LETS TALK CATALYST&THE TACARIGUA SCULPTURAL PLAYSPACE PROJECT&OTHERS
The other day at UWI, there was a Three Day Session on art and culture by stake holders from around the Caribbean, There was a write up on the session by Holly Bynoe. From the article there were some issues, which was highlighted
- developing a Creative Tourism model
- consider the colonial structure of funding but don’t pressure or agitate bodies to think about how this keeps us within an exploitative structure, binding us to repeating systems and the monstrous challenge of being engaged in conversations and or projects that do not occur naturally and organically.
- With healthy ecologies being the buzzword,
- highlighting the human element
- These include the development of a grant writing support system to build a cadre of writers in the Caribbean with a focus on procuring grants for cultural programmes, initiatives and projects, and making this system less opaque to the people who would benefit from these resources;
The below letter was sent to Annalee Davis, through Facebook, Sun 1 June, 2018
"read the article...it is always nice to see these efforts. I understand all that was mentioned....you mentioned there will be a deeper report coming out.....Allow me to share some thoughts, in going further art must understand what is necessary for its fulfillment in Trinidad and Tobago (I can speak very confidently about T&T art culture, from the art society to the private spaces, for this conversation I'll limit myself to Trinidad and Tobago), as in the Caribbean, just our size and limited resources, art must be willing to change it methodology. Many artists, like Hall, Laird, Ramesar, Rubadiri and dear I say Arlen...have challenged the paradigm of cultural making, through the economy of scale and activism....where at a policy level, we theoretically have on the fringes the making of an arts council....which can radically alter how art moves through the national circle....art connection to class! is as important to it being deconstructed, as is racism, to American cultural economy. I noticed there were noticeable absence of speakers, (understanding not everyone can be invited to the table), Studio-66, ACTT......I have been working with my collaborators, in placing art in that context of development, sustainability, value added, social justice, vernacular. In October, we hope to have the first talk, with PENNU, on developing a systematic, immersed, investigation in art's potential to creating that space. What will it take, from who? where? and how much? how long? the idea is to invest in a space/spaces, over a period of time...Also, the Tacarigua Sculptural PlaySpace Project, all place art in the development conversation, the diversification discourse, the planning conversation....rather than the hobbyist backdrop, art has been relegated to for all these years. Art adopting other principles of urban planning, (as one urban planner mentioned, that they have never considered art a part of their language, they're willing to), we need to define that formula that art has. Which can only happen through, practicing communities, through a social art methodology. That is without all the issues, that Molly mentioned in her article. I found this to be absent. As it is important, to what should be funded, do we fund art organizations that're already operating, in the module of art, for art sake, or art for artists sake, caught in what class and other depredations of post colonialism, or do we fund, what is necessarily needed; proper well focused activism, that seeks to challenge policy, economy...one example of this, how do we shift the economy of art, to one of subjective economy to one, where the art object can be seen as an asset, to insurance companies and bankers. There're interesting articles on how this was done....it takes another type of investment in activism...As a practicing artist, the shift will not come by more and more funding, until there is a willingness to understand the ecosystem of survival and the reality of survival, for the working poor artist. I have been able to get a Chair at the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation, in a public statement, declare, that they have embraced an artist (not a designer) to help them solve their development issues. A small step, but a step it is....if we can coalesce voices towards this happening through community, corporate, part politics and state, think how it'll challenge the artist economy! Then think how the education of artist will have to be changed, both a secondary and at tertiary, UWI, level...Thanks, for sharing, will keep you posted as projects happen, check the link...."
As a practicing artist, working in the urban and gallery system. As mentioned above, what is the future of art, the future of art sits in social transformative projects such as the
- The Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project
- Studio66 Art Support Community
- Artists Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago - through the activism of Rubadiri Victor
- Lord Street Theater - through Tony Hall
- Banyan Studio which have some connection to Gayelle
- The Tacarigua Sculptural PlaySpace Projct
- Education - from Tex-Vox, to the Department of Creative and Festival Art, DCFA, UWI, the artist will have to be given the tools to walk and talk with urban planners. The new artist will have to be versed in anthropology and sociology, to navigate the social art, the social economy, that is being developed at this time
- The New Value Economy - there is need to rethink, how work is moved through the space, in doing this we have to rethink value systems. At this moment we make work in a very subjective value. There has been no building of that understanding of art, from a community level, banking, insurance level. To develop this, we will have to create a sustained activism based in dialog with the nation, both state and private.
- Community - we have to show people what art is, in driving my projects, I have been told
- "that I have a hobby"
- "I don't have a real job"
- "Art does not belong in community"
WHAT NEEDS TO BE FUNDED
When we understand these issues, we can then understand what needs to be funded, do we still need to fund what is already happening, and what is happening is happening as mentioned,
"becomes a place where we build walls up to keep people out and we reinforce elitist spaces and privilege. In these silos, we harbor an infestation of incestuous behavior and turn our backs on self-critique."
Art has become this, so we have to rethink, where funding should be applied, which should transform the space into sustained communities, with value added....these projects, must be steeped in the social, sharing economy