Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas - (This article is a re-posting of a feature in November 2009 in memory of the late Hon Charles Maynard)The Bahamas Weekly News Team
had the opportunity to attend the opening night gala; "A Question of
Faith: The Journey of Freetown," an historical perspective told through
fibre art and an exhibition held November 12th at the Gloria Banks
Galleria at the Rand Nature Centre.The exhibit is open to the public and on display for a month.
In this video you will hear interviews the Minister of State for Culture the Hon.
Charles Maynard; the wife of Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister, Robin
Symonette, a member of the Stepping Stone Quilters Guild; Edison Dames,
Assistant Director of Culture and Percy 'Vola' Francis - Sr, Crafts
Instructor, Jr. Junkanoo Coordinator and band leader of The Shell
You will note from these video interviews that the
exhibition served as an inspiration for those interviewed and further,
as a catalyst that opened up a debate on Bahamian culture and the
impact of foreign influence and technology upon it. The debate continues
on in a subsequent video.
Curators for the exhibition are Chantal
E.Y. Bethel, and Laurie N. Tuchel. Artistic advisor/curator, Antonius
Roberts. Historical research, Darius Williams.
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 Roberts.
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.