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Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Colonialism and 'Post-Colonialism' - The Influence on Visual Art and the Bahamian aesthetic


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Colonialism and 'Post-Colonialism' - The Influence on Visual Art and the Bahamian aesthetic

During the pre-colonial and colonial era, there were an array of issues regarding racism, hierarchical standing, class struggles and most importantly, enslavement. These issues posed threats on the black native, as they are being portrayed as accessories, cargo or props in society. There were little to no record of documented black resistance through art, none-the-less, native artists that expressed themselves on a professional level.

During the 1960’s, of which was considered the late colonial period, local artists began to arise and stand for their counterparts as they resisted through social commentary. Instead of painting images of pretty pictures of colonial buildings, streets, horses and carriages, and the Bahamian people as accessories within the imagery, Bahamian artists now had a voice in the matter. Beautifully, artists fought against the consistency and/or normal occurrence of what the colonialist viewed The Bahamas as, yet constructed diction through imagery of Bahamians being the focal point and main focus of the image.

Bahamian artists during the 1960’s initiated the concept of Celebrating Blackness. In essence, ‘post-colonial’ Bahamian artists use their imagery as a source of resistance toward hierarchy, sexism, ‘tropicality,’ and racism through the uses of revolutionary social change and commentary.