The Arts Journal Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Literature: Book Report

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The book report is based on The Arts Journal Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Literature, History, Art, and Culture in Guyana and the Caribbean Volume 3 Numbers 1 and 2. It was published by The Arts Forum Incorporated in March of 2002 and the ISSN number is 1728-7723. The copy bought is a paperback edition which cost $125 and contained 15 articles and 216 pages. Aneena Gafoor edited it with guest editor Rita Pemberton.

While the text re-examines the British Slave Trade and the manner in which its victims have been portrayed in literature, the articles reviewed focus on the theme of the changing images of African people. According to the Arts Forum, a review by Professor Selwyn H. H. Carrington stated that these three articles including another “represent images of how blacks saw themselves at different times during slavery and the post-emancipation period” focussing in particular on the effect of texts, paintings, and films. The Art Journal presented these articles in honour of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the trans-Atlantic Trade in captive Africans in order to provide a fresh Caribbean perspective on the events encompassing this dark spot in our history. Though each of the three articles reviewed approached it from a different slant each did so convincingly. Additionally, these articles give an in-depth analysis of aspects which may not be considered by the average person.

In the first article entitled Visual Expressions of Slavery and Emancipation 1700-1834, Edith (Nancy) Jacobs posits that in the event of depicting art out of its relevant period, some historians reduce the value of it and that even now when society is supposed to be enlightened the artistic images of are not incorporated effectively to represent Caribbean history. She examines the importance of the development of a variety of printing techniques used to bombard the general with images of what they (pro-slavery and abolitionists) wanted to portray. Jacobs concentrates on three...
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