Challenge social injustice with your art
Our Caribbean region, rich in history, diversity, and creativity, has witnessed the remarkable ability of the visual and performing arts to mirror societal challenges and catalyse positive change. Our unique culture has indubitably played a pivotal role in reshaping societies and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusivity.
Fashioned by the legacies of colonialism, enslavement, and cultural fusion, the Caribbean offers a rich tapestry of narratives and identities. This complex history has laid the foundation for artistic expressions that both reflect the struggles of the past and propel aspirations for a better future.
As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the arts, we find ourselves at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. It is within this dynamic intersection that we discover new avenues for expression, and it is our duty to navigate them with wisdom, courage, and integrity.
Throughout history, we have witnessed how the arts have transcended borders, spoken languages unspoken, and fostered connections among diverse communities. The canvas, the stage, the notes, and the words – they all hold within them the potential to ignite dialogue, inspire empathy, and provoke reflection.
Caribbean artistes have boldly used their art to challenge social injustices; confront themes of identity, colonisation, and post-colonialism, which continue to echo in our bones; they have engaged with issues of race, identity, spirituality, and inequality, presenting a mirror to the realities faced by marginalised communities.
Through their art, Caribbean creators prompt dialogue on crucial issues that demand transformation.
The faculty, students and graduates of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts must not only locate themselves in the dialogue, but we must be enablers and drivers of such transformation, reaffirming; reclaiming; and in some instances, reframing our Caribbean cultural identity within the context of present realities, but invariably, through the prism of arts education.
As a literary artiste, I’d like to think that the purpose of art is not to exist in isolation within the realm of the artistic community but to engage with and reflect the broader human experience.
I’d like to think that our art should resonate with people’s lives, emotions, and issues. It should be a medium through which individuals can connect, reflect, and engage with the world around them.
Through reflection and introspection, we, as artistes and art educators, have the unique privilege and responsibility to shape narratives, challenge norms, and ultimately drive positive change.
Dorette R Campbell
Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts