Announcing the release of Talamak: Dessa Darling’s Memoir

Frist draft cover page

We are very pleased to announce the launch of Talamak: Dessa Darling’s Memoir, the e-publication written and directed by Fresh Milk Books Team Leader Amanda Domalene Haynes. The story offers a glimpse at the underbelly of many mood disorders, mental illnesses and mysterious health issues: emotional/psychological trauma.

Talamak: Dessa Darling’s Memoir features illustrations by Fresh Milk Books Member Versia Abeda Harris and book design by Kimberley St. Hill. The book is divided into four narratives: Purple Flower, Talamak, Sunsets with Gran-gran and Blood Sisters. Here’s the back cover description:

“DESSA DARLING is a young woman from Barbados, the Caribbean. When a painful memory wakes her from a stoned slumber, she must confront emotions she has been repressing for a very long time.  A mix of words and images, Dessa Darling’s Memoir shares her journey through these surreal and subtly hopeful reflections.”

Read/Download the book here.


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About Amanda:

Amanda Domalene Haynes is the Project Leader of Fresh Milk Books at the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. An editor and emerging YA publisher, her postgraduate research interests include media literacy, popular culture and publishing in relation to the socioeconomic development of the Caribbean region. She currently manages the recently launched blog The Odyssey of Carib Lit, which will document her research about contemporary Caribbean book publishing and its sociological implications. Amanda graduated from the University of the West Indies with a BA Literatures in English (First Class Hons.) in 2013.

Pink Collars – #CCF


Carla Freeman’s High Tech and High Heels in the Global Economy (2000) is described as an “ethnography of globalisation positioned at the intersection between political economy and cultural studies”.  Don’t be scared off by this heavy description—chapter one opens in the Barbados Harbour Industrial Park, where ‘minivans with open doors are parked tightly’ and women are ‘proudly dressed in suits and fashions that identify them as “office” workers’.  With the symbolism of high tech and high heels firmly in place, Freeman’s text introduces the jargon.

The above excerpt is from Amanda Domalene Haynes’ review of Carla Freeman’s High Tech and High Heels in the Global Economy: Women, Work and Pink Collar Identities in the Caribbeanthis week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Weekly posts and see the great material we have available at Fresh Milk!


Academic Digest: Intangible Economies – #CCF


Fillip Magazine’s Intangible Economies (2012) tackles the abstract nature of economy in relation to cultural production. Set in the world of cultural/artistic production, the works in this anthology build on the provocative premise of its introduction, providing specialised analyses of the concept of economy as an institutionalised value system.  My response offers a brief look at “Intangible Economies”, the introductory chapter of the anthology. It took me three reads to grasp the salient ideas being expressed in the introductory chapter of the journal (the Footnotes were a saviour !). Making reference to Mauss’ theory of ‘the gift’, Derrida’s theory of representation and the ‘symbolic order’ and Marx’s theory of alienation, Hirsch’s articulation of the relationship between affect and economy raises challenging questions about the value of cultural production in a capitalist economic system.

The above excerpt is from Amanda Haynes’ review of Fillip Magazine’s edition Intangible Economies (2012) this week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Tuesdays  and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!

The Cyprus Dossier 00 – #CCF

cyprus dossier compilation

…By the time I reached the end of the journal’s 39 pages, I was floored. Cyprus, I thought, how can this be somewhere I know nothing about? While concepts such as enosis (union with Greece) and takism (in relation to Turkish support of partition e.g. separate Turkish state) are embolic of Cyprus space, these themes and motifs look all too familiar: an island divided between two nations (e.g. Haiti & the Dominican Republic and Sint Maarten & Saint-Marteen), identity crisis, colonialism, imperialism, corrupt politics, arts/cultural activism, historical brainwashing, the cultural memory of physical spaces, white supremacist ideology…nationalism.

The above excerpt is from Amanda Domalene Haynes’ review of The Cyprus Dossier Issue 1: Towards Free Thinking Cyprus,  this week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr, the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Tuesdays  and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!

cyprus compilation

Thanks to the Cyprus Dossier for donating a selection of their issues to Fresh Milk as we approach the International Artist Initiated Project being organised by the David Gale Gallery in Scotland, in which both entities will participate. The event will be a part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme corresponding with the Commonwealth Games this summer.

FRESH Volunteers & the launch of Fresh Milk Books

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Fresh Milk is happy to announce that we have recently taken on three volunteers – Versia Harris, Ronald Williams, and Amanda Domalene Haynes – as part of a programme we are developing to activate and cultivate interest in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room (CLRR), while giving young creatives the opportunity to gain work experience with a relevant organization, promoting critical thinking and artistic production.

One of the major projects our volunteers will be initiating is our new online space for the interactive exploration of the CLRR, Fresh Milk Books. This Tumblr site will exemplify our motto – Critical. Creative. Fresh. – and act as a hub of activity to raise awareness of our enthralling, diverse and ever expanding collection, becoming a space to have fun with the knowledge and pleasure that reading – whether literary, visual, or otherwise – can ignite.

Photograph by Dondré Trotman.

Photograph by Dondré Trotman.

In addition to re-blogging engaging content, each Tuesday one of our contributors will create a short response to a good read from the CLRR. These responses can be written, visual, audio, video – the only requirement for #CCF Tuesdays is that the text and its accompanying submission be Critical. Creative. Fresh.

The experimental approach to Fresh Milk Books reflects on another facet of the FRESH Volunteer programme; stimulating creative production. As well as the pieces generated around the material in the CLRR, we also want to give the volunteering artists and writers involved time and workspace to focus on their own arts practices in a supportive environment with their peers. We encourage Versia, Ronald and Amanda to use part of their time on the platform to transfer knowledge and skills to one another, bounce ideas, collaborate, and view this as an informal but focused chance to incorporate meaningful exchanges and working sessions alongside their volunteering duties.

About our Volunteers:

Versia Harris. Photograph by Omar Kuwas.

Photograph by Omar Kuwas.

Versia Harris

Versia Harris is a Barbadian artist living and working in Weston, St. James. She graduated from the Barbados Community College with a BFA in the Studio Art programme in 2012, with an award from The Leslie’s Legacy Foundation. She participated in her first local residency with Projects and Space in 2011. Within the past year she has completed four residencies, beginning with a local residency at Fresh Milk, followed by her first international residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and two regional residencies at the Instituto Buena Bista, Curacao and Alice Yard, Trinidad in late 2013. In her work, Versia tackles perceptions of fantasy in contrast to the reality of her original character. She uses Adobe Photoshop to manipulate her pen drawings to create the animations.


Ronald Williams

Born in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1990, multimedia artist Ronald Williams developed an interest in art from a very young age.  His art education in the Barbados Community College’s Fine Arts program forced him to view art as a powerful cog in society. Currently, Williams’ work focuses on race and sociology, investigating how sports and the black athlete fit into popular culture. Ronald manipulates popular imagery to compose computer generated images, using digital collage to speak about a multiplicity of issues, i.e. society’s perceptions, stereotypes, fantasies and various nuances about the black athlete.


Amanda Domalene Haynes

Amanda Domalene is a creative writer, editor and emerging e-book publisher. She graduated from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in 2013 with a BA in Literatures in English (First Class Hons.). Amanda has had diverse experience with publishing companies, adopting the capacities of content co-ordinator, public relations & sales executive as well as writing and editing. Her postgraduate research interests include media literacy and popular culture, especially in relation to the socioeconomic development of the Caribbean region.