Art and Film: “Amos Ferguson—Match Me if You Can”

Repeating Islands

One of the films that premiered at the T&T Film Festival was the 2011 documentary Amos Ferguson: Match Me if You Can, directed by Karen Arthur and Thomas Neuwirth. After watching the directors’ wonderfully-crafted Artists of the Bahamas, I highly recommend this documentary.

This film pays tribute to the renowned Bahamian intuitive artist Amos Ferguson, known for his paintings of island ritual, flora and fauna, and biblical scenes. The film documents his life from the 1930s to his international “discovery” in the 1980s, right up to his death. This documentary won the First Look Best Feature Award from the Bahamas International Film Festival which took place in Nassau in December 2011.

Description: Amos Ferguson, Match Me if You Can pays tribute to this highly spiritual Bahamian intuitive artist. The documentary explores the life and work of the “Picasso of Bahamian Art,” from his meager beginnings in The…

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Call for Papers: Writing through the Visual/Virtual—Inscribing Language, Literature, and Culture in Francophone Africa and the Caribbean

Repeating Islands

The Center for African Studies 2013 Conference, “Writing through the Visual/Virtual: Inscribing Language, Literature, and Culture in Francophone Africa and the Caribbean,” will be held at Rutgers University on March 7‐9, 2013. The deadline for proposals is November 1, 2012.

Description: This two‐day conference at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) is designed to foster trans‐disciplinary understanding of the complex interplay between language/literature/arts and the visual and virtual domains of expressive culture in Francophone Africa and the Caribbean. It will explore the varied patterns of cultural, and especially writing, formations and practices arising from contemporary and historical forces that have impacted on the cultures and peoples of this trans‐Atlantic region that includes countries such as Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Comoro Islands, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (DR), Dominica, Guadeloupe, Guiana, Haiti, Louisiana (USA), Mali, Martinique, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles. Special attention will be paid to how scripts, though appearing to be merely…

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Ways of Knowing


As I’ve been working on my dissertation, I’ve been thinking a lot about what we learn from objects. How does looking at a sculpture change what we know or who we are?

People often use the word “aesthetics” to indicate an appreciation of the visual aspects of a work of art. Many people also consider this appreciation as merely a superficial survey of the outward properties. Yet, aesthetics is more than that. It’s a way of knowing based on sensory input instead of rational thought.  I think that this form of knowledge is crucial. To understand works of art, we need to discuss the sensory data of works in relation to historical, social, and cultural contexts.

The Clayton, Jackson, McGhie Memorial, 2003 in Duluth, Minnesota is one of the objects in my study of lynching memorials. I’m now thinking about how the memorial affects individuals and society. It’s easy…

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New Issue: ARC Magazine, Volume 6

Repeating Islands

The ARC Magazine team announces Volume 6, which “brings together a mélange of artists, scholars and writers in collaboration exploring and experimenting with formal and preconceived elements of beauty, alchemy, aesthetics, nationhood, independence, and burdens of representations. Featured artists and writers from Haiti, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Chile, France, St. Kitts and Nevis, Aruba, Suriname, The Netherlands, The United States, and Australia, interrogate and expand on a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, painting, illustration, new media, drawing, performance, and mixed media.

Brief summary of content: Trinidadian artist and scholar Dr. Andil Gosine intervenes with Shastri Maharaj’s practice. Gosine traverses the traditional surface of Maharaj’s work to resolve the reconstitution of memory and identity that reimagines Indianness in its relationship to the creolite. Martinican writer Suzanne Lampla explores the growing exploration of artists conquering the streets to present social, political and…

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Latino Jews, Combining Religious Traditions And Hispanic Heritage

Repeating Islands

Coincidentally the Jewish High Holidays overlap with Hispanic Heritage Month, but these two communities come together in more ways than on a calendar, as The Huffington Post reports.

Before this year’s Festival of Booths, known as Sukkot, comes to an end this Sunday, we thought we’d shed some light on a lesser known aspect of Hispanic heritage: the Latino Jew.

Catholicism may be predominantly practiced in Latin America, but a large number of Latinos follow Judaism in countries like Argentina and Cuba. In the early 1960s, Castro’s revolution prompted an exodus to the north that included more than 9,000 of the 12,000 Cuban Jews that lived on the Caribbean island before the revolution. It is now estimated that some 2,500 Cuban Jews live in the Miami area alone.

In the video, a Cuban family shows how Judaism and Hispanic heritage are united by a mutual love of food, family, and…

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Wolfsonian-FIU Library

As we near the final countdown to the 2012 presidential elections, those of us living in the important swing state of Florida are being bombarded by radio, television, and internet ads denigrating one or the other of the candidates. Thus it is only fitting that The Wolfsonian museum has an exhibit on display highlighting historic election propaganda from an earlier era. Politics on Paper: Election Posters and Ephemera from The Wolfsonian-FIU Collection highlights the mass communication strategies of the first half of the twentieth century, when posters and paper propaganda were the key means of reaching the electorate.

The exhibition also features a video component, Political Advertisement VII: 1952–2008, which projects American television campaign spots compiled by video artists Antoni Muntadas and Marshall Reese. Although television ads were not possible in the 1930s, political campaigners did make good use of cartoons and other film shorts shown before feature films in…

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Artist Préfète Duffaut (1923-2012) Laid to Rest

Repeating Islands


This report appeared in Défend Haiti. Follow link below for the original report and a gallery of Duffaut’s work.

A world renowned Haitian artist, whose work appears in the capital halls of many countries around the world, including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., Préfète Duffaut (1923-2012) had his body laid to rest on Saturday in the presence of many artists and keepers of the Haitian culture.

The funeral one of the “last giants of the arts” in Haiti was held at the Church of King St. Louis of France where Father Lanex Phanor, was spoke of the deceased, saying “the death of a baptized is not an end but a passage.”

Present was the Director of the Museum of the National Pantheon (MUPANAH), Michèle Gardère Frisch, and painter Philippe Dodard, director of the National School of Arts (ENARTS), who for their part, both praised the exceptional originality of…

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Amara West 2012: the life-story of a pot

British Museum blog

A large vessel (C4460) found buried in the floor of house E13.8Marie Millet, British Museum

The Amara West team is now beginning to finalise plans for its next excavation season, in January and February 2013. In recent months, we’ve been digitising our field documentation (drawings, plans, maps …), which has allowed us to reconstruct biographies for objects found during our excavations earlier this year. This work is shedding light on life at the town of Amara West, the principal administrative centre of Upper Nubia during the Ramesside Period, at the end of the second millennium BC.

One object in particular caught my attention: a large vessel (C4460) buried in the floor of house E13.8. This single object enables us to tell a chapter in the story of “House of Ramesses-ruler-of-Thebes”, as Amara West was called in ancient times.

House E13.8 was excavated last season by Tom Lyons and Shadia Abdu Rabu, between the enclosure wall and house E13.3. It was…

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“Voces: Framing Narratives” at the Museo del Barrio

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Voces: Framing Narratives

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center

175 East 104th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Ave)

Admission: Free

El Museo del Barrio New York and the Brooklyn Historical Society are organizing a conversation that explores the history of Puerto Rican communities in 1970s New York through photography from the collection of El Museo del Barrio and oral history archives from the Brooklyn Historical Society.

The stories people choose to tell about their lives and their communities shape how we understand the narrative of an individual, neighborhood, or city. How does the process of documentation shape the stories as they are captured and preserved in film, audio recordings, and other media; how does that documentary legacy shape our view of the past and our understanding of our neighborhoods today?

Explore these questions and more with Roger Cabán (photographer and…

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Art Exhibition: “Kafou—Haiti, Art and Vodou”

Repeating Islands

The Nottingham Contemporary is hosting a major exhibition, “Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou,” from October 20, 2012 to January 6, 2013 in Nottingham (next to the Lace Market Tram Stop) in Nottiinghamshire County, England. Related events to be held at the art center are “Vodou: Lineaments of the Lwa” a presentation by Leah Gordon (October 23, 2012) and “The Zombie Metaphor,” talk and screening by John Cussans (November 6, 2012).

Description: We present a major exhibition of Haitian art, the UK’s first for many years. Nearly 200 paintings, sculptures and sequin flags by 35 artists from the 1940s to the present day trace the representation of Vodou, reflecting Haiti’s historical experience through the supernatural.

Haiti is especially known for the art of its urban and rural poor. The label “naive” has often been applied to it, but doesn’t do it justice. The imaginative power and visual intricacy of…

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