• Jon Euwema posted an update in the group Group logo of Creative mind fieldCreative mind field 1 year, 3 months ago

    This abstract presents a lens on the nostalgia of colonial symbolism that remains intact, both hidden and visible, in our Caribbean experience. It focuses on the relation to our heritage, culture, neighbors, visitors and each other.

    By Euwema, St. Thomas 7/10/2020

    It has been said that, “Sometimes history does not let go of you and sometimes you cannot let go of history”. The liberation of a creative consciousness of a people is a phenomenon that only happens in the dissolution of post colonial perspectives and collapse of the principles that are heralded by the ruling class.
    Colonial thinking, once the celebrators of Kings, Queens and Emperors, has only changed to serve the remnant self anointed and politically appointed. The class societies that emerged, have become confused in the difference between tradition & culture and maintains social justification by a criticism formulated within a clique of quasi connoisseurs and amateurs. It is this polarization that is creating a society that is hell bent on its own destruction.
    In this static, is it possible to uncover hidden impulses that have laid latent for a new aesthetic or even “visualization” that answers a social ideal of beauty? And could that vision not be confined by limits and or manipulated by the very foundation of a historical paradigm that suffocates it?
    Post colonial dynamics and its class stratifications created disparities in lifestyles and are conditions that are only adjusted for self serving reasons. With this elitist perspective an “unfortunate” chasm remains, even in post emancipation where the individual is ”free”. It should be remembered that freedom is a dangerous tool, in which, if the liberated people are not debriefed very little will change in hopes of being included in the progress of society as a whole. Without an investment in the total social fabric, the phenomenon ends up morphing into a rampant apathetic acceptance of ”this is the way is and will remain”. Within this the arts only become at best a record keeper of the past and may even lay dormant and loose its true purpose (as we have seen with some carnivals). Even within the adjustments of a new custodian (and the Caribbean region has had many) change comes in very utilitarian ways, usually lacking cultural or environmental sensibilities and does little for the advancement of local ideas. It should be noted that even with the opportunities of self governance do we augment this infrastructure driven by true ideals and vision. This act then remains only an act of a dismantling or disregard that over time erodes the spirit of a people.

    Tourism further exacerbates this act of destruction in which the exploits of assets remain in the hands of few. It is a dangerous industry as it can kill the environment, folk culture, vernaculars and even tourist or in the worst case tourism itself. It can also distort interface for the user and server. Furthermore, over commercialism eliminates any exchange of true stimuli and pressures the response of how we market ourselves even to one another.

    To this avail the real value system of intrinsic attributes and assets remain smothered by the disease of the past by truly eliminating benefit for everyone. It is our need for creative expression, involvement and stake hold that youth needs to mature. Without this, a society does not transform into a power of spiritual health which creates the shared ownership that is the power of a place.
    It should be noted that if this task is only reduced to a creative few, a society will never attain evolution by cycles of their individual deeds. Change needs synergy and has to maintain a critical mass, fundamental to a tipping point. Yes, personal processes can morph a space over time, yet it is the collective psychology that has to be disassembled, and the institutions that sustain it eliminated. In such, the inhabitants will feel empowered to liberate from the convention that constipates them, and elevate to a new level that has never been foretold.
    Interface, graphic, architectural &interior design can create a prism with a spectrum broad enough for a better quality of life in which everyone can bathe, for this the role art and design has to be revolutionary. It has to confront and destruct the remnants of this empty vessel. We should be reminded that culture is a living organism and is represented in the literature, foods, buildings and music we make. It is our creed that needs to be reconstituted so that it is unafraid to represent the cultural memory, heritage and the multiculturalism that uniquely our own. It is art that arouses a new and fantastic way of seeing and being, allowing the viewer to become involved in the creative process itself and not just blindly adopting shifts and trends purported by the newer neo-colonial father. This will birth, for both society and visitor, a take away, the experience of an interactive commerce – the greatest possible effect – and herald a new era.

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