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by Fola Akinde


Created by Fola Akinde, Xaragua is the first work of art to come from the Islandia Journal Artist-in-Residence ("Islandia Air") program. 


Xaragua is the Taino word for a lake in the Dominican Republic known as Lago Enriquillo. In the last few decades, Xaragua has experienced mysterious lake level rise. Some suspect a new, unidentified connection between the brackish lake--the lowest point in the Caribbean--and the Caribbean Sea has opened up. Others suspect that rampant deforestation of the steep hills above and increased rains have expedited runoff into the historic lake.


Some more tidbits about the lake: 


  • Not only is Xaragua the lowest point in the Caribbean, it's also the largest lake.
  • During Spanish colonization, an island in the middle of the lake known as Isla de Los Cabritos, was a haven for Taino warriors. 
  • For centuries, Xaragua has been the home to a large population of American Crocodiles and also Rhinoceros Iguanas.
  • Folk healers have used oil from crocodile fat as medicine. 


About Fola Akinde: 2023 Islandia Air


Fola Akinde is a Miami-based interdisciplinary artist focused on ideas of Black hauntology as it relates to memory, history, and conceptions of liberation. Their Nigerian cultural background has inspired an interest in archives and research related to the Black diaspora, including history and folklore related to Nigeria, the US, and Latin America.


Fola's work was featured in the Spring Undergraduate Exhibition at SAIC Galleries, and they were awarded an Ellie from Oolite Arts in 2022. Much of their work is focused on the importance of expanding the idea of what an archive is, its accessibility, and how that documentation can play a role in (re)assemblage of imagery and memory. Incorporating archival items like found imagery, objects, writings, and ephemera, Fola has reconfigured their own conceptions of narratives, mythology, and illuminate connections to sites and spiritual practices.


About Xaragua


14" x 17" screen print with hand drawn charcoal elements

Series of 30 

Numbered and Signed

Studio Photographs by Nicholas G. Padilla

Art and Images Courtesy of Fola Akinde and Islandia Journal 


About Islandia Air


Islandia Air is an annual artist-in-residence program designed to provide resources, materials, and connections to museums and galleries for early-career Miami-based artists whose work deal with Miami's connection to the Caribbean.



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