Art & Emancipation In Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario And His Worlds – 27 September — 30 December 2007, Connecticut

Art & Emancipation In Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario And His Worlds
27 SEPTEMBER — 30 DECEMBER, 2007

Organized to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade, Art & Emancipation in Jamaica is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the visual culture of slavery and emancipation in Jamaica. Many works in the exhibition are selected from the Center’s extraordinarily rich holdings relating to the Caribbean, which provided the original impetus for this exhibition. Art and Emancipation also features works produced in the Caribbean and Britain, including a number lent from public and private collections in Jamaica that have rarely or never been exhibited. The exhibition chronicles the iconography of sugar, slavery, and the topography of Jamaica from the beginning of British rule in 1655 to the aftermath of emancipation in the 1840s, with a particular focus on the turbulent years preceding and immediately following emancipation in 1838. Gathered together for the first time are drawings and prints depicting life on a Jamaican sugar plantation, and images used by the anti-slavery campaign.

At the center of the exhibition is the remarkable lithographic series Sketches of Character, In Illustration of the Habits, Occupation, and Costume of the Negro Population in the Island of Jamaica, made by the Jewish Jamaican-born artist Isaac Mendes Belisario. Published in Jamaica in 1837-38, Sketches of Character provides the first detailed visual representation of Jonkonnu (or John Canoe), the celebrated Afro-Jamaican masquerade performed by the enslaved during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Tracing the West African roots of Jonkonnu, its evolution in Jamaica, and its continuing transformation into the twenty-first century, the exhibition features Jamaican and West African costumes and musical instruments, accompanied by video footage of historic and contemporary performances, as well as a specially commissioned sound track. The exhibition concludes with work by contemporary Jamaican and Afro-Caribbean artists investigating the complex legacy of slavery and emancipation. There will be a full program of events accompanying the exhibition, including lectures, performances, concerts, gallery talks, film series, a community open house, and a scholarly symposium.

Organized by the Yale Center for British Art, Art & Emancipation in Jamaica has been curated by Gillian Forrester, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art; Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University; and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University. Generous support for this project has been provided by the Reed Foundation, Inc.

Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel Street‚ PO Box 208280
New Haven‚ Connecticut 06520-8280

Art & Emancipation In Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario And His Worlds
27 SEPTEMBER — 30 DECEMBER, 2007

 

SEPTEMBER

25 TUESDAY
FRIENDS OF BRITISH ART 5:30 pm
Private Tour and Reception
(by invitation only)
Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds
Private view and tour by organizing curator Gillian Forrester, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art, and Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University. A reception will follow; invitations will be sent.

27 THURSDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

29 SATURDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

EXHIBITION TOUR 3 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

FAMILY & CHILDREN 10 am
Art & Emancipation Community Open House
10 am-4 pm
Join us for a full day of Jamaican art and culture, including live Caribbean music, dance, storytelling, cuisine, exhibition tours, childrens activities and much more!

OCTOBER

2 TUESDAY
ART IN CONTEXT 12:30 pm
Mapping a New Kingston: Belisario’s Sketches of Character
Gillian Forrester, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale University

3 WEDNESDAY
LECTURE 5:30 pm
DeVane Lecture: Secret Carnival: Masking and Magic from Trinidad to New Orleans
Joseph Roach, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Theater and English, Yale University

4 THURSDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

6 SATURDAY
FILM 2 pm
The Harder They Come (1972)
Directed by Perry Henzell (rated R; 120 minutes). A poor Jamaican tries to make it in the music industry but finds his record will only be played if he signs away his rights. He turns to dealing marijuana and runs afoul of the law. As an underground fugitive, he becomes a political hero. An outstanding reggae soundtrack.

12 FRIDAY
FILM noon
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind (2001).
Directed by Stanley Nelson. Using archival footage, interviews, and photographs, this documentary examines one of the most controversial figures in American history. Marcus Garvey emigrated from Jamaica to New York City in 1914, bringing with him a message of black empowerment. With millions of followers worldwide, Garvey decried racial prejudice in the United States and built the largest black mass movement in world history.

13 SATURDAY
EDUCATORS 10 am
Teacher Workshop: Slavery through a Global and a Local Lens
This workshop is based on the special exhibition Art & Emancipation in Jamaica at the YCBA and on the ongoing exhibition Cinque Lives Here at the New Haven Museum and Historical Society. Teachers will have the opportunity to focus on the visual and material culture of slavery and emancipation in the British Empire and on primary source material that brings the issue home to New Haven. The morning session at the YCBA focuses on constructing meaning from visual images and teaching history through works of art. The afternoon session at the NHM&HS focuses on teaching from primary documents and on facilitating dialogue in the classroom setting. Open to teachers and administrators of all levels. Free. .5 CEUs offered. Call 203 432 2858 to register.

FILM 2 pm
Pressure (1976)
Directed by Horace Ove’ (not rated; 120 minutes). A British-born younger son of an immigrant family from Trinidad finds himself adrift between two cultures.

EXHIBITION TOUR noon
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

16 TUESDAY
ART IN CONTEXT 12:30 pm
Remembering and Forgetting: Imagery and Its Role in the Slave Trade and Abolition
James Walvin, Professor of History, University of York, England

18 THURSDAY
CONCERT 5:30 pm
Cari-Folk Singers
An evening of Jamaican folk-singing and dancing by the internationally-recognized Jamaican group and winners of the prestigious Silver Musgrave Medal for excellence in music.

EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

20 SATURDAY
FILM 2 pm
Rockers (1978)
Directed by Ted Bafaloukos (not rated; 100 minutes). This Jamaican film showcases several popular reggae artists and explores reggae culture at its peak.

21 SUNDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 2 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds
Meet at the Information Desk.

FAMILY & CHILDREN 2 pm
Family Funday: A Rhythmic Expedition from Africa to the Caribbean
This performance workshop with local group Mikata will make your pulse quicken as you chant, clap, and dance to the rhythms of Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Appropriate for all ages. Free. No registration required.

23 TUESDAY
ART IN CONTEXT 12:30 pm
Tropical Babylons: Sugar Plantations in the Americas
Stuart B. Schwartz, George Burton Adams, Professor of History, Yale University

24 WEDNESDAY
LECTURE 5:30 pm
Making a Black Folk: Belisarios Sketches of Character and the Performance of Race and Place.
Dian Kriz, Associate Professor of Art History, Brown University

25 THURSDAY
CONCERT 12:30 pm
African Drumming Talk/Workshop 12:30 pm
Abraham Adzenyah, Adjunct Professor of West African Music of Ghana, Wesleyan University

26 FRIDAY
FILM noon
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind (2001).
Directed by Stanley Nelson. Using archival footage, interviews, and photographs, this documentary examines one of the most controversial figures in American history. Marcus Garvey emigrated from Jamaica to New York City in 1914, bringing with him a message of black empowerment. With millions of followers worldwide, Garvey decried racial prejudice in the United States and built the largest black mass movement in world history.

27 SATURDAY
FILM 2 pm
Sankofa (1993)
Directed by Haile Gerima (not rated; 125 minutes). While on a photo shoot in Africa, a black American fashion model is spiritually transported back to a West Indies plantation where she experiences first-hand the horrors of chattel slavery but also the redemptive power of community and rebellion.

EXHIBITION TOUR noon
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

NOVEMBER

4 SUNDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 2 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

9 FRIDAY
FILM noon
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind (2001).
Directed by Stanley Nelson. Using archival footage, interviews, and photographs, this documentary examines one of the most controversial figures in American history. Marcus Garvey emigrated from Jamaica to New York City in 1914, bringing with him a message of black empowerment. With millions of followers worldwide, Garvey decried racial prejudice in the United States and built the largest black mass movement in world history.

10 SATURDAY
FILM 2 pm
Life and Debt (2001).
Directed by Stephanie Black (not rated; 80 minutes). A documentary look at the effects of globalization on Jamaican industry and agriculture.

11 SUNDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 2 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

13 TUESDAY
ART IN CONTEXT 12:30 pm
Emancipation and the Plantation
Tim Barringer, Professor in the History of Art, Yale University

14 WEDNESDAY
LECTURE 12 am
Charters for the Spirit: Afro-Jamaican Art & Music
Robert Thompson, Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art, Yale University

15 THURSDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

FILM 7 pm
Queimada (1969)
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (rated R; 132 minutes). Hoping to improve the British sugar trade, a mercenary instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada. He is sent back years later to deal with the same rebels who have seized too much power and now threaten British sugar interests. Co-sponsored by the Yale Film Study Center.

16 FRIDAY
FILM noon
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind (2001).
Directed by Stanley Nelson. Using archival footage, interviews, and photographs, this documentary examines one of the most controversial figures in American history. Marcus Garvey emigrated from Jamaica to New York City in 1914, bringing with him a message of black empowerment. With millions of followers worldwide, Garvey decried racial prejudice in the United States and built the largest black mass movement in world history.

17 SATURDAY
FILM 2 pm
Shottas (2002)
Directed by Cess Silvera (rated R; 95 minutes). A true story of two young men who grow up together in the tough and dangerous streets of Kingston.

24 SATURDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR noon
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

 

29 THURSDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

DECEMBER

2 SUNDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 2 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

FAMILY & CHILDREN 2 pm
Family Funday: Jammin Jamaica
Members of the New Haven Symphony will lead visitors through the special exhibition Art & Emancipation in Jamaica and perform music that demonstrates the West African influence on past Jamaican music, and Jamaicas influence on current Western music. Visitor participation encouraged. Most appropriate for children aged 312. Free. No registration required.

6 THURSDAY
CONCERT 5:30 pm
Tribal Legacy
Jamaican Reggae music. .

8 SATURDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR noon
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

13 THURSDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 11 am
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

14 FRIDAY
FILM noon
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind (2001),
Directed by Stanley Nelson. Using archival footage, interviews, and photographs, this documentary examines one of the most controversial figures in American history. Marcus Garvey emigrated from Jamaica to New York City in 1914, bringing with him a message of black empowerment. With millions of followers worldwide, Garvey decried racial prejudice in the United States and built the largest black mass movement in world history.

16 SUNDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 2 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds

20 THURSDAY
CONCERT 5:30 pm
The Gerard Edery Ensemble
An exploration of the complex of musical traditions from the Sephardic Diaspora.

30 SUNDAY
EXHIBITION TOUR 2 pm
Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds