The Ministry of Telecommunications, Science and Technology has partnered with the Antigua and Barbuda Museum of Photography & Fine Arts to assist in preserving and showcasing decade’s worth of historic photographs. The museum which is located on the upper level of the Multipurpose, Cultural and Exhibition Center is the brain child of photographer Timothy Payne.
The partnership will center on a threefold project that will include the first group of ICT cadets who recently completed a six month training programme at the GATE ICT Cadet training facility. Minister of Telecommunications, Science and Technology Dr. Hon. Edmond Mansoor said the cadets will produce a video documentary that chronicles Payne’s effort as well as the work at the museum.
They will also assist in the digitizing of thousands of photographic negatives which date back over several decades and chronicle the history of Antigua and Barbuda. Lastly a website that showcases the work at the museum will be constructed. The Ministry will also donate a highend Apple Mac Computer system to Payne which will be used to help carry out work on the project.
The cadets will be charged with this threefold project and this would be one of the first if not the boldest manifestation on leveraging on new technology and creating jobs for these cadets, while at the same time pursuing a very important national effort. We have access to the technology, the equipment and the cadets that have completed the training. This is a great opportunity for the cadets to demonstrate all the skills they have learned.” Dr. Mansoor said.
The photographs displayed at the museum are historic and depict scenes of Antigua from the early nineteen hundreds (1900’s) and onwards. Payne said he saw the need to not only preserve these images that he has managed to collect from photographers around the island, but to find a way to showcase them to present and future generations.
“When the Hon. Winston Baldwin Spencer saw just a couple of samples from this project he said we have to fast track this. We have to get this going and he worked on getting me a cabinet decision that allows be to use this facility. “Payne said. Payne expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Telecommunications and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for offering the resources to help fulfill a dream that has been in the making for over a decade.
On display at the museum are early images of Antiguans who have made an impact on the country, ranging from political figures to sports personalities and entertainers. The photographs are printed on artist canvas with archival ink which is guaranteed to preserve the images for at least one hundred years. The museum features photographs from Joseph Seaton, Gerald Price, Lincoln Samuel and Payne’s own collection.