Nassau, What Happened

“Nassau, What Happened” (2012) was a collaborative project examining the city of Nassau. It was first exhibited during the 2012 Transforming Spaces Art Tour under the theme of “Fibre” at The Hub art gallery, then bound into a book exhibited at the Sixth National Exhibition under the theme “Kingdom Come” at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.

Thinking about language and voice as the building materials, “Nassau What Happened” weaves a contemporary reflection about the city of Nassau. An exquisite corpse of sorts, contributors were asked to submit a line considering the theme “Nassau What Happened” to build a group poem.

The thirty contributors offered lines addressing a variety of subjects, alluding to the downfall of this city from a better time, sometimes speaking directly to Nassau, sometimes taking on its voice, sometimes describing it, taking on various degrees of helplessness yet drawing strength from naming and identifying such disarray, giving it an identity, a place from which to begin improvement. The contributors then took their lines and applied them to the visual world, either through writing onto old photographs, digitally manipulating text onto photographs of the city, collage, photographed art object, etc. The resulting poem combined stunning language and image alike, creating a striking visual narrative that reflects a city dissatisfied with daily injustices—on land, on people, on community—and desperate to find resolve.

Contributors included: Ashley Powell; Claudette Dean; Tara Mabon; Dionne Benjamin-Smith; Nicolette Bethel; Arjuna AJ Watson; Lucy; Lynn Sweeting; Margot Bethel; Rick Rosaschi; Dominic Duncombe; Penelope Nottage; Kelly Delancy; Lelawattee Manoo Rahming; Royann Dean; Ian Strachan; Tenaj Ferguson; Patricia Glinton-Meicholas; Cecilee Hilton; Alicia Oxley; Pamela Burnside; Maria A. Lee; Philip Armbrister; Spencer Higgs; Marion Bethel; Gabrielle Misiewicz; & Ysodora.

Photographs courtesy of Dominic Duncombe/Stop Motion Productions.

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