Baptize and convert to the waves with us (Jaco, WAV Files; Drogas Wave, 2018)______________________________________________________________________________1841The Trouvadore was a brigantine sailing under... Read More
Baptize and convert to the waves with us (Jaco, WAV Files; Drogas Wave, 2018) ______________________________________________________________________________
1841 The Trouvadore was a brigantine sailing under Spanish papers from Santiago, Cuba. The crew were Spanish but during the crossing to Africa some died and were replaced by Portuguese sailors picked up on Sao Tomē, an island off the west coast of Africa. No records have been found to confirm where the slaves were loaded, or how many. As the ship docked at Sao Tomē they would have been collected there or nearby on the West Coast of Africa: it would not have hung around risking capture by the British Navy (due to the slavery abolition act of 1833*). After a month at sea travelling to Cuba the ship wrecked on the Caicos Bank (Turks & Caicos), “saving” them from a life of slavery. (Turks and Caicos Museum, 2019).
*The Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", the "Island of Ceylon" and "the Island of Saint Helena"; the exceptions were eliminated in 1843), came into force the following year, on 1 August 1834.
The memory of the past tells us what we owe to our future.
This work serves as a part of a greater narrative of the illegal slave ship the Trouvadour on it's final journey and the last slaves to arrive in the Turks and Caicos islands. To this day the Turks and Caicos Islands remain a colony of the United Kingdom, the collection is titled: "Tears of the Trouvadore"
The compostion of the piece links the relationship of the possible royality of the captured slave, the connection to the British Kingdom and labours via the symbolism of tears; composed of salt and water. The tears that fall fill the turbelent the sea that transported the African to the Turks and Caicos and the source of the shipwreck. The bouganvilla petals is representative of the blood spilt along the journey and is also an indigenius plant of the Turks and Caicos.