Explores creole discourse to re-conceptualize archive that is contemporaneous and centralizes the presence and imagery of the Caribbean figure.
The image of the Caribbean figure has been reconfigured by photography from the mid-19th century onwards. Initial images associated with the slave and indentured worker from the locations and legacies associated with plantation economies have been usurped by visual representations emerging from struggles for social, political and cultural autonomy. Contemporary visual artists engaging with the Caribbean as a 21st century globalised space have focused on visually re-imagining historical material and events as memories, histories and dreamscapes.
Creole in the Archive uses photographic analysis to explore portraits, postcards and social documentation of the colonial worker between 1850 and 1960 and contemporary, often digital, visual art by post-independent, postcolonial Caribbean artists. Drawing on Derridean ideas of the archive, the book reconceptualises the Caribbean visual archive as contiguous and relational. It argues that using a creolising archive practice, the conjuncture of contemporary artworks, historical imagery and associated locations can develop insightful new multimodal representations of Caribbean subjectivities.
Introduction: Notebook of a Return / 1. Creolising Archives: A Relational and Contiguous Practice / 2. Caribbean Spaces: Seeing Her Presence, Exploring Her Past / 3. Controlling Her Image / 4. ‘See We Here’: Determining the Caribbean Self / 5. Visualising Change / Conclusion: Endnote / Index