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NEW BOOK: Sustainable Art Communities

SAC book cover

The Caribbean, with its transnational diaspora stretching to all the shores of the Atlantic and beyond, is one of the liveliest cultural landscapes in the world today. It is also one of the most troubled. A major new anthology of material edited by Leon Wainwright (OU) and Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden), published this year by Manchester University Press, presents the contemporary perspectives on the challenges facing Caribbean communities and shows how the arts can play a crucial role in improving sustainability through a shared ground of experience, enjoyment and understanding.

The book promotes the view that visual art in particular has an important contribution to make in enhancing the Caribbean’s networks and reflecting on the nature of its connections. It addresses a topic that spans the scholarly, artistic, curatorial and professional fields of art and heritage, exploring constructive comparisons between key linguistic regions – namely the Anglophone and the Dutch – and identifying new parallels and contrasts in global-local relations, capital, patronage, morality, sustainability and the benefits of knowledge exchange. Ultimately, it makes the case for social justice in the arts within a complex and little-studied global geography.

Sustainable Art Communities is a milestone in the collaboration between artists, policymakers, arts organisers, art historians and critics, drawing from such diverse settings as Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Suriname, Curaçao, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

It is the outcome of a recent international project that explored how the understanding and formation of sustainable communities for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean and their diasporas may be supported by art practice, curating and museums. The project was led by Principal Investigator Leon Wainwright and comprised public events in Amsterdam and London, in a partnership between the OU and Leiden University (Co-Investigator Prof. Dr. Kitty Zijlmans), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). You can read more about this project here.

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