Thursday, February 22, 2007

Could 'Negroamor' happen in Jamaica?

Brasil has an exhibition/ community initiative where simple but large images of the city's under-represented persons of African descent are projected or printed unto the architecture. It is to promote negroamor or black/self-love. The response to it as you can imagine is two-sided. Some privileged persons termed 'white' have objected to being bombarded by the images while it has reportedly promoted self-awareness among blacks in Bahia, Brasil. There is a very engaging website which accompanies the project. Please check it out at
Granted, it isn't in English but it is more about the sound and beautiful images. This project makes me wonder if something like this would ever be possible in Jamaica and more specifically Kingston with its multiplicity of oppressed and politically controlled areas, skin-bleaching culture, corruption and beuaracracy. This sounds harsh but Jamaica has developed a way of covering its neglected underbelly and exposing the sweet images of one-love Jamaica. Could a project which uses our artists to transform the environment also help transform our mindset?
- thanks to Tracey-Anne Clarke for providing reference information



  1. Jamaica is promoted as an island paradise, and in some ways it is, but with all the killings, the skin bleaching, and other forms of self hate occurring, the paradise seems superficial. Take for example, the upcoming World Cup Cricket. There are commercials on TV and radio telling us to be good people, treat the tourists well, wear a smile on our faces and be proud to be Jamaican. One Love. We now have beautification projects, and the rumored removal of the homeless from the streets. It’s the same as if a stranger is coming to your house for a visit, you clean up because you want to make a good impression, but don’t be fake about it. Don’t change yourself to please another. I think if Jamaica was to do something like Negroamor it would only be for Black History Month, because it seems like that’s the only time we remember that the majority of us are black.

  2. The World Cup situation is one that bothers me as well. We have known about this for months and yet with a few weeks or days to go roads are just being fixed and landscaping being done. I wonder how quickly flowers can grow? We have some of the same problems as Bahia, Brasil. They have used art as social intervention. When will Jamican governemts recognize the power of art and its importance to society and civilization. It isn't by mistake that the National Endowment for the Arts in the U.S. uses the slogan "a great nation deserves great art".
    Is tourism a situation that has affected more deeply than we thought?


Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts.