Caribbean: Some History

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Chambers, Eddie
Doroba, Mark (photographer)

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During Fall Semester 2016, the IDEA LAB in GWB Building will be showing This Ground Beneath My Feet – A Chorus of Bush in Rab Lands,an exhibit by Annalee Davis, one of Barbados’ leading artists. In recognition of this, the Fine Arts Library (FAL) is showing a display, assembled by Eddie Chambers, of the Department of Art and Art History, Caribbean: Some History, which contains various publications relating to different aspects of the Caribbean, a region of the world that was, until relatively recently, more commonly referred to as the West Indies. It is a region of the world rich in many different histories. Religion, music, literature, art, and sport are amongst the many fascinating subjects of the books and other publications in this display. The largest countries of the region are those such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, followed by comparatively smaller countries such as Jamaica. Caribbean countries such as Haiti and Cuba have renowned and celebrated art histories, and this display includes several publications related to these histories. The display points to some of the ways in which publications related to the Caribbean have changed over the course of a century. Though most people of the region might identify their religion as Christianity, it is perhaps the syncretic belief systems of the region – Santeria, vodũ (voodoo),Rastafari – that the region is better known for. Of the many different types of music emerging from the region, it is perhaps reggae that dominates many people’s associations of the region’s music. Though the Caribbean region is rich in a variety of music traditions, it is certainly reggae that the region is best known for. And within reggae, Bob Marley is the singer whose music is most recognized. A great many books have been written on the late singer, and this display includes several. Despite the extensive scholarship and research coming out of the region and its diaspora, the Caribbean continues to be a misunderstood and somewhat caricatured region of the world, often regarded in the imagination of many as a holiday destination. These publications aim to present a more nuanced understanding of the Caribbean and its fascinating, multiple histories. The pan-Caribbean cricket team of the region is still known as the West Indies cricket team. It has a very distinguished history of cricketing success, particularly during parts of the mid, late 20th and early 21st century. A number of the books and publications in this display are available in FAL, PCL, and in particular, the Benson, which contains extensive material relating to the region. Photos and design by Mark Doroba



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