Visitor to the BDVA exhibition, Barbados (2009)

Visitor to the BDVA exhibition, Barbados (2009)

The Black Diaspora Visual Arts (BDVA) programme was initiated in 2008 as a collaboration between the National Art Gallery Committee in Barbados and ICF with the aim of strengthening regional and international networks in the arts and creating expanded opportunities for artists, art students, curators, writers and the wider public to engage with contemporary art of the Caribbean and wider diaspora.

Black Jacobins 2011

Participants: Krista Thompson, Yona Backer, Teka Selman, Keith Piper, Trevor Schoonmaker, Suzy Landau, Imruh Bakari, Valerie John, Mike Dibb, Christian Bertin, Alfredo Jaar, John Franklin, Alissandra Cummins, David A. Bailey, Euzhan Palcy, Richard J. Powell, Daniel Maximin, Gilles Elie Dit Cosaque, Dominique Brebion, Veerle Poupeye, O’Neil Lawrence, Claire Tancons, Barbara Prezeau, Jennifer Smit, Haydee Venegas, Sara Herman, Winston Kellman & Allison Thompson

Dates: 24 February – 1 March 2011
Location: Savannah Hotel, Barbados
Format: Symposium

Partners: Barbados Museum & Historical Society
Supported by: Direction Regionale des Affaires Culturelles Martinique, Conseil General de la Martinique, Region Martinique

Black Jacobins: Negritude in A Post Global 21st Century explored the idea of producing a major Caribbean symposium not as a regional entity (i.e. in the past Caribbean symposia have been based on island themes and regionality) but as a conceptual theme that links the past with the present. This symposium will focus on the legacies and contemporary impact of two major 20th century Figures: the Trinidadian writer and intellectual CLR James and his project The Black Jacobins; and the Martinique poet and intellectual Aime Cesaire.

















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Barbados – Bridgetown

Thursday February 24

Film Screening – Films by Mike Dibb on Stuart Hall and CLR James

Friday February 25

Welcome – Alissandra Cummins and the Barbados Minister of Culture
Introduction / overview – David A. Bailey
Response / panel discussion – Yona Backer, Teka Selman, Keith Piper, Trevor Schoonmaker, Suzy Landau, Imruh Bakari and Valerie John

Workshop 1 – Euzhan Palcy’s Film Practice, Discussion by Imruh Bakari, Moderator – Suzy Landau
Film Screening – Euzhan Palcy – Aime Cesaire (part 2), Introduction by Suzy Landau

Saturday February 26

Workshop 2 by Mike Dibb – The Art Documentary, Moderator – David A. Bailey
Workshop 3 – The Diasporic Black Moving Cube, Christian Bertin, Keith Piper, Teka Selman, Valerie John, Trevor Schoonmaker, Suzy Landau, Moderators – David A Bailey & Allison Thompson
Film Screening – Alfredo Jaar – Muxima

Sunday February 27

Film Screening– Euzahn Palcy – Rue Case Negre, Moderator Suzy Landau

Martinique – Fort de France

Monday February 28

Richard J. Powell – The Legacy of CLR James and Aime Cesaire; Daniel Maximin – Lam and Cesaire, Moderators – Keith Piper and David A. Bailey in conversation with the presenter
John Franklin – The Legacy of Aime Cesaire; Suzy Landau – Colour Of Words, Moderators – Alissandra Cummins and Dominique Brebion in conversation with the presenters
Film Screening- Zétwal by Gilles Elie Dit Cosaque

Tuesday March 1

Curating in the Caribbean Moderated by Richard J. Powell, Dominique Brebion, Veerle Poupeye, O’Neil Lawrence, Claire Tancons, Barbara Prezeau & Jennifer Smit
Curating in the Caribbean Part 2 Haydee Venegas, Sara Herman, Winston Kellman, Krista Thompson, Allison Thompson

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Black Jacobins 2009

Participants: Alissandra Cummins, Stuart Hall, George Lamming, Teka Selman, David Scott, Krista Thompson, Allison Thompson, Leon Wainwright, Veerle Poupeye, Kara Walker, Paul Domela, Christopher Cozier, Erica James, Dominique Brebion, Richard Powell, Andrea Wells, Alfredo Jaar, Ewan Atkinson, Ingrid Persaud, Arthur Edwards, Frances Ross, Indrani Gall, Joscelyn Gardner, Caroline Holder, Trevor Mathison, Gary Stewart, Ingrid Pollard, John Franklin & Sheena Rose

Dates: 13 – 14 February 2009
Location: Frank Collymore Hall, Bridgetown, Barbados and various exhibition venues
Format: Symposium, exhibition and film presentation

Partners: Barbados National Art Gallery Committee, Aica Southern Caribbean
Supported by: Arts Council England.

As part of the planned events marking the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the National Art Gallery Committee invited curator David A. Bailey MBE to organise a series of symposiums and exhibitions that explore visual art in the Black Diaspora.

A number of leading scholars, curators and artists who have made key contributions in this area were invited to Barbados to participate in a dialogue with the local/regional Caribbean community. It was envisioned that this event would provide an opportunity for the Barbados art community and wider local audience to participate in the discussions and present contemporary Barbadian art and artists to a panel of distinguished experts in related fields.

The programme included a public symposium, which took as its starting point Stuart Hall and the question he poses in his essay called Modernity and its Others: Three “Moments” in the Post–War History of the Black Diaspora Arts. The essay offers an analysis of three ‘moments’ in the post-war black visual arts in the UK. The main contrast identified is between the ‘problem space’ of the artists–the last ‘colonials’–who came to London after World War II to join the modern avant-garde and who were anti-colonial, cosmopolitan and modernist in outlook, and that of the second generation–the first ‘post-colonials’–who were born in Britain, pioneered the Black Art Movement and the creative explosion of the 1980s, and who were anti-racist, culturally relativist and identity-driven. In the work of the former, abstraction predominated; the work of the latter was politically polemical and collage-based, subsequently embracing the figural and the more subjective strategy of ‘putting the self in the frame’. This generational shift is mapped here in relation to wider socio-political and cultural developments, including the growth of indigenous racism, the new social movements, especially anti-racist, feminist and identity politics, and the theoretical ‘revolutions’ associated with them. The contemporary moment – less politicised, and artistically neo-conceptual, multi-media and installation-based– is discussed more briefly.

The symposium set out to explore some of these themes in Hall’s paper with particular reference to their applicability to the contemporary Caribbean context and the relationship of the contemporary moment to earlier developments. Questions included:

Is there a Caribbean canon?
Can we discuss a Caribbean aesthetic in the 21st century?
What are the institutional models?
How do we identify the different ways forward?

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Friday February 13 

Welcome address: Alissandra Cummins (GCM, Chairperson National Art Gallery Committee, Director of the Barbados Museum), Dr. Jeannine Comma (“Lesley’s Legacy”), Steve Blackett (Minister of Community Development and Culture) and David A. Bailey MBE (International Curator’s Forum and Senior Curator, Autograph ABP)

Keynote address: Stuart Hall (Cultural Theorist, Professor Emeritus, Open University, London) in dialogue with David A. Bailey MBE with a response from Professor George Lamming (Brown University).



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Panel One: Discussion of Stuart Hall’s paper and Lamming’s response
Chair: David A. Bailey MBE
Speakers: David Scott (Columbia University; Editor – Small Axe), Alissandra Cummins (NAGC)

Panel Two: Is there a Caribbean canon; can we discuss a Caribbean aesthetic in the 21st century?
Chair: Allison Thompson (NAGC, Barbados Community College)
Speakers: Veerle Poupeye (Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Jamaica), Krista Thompson (Northwestern University, Illinois) and Leon Wainwright (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Film Presentation: Kara Walker with Teka Selman


Saturday February 14

Panel Three: Past experiences, institutional models and exploring the different ways forward
Co-Chairs: Richard Powell (Duke University North Carolina), Lowery Sims (Museum of Arts and Design, New York), Dominique Brebion (AICA SC), Christopher Cozier (Artist – Trinidad), Paul Domela (Programme Director, Liverpool Biennial), Erica James (Director National Gallery Bahamas) and Andrea Wells (NAGC, NCF)

Closing Remarks: David Scott


Exhibition Tours, Bridgetown

Ewan Atkinson and Ingrid Persaud – Grande Salle, Frank Collymore Hall
Arthur Edwards and Frances Ross – West Wing, Parliament Buildings
Indrani Gall – Central Post Office
Joscelyn Gardner – Public Library
Caroline Holder – Grande Salle, Frank Collymore Hall
Trevor Mathison and Gary Stewart – West Wing, Parliament Buildings
Ingrid Pollard – West Wing, Parliament Buildings
Sheena Rose – Collins Pharmacy, Broad Street; Grande Salle, Frank Collymore Hall

Queen’s Park Gallery and Zemicon Gallery – “The Road to Many: Towards A Genealogy Of Barbadian Art”

Film and Discussion: Alfredo Jaar and David A. Bailey MBE

George Lamming presenting at the BDVA symposium, Barbados (2009)
David Scott, Alissandra Cummins and David A. Bailey at the BDVA symposium, Barbados (2009)
Panel three at the BDVA symposium, Barbados (2009)
Visitors at the BDVA exhibition, Barbados (2009)