Smith and Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART and CULTURE’ Issue No. 367Friday, January 25th, 2019 • • • •Sharing Art and Cultural News of The Bahamas for


Smith and Benjamin’s
Issue No. 367
Friday, January 25th, 2019

• • • •
Sharing Art and Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

“Shano” by Bahamian photographer Melissa Alcena
(2018 / 120mm film photograph / 24 x 20 in. / Collection of the artist)
• • •
This photograph by Alcena is showcased along with the work
of over 30 other Bahamian and resident artists in the National Art
Gallery of The Bahamas’ biannual exhibition – the Ninth National
Exhibition (NE9) entitled “The Fruit and the Seed”, now open to the public.
• • •


art & cultural
events calendar




E X H I B I T I O N :

NAGB’s 9th National Exhibition –
“The Fruit and the Seed”

December 13th, 2018 – March 31st, 2019
National Art Gallery of The Bahamas


The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ Ninth National Exhibition (NE9) “The Fruit and the Seed” is a socially curious project that centers around how artists are working to define their space and experiences. Whether it be through the lens of race, gender, parity and class as a way to clarify cultural, social and aesthetic decisions, the art-making process is used as a tool to bring to the fore ideologies on activism and advocacy, leading to a more empathetic and understanding culture.


With contributions from 38 artists, performers, writers and academics, the NE9 presents a vibrant and dynamic series of programming events including a main exhibition across the upper galleries, artists talks, readings, screenings, performances, education workshops and panels through the end of March 2019. We invite you to stay with the work, to seek out the questions at the centre of these practices and to find answers that resonate and uplift you.

CLICK HERE for exhibition page at the NAGB website.


E X H I B I T I O N :

Stepping Stone Quilters Annual Quilt Show

January 24th–February 2nd, 2019
Trinity Methodist Church

Showcasing the Art of Quilting

For over 32 years, the Stepping Stone Quilters has kept the unique art of quilting alive in The Bahamas. Normally when you think of a quilt, you think of a cold climate and perhaps snuggling in bed or by a fireplace. The Bahamas has few cold days but with the introduction of newer materials, the traditional quilting art form has evolved into creating traditional quilts for beds into other popular items including baby quilts and mats, wall hangings, cushion covers, table runners and many more practical and useful items.


Each year the Quilters put on a fun challenge whereby certain criteria has to be met. This year’s theme is “Rainy Days” and many unique ideas and pieces have been created. Guests are asked to vote for their favorite.

For this year’s show, the Stepping Stone Quilters committed, once again, to support the work of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas as it is one of the most beneficial and longstanding non-profit organizations in our country and has a direct impact on a number of women dear to them.


Their original intent was for each of our 16 members to create one Lap Quilt, approximately 40” x 60” in size, to be gifted to someone from the Family Islands staying in the Cancer Caring Centre while undergoing treatment. The project crested into an amazing wave of love, generosity and productivity which yielded 89 quilts, some of which will be displayed at this year’s show. Others have already been gifted, and after this exhibition, the remainder will be too.

At the request of The Cancer Society of The Bahamas, there will be 30 quilts on display and offered for sale. All of the money raised will be used to continue the excellent work of The Cancer Society of The Bahamas and pricing will start at $200 for each Lap Quilt. However, additional contributions would be gratefully accepted.

CLICK HERE for event Facebook page.



To sign up  contact  Katrina Cartwright at kcartwright  1

W O R K S H O P :

NAGB presents:
Free Portfolio Workshop for Teens

Saturday, Jan. 26th
At the NAGB

The NAGB is beginning the new year with its fourth FREE portfolio workshop tomorrow, Saturday, January 26th. These workshops are for aspiring young artists with big hopes and dreams who are applying for entry into college/university art programmes in 2019 or 2020. Our previous workshops have had a huge impact and we received amazing feedback from all of our participants.

For more details, call the NAGB at 328-5800 during weekdays or email our Education Officer Katrina Cartwright at

CLICK HERE to register.
CLICK HERE for event Facebook page.


C U L T U R E :

Clifton Heritage National Park:
“Majority Rule” Heritage Tour Experience

Saturday, Jan. 26th | Tours: 10am/1pm/3pm | Clifton Pier

The Clifton Heritage National Park celebrates Majority Rule all January long with their Heritage Tour Experience. The last tour takes place tomorrow, Saturday, January 26th. Packages are for walk-ins only. Park and Beach access included.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.

Majority Rule Tour


4th SUndays

G A L L E R Y :

NAGB presents:
4th Sundays

Sunday, Jan. 27th
At the NAGB

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is bringing 4th Sundays back in 2019. Let their knowledgeable staff guide you through their current exhibitions, including the newly opened “NE9: The Fruit and the Seed”, featuring the work of over 35 artists and their Permanent Exhibition “Hard Mouth” that investigates our culture through Bahamian vernacular.

Add an exciting element to your visitor experience and connect with and learn more about the artworks at The National Art Gallery. Tours will be held every 30 minutes beginning at 12:00 p.m. Interested persons can stop in to the Mixed Media Store to sign up for an available tour.

CLICK HERE for the NAGB website.


C O N C E R T :

The Nassau Music Society presents:
“Duo Turgeon, Piano Four Hands”

Sunday, Jan. 27th, 2019 | 5pm | St. Paul’s Church Hall, Lyford Cay


Duo Turgeon

The Nassau Music Society’s 50th Anniversary Concert Season continues this weekend with “Duo Turgeon, Piano Four Hands”.

Renowned for playing with technical virtuosity, Canadian husband and wife team Duo Turgeon will enthrall audiences with twenty fingers united in perfect synchronicity on one piano.

Duo Turgeon has lined up a concert of classical favourites, hand-picked from 30 years of concerts around the world. The programme will include “Carnival of the Animals” with a slide show of student-created artwork, as well as selections from a diverse repertoire that ranges from Rachmaninoff to Gershwin.

Tickets are available online at the link below or at three convenient Custom Computers locations (Old Fort Town Centre, Cable Beach and Cotton Tree Plaza just before Harbour Bay), or at the door on the evening of the concert. Come out for a spectacular evening of classical music performed with “hypnotic intensity” by one of the top piano duos of our time.


Mahogany Restaurant at Island House.

After the Concert
A complimentary glass of wine or soft drink will be served at intermission and don’t forget to complete your evening with one of our fabulous restaurant partners: 1. The Captain’s Table, where NMS Members can enjoy a 2-for-1 glass or bottle of house wine with dinner or at 2. Mahogany House where all concert ticket holders are invited to enjoy a 2-for-1 aperitif special of a complimentary glass of Prosecco after the concert, and at Spritz where four dining NMS members can enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine.) Reservations are recommended. Please present your ticket stub or membership card to claim the special offer.

CLICK HERE for event’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE to visit Nassau Music Society’s website.




L E C T U R E :

NAGB Public Lecture: Tamika Galanis – Repatriating the Bahamian Lomax Collection

Thursday, Jan. 31st | 6pm–7:30pm | At the NAGB


Join the NAGB on Thursday, January 31st at 6pm for a community conversation and deep dive into the Bahamian folk materials from the Alan Lomax Collection at the Library of Congress with Bahamian artist and researcher Tamika Galanis.

The collection boasts hundreds of sound recordings and photographs from New Providence, Cat Island, and Andros from 1935 and 1979. This collection gifts us with a rare peek into Family-Island-Life on one of the lesser-photographed islands.

Galanis is the current Jon B. Lovelace Fellow for the Study of the Alan Lomax Collection at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

CLICK HERE for the event’s Facebook page.


F U N D R A I S E R :

The Chan Pratt Foundation presents:
An Art Exhibition & Cocktail Reception

Thursday, Jan. 31st, 2019 | 7pm–10pm | Sapodilla, West Bay St.


The Chan Pratt Foundation will be hosting its annual fundraiser on January 31, 2019 at Sapodilla Estate, West Bay Street. This event will serve as a fundraiser for the Chan Pratt Memorial Art Scholarship Endowment Fund at The University of The Bahamas which was established in June 2016.

This year’s event will feature the works of various Bahamian artists exhibiting a diversity of styles inspired by the work of Mr. Chan Pratt, under the theme “Recreating Old Nassau.” Guests can look forward to an evening of live music, art, and atmosphere. Savory and sweet bites will be provided, as well as wine and a welcome cocktail.

As mentioned, this is a fundraising event and the tickets ($100 in advance, $125 at the door) will generate income for the Endowment Fund as well as the operational expenses of the Chan Pratt Foundation.

All are welcome.

CLICK HERE for Facebook event page.


art & culture stories
from the bahamas

Tamika Galanis

Bahamian documentarian Tamika Galanis

Bahamian artist’s exhibition individualizes climate change at Duke University

by Alizeh Sheikh

Climate change is a topic that is at once impersonal and urgent. Although nearly every successive climate change report seems to pull the due date of impending calamity ever closer to the present, climate change coverage has refrained from politicizing the issue, often turning a lens to a small handful of the big players, like national governments.

In “One Hurricane Season,” a Center for Documentary studies exhibition on display until Feb. 17, MFA/EDA alumna and native Bahamian Tamika Galanis aims to enrich and individualize the conversation on climate change by threading it through a summer spent with her grandmother in The Bahamas at the height of hurricane season.

In an essay for “Oxford American,” Galanis contextualizes her exhibition by synthesizing the sudden and large-scale destruction experienced in the wakes of Hurricanes Irma and Maria with the rapid progression of dementia that afflicted her grandmother. As Atlantic “Small Island Developing States” (SIDS), including The Bahamas, look to the future, they see a fate of disappearance already experienced by their counterparts in the Pacific. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Duke Chronicle.

Sand-Swallows Major2

Bahamian artist Anina Major.

Bahamian artist in new solo show at Pennsylvania College

Westminster College’s Foster Art Gallery will host Sand Swallows Beneath My Feet, an art exhibition of mixed media sculptures, video and prints by Bahamian artist Anina Major from Jan. 14 to Feb. 8, 2019.

A native of Nassau, Bahamas, Major works primarily in clay but has extensive training in various fine arts medium, including drawing, painting and printmaking. Her work often pays homage to her island upbringings and surroundings.

“There is a transformative space between grounded and uprooted experiences that counteract our states of stay. With references to the ecology of my homeland, I continue to investigate the relationship between self and place. Through imaginative rediscovery, the work explores themes of hybridity and cultural identity within the context of my personal migration,” said Major in describing her exhibit.

Major studied at The College of The Bahamas before earning her undergraduate degree in graphic design from Drexel University in Philadelphia and a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Foster Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. [...]

CLICK HERE for Anina Major’s website.


Bahamian artist *Keith Gordon Wisdom.

Bahamian artist promotes cultural diversity and Junkanoo in Ohio solo show

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and to celebrate cultural diversity, Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls has installed a special art exhibit designed to introduce Northeast Ohio to the beauty and essence of the Bahamian national cultural festival known as Junkanoo.

Bahamian Junkanoo is an individual and community celebration of freedom which evolved from Christmas slave celebrations held in the late eighteenth century Nassau, Bahamas. The exhibit features artwork by Bahamian artist Keith Gordon Wisdom, who is directly connected to the creative essence, costumes, color and rhythm of the festival.

“It is the festival’s historical elements and use of intense colors in its costuming and rhythmic drumming and parading presentation that has deeply affected me and my depiction of what I feel within my soul,” Wisdom notes.

His works have been displayed in private collections in the United States, Hungary, Canada and several Bahamian private and corporate collections over the years. Wisdom staged his first U.S. exhibition in 2015 at Kent State University’s Uumbaji Art Gallery and recently had work exhibited at Peg’s Gallery in Hudson, as well as the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.

Through this Pop-Up Exhibition at Western Reserve Hospital, he hopes to introduce a wider audience in the area to the beauty and creativity of Bahamian Junkanoo from January 14 – February 2.

Tavares Strachan

Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan

Bahamian artist work showcased in South Florida exhibition about the health of the planet

The exhibition’s biggest punch comes with 130,000 Years, a room-sized installation from Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan.

by Joanne Milani

It’s easy for some folks to dismiss museum art. After all, much of it can seem to have nothing to do with real life.

It’s not easy at all, however, to dismiss what is now on view at the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum. Seen together, the work by four different artists delivers a punch to the gut. It’s all a dose of frightening reality.

Forget the sleep-inducing, academic title of the exhibition, “The Visible Turn: Contemporary Artists Confront Political Invisibility.” This show is about life and death. It’s about the health of our planet.

Because everything is connected to everything else, it’s also about us.

Karolina Sobecka of Poland exhibits the vacuum pump, bell jars and aerosols she uses in her studies of the atmosphere. She gathers particulates found in clouds over different areas of the world: dust from an 1815 volcano eruption in Indonesia and silver and iodide above a General Electric Research lab in New York state. In coming months, the clouds above Tucson, Ariz., will also be examined. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in the Tampa Bay Times.

Lillian Blades Marble Paper

Lillian Blades

The Current announces first two artists-in-residence

The Current Baha Mar Gallery & Art Center’s first artist-in-resident for 2019 is Georgia-based Bahamian artist Lillian Blades

Lillian’s works are predominately mixed media assemblages and are made with an assortment of materials, both found and constructed by her in her home based studio. Her childhood home of The Bahamas, ancestral background of West Africa, and her late mother, who was a seamstress, influences her art. These influences appear through use of her color palette and objects that evoke memory and history. Lillian will be in residence until March 27th, 2019. Visit The Current and pop by her studio while she’s there.


Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett

The Current’s second artist-in-resident for 2019 is Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett.

Dr. Bethell-Bennett is an associate professor and former dean of Liberal and Fine Arts at the University of the Bahamas. His research interests include gender development, the disappearing common space in destinations, and Haitian and Cuban migration.

His work can be found in the daily newspapers, discussing gender and development; and his recent publications focus on the unequal development in the Caribbean, particularly in The Bahamas and Puerto Rico where resorts take over land and disenfranchise locals.

Aside from these topics, Dr. Bethell-Bennett writes on art and culture, and has participated in projects on erasure of local places in favor of international spaces all featured in National Exhibitions: NE7 NE8 and NE9 as well as the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ Double Dutch: Hot Water with Plastico Fantastico as a part of the Expo 2020 collective.

CLICK HERE to visit the Current’s Facebook page.


Photo by DeAndra V. Cartwright (Facebook)

Bahamian culture on display at Saks Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Atlantis

by Rosemary Feitelberg

After the holidays and with winter arriving, who doesn’t dream of an island getaway? That is what Atlantis Paradise Island and Saks Fifth Avenue are banking on.

The two companies have teamed up to make visions of an island escape a reality for shoppers and passersby in and around the retailer’s flagship. Starting Friday, Saks has swapped its holiday windows for glimpses of the sprawling Bahamas resort, which will decorate six windows on the store’s Fifth Avenue and East 49th Street sides. There will also be in-store events with Bahamian bartenders, musicians and the Atlantis’ resident ice cream maker chef Wayne Moncur Jan. 10 to 12. The collaboration marks the first time Saks has linked up with a hotel or resort for window displays. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full article in WWD.


Photo by DeAndra V. Cartwright (Facebook)


Photo by DeAndra V. Cartwright (Facebook)


Photo by DeAndra V. Cartwright (Facebook)


A slice of Bahamian luxury and heritage to take home

by Alesha Cadet

Catherine Gagnon is on a mission to beautify homes of Bahamians with luxurious locally made décor pieces. To this end, she launched the Ihomeware company during last November’s Jollification festival.

“I wanted to do housewares that were being stocked in local stores. There are too many things being sold here that are made in China or Europe or the United States. I also wanted to incorporate the history of The Bahamas in my work. The packaging for our candle lines showcase old maps of The Bahamas,” Catherine told Tribune Woman.

Bahamourrie currently mainly offers boutique candles inspired by the various islands, colours of the ocean, sand, flowers, trees, and more, all under the theme “Archipelago Gems.”

The candle line includes The Dunmore, inspired by Harbour Island, and The Gregory, inspired by Gregory Town, Eleuthera. Catherine describes The Dunmore as a 10.5oz 100 percent soy wax candle in a glass jar with cloche dome; it comes in four scents – Pink Sands (sweet musk/beachy), Ginger Land (ginger saffron), Briland Holly (Christmas scent; cinnamon clove) and Harbour Breeze (soft, spa-like). [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Tribune.
CLICK HERE to visit the Bahamourri Facebook page.
CLICK HERE to visit the Bahamourri website.


Top: Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe / BOTTOM: Folkert De Jong, The New Deal, 2012, Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam and pallet.

Bahamian artist writes on the work of painter Folkert De Jong and “Expansive Painting”

by Lavar Munroe

What constitutes a painting? Is it possible to create a “painting” that occupies space, has actual volume and is made with unconventional materials? These questions point to an expansion of the definition of “painting” as it relates to the action of painting.

I have been an avid fan of the work of Folkert De Jong for many years, in particular his works that occupy space and are three-dimensional. I was privileged to see a few of those pieces in person at UNTITLED Miami Beach a few weeks ago. Although I am not a huge advocate of viewing and appreciating works in such spaces (Art Fairs), the works on display gave me some visual and intellectual insight into his working process.

Immediately, I was drawn in by De Jong’s color and painterly gestures in The New Deal, 2012, most of which seemed to be achieved with unconventional, non-traditional painting materials. His clever use of materials and color to achieve a sense of painterly gesture instantly compelled me to look closer, to inspect his choices, consider the conceptual underpinnings of those choices and attempt to digest the grouping of objects. Evidence of deconstructing form and then “healing” those breaks was apparent in the yellow and pink adhesive substrates bleeding through the crevasses of incisions. The rigor by which color was excavated through the subtractive process of carving coupled with the “chemical” color of various adhesives he used, strategically accented with what seems to be conventional house paint, in my opinion, pointed to a beautiful expansion of the definition of “painting.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Painters on Paintings.

PM Painting

Slide Show: Dr. April Williams, left, assists Sean in creating his Junkanoo wall mural

12 year old Bahamian artist makes history

by Felicity Darville

A 12 year-old Bahamian students has become the youngest artist and the first Bahamian to participate in the RAW project which coincides with Art Basel in Miami, Florida Every year.

Sean Austin was proud of his painting of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis shaking cowbells and rushing in a Junkanoo parade. His teacher, Cicely Bodie, was proud of him too, and created opportunities for him to show off his work of art, including meeting the Prime Minister himself. Last summer, Ms. Bodie took Sean to the the launch of the Craftsman’s Business Center, when former Speaker of the House of Assembly Italia Johnson and her sister, former Senator Gladys Johnson-Sands were launching their new business. A group of teachers who were visiting The Bahamas were touring the center and the Bahamian artifacts and activities inside.

There, the young Sean met Dr. April Williams, Principle of Jose De Diego Middle School, who was impressed by his passion for art and his presentation to the teachers on why he decided to create the painting. Tribune Weekend was there and at that time, Dr. Williams promised to invite Sean and Ms. Bodie to the next RAW project during Art Basel. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at The Bahamas Weekly.


Bahamian artist Natascha Vazquez

Cacique Artist in the Spotlight: Natascha Vazquez

by Cacique International

Cacique International’s “Artist in the Spotlight” series is a journey into a thriving Bahamian art scene and a look at some of The Bahamas’ most exciting artists, pushing boundaries on island and around the world.

In this episode, Bahamian artist Natascha Vazquez, an artist surrounded by tradition but never bound by it, took her art on an extravagantly abstract path. She invited Cacique to stroll around “Finca Nati” – her family farm – to understand how her native Bahamian surroundings have unconsciously carved her artistic identity.


Natascha’s work is revealing of the visual narrative that exists within us all, carved by the colors and shapes that we see everyday. As an abstract painter, however, Natascha paves the way forward into a brave new world. Her fearless, sweeping brush strokes may elude to lush fronds, but then the magic happens. The piece quickly morphs into something else, a subjective interpretation that is often wildly at odds with the original subject, that poses questions rather than giving answers.

Natascha. Inspiration is something that is built up over time – it isn’t (for me at least) necessarily a specific thing that I see or hear or smell that then motivates me to paint. It is years and years of being surrounded by natural spaces, warm weather and vibrant land and seascapes. I’m fascinated by nature because I’ve been exposed to it so much – I love the bulbous shapes of leaves and roots and fruit that one might find in the Bahamian bush – I love the warm vibrant colors that make up this tropical landscape – I constantly refer back to that because it has been and continues to surround me. [...]

CLICK HERE to read full interview at Cacique International Blog.


Sunitha Pati, head of Occupational Therapy at SRC

Art therapy for mental health recovery at Sandilands

Bahamian public encouraged to support Sandilands programme

Clients at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) will enjoy the benefits of art therapy as Bahamian multidisciplinary artist Kelley Knowles–Charlow is partnering with the Sandilands Occupational Therapy Department to host the first annual art competition for patients and residents of the institution. The competition will be held on April 20 and organisers encourage the public’s support for this innovative therapeutic programme.

Sunitha Pati, head of Occupational Therapy at SRC, stressed the significance of art in mental health rehabilitation. Referring to research by Cathy Malchiodi, a licenced art therapist and clinical counsellor, she said: “Art making can be soothing and stress-reducing; a way to transcend troubling circumstances or life’s problems. Others have experienced how imagery helps to solve problems, release powerful or distressing emotions, recover from traumatic losses or experiences, or alleviate pain or physical symptoms.” Mrs Pati noted that art therapy is based on the belief that people can process life experiences through art. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Tribune.


“Caribbean Sunrise”, (2018), Dave Smith, acrylic on canvas, 54” x 128”. Courtesy of the artist.

the beauty of paradise

by Ian Bethell-Bennett

In the Caribbean, like most of the world with globalization’s flattening of the world, as Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat” (2005), demonstrates, inequality increases as the local place is transformed by the international space. Art and the art scene belie the international and interstitial connectivity of local and global.

Dave Smith’s painting “Caribbean Sunrise” (2018) — currently on view at the NAGB in its ninth national exhibition, “NE9: The Fruit & the Seed” — is emblematic of this using juxtaposition and colour in striking yet contradictory and discordant ways. We never think of the Caribbean as a violent space, yet with this history of occupation and exploitation it is quintessentially violent, its geography hides violence: the violence of the encounter or the discovery, that in itself marks a violent erasure of what was once there, though overlaying it with an imagery and imaginary of paradise, almost like Milton’s “Paradise Lost” (1667). The allure is dangerous.

In this focus, the contradiction of the local butting up against the global and the world of art and inequality, access and limitation; nationalism and transnationalism contradicted by globalism and capitalism, blend and merge to form a discussion that is really revelatory. Smith’s work has already demonstrated a true understanding of the contradictions of the Caribbean pleasure industry, as coined by Mark Padilla in “Caribbean Pleasure Industry: Tourism, Sexuality and AIDS in the Dominican Republic” (2007). Smith’s piece captures, in rather minimalist ways, the sharp distraction between local and global, yet the inability to desegregate that space. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Nassau Guardian.



The Place for Art: Picture Framing Sale

CLICK HERE to visit The Place for Art’s Facebook page.


about us


Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

Art & Culture were created to
uplift and inspire mankind.

Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine is an email magazine concentrating on the art & culture of The Bahamas and the world around us. It is published once a week and is a service of Smith & Benjamin Art & Design, a design firm based in Nassau, The Bahamas offering graphic design, custom illustration, fine art, art marketing, art brokerage and publishing.

Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher:
Stephanie Shivers, Account & Office Manager:

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