[NetBehaviour] Black Diaspora Visual Arts

info info at furtherfield.org
Mon Feb 21 14:06:36 CET 2011

Black Diaspora Visual Arts

Black Jacobins: Negritude in a Post-Global 21st Century
24 February - 1 March 2011
Bridgetown, Barbados / Fort-de-France, Martinique


A major Caribbean symposium that links the past with the present and 
will present a series of historical works as well as existing 
contemporary works based on the legacies of two major 20th century 
figures: the Trinidadian writer and intellectual C.L.R. James and the 
Martinique poet and intellectual Aime Cesaire.

In his seminal book The Black Jacobins (1938), C.L.R. James (1901-1989) 
examines the Haitian (Sainte-Domingue) Revolution of 1791-1803. He 
analyses revolutionary potential and progress according to economic and 
class distinctions, rather than racial distinctions. The book is also 
focused on Toussaint L’ Ouverture as the revolutionary spearhead and 
organizational leader. Thus, The Black Jacobins discusses Caribbean 
revolt within the context of colonial slavery and furthermore 
establishes the first black diasporic anti colonial figure hero. Aime 
Cesaire (1913–2008) formulated – together with Leopold Senghor and Leon 
Gontian Damas – the concept and movement of Negritude, the “affirmation 
that one is black and proud of it”. Cesaire’s thoughts about restoring 
the cultural identity of black Africans were first fully expressed in 
Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Return To My Native Land, 1939), a 
mixture of poetry and poetic prose that celebrates the ancestral 
homelands of Africa and the Caribbean. Negritude has been seen as a 
major intellectual force that has influenced countless liberational 
leaders to artistic movements from the Harlem Renaissance to the Black 
Power Movements.

This symposium is not about re-appraising these two Caribbean lives but 
about the re-examining their ideas within a visual art performative 21st 
century Caribbean diaspora context. Both these writers were using their 
art (in the form of the discourse of literature) as a political weapon. 
Today, Black Jacobins: Negritude In A Post Global 21st Century refers to 
the historical movement of diaspora artists from the past to the present 
rising above the singular narrative or notion of ‘Caribbean art’ to 
produce works that have a unique signature in style and content. The 
symposium has two major strands: Historical Iconographies (Barbados) and 
Contemporary Dialogues (Martinique)

The conference is organised by:
David A. Bailey: artist, curator and exhibition organiser; Director, 
International Curators Forum – London / Bahamas
Dominique Brebion: Advisor for Visual Arts, Direction Régionale des 
Affaires Culturelles – Martinique
Allisandra Cummins: Director, Barbados Museum and Historical Society, 
President, National Art Gallery Committee, Barbados
Alain Hauss: Regional Director of Cultural Affairs, Martinique
Allison Thompson: Director, Department of Fine Arts, Barbados Community 
College; Member, National Art Gallery Committee, Barbados


Thursday, 24 February 2011
Barbados: Savannah Hotel, Bridgetown
Participants arrive / Registration
7.30: Welcome reception – Introduction by David A. Bailey
8.00: Film Screening: CLR James in conversation with Stuart Hall (1984) 
by Mike Dibb

Friday, 25 February 2011
Barbados: Savannah Hotel, Bridgetown
8.30–9.30: Registration
9.30–9.45: Madam of Ceremonies: Alissandra Cummins
9.45–10.15: Welcome address by the Minister of Culture: The Hon Steven 
10.15–11:00: Introduction / overview: David A. Bailey
11.00–12.00: Response / panel discussion: Yona Backer, Imruh Bakari, 
Valerie John, Keith Piper, Andrea Wells
12.00–2.00: Lunch
2.00–4.00: Workshop 1: Euzhan Palcy’s Film Practice – discussion led by 
Imruh Bakari / Moderator: Suzy Landau
7.30: Film Screening: Aime Cesaire (part 2) (1994) by Euzhan Palcy / 
Introduction: David A. Bailey

Saturday, 26 February 2011
Barbados: Savannah Hotel, Bridgetown
9.00–12.00: Workshop 2: Mike Dibb – The Art Documentary / Moderator: 
David A. Bailey
12.00–2.00: Lunch
2.00–4.00: Workshop 3: The Diasporic Black Moving Cube: Yona Backer, 
Christian Bertin, Valerie John, Suzy Landau, Annette Nias, Keith Piper, 
/ Moderators: David A. Bailey, Allison Thompson
7.30: Film Screening: Muxima (2006) by Alfredo Jaar

Sunday, 27 February 2011
5:00 Flight to Martinique

Monday, 28 February 2011
Martinique: Salle Frantz Fanon - Atrium, Fort-de-France
8.30–9.30: Registration
9.30: Opening remarks
10.00–12.30: Richard J. Powell: The Legacy of CLR James and Aime Cesaire 
/ Moderators: Keith Piper and David A. Bailey
12.30–2.00 Lunch
2.00–4.30: John Franklin: The Legacy of Aime Cesaire / Suzy Landau: 
Colour Of Words / Moderators: Alissandra Cummins and Dominique Brebion
7.30: Film Screening: Zétwal by Gilles Elie-Dit-Cosaque / Introduction: 
Dominique Brebion

Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Martinique: Salle Frantz Fanon - Atrium, Fort-de-France
9.30–12.00: Curating in the Caribbean: Dominique Brebion: Think global 
and act local / Veerle Poupeye and O’Neil Lawrence: New curatorship in 
Jamaica / Claire Tancons: Curating Carnival / Barbara Prezeau: Haïti au 
21eme siècle : l’art des mutants / Jennifer Smit: Curating in Curacao: 
The Challenges
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch
1.30–4.00: Curating in the Caribbean (Part 2): Haydee Venegas: Paradigms 
on Latin American and Caribbean art / Sara Herman: Unconscious 
Curatorships / Winston Kellman: The invisibility of the visual arts in 
the Barbadian conciousness / Krista A. Thompson: How to Install Art as a 
Caribbeanist? / Moderator: Allison Thompson
4.00: Vote of thanks: Alfred Alexandre
7.30: Closing Reception

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