Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fogo Island

Six hours northwest of Cape Spear (by car and ferry) is Fogo Island, the ancestral home of Zita Cobb, who left the island with her family in the late 1970s, only to make her fortune in information technologies and return to it a philanthropist.

Among the many programs Cobb has put in place through the Shorefast Foundation (co-founded with her brother) is an artist residency administered by the Fogo Island Arts Corporation. According to Lisa Moore, who wrote a 2011 article on Fogo for Canadian Art, the goal of the Foundation is "to preserve the culture and way of life of Fogo Island," with the artist residency program one of its preservatives.

Last week a group of artists and curators met on Fogo under the auspices of the Fogo Island Dialogues. What was said during these dialogues has not yet been made public, but as one would expect, questions of preservation and culture were likely in the air.

For my part I am putting together an application for Fogo, one that proposes a Pride Day, with an annual parade and related activities. Whether my proposal fits with the preservation mandate is questionable, but I will make a case for it nonetheless.

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