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Art Video in the Caribbean


  Nicholas Whittle – Alberta Whittle


Two videos from Alberta and Nicholas Whittle, from Barbados illustrate ‘Innocence’ and the poem ‘This is not my land’. Using the beach to set the scene and the sound of the waves, this performance consists for Alberta in covering her model’s back with words that she will gradually wash away with soap and a sponge. Still some words will remain on the man’s back, as he sits still, words such as ‘agonizing’ and ‘conflicted’ and ‘my skin’. Then we can hear the lines of the poem ‘This is not my land’ read by Nick Whittle.

 A second video represents a quay on which a white boat, made of glued layers of paper is there waiting. Then prefiguring a voyage, the artist sits in this makeshift boat, as though suggesting adventure, and escape and non-belonging. These two performances were filmed in Barbados and Curacao during an artist-residence program in the Instituto Buena Vista in Curacao.

Nick and Alberta Whittle will take part in April in the Transforming Spaces 2014 exhibition in the Bahamas.

This poem written by Kamau Braithwaite is a sort of musical tribute paid to the performance:


  Vimeo poem

to write poems on skin & moving space.  art not only freed from canvas but from imprisoned history in these two videos carava .  first histories of Creation in the camera . Crusoe & his daughter .  vimeo .  a new way of writing poems.  the world outside inside  .  glorious trop- ical silence xcept – once – Crusoe’s voice saying out his poem .  the meticulous fingers of the artists:  Anephele writing & then partially erasing words like how waves wash-way what’s written on the litoral;  Crusoe outlining w/his own hand a white double-limned coffin of chalk & cellotape.  He lays down in that death & resurrects into a voyager rowing w/out oars towards the stationary ho- rizone.  possessor & alien of the world he celebrating .  my-land-not-my-land-but-I-land .  these art awaiting green growing                                                                      <kb5 .  6 feb 2014>

Edouard Kamau Brathwaite

 Edouard Kamau Brathwaite was born 11 May 1930, in Bridgetown, Barbados and he is widely considered one of the major voices in the Caribbean literary canon. A professor of Comparative Literature at New York University, Brathwaite is the 2006 International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, for his volume of poetry Born to Slow Horses.

Brathwaite holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex (1968) and was the co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM).] He received both the Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships in 1983 and is a winner of the 1994 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bussa Award, the Casa de las Américas Prize for poetry, and the 1999 Charity Randall Citation for Performance and Written Poetry from the International Poetry Forum.

 Brathwaite is noted for his studies of Black cultural life both in Africa and throughout the African diasporas of the world in works such as Folk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica (1970); The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820 (1971); Contradictory Omens (1974); Afternoon of the Status Crow (1982); and History of the Voice (1984), Brathwaite is recognized as the ‘inventor of new musical linguistics’.

The link to « This is not my land, is not my island » video is

The link to stills

The link to the « Innocence » video is

The link to stills

Suzanne Lampla


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