The intimate gathering allowed everyone to connect directly and to establish some meaningful relationships. Often in a larger conference this element can get lost and given that one of the main focuses was ‘connectivity’ this model worked well for the first year.
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The sessions raised a number of concerns including a need to see art as that which exists beyond a gallery or museum...
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.
At the same time I saw and understood that Ateliers ’89 is in the same boat as everybody else, that we all have to cope and deal with the similar problems, the need for that personal connection, workspace, finances, and how to come up with new solutions and of course to receive recognition for what we are doing.
Questions such as — the elaboration of new models for contemporary art in the Caribbean; the interest in the region and of the region for the contemporary art world and markets; questions of art education and its funding, along with public targeting and the added value off experiences from abroad and return — have been relevant for me.
Logistics affect our trade routes, our ability to engage with the rest of the world, to easily access facilities.
"I think it's an act of rebellion to be a whole person... It's an act of rebellion to show up as your whole self, and especially the parts that are complex, that are unfinished, that are vulnerable.’" —Courtney Martin
Another thing I found interesting was that it wasn’t about the artist as individual but about art itself. About the society, the added value of art for the society and how you can contribute to the development of art education and formation through social cultural art projects.
PAMM's earnest engagement with the conversations happening in the Caribbean, as well the research currently being conducted by the museum in the region for upcoming exhibitions, was promising.