Down the Islands (2016)

During my three week residency at Alice Yard, two topics have come up in conversations daily.

People talked to me about the question of safety, violence, and crime repeatedly. While, admittedly, I didn't go to neighbourhoods deemed ‘bad’, Port of Spain did not felt unsafe to me. However, I received text messages of the news headlines almost daily on my local cell phone that talked of crime and violence. I covered the landscape so that it could only be seen through the words; it remained steady through a lens of violence speaking to both the history of colonization of the islands and their current situation. While at the same time, the scrolling headines point to the culture of fear that the media incites.

While there, I was impressesd by the beauty of the Trinidadian landscape, but conversing with people about the country and its landscape, the topic of oil and petro-chemicals came up again and again. I had the opportunity to drive around the Trinidadian countryside and I came across this majestic mango tree. I tried in vain to photograph the tree from several angles but I was unable to take a photo of it without an electrical line in the frame. In my mind, it became a metaphor for Trinidad.

More about my residency at Alice Yard may be read on my blog: Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 and my artist talk

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