Caribbean Art Salon: Connecting South
curated by Giscard Bouchotte
Organised by Caribbean Art Initiative
11:30 – 13.00 Panel 1
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.-15.30 Panel 2
PANEL 1: The Caribbean in Venice: Beyond the Oceans
Marianne de Tolentino, Jean Ulrick Desert, Susan Mains, Billy Gerard Frank, Hulda Guzman
Moderated by Giscard Bouchotte
The tragedies that have taken place in the Atlantic — from bloody stories of its crossing, to ecological disasters caused by migration attempts towards the American continent — have all transformed the ocean from a benevolent source into a common evil. However, the Caribbean is much more than this history: it is beyond the ocean, stretching from the borders of New Orleans, Brazil, Suriname to Guyana. However, when invited to an international platform, whether as guests of honor or participants, the predominant thoughts still revolve around postcolonial discourses. The English-speaking islands communicate with their (Western) English speaking counterparts, and the same is
the case for the Spanish- and French-speaking Islands. If Venice is to be seen and celebrated as an inclusive microcosm — thus becoming more open towards National Pavilions of the Caribbean (3 in 2017 and 5 in 2019, various inclusions of Caribbean artists in Pavilions like IILA, or group shows)— the possibilities of imaging the Caribbean beyond postcolonial discourses and histories, beyond the oceans, becomes a reality.
PANEL 2: Decolonize the Connections Between the Islands
Babara Paca, Jean Ulrick Désert, Caryl Ivrisse Crochemar, Blue Curry
Moderator: Cristina Sanchez Kozyvera
The islands of the Caribbean share a common history, which was inherited primarily from the slave trade and historic European reign over the region. However, as seen from a cultural background, the exchange and encounters between islands, apart from the common inheritance left from colonization, is still in its early stages. Events and festivals like Carifesta have been created to promote exchanges beyond insularity, yet it is often easier for Caribbean artists to interact outside of the Caribbean than on their respective islands. The current and omnipresent question remains: how can we advance and strengthen the exchange beyond the singular island, enabling a better knowledge of the region, artists, and culture? Numerous initiatives and artists are working towards this goal, creating the foundation for this panel discussion.