It may be a hybrid between an ark, a ferry and a cruise liner – but it is definitely not sea worthy, being a craft for abstract thought, and riddled with holes no doubt for that matter.
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As China Residencies’ co-founder & program manager, I joined the conversation to bring insights from China’s similarly remote and emerging art ecosystem, as well as to learn from Fresh Milk’s role as a mapping and connecting force amongst independent organisations in the Caribbean region.
Most importantly, this conference led to interesting creative developments such as the conception of Caribbean Futures, a project that could potentially create research, exhibitions, and public programs and opportunities.
The art histories of the Caribbean have largely been constructed externally, most often from the centers of the Caribbean diaspora such as the UK or North America, and so Tilting Axis marked a shift towards self-representation.
It is a great pleasure to be part of this promising encounter Tilting Axis is providing. The Caribbean, despite its global relevance as a tourist destination, has yet to gain recognition as an inexhaustible source of visual art to its full potential and production.
I often witness art organizations willing to create a formal network to join forces, resources, strategies and become a stronger voice and a key player both locally and internationally.
The main reason for the failure is the lack of funding and human resources to manage the network. Ideas and enthusiasm vanish as soon as people go back home and dive into their daily routine to sustain their own organization.
The question put on the table was straightforward, simple in its formulation, but enormously complex in its extraction and execution. So much was clear from the start. The conference asked the question of how to sustain and connect Caribbean art practices through and from a larger global field.