Moving Jamaica: Scottish-Caribbean Connections and Local-Global Journeys

Images from the Moving Jamaica exhibition

Lamb Gallery, Tower Building

University of Dundee

19 October 2018 – 19 January 2019

Mon-Fri 09.30-19.00 Sat 13.00-17.00

(closed for Christmas vacation 22 Dec – 2 Jan)

Travel and photography are key components of how we represent, learn about, and experience places. This exciting exhibition of unique historical and contemporary photographs provides a rare opportunity to explore past, present and future cultural landscapes of Jamaica and their Scottish connections.  For the first time, the work of 19th-century Dundee-based photographers, Valentine & Sons, as well as images held in the University of St Andrews-based Maitland Dougall Collection, will be presented alongside the recent work of internationally acclaimed photographers, Varun Baker (Jamaica) and Stephen McLaren (Scotland). While visual images, such as those by Valentine & Sons, have historically played an important role in promoting tourist destinations, the exhibition highlights that they run in parallel to more complex, dynamic and revealing stories.

Baker’s visually striking work ‘Journey’ – also on display at the National Gallery of Jamaica – provides a personal story that takes us through urban island landscapes and the daily negotiations of those forthrightly facing physical and social challenges.

McLaren’s poignant images from ‘Jamaica - A Sweet Forgetting’ – exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – unearth the often hidden, but interwoven legacies of slavery in Jamaica and Scotland.

These visual stories are accompanied by complementary research materials from the Caribbean In/Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean (CARISCC) Network mobile exhibition.

In the current climate of Instagram viewpoints, Twitter stories and travel blogs, it is worth noting that a desire to capture places is not new, but is part of longstanding attempts to represent our relationships to people and places in particular ways. This exhibition illustrates the importance of how we understand diverse mobilities of people while paying attention to perspectives that are often left outside the frame.

Curated by Dr Susan P Mains (Geography, University of Dundee), in collaboration with the University of Dundee Museum Services, the Photographic Collection at the University of St Andrews Library Special Collections and the CARISCC Network.

Additional support generously provided by the Geography programme, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee and The Leverhulme Trust.

Special Event

Tuesday 15 January, 6-7.30pm

Tracing Transatlantic Movements: Atlantic Journeys and Scottish-Caribbean Connections in Conversation

This is an exciting interdisciplinary panel discussion, which takes the exhibition as a starting point for further creative discussions about transatlantic identities, images and spaces. Recent debates revaluating Scottish involvement in Caribbean slavery, and contemporary discussions addressing the possibilities for transatlantic cultural and political collaboration, highlight the importance of documenting and engaging with diverse geographies and histories. Panellists will be discussing Caribbean-Scottish connections by exploring whose voices are heard, which journeys are mapped, and the role of art in enabling new understandings of people and place.

The presenters include artist Graham Fagen (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), Peggy Brunache (School of Humanities), Michael Morris (School of Humanities) and Carolyn Scott (independent sound/video artist). The panel will be chaired by Susan P Mains and commences with a short introduction to the Moving Jamaica exhibition in the Lamb Gallery, followed by short presentations and panel discussion in the adjacent Baxter Suite (room 1.36). Each panellist will outline the innovative and thought provoking ways in which their art and research traces a range of Atlantic stories that illustrate complex social, material and spatial relationships. This will be followed by a discussion with audience members.

The event is free but places should be booked via Eventbrite

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