31 December 2016

Cosmic Evolution - What is your Earthseed Vision of the Future?

This year has been ridiculously intense, hard, and frustrating... but I've managed to do some things -- channeling my rage into creation. I've pushed myself as a writer, poet, and artist -- and this project was visioned, created, and produced all in this year since the summer. In July, I had an amazing week at the VONA/VOICES Writers of Color Workshop - Residency with David Mura. This was life changing for me a writer and it gave me the tools I need to push myself, my craft, my artistic writing self. I am grateful. Out of that powerful experience, I went into another writing retreat with my SPACE crew in Tobago - and Cosmic Evolution was born. I wrote a short story that I then began to vision as a mixed media installation -- and I submitted a proposal to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas call for their 8th NationalExhibition. I was accepted :) and the piece grew and transformed into what you will see below. 

Close Up of Sculpture - representing Cosmic Evolution

"Cosmic Evolution" is a speculative fiction experience and multimedia installation about how we vision futures for Caribbean and African Diaspora peoples. Inspired by Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Caribbean mangroves and sea, I ask what is our Earthseed vision of the future? This artwork is my response and provocation for us to create wildly and boldly. To seriously think about our survival and possible futures given the continued assault on on Black, Brown, Migrant, Same-Sex loving, Queer, and Women's Lives and the earth. The sculpture is a small-scale model of the evolution of our beings and escape to the stars. (I must give a shout out and sincere gratitude to my dearest friend Shalini Seereeram for her help with design and materials for the sculpture. She is boss artist and has design magic!) The rest of installation includes 18 photographs, 11min 11sec video with mangroves and storytelling. My work is inspired by the Mangrove forests of Trinidad and Tobago and created through deep reflection of how we vision our Caribbean futures. I am thrilled to be featured in the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas 8th National Exhibition - OFFSITE at Hillside House. I went home on 16th December to Install the piece and also had the fabulous opportunity to share the work at the opening reception on the 17th and offer a reading/performance. Here are photos and some reflections of the opening and this experience of creating Cosmic Evolution.


PromoBillboard for NE8 featuring one of my photographs (of Tobago Mangrove) from Cosmic Evolution

Angelique V. Nixon | Cosmic Evolution | Artist Statement


“The Destiny of Earthseed is to take Root among the Stars.”
–Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower



Cosmic Evolution is a provocation and speculative fiction experience about how we vision our futures for Caribbean and African diaspora people – Black, Brown, Migrant, Same-Sex Loving, Queer, and Women especially. This vision began with a journey through the Mangrove forests in Tobago and deep reflection on Octavia Butler’s dystopia novel Parable of the Sower (imagining her creation of community survival through Earthseed). It also emerges through the painful social and racial climate we are surviving in the past few years of a so-called post-racial world (and the rise of Black Lives Matter and Migrant Rights movements globally in response to overwhelming violence, fear, and hate). And it comes to life thinking through the backlash against Caribbean feminist and women’s movements for gender and sexual justice and the continued struggles for gender and sexual rights and freedom for Caribbean sexual minorities (LGBTQI) and gender non-conforming people. Cosmic Evolution is about survival and possible futures given the continued assault on Black, Brown, Migrant, Queer, and Women’s lives.  

This mixed media installation shares a future vision of marginalised people evolving and relocating to Space after spending nine years under the mangrove forests of the Caribbean Sea. The future storyteller (griot) explains the process of this cosmic evolution and how people transformed and took flight to the stars, which is made possible through the magical infusion of cultural artifacts, ancestral spirits, earth and sea vibrations, and mangrove swamps. Cosmic Evolution visions a future decolonised, where our minds, bodies, and spirits feel whole; a future unbounded to capitalism, where communities thrive in harmony and healing rooted in love and acceptance; a future where we co-exist with the earth and all living creatures; a future where we are sexually, spiritually, and socially free – with consent at the root and restorative justice the path. To create our own possible Earthseed Future, we must do the work of pulling from the past and present to evolve. This project seeks to ground us back into the earth, sea, and ancestral memory, to reimagine the tools we need in order to create better, possible, and livable futures.


What is your Earthseed Vision of the Future?

Cosmic Evolution - Mixed Media Installation at Hillside House
Close Up of the Sculpture
Video surrounded by Photographs of the Mangroves which inspired my story
I took these photographs of the Mangrove Forests in Trinidad and Tobago.
I worked with NAGB Chief Curator Holly Bynoe to place the photographs and create this collage style effect.
Description of the work to accompany the installation
Promo for the Opening Reception and Reading at Hillside House

Reading at Hillside House for the Opening Reception -- NE8 Offsite.
I offered a Ritual after the reading/performance of my story Cosmic Evolution -- I opened the space with ancestor blessings and acknowledgement of land and people here before us. After storytelling, I shared my manifesto and Earthseed visioning of this new Earth/space and the kind of community I would want to create. I asked participants to join me in visioning of our Caribbean futures. I invited them to write down on pieces of fabric what magical artifacts or objects they would take with them AND/OR what kind of community or new world they would create. Each person left their message near the sculpture. And I gave each person who contributed a seed to keep with them for future visioning. It was a powerful ritual of exchange and visioning for me as an artist. This was my first solo performance art piece and I am forever grateful to the staff and curatorial team at NAGB for this amazing opportunity. I want to especially give thanks to Holly Bynoe for creating spaces and expansive visioning for what art is and how we can engage community. Thank you Holly! 💜

The sculpture with offerings from participants after the ritual
Close up of some of the offerings
Engaging the work - friends and family :)


Another Promo for the Opening featuring one of my photographs of the Tobago Mangrove Forest
Description of NE8
NE8 OFFSite Artists
Grateful for this experience and being able to share my art at home :)
Another view of the photographs and video.







I am also very grateful to be in the region these past few years -- teaching, working, living, and in the struggle for Caribbean freedom. Trinidad and Tobago is an ancestral home for me and is also now feeling completely homespace. I am happy to share my Cosmic Evolution first in my birthplace/home Nassau, Bahamas, but as it was created in and inspired by sweet T&T I will also be sharing it in Trinidad - soon soon!

happy new year blessings & conscious vibes.
may this new year bring renewal & fortitude for continuing struggles & resistance.
choose our weapons wisely. vision boldly & stay rooted. 
conjure freedom tools. be defiant.

peace love blessings in abundance! and more from me in 2017!
Angelique (sistella black)

13 December 2016

Rituals for Healing and Self Care - A Caribbean Feminist Brew


Rituals for Healing and Self Care
A Caribbean Feminist Brew
Conjured by Angelique V. Nixon


for those of us on the frontline,
waging battles, survivors of violence,
for Caribbean women and girls,
for Caribbean people who live and love
outside gender and sexual norms,
(especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex,
queer, and gender non-conforming folks)

These past weeks of sharing painful stories, we have broken depths of silence,
Broken, we are not, broke open, we are, not damaged beyond repair,
We are breaking silences with fyah raised fists and voices beaming, 
we listen, we hold, we rage, we bawl, we scream, we remember.
 
We share our own stories. Sometimes we don’t share. Sometimes we can’t. This is time to bear witness. We share in this unearthing of our stories of sexual abuse, harassment, assault, and violence. We wonder how to move forward. How to escape. How to process. How to cope. How to stop this violence. How to hold each other accountable. How to live and love. How to be whole again. How to heal. 

Krystal Nandini Ghisyawan and I have been asking these questions over the past few years through our co-created art and reflection projects on gender-based violence (GBV) in the Caribbean. This year, we decided to focus on breaking silence and healing. 

For survivors of violence especially women and people who defy sexual and gender norms, I hosted a healing workshop at Wholeness and Justice Counselling Centre in Trinidad on 9 December. I created this workshop to facilitate healing space for those of us most affected by gender based violence. This session focused on women, LGBTQI folks, and gender non-conforming people because we experience the brunt of hetero-patriarchal violence. These forms of violence affect us all but women and sexual minorities experience gender based violence disproportionately. 

As the #LifeinLeggings movement grows across the Caribbean, we must create more spaces for us to find healing. We have opened up wounds, we have shared painful memories, and we are bearing witness to each other’s pain. How do we process these feelings and memories? How do we support and protect each other? How do we channel our anger, pain, rage, and sorrow into creativity, language, and action? How do we manage loved ones reactions, feelings, and pain upon reading our stories? Can we create change and transform our societies, communities, and families? What is possible? Inspired by Audre Lorde's poetry and essays, my workshop seeks to open space and use creativity for healing and transformation. 

I share here on consciousvibration the goals, rituals, and creative exercises I developed to create space for healing and sharing. We had a powerful and hard session on Friday – with nine of us – sharing, writing, creating, and thinking through these questions of how we transform silence into language and action. I will be hosting more of these workshops soon – and some folks in the group want to meet up regularly.  

The Goals of the Workshop: For survivors of gender based violence, to release and find healing through creativity and to transform silence into language and action.


   Defining Self Care:
  • A self-initiated, deliberate act to establish and maintain physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Creating spaces for reflection, healing, community building, and balance. 
Cleansing Healing Breathing Practice
  • To release stress and emotional build up; To cleanse the body and regenerate; To clear the mind - ground and center self.
  • Focus and Pay attention to the breath as a healing practice.
Remember that Healing is a process (day to day practice)
  • Establish daily rituals of self-care: eating well, exercise, meditation, yoga, grounding, nature connection, checking in with loved ones.
  • Relaxing and restorative things you do just for you (time for yourself everyday; writing every morning or before bed; make a healing playlist just for you; etc.)
  • Build a healing altar and/or space for mediation and healing practice. 

Healing Altar built for the workshop on 9 Dec 2016

Writing and Art – Creativity as a Path for Healing (channel rage into creation)

Anger expressed and translated into action in the service of our vision and our future is a liberating and strengthening act of clarification. 
Anger is loaded with information and energy. 
 –Audre Lorde “Uses of Anger”

We have opened up wounds, we have shared painful memories, and we are bearing witness to each others' pain. How do we process these feelings and memories? How do we support and protect each other? How do we channel our anger, pain, rage, and sorrow into creativity, language, and action? How do we manage loved ones reactions, feelings, and pain upon reading our stories? Can we create change and transform our societies, communities, and families? What is possible?


My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.
–Audre Lorde “Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”

As survivors of gender based violence – we often push down the painful memories and this can create a separation of selves – especially if it happened to us as children or teens. We may have split and silenced parts of our selves to survive and cope. Sometimes these are necessary strategies but long term can be damaging. Here are some creative exercises to communicate with your other self or selves built for survival and coping – for healing and transformation.

Creative Exercises as pathways to healing:

1) Stone Reflection (Earth – grounding self)
Pick two stones – one as a reflection of your inner self or child self and the other as the self you project to the world or your adult self. Write about each stone and how they reflect these parts of you. Describe the surface, the edges, the feelings that each stone evokes in you. Let the power of the earth come through the stones. Feel how they ground you. Share your reflection.

2) Love letter or drawing to child-teen-younger self (Air and Water – for healing) 

Use the elements of Air and Water – as a metaphor for channeling messages to your younger self: write a love letter or create a drawing for your younger self. 

For Inspiration -- read my love letter: 



3) "Transforming Silence into Language and Action" (Fire – for regeneration)
And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger.

 We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of the silence will choke us.

The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break the silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.

– Audre Lorde, “Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”

For Inspiration, watch and listen to my collaborative art project: “Sixteen Days: Art and Reflection Project” and see my art and poetry collection: Saltwater Healing: A Myth Memoir and Poems.

Vision your own transformation piece with FYAH – create, draw, paint, colour, write poetry, or anything you want to make with your hands -- transform feelings, anger, sadness, grief, pain, silence into something new that will incite, will speak, will draw upon your energy and live beyond you.

Healing Art by one of the workshop participants


Closing – circle vibration / conscious vibration  
Give Thanks – ancestors, earth magic, walk with spirit
#Beyond16Days#LifeinLeggings #Caribbeanfeministwork #Catchafyah
13 December 2016 | Full Moon Blessings in Gemini







07 December 2016

Sixteen Days: Art & Reflection on Ending Gender Based Violence

Three Part Series -- Sixteen Days
Art & Reflection on Ending Gender Based Violence

#16Days #endviolence #orangetheworld

 OUTRAGE







BODY POWER 




CHANGE 







Three-part collaborative project of reflections and original artwork produced during the 16 Days of Activism in 2014.

 
#16Days #Beyond16Days #endviolence

Building upon this work each year, and
using it for my gender based violence healing workshop
in Trinidad, 9 December 2016

 

After a year hiatus...
more updates on consciousvibration,
soon come...

 peace love & blessings

18 November 2015

Resisting Paradise -- New Book!


Months have flown by since my last update on the blogsphere... :( and now finally making some time to share updates! In the midst of too many projects, deadlines, teaching, writing, creating, and everything else I'm up to these days... I'm loving it all and immensely invested in all the work. And I'm overjoyed with being in the region (homespace) and working at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. There is much to report on and reflect... but for now -- wanting to share on conscious vibration that my book is out!!! :)

Cover Art "Emancipation Boat Cruise" John Beadle (1998)

My first scholarly book Resisting Paradise is ready for launches, readings, and parties! After many years of labour and love, research, writing, revising, and writing some more, I'm thrilled to finally hold my book. Thanks so much to Repeating Islands, ARC Magazine, and Bahamian Art and Culture eMagazine for book launch announcements!

It feels good :) and I'm feeling good... Grateful for the opportunity to share and create... So grateful for the support of friends and family... and even more grateful to all the spirits and ancestors who create through me.

The IGDS hosted a book launch for me on 28th October -- and it was a beautiful event and opportunity to share and discuss my work. Here are some highlights from the launch and promotions for the book.

Cover Art "Emancipation Boat Cruise" John Beadle | Design by Kathryn Chan

 Postcard -- Graphic Design by Kathryn Chan

Featured in the Trinidad & Tobago's Sunday Guardian, WOW Magazine | 25 October 2015
Thanks to Paula Lindo for the interview and promotion!

Giving thanks to all my T&T friends/fam who came out for the IGDS book launch on 28th October! I am so grateful! Special thanks to the entire staff at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, St. Augustine Unit - especially Sue Ann Barratt for being a fabulous host, Deborah McFee for organizing the event, Kathryn L Chan for all of her hard work in marketing, creating, branding the launch and promo materials for the book (postcards, bookmarks, stickers are all Kathryn's design brilliance!), Gabrielle Hosein for a beautiful vote of thanks, and to all the IGDS graduate students who push and inspire me. Finally -- give thanks to my fierce warrior-kin Lyndon Gill who offered an incredible reflection/review of my book. I am still beaming and feeling so blessed and humble to be in this community and doing this work. Looking forward to years of building and forging resistance. Here are some photos of the evening:

IGDS Book Launch | Photo Credit: Kathryn Chan

IGDS Book Launch | Photo Credit: Kathryn Chan


IGDS Book Launch | Photo Credit: Kathryn Chan

Angelique V. Nixon & Lyndon K. Gill at the IGDS Book Launch | Photo Credit: Kathryn Chan

For more about the book and my process -- here is a published interview with Trinidad and Tobago's Newsday

In Her Words: Angelique V Nixon | James Dupraj, 
WMN magazine, Newsday, 15 November 2015, pp. 6-7


Angelique V Nixon is a Bahamian-born, Trinbago-based writer, artist, teacher, scholar, activist, and poet. Her newest published title, Resisting Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora, and Sexuality in Caribbean Culture was released in October. In the work, Angelique explores notions of Caribbean paradise and how the tourism industry we are all too familiar with can be both exploitative and counter-intuitive to regional mobility.

“The process was long and hard – lots of reading, writing, revising, and more writing,” she says of Resisting Paradise. The author reveals that the book took many years to complete and there were even times she believed it wouldn’t be finished. “But I pushed through and believed in the importance of Caribbean people being at the centre of our knowledge production and research.” Angelique is also a lecturer and researcher at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), UWI St Augustine. Her research, cultural criticism, and poetry have been published widely. She is co-editor of the online multi-media collection Theorising Homophobias in the Caribbean – Complexities of Place, Desire, and Belonging. And she is author of Saltwater Healing: A Myth Memoir & Poems, which is a limited-edition letterpress handbound chapbook of original art and poetry (sold out). This book and selections from it are currently on display at the Alma Jordan Library, UWI St. Augustine campus, as well a display from her newest book.

Today, she shares with WMN some of the driving themes behind Resisting Paradise, her personal relationship to the tourism industry, and divulges some of the issues she tackles in her new book.
Author Angelique V. Nixon | Photo Credit: Margot Bethel

Can you tell us a bit more about the book’s title? 
The first part of the title – Resisting Paradise came to me as I was reading poetry by two writers – Bahamian poet Marion Bethel and Trinidadian-Bahamian poet Christian Campbell. They are both very critical of tourism and how it affects Caribbean culture and identity. Their poetry offered much needed counter-narratives to stereotypical ideas of paradise. For me, being born and raised in a tourist economy in the Bahamas, I completely understood why they were so critical of these images of paradise. Also in my studies and research, I found that tourism has serious effects on cultural, racial, sexual, and class identity inside the region and in the Caribbean diaspora. And so I write about these connections between tourism, diaspora, and sexuality in Caribbean culture. And the book focuses on Caribbean cultural producers who resist the powerful production of paradise.
As Caribbean folk, we are often taught to look at tourism as a saviour or to look upon tourism markets as viable and illustrious options as career paths and corporate/economic investment. Do you comment on this in the book, and what are your personal thoughts?

This issue is at the centre of the book! It is exactly why I wrote it. Growing up in a tourist economy forged my consciousness around this issue – the double bind of tourism and the extreme dependency much of the region has on tourism. Further, as I share in the book, I worked in the tourism and banking industry for years in the Bahamas before my career in academia. I discuss how my own social and economic mobility is deeply tied to the tourism industry. One of my goals was to think through and offer alternatives to this double bind and expose the ways that tourism can be incredibly unsustainable and exploitative. I also wanted to show how Caribbean writers, artists, and cultural workers offer alternative models to mass tourism in order to propose more ethical and locally-led models. And I share ideas about investing in ourselves – education, knowing our histories/herstories, and cultural productions that are Caribbean focused – as a way to counter the negative impacts of tourism. I also discuss ways we can be more responsible and ethical Caribbean travelers and forge different relationships to space and the region in particular. We are not immune to the powerful and seductive images of paradise. And so when we as Caribbean people travel, I ask us to think about how we relate to each other and places we visit. For example, when we in Trinidad travel to Tobago – what is that relationship? How do we show up as visitors/tourists or local-foreign? What are our expectations of the space? Do we see Tobago as Trinidad’s paradise? What are the tensions that exist and why? These are the kinds of questions I discuss and explore in the book.

How do you link tourism, diaspora, and sexuality in the work? Why do you feel they need to be examined under the same lens?

I argue that tourism has deeply affected Caribbean cultural and sexual identity. And I also explore how this affects Caribbean people inside and outside the region. I discuss African Diaspora tourism and different kinds of travel and relationship to space. I think deeply about how Caribbean people living abroad and their children return home for visits, for Carnival, for pleasure and to spend time with family and how they participate in the business of tourism. This is why I bring these three together to discuss the complicated relationships among them.

How did growing up in a country heavily reliant on tourism affect the way you view and interact with such? Did your relationship to it change over the years?
 
When I was growing up in the Bahamas, it was either banking or tourism service industry for job opportunities. I started work in downtown Nassau at 14 with different summer and afterschool jobs; then bartending at night and bank job in the day after high school. My relationship changed over the years as I learned more in college and graduate school about economics, history, and culture across the Caribbean. I became more critical of tourism and wanted to search for better ways for us to survive as a region. But I also experienced and therefore respect the hustle of working in the tourist industry – and so I don’t want to be overtly critical of people who have limited choices either. I started to think about larger structural changes that we needed as a region – and how we could forge resistance together.

When examining Caribbean tourism, as with everything, there are pros and cons - do you agree? Can you elaborate?
 
Yes, of course – pros and cons. For me working directly in the tourism industry through service jobs (bartending, waiting tables, retail, etc.) as a teenager, I met people from all over the world – and I would say that opened up my mind and perspectives to many things. I grew up really poor in a small place and so getting to meet all different kinds of people was inspiring. During my interviews with people working in the tourism and culture industry, I also found this to be a positive aspect of tourism that people spoke about again and again. As for cons, there are so many -- from being unsustainable and over-reliance on foreign investments to the damaging environmental, social, and cultural effects of tourism. I discuss these in my book throughout but I also share ways that Caribbean cultural producers negotiate tourism. And so I offer ways for us to vision and push against the production of paradise and create new models.

Some may argue that the façade of “paradise”, especially as it relates to the Caribbean, continues to be entrenched in our colonial histories. Please offer your thoughts on this idea of “paradise”, and why do you believe there should be resistance?
 
Dominant ideas about paradise are absolutely connected deeply to our colonial histories that remain embedded in our education, political, economic, and social fabrics across the region. As other Caribbean scholars have argued, ideas of Caribbean paradise were built and sustained through histories of slavery, colonialism, and indentureship that cultivated structures of racism, class exploitation, sexism, and other oppressive systems. There must be resistance to paradise because those dominant images (myths and metaphors) of paradise continue to define the region globally. There must be resistance to “paradise” because it is part of the region’s legacy of resistance. We must resist, contest, and create new images of ourselves that complicate and explode “paradise” because we exist, we are not metaphors, as Caribbean writer Michelle Cliff so beautiful puts it. My book seeks to answer this question that other Caribbean scholars, writers, and artists have asked and grappled with: what is the cost of producing “paradise” for everyone but ourselves? And I seek answers through various forms of resistance.
Sexuality is a topic that some may not link to tourism overtly, yet recently in Trinidad and Tobago there have been arrests and investigations into allegations of human trafficking. Do you believe tourism and the sex trade are two sides of the same coin?

Tourism and the sex trade are certainly related and connected, but I don’t see them as two sides of the same coin. It’s important to remember that much of human trafficking involves domestic work/trade, which is just as exploitative as sex trafficking. Also the sex trade operates inside and outside of tourism industry. The way I discuss sexuality in relationship to tourism is more about sexual labour and transactional sexual relationships that exist in many ways because of the over-dependence on the tourism economy. And finally, I examine the ways sexuality can be affected by tourism – that is, sexual identity, practices, desires, and behaviors. The book interrogates the sexual-cultural politics of tourism – even when sex or sexuality is not explicit in tourism advertisements or packages, it is always there under the surface. In other words, the Caribbean tourism industry in its selling of Caribbean paradise is always selling sex and culture. What do you hope both every day and academic readers can gain from Resisting Paradise? I hope all readers gain new insights into the ways that Caribbean cultural producers are writing, creating, and asserting Caribbean subjectivity and sense of self. And I hope readers learn more about the brilliant Caribbean writers and artists who push us all to think and expand our consciousness. I would like readers to think about resistance and how we can build community together and fight in the struggle for social justice and equality.

What has the work taught you? The work has taught me patience and perseverance as a writer and scholar. It has also taught me to stand up for my beliefs (being an anti-racist, class conscious, postcolonial feminist, womanist, same-sex loving, revolutionary intellectual). It taught me that I do have a right to theorise/create and be at the center of knowledge production, especially as a black mixedrace Caribbean woman doing Caribbean studies. And the work has reminded me that we must look harder for solutions and do research differently – in open and expansive ways to be more inclusive and fearless in our approaches.

Please tell us some more about your work with IGDS. What is on the horizon?
  I am teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Gender and Development Studies. And I am working on a number of research and outreach projects for the institute, as well as my own writing and research. My current research areas include feminist praxis and discourse, Caribbean sexualities, sexual labour, and social justice movements. I will be working on my next scholarly book soon, and I’m in the process of revising poems and writing new pieces for my second book of poetry.

Where is Resisting Paradise available? It’s available on Amazon.com and through the University Press of Mississippi website. It’s in hardcover right now and so it’s really expensive. But I have copies that I’m selling -- extending my author discount so it’s a bit cheaper. Feel free to get in touch with me via email: angeliquevnixon@gmail.com. The paperback will be out next year or so, and then it will be much cheaper. The e-book is out as well on Kindle.

Any additional information, links, or thoughts you would like to share with our readership? I dedicated my book to “all the cosmic warriors and moon-loving-conjure beings, who create boldly, cause trouble, and fight for justice;” and to “the struggle to be black, woman, human, and free.” This is the center of all my work as a writer, artist, teacher, scholar, activist, and poet. Stay in touch with me Instagram/Twitter @sistellablack, Follow me on Facebook (Angelique V. Nixon), and visit my blog: consciousvibration.blogspot.com.


In Her Words, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday WMN, 15 Nov 2015

Graphic Design by Kathryn Chan

And finally, I'm thrilled to be going home to Nassau for a Book Launch and Panel Discussion hosted by the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) on 20th November! I will give a book presentation and then engage in a discussion with artist John Cox, activist Erin Greene, and COB lecturers Keithley Woolward and Nicolette Bethel. We will be discussing these questions and more that I grapple with in the book:
How do we Live & Imagine in “Paradise”? What is the relationship between tourism and culture? How do gender, race, and sexual labour intersect in this relationship? What are the (social and economic) costs of producing “paradise”? How does tourism affect our identity? Can “Art Tourism” (locally led) be a viable and more ethical model of tourism? What are sites of rebellion and freedom?
The Bahamas is featured prominently in the book: The cover features Bahamian artist John Beadle's "Emancipation Boat Cruise" (1998) which is housed in the NAGB's permanent collection. I discuss Bahamian art throughout -- investigating Junkanoo as both tourist product and form of resistance, my interview with Arlene Nash Ferguson about Junkanoo and EduCulture, analysis of Bahamian artwork by Dionne Benjamin Smith, Veronica Dorsett and Piaget Moss, as well as my interview with John Cox about The Current and Art Tourism. The book also offers readings of several Caribbean writers, including Bahamian poet Marion Bethel and Bahamian-Trinidadian poet Christian Campbell. One of my chapters "Living and Imagining in Paradise: The Culture of a Tourist Economy" is a case study of the Bahamas, in which I discuss several interviews I conducted with workers in the tourism and culture industries. 

So for me, it is vital to have a discussion about the book in the Bahamas -- and to share my work there in a public forum. Since academic work is too often limited in accessibility -- I hope this event and others that I will organize around the book can work against that. I am driven by a feminist praxis and research ethic, which is how I approached the writing and research of the book. I plan to engage the sharing of the work in the same way. (Though the book is very expensive because the first printing is in hardcover, but it will be in paperback soon and much cheaper hopefully by next year! I work to balance that by extending my author discount at book launches/events -- and also giving books to my graduate students I'm working with in Trinidad and giving to friends and family as I can). Still working out the best practices while also promoting and selling the book -- so that it will go to second printing and paperback. 

The Nassau Guardian ran a feature on the launch and discussion "The Way Forward" on 14 November 2015. More on this event soon!  

I am getting ready for deep reasonings in what I know will be a vibrant, rich and necessary discussion. 

with conscious vibration
peace love blessings,
Angelique (sistella black)