September 11, 2018 – January 31, 2019
The University of the West Indies in association with the University of St. Andrews (U.K.), are pleased to present Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World, an exhibition which is funded within the scope of the Horizon2020 EU-LAC-MUSEUMS project and facilitated by the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. Staged to coincide with the International Museums Conference Itinerant Identities: Museum Communities / Community Museums co-hosted in Barbados by The UWI and the Museums Association of the Caribbean, Arrivants will be on view at the Barbados Museum, St. Ann’s Garrison, from Friday, November 9 to the end of January 2019.
Taking its title and its focus on “the journey” from Kamau Brathwaite’s The Arrivants trilogy, to which we also pay tribute, the exhibition explores the diasporic nature of Caribbean society as documented and interrogated through its artistic production. The focus is on the Anglophone Caribbean at different points in time from the mid twentieth century to the present day and on the cultural impact of migration from and to the United Kingdom, and by extension Europe and to North America, as well as the movements within the Caribbean and Central American region. In doing so, we also consider the earlier histories of forced and voluntary migration, that have become deeply embedded in the psyche of Caribbean peoples, and the manner in which these have shaped the identities and experiences of Caribbeans today, whether they are (or are not) themselves migrants. Most of all, the art selected for this exhibition focuses on the social and cultural impacts of these migratory patterns, their political significance, the histories of defiance and resistance, and their implications for individual and collective identities.
Arrivants consists of a series of interventions into the galleries and exterior spaces of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, with work in various conventional and new media by Ewan Atkinson, James Boodhoo, Karl Broodhagen, Ras Ishi Butcher, Eddie Chambers, Paul Dash, Stanley Greaves, Francis Griffith, Caroline Holder, Nadia Huggins, Leasho Johnson, Marianne Keating, Winston Kellman, Kelley-Ann Lindo, Hew Locke, Phillip Moore, Kishan Munroe, Lynn Parrotti, Keith Piper, Sheena Rose, Veronica Ryan, Simon Tatum, Aubrey Williams, Golde White and Cosmo Whyte. The Barbados iteration of this exhibition has been curated by consultant curators Veerle Poupeye and Allison Thompson and is funded through the EU-LAC-MUSEUMS Project.
As a project, Arrivants also reflects on the processes involved in art exhibition-making in the Caribbean, the challenges as well as the opportunities for new thinking and innovative approaches, and the critical need for capacity development. A reflective blog has been established in which members of the curatorial team will share their thoughts and reflections, along with photographic and video documentation of the installation process and the exhibition, as well as short interviews with participants.