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

Open Call: Fresh Milk International Residency 2015 or 2016

FM International Residency Poster_Aug 2015

FRESH MILK is seeking proposals from artists working outside of Barbados to apply for our international residency programme in late 2015 or Spring 2016. Available dates for the residencies to take place are between November 2 – 30, 2015 and February 29 – March 25, 2016.

This residency aims to support visual artists, writers and curators by offering a peaceful working space for a minimum of 4 weeks for creative production, the opportunity to interface with contemporary practitioners living and working in Barbados, access to the on-site Colleen Lewis Reading Room, the chance to broaden understanding of the work being produced locally and regionally in the Caribbean, and to strengthen international networks and relationships. For more information on the residency, application process and associated costs, please visit our International Residency Opportunity page.

The deadline for applications is October 2, 2015.

To see the blogs kept by our past International resident artists, click here.

FRESH MILK XIV

FM XIV Flyer 2

FRESH MILK is pleased to invite you to our first public event of 2014, FRESH MILK XIV, which will be held on Thursday, March 20th 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc., St. George, Barbados. See our About page for directions.

The Value of Artist Residencies

FRESH MILK XIV welcomes Nick Whittle, Mark King and Versia Harris to give artist talks, all of whom took part in a number of artist residencies locally, regionally and internationally last year at Fresh Milk, the Instituto Buena Bista (Curacao), Alice Yard (Trinidad), Ateliers ’89 (Aruba) and the Vermont Studio Center (USA). The artists will share the work they created while in residence and talk about the overarching impact of these experiences on their practice, framing residencies as free spaces for artistic growth, experimentation and cultural mobility and exchange. We are also excited to announce at this event, the chosen recipient of the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2014 selected from our recent open call. This Barbadian artist will be awarded a one-month residency on the platform and a $1,000.00 stipend towards artistic production.

A New Regional Museum

We are very pleased to feature visiting Chief Curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Tobias Ostrander, who will speak to the new Miami museum’s design and program with the Barbadian audience. He will discuss from a curatorial perspective the opening exhibitions and projects currently on view, and the museum’s current research and programming related to the Caribbean, including the upcoming presentation of the exhibition “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World.” Tobias will also discuss his interests in developing future collaborations with art institutions across the Caribbean region as part of his thinking on a “Strategic Regionalism” which seeks to create increased dialogue between the Southern United States, Caribbean basin and Central and South America.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook here.

About the Presenters

Nick

Nick Whittle:

Nick Whittle is a Barbadian/British artist. His work is that of a diarist: regardless of scale or medium his practice explores geographical and historical encounters. Through a stream of consciousness process, he reveals feelings of alienation and connectedness. Much of his work is inspired by what was once described as “an ongoing interest in the narrow strip of land between high and low water.” His practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses sculpture, poetry, video, installation, painting and printmaking. He has recently concluded a residency program at the Instituto Buena Bista in Curaçao.

markus king

Mark King:

Mark King is a multidisciplinary Barbadian visual artist who explores archetypes and social norms. Interested in notions of topography and megalography, Mark makes coded, often satirical work, that highlight social phenomena. The son of a former diplomat, Mark has called several places home. Growing up in The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, and the United States has left Mark with a unique perspective that directly influences his artistic practice.

Mark holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. In 2011 the Lucie Foundation handpicked Mark for their apprenticeship program. During the same year he participated in a screen-printing residency at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. In 2012 he took part in an artist residency at Alice Yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad. In 2013, he participated in two residencies; Fresh Milk in Saint George, Barbados, and most recently Ateliers ’89 in Aruba for the Mondriaan Foundation’s Caribbean Linked ll. Last year he released his first monograph Plastic through MOSSLESS publishing at The Newsstand in New York. Plastic has gone on to The 2013 New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, The 8Ball Zine Fair, the 2013 I Never Read Art Book Fair in Basel, Switzerland, and The 2014 LA Art Book Fair in the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

versia black and white

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.

tobias head

Tobias Ostrander:

Tobias Ostrander has served as Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Miami Art Museum since 2011 (now the Pérez Art Museum Miami), where he oversees the program for the institution’s new Herzog and De Mueron designed building, which opened in December 2013. Prior to working in Miami, from 2009 to 2011 he was the director of El Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City. From 2001 to July of 2009 he served as the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. During his eight years at the Museo Tamayo, Ostrander developed an extensive program of international exhibitions. Prior to his work in Mexico City Ostrander was the Associate Curator for inSITE2000/01 in San Diego and Tijuana. He served as an assistant curator on the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo. He has a Masters in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.