Bahamian artist Kishan Munroe has crafted a multi-disciplinary, analytical project that is not only designed to function as appealing visual, audio and literary arts, but which also simultaneously writes a major part of our nation’s history that has, for far too long, gone under-investigated contextually. This project uses the tragedy of the sinking of HMBS Flamingo of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force fleet on May 10, 1980, as a point of dissection and departure, to address further historical and cultural nuances that have shaped Bahamian culture and interactions with the Bahamas’ nearest neighbour. Designed to inspire critical analysis, this investigation comprises an international collaboration with a cadre of both nations’ leading authorities in social sciences and the arts.
With the unfolding of the series of incidents surrounding the sinking of HMBS Flamingo, the newly independent Commonwealth of The Bahamas, still in its infancy, was thrust into the global spotlight, finding itself having to deal with one of the most sensitive issues a country could possibly face at the time: the possibility of open war - war with a Communist country, well-provisioned militarily, during the height of the internationally tense “Cold War.”
This in-depth investigation provides a much-needed contextual foundation. It is offered to increase comprehension in The Bahamas and beyond our shores of the socio-political and cultural climates at various points in time, which in some way contributed to or influenced the attack of Cuban military forces on HMBS Flamingo and subsequent related and extraordinary events. It is not the intention of Munroe of his collaborators to seek to place blame or unearth bitter sentiments, but rather to perpetuate the spirit of deliberative communication that both countries have fostered thus far and is ever important to the upward progress of mankind.
See images from the opening night: