(Slide show photos by Lyndah Wells)
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas -
"A Question of Faith: The Journey of Freetown," an
historical perspective told through fibre art and an exhibition
held a gala opening on November 12th at the Gloria Banks Galleria at the Rand Nature Centre in Freeport.
In attendance for the event was the
Minister of State for Culture
the Hon Charles Maynard, and the Deputy Prime Minister's wife Mrs. Robin Symonette, among many other local and visiting guests, including Edis
on Dames, Assistant Director of Culture and Percy 'Vola' Francism the 'King of Junkanoo'.
The opening ceremony was led by Dr. Pamela Etuk and artist, Jackson Burnside gave remarks.
Curators for the exhibition are Chantal E.Y. Bethel, and Laurie N. Tuchel. Artistic advisor/curator, Antonius Roberts. Historical research, Darius Williams.
Participating artists in the exhibition are Lauren Austin, Chantal Bethel, Del Foxton,
and Antonius Roberts.
The Freetown participants in the quiltworks are: Rev Rufus Cooper, Romain Laing, Ahamal Lightbourn, Elizabeth Roberts, and Linda Robert
The exhibition gives the
descendants of that old eastern settlement a quilt with enough warmth
to cover their expansive histories as we journey from New Freetown, to
Infantview Cemetery to Water Cay and on to Sweeting's Cay; where we
spoke with healthy 104 years old resident, Firstina Baillou.
project of the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation, the exhibition is the
result of a seven-month artistic process, historical documentation and
cinematic recording of the history of the old Freetown by the
inhabitants of new Freetown. Once located by the coast, all that is
left of old Freetown is a cemetery called Infantview for its first
inhabitant – a baby – and the ruins of an old house. The settlement was
one of the first known communities of freed slaves on the island.
SLIDE SHOW Photos: Derek Carroll
Freetown is one of the oldest freed slaves settlements on Grand Bahama
Island. After the Grand Bahama Port Authority restructured the area in
the 1960's, the people of Old Freetown moved to New Freetown. Old
Freetown still holds remnants of the foundation stones of some of the
earliest homes on Grand Bahama Island.
2007, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of
the Transatlantic Slave Trade act, The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation
presented an art Exhibition entitled Freedom Call . "As we were doing
our research, we found it extremely difficult to obtain written
information about Old Freetown , we then made the decision that we
would begin our exploration and research in Old Freetown."
this video you will see and/or hear from artist in resident, Lauren
Austin; artist Chantal Bethel, Co-Chair of Grand Bahama Heritage
Foundation; Laurie Tuchel, Co-Chair of Grand Bahama Heritage
Foundation; Mrs. Robin Symonette, wife of DPM Brent Symonette; Genius Cooper, and you will see locations such at Zion Baptist Church, and Freetown Primary School.
Be sure to take in the EXHIBIT
from November 13th through to the 28th at the Gloria Banks Gallery, Rand Nature Centre, Bahamas National Trust.