30 November 2014

Trinidad Adventures

It's been a long time... I dove into my work and exciting movements in Trinidad... and well... haven't made the time to reflect or post on my blog... but the work continues... and with the assault on Black lives in the United States (and everywhere... cause anti-Blackness exists globally), it's been hard to share/express the sadness, grief, and anger... so I must keep working, keep writing, and keep doing. 

Instagram has been the place I've shared some of my adventures... through photographs and short reflections.
 
@sistellablack Instgram Page -- screen shot of October photos


The past four months have been filled with adventures, blessings, fulfilling work, and community, intellectual, artistic exchange. My time here has been truly inspiring, rejuvenating, and healing. I am related ancestrally to Trinidad, and so I have always felt a connection every time I've visited. But now that I'm living here, it really feels like home more and more everyday. I am working hard and enjoying every minute of it. Teaching my first graduate seminar on Sexualities, Bodies and Power, and also mentoring and working with incredible graduate students (at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, St. Augustine Unit, UWI) has restored my love for being an educator in an academic setting. I'm so grateful for this time and for the Fulbright Award. I feel incredibly blessed and am confident that this is exactly where I am meant to be.

I've been able to share much of myself as an activist and artist in my workplace and through community building during this time. And of course, I've been writing and creating so much! I worked really hard on the final final edits for my book when I got here in September, and then on other articles and short pieces. Also, I worked on and completed some new art projects. And still engaged in several community-based projects.

Here are some updates/highlights and links to check out. Mostly this is for me to archive my work but perhaps some may enjoy seeing what I've been doing these past months - all in one place:








Repeating Islands, as well as Caribbean Commons shared the call.



  • I organized a roundtable on "Erotic Justice and Caribbean Feminist Organizing for Gender and Sexual Equality" at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in Puerto Rico -- with Tonya Haynes (CODE RED for Gender Justice and UWI Lecturer at IGDS, Cave Hill, Barbados) and Puerto Rican writers/activists Zulma Oliveras Vega and Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro. We had an amazing and vibrant dialogue about creating justice through poetry, praxis, community work, and visual art.

And thanks to Yolanda :) here is video of me sharing 
my poem "Grace of Wonder" as part of our roundtable exchange:



  • I've been working on my new media installation for NE7 - Antillean: An Ecology  (National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Dec 2014 - May 2015). "Troubling Identities" multimedia visual & literary art (video -- 9min 50sec). This piece seeks to make visible the submerged & vexed sexual-racial relations that make up the Caribbean family. Digital collages of my oil pastels and photographs weaved in with my voice, featuring a remix of my poems "Caribbean Crossings, In Motion" & "Birth of Sistella Black." 

"Troubling Identities" -- sneak peek 

  • Working with my friend/colleague Krystal Ghisyawan on a Collaborative Art Project or Artivism -- "Sixteen Days: Art and Reflection on Ending Gender-Based Violence" -- using three art pieces and 16 messages. We are posting one piece of the art & reflection each day on facebook, instagram, and tumblr. And we are using video to bring the messages together in three different art pieces. Here is the first video:




  • Planning a Public Forum for IGDS on "Evolving Feminist and Gender Conversations: CyberActivism, Social Networking, and LGBT Organising" -- coming up on Human Rights Day -- 10 Dec. 



  • And finally -- my Current Tides creative partner (Tei Okamoto) for The Love and Affection Project encouraged me to share my story about my mother -- during a presentation he hosted at Columbia University about our project, and since I couldn't be there in person, I recorded my story and also a description of our work. In honor of World AIDS Day (Dec 1st), we decided to share the recording of my story on our website to pay tribute to my mum. This is a launch of our first sharing of stories we've been collecting over the past year. Check it out here on our new page "Crossings" -- a taste of what the Love & Affection art exhibition of stories will be in the near future (planning for summer 2015).


As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome on conscious vibration.

peace, love, blessings & conscious vibes from Trinidad! 
Angelique