Transoceanic Visual Exchange 2017

Fresh Milk is thrilled to announce that the Caribbean screenings for Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) 2017 will take place in Barbados on select dates between November 3rd – 13th at the Fresh Milk studio and in the Morningside Gallery at Barbados Community College (BCC). Additionally, the online exhibition of works will be available for viewing from November 20th – December 20th. Read more about the project and see the full screening schedule below!

Fresh Milk, in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Barbados Community College, is pleased to present the schedule for the 2017 edition of Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE), a series of programmes taking place this year between Barbados and Australia.

TVE is a collection of recent films and videos from artists practicing in the Caribbean, Oceania and their diasporas. TVE aims to negotiate the in-between space of our cultural communities outside of traditional geo-political zones of encounter and trade, intending to build relations and open up greater pathways of visibility, discourse and knowledge production between the regional art spaces and their communities.

The Caribbean screenings will take place in Barbados on select dates between November 3rd – 13th at the Fresh Milk studio, Walkers Dairy, St. George and in the Morningside Gallery at Barbados Community College (BCC), Howells Road, St. Michael, while the screenings in Australia will take place at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray
Victoria on November 18th from 10am – 5pm (see more about this event here).

Additionally, the online exhibition of works will be available for viewing from November 20th – December 20th.


Barbados Screening schedules & Participating Artists:

Video Installations

Barbados Community College
Friday Nov. 3rd (10am – 6pm), Saturday Nov. 4th (10am – 3pm) & Monday Nov. 6th (10am – 6pm)

Mohini Chandra (Fiji) – Kikau Street
rc campos (Brazil) – Entangled Landing Points

Friday Nov. 10th (10am – 6pm), Saturday Nov. 11th (10am – 3pm) & Monday Nov. 13th (10am – 6pm)

David Gumbs (St. Martin/Martinique) – Blossoms
Lisa Hilli (Papua New Guinea) – Material Histories 1


Narrative / Documentary Screenings

The Fresh Milk Art Platform
Sunday Nov. 5th (5pm – 8pm)

Alanna Lockward (Dominican Republic) – ALLEN REPORT: Retracing Transnational African Methodism
Craig Santos Perez (Guam/Hawaii) – Praise Song for Oceania
Alberta Whittle (Barbados) – Recipe for Planters Punch

Sunday Nov. 12th (5pm – 8pm)

Katia Café-Fébrissy (Guadeloupe/Toronto) – ROOT UP/À LA RACINE
Juliette McCawley (Trinidad & Tobago) – One Good Deed
Danielle Rusell (Jamaica) – The Bakers of Oriental Gardens
Lisa Taouma (Samoa) – Adorn


Experimental Video Art Screenings

The Fresh Milk Art Platform
Wednesday Nov. 8th & Thursday Nov. 9 (6pm – 9pm)

Featuring work by:

Louisa Afoa (Samoa), Black Birds (Fiji/Tokealu/Grenada/Maori), Di-Andre Caprice Davis (Jamaica), Lionel Cruet (Puerto Rico), Tricia Diaz (Trinidad & Tobago), Deborah Jack (St. Maarten/USA), Shivanjani Lal (Fiji), Natalia Mann (Samoan/European), Jodi Minnis (The Bahamas), Sofia Gallisá Muriente (Puerto Rico), Ada M. Patterson (Barbados/UK), Oneika Russell (Jamaica), Shanice Smith (Trinidad & Tobago), Talia Smith (Samoan/Cook Islands/New Zealand), Luis Vasquez La Roche (Venezuela/Trinidad & Tobago) and Joanna Helfer (Scotland), Sandra Vivas (Venezuela/Dominica), Rodell Warner (Trinidad & Tobago), Nick Whittle (Barbados/UK) and Anisah Wood (Barbados)


Saada Branker & Powys Dewhurst – Week 2 Blog Post

Fresh Milk‘s current residents, writer Saada Branker and filmmaker Powys Dewhurst, share their second blog post about their experiences in Barbados. Despite going all out this week to gather information and stories for their documentary memory project about the effects of Hurricane Janet on the island, Saada takes the time to consider not only the power of individual accounts, but the importance of a broader context and the longer term results of the storm. Read more below:

Saada Branker and Edwin and Angus of Top Car Rentals.

Saada Branker and Edwin and Angus of Top Car Rentals.

It seems like self-inflicted cruelty to be picking up our pace in a place like Barbados. What has become the status quo in tightly-wound Toronto is almost ludicrous in sedate Walkers Terrace, St. George. Funny: I remember a friend once agreeing that navigating in Canada’s largest metropolitan city feels like being in a rat race. “But we’re not rats,” she added. Indeed.

Bad habits die hard, even in Barbados. To get what we need on Hurricane Janet, I’ve been going at a steady pace of chasing interviews, setting them up, helping to coordinate the team, interviewing, researching and writing. Of course, I’m not alone. Joining me is a wonderful team of Fresh Milk blog coordinators and chasers including my editorial assistant Natalie McGuire. ArtsEtc’s co-founder Robert Sandiford provides us advice and links to key people. Filmmaker Powys Dewhurst, assisted by our intern, Charles Phillips, does all the driving, courtesy of Top Car Rentals as and as of week three, Southern Rentals Barbados. The film duo also does the heavy lifting, setting up equipment, filming interviews, capturing additional visuals and packing up.

Truth is, to gather information about Hurricane Janet we need not just memories, but context. What was happening in Barbados in 1955? How were Barbadians living and how did they fare during the months of post-Janet recovery, especially as 20,000 people struggled to replace houses they lost to irreparable damage? What changed because of Janet?

To help us answer these questions and lead to further queries, we secured more extraordinary Barbadians. On Wednesday, Charles and Powys set off for a day of streeters in St. Phillip—essentially newsroom jargon for quick interviews on the road posing one or two questions. In a rum shop filled with friendly, card-playing patrons, they found what they needed. Thursday, Powys and I set out to meet Alvin Cummins, retired microbiologist, award-winning author and treasurer of the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organizations (BARNUFO). Through him we learned of government-imposed changes to the fishing vessels after Hurricane Janet, and the socio-economic challenges families faced years later. Alvin was a wealth of information, just like his colleague Buddy Larrier the week before at Oistins. We learned what a Dry Dock is and that the world’s last remaining structure can be found nearby in Bridgetown & its Garrison area.

The strangest part of that day? A dynamic and loquacious photographer from Antigua named Craig Fernandez rolled up on us. In the course of a conversation, Powys eyed him carefully, thinking he saw a resemblance. It turned out he knew the artist’s father. To our surprise, Craig happily assisted us as 2nd camera for about three hours.

Friday morning was spent at the Nation News headquarters where we met with Harold Hoyte, co-founder of the national newspaper and Editor Emeritus. His interview will shine in our documentary. Complementing Harold’s talk was the Nation’s Editor-in-Chief Roy Morris. It was a seamless film shoot thanks to the staff, in particular, Sonia Marville-Carter. Her coordinating skills ensured our time went smoothly and efficiently.

We’re finding it hard to slow down. There’s something spectacular about learning of a shared moment from people with a comprehensive understanding of impact, whether they’re met on the road or in a newsroom. As each of these keen interview subjects point the team in a particular direction, we can’t help it; our excitement takes over and we find ourselves quickening our pace.

Saada Branker & Powys Dewhurst – Week 1 Blog Post

Canada-based couple Saada Branker and Powys Dewhurst, a writer and filmmaker respectively, share their first blog post about their Fresh Milk residency. Both having strong ties to Barbados, Saada and Powys are in the island embarking on a project very close to their hearts and heritage: a documentary memory project commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hurricane Janet. Read more below about their first week of collecting data and interviews, and how physically being in the space has brought home the reality of Janet’s impact on the island and its people:

It was perhaps not by accident but by divine design that we arrived in Barbados on June 1st, the official start of the 2015 Hurricane season. Quite simply, Powys and I are hunting Hurricane Janet, although she is long gone. We resurrect her memory with each question posed to Bajans as they go about their daily business.

We got straight to it as we exited Grantley Adams International Airport. Our baggage handler told us she was born in 1956, one year after Hurricane Janet hit the island, but she grew up hearing of it from people every hurricane season. Edwin Edey from Top Car Rentals Barbados awaited us with a pristine vehicle, courtesy of this efficient family-run business. After a conscientious explanation of our contract, rules of the road and features of the van, Edwin described his memories of the terrain being levelled by Janet’s violent winds.

At that moment, I was hit by the realness of what Powys and I are setting out to achieve. Why it was sobering, I’m not sure. Barbados is not new to either of us. Powys grew from a precocious child into a curious teen here. I visited my parents’ birthplace for my third birthday, and I returned as an adult a few times. This media project offers us a new discovery of Barbados, guided from our elders’ lips to our ears. As in all oral traditions, there’s no greater honour than to receive such memories and hold them for sharing.  Maybe that moment of truth is what I tapped into.

Driveway to the Fresh Milk residency flat in St. George

Driveway to the Fresh Milk residency flat in St. George

Edwin graciously offered to drive ahead to show us the way to Fresh Milk. Thankful, we followed his car and looked about at our surroundings with new eyes. Where we saw foliage, infrastructure, industry and farmland, we tried to imagine 60 years earlier with bent trees, debris swirling overhead and houses battered by winds travelling upwards of 111mph. I must say, it wasn’t easy.  I was distracted. St. George was my parents’ stomping grounds when they were children.  Because I’m a sit-put condo dweller, I was struck by the steady movement of people by foot and car, the expanse of farmland and just how picturesque the Fresh Milk Art Platform really is. My inspiration to write took over.

On our third day here, with the help of Annalee Davis, Fresh Milk’s director and founder, we met with Charles Phillips, a talented photographer and entrepreneur behind Barbados-based Monochrome Media. He’s now our assistant director and 2nd camera for our film shoots.  The next day, with Charles, we were able to drive to the Barbados Museum & Historical Society located in the area of Bridgetown & its Garrison. Off camera, Assistant Curator Miguel Pena told us about the founding of the Society in 1933 as he led us to their library. There we read about the history of hurricanes in Barbados. Day 5 took us to the island’s south coast for a crucial interview in Oistins. What we learned grounded us. On Sunday, day 6, we travelled with our flatmate Thais Francis to Bathsheba on the eastern side of the country in St. Joseph.  I’m  thrilled because we’re seeing context; spaces in towns and villages where people on the move spill onto roads or simply catch a cool breeze on a corner and smart conversation with friends—many of them waving as we passed. Their gestures confirming, “I’m here and I see you.”

In no other country have I felt so welcomed by people who don’t know me. Indeed, 60 years ago Hurricane Janet killed Barbadians, Grenadians and days later Mexicans, carving a path of extensive environmental devastation. Remarkably, that same disaster speaks volumes about the people who lived through it and how they’re ready and willing to tell us about this defining moment.