Inaugural Festival: The Meeting Place, 2013

Our synopsis:
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The Keylemanjahro Moko Jumbies melted our hearts while Tamara Williams from the  Makeda Dance  Performance Institute and members of the Contimuum Dance Project led us through contemplative and exciting site specific work at the National Museum in a fitting tribute to the mode of extemporaneous art that characterises much of the Caribbean.  Lorraine Johnson, Actg. Director of the Museum, introduced the work that we have begun through this festival as a museal project that is becoming a well known form of interactive practice in museums around the world.
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.

“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.

 This is Me, 2014 Erica Meeting place launch 2013 copy Women of CIT


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.

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