Caribbean In/Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean (CARISCC)



Call for Papers: CARISCC Postgraduate Conference on In/securities and Creativity, Jamaica, 15 January 2018

Conference venue: The Blue Room, Mona Conference Centre, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica

Date: Monday 15 January 2018, 9am – 5pm

Convener: Dr Patricia Noxolo, University of Birmingham, UK



Many scholars have highlighted the creative practices that Caribbean people routinely deploy in the face of insecurity caused by poverty, inequality, environmental challenges and violence. Although questions of Caribbean security and insecurity are often addressed as matters of governmental or military concern, this conference seeks to explore reconceptualisations of security and insecurity (in/security) through creativity.

We are interested in creativity in a broad sense, including artistic practices such as literature, film, theatre, dance, music and visual arts, but also the creative ways in which people live their lives (e.g. balance budgets, interpret policy, and perform politics).
In examining the links between precariousness and creativity, this CARISCC conference aims to bring together new approaches to the study of global security.

Therefore, CARISCC welcomes research papers and presentations which explore how in/security, as experienced and negotiated by ordinary people, informs creative and cultural practices in the Caribbean region.

This one-day interdisciplinary conference welcomes abstracts from scholars whose research concerns any aspect of Caribbean in/securities and creativity.


We particularly welcome presentation proposals / research papers that address (but are not limited to) the following topics and themes:

  • Creativity in negotiating livelihood in/securities;
  • Historical and contemporary in/securities and creativities;
  • In/secure transport(s) and mobilities;
  • In/security in visual and performance arts;
  • Reading and writing in/security;
  • Raced, gendered and sexual identities, in/security and creativity; and
  • Rural and urban in/securities and creativities.

Programme Details

In addition to scheduling three panel sessions (each comprising 3-4 papers / presentations), the conference also intends to offer:

  • Four travel bursaries (up to £500 GBP/$ 650 USD per person) to support conference attendance by a postdoctoral researcher or PhD candidate from within the Caribbean region who is not currently based at UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica;
  • Two keynote presentations – delivered by Dr Susan Mains (Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Dundee, UK, and CARISCC Network Member) and a guest scholar / arts practitioner invited from within the Caribbean region;
  • A welcome address from Dr Pat Noxolo (Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Birmingham, UK, and CARISCC’s Principal Investigator);
  • Refreshments and lunch.

Abstract Submission Guidelines

Please send abstracts of 200-300 words (in English) to Dr Patricia Noxolo (, using the subject heading “CARISCC Postgraduate Conference.” Please include your university affiliation details, your preferred email address and a short biography of up to 150 words. It is anticipated that each presentation/research paper will last 10-15 minutes; and updated programme details will be released prior to the date of the conference to confirm presentation requirements and duration.

If you would like to apply for a travel bursary, please attach, with your abstract, a short statement (no more than 300 words) on the relevance of the conference theme to your research, the reasons why you need a bursary to attend, as well as your estimated expenses.

The deadline for submitting abstracts and 150-word biographies (as well as bursary applications) is Friday 24 November 2017.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Patricia Noxolo
CARISCC Conference Convener and Principal Investigator

Please click on the following link to download the full text of this call for papers (in PDF format): CARISCC-PGR-Conference-Call-for-Papers-Jamaica-January2018



The CARISCC Art Exhibition in Leeds: Monday 23–Friday 27 October 2017

The CARISCC Research Network is currently hosting a series of touring art exhibitions around the UK to showcase work by a selection of established and emerging contemporary visual artists of Caribbean descent (from the region, and the wider Caribbean diaspora) who have created artworks that specifically address reconceptualisations of security and insecurity (in/security) through creativity.

The next stage of the tour – titled, ‘Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition’ – will be shown at Union 105 (East Street Arts) in Leeds, from Monday 23 October to Friday 27 October 2017.

One of the highlights of this particular edition of the exhibition will be two thought-provoking sculptural installations by the internationally famous conceptual artist Sonia E. Barrett: firstly, an early piece from the artist’s portfolio, titled ‘Pressure nah let up. Mrs Mac (not her real name) performs the “ono” bed’ (2007), featuring deconstructed elements from a 1950s articulated mattress; and, secondly, a more recent sculpture titled ‘The Difficult Conversation’ (2017), specially commissioned by CARISCC and made from found pieces of wooden furniture. When researching and developing the latter piece, Sonia spent time in Leeds over several weeks exploring the locality and meeting with local residents from the Chapeltown area – which makes this a very appropriate and poignant co-produced installation to be showcasing in the city.

As illustrated in the photograph, the pieces of wood and other materials featured in ‘The Difficult Conversation’ are suspended from wires in a way that signifies people’s lives being “held in suspension.” The table legs, chair frames and other pieces of furniture from which Sonia’s works are made also symbolise aspects of black corporeality. Observing these works, therefore, encourages deep reflection on the histories and legacies of transatlantic enslavement – and the traumatic physical and psychological brutalities people of African descent endured throughout the Maafa, and beyond.

The Difficult Conversation
‘The Difficult Conversation’ (2017), a CARISCC-commissioned mixed-media sculpture by the contemporary visual artist Sonia E. Barrett.

Continue reading “The CARISCC Art Exhibition in Leeds: Monday 23–Friday 27 October 2017”

CARISCC’s Art Exhibition at Union 105, Chapeltown, Leeds, Monday 23rd – Friday 27th October 2017

The next staging of CARISCC’s touring art exhibition – “Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity” – will take place in Leeds, West Yorkshire, at Union 105/East Street Arts, 105 Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HY, from Monday 23rd October to Friday 27th October 2017.

Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition is part of a Leverhulme Trust-funded project, entitled Caribbean In/Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean (CARISCC).

CARISCC is an international and interdisciplinary research network of seven leading universities in Caribbean Studies, namely Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Dundee in the UK, The University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, Brock University in Canada, Rutgers University in the USA, and the University of the West Indies (Mona) in Jamaica, Caribbean. The network explores the interconnections and everyday negotiations between securities and insecurities (hence, ‘in/securities’) in relation to precariousness and creativity.

A farmer from Jamaica’s Blue Mountain region shows ripe coffee berries from his farm (2016). Image courtesy of: Dr Kevon Rhiney (Associate Professor of Geography, Rutgers University), CARISCC Network Member.

This digital and print exhibition reflects such intellectual concerns, and specifically focuses on how Caribbean people use their creative energy to live with the everyday effects of poverty, inequality, environmental challenges and violence, while also generating globally influential creativity in literary, dance, aural, visual, political and audio-visual cultures.

The Leeds-based stage of the tour will feature two thought-provoking sculptures by the internationally renowned contemporary visual artist Sonia E. Barrett, who spent time in Chapeltown earlier this year meeting local residents, exploring the locality and working with found furniture and objects to creatively interpret the research project. Sonia’s recently commissioned artwork, “The Difficult Conversation” (2017), funded via CARISCC and the Leverhulme Trust, will be a particular focal point of the installation.

Detail from the CARISCC-commissioned contemporary art installation, “The Difficult Conversation” (2017) by Sonia E. Barrett. Image courtesy of the artist. Copyright: Sonia E. Barrett.

If you would like to attend the exhibition’s launch event and drinks reception on Monday 23rd October, 6 – 8 pm at Union 105, Chapeltown Road, Leeds, please contact Dr Carol Ann Dixon (CARISCC Network Facilitator) via email c/o so that your name can be added to the guest list. This is a FREE event, but places should be reserved (for catering purposes, no later than 20th October 2017).

Please note that the artworks will remain on view at Union 105, Chapeltown Road, Leeds until Friday 27th October 2017. Thereafter, the exhibition will tour to  Midlands Art Centre (Birmingham) in May/June 2018.


Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Review of the Exhibition Launch at Deptford Lounge, London – September 2017

The most recent staging of CARISCC’s touring display, “Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition,” took place at Deptford Lounge, Giffin Street, London, on 5-7 September 2017.

Guests networking at the launch event and drinks reception for the exhibition “Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity” at Deptford Lounge, London. 05/09/2017. Photo: Carol Dixon.

Similarly to previous events held at the British Library’s Knowledge Centre and the Lighthouse in Glasgow (during June and August, respectively), the Deptford Lounge event was an opportunity for CARISCC’s regional contacts, representatives of partner organisations and members of the public to receive updates about the Network’s research outputs – presented via a display of documentary photographs taken by CARISCC members during research field trips undertaken in the region over the past few years – whilst also viewing a Power-Point presentation, video clips and an exhibition catalogue featuring images and artists’ biographies linked to the series of paintings, sculptures and installations submitted by participants involved in last year’s CARISCC Art Competition of 2016.

Dr Patricia Noxolo (Lead Researcher for CARISCC, University of Birmingham) introducing the research and art exhibition themes of in/security and creativity at the 5th September launch event at Deptford Lounge, London. Photo: Carol Dixon.

At the exhibition’s launch event, held on Tuesday 5th September, Dr Patricia Noxolo (Lead Researcher for CARISCC, University of Birmingham) spoke about in/security and creativity as the central themes through which researchers and artists were continuing to discuss the everyday lived experiences of individuals and communities in the Caribbean region, as well as the various “dialogic encounters” experienced transnationally and trans-continentally as a result of migration and re-settlement, the movement of goods and services, and the ongoing circulation of ideas around the world.

In addition to discussing in/securities and the arts in relation to specific rural and urban communities in selected islands and nations, and the external spatial dynamics of precarity, Pat also spoke about issues of corporeality, personal identity, resilience and ontology (inner being and sense of self, etc.) – particularly differing perspectives on how human bodies might be read and interpreted as “texts,” capable of communicating (or, performing) different levels of in/security according to particular socio-political, economic, environmental and cultural circumstances.

Visitors consulting the digital catalogue for the CARISCC art exhibition, “Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity,” at Deptford Lounge, London. 05/09/2017. Photo: Carol Dixon.

Continue reading “Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Review of the Exhibition Launch at Deptford Lounge, London – September 2017”

Caribbean In/Securities and Creativity: Diasporic Dialogues – A Review of the International Conference held at the British Library, 25-26 June 2017

The conference “Caribbean In/Securities and Creativity: Diasporic Dialogues” took place at the British Library (Knowledge Centre, Euston Road, London) on 25-26 June 2017. This international, interdisciplinary two-day event was jointly organised and co-facilitated by scholars from Goldsmiths Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS), University of London (led by Professor Joan Anim-Addo and Dr Marl’ene Edwin), the CARISCC Research Network (led by Dr Patricia Noxolo, University of Birmingham), and also with the support of staff based at the British Library Eccles Centre for American Studies.

Dr Patricia Noxolo (Lead Researcher for CARISCC, University of Birmingham) introducing contemporary visual artist Sonia Barrett and CARISCC Network member Dr Ronald Cummings (Brock University, Canada) at the British Library conference on 25 June 2017.

The Conference Programme

The conference programme included a diverse range of research papers and panel discussions, featuring contributions from Caribbean area studies specialists and Caribbean Diaspora scholars, historians, geographers, visual artists, film-makers, poets and spoken word performers, as well as cultural and political commentators interested in diasporic issues and themes related to other regions of the global south.

Professor Joan Anim-Addo (Goldsmiths, University of London) introducing contemporary visual artist Huw Locke, who gave an illustrated talk about his installation work, titled “There and Back Again: Visual Art touching Diaspora.” (25 June 2017).

Some of the headline presentations that helped to exemplify the conference theme of “Diasporic Dialogues” included:

  • An illustrated talk by the British-Guyanese visual artist Huw Locke (titled, ‘There and Back Again: Visual Art Touching Diaspora’) – during which he discussed and presented photographs of recently produced pieces showcased at the 2017 Venice Biennale as part of the Diaspora Pavilion, as well as earlier works from his portfolio – such as “Ark” (1994) and “Wine Dark Sea” (2016).
  • A keynote lecture given by the sociologist and critical race theorist Professor Hazel Carby (Yale University) – titled, ‘Imperial Intimacies: Negotiating the Archives to Narrate the Black Subject’ – featuring extracts from her new monograph, ‘Imperial Intimacies’
  • A conceptual art presentation by Professor Raimi Gbadamosi (University of Pretoria, South Africa) who introduced and performed an event-specific and site-specific live art installation and flag project, titled “TRANSCARIBBANA” (© RGb 2017). Raimi described the concept underpinning this project as follows:

“TRANSCARIBBANA is a place of the imagination, a place of return that does not need to change in the face of history. It is a place that both exists and remains a fantasy. Like most nations, it is a place of un-chosen alignment, a place to emerge from in the process of going somewhere else.”

Raimi Gbadamosi (© RGb 2017)

Artist, writer and curator Professor Raimi Gbadamosi (University of Pretoria, SA) performing his installation “TRANSCARIBBANA,” in conversation with Dr Patricia Noxolo. 25 June 2017.

A number of additional panel sessions facilitated over the course of the two days also featured research papers and discussions focused on: Caribbean literatures and the politics of literary memory; social policy research addressing issues of vulnerability, precariousness and resilience in the Caribbean region; historical geographies/cartographies of colonialism and post-colonialism; configurations of power and powerlessness in intercultural encounters; issues of corporeality and expressions of in/security presented through performance art; and histories and politics of Caribbean diaspora formation spanning several centuries.

Foregrounding the Visual Arts

Exhibition view of the recently commissioned installation artwork by Sonia E. Barrett (Artist and MacDowall Fellow), displayed at the British Library, 25-26 June 2017.

The photograph, shown above, is of an art installation created by the contemporary fine artist Sonia Barrett, who completed this mixed-media sculptural work as part of a CARISCC-commissioned installation and art-historical research project, Negotiating Caribbean In/Security through Creativity.

The new artwork, as well as several other sculptures from Sonia Barrett’s wider portfolio, addresses recurring themes relating to the complexities of identity, histories of enslavement (including its legacies and connections to present-day forms of human trafficking/modern-day slavery/unfree labour, and the exploitation of migrant workers), issues of corporeality and representations of “spectacular forms of violence”. An important technique employed in the creation of this artwork involved what Sonia referred to in her conference presentation as “fantabulating” and “exploding” pieces of furniture to signify and represent the traumas and brutalities of enslavement violence meted out and inflicted on black and brown bodies during the era of transatlantic enslavement, and also beyond.

In the final set of photographs, shown below, visual and performance-based artist Lesley Asare (from the arts collective “I Shape Beauty”) is shown in the process of creating a poignant live artwork, themed around the emancipatory concept of “creating ourselves free”. Lesley’s practice is informed by the mantra of “social transformation beginning with self-transformation”. Her work is also deeply rooted in the expression of love as a political tool, closely aligned with the use of play/dance/movement as a form of self-discovery and healing.

Visual and performance artist Lesley Asare (from the arts collective “I Shape Beauty”) creating a new artwork with charcoal during the panel discussion “Re-Creating Ourselves Free: Poetry and Performance as Acts of Emancipation, of Self and Body, for Women of Colour.” 25 June 2017.

Scholars and artists who have influenced Lesley’s artistic and conceptual practice include (among others) bell hooks, Heather Hanson and Daria Halprin. Lesley’s work was presented in partnership with the poet Indigo Williams as part of a very rich panel titled “(Re)-Creating Ourselves Free – Poetry and Performance as Acts of Emancipation, of Self and Body, for Women of Colour”. This panel – introduced and facilitated by the poet and playwright Malika Booker – also included poetry readings and a scholarly narrative titled “Reclaiming the Gaze Through the Performance of Flamenco’s Guarjira” by the poet and spoken word artist Toni Stuart.

South African poet, performance artist and spoken word educator Toni Stuart reciting her poem “The Fan Speaks II” as part of the panel presentation, “I Come to My Body as a Question: Reclaiming the Gaze in Flamenco’s Guajira.” 25 June 2017.

Website links and sources of further information

For further details about the programme’s key contributors and panel facilitators, links to the abstracts of all the conference papers, and additional information about the wider research objectives of both the CARISCC Network and Goldsmith’s Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS), please see the Goldsmith’s CCDS conference page at, and a gallery of images from the event at

Report written by Dr Carol Ann Dixon
CARISCC Network Facilitator (Uploaded: 11 September 2017)

Contact, c/o: University of Birmingham, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES), Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, or send feedback via the Network’s Contact Us page (

Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: The CARISCC Research and Art Exhibition, 2017-2018

The CARISCC Research Network will be hosting a series of events to showcase the many creative outputs arising from the work of the Network’s members, institutional partners and other stakeholders.

Following on from the successful staging of the Network’s Research and Art Exhibition (titled, Negotiating Caribbean Insecurities through Creativity) at the British Library (London, 25-26 June 2017) and The Lighthouse (Glasgow, 14-18 August 2017), this selection of print-based and digital photographs, paintings, videos and installations will tour to the following UK venues:

  • Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London SE8 4RH  (5-7 September 2017)

  • Union 105/East Street Arts, Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HY (23-27 October 2017)

  • MAC Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Queen’s Ride, Birmingham B12 9QH (5 May – 10 June 2018).

At each of these venues the focus of the exhibition will be to present a selection of politically aesthetic artworks that stimulate and encourage discussions about how Caribbean people deploy their creative energy to live with the everyday effects of poverty and inequality, while also generating globally influential creativity in political, literary, dance, aural, visual and audio-visual cultures.

difficult conversatin

Among the featured artworks at each venue will be a recently commissioned sculptural installation by the internationally renowned contemporary visual artist Sonia E Barrett (whose work is shown in the photograph, above).


If you would like further information about the above-mentioned exhibition dates and venues, as well as additional details about the CARISCC Research Network, please write to Dr Carol Ann Dixon (CARISCC Network Facilitator) c/o the University of Birmingham (Email:





#Exhibition Launch Today and Tomorrow! Negotiating #Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition


‘Negotiating Caribbean In/Securities through Creativity: A Research and Art Exhibition’ is being launched at the British Library Knowledge Centre today and tomorrow (25th-26th June, 2017).

The launch of this online CARISCC exhibition is taking place alongside Caribbean In/Securities and Creativity: Diasporic Dialogues, a two-day conference which speaks to the theme of Caribbean and diasporic dialogues, and the role of creativity in negotiating the in/securities surrounding such dialogues.

The event is a result of a collaboration between the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies (CCDS) at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Caribbean In/Securities: Creativity and Negotiation in the Caribbean (CARISCC), an international research network funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which seeks to explore the interactions between the precariousness of insecure livelihoods and neighbourhoods, and the negotiation of risk through creativity, in a Caribbean context.

Planned event activities include the exhibition launch, keynote speakers, artist-led discussions, research panels and paper presentations distributed across the two days.

CARISCC are very pleased to be showing a new sculptural work by award-winning artist Sonia Barrett at the exhibition launch and photography by Sireita Mullings. On the evening of 26th June CARISCC will also host a special screening of Shashamane, a film created by Giulia Amati. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including Giulia Amati (filmmaker and winner of more than twenty awards, including the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival Jury’s Award), Errol Brown (brother of Ras Mweya Masimba, animation artist featured in the film), Pat Noxolo (University of Birmingham and lead investigator of CARISCC); and Ronald Cummings (Brock University, Canada, and member of the CARISCC network).

For the full CARISCC exhibition schedule, please click here.

For additional information about the film screening event and tickets, please click here.

For the exhibition webpage, please click here.

Image: Wedgee (2017), by Candice Sobers.

FIU Conference—“A Moveable Nation: Cuban Art and Cultural Identity”

Source: FIU Conference—“A Moveable Nation: Cuban Art and Cultural Identity”


During this day showcasing work by artists of African and Afro-Caribbean descent, learn how these artists, now in major collections both nationally and internationally, have made a major contribution to the cultural landscape of Britain.

Please see An Introduction to Black and British Artists poster 10 July 2017.

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