Paradigms, designs and policies?

In this video, Alain FINDELI, the keynote speaker give us a chronological description of theoretical development of design and how the learning of this discipline is thought nowadays. This presentation makes part of a study conference organized by the Center for Research on Arts and Language – CRAL – on the global topic: What face for a design theory? This took place in France in November 2016.

This questioning is more and more pressing in our « modern » societies looking for answers for growing everyday global challenges. And, here in the Caribbean, we aren’t out of these intellectual « brain-storms ».

For me, at this moment, it’s from Trinidad and Tobago where we can find the most effective works, by the relation between their development degree and the way they are communicated to the public. Tanya Marie and her Designer Island project is leading this movement which take a look on Caribbean visual expression the designer way. It shows a highly contemporary expressivity.

However, it’s a just a little part of a tropical real big iceberg of ideas and anthropological reflections made by several scholars, designers and much other kind of artists of our area, since many years. But for now, developments in local public policy seem to be very far removed from all this. In our « small » territories, it is said, and where everybody ends up knowing everyone, is it by calculation or ignorance? The future will tell.

For a Caribean graphic design

  1. In 1999 first of all, also visible on my website, « Chyen blan-la » is the first story I created myself. Between 1997 and 1998, as part of my study project, I had already produced a traditional tale featuring « Konpè Moustik é Konpè Chyen ». It was only seen by my family, the school of art and the jury of diploma. On this subject my main objective has been the « graphic emancipation » of the classical illustrations visible in the books and a visual rapprochement towards a form more faithful to the « natural » expression of a tale said. The small 1-minute film of the following year was presented to the general public (at Port-Louis) for a work considered – a priori – as « art. » The ideological roots of an original design are already growing.
  2. A few months before the passage to the year 2000, I conceive the model of the work of the first edition of the month of the documentary film. I introduce into it illustrations of the beginnings of my instinctive graphic productions which already preceded the work on the tale. These are circular signs, equated with traces of dogs’ paws by some at the time, but being in fact graphic representations of the 7 main rhythms of the Gwo-ka music.
  3. Later in 2009, I launched the concept « Mounsinéma, sinema a moun isi or cinema of the people of here » (cinema and arts-graphic parties dedicated to local creation). In this event, I begin to use the first conceptual tools detected 10 years earlier in the graphics of the visuals of the event.
  4. Then in 2012, interestingly, in the midst of several proposals of images that I had given during my candidacy to the AACDD (African and African Design Diaspora) which takes place in London, it is the animation « Chyen blan (Which I had not even mentioned or presented) that was chosen by the staff of this event as the main presentation of my work and as an illustration of the « ABSENT ART » event in which I would participate.
  5. In 2015, I finally decided to present my first solo exhibition, « Asi chimen … pou bout« , at the municipal library of Port-Louis. Here too, I deliver another part of my work through a project of creating pictograms always based on the same guidelines.
  6. Then in 2016, on the basis of an original creation entitled « Kè Péyi« , made especially for the occasion, I am selected by the National Gallery of Jamaica to participate in « DIGITAL » , its first international collective exhibition dedicated to digital art. Always according to the same concept, visually this production presented was based on a choice of formatting using a loop of animated images starting from the rhythmic structure of the famous boulagèl of evenings of traditional local funeral watches.
  7. The same year, in the N ° 2 of the online journal Lespwisavann, I give an excerpt from my point of view on the world of the image, with an article entitled « Imaj é lidé adan on péyi Karayib or vision on the existence of visual-graphic arts in Guadeloupe « .

To summarize, the nerve center of my research is in the visual perception of the artistic, ideological and intellectual contents present in all the traditional manifestations of our Guadeloupean culture. For that, I rely on the ones I like and on what I can show …

Like the musicians of the « Kako » movement, which I think are the closest to the artistic preoccupations I am talking about here, I invite more Caribbean visual artists, particularly, to embrace this virtuous and invigorating creative path …

Article first posted online July 5, 2016 / Cliquez ici pour lire la version française

Caribs being visuals

We invite you to take a few minutes of breathing. Take this little new time to look at this selection of animated films.

Designer : © 2014, Yino Huan (Allemagne – Germany) (1)

Designer : © 2010, Mark Laing (Écosse – Scotland)(2)


Production : Rofralyn Trinidad Limited – Réalisation : © 2009, Oyetayo Raymond Ojoade (Trinidad & Tobago)(3)

We found it interesting to present these three videos side by side, as they correspond, in 3 different styles, to 3 different stages in the production of an animated film.

The animation created by No. 01 Yino Huan, a young artist from Germany, very well done is the result of a work of animation frame by frame in 12.5 frames per second. Quite simply, this pictographic soaring, dreamlike entitled « Caribbean Dream ». Indeed, the images meet the main ideas that you can hear when we talk about life in the tropical islands. The music is from the group named « Yet » , in which the graphic designer seems to be a member.

The second video is a rendered preview. This is a test animation of Mark Laing (young graphic designer from Scotland), from the legend of « Papa Bois » (View>, a famous legendary character from St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago. The artist indicates that in this film in 3D, he trained in creating textures with Photoshop and applying effects to use a « toon shaded » style, as he says himself.

Our third choice is a video storyboard of a cartoon series project calling itself « Crick Crack Ek Kahani Nawa » by Raymond Oyetayo Ojoade. Technically, this work is, in principle, to measure the « efficiency » of the scenes (on their lives and choices of shots), by viewing them from the first sketches, here, on a soundtrack.

But apart to share the didactic interest is in their presentation here, found on the net at the option of a night of « websurfing, » we felt that we had there as a demonstration of the main stereotypes that circulate about Caribbean and images that are backed by our cultures :

– Those with a « touristy » imaginary

– Those with a « fantastic » imaginary

Video # 1 shows the kind « idealizations » of the most widespread and shared around the world, we end up integrating ourselves into the image we have of ourselves about our geographical and cultural space and, like the many local musical artists who « clipped » willingly and increasingly using these codes, hoping to « break » in the large « cold » countries in search of heat(s).

The second is an animated illustration of a fairy. One could say that there attends more prone to discover and publicize a little-known or forgotten imaginary sensible approach.

And the final movie, the author, a synthesis of Afro-Trinidadian and Indo-Trinidadian legend. While transmitting a universe from the « traditional » environment for future generations, it attempts, for them, a creation by way of the communication tool they are used : the cartoon.

There are many achievements of animated films, in various styles and a variety of topics in the Caribbean region (for example, see > (Trinidad & Tobago), (Jamaica) and Independent countries of the Caribbean arc are far more productive in this area that the « Frenchified » ones. But we speak of « cliché » because we find a recurrence in the general topics addressed as well as in the way including in the French Caribbean.

Legend ot the exu deity (Brasil)


Battledream Chronicle (Martinique)

While in Brazil it has been years that local religious themes are addressed, in the last colonies of the Caribbean, like Martinica, existential or spiritual themes are beginning to be addressed.

Because we believe that there is more to say and show about ourselves, and we know more and more the impact of images in the development of consciousness, we wonder whether it would be interesting to search substantive as well as the form, including opening the field of experimentation and demonstration (in festivals, meetings, etc.).

(Article published first in August 2014 > edited and completed in Decembre 2015)