Statement

Biography

Born and bred in the French Caribbean (Guadeloupe), Eddy Firmin is an artist-researcher, speaker, who lives and works in Montréal (Canada). He holds a PhD in Arts Studies and Practices from the Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada) and a master's degree from l’École Supérieure d’Art et Design le Havre-Rouen (France). He  coordinates the publication of the decolonial magazine Minorit'Art. His visual artwork questions the transcultural logics of his identity and the power imbalances at play. On a theoretical level, he works on a Méthode Bossale, a proposal for the decolonization of the imaginary in art.

Eddy Firmin takes a particular interest in the politics of knowledge sharing and the epistemic conflicts that they create for the colonized artist. He strives to remediate the codes of a Caribbean ancestral custom, le Gwoka (at the crossroads of dance, song, storytelling and music). Le Gwoka is part of the very large family of Afro-Caribbean customs created to resist colonial violence, such as Paracumbé, Guineo, Bèlè, Calenda, Bomba, Tambú and many more. This imperative necessity to transfer ancestral codes to modern visual media derives from the fact that his home islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique did not give rise to a visual tradition to which one can refer, because of the restrictions of slavery on such small territories. Besides Resistance, one of the main codes of this custom is la lokans. Specific to the singer / storyteller, la lokans aims to disguise the resilience of slaves under the technicity and mastery of singing. It becomes a flower shield under which war rumbles, encapsulating the art of double language. Technicity and esthetics aim to seduce and mesmerize, while the hidden message fosters resistance to dominant discourse in the arts as in the social space.