Stray Birds

An excerpt from Rubindranath Tagore’s work “Stray Birds” – Aphorisms or short tales with micro meanings on man, nature and his environment

Pappyshow in the Dark Time, My Love

“pappyshow in the dark time, my love” is a braided essay that asks participants about their relationships to concepts of revenge and justice. The accompanying soundscape and interludes investigates the potentiality of the call and response nature of Black sound for destruction and regeneration. Consisting of an admixture of soca, noise, techno and poetry, these sounds accompany the video and makes clear a confluence of sonic alliances across time and geographic specificity within Black diasporas. These interludes punctuate the essay as a reminder of our histories of resistance that have been syncretized into cultural festivals, namely J’ouvert in Trinidad and Tobago. Looking specifically at the social function of these genres and their use in public space to incite chaos within the context of pleasure, I highlight a lineage of Black musical provocation as an analogy for flattening existing hegemony and the commons. How can song conjure the sublime, necessary, and oft resisted work of deconstruction? Here, a desire for revenge and restitution can function like a bassline on J’ouvert morning: a scaffold for channeling body memory and a hope for something-somewhere-better than here; loose and freeing under the cover of night. The soundscape’s droning bassline plays throughout the video and materializes itself in the viewer’s body: dread made tactile.

Consequences of Remembering

Experimental video work based on trauma faced in 2021 using photography from both that time and now.

Paria’s Pearl

I don’t know where my family was from. I couldn’t locate myself in China, even when I visited Shanghai with a friend in 2018. Paria’s Pearl was/is my search for the body’s of water routes; from a small village on the banks of the Pearl River, merging with the Atlantic, through the Dragon’s Mouth spilling into the Gulf of Paria. These bodies of water hold memories that flood the streets of Port of Spain and perhaps that’s why the Dragon couldn’t dance or look at its own reflection. When I looked down at the cloudy waters, I saw my shadowy reflection. When the water was clear, there was only my shadow cast onto the seabed which nested a pearlescent glint. A promise of wealth that the dragon dove into the ocean for and when it came up for air — it was a shop on Charlotte Street. Paria’s Pearl is a fabulation of an alienated Chinese identity and it transforms through make-up, fashion, music, dance and performance into being, via Dragon mas. Witness the creation of my Trini-Chinese identity.

Doubles

A Trinidadian street vendor must travel to Toronto and decide if he will help save his estranged father from dying.

Panazz: The Story

“Panazz: The Story” gives an intimate look at the Trinidadian jazz steelpan ensemble primarily from the perspectives of four of its key players, Barry Bartholomew (leader), Dane Gulston, Natasha Joseph, and Donell Thomas. The musical phenomenon began in the early 1990s when Barry Bartholomew and Yohan Popwell formed the ensemble initially to compete in Pan Ramajay, a competition that sought to highlight the improvisational skills of individual pannists in small ensembles. After winning four consecutive years, Panazz pulled out of the competitive arena to embark on their professional journey which saw them captivate international audiences with their electrifying performances in renowned venues spanning from Boston Symphony Hall to some of the finest concert halls in Japan. At the core of the film lies the groundbreaking music produced by Panazz for its five CDs. At the heart of Panazz itself was an immense love that bound the players as a collective unit. Together, they contributed to the elevation of Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument.

Vulnerable

Vulnerable is a short film shot and produced on the twin island state of Trinidad and Tobago. The film explores the human experience of how we all are completely vulnerable at some point in our lives. The film focuses on experiences of loss, confrontation with our hearts, our true selves and removal of facades at multiple levels; and does this through primarily a feminine lens. Birthed out of the experience of heartbreak and loss of self identity it explores how one peels the false layers created to please the world at large in order to experience catharsis, and in some cases the sting of death, leading to reclamation of identity and true self love. Though heartbreak was the initial theme that birthed the film, it has expanded to be able to reach a wider audience who has to confront issues of self in order to arrive at clarity and a greater sense of self actualization.

Take It Back

A young woman asks for help from the mythical character Oshun, from the Orisha religion, to heal her traumas.

1Place!

The film “1Place!” is an experimental motion picture which combines classical music, animation and still images. In this film, the viewer is invited to observe the physical environment surrounding the artist, who is depicted standing motionless in the centre of wide-framed shots. The short is filmed at various locations in Trinidad and challenges its viewers to seek depth in simplicity.

Short Drop

At a lonesome crossroad, a young woman waits on the taxi stand after partying late. With no public transport in sight at this hour, she begins to grow weary. Only a private car appears on the stand moments later. She approaches the vehicle hesitantly, but she decides to get in, since the driver convinces her that he’ll drop her off anywhere she wants to go. The driver eventually strikes up some awkward small talk, which she struggles to follow. As the car ride ensues, the young woman grows uncomfortable due to his unwanted gaze and prying conversation.

Pappyshow in the Dark Time, My Love

Paria’s Pearl

Doubles

Panazz: The Story

Vulnerable

Take It Back

1Place!

Short Drop

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