During the month of May, Aliyah was a research/writer/artist in residence with Harlem Needle Arts’ “Urban Threads Salon” in partnership with ChaShaMa. Dates: May 19, 20, and 22, 2019.

During her time she continued to “live map” and trace research for a photo essay and film project that explores the relationships between sugar, slavery, and Crop Over in Barbados through the frame works of resistance and cultural production. Additionally, in her time, she began work on a short film project titled “dear mr. carlisle;” the piece is a deconstruction and collaging of film footage of Caribbean islands, taken by airlines/tourism agencies, that contextualize and imagine the island in a way that centers the experiences of outsiders—tropicalization. The title is a nod/desconstruction of the name “James Hay, the 1st Earl of Carlisle,” a colonial proprietor who, in 1627 on behalf of James I, obtained a grant of Caribbean Islands; Barbados was included.

What are the ways in which Black Caribbean bodies are imagined? By and for whom? What are the ways in which identity is restored? The piece was developed in tandem with (re)visiting/listening to Kamau Brathwaite’s speech on December 6, 1996 in Washington, D.C. He discusses and reads his poetry, while bringing forth a larger dialogue about fragmentation of Afro-Caribbean identity, as a result of colonization, and alternative modalities and passages to pay homage to the histories of slavery.