Head of the Postgraduate Programme in Cultural Studies at UWI
, Dr. Maarit Forde, was among the first of willing minds that engaged our idea of the festival bringing faculty members, Dr. Gabrielle Hezekiah and Dr. Suzanne Burke into the discussion. As her research fit with our general theme direction of “Living Memory” Dr. Gabrielle Hezekiah took up the challenge of shaping the symposium in conversation with us.Orchestrating a thoughtful process for engagement, Dr. Hezekiah proposed the lens of “Body, Institution, Memory” as a way of looking at the art work currently being undertaken in the Caribbean and as a project that is both forward looking while also taking the African perspective of Sankofa as a space of accountability. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Erica James, lecturer at Yale University
knitted relics of the past, in particular the zemi and Haitian portraits into conversations of trade in re-membering colonial exchanges in ways that are more productive to the trajectories of Caribbean peoples.
“Caribbean InTransit: The Meeting Place” is Caribbean InTransit’s first annual festival including a symposium component in conjunction with the Postgraduate Programme in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies.
Having begun this conversation, that took us into various nuances of the theme through presentations by our symposium presenters- Andil Gosine, Charmaine Lurch, Ronald Mendoza de Jesus and Brian McLoughlin and the considered responses by discussants Christopher Cozier, Marsha Pearce, Elizabeth Walcott- Hackshaw and Nicole Roberts- we continued the dialogue at Alice Yard through our Google Hangout event “Talking Arts: Body, Institution, Memory”. We believe that this lens can yield further insight not simply, as Christopher Cozier has suggested as a chronological and linear path of development, but perhaps rather as a weaving and threading of notes from the past in a process of call and response that exposes us to the intricacies of continuities and discontinuities across our past, present and future.
The Department of Creative and Festival Arts at UWI
, St. Augustine presented visual essays of sorts- installations, painting and sculpture that extended the narrative of “Body, Institution, Memory” while other contemporary artists began the project of speaking through the contemporary in their works at the Art Society of Trinidad & Tobago
. Based in the idea of “Commonplace Kingdom”, a conceptual response by Blake Daniels in thinking through the “Body, Institution, Memory” invitation, artists Nikolai Noel, Luis Vasquez de la Roche and Alicia Milne presented their series of works.”This is Me”, team member and coordinator, Shana Bhajan worked to bring together partners: Transformations through Theatre and Alice Yard to conduct four Saturday workshops for at- risk youth.
There is much to be said on the work of this year’s partners who staged and/or hosted events some of which we have begun to share through our newspaper program. COCO Dance Festival
, Paper Based bookstore
, Alice Yard, Arts Insight
and Dancing through Diasporas have made significant marks in the Cultural landscape in the areas of contemporary forms of engagement through dance, curating published texts on the Caribbean, art therapy within the Caribbean context and the exploration of spiritual dance forms in relation to the Caribbean.