Special report – Havana’s Biennial, May-June 2012.

Collateral program. Encounter Day in Havana’s University – May 14th 2012. 

The art historian and critic Yolanda Wood has dedicated some twenty years of her career to promoting and spreading Caribbean contemporary art. She is the founder of the Chair of the History of Caribbean Art of the University of Havana, and she has been organizing a special encounter day on Caribbean art for several biennials.

This day, which is organized and thought out by her students, gathers artists, experts and young professionals. Conducted in three languages – Spanish, French and English – the goal of this meeting is to review the current state of Caribbean contemporary creation and its circuit of diffusion.

On this occasion, on May 14th this year, Yolanda Wood and her students gave the chance to a great number of guests to express themselves around this round table.

Les élèves de la Chaire d'Histoire de l'Art de la Caraïbe ayant organisé la journée, entourant (de gauche à droite) Yolanda Wood, Jorge Pineda, Belkis Ramirez, Pascal Meccariello © Uprising Art
Students from the Caribbean Art History Chair having organised the day, with (from left to right) Yolanda Wood, Jorge Pineda, Belkis Ramirez, Pascal Meccariello © Uprising Art

The morning, prepared by the student Mónica Ríos Álvarez, was dedicated to a discussion on the circulation and dissemination of contemporary Caribbean artworks and the way they were seen (in a critical sense) on the global artistic scene.

The Uprising team – Claire Richer, the founder and Clelia Coussonnet, project manager – has presented the first web platform of the actors of the contemporary Caribbean artistic scene, which was launched in February 2012. This platform, an unprecedented initiative in the area, is composed of the digital review of Uprising Mag and of the Uprising Art web portal, presenting the artists, the galleries and the key places dedicated to this art, as well as the experts on the area. This initiative meets a real need and was acclaimed by artists and actors met during the biennial. Dominique Brebion, curator and critic, presented an historic overview of events and publications that have contributed to the shine and spread of the richness of the region’s artistic creation. Laurence Choko, from the Intemporel gallery in Paris, shared her experience as a gallery owner and her work to promote artists of the Caribbean diaspora. Alanna Lockward spoke about her experience as a curator and, more specifically, about the video manifestation Be Bop – Black Europe Body Politics.


On the contrary, the afternoon was dedicated to a presentation of contemporary art in Barbados and to the dialogue with art history students of the Barbados Community College whose works were presented by their teachers (Evan Atkinson, Ras Ishi, Winston Kellman, and Adam Werth).

Artistes présentant leur travail, de gauche à droite : Quintapata, Maksaens Denis, Sheena Rose, Joëlle Ferly © Uprising Art
Artists presenting their work, from left to right : Quintapata, Maksaens Denis, Sheena Rose, Joëlle Ferly © Uprising Art

Then the day finished on a wide discussion with Caribbean artists, invited in this 11th biennial, under the lead of the students Chanell Martell Ibarra and Sindy Martínez Leme. The following artists intervened: Jean-François Boclé, Maksaens Denis, Joëlle Ferly, Sheena Rose and the Dominican group Quintapata : Pascal Meccariello, Raquel Paiewonsky, Jorge Pineda, Belkis Ramírez. Each presented his work and answered the questions of Yolanda Wood’s students.


Arts & Letters Faculty, Havana’s University, Cuba.

Encounter day between experts, artists and professionals – Monday May  14th 2012.


Headline Photograph’s credits : Part of the group that took part in the meeting © Uprising Art