Naive in Jamaica.
A few weeks before this trip me and my friend Antoine did some animation motion graphics job for a company in London and got paid with a trip to Jamaica. Challenge accepted – we made it happen.
The goal in Jamaica was pretty simple. Give something for people we meet and in exchange learn some new values from this country. As Simple as that. That’s basically a main philosophy for The Barefoot Basterds: do everything, expect nothing. And we always learn from this.
A Barefoot trip is a journey where we go in order to dig deep in local culture and collaborate somehow with locals. It can be with video, photography, sight specific artwork or only socializing to exchange stories. So we push a lot when networking and finding good places to be at the same time we just let it happen. It’s a balance.
We went to an institution called HELP Jamaica. It’s located in Cassava Piece in Kingston. It’s a place where kids go during the afternoon after they finished their studies in the morning. They are doing some great job at the institute teaching the kids some creative new skills. Of course we brought a few words and activities for the kids. But they were the one’s responsible to give us a lot of inspiration.
The Barefoot asked them what were their biggest dreams. A few of them had the ambition to be heroes like Usain Bolt or Bob Marley. Some were inspired to become lawyers or nurses.
If you reflect about your own country it’s the same. Of course a bunch of kids in South Korea want to be like PSY when they grow up or dream of becoming Neymar in Brazil. A bunch of grown up kids still dream of becoming The Beatles or being Basquiat. The hero figure can also be somewhere in the past too. Grown up kids can project their dream of being as revolutionary as Freud or as smart as Steve Jobs.
Children Dreams are pure and Naive. So that is a great state of mind I push to dig in a conscious level when producing my artwork. I would say every dream as a human comes from this Naive State of Mind. We project our own existence in other people’s existence. There’s always a reference point.
It’s funny when you chat a little bit more with kids and ask them why do they have that specific dream. A few of the Jamaican one’s told me it’s only because someone told them to dream about that and they actually dream of doing something else.
Are our dream and goals a projection of what someone told us to do/become? What teachers, what schools, what our mentors, advertising, internet, books and so on said?
The system teaches you how to keep contributing for the present system before you’re even conscious about your own existence.
Just take a look on The Great Wall of China, the pyramids on Egypt, Rome or Machu Picchu. They were also built because of a Naive mindset as result of a System which Naive people follows it.
The Internet is the main System today and it’s also living a Naive state of mind.
I loved one line I read in Jamaica: “The Only good system is a Sound System”.
This is how Jamaica loves music and dance. The Barefoot Experienced this feeling in a place called Kingston Dub Club. Crazy selection of tunes, Great vibe up in the mountains, Rastas and Mango trees.
Jamaica music can also be very Naive and pure. Just listen to a few good tunes from RockSteady, Mento, Ska and Reggae. It’s very primitive. Natural. Intuitive. The drum comes from a Heart Beat. The bass comes from movement you can observe on a daily basis – like how a cat is playing with a stick, or how a leaf moves with the wind.
It’s poetic. Indeed.
This feeling is exactly what The Barefoot Basterds also had the pleasure to experience on the Artist Residency Roktowa based on downtown Kingston. They work for their own people. And the place made me speechless. They supported me to produce a mural on Downtown Kingston – which is basically the heart of the city – but also with space to use as a studio.
I also learned from those guys:
Being too rational limits you of developing an understanding of yourself.
When you’re devoted to rationality it’s basically when you create your own boundaries for living, language or judgment. You become the one creating your own constrains. It’s not the church or the system. It’s you. Rationality it’s responsible for Vain. It’s responsible for creating a feeling of being desperate of having something material, but also responsible for not allowing a person of being satisfied.
The mindset I experienced those artists working I can sum up in one word: Freedom.
A Naive mindset represents an estate of freedom, humbleness and openness in order to improve how to evolve the understanding of your own existence.
Have a look on a few more pictures ->