Putting form and process at the center, the academic Terri Francis and artist Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich discuss Martinican writer Suzanne Césaire’s creative possibilities and intellectual production during the early 1940s. Francis interviews Hunt-Ehrlich about her research, her vision for the construction and experience of Too Bright to See (Part I) at PAMM, and her overall creative approach—especially her collaboration with French actress Zita Hanrot. The conversation was transatlantic, taking place over Zoom, between Paris and New York, highlighting the international links between Martinique, the United States, and France that shape this installation and the intellectual landscape from which it arises.
This interview is part of an ongoing conversation between Claire Tancons and Ronald Cyrille, which began at the Tout-Monde Festival in Miami in March 2018. It was followed-up by a virtual visit on December 9, 2020, to his studio at the Mémorial ACTe (MACTe) in Guadeloupe during his residency there (November 2020 – March 2021) in partnership with the Pérez Art Museum Miami’s Caribbean Cultural Institute. The conversation will continue as Ronald is preparing for his upcoming exhibition Génésis: Mythologies individuelles.
Fascinated by the history of his native country, Viktor El-Saieh draws from the folklore, myths, traditions, and political leaders that shape Haitian culture. In this conversation, he speaks about his artistic beginnings, the development of his career, his relationship with Caribbean art, his interest in interrogating Haiti’s role in the Americas, and in defining his own as an artist.
Juan Carlos Alom is one of Cuba’s most notable experimental photographers and filmmakers. He explores the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of everyday life, highlighting often-overlooked aspects of Cuban culture through compelling imagery and non-linear, spontaneous visual narratives. Inspired by the aesthetics and tradition of the 1960s documentary cinema in Cuba, Alom’s oeuvre addresses Afro-Cuban traditions, spirituality and nature, and Caribbean diasporic experience from a poetic and metaphorical perspective.
An artist from the Bahamas, April Bey creates impactful and colorful works that address race, identity, feminism and popular culture through a multidisciplinary approach. Inspired by Afrosurrealism and Afrofuturism, Bey’s artistic practice explores the complexities of American and Bahamian cultures through a decolonizing perspective. She uses references from pop culture deliberately, leveraging them to illustrate her own personal mythologies.
Barbadian visual artist Ewan Atkinson discusses his creative process and the invisible microorganisms that inhabit the evolving fictional world, The Neighbourhood. This conversation developed in the context of a Caribbean Cultural Institute research trip to Barbados in March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic quarantine phase.
Puerto Rico-based dancer and performance artist nibia pastrana santiago develops site-specific “choreographic events” to experiment with time, fiction, and notions of territory. In this conversation, nibia speaks about idleness, exhaustion, corporal vandalism, and the tensions between bodies and space in times of global pandemic.
Phillip Thomas is an artist living in Jamaica. His striking paintings depict Black imagery that reflect the discourses on social justice that affects Black communities in the Caribbean and across the world. Drawing from the complex history of race in Jamaica, and referencing classical motifs in Western painting, Thomas creates surreal or dreamlike images in which Black bodies are depicted with honor and beauty.