Difficult Conversations

archer_Difficult Conversations

Editor for this British Council series of digital publications

In April 2017, the British Council’s then Caribbean Arts Manager, Annalee Davis, reached out to ask if I’d be interested in writing on Scottish artist Graham Fagen’s visit to Trinidad under a British Council programme, and possibly managing a related digital publication. The three-part project had been conceived to revisit the challenging subject of the transatlantic slave trade and the UK’s role therein, via contemporary responses by British and Caribbean artists to Fagen’s installation, The Slave’s Lament, which featured Ghetto Priest and the Scottish Ensemble. At the time, it felt like a bit of a challenge but crucial work, so of course I said yes. I met with Graham while he was here, interviewed him, and helped to take him around on various adventures. I wrote an essay about his time in Trinidad; I called it “Difficult Conversations,” which would eventually become the title of the overall programme.

After managing that first catalogue for the Barbados/Trinidad leg, I was brought onboard for the catalogues for the second leg – the “We Have Met Before” exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica – and the third leg – “We Suffer to Remain” at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Although the project ended with a bit of controversy, I remain honoured to have worked with such talented and brilliant people throughout the Caribbean and in the UK.

SUMMARY | Role: Editor
Designer: Kriston Chen
Writers: Difficult Conversations: Therese Hadchity, Melanie Archer; We Have Met Before: Tiffany Boyle, Dr Shani Roper; We Suffer to Remain: Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett, Eddie Chambers, Holly Bynoe, Amanda Coulson
Published: April 2017, September 2017, April 2018

Thumbnail image: Graham Fagen, still from The Slave’s Lament, 2015 © Graham Fagen