We Suffer to Remain, currently showing at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, is the latest in the Difficult Conversations series of exhibitions. They began as a way for the British Council, through the work of Scottish artist Graham Fagen, to explore the deep and complex history of transatlantic slavery.
Fagen’s 2015 Venice Biennale project The Slave’s Lament is at the core of current exhibition. The work takes Robert Burns’ poem of the same name, penned in 1792, and presents it in a reggae sound clash/mash-up type with UK based reggae artist Ghetto Priest, singing a haunting refrain over and over with a symphony of strings as an accompaniment to his booming presence. A lament to the landscape and the body, it echoes how people people endure, persevere and press on.
In We Suffer to Remain, three Bahamian artists - John Beadle, Sonia Farmer and Anina Major - respond to Fagen’s work. The first practising locally; the others making work reflective of the Caribbean and Bahamian from multiple sites across the Caribbean and the United States. Together they give voice to how post-colonial nation-states grapple with their becoming and post colonial powers live and interpret their history.
Find out more on the British Council Caribbean website.