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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Artist Kishan Munroe's “Swan Song of the Flamingo” on at National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
By Kishan Munroe
Jan 5, 2014 - 1:40:14 PM

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Nassau, New Providence - Artist Kishan Munroe's multi­disciplinary exhibition is still underway at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and is revolutionary in both it’s scope and scale.

“Swan Song of the Flamingo” is a collaborative project that marries Munroe’s visual artistry with the work of other Bahamian and Cuban artists from various disciplines to create a boundary shattering program that shines a spotlight on painful period in Bahamian history: the sinking of HMBS Flamingo of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force fleet on May 10, 1980.

Munroe has recruited Bahamian artists like Patricia Glinton Meicholas, Gavin McKinney, Obediah Michael Smith, Joann Callender, Cleophas Adderley, Sonia Farmer, Lee Callender and Cuban dancers Eduardo Blanco, Amaya Rodriquez to lend their talents to the project. He also worked closely with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to bring this project to life.

Through a mélange of visual, audio and literary arts, Munroe and some of Cuba’s and The Bahamas’ most well known and influential artists weave together the fibers of a story that addresses the historical and cultural nuances that have shaped Bahamian culture and its relationship to Cuba.

“Swan Song of the Flamingo” will demand critical analysis from its audience as it contextualizes The Bahamas and the loss of the Flamingo within the global drama that was the Cold War as well as the geo­political drama that was, and still is, the tenuous relationship between the United States and Cuba.

What is offered by Munroe and his collaborators is not a bitter reflection on the events of the past but, for the first time ever, an analytical investigation into the incident.

The “Swan Song of the Flamingo” represents an impressive effort on Munroe’s part, displaying his artistry, his interest in regional and Bahamian history and is a wonderful testament to his work as a tireless cataloger of the trials and triumphs of the people of the Americas.

The driving force behind the project, Munroe approached both the Cuban and Bahamian governments, explaining that he intends for the project to foster a broader dialogue between the nations and their leaders and citizens alike.

For almost three years, Munroe traveled between both countries engaging in dialogue with embassies, government officials and those affected by the tragedy.

Kishan is the youngest artist to be granted a solo exhibition at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas but thought th the historical magnitude of this incident necessitated broad collaboration.

“Swan Song of the Flamingo” opened on November 21st at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and runs until March 21st.

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