The need to reach out, create strategies and form alliances has always been a part of who I am as a working artist in the Caribbean. I have always believed that human resources and our ability to use then wisely and generously is a key factor in accomplishing our goals as a country and as a region.
Being a part of the Tilting Axis three day program was real treat for me, not only because I was able to share my own challenges as an artist, as a member of an art collective and as a citizen of a country like many, where art is really not a priority, but also because I was able to understand similar realities and predicaments, and realize once again, the need for an action plan that we desperately must address.
So being there, surrounded by a group of honest, intelligent, sensitive and willing people, bringing fourth promising solutions, real achievement plans, possible short and long term collaborations and potential support revealed that there might be light at the end of the tunnel.
Personally this event was important for two main reasons. First of all it really gave me a sense of who we are within the region and that perspective is very important for us. In Dominican Republic we have the tendency to believe that the grass is always greener on the other side and sometimes we forget that within the Caribbean we are a great metropolis with many limitations but with an infrastructure of museums, cultural spaces and a tradition of Biennales and art collections that perhaps can be used as a platform to a wider audience.
It gave me a sense of our strengths as a community and helped me identify what we can offer. But also it helped me get a clearer understanding of what our weaknesses are and allowed me to look at other models where education is playing a more prevalent role, for example, or where artists ran initiatives are making a big difference with very little financial support in a particular community. These are the things that we need to look at and learn from.
The other important reason is that even though different Caribbean countries seem to be miles apart because of our different cultural background and idiosyncrasies, we really are very unique and alike colonial inheritors dealing with the same issues and sharing the same magnificent geography. Historically we have always looked at larger potencies as models for development and growth but this dialogue reinforced my believe in that within ourselves there is a lot of what we need to begin creating platforms that cater to our particular needs. As a region, we need more projects that tell our story through our own eyes and not through the lens of the Caribbean fantasy that the world has made of us.
The question is, can Tilting Axis continue to exist, bring people together and materialize solutions? I believe it can and it should. I believe that a serious initiative like this one, with a clear and powerful objective and the will to prove that it can bring a splendid contribution to the region and the world should have no trouble getting support.
Tilting Axis has the power to revolutionize this region not only long term with the embodiment of our work and ideas but with every single gathering. With a bit of support and determination we can make this happen every couple of years or sooner if possible. I believe that the host country must experience the vibrant energy of this group of people by allocating spaces where participants can share their own experience through conferences, workshops, screenings, panels etc. This is the must immediate and efficient way to deal with what I believe is our biggest handicap: Access to a better, wider educational experience.