Over 150 years of “Bajan Crucian” relationship was today highlighted by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King.
Minister King was speaking at the official send off for the ‘Reflections on Emancipation and Post-Colonial Society’ art exhibition at the Wall Garden, Barbados Museum and Historical Society, The Garrison, St. Michael. The intent is to leverage art to connect the islands of the Caribbean, primarily Barbados and St. Croix.
The Minister pointed out that “The Bajan Crucian connection was born in 1863 when 1,091 emigrants from Barbados sailed to St. Croix.
Engaged as contracted labourers, many moved as families with guarantees of housing and land plots, making their three-year commitment more attractive. Bajan workers joined Crucian workers, planting, harvesting, and processing sugar cane”.
The Minister of Culture expressed pleasure with the opportunity provided to the 17 artists to exhibit their work beyond the Barbadian shores while presenting the very best of Barbadian Contemporary Visual Arts.
He also thanked Albert Bryan, Jr., Governor of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) for the invitation extended to him as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture.
Minister King noted that in addition to the exhibition, the Government of the USVI would be hosting Barbadian Wood Sculptor, Ras Ilix Heartman, for a residency to assist with the conducting of workshops in collaboration with Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT).
CHANT is a new tourism platform upon which a wide array of Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism products are developed and expanded.
He stated, “We intend to make our country proud as we embark on this journey to St. Croix to showcase to the world, through our art, the rough path that we have had to travel, where we came from, where we are now and the new pathway that we intend to travel. We must not just only show it to the world, but we must hold it in perpetuity for our future generations. So that they would never forfeit the freedoms and gains we have made.”