New exhibition explores Jamaica through the lens

Eye-catching photographs of Jamaica since the 1800s, including postcard-like scenes captured by Dundee company Valentine & Sons, will go on display at the University of Dundee this weekend.

The Moving Jamaica: Scottish-Caribbean Connections and Local-Global Journeys exhibition contrasts photographs taken in the 19th Century with those taken by contemporary photographers, Varun Baker and Stephen McLaren.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 20 October, as part of the University’s Festival of the Future.

“Valentine & Sons was one of the world’s largest photographic companies and sent photographers around the world to create images for postcards. It’s fascinating to contrast their views of Jamaica with those of today,” said Dr Susan Mains, a lecturer in Geography at the University and curator of the exhibition.

“While Valentine & Sons images have played an important role in promoting tourist destinations – they contrast sharply with the photos of Scottish photographer Stephen McLaren, whose series Jamaica - A Sweet Forgetting unearths the often hidden, but interwoven legacies of slavery in Jamaica and Scotland.”

Accompanying the historic images are those of Jamaican photographer Varun Baker, who explores the relationship between multiculturalism and mobility in modern-day Jamaica in his series Journey, providing a personal tour through the current urban island landscapes of the country.

Alongside the photos, research materials from the internationalCaribbean In/Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean (CARISCC) project will also be on display.  CARISCC is aninterdisciplinary research network of seven leading universities in Caribbean Studies, including the Universities of Dundee, Leeds, Glasgow in the UK, The University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Brock University in Canada, Rutgers University in the USA, and the University of the West Indies (Mona) in Jamaica.

Moving Jamaica: Scottish-Caribbean Connections and Local-Global Journeys will run until Saturday 19 January 2019.

The exhibition has been created in partnership with the University of Dundee Museum Services, the Photographic Collections at the University of St Andrews Library Special Collections and the CARISCC Network. Additional support has been generously provided by the Geography programme, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee and the Leverhulme Trust.