After much anticipation, funding setbacks and re-workings – our Tilting Axis symposium resulted in a very positive and exciting few days together. I felt a general air of excitement by everyone, in meeting peers working within organizations in the British, French, Dutch, Spanish and US Caribbean. There was a great deal of expectation and perhaps skepticism as we began our discussions, but I think some of this subsided as we all were able to share our experiences in an open and democratic manner and then worked hard toward finding common issues and ideas for specific future projects to pursue together. I think there was a greater sense of trust and mutual understanding after two days of structured presentations and talks, as well as a strong sense of camaraderie, or the encouraging feeling that each of our individual struggles is shared in different variations by other cultural practitioners in the region- it felt rewarding this mutual recognition and support and the general atmosphere of wanting to work together.
From PAMM’s point of view, I would like to think we were able to convey our long-term interest in supporting and collaborating in the region, in sharing intellectual and financial support whenever possible.
It was extremely important and at times hard to push beyond topics regarding all that is not working in the region, all the lack of infrastructure, stability and sustainable support- and to think imaginatively about possibilities- but we made strong steps in this direction. From PAMM’s point of view, I would like to think we were able to convey our long-term interest in supporting and collaborating in the region, in sharing intellectual and financial support whenever possible. I am hopeful I was able to convey PAMM does not have a specific agenda in this conversation, but we are interested in participating in research and projects that are pursued in a fair exchange of resources and recognition and which emerge from the ground up, based on real needs within the region.
The next steps in our conversations will be the most important- to keep our dialogue directed toward specific, realizable goals, both short-term and long-term. I was personally very excited by the research topic of Caribbean Futures, proposed by the ever-thoughtful Marsha, I could see this being part of a grant that would allow for the production of individual projects to be funded and exhibited locally and then brought together for a larger travelling exhibition beginning at PAMM. A project of this kind might be anticipated by a symposium and/or reader, with commissioned texts on the topic. The group seemed strongly interested in having an annual meeting going forward, to formalize our network and to try to meet next year in Miami at PAMM. I will begin to pursue this goal and see possibilities for us to meet again in twelve months at the museum. One next step might be to form a board for this group to begin to define itself in more formal terms and to start outlining its goals and forms of iteration — be them an annual meeting, sponsored talks, research initiatives etc. I am very energized to keep going and find our next projects together.