Moving Jamaica: Scottish-Caribbean Connections and Local-Global Journeys

A photography exhibition – ‘Moving Jamaica: Scottish-Caribbean Connections and Local-Global Journeys’ – to be displayed at the Lamb Gallery in Dundee, from 19 October 2018 to mid-January 2019.

Dr Susan Mains organised the exhibition featuring a range of unique historical and contemporary photographs that provide insights into the past, present and future cultural landscapes of Jamaica and their Scottish connections.

Developed as a collaborative project between the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews Library Special Collections the presentation includes 19th-century images by Dundee photographers Valentine & Sons displayed alongside recent work by internationally acclaimed contemporary photographers Varun Baker (Jamaica) and Stephen McLaren(Scotland).

Copyright: Varun Baker Photography (

While photographic images have historically played an important role in promoting tourist destinations, the exhibition highlights that they run in parallel to more complex, dynamic and revealing stories.

Venue address: Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN

Varun Baker at Dundee

Susan Mains hosts internationally renowned photographer Varun Baker at the University of Dundee.

He will specifically focus on his innovative visual media projects at the event, which takes place at the University’s Scrymgeour Building from 2-3.15pm on Tuesday 7 May.

In the illustrated presentation, Varun will reveal contrasting views of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, by showcasing a range of human experiences. One photo essay, ‘Journey,’ follows the life of a man who makes a living on Kingston’s streets despite having had both his arms and legs amputated. Other portraits showcase the deep rooted connections between popular music and the city streets as people of all ages come together to enjoy dancehall culture.

Born in Brazil to an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Varun has lived in the US, Italy, Bermuda and Canada as well as Jamaica, where he is currently based. A popular exhibition of his work took place at the University earlier this year, part of Dundee’s research into connections between Scotland and the Caribbean.

“Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by humans’ fleeting permanence,” said Varun. “The Jamaican society, in which I have spent most of my life, is vibrant and full of rich contrasts. I explore this with a strong use of colour by manipulating heavy or light tones.”

Next week’s event is organised by Dr Susan Mains, a Lecturer in Geography at the University, who said, “Having Varun come to talk with us about his photographic journeys, how he approaches his work, and the impact this has had in relation to how we view cities, Jamaica, and the wider Caribbean is a wonderful opportunity.

“His photographs bear witness to people, events and places that often go undocumented and highlight the diversity of Kingston’s urban spaces. This talk will appeal to a wide audience and we encourage all who are interested to join us for this engaging presentation.”

Varun Baker’s talk will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. The event is free and open to all.