The “Double Dutch” series supports the concept of bringing together local and regional artists, irrespective of where they are currently resdiding, to work with a group of ideas personal, political and otherwise crucial to the development of a contemporary Bahamian identity. These artists and collectives are often divided linguistically and geographically but are united by common historical, economic or practice-based conditions. For this reason, the project attempts to create and maintain ties throughout the Caribbean and its more extensive diaspora.
This year's series moves into its seventh iteration with "Hot Water." Opening on Thursday, August 23rd, the environmental and sustainably-focused project sets its eyes on Ragged Island and provides a moment for the collaborative meeting of two collectives, Expo 2020 emerging from the University of The Bahamas (UB), and the Plastico Fantastico Collective with members from the United States, Cuba, Brazil, The Bahamas and the United Kingdom.
Using the site of Ragged Island as a space to think about sustainable futures, the imagination collides with fantasy and fiction as both teams meet to speak about concerns around climate change and fragile natural ecologies. Through displacement, the narrative of destruction and rebuilding after Hurricane Irma provides a map for the nation to begin to deal with the trauma of loss, devastation and reclamation of cultural identity.
Expo 2020 is represented by Ide Thompson, Ashley McClain, Natino Thompson and Moriah Lightbourn with advisors Michael Edwards and Dr Ian Bethell Bennett leading the UB team. Plastico Fantastico members include Maria Konder, Rafael D'Alo, Daniel Kukla, Ruben Millares, Alexandra Timchula and Antonia Wright. Ethan Knowles–NAGB attaché and summer intern–joins the team to further anchor the exhibition’s context with writing and field notes further clarifying the relationship of the environment to our humanity.
Double Dutch brings together ”local and regional artists, irrespective of where they are currently residing, to produce provocative bodies of work through collaboration and exchange. The project works against ideas of nationalism and the insularity of our creative environs by creating an experimental hub to explore regional and diasporic culture, our creative acumen and sensibilities.
“Hot Water” runs through the end of November and will be the only iteration this year for the Double Dutch. The NAGB will resume regular production of both iterations of the Double Dutch in 2019.