Culture

Local teacher publishes book to bring greater awareness of history for students

May 25, 2016

High school teacher Audra Tynes has launched her third book entitled "Freedom Fights: The March to Independence," an anthology of stories and poems -- based on some of the major events in the country leading up to independence.

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Cheque Donation for the Grand Bahama Regatta

May 24, 2016

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, on Monday, May 23, made a cheque presentation on behalf of the Government to members of the Grand Bahama Regatta and Homecoming Committee at the Ministry.

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Billboard Music Awards 2016- Complete Winners List

May 23, 2016

The 2016 Billboard Music Awards was star studded as always featuring the best in the music industry. This year's event was quite memorable as well, as the stars paid tribute to Prince and honored Celine Dion winner of the Icon Award, who faced great loss this year with the passing of her husband and brother earlier this year.

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Furthering Bahamian-Haitian solidarity

May 23, 2016

Perry Christie visited Haitian Flag Day celebrations in New Providence a week ago; so did Dr. Hubert Minnis.

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Sands backs GB Regatta and will host National Sculling Championship in Freeport!

May 18, 2016

Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company (BBB) announced last week its support of the 21st Annual Grand Bahama Regatta to be held at Taino Beach, Freeport.

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Wilchcombe considering Minnis suggestion to privatize carnival

May 14, 2016

Days after Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis called for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival to be privatized, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said the move might not be a bad idea.

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A communal effort

May 13, 2016

Opening three new shows recently, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) has been keeping busy preparing its gallery spaces for a fresh wave of visitors.

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No Filter at the distillery

May 13, 2016

Artists Dede Brown and Dylan Rapillard will be joining forces again in the duo's fifth joint exhibition next week.

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Clubs and Societies 05132016

May 13, 2016

The Rotary Club of GB Sunrise is holding its sixth annual cigar night fundraiser on May 14, at the Pelican Bay Hotel.

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Visitors of all backgrounds urged to attend Haitian Flag Day event

May 13, 2016

HAITIAN Flag Day Committee Chairman Robert Dieudonne yesterday urged Bahamians from all backgrounds to participate in this year's Haitian Flag Day Festival, set to take place Saturday at the Botanical Gardens.

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Ramblings of a carnival reveler

May 13, 2016

The sun was scorching, my blood was pumping and yes, I was ready for the road.

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Haitian Flag Day Festival May 14 at the Botanical Gardens

May 13, 2016

The 2016 Haitian Flag Day Festival will occur on Saturday, May 14 at the Botanical Gardens.

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Junkanoo Carnival Regatta to build off initial success

May 11, 2016

Wanda Macon, of Jackson, Mississippi, is in love with The Bahamas. Macon was enjoying the first ever Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Regatta on Friday. She's been visiting the islands since the 1980s.

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Carnival impact report in 'several weeks'

May 11, 2016

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday that a detailed revenue and economic impact report for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival will be completed and made public over the next few weeks.

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Minnis says he would privatize carnival

May 11, 2016

Pointing to continued criticisms that Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is nothing more than a "waste of money", Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said a Free National Movement (FNM) government would privatize the event.

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Fort Charlotte upgrades to improve access and activities at historic site

May 10, 2016

The access point to Fort Charlotte is getting a major facelift as the historic site ramps up programs and activities in time for peak summer traffic.

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Renovations begin to access at Fort Charlotte

May 10, 2016

ACCESS to Fort Charlotte is receiving a major facelift as the historic site ramps up programmes and activities in time for its peak summer traffic.

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Road fever heats up the streets

May 09, 2016

THE Fetish Junkanoo Carnival Company was crowned the winner of the second annual Road Fever Parade, which was hailed as "a step in the right direction" despite being marred by delays and confusion throughout Saturday afternoon.

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On EN MAS'

May 06, 2016

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) recently opened its newest temporary exhibition, EN MAS': Carnival, Junkanoo and Performance Art of The Caribbean. Co-curated by New Orleans-based curator Claire Tancons and Dr. Krista Thompson, professor of art history at Northwestern University, EN MAS' features a body of works exploring the relationship between performance art, street festivals and contemporary art.
EN MAS' has been making the rounds, travelling from New Orleans to the Cayman Islands before coming to the NAGB. Its next stop will be Chicago in the fall.

Carnival's origins
In the Caribbean and throughout its diasporas, street festivals boast strong links to both African and European traditions. Carnival originated as a Catholic festival in Europe that preceded the Lenten season. As European nations staked their claims in the New World, the festival spread; and later, when the slave trade began and heightened, African traditions - like parading in a ring formation - were brought with the enslaved people. We still see this influence surviving today with traditions like ringplay and the two laps Junkanoo groups make each Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
As their masters amused themselves with masquerade balls during the 1700s, slaves, who were familiar with masks for other rituals, began to hold their own 'carnivals' using folklore and imitating the masters' behavior. These gatherings thus became a method of storytelling, subversion, preservation and the expression of culture.

Developing EN MAS'
The origins of public festivals like carnival and Junkanoo have influenced many creatives in the region and among its diasporas, including Tancons, who is from Guadeloupe, and Thompson, a Bahamian.
The EN MAS' curators first met in 2007, when Tancons, while conducting research on Junkanoo, got in touch with Thompson. Thompson's research and her studies on Junkanoo and its connection with contemporary art seemed to align with Tancons' curatorial interests.
In 2009, Tancons conceived of an exhibition that "presented a global outlook onto Carnival worldwide" but still had a "decidedly African diasporic focus with a significant selection of artists from Brazil and the Caribbean". In developing the format for that show, Tancons sought to find the connection between processions and festivals in the Caribbean and Americas and African masquerading practices.
In 2011, Tancons shared her idea with Thompson. Shortly thereafter, Tancons invited Thompson to collaborate on an exhibition that would demonstrate the diversity of artists' practices and responses to performance art and street festival, focusing strictly on the Caribbean region.
Thus, EN MAS': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean was born (its name changed to include Junkanoo for The Bahamas-based exhibition).
Together, Tancons and Thompson compiled a list of nine artists from around the Caribbean who were already experimenting with performance art and carnival through their practices. EN MAS' began with commissioning those artists to do performance works during the 2014 carnival seasons in their respective locations, which included New Orleans for Mardi Gras, London for the Nottingham Carnival and Brooklyn, NY for the West Indian Day Parade and Carnival. The performances involved marches and guided tours; site-specific performances and film. The artists would then produce contemporary artwork using material from the performances to comprise EN MAS'.
Artists included John Beadle (The Bahamas); Charles Campbell (Jamaica); Christophe Chassol (Martinique); Nicolas Dumit Estevez (Dominican Republic); Marlon Griffith (Trinidad); Hew Locke (London, UK); Lorraine O'Grady (Brooklyn, New York); Ebony G. Patterson (Jamaica); and Cauleen Smith (New Orleans, Louisiana). Beadle, an avid Junkanooer and fine artist, presented his performance in 2015, during The Bahamas' inaugural carnival season.
"The works of the invited artists show the diversity of practices and approaches to performance in and of the Caribbean," said Tancons. "The selection of artists is modest in size but ambitious in reach. It does not strive for representation, yet provides a broad overview of the region through the variety of artistic experiences."

Engaging with EN MAS'
As an exhibition, EN MAS' demands some critical thought. Thompson encourages viewers to consider the increasing regulation of Caribbean festivals to engage more fully with the works. The experience of having grassroots festivals like Junkanoo and carnival come under the control of bureaucratic organizations is a commonality many places in the Caribbean share.
"If you're going to Junkanoo now, and you don't have a ticket, what is your experience getting to Bay Street?" asked Thompson. "You can't get to Bay Street without a ticket. There are also police stop points, so if you're a young black male, you can be frisked at any moment. People of my generation have seen that place change from a place you could go and stand in, to having a barricade, to having an arena. Unless you have a ticket, you can't see the parade from that arena at all."
Tancons and Thompson hope that EN MAS' is able to spur conversations across the region, and its travelling to different sites is being done in effort to encourage dialogue.
"Beyond the fact that the works were produced in the Caribbean, it is rather rare that contemporary Caribbean art exhibitions travel [across] the Caribbean," said Tancons, who hopes the show will continue to be hosted at Caribbean sites.
"I think that a part of the exhibition is calling attention to [Junkanoo and carnival] as an aesthetic expression that is as vital and rich as any artistic expression you're going to find anywhere... It's also drawing attention to artistic practices in the region that respond to the local environment. There is this unique experience that we take for granted that informs how people experience art," said Thompson.
EN MAS' is on view at the NAGB until July 10, 2016. For more information on the exhibition or the NAGB, call 328-5800.

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NAGB announces NE8 open call

May 06, 2016

Committed to fostering a healthy creative ecosystem, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas has been offering the biennial national exhibition as a safe space for artistic experimentation since 2003.
Over the years, the exhibitions have become known as themed shows asking artists to respond to a particular subject or concept. For the Eighth National Exhibition (NE8), though, the NAGB will be moving away from themes. The gallery is offering its space as one that invites the individual experience and is now putting out a call for works for the NE8. The NAGB requests proposals of works that explore the ways people manage social change, influence others and are influenced in return, and find meaning in society.
All media and methods of artistic expression are welcome. NAGB Chief Curator Holly Bynoe will be answering questions at a general forum at 5 p.m. at the NAGB on May 19, 2016. For more information, email hbynoe@nagb.org.bs or call 328-5800.

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