Picturing the Caribbean (review)

Reviewed by Shivanee Ramlochan for Caribbean Bookshelf, Caribbean Beat.
The traditional photo book is going through some changes. No longer content to reside stoutly on coffee tables, books on photography are being designed to reflect the new, sometimes startling ways in which we interface with mass media. They demand conversation, juggle with our expectations of what the photographic portfolio is “supposed” to resemble. Pictures from Paradise: A Survey of Contemporary Caribbean Photography (Robert and Christopher Publishers, 224 pp, ISBN 9789769534476), edited by Mariel Brown and Melanie Archer, is a convincing pioneer of this modernising, reshaping ethic. It highlights the work of eighteen Caribbean-born or -based artists, from the mixed media narratives of Barbadian Ewan Atkinson to the memory-infused collages of Nevisian Terry Boddie. In Pictures from Paradise, the syncretic face and body of a Caribbean nation emerges, irreconcilable as it is marvellous to gaze upon.
This review appeared in the March/ April 2013 issue of Caribbean Beat.