Claiming Spaces: The African Story of the Sugar Mill
The Virgin Islands of the United States, formerly the Danish West Indies, and under the control of fourteen different incorporations and colonial rule, have been used to propel capitalism systems and the promise of upward social mobility for many poor Europeans. The dehumanizing of Indigenous, European, and African bodies are intertwined in a gross display of oppression for wealth. The erasure of indigenous people and their identity and the horrific experience of chattel slavery of black bodies leave many people in disenfranchised states while stories of valor and triumph overshadow the horrific tale of sugar production. Right up 'til today, numerous English, German, Irish, and Danish planters are praised for their wealth created from sugar production to the torture of others. Great works of art, celebrated architectural spaces in Europe, and Literature highlight planters as victors. Sugar mills recount the tales of enslaved Africans; it is why black bodies are in the Caribbean. The enslaved African bodies and Sugar Mills entwine, yet we see the erasure and intangibility of sugar mills as a structure of significance. Indeed, even Virgin Islanders avoid the structure as we battle with colonial trauma.
I say we should reconcile with these structures. The Virgin Islands should preserve sugar mills and provide a space for persons to tell an alternative story of themselves. Sugar mills have the potential to propel the Virgin Islands, especially in eco and heritage tourism.
Apr 10 -
New Blood 4
The New Blood exhibition series is about breaking the divide and giving all artists a platform for their work to be celebrated and appreciated by the community. Featuring emerging and established Virgin Islands artists.
As with any great venture, it is the work of many. New Blood 4 is a joint venture between CMCArts and Lucien Downes.