Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival is our local Pride celebrations that takes place in June/July every year. The festival showcases the work of various local and regional community artists and attracts hundreds of people each year.
2018 Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival
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Workshops on self-defence; and art, activism and community.
2017 Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival
Visual Art Exhibition
Trinidad born painter, 1991. Bachelor of Fine Arts, UWI (honors), 2013 – 2016. Current studies at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, Deutschland Klasse P. Doig, 2017 ARTIST STATEMENT: “A natural explorer, I extract visual elements that are most euphoric to me through feelings and motions and try to describe them via painting: People, behavior, culture and how time changes these. I have a keen interest with the visual setting in which these influences and activities exist.”
Amanda T. McIntyre is a feminist writer and multi-media artist whose work examines relationships between women, through the evocation of mythologies. McIntyre is an advocate for the rights of gender and sexuality minorities. She is one of the directors of WOMANTRA; a Caribbean based feminist organization that focuses on: scholarship, activism and social programs. She has designed and produced poster campaigns as part of her work in activism. In 2016 her project ‘By Accident and By Design’ was featured in the ‘Fearlessly FRIDA’ international exhibition of poster art. This initiative was a collaboration between ‘The Fearless Collective’ and ‘FRIDA: The Young Feminist Fund.’ ARTIST STATMENT: “For Cynthia’ is a collection of photographs and literature produced by Amanda T. McIntyre that documents a long distance relationship between two women who shared a home before separating, to continue the relationship in different locations; corresponding with each other by post. The work is a reflection on the process of creating space through art, in which the parameters of love are explored. Words and images are utilized to develop structure in the relationship and to fill up the distance between the women. It is an admonition to believe in and to pursue love without boundaries.” “XAMI’ is a comic book set in contemporary Trinidad written by Amanda T. McIntyre and illustrated by Nikita Joseph. The work features female protagonists and explores the intersecting politics of: race, gender, sexuality and mental health. The narrative focuses on Xora Nash Hurston; a writer who for years had a column in a local newspaper. In her mid-twenties she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and mild clinical depression. She resigned from her job at the paper to focus on self-care and on developing her portfolio. After publishing her first novel she became increasingly reclusive. Lenny Marvel is a photographer and Xora’s best friend. She supports Xora through her mental health challenges and encourages her career as a writer. Lenny suggests, at the start of the narrative, that Xora should attend a public lecture on ‘The Disembodied Self in West Indian Literature.’ At the lecture Xora meets Adrienne Wright. Adrienne is a West Indian Literature scholar and professor at the local university. She and Xora begin dating and soon develop a romantic relationship. Adrienne periodically publishes reflections about their relationship on a blog called, ‘Paging Leonard Woolf.’ Adrienne’s friends and colleagues have mixed feelings about her involvement with the ‘crazy writer.’”
AJ Rogers is a young artist from Mayaro. He is an artistic hybrid when it comes to his art education: part self-taught, in addition to studying art in secondary school as well as at the University of Trinidad and Tobago where he studied Animation. Art and creativity have been a part of AJ’s life from since his childhood. Having the freedom to be creative has awarded AJ with the ability to look at the world and all that inhabits it from a unique perspective. He has a strong belief that in life nothing is a smooth path: but filled with many ups and downs. This visual narrative is especially illustrated in AJ’s unique aesthetic which uses a multitude of different mediums. As an artist, AJ’s goal is not only to illustrate a narrative but to present it in such a way that it is not only universal, but also personal to each individual person that comes into contact with the work. ARTIST STATEMENT: “My art work takes a look how my thought process works and is presented as a visual statement. In my work I deconstruct mental perspective as it deals with topics such as mental health, self worth, symbolism and exploration just to name a few things. I was always drawn to how a group of people can all be given the very same object, but due to each person’s life and experiences they can all have very different interpretations of this object. My work reproduces familiar visual signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces. I want you to look at the pieces from a distance to be seen as a whole. However upon closer look, a new point of view is revealed and the beauty of the details can be appreciated. For this exhibition the theme “reflection” has resonated with me. I want to explore reflection and pair it with the topic of how “society” forced it’s ideals upon us and also peer pressure. I am going to walk the fine line of being literal and abstract all in one expression in a series of four pieces of artwork.”
Thomas Haskell: “I identify as a Trinidadian artist and a proud Caribbean queer. I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, and currently I exist between both home and Ontario, Canada. I’ve been an avid sculptor my entire life and ceramics has been my latest passionate obsession.” ARTIST STATMENT: Utilizing sculpture I work towards navigation of my creolized queer selfhood as a Trinidadian Transnational. Drawing inspiration from my experiences and research into the characters of Carnival and folklore I investigate tensions of class and race, power and gender. Papa Bois is a solid bronze done in the lost wax method of casting. The figure is the titular local arboreal deity, patron of our fragile wilds. Caught between god, stag, and tree the figure exists in a liminal state. Boundaries and beings that transcend such are of particular interest to me as a way of navigating the particular issues inherent in being a West Indian queer individual.
Cristy C. Road is a Cuban-American artist, writer and musician who’s been contributing her talent to punk rock, publishing, & social justice movements since she was a teenager in Miami, 1997. Road self-published the Green’zine for ten years, and has since released three illustrated novels which tackle gender, sexuality, mental health and cultural identity: “Indestructible” (2005), “Bad Habits” (2008) and her most recent work, “Spit and Passion” (2013), a graphic queer-coming-out memoir about Cuban identity, staying in the closet, and discovering the punk band, Green Day. C. Road’s work has been featured in the Baby Remember My Name: New Queer Girl Writing Anthology, Live Through This Anthology, Maximumrocknroll, New York Magazine, The Advocate, and countless other published works. She is currently illustrating the NEXT WORLD TAROT Card Deck and writing pop-punk songs in Brooklyn, NY. ARTIST STATEMENT: “My work stems from the notion that illustration has the power to transform individuals and the world. Rooted in punk and feminist communities, I have spent over fifteen years illustrating for social movements, music and publications. With ink, markers, and paint; my autobiographical narratives discuss healing the marginalized body from intimate abuse and systemic oppression. Through visual storytelling, I want to challenge systems of oppression, defy social norms, and preserve my initial goal to make viewers simultaneously think, laugh, and dream. I’m showing Images from my series, THE NEXT WORLD TAROT Card Deck. The Next World Tarot is a 78 card tarot featuring traditional suits alongside a cast of gender outlaws, endangered cultures, and outcasts reclaiming a criminalized identity. Created with ink, markers, and acrylic paint, NWT represents belief systems based on love, sustainability, and respect.”
Ulelli Verbeke is an independent photographer who has been working in the area of Human Rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons for the past five (5) years. She’s a member of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) – Guyana’s leading LGBT-rights organisation – since 2005. In 2009, she became the first and only lesbian on the SASOD board of trustees and served as co-chair between 2014 and 2017. Through photography, Ulelli has documented LGBT events hosted by a number of organisations over the years, including the first Caribbean transgender conference hosted by CariFLAGS and CVC in 2009, and ten years of SASOD events. ARTIST STATEMENT: “Gender Expression – Out of the Box, is a narrated photographic chronicle of LGBT Caribbean people who counter heteronormativity. This project records the lived experiences of persons who identify and express themselves outside of the male-female norm, breaking down barriers and expanding boundaries regarding sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. Out of the Box contains stories of persecution, as well as, wellbeing. Self-advancement opportunities that LGBT persons feel they have gained or been cheated of as a result of their gender identity and expression has been documented. These stories include their experiences accessing health-care, education and employment. I am working on exhibiting Gender Expression – Out of the Box at home in Guyana and other Caribbean territories, ultimately expanding the knowledge and ideas of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions within the region.” Ulelli took some of the photos during the 2016 PRIDE Arts Festival and will continue the project into the future.
Celeste Walters graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine with a B.A in Visual Arts, with a concentration in Fine Art in 2015. She is a Trinbagonian mixed-media artist who currently works primarily in printmaking. Her practice confronts intersecting themes of gender, sexuality, and intergenerational/inherited trauma. She is a member of the queer Caribbean femme collective “Jean & Dinah” which seeks to centre the work of regional LBTQ+ identified women and femme creators. Celeste will be pursuing her MA in Art Therapy later this year. Celeste will be facilitating the workshop “Community Cloth”. The workshop will use radical vulnerability as a guiding principle to engage in both oral and visual conversation on self-care. The aim of the workshop will be to produce a tapestry that will function as an archetype of the group’s time sharing space and co-creating. Participants will use a variety of media and techniques, from fabric paint to appliqué, to make individual contributions to the tapestry. The work will be a tangible display of its diverse contributors – all of whom are different members of our community. Materials will be provided but participants are also encouraged to bring recycled bits of fabric from retired garments and projects or whatever they wish to incorporate into their contribution. The creative process will be documented in a series of pictures, omitting identifying features of the workshop’s participants to maintain a safe space for sharing.
Brandon O’Brien is a performance poet and writer from Trinidad. His work has been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing and the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions, and is published in “Strange Horizons”, “Reckoning”, and “New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean”, among others. He is also the poetry editor of “FIYAH” Literary Magazine. His workshop, “Finding The Self On Paper” is a process for experienced and new writers alike to work toward interrogating the self, unearthing personal concerns, and exploring vulnerabilities and truths through their writing.
Expanding Gender: Facilitated by Richie Daly Gender is key to our daily lived interaction. From walking to the taxi stand to how we share labour with our loved ones, gender seems to matter. We each interact with ‘gender’ to differing degrees; for some it matters and is integral to how we see ourselves, and some, not at all. How can we begin to accommodate the different and individual ways we each want to reconcile and live our gender? This workshop will provide an overview of some of the basic terms used when speaking about gender. We will start a discussion about gender identities, how they have been understood and why they have been understood in certain ways. We will begin to interrogate sex and gender and what we take for granted when speaking of these, whether socially or interpersonally.
Deneka Thomas is a 24-year-old Spoken Word Poet, Writer, Teaching Artist, Photographer, Videographer and an aspiring author with an urgent voice that raises against gender inequality, advocacy for women, encourages self and body image appreciation and exhorts environmental awareness. Her workshop description: A lot of us would like to write and perform and have these great topics we’d like to cover but have run out of ways to tell them. Treatment trumps topic. How a story is told is more important to the audience than its topic and what it is about. This is what we will focus on, “the how.” It is easy to become a slave to cliché, but this workshop will provide some tools in how to steer writers away from the monotony of cliché and how to make their narratives unique to their voices in a space where so many performers are writing and presenting on a lot of the same issues. This workshop will help give participants the tools that help their poems enter into a voice(s) other than their own, perhaps not even a human voice, so that they can explore the dramatic possibilities within a poem. This includes engaging the dynamic of literary devices in their poems particularly the use of metaphor, and unearth the art in finding new ways to say old things in storytelling.
Open Mic, Featured Artists
Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, arts reporter, and book blogger. She reviews Caribbean literature for the “Trinidad and Tobago Guardian” Sunday Arts Section, and is the Book Reviews Editor for “Caribbean Beat” Magazine. Shivanee also writes about books for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean’s largest literary festival, as well as Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad and Tobago’s oldest independent Caribbean specialty bookseller. She is the deputy editor of “The Caribbean Review of Books”. She was the runner-up in the 2014 Small Axe Literary Competiton for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers’ Prize. Her first book of poems, “Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting”, will be published by Peepal Tree Press on July 3rd, 2017. Photo courtesy Marlon James.
Deneka Thomas is a 24-year-old Spoken Word Poet, Writer, Teaching Artist, Photographer, Videographer and an aspiring author with an urgent voice that raises against gender inequality, advocacy for women, encourages self and body image appreciation and exhorts environmental awareness.
Lisa Allen-Agostini is a writer and editor from Trinidad & Tobago. Her book of poems “Swallowing the Sky” was published by Cane Arrow Press in 2015. Photo courtesy Paula Obé Photography.
Angelique V. Nixon is a Bahamas-born, Trinidad-based writer, artist, and scholar. She is a Lecturer at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Her scholarly book “Resisting Paradise: Tourism, Diaspora, and Sexuality in Caribbean Culture” (University Press of Mississippi, 2015) won the Caribbean Studies Association 2016 Barbara T. Christian Award. She is author of “Saltwater Healing – A Myth Memoir and Poems” (Poinciana Paper Press, 2013). Angelique is active in Caribbean movements for sexual and gender justice. She is on the board of CAISO and a member of the Alliance for Justice and Diversity.
Kwasi Shade is an artist based in Trinidad. He is interested in representing the true myriad of Caribbean dichotomies in his stories. He is interested in testing the parameters of dialect vernacular. Recently, he participated in the Cropper Foundation Writers’ Workshop, the Trinidad and Tobago Screenwriters’ Workshop, Monique and Kei’s writers’ retreat.
Alexander Johnson, poet and playwright, speaks on the juicy jadedness and mundane maliciousness of sexuality and relationships, in a Caribbean space, through a handful of poems called “Mango Season”.
Brandon O’Brien is a performance poet and writer from Trinidad. His work has been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing and the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions, and is published in “Strange Horizons”, “Reckoning”, and “New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean”, among others. He is also the poetry editor of “FIYAH” Literary Magazine.
Colin Robinson is a poet, newspaper columnist, curator, and organiser for sexual citizenship and health justice. He is the lead strategist and spokesperson for CAISO: sex & gender justice; and co-founded and directed a number of LGBTQI groups in New York and the Caribbean diaspora, including the Alliance for Justice & Diversity. His writing appears in print, film and choreography.
Press: I Am One’s Pride Arts Festival
2016 Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival
PRIDE Arts Festival Art Exhibit: THE TRIBE and Kearra Gopee – I Am One TnT was proud to host the work of Simone Harris and Kearra Amaya Gopee to Alice Yard for the inaugural Pride Arts Festival! Special thanks to One Shot Photography for the media coverage!
Calendar of Events – I Am ONE TnT presents the first ever Caribbean Pride Arts Festival. The festival starts on June 3rd and ends on July 1st 2016. Come out enjoy, be involved in and support a wide range of activities and events such as movie screenings, film screenings, film shoots, pride market, art gallery displays, dance workshops, photography projects, photo exhibits, spoken word, open mic, sports and family day, dance parties. We are especially proud to offer “The King Show”- (the first of its kind). A “pageant” for women and trans men to perform masculinity on stage. As well as our original calypso cabaret “Buss De Mark”- a musical/theatre production written and directed by I Am ONE TnT and the gender and sexual minorities community of Trinidad and Tobago. See and be there. #PrideArtsFestival2016 #CaribbeanPride #IAmOne #GaSM
2015 Trinidad and Tobago Pride Arts Festival
Photos by Arnaldo James Big up to the amazing artists who contributed: Josh Lu, Abigail Hadeed, Shalini Seereeram, Mark Eastman, Kavir Mootoo, Zeleca Ztime Julien, Alexander Johnson, Timmia Hearn, Jillia Cato, Kevin Humphrey, James Dupraj, Tivia Collins, Richie Daly, Tevin R. Gall, Timothy Millington, Carol Chibueze
Press: Honesty on the record
Calypso Cabaret “Buss De Mark”
A calypso, soca, dancehall, chutney, reggae comedy musical that celebrates the LGBTQI community. This piece was written by Zeleca Julien, Alexander Johnson and the cast of forty community members. Directed by Timmia E. Hearn Feldman; Music Directed by Joseph Lopez; Stars: David Dk Soomarie Amanda T. McIntyre, Jillia Cato, Adwoa Shaun Ali, Choz’n Penn, James Dupraj, Anton Berryman, Richie Daly, Daniel Thomas, Jayson Farrell, Paula Lindo, Hevan Leigh, Chase Garcia, Nals Bachan, Wendy Dyemma, Ishara, Najja Kairi
Press: New York delivers Queer Laugh
The I Am One writers’ workshop to develop the Calypso Cabaret