Tuesday, January 25, 2011


PM Theatre allows audiences to encounter works that might have otherwise remained as just ideas in the heads of performing artists. The Project presents a platform to begin exploring new performance ideas in dance, drama, films and music or any comination with live audiences. Audiences also get to pay by the minute. If they leave a performance before it is complete, they can get their money back for the remaining minutes of the show in the form of a credit for future shows. The venue is 33 Murray Street, just off the avenue. The Project also brings the missing element of performance and entertainment to the Avenue.

The first show Jan Thur 27th to Sat 29th is
RansomE featuring daramatic, choreographic, and audio/visual explorations by:
sonja dumas • tracy hutchings • darren chee wah & dave williams
performed by a number of performance, video and sound practitioners.

Search "PM Theatre" on facebook.

Help break boundaries.


Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions, an exhibition of contemporary art from twelve Caribbean countries. Featuring work by artists from the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, the exhibition is curated by artist and curator Christopher Cozier and art historian Tatiana Flores.

Published in conjunction with the Art Museum of the Americas, The Organization of American States and Draconian Switch, 'Wrestling With the Image', is the Official Catalogue of the exhibition opened on January 21st and running through to May 10th 2011 at the Museum of the Americas, Washington. This 108 page downloadable catalogue designed by Richard Mark Rawlins, features the artists works, and essays by Cozier and Flores.

Click link below to download.


Check out a website listing for artists in the show:

Ewan Atkinson:


La Vaughn Belle:


Lillian Blades:


Terry Boddie:


Holly Bynoe:


Santiago Cal:


Charles Campbell:


John Cox:


Blue Curry:


Jean-Ulrick Désert:


Richard Fung:


Joscelyn Gardner:


Marlon Griffith:


Nadia Huggins:


Marlon James:


Patricia Kaersenhout:


Roshini Kempadoo:


Hew Locke:


Jamie Lee Loy:


Pauline Marcelle:


Kishan Munroe:


Nikolai Noel:


Ebony G. Patterson:


Oneika Russell:


Heino Schmid:


Rodell Warner:


Tonya Wiles:


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Client: Prestige Holdings Limited. Produced by Collier Morrison and Belgrave Advertising Limited. dps: Kerry Gibbon and Mark Loregnard, Advance Dynamics Limited. ed: Judes Gomes-Dell, ADL. cws: Melissa Doughty and Mark White, CMB. tv pro: Stacy Phillips, CMB. astv pro: Jamila Moonsammy, CMB. cd: Richard Mark Rawlins, CMB. Audio: Richard Ahong aka Charsu. Jingle Bed: Terry Lyons and Swappi. ads: Marilyn Morrison, David Pang. Team CMB: Antron Forte, Nolan Nexar, and Karin Simmonds. Running time 45 seconds. Made in T&T.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mobile Portrait Studio, ALICE YARD on NOW!!!

Mobile Portrait Studio, a project by Lara Stein Pardo, considers people, public spaces, performance, and personal interaction in relationship to the role of portraiture, art-making, memory, and historical narratives. Mobile Portrait Studio ran in two locations inMiami in December 2010. The Port of Spain version is a collaboration between Stein Pardo and Rodell Warner.

On 11 January, 2011, Stein Pardo and Warner made a series of portraits of passersby on Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook. In the second stage of their collaboration, they will operate the
Mobile Portrait Studio at Alice Yard on Friday 14 January from 7.30 pm. Volunteer participants can have their portraits taken and will receive a free print. The images will be digitally preserved as part of a larger series of artworks.

Stein Pardo and Warner will also screen the portraits taken on 11 January, and engage in a conversation about the project, their other recent work, and their interest in portraiture.

All are invited.

About the artists:

Lara Stein Pardo is an artist and PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Michigan. She is currently a visiting researcher in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miami and artist-in-residence at the Deering Estate in Cutler Bay. Her artwork, research, and writing revolve around place, gender, race, ethnicity, art, and artistic practice in the US and the Caribbean. She works in the medium of photography, installation, performance, and short film.

Rodell Warner is an artist and designer. His recent work includes the interactive installation Photobooth during Erotic Art Week 2009 and 2010, and the ongoing portrait series Closer. Other work in progress is documented at his blog, Free Paper. He is a member of Alice Yard’s network of creative collaborators.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I had to go slowly with Bri anna McCarthy and not for the rea sons she may think.

I’ve had my eye on her. She’s been grac ing my work desk top on and off for the bet ter part of 2010. In fact, she is a very preg nant part of my vision board. If there wasn’t a mir ror nearby, then I could look at Bri anna McCarthy’s work, tiled as if she just knew the col ors that would inspire me to life, love and laugh ter and we just became fast friends.She saw me first, and its one of those moments where you’re think ing ok, I have this mag a zine and you want peo ple to say what they think and some times they do, but most times they don’t and then out of the blue you get a sim ple “I dig your site.”

No pre am ble, no awk ward ness, no long good bye. Just a dig—and a good one. And it’s not a friend, it’s some one who doesn’t have to be sweet to you or on you haha. So, of course you check out this person’s site, and then you see your desk­top back ground that you first saw and saved from LeCoil and you have your moment and then you wait a week to respond, because you’re already crush ing the artist too much to breathe.

So yeah, for as long as Bri anna McCarthy’s been dig ging me, I’ve been dig ging her and then some and I wanted more. I needed to finesse my approach. You just have to under stand this is the one you want to invite inside your liv ing space and co-habitate. And yes of course hang her art on your wall—mantle-worthy as it is.

I find it very hard to play favorites. So just a small sampling…

read it all here


Welcome to a brighter place. Inglefield/Ogilvy & Mather Caribbean and Abovegroup merge.

Abovegroup, the region’s leading branding consultancy and Inglefield/Ogilvy & Mather Caribbean, a long-standing pillar of advertising and media services in the region, are pleased to announce that as of today, 11.1.11, they have merged to form a new offering, Abovegroup Ogilvy.

This represents a seismic shift in the local creative industries. Abovegroup Ogilvy brings together two distinct but complementary groups of skills and experience - offering the most comprehensive range of services available under one roof anywhere in the Caribbean. From branded entertainment, branding, advertising, digital, strategy, PR, traditional and guerrilla marketing to media management by the globally recognised industry leader, Mindshare.

More than that, Abovegroup Ogilvy will revolutionise the way the agency business is done. Positioning ourselves as Brand Engineers, there are going to be a lot of firsts. The first truly full-service communications company in the country. The first in the country to have a dedicated Strategy & Planning department. The first with a tightly integrated in-house digital team. The first to have an environmental policy, which includes dedicating 5% of annual resources to improving the social and physical environments in Trinidad and Tobago and beyond. The first carbon-neutral company in the country by the end of 2011. The first to offer branded entertainment. The first to publish free white papers on trends and changes in the region, developed by our in-house strategy team.

This will be backed by having the best and most creative minds in the industry, access to global networks and a solid understanding of the local corporate, consumer goods and youth markets.

“Our mission as a company is simple - to make the world a brighter place”, says Director Tony Inglefield. “We mean it, and we’re going to do it in a way that benefits everyone - our clients, their customers, the public, the countries in which we operate, our peers and ourselves. People are tired of the old way of doing things. There is no point pretending that nothing has changed when everything has and is already busy changing again. Of course there will be some who prefer the status quo. For everyone else, let’s get started.”

Fellow directors in Abovegroup Ogilvy include Russ Jarman Price, Alex Smailes and Gareth Jenkins.

Founded in 2005, Abovegroup is the leading branding consultancy in the region, offering branding and identity, graphic design, photography, digital development and guerrilla marketing services. In addition, Abovegroup is actively involved in the local creative industry, and hosts monthly creative talks at its popular Show & Tell series. Clients include Atlantic, The Beacon, The Carlton Savannah and the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

Inglefield/Ogilvy and Mather Caribbean was born in 1993, and hasn't looked back since. As an affiliate of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, IOM combines both experience and diversity to create a tailored approach to each creative project. IOM is affiliated with a range of agencies throughout the Caribbean providing a full range of services to our local, regional and international clients. Clients include Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kimberly-Clark, Carib Brewery, Digicel, Caribbean Airlines, International Committee of the Red Cross and ABIL.

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. Through its specialty units, the company provides a comprehensive range of marketing services including: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing. Ogilvy & Mather services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries.

Mindshare is a global media and marketing services company. The Mindshare global network consists of approximately 6,000 employees across 115 offices in 82 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

For more information, please contact:
Gareth Jenkins at gareth.jenkins@abovegroupogilvy.com or
Anthony Inglefield at anthony.inglefield@abovegroupogilvy.com

Friday, January 7, 2011

Q & A with filmmaker Dalton Narine by Darryn Boodan

He has written for The Village Voice, been the Features editor at Ebony, as well as The Miami Herald. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran and has won awards for his writing on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Somewhere in between all of this, Dalton Narine has also managed to make an astounding 14 films, all set in Trinidad and Tobago, making him one of the most high-profile filmmakers in the Caribbean. His latest feature ‘Mas Man Peter Minshall’, which chronicles the life and work of Peter Minshall, won Best Documentary at the New York International Film Festival in 2010.
Here is a conversation I recently had with Dalton, in which he talks about what it was like working with Peter Minshall, and why the word ‘documentary’ can be tricky when you are looking for funding.

Check out a preview of 'Mas Man' below and look out for the movie now on Flow on Demand

You spent five years working on ‘Mas Man’. What was your motivation for such a huge project?
The motivation for producing and directing ‘Mas Man Peter Minshall’ lies in my passion for documenting culture, and the leading icon of the arts in Trinidad and Tobago has been Peter Minshall. Given our rich pool of talent, such declaration might seem thoughtless and provocative to people with a different mindset. Yet, art is privy to subjective interpretation and one cannot look at oneself in Minshall’s mirror without flinching or being awed – Sir Vidia Naipaul’s volume of work notwithstanding.

You probably know Peter Minshall better than most of us now. What was it like interacting with him on this? What is his reaction to the film?
No, I still don’t know Minshall well. His work, yes. I’ve been following his stylish themes since ‘Paradise Lost’ in 1976, and interacting with him can be measured to my interacting with the mas. There’s always a push and pull with Minsh; a tug-of-war of minds, though very few can match his wit. It’s his rope. Always. But it wasn’t a big deal to push back and forth during the interview sessions. It just happened in passing.

However, in the initial meeting when we discussed the production, his first question was, “So, how do you plan to do the film?” My immediate response was, “Without a narration.” “Good,” he said. And that little exchange provided the grease, and the grist, too, for the laborious five-year project. Minsh is every bit as proficient loquaciously as he is creatively. The camera, or the microphone, could be a fetish, you know.

About his reaction to the film, you’ll need to ask him yourself. A patron at a film festival in Wales asked during a Q&A, why we made the film while Minshall was still alive. I saw his point right away. Because nobody would relish a portrait of himself or herself, if it was manufactured by others. It’s not like looking in a mirror. Then again, it’s very much like looking in a mirror. For two decades, Minshall shoved his looking glass in our faces and said, “Look, that’s you. Like it or not.” Well, what’s wrong with responding in kind? Minsh has been the conscience of our age, and that’s how we depicted him. We really didn’t raise the temperature.

I liked the rawness of the look of ‘Mas Man’. Was this intentional? What was your vision for the film?
You probably watched the festival or extended cut, the 87-minute version, which was the first cut. It won at the 2009 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival as a work in progress. Besides, when you spend so much time on a project, it can alter your mood, how you think, how the work behaves. Nine months later, after we began retailing the extended cut, we completed the final cut (57 minutes) just in time for the New York International Film Festival screening. Audience reaction was superlative. Even the festival director who was in the audience approved, for we had submitted a work in progress six months earlier. This was a telling moment in the film’s history. I was in the UK while the editor was finishing up, and I told him to FedEx the final cut to a friend in New York, who met me at the airport – without the package. He hadn’t received it. We got it with two hours to spare and headed for the festival by subway. But an announcement came up that trouble lay ahead on the tracks. We taxied to the cinema, arriving two minutes before the screening. And I rushed in with the Blu-Ray copy, begging the projectionist to screen the final, not the one he had in hand. He said, “I haven’t seen this; it’d be like flying blind.” We are both in the same boat, I said. And I sat in the back of a crowded theatre acting as if I were from Croatia and I’d walked into a New York cinema not knowing what to expect. That was my vision for the film. At last! The editor was the one who turned it into reality. The director can instruct all he wants, but it’s the editor who interprets the page. The film won three festivals thereafter.

There is a perception that our society fails to properly document and archive the lives of individuals such as Minshall. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that is?
Another story as illustration. A few years ago, I asked then-Speaker Pennelope Beckles why it was so difficult to raise funds to finance the project. Was I blighted? Was Minshall? “No”, she said. “Change the word documentary to film, as in ‘A Film by Dalton Narine.’” Documentary was too heavy for viewers. Then, she added, “Nobody has ever undertaken a project about Dr. Eric Williams, Hasely Crawford, Uriah “Buzz” Butler, Capt. Arthur Andrew Cipriani, and so on. Maybe they’d have found themselves in your shoes. You’re now the vanguard. Once you complete the film, with whatever funds (bank loans and pension funds mostly, along with a contribution by Trinidad and Tobago Film Company), others will follow your path.”

You said you had enough material left over to write a novel. If you did, what would be its theme?

The fascinating mind of a misunderstood artist.

You have produced over 14 films. What do you think of the TTFF and what do you think will help spur more people to turn to filmmaking in Trinidad?
‘Mas Man Peter Minshall’ is my 14th. And the TTFC question has answered itself. I’ll consider any request the TTFC asks of me. Whatever it takes. I see the company as a light probing the crevices of the budding filmmaker’s mind, reminding, “You, too, have a story to tell. We’ll help as far as we can go.”

You described yourself as a “writer who sees the big picture”. What’s your process like in filmmaking, as opposed to writing?
It’s almost the same road. There’s a fork, though, that takes filmmaking through a technical world. Whereas, strong verbs create powerful images, the mind has a mischievous camera of its own, though you must coax it properly through variations of angles and light and sound. That’s the simplest answer I know. One more thing, it is necessary to imbue both media with rhythm and pacing, particularly in dialogue.

What are your thoughts on the progression of Carnival? There are many who criticise the high price of costumes and perceived lack of ‘creativity’ – that it’s become very middle class. Do you think these are fair comments to make?
Relevant, for sure. Middle class is the wrong crowd, though. How about lower class? Funny you would ask about that. I’m about to wrap up a piece about the topic. Here’s a preview:

De ole time days was mas in yuh brass: Frame upon frame of colour-plated pageantry, tinged with Van Goghian hues that captured images of hordes of revellers magically transforming National Geographic and the Encyclopedia Britannica into a mobile theatre of the Drag and the stage.
Here, the dance of the Cree of Canada; there, the mystery of the Relics of Egypt; Somewhere in New Guinea beckons; Saga of Merrie England titillates. To Hell and Back and Back to Africa; Primitive Man and Extracts of the Animal Kingdom; Imperial Rome; The Glory that was Greece; and a plethora of sailor bands putting on a show, their risqué and comedic acts mimed to the rawness of steel band music, the only nativity in the multiculture, blessed and cursed alike, just like the mas. And fancy sailors, too, Fascinators and Syncopators strutting, and peacocking headgear, such as clocks and cameras and elephants and crabs from the Mang, leaving Cito Valasquez up front to bogart attention with his Gulliverous Fruits and Flowers.
Not to forget the traditional mas like the dragon blowing his whistle, a polished wooden snake, marble for eyes, wrapped around – as if copulating – a piece of bois rubbed down with coconut oil, this once-upon-a-time stick fighter turned ballet dancer operating Behind the Bridge; or the venerable Bookman dissuading his teenage counterpart from crossing the canal on George Street without the necessary preparation (or else what?) and the caped-tongue man with the oversized wide-brim frill hat fobbing children off with scary stories, parents shooing him away with money for the coffin, er, his sow’s ear purse.
The mas was all over the place because it felt free to play yourself, not free up, or wine down like rats in the sewer. Ha! God knows the rodents wouldn’t have tolerated such slackness. Indeed, thousands of them, unnerved by the mere notion, haul they tail and scurried across to French Street to sign up with Rat Race, Minshall’s purview of the land and its lubbers.

If you could change one thing about Trinidad Carnival, what would it be?
Bring back the sass and sassiness in Monday mas by throwing the day to the steel band. Pan all day, all night. At least, that would happen. But you can’t force the winers and “beachgoers” to change their ways and means.

What are your thoughts on the proposed National Carnival Centre? –
Can’t comment until I peruse the architect’s plans, whenever those are made available to the public.

You’re an artist yourself. What are some of the challenges you have faced working on your projects in Trinidad?
The seven deadly sins. Full stop.

Mas Man Peter Minshall’ was nominated for Best Documentary at nine festivals on four continents, and won five awards:

 Best Documentary, Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival [Submitted as a work in progress];
 Honourable Mention, Greater Columbus International Film Festival (at 58, second oldest film festival in the USA) [Submitted as a work in progress];
 Best Documentary, New York International Film Festival;
 Best Documentary, South Africa International Film Festival;
 Best Cinematography, Chagrin Falls International Documentary Festival.

See more of Darryn's work at http://darrynboodan.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Y'n't'd side - from "Bitter or better?" (a series of personal observations)

Y'n't'd side


I recently, lately, remembered, discovered that writing is creativity. I also discovered, on a profoundly personal level that once you are creating, all is well in the cosmic scheme of things. It may not be the pretty tropical picture we would rather paint, but it will be an amazing picture. In other words, creativity, like democracy don't need good parents. In fact, the worst the parents get, the more potent the offspring - the arts, sciences... the muscles of humanity - seem to become. Interestingly, I think that art and crime have the same parents - the same social imbalance and pressure that causes the one causes the other. Art, like democracy and like crime only grow, strong, healthy and win friends and influence people when nourished by x-amount ah shit. Pressure. But why is it that only crime is doing so much better than his brother? All the success, fame, notoriety, engagement, preoccupation and transformation? Artist need to engage the rogue voice, the dissenting counter to our slip-sliding civilisation. Why are only the criminals and politicians becoming brave while our canvases, stages and voices go blank with status quotes. Bitter or better

So, the National Museum is having a big show with about 30 artist from all around the world including 8 from T&T. Check this link athttp://artzpub.blogspot.com/2010/12/we-artists-exhibition-bringing-together.html. Or your daily newspapers. This is odd. Is this funded by our Gov't/us? If the answer is yes, it would be truly entertaining. The show states as its major objective "a desire for local artists to make connections and get their work out to the larger world as well as to bring foreign artists to Trinidad to enjoy and be inspired by our rich culture."Out of the 30 odd artist only 8 odd are from here. Yet another case of foreign content outstripping local content, reminiscent of so much we. Are we/Gov't again supporting local by promoting foreign. What... local not good enough to stand on its on merit. Where the island arrogance, our independence, the boundless faith in our destiny? Nothing is wrong with supporting or repatriating foreign trinis, like the curator of the show or Nicky Minaj or anyone who has "made it out there", It could counter the brain drain that has been jamming us for over 3 decades. But how can Gov't/we be supporting/funding repatriation and foreign consultancies and at the same time be dragging the stage right from under our feet, squeezing out the people who live and practice there art here. I hear even Machel might be taking up residence outside. (p'se confirm). Has our Gov't/we ever supported a local artist/s' concert, outside of Devine Echoes, with an injection of anything like Minaj-esque $826,000 or even the $300,000+ that she herself was paid. And what is this museum show costing us. Especially since they done ahready have no money to pay panmen the measly $1,000. Why is local support always commensurate and proportional to foreign-ness. Is our Gov't saying “Buy local… but from abroad”. Where's Andre Bagoo? And what are the policies, criteria, channels, processes for getting a booking at the bloomin museum anyway... or at the NAPA, or Queen's Hall, or the Bowl, the Stadium or any artspace funded by us/Gov't for that matter? Why does none of us know? They/Gov't only always gets to do what they want to do or are inclined to support, and/or supports who is inclined to support them. Furthermore and tobesides, if an event is Govt/we-funded, shouldn't there be a transparent selection process that ‘s made clear to the public, whatever that process is – ent is our money!? Why is it not being spent on us.

You can't have multi-culturalism when politics and politicians are battening down and sinking their boney, self-feeding, pre-lubed fingers into every arts crack and then swallowing the keys.

Has “Culture” like “Youth” become synonymous with Governments and political inclinations? Art is usually a tight and uncomfortable fit for the fingers of politics - a force fit - a false fit. The thing about politicians is that once they have their whole hand up yuh ass, you can only say what they ventriloquise. And taking the metaphor miserably further: the discomfort and Y'nin to d side soon stops and you soon forget there's a fist up your ass, and they just keep shoving bigger and bigger ones up in there But the coupling is never pretty nor real and they soon move onto the next ass. Can we let these fellahs walk through yuh ass and fist and cuff the democracy and/of creativity from yuh belly? But like it or not, democracy and creativity are built to take licks even if we not. When artists become the playthings, tools and mouth organs of un-greased politicians, know that democracy and creativity have taken their exit. Both are like black widows, they will bite the head off the same fellah who just force-breed them. The babies come anyway - fatherless forces of nature made to be reckoned with.