I Had a Dream of a New Old Caribbean
‘I had a dream of a new old Caribbean’ is a story and collection which dreams up a new origin of afro-Caribbean people by acknowledging our superpowers and decentralizing centuries of suffering from our history. The aim is not to erase our past, but to propose an imagined world to help facilitate new visions for our future. The story evokes pondering on what the superhero spirits’ life was like? What would they wear or what tools would they make? How would they creolize their knowledge to find their way in new lands with new animals and new plants? What would be their individual superpowers and how would they pass them on to us, the current generations?
By trying to answer these questions, I walk the island of Barbados to retrace imaginary steps, swim through their homes, and collect the things they collected. I immerse myself in a world of myth daily while making each piece; a world that allows me to escape the realities and challenges facing afro-Caribbean people socially, economically, environmentally and health-wise. My aim is to give myself new material to run with as I imagine my future and the future of the Caribbean.
Each piece is made using either salt, shell, clay or volcanic ash. These materials represent each spirit from the story and their habitats. The pieces are bold, whimsical, free, fluid and multilayered; this is what I imagine Caribbean superhero spirits to be.
This project is made possible in part by the Cultural Industries Development Fund of the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados.