Je serai donc accueillie a distance par Annalee Davis, qui généreusement me pourvoira en  livres provenant de la bibliothèque de Fresh Milk , traitant de la culture, de l’art dans la Caraïbe et la Barbades, me mettra en contact avec des personnes ressources telles que Dr. Tonya Haynes and Taitu Heron pour une mise en contexte de mon projet de résidence : Fanm se poto mitan.

C’est ainsi que,  le 6 Novembre, je suis reçue par Anna Lee Davis et Katherine Kennedy a Fresh Milk sur son site la  Walkers Dairy , une ancienne plantation coloniale aujourd’hui convertie en ferme ou se trouve l’atelier et la résidence d’artistes.


In ENGLISH

Week 1

In an exceptional year, exceptional actions! In this year, 2020, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, my artistic residency at Fresh Milk in Barbados was exceptionally coordinated by Le Centre d’Art in Haiti and Fresh Milk in Barbados with the support of UNESCO and Fokal with the objective of bringing artists from the Caribbean closer together, and to offer opportunities to women artists in particular.

I arrived in Barbados on November 1, and following the measures imposed by the government, the first 6 days of my stay were conditioned by this virus. I was confined in a hotel room designated for this purpose, with a ban on making physical contact with anyone before the negative results of a Covid PCR test taken on the 2nd day and a temperature report every day twice a day for 14 days.

I was greeted at a distance by Annalee Davis, who generously provided me with books dealing with culture, art in the Caribbean and Barbados, all from the Colleen Lewis Reading Room at Fresh Milk. Fresh Milk put me in contact with Dr. Tonya Haynes (Institute for Gender & Development Studies at the University of the West Indies) and Taitu Heron (Director of the UWI Women and Development Unit, University of the West Indies) for me to contextualize my residency project: Fanm se poto mitan.

On November 6, I was received by Annalee Davis and Katherine Kennedy at Fresh Milk on their site at Walkers Dairy, a former colonial plantation now converted into a farm, which hosts workshops and artist residencies.


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.

Fresh Milk’s 2019 in Review

Thank you for your continued support of Fresh Milk!

At the Fresh Milk Art Platform, we believe in the visual arts and its capacity to empower young artists and bring the Caribbean closer together. Through our local, regional and international programming, we have witnessed the benefit of investing in the arts, a sector that is increasingly vital now more than ever before.

With your valuable support, we will continue to contribute to the professional development of visual artists in Barbados, the Caribbean and its diaspora through our streamlined programming in 2020. While hosting fewer artists on site at Fresh Milk, this year’s residency focus will be on Caribbean Linked – a regional residency uniting artists from all linguistic territories in the region. We’ll also be fostering new international residency opportunities for Caribbean-based professionals.

A special focus for Barbados is the We Gatherin’ project and Fresh Milk is keen to participate to this unique event. If you’d like to work with us to commission new work by local artists for the 2020 Fresh Stops project or support new work for the Fresh Milk Art Board,
click that donate button!

It’s very easy to support us by making a donation through this PayPal link. Your contributions make our programmes possible, and gifts of any size are welcome.

The Fresh Milk Team offers warm thanks and deep gratitude,
and invites you to reflect on 2019 with us in our annual
year in review newsletter!