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Tackling gang violence, one painting at a time

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Arts collective Bermudian Artists Rise Up (BARU) are using paintbrushes and pens to tackle one of Bermuda’s biggest social ills — gang violence.

Artists from all over the community will be giving their take on gang violence in Bermuda and possible solutions using poetry, photography, painting and other forms of artistic expression in the exhibition I For An I on next Tuesday at the Bermuda College Art Gallery.

“We are addressing the issue of Bermuda’s gang culture and how we as artists contend with it,” said Calix Smith, one of the founders of BARU. “We want to use our skills as artists to be advocates for the community.”

Mr Smith said he would be doing an installation piece that tackled the domestic abuse side of Bermuda’s gang culture.

“It is about how gang culture interprets sexuality and what is praised and what is demonised,” he said.

Participant Davika Hill said the show would explore “heavy” subject matter.

“It is an issue that has been playing in our communities for awhile now,” she said. “Each year it gets worse and worse. The repercussions get deeper and deeper.

“There are multiple issues that caused us to get to this point. This I for an I exhibition allows the artists community to express their views on it and how it can be resolved.”

Ms Hill said she would be reading a piece she had written about gang violence in Bermuda. She is about to graduate from the arts programme at the Bermuda College.

Another member of BARU, Dany Pen, said the idea for an exhibition came out of a discussion she had with another local artist.

“After our show, Fetish, back in 2011, I was talking with Amy Zanders about all the social issues that are going on the Island,” she said. “The concept for this came out of that conversation. It has taken us two years because we have been doing outreach and trying to get feedback from the community, first.”

Other artists in the exhibition will include Manuel Palacio, Alan C Smith, Akil Simmons, Edwin Smith, Richard Gibbons, Gracie Edwards, Marquedelle Rodriquez and students from Sandys Secondary Middle School who will be providing an installation piece expressing their thoughts on gang violence.

Entry to the exhibition at the Bermuda College is free. It is on for one day. For more information e-mail baru.bda@gmail.com.

Cameo Series by Dany Pen
Piece by Alan C Smith
Piece by Alan C Smith

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Published May 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm)

Tackling gang violence, one painting at a time

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