Tag Archives: fashion

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid August 2021)

Happy Emancipation Day (August 1st 1834).

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)

Philanthropy

How can you help the arts?

For one, the Bocas Lit Fest has a Friends of Bocas initiative, inviting participation from individual stakeholders (regular people). For a contribution, you get access to a whole host of exclusive activities. Our winning Wadadli Pen writer of 2021 was gifted membership access as part of his prize thanks to Bocas, in addition to workshop access to some of our other finalists. Want to get in on the action while supporting the work? Details here.

Passings

Flags are being flown at half mast after the August 9th announcement of the passing of former Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister and National Hero Lester Bird in early August. Bird who was only the country’s second prime minister after Independence, and successor to his father, often referred to as Father of the Nation and National Hero Vere Bird Sr., was also author of two books found in our literary database of books by Antiguans and Barbudans on this site: Antigua Vision – Caribbean Reality: Perspectives of Prime Minister Lester Bryant Bird and The Comeback Kid: An Autobiography of Sir Lester Bryant Bird K.N.H. with Lionel Max Hurst.

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Milton Benjamin, veteran journalist from Antigua crossed over late in July. His passing in part inspired me to write about Antigua and Barbuda’s media culture in my first CREATIVE SPACE of August which you can read here.

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Kassav, the Guadeloupe band whose ‘zouk-la’ had the ability to enliven any soca fete I’ve been to has lost co-founder Jacob Desvarieux, also in late July. His passing brought forth an outpouring of tributes, like this one that landed in my inbox from Karukerament.

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Jamaican writer Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, associated with the early dub poetry movement, has also passed on the ancestral plane. The Jamaica Observer reports.

(Source – the local news I heard about locally, the others via social media)

Events

Antiguan and Barbudan author and Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse will be reading at the Medellin World Poetry Festival (virtually) on Augutst 10th 2021 at 8 p.m. AST. Here’s how you can watch.

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The Caribbean Style & Culture Awards. See site.

Accolades

ETA: The BCLF list below is of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. Above is the long list of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. It includes 9 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Dominica, 5 from Jamaica, 3 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1 from Barbados, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Guyana, 1 from Grenada, and 1 (Joanne C. Hillhouse) from Antigua and Barbuda. Click images to enlarge.

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s short story competition has been one to watch. And we’re watching this incredible 2021 long list.

Congratulations to the 22 long listed writers. The wealth is spread on a list that includes 7 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Barbados, 3 from the Dominican Republic, 2 from Jamaica, 2 from Guyana, 1 from Dominica, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from Haiti, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, and 1 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. No your math isn’t wrong, you know how it is in the Caribbean – some writers are from multiple places. (Source – Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival facebook page)

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Belated congratulations as well to St. Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin, who with The Dyzgraphxst (poetry, McClelland & Stewart) becomes the third St. Lucian to claim the main Bocas prize after Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott (White Egrets, poetry, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2011) and Vladimir Lucien (Sounding Ground, poetry, Peepal Tree Press, 2015). Other winners of this coveted main book prize and its considerable purse have been the British Virgin Islands current Poet Laureate Richard Georges (Epiphaneia, poetry, Out Spoken Press, 2020), Jamaica’s current Poet Laureate Olive Senior (The Pain Tree, fiction, Cormorant Books, 2016) and, also of Jamaica, Kei Miller (Augustown, fiction, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017), and Trinidad and Tobago’s Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie, fiction, Faber & Faber, 2012), Monique Roffey (Archipelago, fiction, Simon & Schuster, 2013), Robert Antoni – of Trinidad descent and raised in the Bahamas -(As Flies to Whatless Boys, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2014), Jennifer Rahim (Curfew Chronicles, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2018), and Kevin Adonis Browne (High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, non-fiction, University Press of Mississippi, 2019.

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Canada-based Gayle Gonsalves of Antigua and Barbuda was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist for her latest book My Stories have No Endings. (Source – the author’s social media)

Publications

Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne is now out in the world even as she works on its follow up.

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New Anansi

The author is from Trinidad and Tobago. I haven’t been able to find more information about it, which is odd. (Source – JRLee email)

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It occurs to me that I’ve, not by design, reviewed a number of books by Dominica’s Papillote Press – perhaps more than any other Caribbean press, because they proactively reach out with ARCs, no pressure if I can’t read the books right away. I generally have enjoyed their catalogue, what I’ve read of it and thought I’d share my reviews.

Dangerous Freedom by Lawrence Scott – currently reading
Guabancex by Celia Sorhaindo
Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini
The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Nunez
Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay

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Impact Magazine dropped in May 2021 (I believe). I thought I’d mention it as it describes itself as the newest source of entertainment and lifestyle news from Antigua, the Caribbean and the world at large. (Source – N/A)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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The Art of Design

21231750_10214197102507537_5084057354635053102_nI’ll admit that this contest wasn’t really on my radar before and it only is this year because my niece emerged as the winner. In any case, it’s in step with some of what we do here, share and celebrate young Antiguans and Barbudans doing creative things; so I thought this was an appropriate platform to share. Per coverage in the local press, Nicoya Henry (in black and braids, 2nd from right in the top image) has emerged winner, from a field of nine, of the 2017 Courts Fashionista Competition.

“In a release from Courts, the furniture store said the event was conceptualized with the primary purpose of improving and developing the talent of our youth.” – from the Daily Observer, September 1st 2017

Growing up, Nicoya’s love of fashion and modelling ran alongside her love of art and design – she’s modelled on local, regional, and international runaways and she’s won visual art competitions like St. Anthony’s Sidewalk Art Festival. In recent years, her love of art has found expression through fashion – she’s performed well in the fashiontastic design competition (and in fact, runners-up in this contest, Shem Henry and Shirrine Gillon, are names I first came to know at Fashiontastic), organizes and promotes a fashion event called Fashion Formation, and gets her side hustle on creating clothing. So, the evolution continues with her win of the Courts competition.

It was a very Project Runway type of competition in spirit – right down to competitors getting a stipend to purchase material needed to create their designs (the equivalent of having access to that store they do on the show) and designing in response to a unique, shall we say, challenge. As Nicoya explained it to me, contestants had to do a design based on a Courts product (for those who don’t know, Courts is a furniture store). This was her item:

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This was her drawing: 21325878_10154959746868481_638764358_n

And this is the final design on the runway:21361156_10154959704348481_5524166_n

She walked with EC$2500 and the title, and said in the post-interview: “I feel very, very great that I won. I put in a lot of hard work, and it wasn’t easy breaking those mirrors. Right now, I still have splinters in my fingers, but it has paid off.” – from the Daily Observer, September 4th 2017

Cool, right?

To quote an audience member quoted in the paper “Our people have talent and I believe they can compete on any stage around the world.” – from the Daily Observer, September 4th 2017

Word.

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As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, With Grace, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

 

 

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Kudos, Calvin

Black ‘n Black… Southwell Inc… Calvin S… Beautiful People… designer Calvin Southwell has been trending as a fashion icon since the late 1980s. A new documentary tracks his journey.

calvin s

If you could see Calvin’s facebook page, you would see how much love he’s receiving and if you get a chance to see the documentary, you’ll see why. For me, part of what I liked about the documentary apart from the insight to what shaped him, was that he is an example of someone stepping out on a limb, following an improbable dream. In a society, especially, where creative pursuits are seen as hobbies, the effort, the hard work, the cost not fully appreciated, that took some guts…and no doubt a fair amount of turning a deaf ear to the ones trapped in the box. That Calvin is still a cool, down to earth, friendly kind of guy makes it that much easier to join with others in celebrating him.

Beyond that, all I can say is, we need more of this kind of recording and celebration of the dreamers and doers in our society. I think of this, and before this the Short Shirt documentary, that serve as inspirational reminders of the talent birthed right here that can with determination imprint on society. Calvin S’s imprint on fashion in Antigua and the Caribbean is undeniable. Congrats to him. And let’s tell more of our stories!

Read coverage of his red carpet premiere here. And here are some highlights from Calvin S.’s remarkable career (a career still very much in progress) from the event programme:

  • Designs featured in magazines far and wide – including She Caribbean, Profiles, Panache, Island Wear, Elan, Shabeau, Business Focus, and the in-flight magazines of BWIA, LIAT, Caribbean Star, as well as several online fashion journals.
  • Designs shown on runways in London, New York, Paris, Miami, Toronto, and various Caribbean islands including at the prestigious Caribbean Fashion Week.
  • Awarded the Grand Order of Merit in 2003.

The documentary – Calvin S of Antigua, the Designed Life – was written, directed and produced by D. Channsin Berry, a Hollywood based producer of numerous documentaries including the acclaimed and thought provoking Dark Girls.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Melissa G Wins/Tameka J Debuts

Okay, I’m a little late with this one. But bear with me; a lot of artistic Antiguans out there doing their thing and I just trying to keep up. This time I turn the spotlight again on Melissa Gomez.

Her first feature length documentary Silent Music won the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto Deaf International Film & Arts Festival in May. It had its US debut shortly after, in fact earlier this month, with a screening at the DC Caribbean Film Festival in Maryland.

Go on, Melissa!

And you, reader, go here to read my October 2012 exclusive Wadadli Pen interview with Melissa. And here and here for my previous coverage of the film’s movements on the festival circuit.

Now for a little six-or-less degrees of separation trivia. Melissa’s partner in work and life is Christopher Hodge, the director of Dinner, written by Tameka Jarvis-George who is mentioned all over this site as songwriter, poet, screenplay writer, actress, model, novelist…and now we can add fashion designer after she debuted her GenX 724 line at Caribbean Fashion Week. What first time designer debuts at the biggest fashion showcase in the region? Tameka J that’s who.

Go on, Tameka!

Read about Tameka’s adventures in Jamaica and the dreaming and daring it took to get there on her blog.

Ent ah tell you artistic Antiguans out there doing their thing and ah jus’ tryin’ to keep up?

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