The Caribbean Aesthetic with Ayanna Gillian Lloyd

Published on: Nov 20 2011 by Designer Island

Ayanna Gillian Lloyd is a  Writer and Blogger. She is currently a Literature in English Teacher at the prestigious Bishop Anstey High School in Port of Spain Trinidad and pursuing a masters at Arthur Lock Jack Graduate School of Business studying Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Ayanna currently writes one of my favourite blogs about Literature and Culture and is very interested in the creative industries. Ayanna’s absolute smarts and genuine interest in the Arts made her a perfect candidate to answer my question; ‘What does the term Caribbean Aesthetic mean to you?’ Please check out the video and leave your thoughts by commenting! ‘I think it’s something that moves along a spectrum of influences and you can’t really define it. It depends on your where you sit, where you’re from, where you start, where you reach, where you going.’ -Ayanna Gillian Lloyd

 


Designer Island with Writer Ayanna Gillian Lloyd from Tanya Williams on Vimeo.

 These photos are taken as part of our collaboration with photographer/videographer, Kibwe Brathwaite.
All Rights are reserved by the photographer and Designer Island.

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14 Comments to “The Caribbean Aesthetic with Ayanna Gillian Lloyd”

  1. Bri says:

    ‘I think it’s something that moves along a spectrum of influences and you can’t really define it. It depends on your where you sit, where you’re from, where you start, where you reach, where you going.’ -Ayanna Gillian Lloyd

    This is quite beautiful.

  2. Tanya Marie - Designer Girl. says:

    It’s such a good and clear description.

    I really enjoy and look forward to Ayanna’s post on her blog. She has such a clear description of things, you can easily visualise what she’s saying.

    I was really happy with her video response to the question and I’m looking forward to recording and posting some more!

  3. browngirl says:

    Just so you know, I really enjoyed this video and it reminded me of my trip to Toco this weekend gone by where my gf and I decided to go to Toco without a sense of direction..All we were heading to the east! Caribbean aestetic to me is the beauty and warmth of the islands and the people that populate it.. The culture, meaning you expect certain traits about caribbean countries such as sand, sea, bright colours, coconut vendors (googling benefits this istant-inside joke), the bright smiles of the people and not to forget our similar but at the same time very different accents which when all brought together makes the caribbean a beautiful place.I’m proud to part of the caribbean and will be exploring all the other islands pretty soon cause it’s worth it…jus saying

  4. Tanya Marie - Designer Girl. says:

    Toco is just the start of ‘TM and LM’ trips, next stop Barbados then Jamaica I hope! :D

    Everyone’s varying answers and approach to answering this question has been very inspiring to me.

    I’m very grateful!

  5. tracy j says:

    First off, this was really cool and soothing. Early Monday Intellectualism is always a groovy way to start the day.

    I like the construct of where is the Caribbean. that is so real for me right about now.

    as a sidebar: you know i spent so much of my time as a writer trying to figure that out much in that, how i write and what is/was accepted as ‘Caribbean writing” always seemed to be two separate species. it caused me to think, am i a Caribbean writer or a Writer living in the Caribbean? and then of course, WHOSE Caribbean. these are the things that come to mind when i think of Caribbean Aesthetic and so forth.

    thanks for posting. an ting.

    pax

  6. Kim says:

    I’d have to agree that the Caribbean aesthetic exists beyond the immediate geographical location, extending far beyond South America to as far as the Canary Islands.its not something thatis easily defined. I think at the end of the day the important thing is to not copy other cultures wholesale, but to acknowledge the various influences and make them something or own. And I’d have to say given recent work by several Caribbean artists/artistes, that we are definitely doing so.

  7. Tanya Marie - Designer Girl. says:

    Glad you enjoyed the video Tracy!

    And I can relate to what you said about being a Caribbean Writer or a Writer in the Caribbean because I also think about whether I’m suppose to be a Caribbean Designer or a Designer on an Island ;)

  8. Richard Mark Rawlins says:

    I think that the idea of whether you’re a Caribbean Writer or Writer in the Caribbean or Caribbean Designer or Designer in the Caribbean is really dependent on your choice and the box you stand in. It’s all a matter of how
    you draw the box. Draw a box without shaded or graded walls and then look at it.
    You will either see the box one way going or one way coming or a third way all together … Neither coming or going. It really depends on you. Maybe the modern Caribbean is about intransit flux?

  9. Lisa Marie says:

    Great discussions happening on this blog, Tanya! And Ayanna – you are a beautiful woman! Your thoughts were right on point, as well. This question of what connotes a Caribbean Aesthetic is one we’ve all grappled with – myself included. And I believe it stems directly from questions regarding ‘Caribbean-ness’ and personhood in general.

    The way I’ve experienced it, the particulars of a Caribbean aesthetic does indeed vary from individual to individual, as Ayanna suggested. But there are some commonalities that aren’t always obvious to the Caribbean person attempting to asses their own island-ness. The thing is, having an authentic Caribbean experience and a world view aren’t mutually exclusive, nor are they mutually dependent – the latter is a conduit through which the former can be contextualized.

    In other words, it is when we realize our similarities *and* inherent differences from the other global cultures, that we can begin to recognize the universal and unique qualities which shape our own. The more I travel and live with others from ‘old world/first world/third world’ countries and the like, the more I notice how their sense of belonging to a particular culture is definitively shaped by their reactions to, and acceptance of, their Obvious. With the Obvious being the landscape, the history, the climate, the peoples, and such.

    It’s hard to identify with Americans, their aesthetic and culture being as appropriated as it is. With others, however – the cool and austere Scandinavians, the fun-loving and gregarious Dutchmen, the somber Belgians, the regal Ethiopians – it’s very, very easy to identify their aesthetic. And doing so doesn’t nullify their individuality or place in a global community outside their own. Through their acceptance of their Obvious, they are able to find their unique space in the world. There is a reluctance amongst most Caribbean people to attempt the same; somehow, to do so suggests a longing for the old slave days, a cleaving to white overlords, or a belief that we are no more than a ‘tourism’ people.

    Caribbean people are still a bit hesitant to simply celebrate their obvious – the ‘sun, sand, and sea’, the colonial and migratory history, the topography, the lack of overwhelming whiteness, the accents… These are invariably the things that shape our aesthetic; it’s not our entirety, but it is at the core of who we are. I think once people can reconcile their ambivalence about this tropicalized aesthetic, it will be easier to balance the local and the global reach with integrity.

  10. Tanya Marie - Designer Girl. says:

    I think that time and being a developing nations adds to our evolving and growing selves making it even harder to define us by any specific description or aesthetic. We are global and influenced by many things that combined with everything we know and love without even thinking about it because it’s tradition, it’s habit, it’s our lives.

    Lisa I love what you said about Caribbean people being hesitant to celebrate themselves.— It’s so true. We haven’t yet grown past that thinking and know how to embrace ourselves, our history and how to create new and beautiful things with that awareness.

    I think so much of it has to do with self-comfort and Pride.

  11. Luk GAMA says:

    This is a very exciting topic of discussion. I am pleased to read the emergence of this questioning in various Caribbean countries. For my part, I consider that the Caribbean’s visual artist, who want to put things in question, must seek to embrace the history of the report of peoples of our countries to visual expression. That’s what I try to do since recent years (soon to an online site). It is very difficult to achieve when living in a colonized country such as Guadeloupe, where we experience a highly developed import, including that of the imagination. Things are very difficult but not impossible.
    (Please excuse my web-translated english).

  12. [...] look out very soon for my new video post on Caribbean designers and what they’re up to in our ‘Designer Island’ series. Hope everyone’s new year is going great so [...]

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