SUGAR, Richard Mark Rawlins, 2018 (Trinidad & Tobago)
This piece is a redactive moving image poem created from bubbling sugar, that takes as its starting point Stuart Hall’s analogy of the contested history of the Atlantic Slave trade, its consequences (colonialism), sugar and English identity. In his 1991 essay ‘Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities’, Hall writes: “I am the sugar at the bottom of the English cup of tea. I am the sweet tooth, the sugar plantations that rotted generations of English children’s teeth.” With this statement, Hall speaks not only as a Jamaican descendant of enslaved Africans transported to the British colonies, but as all diasporic Africans whose legacy is rooted/routed in the transpontine consequence of sugar manufacture, thereby establishing a position of power and right to be/exist, in defiance of Otherness.
These conversations about sugar and identity are as relevant to the descendants of enslaved Africans brought to the Caribbean colonies by the British, French, Spanish and Dutch Empires, as they are to the progeny of those brought by the Portuguese to Brazil, as well as those enslaved indigenous peoples and those labourers in whose lot the task fell to continue the manufacture of sugar under the dubious banner of ‘indentureship’, within the context of the ‘supposed abolition’ of slavery in the colonies.
In this iteration the piece is meant to be a contemplative/hypnotic work played as a continuous loop, giving the viewer the opportunity to take in the consequence of these words (shaped by bubbling sugar) as they appear and disappear in the darkness, so as to reflect not only on their historical context, but to hopefully take the contemplation further into the realities that this legacy has left us in our here and now – be it the loss of ‘Sugar as King’, the shut down of Caroni 1975 in Trinidad, or the high prevalence of diabetes in the east Indian communities across the Caribbean or the state of slave labour still taking place because of Sugar manufacture in Brazil. This piece has also been translated into French, Dutch, Haitian Creole, Spanish and Portuguese.
The things that make us who we are often go unnoticed. They are what we see everyday, the experiences we had as children, the little things unique to the places we spend our lives. We often see these things as a whole, something defined and steadfast, never really taking the time to consider all the little parts moving, growing and becoming that gradually change who we are. As Stuart Hall said “If you think of culture always as a return to roots — R-O-O-T-S — you’re missing the point. I think of culture as routes — R-O-U-T-E-S — the various routes by which people travel, culture travels, culture moves, culture develops, culture changes, cultures migrate”. Roots | Routes is a video, comprised of six vignettes, that celebrates the little things that define our journey.
使我们成为我们的人的事物经常不被注意。 它们是我们每天都会看到的东西，是我们小时候的经历，是我们度过一生的地方独有的小事情。 我们经常看到这些东西是一个整体，是定义明确的，坚定不移的，从来没有真正花时间去考虑所有细微的部分，它们的移动，成长以及逐渐改变我们的身份。 正如斯图尔特·霍尔（Stuart Hall）所说：“如果您始终认为文化是对根源的回归-R-O-O-T-S，那么您将失去这一点。 我认为文化是路线，即R-O-U-T-E-S，即人们旅行，文化旅行，文化运动，文化发展，文化变化，文化迁移的各种路线。 根| 路线是一个由六个短片组成的视频，庆祝定义我们旅程的小事情。
But I can’t help but feel this incredible longing…
A longing for connection…
a longing for warmth and a love I’m sure I’ve felt before…
This is an emotional and psychological investigation into my origin…
This is my attempt at trying to understand what my mother went through as a young island girl being thrust into woos of parenthood…
This is me trying to figure out what was going on in her head…her thought process…her worries…
This is me trying to piece together the factors in her life that contributed to or influenced my birth and our relationship thereafter…
This is a retrospective look at a mother-daughter relationship, in hopes of being able to find a deeper maternal bond in our present dynamic.
…if the emotional blockage is from me, then I too must go through my own Gestation Period…
Gestation Period is a performance video grounded in themes of personal history, mother daughter relationships, tension and struggle.
Exploring a narrative approach instead of one of judgment and criticism, combining the VHS style imagery and performance, Wang Chen represents the lonely growth of China’s millennial generation born in the 1990s under the One Child Policy. Although abolished in the present context, the repercussions of the policy implicitly explore the irresistible individual destiny in certain political environments. In this video, Wang Chen simulated “the brother’s voice” with her own voice using software, and shot the VHS style footage with an application on her smartphone.
Wang Chen recalls a traumatic memory of the first time she became conscious of adults’ sexuality in her video Secret. In this video work, Chen represents three identities via performance and monologue: the storyteller, the receiver of the text message, and her traumatised inner self. She faces the camera as if facing a mirror, as well as facing up to the audience directly. By showing the three figures, Chen reveals the nature of human carnal desire, and the brutal reality of a loss of innocence.
Buchibushi, Adam Patterson, 2019 (Barbados)
“I was weeding the back garden and thinking about the way plants seed themselves, windborne, animalborne, waterborne, far from their parent plants. They have no ability at all to travel great distances under their own power, and yet, they do travel. Even they don’t have to just sit in one place and wait to be wiped out.” – Octavia Butler, “Parable of the Sower” (1993)
[Filmed by Sharelly Emanuelson. Written, edited and directed by Adam Patterson.]
由Sharelly Emanuelson拍摄。由Adam Patterson撰写，编辑和导演。
Rammelaar, Adam Patterson, 2019 (Barbados)
Something shimmery rambles through the forest.
[Filmed by Kamali van Bochove & Adam Patterson. Edited and directed by Adam Patterson.]
由Kamali van Bochove和Adam Patterson摄制。 由亚当·帕特森（Adam Patterson）编辑和导演。
I was once stuck on railway when I was travelling in Morocco because the train I took broke down halfway. While waiting, many passengers got off and walked along the rail. I felt hot and bored inside the carriage, so I watched those passengers through the window and shot a video with my phone. When I was filming, it felt like I got rid of the time and space that I was in. Back to China, I found my parents sleeping in their bedroom one day. Suddenly that scene reminded me of the video I shot before. My parents’ bedroom and the train carriage overlapped in my mind and I began to question whether the “I” in Morocco come back home, or my parents – who have never been abroad – were the ones sleeping in that slow-moving train?
在摩洛哥旅行时，我曾经被困在铁路上，因为我乘坐的火车在途中发生故障。在等待期间，许多乘客下车沿着铁路走。我在车厢内感到闷热而无聊，所以我看着窗外的那些乘客，并用手机拍摄了一段视频。 当我拍摄时，感觉就像摆脱了自己所处的时间和空间。回到中国，我发现我的父母有一天在卧室里睡觉。突然，那个场景让我想起了我之前拍摄的视频。 我父母的卧室和火车车厢在我脑海中交叠。 是摩洛哥的我回到了家，还是从未出过国门的父母在那辆缓慢行驶的火车上睡觉？
My work attempts to visually represent the experience of objects or things, inspiring the viewer to perceive them differently and rediscover another meaning. The TV screen is the carrier of information. The screen conveys the world’s recorded messages like a window. Through this window, people capture and receive recorded “real” messages. The video reflects a recorded “real” and sometimes “real” under control. The field of view between the sea and the sky varies by the flip of the display. Thus, in different perspectives, the scope of the message has expanded and reduced. So how do we know the boundaries of the message?
我的作品试图从视觉上表现物体或事物的体验，激发观看者以不同的方式感知它们，并重新发现另一种含义。 电视屏幕是信息的载体。 屏幕像窗口一样传达全世界录制的消息。 人们通过此窗口捕获并接收记录的“真实”消息。 视频反映了录制的“真实”，有时甚至是“真实”在控制之下。 海洋和天空之间的视野随显示屏的翻转而变化。 因此，从不同的角度来看，消息的范围已扩大和缩小。 那么我们如何知道消息的边界呢？
一千零一夜 (At this Moment), Sucheng, 2015 (China)
“The truth is not only in a dream, but in many dreams.” (One thousand and one nights)
At this moment is composed of a number of pictures, alternately superimposed at random. It explores the transcendent nature of memory, time and reality; the truth is there, yet it is neither nothing nor everything…we can approach it infinitely, but we can’t catch it. The so-called “moment” is a flash of the past and the future, both instantaneous and eternal; both ordinary and legendary; a defiance of logic in favour of being present.
For Peace, Versia Harris, 2018 (Barbados)
This video is part of the installation “For Peace.” The voice is Forbes Burnham. It is his speech given on the day he was elected President of Guyana in 1964. Burnham was a hope for the country, to pull them from a previously corrupt government and economic slump, but he turned out to be a dictator. I seek to address ideas of power and how fantasy and ideals are used to manipulate and change society and culture.
Developed during ‘PunchIn 2’, an open studio residency held by Punch Creative Arena, Barbados in 2018 and finished in 2019, Surround Sounds experiments with captured sound effects created with objects representative of the sound, memory and culture of the island. Juxtaposed with equally culturally retrospective, yet mismatching images, it mirrors the cacophony of Caribbean life.
在Punch Creative Arena在2018年开放的开放工作室驻留Punch In 2期间发展，并于2019年完成，《环绕立体声》利用捕获的声音效果进行实验，这些声音效果代表了岛上的声音，记忆和文化。它与同样具有文化回顾性但又不匹配的图像并列在一起，反映出加勒比海生活的刺耳声音。
Tan boudé chiré…, Luk Gama, 2017 (Guadeloupe)
With this musical/poetic clip, the artist challenges the foreign viewer to engage with his culture in his native language (Guadeloupean “Creole”). The text written in Guadeloupean is an original poem by the artist, using metaphorical references to traditional drum practices that he hijacks here through an invented, unconventional rhythm and on a worn-out instrument. The title literally translates to “time shunned and torn.”
通过这种音乐/诗意的剪辑，艺术家向外国观众挑战以他的母语（瓜德罗普岛的“克里奥尔语”）融入他的文化。 瓜德罗普语写的文字是艺术家的一首原创诗，使用了隐喻性的对传统鼓练习的引用，他通过发明的非常规节奏在破旧的乐器上劫持了他。 标题的字面意思是“避免和撕裂时间”。
Poem Translation :
Title: Time shunned and torn…
When the double-six to the ideas remain you in the hands
scream for help and raise your hand!
Under the table of your forehead and over the slab of the bottom of your heart
Play his music. This famous sound of your soul.
Push the time, so that it gives you time to finish
with this rhythm of the mind, this solo marker of your understanding,
and maracas of Life. Yes! He’ll give you some of…
…this renewal. The one you need
To get rid of this tear…
Luk… (Author / Composer / Director, 2017)
The video begins with a meditative sound app, which is a meditation on auditory images, and I attempt to treat my severe insomnia with this closed, deep hypnosis. However, the sound of the meditative sound app is nothing more than a product of electronic synthesis, contradicting the purpose of this app which is presents the sounds of nature. At the same time, for me, nature as the purpose of “spiritual healing” remains paramount. It is only in meditation that my parallel imagination can be evoked by a dazzling array of visions.
As part of TVE’s emphasis on community engagement, we invite input from those interested in TVE 2019’s programming, or those who attend any of the screenings in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados or China, to share their thoughts or questions with the TVE Team and participating artists.