FAU to feature Caribbean art gallery

A report by Djimmitry Graham for University Press Online.

Work from Caribbean artists about how the past affects present culture is coming to FAU.

The free art exhibition, titled “Decolonizing Refinement,” will be in the Schmidt Center Gallery from Nov. 9 to Feb. 2. The majority of the pieces are by award-winningartist Edouard Duval-Carrié, a Haitian-American whose work focuses on Haiti’s history.

During the gallery’s opening on Nov. 8, Duval-Carrié will speak from at 6:30 p.m. in the College of Arts and Letters building, Room 101. This will be followed by a reception in the Schmidt Center Gallery on Caribbean culture and the impacts of Caribbean history on the modern world.

The other gallery pieces, picked to complement Duval-Carrié’s work, will be borrowed from local collections like Broward County’s African American Research Library and Cultural Center, the Florida Department of State’s Bureau of Archaeological Research, the Delray Beach Historical Society, and Delray Beach’s S.D. Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, as well as the archaeology collection in FAU’s Department of Anthropology.

The exhibition looks to explain the effects of Caribbean culture and history on Florida and the Southeast United States. Factors like the slave trade and oppression will be highlighted, and the pieces honor the Caribbean people who died in enslavement.

The exhibit’s title refers to a “decolonization agent,” or a substance that is used to purify crops like cotton and sugar that Caribbean people were forced to cultivate.

This purifying process is a metaphor for the forgotten link between the products Americans enjoy today and the abuse of the workers who made it possible. The food acts as an exchange for their culture, feeding the American dream but disregarding the Caribbean lifestyle, Duval-Carrié believes.

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