Who Is a Bahamian Essay

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Joanna Bethel
Professor Dr. Craig Smith
English 300
January 29th, 2013
Who is a Bahamian?
Public displays of Bahamian pride have adorned Bay Street and the profound Nassau Art Gallery (NAG) since the later part of 2012. An attractive cadre of portraits, arts and craft has captured various dimensions of the Bahamian life in efforts to increase national awareness of Bahamian ethnic identity, history, and culture and to attempt answering the “loaded…” question of “who is a Bahamian?”(Wells1). Arguably, nationalism in the Bahamas has been poorly understood as evidenced by researched articles published by Sabrina Lightbourn, Patricia Glinton-Miercoles and Nicolette Bethel. Therefore, we now probe the underpinning concepts of what makes
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Geographical locations within the Bahamas can also decide if you are truly Bahamian. Nicolette Bethel eludes to this in her article “National Identity and the Archipealago” when she states: “race and colour, central components of Bahamian identity are fundamentally affected by the geography of the archipelago.” (3) The NE6 Kingdom Come art exhibiton at the Nassau Art Gallery is comprised of 49 participating artists of Bahamian descent or living and working in The Bahamas, with 25 female artists and 26 male artist including artists from the Family Islands (Edward 1). These Artists individually bring a unique twist to produce original artwork around a theme of change. This uniquely fits the ideals Sabrina Lightbourn projected in her editoral about recognizing the faces of change as Bahamians. The exhibition included five distinct segments: identity, spirituality and balance, justice, transformation, survival and specific features of the Bahamian landscape (Edward, 1). Chief curator John Cox explained the rational behind why the artists collectively chose the sub-title of “Identity” in his essay as: “Knowing who we are makes us confident about who will become. Do we, as Bahamians, understand truly who we are today?” (Edward 1).
Female artists Sabrina Lightbourne, Kishan Munroe and Susan Moir Mackey esentuated the images of depicting the various cultural identities that Bahamians
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