Cultural Voice eZine

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Issue 4 is out!!! Journey through the streets of Kolcata I Fight for Indigenous rights I Pay tribute to a great Art Historian!

What's Inside...

Plus + + + Tribute to the Late Art Historian Dewey Mosby, The Struggle for Identity and The Mexican Headdress, Emerging Artist Abenah Gonzalez, as well as Mexican Designers combining Haute Couture with Tradition!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Peaceful Encounters: Max Earle explains the intention behind his photographs

We asked Jamaican photographer Max Earle to explain 3 of his favourite photos...


 "I was asked by Amy to create an image that primarily showed her love for horses. My interpretation was to show her in as close a proximity to her love as possible. No foreground or background to take away from the intimacy I tried to capture."


 "This comes from a villa shoot I was commissioned to do for the owners website and visual marketing. This image in particular I wanted the viewer to be able to imagine themselves right there at the time. This was done by using what I call “negative space” in other words…nothing of a focal point in most of the image. The power of the shot forces you see the view as if you were right there, right now." 



"This is a shot I literally stumbled on that caught my attention while up at Strawberry Hill on another assignment. I found it rather whimsical that this was all there was…a gate with no fence. These kinds of 'happen along' shots are really gifts of life to us all…if we’re lucky enough to see them."


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Kai Watson has a penchant for the delicate, beautiful and expressive

"Vanda 1" 2012 Kai Watson

Kai Watson refuses to accept the notion of the "Starving artist" as, for him, the term represents a romanticizing of the struggle of freelance and the entrepreneurial efforts of artists. He prefers to say that he is still laying the foundation for his career and life.

Kai has a penchant for the delicate, beautiful, and expressive as exhibited in his latest predilections for topics relating to dance and orchids. He also appreciates what he describes as “the graceful power of athletes.”
"All is fair in the struggle" 2012 Kai Watson

When asked whether he would switch places with any of the subjects in his paintings, Kai told Cultural Voice that he was fond of “being in his own shoes,” and added that it was the uniqueness of the individual that was special in each work.

"Unbridled Joy" 2008 Kai Watson
Kai shares a rich history of artistry in his family lineage. His grandfather Barrington, who is considered to be one of the “Masters” of Jamaican painting, laid a solid foundation for the family. His father Basil is an accomplished sculptor and Kai’s greatest mentor. Kai shares that his father is quite connected to his work.
Three Generations of Watsons - Basil, Kai and Barrington Watson

For Kai, the majority of lessons passed on by his grandfather have come through either observation of his work, or, in conversations with him and he has taken away the notion that that there is a strong philosophical aspect to art and its creation that should not be ignored.

Both his father and grandfather stress the importance of seeing the "big picture" in terms of the composition of pieces. The big shapes first, then the subordinate shapes after that an artist can draw or paint the tiniest of detail.
"Untitled" In Progress - Kai Watson

Kai’s not sure why he decided to paint as opposed to sculpt or do photography. He can see himself exploring many of these other art forms in his future and believes that in the end that exploration will serve to inform his painting.

He leaves this piece of advice with other young artists - to find time to make art. “There will be a lot of distraction, both warranted and unwarranted, but, you have to find time to make art. Every piece is an investment in yourself.”


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Balsamo's Journey Into Oblivion

Alessandro Balsamo loves life. In Alessandro’s interview with Cultural Voice he was quite relaxed and talked openly about the various roads he has travelled on his journey, both professionally, and personally. As a program specialist in the policy and statutory implementation unit at UNESCO's Paris headquarters, Alessandro’s has had the fortune of touring the world and assisting countries in the development of stronger Cultural Heritage frameworks. Alessandro, originally from Balsamo Torino is responsible for the nomination of World Heritage Sites and formulating the tentative list order. Though Alessandro has great experience with the subject of World Heritage, our interest was piqued by his love for music and photography.
Alessandro started taking pictures from a young age and his life’s journey has involved tons of travelling which gives him the opportunity to take pictures across the globe. Alessandro’s favourite subjects are “off the grid” so to speak, and he finds “run-down,” derelict structures, towns, and places in suburban outskirts or industrial sites. Alessandro is very proud of his exhibition “Obviously the Oblivion.” Works from this exhibition can be seen on his website For this collection Alessandro sought lonely places and spaces where there was emptiness.

"Norwegian Landscape" Alessandro Balsamo

"Namibia" Alessandro Balsamo

As an avid consumer of music, Alessandro composes and plays the guitar and keyboard. Alessandro shares with a passionate stare that he simply cannot live without music. Both music and photography share a huge part of his soul and entire being. He shares that visitng Jamaica was very important to him becasue of the impact that reggae has had on his appreciation for music.
"Fernando de Noronha" Alessandro Balsamo

Legends like Bob Dylan, Eric Madden, Bob Marley, Pink Panther, the Beetles and other classics, have all inspired and influenced his love and passion for music. Having played in a band for seven years starting from the 1960s into the 1970s, Alessandro confesses his greatest musical influencer to be the Rolling Stones and he shares that the music that they produce "touches his heart."

"Where do we go from here" - Alessandro Balsamo


Monday, 14 January 2013

Anushka and Arevik: Using Art to Educate!

Anushka Hayrapetyan

Anushka Hayrapetyan a youth activist from Armenia spoke to Cultural Voice about her passion to mobilize and educate young people as well as her latest project 'Use Art,' a social enterprise geared towards increasing awareness about the Millenium Development Goals.  At age 20, Anushka joined the National Youth Council of Armenia adding to the conversations on a wide range of youth-related issues such as, active citizenship, leadership, human rights, and intercultural dialogue striving to promote youth opportunities.  


Recently Anushka, alongside her sister Arevik, have set up a blog to further their aims of youth empowerment.  Anushka believes that young people have so much potential and face so many challenges.  Teaching them about global issues affecting the planet such as global warming, violence, peace building.  Young people use imagination to help address these issues by creating art.  They can click on the art at and learn about of the global challenges, such as the 8 millennium goals.
Sisters Anushka and Arevik Hayrapetyan

The site was launched in June 2012 as a social venture.  The enterprise aims to create a variety of artistic products. They have started with earrings, but there are plans to expand with other products such as postcards.  The products are designed and created by volunteers between 16-20 years old and are made primarily of recycled materials. The products are for sale in the online shop and profits from the sales are to be used to fund innovative educational projects.  Generating activity and awareness about global challenges and mobilizing young people to address some of these challenges.


The team is quite small right now but Anushka plans to involve children from local children’s homes, to educate them to the issues, use their creativity to design and make products for the shop and then benefit from the proceeds of the sales.  The project has been well received so far but Anushka is working full time and hasn’t had the time she would like to dedicate to it.  The team intends to promote the site through international groups with interests in achieving the same goals. There are also plans to present the project to the UN in an effort to increase the project's audience.


The project is currently self-funded.  However, she is trying to involve international partners through UN agencies and embassies. Anushka encourages people to get involved by visiting the site, learning about the global challenges, sharing ideas and create art projects for change and put them on their websites.  The use art site has quizzes and games which are both fun and educational.

          Use Art’s “3 in 1” model 
  • You visit Use Art’s website and choose a product (e.g. both stylish & meaningful earrings)
  • You get educated about the global challenge (MDGs) or a solution (tree planting) depicted on the earring
  • You help to raise awareness and inspire for action against global challenges when getting and wearing the earring or gifting it to somebody to wear.



Sunday, 13 January 2013

My Cultural Voice - Dr. Masa Mikola

We all have an identity.... sometimes it's not so easy to define...

Dr Masa Mikola, Research Fellow, The Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia shares her cultural voice.... 

Dr Mikola has a PhD in intercultural studies and a background in journalism, communication and migration studies. Her doctoral work focused on migration, diversity rhetoric and the issues of space, place and social interaction in Melbourne. She is currently a research fellow on an ARC Linkage project: ‘Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia’.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Have you met photographer Nicole Brown?

Nicole Brown loves cats.  She finds them “lovely, opinionated and cute.” She also loves a trip to Portland where she can relax and snorkel by the “Blue Hole.” Nicole an emerging photographer in a crowded Jamaican scene is determined to stand out from the crowd and confesses that she is continuously “coming outside of her comfort zone and trying to push the envelope” on conventional photography. In doing this she ensures that she defines her individual style. Nicole specializes in fine art, portrait, wedding and architectural photography. For each subject area, Nicole tells CV that she aims to be both creative and experimental.

 Nicole the Photo Activist
Nicole views photo activism as “the philosophy and history of how activists and social reformers have used the camera as a research tool and instrument for social reform.”  She believes that there are topical issues that need to be focused on in Jamaica such as gender and equality; child abuse and neglect; human trafficking and drug abuse and is currently working on a partnership with an NGO to produce  a photo documentary that will be engaging, thought provoking and impact societal change.


Nicole’s Favourite Artist
Diane Arbus is Nicole’s favourite artist. Arbus, an American photographer and writer, is noted for black and white square photographs of deviant and marginalized individuals such as dwarfs, transgendered individuals, nudists, and circus performers. Nicole tells CV that she “admires the fact that she chose to take human portraits using an unconventional approach.” Nicole hopes to do the same in her portrait photography by having human subjects either dress up as different characters or capture portraits of individuals who are not considered a part of mainstream culture.


Most Lucrative Projects
Nicole finds her abstract collections on canvas of banana leaves and human subjects swimming to be her most lucrative projects to date. She explains “Clients seem to gravitate towards images that are bursting with colour and energy or have some element of interpretation.”

Favourite Subjects to Photograph
Nicole enjoys photographing bystanders engaged in some form of activity on the street and speaks to having “the opportunity to capture the raw emotions and actions of our Jamaican people in everyday situations - such as the woman getting her hair done on Princess Street Downtown, or a group of school children sharing jokes on their way to school.” She also enjoys capturing weddings and feels extremely privileged to capture the joy, laughter and tears expressed in the presence of true love.

Cultural Voice will definitely be watching the evolution of Nicole’s photography. She has the right elements for success which include a deep desire and boundless love for her pursuit.   

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cultural Voice's Blog, eZine and FB page grow from strength to strength!

The CV Team hopes you're having a fantastic 2013 thus far! 2012 was a great year for Cultural Voice. We take this opportunity to share some of our major successes with you!

In one year we've had close to 20,000 page views from over 60 countries on the Cultural Voice Blog and we've received lots of comments and positive feedback!

Find the links to the latest editions of our Cultural Voice eZine, our magazine that puts the spotlight on global trends and is your source for what is happening in the Creatice Industries. The magazine continues to grow from strength to strength.


We've also been keeping you up-to-date on Facebook and within one year our fan base has grown to over 1,700!!!!!

Finals of the Ja Blog Awards
To top it off we've also made it to the finals of the Jamaica Blog Awards for best Art/Photography Blog. If you like what we've been up to, show your support by voting for us @ Jamaica Blog Awards

Thank you :)