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Joiri Minaya

Labadee (2017)

Digital video
7 minutes

In Labadee, Minaya examines how legacies of colonialism are enacted through unequal power dynamics between tourists and locals in Labadee, a private Haitian beach leased to Royal Caribbean through 2050. The video begins with a re-telling from Christopher Columbus’ diary entries, juxtaposed with images of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing in the same sea Columbus and his crew encountered when they invaded and colonized the Caribbean in the 15th Century. Labadee goes on to present the stark contrast between those who live on the island and those who are visiting through footage of local adults serving and entertaining tourists, and local children waving and beckoning for food outside of the resort, across a razor-wire-topped fence. Labadee poignantly presents two timelines, the past and the present, and unites them in a single space, where 15th Century colonialism has transformed into 21st century neoliberal capitalism.

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