COVID: an exhibition to collect our voices in the Caribbean and Diaspora

This collective and virtual exhibition is organised by the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) from April 16, 2021 to November 26, 2021. It brings together 27 Caribbean artists who have been selected to express the consequences of this global Covid-19 epidemic in our region through several artistic disciplines.

Art & Illustration

The aim of this new virtual exhibition is to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic through the eyes of Caribbean artists.

“The COVID pandemic has created an unprecedented moment within our time and its impact has been felt throughout the world. Knowing that artwork can sometimes convey what words cannot, the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) felt that a project allowing regional artists to express this moment through their creativity was essential”, explain the organizers of the exhibition.

Thus, in October 2020, a “MAC Collecting COVID Committee” was set up, composed of artists, curators and museum professionals, including : Amanda Coulson, Tasha Dougé, Rosie Gordon Wallace and Koren Martin, with the great support of colleagues Kara Bledsoe, John Cox, Kassie Edwards, Joanne Hippolyte, Romel Shearer, Natalie Urquehart.

It asked Caribbean artists to participate in this future collective exhibition ; the call for works was issued in five languages of the region so that this project would “brings together voices from across the region to illuminate through creative expression how people in the Caribbean and its Diaspora are living and moving through this crisis”.

Expo Covid - 1

27 artists, 10 territories

Six months later, this beautiful idea has come to fruition through a major Caribbean exhibition entitled “COVID: Collecting Our Voices in the Caribbean & Diaspora”. It will be inaugurated on Friday 16 April 2021 and accessible virtually via the MAC website and will be on view for eight months until November 26, 2021.

This art exhibition will feature works by English, French, Spanish and Dutch speaking Caribbean artists, with the participation of ten countries : the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico and Suriname.

27 artists from four linguistic regions of the Caribbean were selected by a jury : Élie Babel, Céline Bernabé, Errol Ross Brewster, Dede Brown, May Clemente, Francks Deceus, Megan Ehman, Eugene Elira, Kenneth Flijders, Teresa Grimes, David Gumbs, Shaundell Horton, Sri Irodikromo, Jemimah Johnson, Miguel Keerveld, Rinaldo Klas, Erick Ledesma, John Li A Foe, Bruno Métura, Kurt Nahar, Iria Prieto, Sunil Puljhun, Dhiradj Ramsamoedj, Ruddy Marc Roquelaure, Simon Tatum, Rene Tosari, and Wilgo Vijfhoven

These Caribbean artists have expressed themselves through several artistic disciplines : painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, digital artworks, video and sound installations, and writing word.

Expo Covid - 3

A threepart program

“The project is part of MAC’s wider response to the pandemic and its efforts to support the needs of the Caribbean museum sector during this unprecedented time. In April 2020, a MAC survey gauged the needs of Caribbean museums and the subsequently formed MAC COVID-19 Response Committee then developed a program that would address these needs, including short-term strategies (including advocacy, rephased reopening planning, and health and safety in the workplace workshops) and longerterm digital strategies for continued audience engagement and resources that would assist museum and cultural workers in the case of future events of this nature”, explain the event organizers.

The virtual exhibition “COVID: Collecting Our Voices in the Caribbean and its Diaspora” is the final piece of the threepart program of workshops, online resources, and panel discussions, that were provided in three languages. All webinars, projects and resources can be found on the MAC website. “The aim is for the show to also be projected as a digital experience at participating museums and public spaces across the Caribbean and South Florida over the course of the next few months, allowing persons with less digital access the possibility to experience it”, say the organizers.

The project is made possible with support from the Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, the Fundacion 1403, the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB), the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, and the Memorial ACTe.