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The crime problem in The Bahamas the last few years has been well documented. We often refer to victims of violent crime when discussing the issue, but property crime victims suffer too.
"They took everything," Archdeacon I. Ranfurly Brown told The Nassau Guardian of a break-in Friday at his Blue Hill Heights home. He said the break-in happened between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
According to Brown, the intruders entered through a window and took jewelry and electronics. His son was unharmed, even though the thieves took his computer out of his room as he slept.
"We have to get these politicians to be more honest about the reality of the intensity of this criminal attitude and element in this country," said Brown, "not to talk about the high profile crimes only, but the crimes that are affecting the poor man, the middle man, the man who is struggling to provide for his family and somebody could just come in and take everything."
Last June, the offices of St. Agnes Anglican Church, Brown's church, were ransacked and a safe with important documents and money was stolen.
The thieves entered through a northern window of the building by breaking the panes and cutting the iron security bars, Brown said at the time.
Housebreaking increased in 2011 by three percent from 2010. Last year 3,237 cases of housebreaking were recorded. The number of recorded cases of housebreaking has risen significantly the last five years. There were 2,531 cases in 2007. There has been a 27.9 percent increase in the crime from the 2007 figure to that recorded last year.
The overwhelming majority of these cases occur in New Providence. Last year there was an eight percent increase in housebreaking in New Providence with 2,340 cases recorded -- nearly more than the cases of the crime recorded in the entire country in 2007.
While burglary and shopbreaking cases last year decreased nationally and in New Providence, thieves seem to be focusing their efforts on daytime break-ins at residences.
As a public figure, Brown told his story of frustration. But the voices of many victims of property crimes are not heard when thieves take what they worked for.
Property crimes affect more people than violent crime. Of the main categories of crime recorded annually, there were 1,860 cases of violent crime and 10,262 cases of property crime in 2011. The largest increase in this category was stealing from a vehicle, which increased by 47 percent nationally -- 42 percent in New Providence and by 99 percent in Grand Bahama.
We must continue to ensure that adequate resources and attention are focused on non-violent crimes. On the response side of the problem, this may mean increased sentences for offenders and the further dedication of police and prosecutorial resources.
As a society, we must not condone stealing. This means that families should not turn a blind eye to relatives who steal. They should be turned in to police. Residents should also give support to area crime watch associations. We all have a role to play.
Bell bottom pants, desk top computers, brick cellphones, 8-track cassette tapes and VHS tapes all relevant in their day have become obsolete in today's technologically advanced society where most people are willing to shell out top dollar on skinny jeans, lap tops and tablets, Blackberry phones, compact discs and DVDs, but some religious leaders say one thing that should never be lost to the passage of time and technology is the relevance and timeliness of God's word-- especially those words He imparted in the Ten Commandments.
The 10 simple laws that God set out for all His believers to follow are the most famous laws given to mankind. They are:
o I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; do not have any other gods before Me.
o You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
o You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
o Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
o Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
o You shall not murder.
o You shall not commit adultery.
o You shall not steal.
o You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
o You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
These 10 Commandments given to Moses by God to be followed by His people, were precious and revered centuries ago -- today, many people barely give them a second thought -- much less wonder what these laws really mean in the twenty-first century.
The first commandment found in Exodus 20: 2-3, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; do not have any other gods before me," is probably the simplest yet most neglected of the laws given to man, according to some ministers of the Word.
Bishop Ros Davis, senior pastor at Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries, says today's society is in much need of a refresher on this important commandment. As simple and straightforward as it is, he says many people still find themselves not fully understanding and straying from fully embracing this law.
"While not everyone in the world is Christian, those of us who are should fully understand this first essential Commandment. He is the Lord thy God and we shall have no other gods before Him He declares. This is a powerful yet simple law which says so much. God is powerful, omnipresent, omnipotent. He is the beginning and the end. He is the Creator. He is the savior and the merciful one. We should acknowledge Him and worship Him as He deserves. There very well may be other gods, but they are lesser and have not the power of our God. He should be worshipped. However, I believe that most Christians do follow this law but many of us tend to put other things before God especially in these times of easy prosperity and wealth."
Bishop Davis says idols do not just mean stone structures or temples built to a deity and that an idol could be a car that you clean religiously, or that television show that you put everything aside to watch, yet cannot make and effort to get up in the morning to pray, or go to church for that hour or two at least once a week.
"It may be things in our lives we want so much we do all in our power to get it. We pray for it and promise this and that for it, yet once we have it, we forget all we promised and worship it. We dote over it and act crazy if anything happens to it."
Bishop Davis says that this is a form of worship, especially if we see the material things as such a big part of your life that it becomes a real problem and violates the first commandment.
Pastor Jay Simms, senior pastor at Christian Life Church, says the first commandment is just as relevant today as the time it was given to us.
"Like all the other Commandments I feel that the first one is very relevant to what is going on today in the world. This particular Commandment being the first in the order of the Commandments is important. In some places it even adds God stating "I am a jealous God" which puts more emphasis on this. In fact, it is clear that this Commandment is an important one because in the New Testament, Jesus says to His disciples that the Commandments can be condensed and the greatest Commandment of all is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul. Of course, once again, God does not want us to be divided in our allegiance which is why He set this law. In the Old Testament His people, the children of Israel often times found themselves having other gods, so He said thou shall have no other gods before Me."
As this law relates to the Christians of today, Pastor Simms says there are people who break the first command by practicing idolatry and worshipping other gods. He says people break the first Commandment when they place personal desires, work, family and even friends before God.
Pastor Simms says although many people do not see it, God says that anything people put before Him becomes an idol and is a clear act of disobedience to the first Commandment.
Although many of us do not see it, He says that anything that we put before God becomes an idol and this is a clear act of disobedience to the First Commandment.
"It is important not to forget this Commandment and let everyday situations come before God. In Proverbs it shows what happens when you do-- the people's hearts become divided and are found faulty. I would tell people who are finding faults in their lives the same thing that Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, 'When you seek thee first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things shall be added unto you.' When the children of Israel after all their trials and troubles remembered to put God first, things went well and the same thing refers to us in the modern world. If we do not put God first, things will not go well with us either."
Bishop Arnold Josey, pastor at Commonwealth Mission Baptist Church, says the First Commandment although simple is probably one of the most powerful of all God's laws for them to follow after they left Egypt.
"As Christians who believe in the one God who came to us through His son Jesus Christ. These are also the Commandments that we should follow. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it," says the bishop. "Whatever you do, wherever you go, you must remember that the Lord your God is the only God. The first commandment, 'I am the Lord your God and you shall have no other gods before me' is a powerful one and a relevant one in that it was the very first one that the Israelites broke when Moses came down the mountain with the tablets the first time.
"They were worshiping an idol and were greatly punished for this. The very fact that this Commandment out of all the others was the first really says a lot. It is a really important one and although simple, should not be lost or forgotten among the others."
Over the next nine weeks, The Nassau Guardian will engage a number of ministers of religion on the topic of the 10 Commandments, as they dissect each one and talk about the relevance of the Commandments to the twenty-first century society.
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
LEON Walker thought he was only validating his suspicions of his wife's affair when he went through her e-mails. But little did he know the possibility of facing five years in prison for snooping existed.
In this potential precedent-setting case which broke late last year, the Michigan man who is also a computer technician is being charged with felony misuse of a computer. Prosecutors in the case argue that Walker illegally hacked into his wife's computer after she filed for divorce.
However, he claims it was relatively easy to get the password to her account because she kept it in book next to her computer. His attorney said claims made b ...
CUSTOM Computers officially launched its annual scholarship in partnership with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, identifying the first winner as student Trevon King.
The announcement was made during an awards ceremony attended by Minister of Education Desmond Bannister at Custom Computers on Cable Beach.
The company's co-owner and marketing director Pia Farmer said the scholarship was offered in memory of Theodore 'Ted' Nutt, a long serving employee who died earlier this year.
Mrs Farmer said the scholarship will be awarded each year to a promising BTVI student in need of financial aid who shows great enthusiasm and facility with computers.
"Custom Computers has ...
Months after its official opening, business at Will & Ives has been doing well, according to the store's owner Kim Gibson.
Gibson told Guardian Business than since opening the Marina Village store on Paradise Island last summer, the women's Juicy Couture line and the men's Diesel line have been a hit with local and international shoppers.
"We carry the Juicy Couture line for women and the Diesel line for men. However, we have received so many requests to carry those female Diesel jeans that we have decided to do so," she explained.
She said that clothing line will be available in the store by summer.
Gibson said she believes the store caters to everyone from the trendy to the conservative person.
"Will & Ives has been a hit with both tourists and Bahamians because our items range from $20 to $300. The truth is, there is something for everyone in Will & Ives," Gibson noted.
She said that business has been good and she is pleased with its progress so far.
Despite the store's current success, Gibson admitted to Guardian Business that the store has already seen its share of economic challenges, first with financing and then fraud. Two tourists, a man and a woman, bought items using a stolen credit card and also charged merchandise to their room.
"Although we were disappointed about the fraud by the two tourists, we didn't let that deter us. We took a great risk in opening a business during this time considering it's a recession," she said.
"However, we are committed to offering exciting and fashionable clothing and accessories along with giving excellent customer service."
To date, more than $200,000 has been invested into the store and has six employees.
The Will & Ives store carries the Juicy Couture line and the Diesel line for men.
In the Juicy Couture line, Will & Ives sells the infamous tracksuits, handbags, wallets, clothing, jewelry, fragrances, hair accessories, shoes and watches, along with a kids section with jewelry for girls, including lunch bags, fun notebooks, scented pencils, pencil cases and girls handbags, iPhone covers, ear buds, laptop covers and other computer accessories.
In the Diesel line, the store carries men's jeans, shirts, shoes, underwear (boxers), wallets, belts, caps, men's bags and watches.
Gibson further noted that there are no plans for expansion just yet, but she is definitely open to it in the future.
In the meantime, Gibson said the store is getting ready to unveil its brand new shipment for spring with items such as earrings, jeans, t-shirts, wallets, shoes, belts and watches.
"For spring, we have fantastic handbags, tracksuits in beautiful spring colors, the new line of Juicy Couture jewelry that is very affordable with earrings starting as low as $50. We have a brand new shipment of Diesel clothing for men in for spring also," she added.
Winnipeg, MB, CANADA
- What do Botswana, Afghanistan, Peru and Moldova have in common? These
are some of the sites receiving computers from NYGÅRD, the globally
based company with an innovative approach to technology. North America's
premier fashion house is living up to its mandate, "Where Fashion Meets
Technology," by donating 10 computer monitors, 12 keyboards, 20
switches, and a server chassis complete with server blades to schools in
The opportunity to
make a donation that combined education and technology was fortuitous
since Peter Nygård is a strong proponent of education. Recently, he
personally donated $10,000 to a Bahamian youth camp where 200 children
will build on their self-esteem and learn to avoid participating in gang
THE BAHAMAS Pharmacy Council's chairman last night told Tribune Business that the case which saw a Bahamas pharmacist paid $4,000 a month for the use of his company's name and licence to export illegal prescription drugs into the US is "unlikely to occur" under current laws.
Barbara Henderson, responding to this newspaper's report yesterday, said the Pharmacy Act 2009 was developed "in part as a response to this case" and she added that the Council was seeking to further strengthen laws on the import/export of pharmaceutical products in the Bahamas.
The Sew 'N' Sew Quilters Exhibition opens Tuesday, October 8, 6-9 p.m. at Doongalik Studios. For more information, call 394-1886.
An exhibition, featuring new works by Zena Burland, at the "North Winds" property on Orange Hill opens Saturday, October 5, 1-9 p.m. Also featured will be the artwork of Leroy McLean. Refreshments will be served.
The Gallery at Old For Bay presents A Two Day Art Extravaganza on Friday, October 11, 4-6 p.m. and Saturday, October 12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Featured artists include Amos Ferguson, Anthony 'Big Mo' Morley, Antonius Roberts, James Bethel, Catherine Armstrong, Lisa Quinn, Kevin Cooper, Trevor Tucker, Natty Chenng, Nicola Angelica, Sharon Mould, Ann Morley, Imogene Walkine, Theo Tavoussis and Judith Papillon. For more information, call 242-377-7001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Feel The Rhythm", new works by Nadine Seymour-Munroe, continues at Hillside House on Cumberland Street.
"Shakespeare in Paradise Celebrates five years of Poster Art: 2009-2013" continues at Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts. For more information, visit www.popopstudios.com or shakespeareinparadise.org.
"The Sew 'n' Sew Quilters", an exhibition of quilts, opens Tuesday, October 8, 6-9 p.m. at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery. For more information, call the studio Village Road at 394-1886.
"40 Years of Bahamian Art" continues at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB). For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
"The Bahamian Collection", photographs by Duke Wells, continues at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB). The opening is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.nagb.org.bs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 328-5800/1.
"Master Artists of The Bahamas" continues at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Featured artists are John Beadle, Jackson Burnside, Stan Burnside, John Cox, Amos Ferguson, Kendal Hanna, Brent Malone, Eddie Minnis, Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith and Max Taylor. For more information visit www.nagb.org.bs, email email@example.com or call 328-5800/1.
The 5th annual Shakespeare in Paradise Theatre Festival opened Friday, October 4. This year's signature Shakespearean production is "The Shrew", an adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of The Shrew". The signature Bahamian production is E. Clement Bethel's folk opera, "The Legend of Sammie Swain". Also featured will be "Speak the Speech 2" and "d'bi.young anitafrika: The Sankofa Trilogy" as well as the annual Play Reading Series, a dub poetry and drama workshop and a 5th anniversary art exhibition. The festival runs until Saturday, October 12. Tickets can be purchased from the Dundas Box Office 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Saturday, tel: 393-3728. For additional information on Shakespeare in Paradise, visit shakespeareinparadise.org or www.facebook.com/ShakespeareInParadise.
Shakespeare in Paradise will host a dub poetry/drama workshop on the sorplusi method, in conjunction with the "d'bi.young anitafrika: The Sankofa Trilogy" production on Saturday, October 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration is $50 and $25 for students. For additional information, visit shakespeareinparadise.org or www.facebook.com/ShakespeareInParadise.
The School of English Studies at The College of The Bahamas will host the 32nd annual West Indian Literature Conference, under the theme "Multiple Textualities: Imagining the Caribbean Nation". The West Indian Literature Conference Writing Workshops include "Publishing in Caribbean Studies" with Cathie Brettschneider, "Short Fiction Workshop" with Robert Antoni and "Writing for Film Workshop" with Kareem Mortimer. To reserve a space, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cob.edu.bs/conferences/wilc2013.php.
Gaulin Project Online Writing Workshops will be offered by Helen Klonaris for Fall 2013. "Writing Down a Life: Beginning a Memoir" runs October 11 - November 29. Additionally, "Remembering Ourselves: Healing Our Colonial Legacy", a day-long retreat will run October 12, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. To register, email email@example.com
The Nassau Music Society presents award-winning pianist Ah Ruem Ahn in concert on Saturday, October 5, 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Kirk, and Sunday, October 6, 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay. Box offices are now open at Custom Computers, Cable Beach; Logos Bookstore, Harbour Bay, and Chapter One Bookstore, Oakes Field. For more information, visit www.nassaumusicsociety.org.
Islandz, having acquired Downtown Art Tours, offers its Islandz Gallery Hop tours, examining art spaces downtown on Saturdays. Tickets are $20 per person for the two-hour tour. For more information or to book tickets, call 601-7592 or visit Islandz online at www.islandzmarket.com.
Tru Bahamian food tours offers a "Bites of Nassau" food tasting and cultural walking tour to connect people with authentic local food items, stories and traditions behind the food and the Bahamians that prepare and preserve them, through a hands-on, interactive, educational tour and culinary adventure. Tickets are $69 per person, $49 for children under 12. Tours are everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at the British Colonial Hilton and ending at Tortuga Rum Cake Company. For more information visit www.trubahamianfoodtours.com.
Call for works
Princess Azamat 'Bo' Guirey invites Bahamian artists and resident artists to submit work to be showcased in Art International 2014, opening March 14 at Guaranty Trust Bank in Lyford Manor, Western Road. For more information and to submit your work, please contact Princess Bo Guirey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Blue Curry's solo show at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden gallery in Weisbaden, Germany, viewers are dropped into a strange space. Tropical signifiers like conch shells are paired with strobe lights or tires covered with black and white beans, and in every untitled sculpture lies a possibility of meaning, if only the complete misuse of these paired objects could be reconciled.
"Sometimes I look at that object and think, I know what the use of that object is; what would be the best misuse of it, or the most genius misuse of it?" Blue says.
"Stranger than Paradise" is a collection of two years of work by the artist, which came on the heels of his finished MFA in Fine Art studies at Goldsmiths. The Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden Gallery is no stranger, however, to Bahamian work -- in 2006, it was the site of "Funky Nassau", the group show by Bahamian artists, including Blue. Curators Elke Gruhn and Sara Stehr invited him back for a solo show years later, and also to take part in the gallery's educational program, where Blue guided and gave critical advice to high school students' artwork for a student show in the gallery space.
Some of Blue's pieces have appeared in group shows already -- his black and white beaded tire can seen in the Fifth National Exhibition at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, and the cement mixer filled with sunscreen appeared in the 6th Liverpool Biennial -- but this is the first time all of these pieces have appeared in one exhibition together. He considers it his first solo show as a mature artist -- it's his first solo show in roughly a decade.
"One thing I said to my curator is 'I think my work looks better in group shows'," he laughs. "Just in a funny way initially, because I hadn't seen so much of my stuff together in such a long time. Many times one of my pieces would work really well in a group show because it sits apart, really apart, whether its in materials or colors or critical thinking, it's usually a jarring effect. But when you walk into here it's not so jarring as what I'm used to, and I'm walking around thinking wow, this stuff goes well together."
The effect instead is exactly the show's title -- bizarreness, an environment of both fantasticality and weirdness. From the get-go, visitors first encounter a black bucket placed upside-down on the floor, three shells stuck on in a triangle so one can discern a blackface figure.
"It really divides opinion because I think people get so frustrated with it because it's too easy. I'm fully aware of how easy that piece is, and that's why I put it there, so people can walk in and say 'well I can make that', and then walk into the next room and say, 'ok, I can't make that.' Something that involved five minutes of labor gets placed next to the tires that involve months and months of labor. Also the bucket is understated, while others are very overstated. I like to play back and forth with that. With the knowledge I have about the art world, the knowledge I have of artwork, it can be both ways, sometimes it can be that simple and brilliant, and sometimes it has to be more complex and hundreds of hours to execute."
But this piece especially -- like all of them in their own ways -- is a nod to the encounter, as well as the performance, of "the other," the identity constructed by both visitors and residents to create the idea of "paradise." In all of Blue's pieces this self-constructed environment is evident -- conch shells strung together with strobe lighting within allude to the "lighting of the stage" of our performance, as well as attempts to jazz up the novelty of the tropical landscape -- for he plays with the idea of the fetishized objects that make up the culture of the other. He calls it "performing the tropical."
"We're still marketing the other, we're still marketing the black body, the potential of some sexual rendezvous or encounter with the other," he explains. "There's still a dependency on that performance we're doing for people who already have set ideas, you can't work outside of that, so you recycle the same old clichés over and over again. So my thesis idea (at Goldsmiths) is that everything has to go post-tropical because the tropical are just all of those clichés and everything that limit us. My idea of going post-tropical goes beyond using those set tropes that are expected of us."
Blue's pieces both engage and resist this performance at once in his very choice of materials -- pairing familiar tropical signifiers with unlikely candidates that become a misuse of both. Take his spears surrounded by the inner diskettes of floppy disks. Though a stunning and beautiful object in itself (also untouchable with the sharp edges of both objects, indicating some sinister or edgy element), it alludes to the idea that such developing cultures primitively misuse such technological material for decorative or crafty "folk art" purposes.
"You just have to imagine, if I were in one of the 'primitive' societies in which we advertise that we live in, how would I approach this material? Because obviously we don't have any computers," he says. "I feel like I'm simplifying the process a lot, so I look at the material and I think, it's just material, so you use it in a kind of decorative way to create this fetishized object."
Blue also admits he is also concerned with the very nature/technology divide, and finds such magnetic media beautiful as a material to work with -- one may remember seeing images of his piece in the Goldsmiths graduate show where yards and yards of cassette tape pour from the great bone jaw of a shark suspended in the air, cascading down and piling onto the floor below. The very choice of the type of technological material used though -- floppy disks, cassette tape -- allude also to an obsolescence that ties back into the assumption that only such underdeveloped societies on the fringe of the developed world use these outdated materials.
"I was collecting those diskettes from markets around London and when an office was going out of business. But I found that in order to have three thousand discs, a lot of material for the piece, I needed to buy some," Blue remembers. "I found a wholesaler in London selling them and his argument was that he couldn't go too far down in his prices because he sells these to Nigeria. So he wants me to believe Africans are still using technology that's so out of date it's ridiculous. So these obsolete materials also connect back in to what's expected of us."
A humor is being cultivated here -- how many times have Bahamians traveled abroad and been asked if they use computers or have Internet or even wear clothes "where they are from"? Though some of these statements may be made in jest, the manifestation in the world consciousness that--despite rapid and almost complete globalization -- these tropical or "primitive" societies remain in "The Heart of Darkness" is evident of a constructed fantasy that persists today.
This is something Blue examines in his piece where black plastic buoys are ringed in Swarovski crystals, again bringing together two unlikely worlds -- industrial and luxurious -- to create a manifestation of tropical society and the veil of fantasy that is applied to such places as vacation destinations "to escape it all," as well as the idea of "selling ourselves cheap."
"There's an intentional cheapness about this world which goes back to creating an image," Blue explains. "Fantasies can operate over those images no matter how cheaply they are constructed. So a lot of this stuff is about other people's fantasies of these places, because some of these places these objects are ironic of don't even exist."
But in all of Blue's sculptures, there's a uselessness -- none of these objects are entirely useful for anything practical. One can't use the spears to fish or use in a computer. One can't use the buoys for their boat or wear them around their neck. They become the very uselessness evident in our constructed identities, and exist also in the limbo many residents of such places find themselves -- between the outdated perceived notion of the tropical and its stark modern reality.
The fact that all of Blue's pieces are "Untitled" create this very unstable environment explored -- he provides no guidance with which to approach his work, which allows the viewer to approach it with all of their preconceived notions about paradise and apply it. Blue recognizes that this is where it is evident viewers either buy into the fantasy, or move beyond it, as his pieces do.
"To have some sort of a contrived title which leads somebody into one direction or one way of understanding doesn't work for me. I'd like people to try and connect the materials, to try to get their own understanding of it," he says. "To me, the most interesting art opens up a space where I've never been before and I'm not being told what to think and I don't know what to think but I like it. The two dots never quite join up, and that's the most interesting space to be. If a title names what you're looking at, then you've got all the answers. If it goes off into this mysterious land completely off the wall, then it's too self-indulgent. My response for the moment is to keep it open and people can take what they want from it."
But at the same time, Blue recognizes that the danger of his pieces lie in their very ambiguity. Displaying such pieces abroad means the visitor--once they know the artist is from The Bahamas -- may not fully move beyond their assumptions.
"What they do is they come and see something that they think is highly decorative and emblematic of what you might find from that region and then they walk away -- then you have people who understand that there's a critical background to my work, who know I studied and Goldsmiths, that I do that with a great deal of knowledge," he says. "It works in my favor and it works against me; some people get it and some people don't. I shoot myself in the foot sometimes with the work in an odd way because I know that what I'm talking about is that very perception -- you put it in front of someone and either they rise to that challenge and they understand that idea is being challenged, or they think it just reinforces that idea."
Is there a longing for the absolute idea of the primitive? Is there a resentment? A pride? The fact is, Blue applies little emotional guidance in his work as possible as an artist -- his approach is to focus on materials at hand rather than their connotations, to play with familiar objects in unfamiliar ways and let that object take on the meaning implied by such relationships and the mindset of the viewer. There's a disproportionate amount of responsibility placed on the viewer here -- but perhaps that's how it should be. Few Caribbean artists are carrying the torch abroad, and until the world can get comfortable with a wide range of artistic work coming out of this region that critically examines our place in the world, no one will reach the post-tropical he speaks about. Like those two dots that never meet, those two objects that never reconcile, paradise exists in a detached space. So perhaps the real question you must face before viewing his work is this: What is paradise? And are you there yet?
Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage yesterday tabled the breakdown of costs associated with the January 28, 2013 gambling referendum, but brushed off a request by Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis that the government table the costs of payments to consultants it hired ahead of that poll.
"There were no consultants of which I am aware, not hired by my ministry or the Parliamentary Registration Department for the referendum," said Nottage in response to Minnis.
"That did not happen. Nobody has questioned me about that now, but this is politics...but we are not in that game. We are about governing the country."
The government engaged the foreign consultants to advise it on gambling before taking the issue to a referendum.
The document Nottage tabled by Nottage, shows that the January referendum cost $155,007.05 less than the projected $1,393,100 that the treasurer approved for the process.
The document from the Parliamentary Registration Department, which was stamped on September 11, 2013, shows that the referendum on web shop gaming and a national lottery cost the government $1,238,092.95.
This confirms the figure that Nottage gave on Monday regarding the referendum cost.
The referendum's largest expenditures were: $586,600 for payment to electoral officials in New Providence; $254,246.98 for the "transfer of funds to Family Island administrators" and $123,060 for the transfer of funds to Freeport.
Other items were a $27,354 expenditure for "computer paper for printing registers", $42,030 for an estimated payment to the Royal Bahamas Police Force; $18,400 for a charter bus to transport ballot boxes and $18,630 to charter the ballot boxes by plane.
The document notes that $42,012.97 was spent on the overseas advanced poll with $23,385.97 of that figure spent on "subsistence, accommodation, transportation and incidentals and $18,627 on plane tickets".
Last week, Nottage told reporters that the referendum cost "around $5 million".
That figure drew criticism from the Free National Movement (FNM) and the party called on the government to account for the expense.
On Monday, Nottage released a statement, saying he "inadvertently" released the wrong figure for the referendum.
He corrected himself and said the actual cost was $1,238,092.95.
Yesterday, Nottage said he was driven to table the document outlining the costs after Leader of the Opposition Dr. Hubert Minnis said he did not believe that the minister made a mistake when he said the vote cost $5 million.
"I promised to do this and I need to do it because the leader of the opposition said that he didn't believe it when I gave the corrected figure for the cost of the holding of the referendum," Nottage told the House.
"And I guard my integrity very closely, Mr. Speaker, I've been in and out of Parliament since 1987, Mr. Speaker, and like George Washington [would] say, I never told a lie in Parliament."
Other costs include: $34,000 for the transfer of funds to Marsh Harbour, Abaco.
$31,831 for the transfer of funds to oversees missions/embassies.
$10,268 for hosting of a workshop for Family Island administrators.
$3,010 for subsistence to administrators attending workshop.
$950 for a rental hall for election officials' meetings .
$19,510 for ballot paper.
$8,606 for publication of election notices.
$1,525 for rental of Kendal Isaacs Gym for advanced poll .
$430 for rental of tables and chairs for advanced poll.
$1,279 for shipment of election supplies.
$1,750 for transporting ballot boxes to Family Islands.
$8,985 for binders for registers.
$700 for breakfast for election officials.
$2,915 for miscellaneous supplies (tea supplies, badges, labels, stamps, paint and wrapping paper).