Tag Archives: Antiguan and Barbudan art

CARIB Lit Plus (early-ish June 2020)

Recommendations

Have you been listening to #40NightsoftheVoice at the Kamau Brathwaite Remix Engine on YouTube? Well, you should be as writers from across the Caribbean read the works of the late Barbadian poet. Brathwaite was held in great and popular esteem as one of the foundations of the Caribbean literary canon and a transformative figure with respect to the embrace of Caribbean creole as a means of artistic expression and experimentation within the language. Many see him as a mentor whether directly or through his written works, who encouraged and inspired new voices. The writers reading his work in the, at this writing, ongoing video series include Jamaicans Kwame Dawes and Opal Palmer Adisa, St. Lucia’s Vladimir Lucien and John Robert Lee, the BVI’s Richard Georges, Barbados-based Yvonne Weekes, an entire who’s who of the Caribbean canon (Pamela Mordecai to Merle Collins to Olive Senior), including Canadian of Antiguan descent Tanya Evanson. Go here for the readings.

Awards

Brian S. Heap of Jamaica is the Caribbean winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize of 2020. His story ‘Mafootoo’ has “been in the back of my head for almost five years, but this competition finally provided me with the opportunity, motivation and all important deadline to complete the work.” Heap is “the retired Senior Lecturer, Staff Tutor in Drama and Head of the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. He has worked in Drama and Education in Jamaica for over forty years. With Pamela Bowell he co-authored Planning Process Drama: Enriching Teaching and Learning (2001, 2013) and Putting Process Drama into Action (2017) as well as several conference papers and articles for refereed journals. He served as Conference Director and Convener of the Fifth International Drama in Education Research Institute (2006) in Kingston, Jamaica. He was honoured with the Silver Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica in 2002.” Other regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize of 2020 are Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Africa), Kritika Pandey (Asia), Reyah Martin (Canada and Europe), and Andrea McLeod (Australia). More here.

Art of the Moment

You may have noted that there are protests beginning in but not limited to America, sparked by a recent spate, part of a long tradition, of killings (and general oppression) of African-Americans by police. It has opened a wound perhaps some thought had scabbed over. These protests and the conversations the protests have sparked are not limited to America because anti-Blackness (including internalized or intra-community anti-Blackness) is not limited to America. There have been a number of what I’m calling #CaribbeanConversations (as I share them to my facebook page) in postings by the likes of Jamaicans Kei Miller and Trinidadian Shivanee Ramlochan and others reflecting on race in our region. And here in Antigua and Barbuda, these are recent art works that I am aware of in response to the moment.  DotkidChavy has given permission for re-posting of the image below, originally posted to his public facebook gallery, with the caption, “I’m tired. We are tired. Our demand is simple. #BlackLivesMatter”:

Another work of art, a poem, ‘Stepping on the Black Man’s Neck’ by Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, published in the Daily Observer, is excerpted below:

“As we stretch our necks across the water/to the protests and murder in Minnesota/where is the outrage for all the necks that get stepped on in Antigua? …A British prisoner is housed in contrast conditions/to the black man’s daughters and local sons/who crap in buckets and old slop pails/who grow old and die in this overcrowded jail/A black prisoner walked in to a baton of blows/Cut-up he face and bruck-up he nose/but he can’t get no treatment./Meanwhile, Umberto Schenato got a quiet release/Now up by Fiennes receiving treatment. Please./Somebody had determined that as long as this Italian murderer is alive/he won’t spend another minute up at 1735/THAT, is kneeling on the black man’s neck….Bruce Jungle Greenaway belonged to somebody./He nah drop from hollow tree./He has children and a family./When the air left his lungs and his body could take no more/They dumped him at the altar of the shore/Waiting for the waves to wash away their sins/After they strangled him./And we wait./Every crime in this country is under investigation….Black man mek noise get kick inna he neck. Racism is alive and well in Antigua and Barbuda./So when we looking across the pond at Minnesota/REMEMBER/that plenty black man kneeling on black man neck inna dis country yah.”

Finally, this poem by me (Joanne C. Hillhouse), shared on my public facebook page, on June 3rd 2020, part of that morning’s writing exercise. It’s called ‘Sounds of Blackness’ (mostly because I wrote it during my musical meditation while listening to Sounds of Blackness):

“Not often enough but
Every now and again
The men in blue (and grey and black)
Are caught flat footed in their heavy boots
By the inconvenient realization
That the non-person discarded
Like old garbage
Hab smadee
That maybe they walk around the world in
Soot, caked on like unbelonging
And Maybe their mind is ‘modie’
But erasing them will take
Effort
Ka dem hab smadee
And somebody will say
Long time me na see so and so
Wey he?
He may be of no fixed address
(or other stories you spin)
But he know where to find his people
When he need them
And they make sure to check up on him
Where he roaming
And when dem na see he
Dem will ask smadee
And when dem see you ah abuse he
They will bear witness
With their eye-phones
And they will raise their voices
And other eyes will turn to the scene
And when that happens (if there’s to be any justice)
You will find a community of people
Turning eyes of inquiry in your direction
And your systems may protect you
This time
Or maybe this time you will be brought to account
And if there is justice in the world
(and we can’t often count on it)
You will sit in the realization
Within the walls built for people like him
That it is the man
Without feeling for his people
Who is the non-person”

COVID-19 News 

The country’s opening up and so is the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre which has relaxed its no visitor policy while keeping some restrictions in place. This is an arts site but we share this type of information because we need our community to act responsibly and to be safe. So, per an MSJMC release, all visitors (18 or older only with careful consideration given to anyone 65 and older) must wear a cloth face covering or mask (which, our edit, you should be wearing in public places anyway). Our space here doesn’t allow for a breakdown of visiting hours, which varies by department; so we’ll just say, call to check on the visiting hours – which are very tight and limited – and/or check their social media. Generally speaking, no more than 2 visitors per day, one  at a time bedside. Do not visit if you’re having any COVID-19 symptoms (in fact, our edit, call the hotline and/or your doctor for testing if you think that might be the case). You’ll be required to wash your hands with soap and water and/or apply hand sanitizer when entering and leaving patient rooms. Visitors will be required to stay in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit. Pray and take care; this is not over yet.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Wadadli Pen (Art and and Update)

A short update re the 2018 Wadadli Pen Challenge. We’re still working but hope to have the awards ceremony in April 2018. Specific date and other details to come. This year is Winner Take All and thanks to the patrons named below said winner (pulled from a field of almost 70 entries) will be amply rewarded.

Art. Culture. Antigua – Barbara Arrindell – Barbara Arrindell & Associates Best of Books Carol Mitchell – Cedric Holder on behalf of the Cushion Club Frank B. Armstrong – Jane Seagull – Joanne C. Hillhouse – Juneth Webson – Monique S. Simon – Pam Arthurton

As usual not all patrons wish to be named and one or two aren’t confirmed, but to all we say thank you.

And now as my thanks to you for stopping by and for your patience (all who submitted), I’m going to share my favourite of the winning Wadadli Pen art submissions over the years. So that you have something beautiful to look at while you wait. And to remind you that Wadadli Pen hasn’t been exclusively about the literary arts. In 2010, we had our first Art Challenge themed Black and Beautiful. In 2011, we invited artists to register to create illustrations for shortlisted stories. In 2013, we had an Anansi Challenge broken down in to junior and senior categories. In 2014, we had a cover art challenge. That was the last one.  Art notes after the images. What do you think, should we bring back the art Challenge?

10.jpgLast Cry (Final) Alvin Livingstone

7

winner

second runner up

Miss

Delinquent Development

 

twins artwork final

The Knock On My Door.jpg

9.jpg

Art notes (disclaimer – these contests are gone and done, and the prizes spent; and I had no hand in the selection of the winner. Point being, my musings are my own):

First image – 2010 – one of my absolute favourites – and unfortunately I lost the record of which image from this year belongs to which of the winning artists – so the artist is either Ashley Clendenen, Akeem Barry, or Shem Alexander.

Second image – 2014 cover image for Last Cry if it were a book – artist: Alvin Livingstone – every time I look at this I see something new. Another of my absolute favourites.

Third image – 2010 – another one by either Ashley Clendenen, Akeem Barry, or Shem Alexander – and you know what’s striking to me about this not the profile in the foreground but the symbolism and parchment effect in the background.

Fourth image – 2011 – this is so whimsical to me and such a good match with its story, Sands and Butterflies – the artist is Hudle Jennings.

Fifth image – 2011 – this artist was eight year old Freya Platts-Costeloe and I thought she did a really good job capturing her matched story (The Scary Night)- love the level of detail.

Sixth image – 2013 – this character study of Mrs. Anansi was one of three images submitted by Garvin Jeffrey Benjamin – she’s a character isn’t she?

Seventh image – 2014 – Something about this one really appealed to me but don’t ask me to explain what…something to do with the house itself and the way it captures in a single image both the narrative and the mood of the poem Delinquent Development – artist is Shazianne/Hilesha Humphreys.

Eighth image – 2011 – This didn’t win or place (as I remember) but it was one of my favourites – the way both sides of the image mirror each other and capture the individual personality of the twins in the story Market Day, the market lady in the middle, and the mangos in sync with the story itself in my opinion – artist is S A Dixon.

Ninth image – 2014 – Emile Hill is a professional artist in his own right and I thought he handled the challenge (cover art for The Knock on My Door) well – from the creepy font to the looming monster to the eye in the doorway.

Tenth image – 2010 – As noted, the artist is either the artist is either Ashley Clendenen, Akeem Barry, or Shem Alexander, and the medium (with all of them) seems to have been some form of mixed media – but it’s the little stormy face, not the extras, that catch my eye in this one.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Sweden’s Popreel Spotlights Wadadli Arts

ETA: We’re also in the classroom. See this this Teachers’ Guide to Popreel to see how the producers and education administrators are creating intersections between popular culture (Antiguan, global) and the (Swedish) classroom.

Excerpted from Reading Room V

Pamela Taivassalo Wikholm travelled from Sweden to Antigua in 2015 and interviewed a handful of local artistes – Joanne C. Hillhouse (writer), Tian Winter (singer), Mark Brown (painter); see interview links for all three below.

w/Joanne C. Hillhouse (on Popreel radio):

“The writers from here that I knew, and I have great respect for them, were the calypso writers -people like Shelly Tobitt and Marcus Christopher -because when I was coming up calypso was the literature that I would hear that had some relevance to my community; the other literature that we read was mostly from America or from Britain.”

Joanne

w/Joanne C. Hillhouse:

“The characters come to me. They don’t always reveal their stories fully, so for me writing is a journey of discovery. Like I can’t always see where it’s going but I’m kind of wandering my way through it and trying to figure out what is it all about.” – Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse on Sweden’s Popreel TV.

w/Tian Winter (Popreel TV):

“If it’s singing, just sing; someone will hear you, something will happen.”

Tian Winter 2

w/Tian Winter:

“If you have a dream, don’t let anybody, no one, not your mother, not your brother, no one, kill that vibe, kill that dream out of you, don’t let them out that fire.” – Antiguan and Barbudan soca artist Tian Winter on Sweden’s Popreel radio.

w/Mark Brown (on Popreel radio):

“I need to paint things that people are not saying enough, and people find hard to say, and hard to encounter, and hard to read, and hard to speak about.”

 

Mark Brownw/Mark Brown:

“At that time I didn’t know what it was called but I knew that I lived in a very imaginary world.” – Antiguan and Barbudan artist, Mark Brown’s interview on the Popreel TV programme on Swedish TV.

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Emile Hill Shows at Art at the Ridge

ask first for wadadli pen post1 ask first for wadadli pen post2 ask first for wadadli pen post3

Emile Hill, who you may remember as one of the adult art finalists of the 2014 Wadadli Pen season, and who we last caught up with during this Tongues of the Ocean artists roundtable, is an accomplished artist in his own right. Recently he reminded the Antiguan and Barbudan community just how accomplished with his one man show at Art at the Ridge. I wrote about my reaction to the show over at my other blog and I’m glad to be able to share with you glimpses of the art above. Congrats, Emile.

About the artist (from the Art at the Ridge release announcing his show which took place at the end of January 2015):

Emile is an Antiguan artist, graphic designer, teacher, photographer and author. A graduate of the Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica, he published his first photographic coffee table book ‘The Angels Project’ in December of 2011. In 2012 Emile received a National Youth Award in the category of Young Artist. He was selected to represent Antigua and Barbuda at Carifesta XI in Suriname in 2013, where he displayed his paintings amid a collection of work by acclaimed artists from the Caribbean region. Emile was key in organising Antigua & Barbuda’s National Independence Art Exhibition in 2014.

Emile’s themes tend to be very personal, ranging widely from angels and the mystical, to dance and music and also explorations of the human condition.

(all images courtesy Art at the Ridge; do not repost without permission)Untitled

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