Year: 2015

my mom’s eulogy

This has become related to a body of work I have been researching/ developing as I try to trace my family history from Canada to the Caribbean to South Asia.  During exam week in 2015, my mother’s passing stimulated a shift in the focus of my research/ artistic practice on my family origins. With newly acquired family documents and their maintenance (a responsibility my siblings do not seem to want), and the historical significance they seem to have, have stimulated interest in a range of directions to explore.     CECILIA RAMLOCHAN / 03.03.1940 – 12.13.2015 Thank you friends, family and colleagues of Cecilia Ramlochan for making it here today to celebrate her life. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Janine and I am her daughter… the youngest of her three children. When I was little, my mom was an Avon lady… something she did part time. It started when she took time-off from teaching to raise me and my brothers. She’d sometimes take me with her… brochures in hand… cases of …

a socio-determinist critique…

“A SOCIO-DETERMINIST CRITIQUE OF MEDIA IMPERIALISM AS AN AMPLIFIER OF HOW GLOBAL ENGLISH IS FELT AS A BOUNDARY” We have really turned English into an international language, but not based on anything more than political power. We didn’t look at the nuances of the language, we didn’t look at how useful the language could be in translating ideas. You could also say it, not only, came from political power, but also technological power, which is, of course, linked to politics. And is English the most effective way to translate those ideas? Who knows. ~ Julia Walters (Ramlochan, Studio Interview)   This essay builds on ideas explored in my podcast “Boundarylines.”  The podcast presents a survey of boundaries — how it feels to be on the inside or outside of a boundary; what makes a boundary concrete, etc. The podcast narrows to an interview with Julia Walters (JW), an MA student in the Immigrant & Settlement Studies program at Ryerson, where she discusses her interest in linguistics and how the global dominance of English is felt …

family folklore

This report follows an existing research project I have been developing. The South Asian tradition of family folklore (reminiscences, family sagas, myths about the family’s connection to supernatural or divine beings), carry the aura of a place with them, illustrating how people draw on the imaginative to sustain themselves. This report supports research for the development of an ethnographic documentary about Indo-Trinidadian oral histories, derived from the descendants of canefield labourers. The emphasis is on oral histories/ family folklore contrasted against sugarcane farming as a dwindling agricultural practice in the country, amidst the recent rise of the oil and natural gas industries. download report APPENDIX SCRIPTED SCENES FROM INITIAL RESEARCH TRIP TO TRINIDAD (2014)

cyborgian-isms, identity construction and media amplification

A GALILEAN DIALOGUE mcluhan: Artists perceive the changes caused by new media. They recognize the future in the present, while using their work to prepare the world for changes that aren’t yet apparent to others (McLuhan 3-4; Patel). Would you say the “Cyborg Manifesto” is an example of one such creative expression? haraway: Yes and no. To be honest, I just prefer to live within indigestible, overly-intellectual political heritages (Gane & Haraway 139). mcluhan: I, myself, use facts as preliminary probes, as a means of gaining insight… of pattern recognition. I’d prefer to map new terrain than retrace steps over old territory. Humans are just beginning to understand the new technology, but not enough of them and not well enough. I see all media as extensions of man, causing deep and lasting changes in him and his environment (McLuhan 3- 4; Patel). That’s what I took your “Cyborg Manifesto” to be about. haraway: Yes… in part. The “Cyborg Manifesto” is really a feminist theoretical document. A coming to terms with the world we live in… …

traveling carnival boys

Low key presence weren’t your garden-variety tourists Mutually abusive sarcasm suggested the long history between them A Scot an Englishman, another whose accent was quite difficult to decipher A mouth brace prevented anything but drinking liquids through a straw milkshake… maybe a margarita? Prolific were accidents moreso amongst foreigners, he’d been in a motorcycle accident just a few days prior A tenacious scorekeeper they rotated the card dealer I eluded to lion tamers being catapulted by canons but,“it wasn’t a circus” no animals nor crazy stunts only games, amusement park rides food that was fun The guy with a mouthbrace unveiled as the carnival treasurer became self-evident in everyone’s steep losses when he became the card dealer The Scot, a ride operator not quite as sharp as the others making him the butt, for the jokers at the table Englishman’s aloof demeanour tinged with sarcasm dry humour they argued vehemently berating whomever Adamantly insistent on paying up their losses awkwardness settling bets money didn’t normally change hands between them Asking for the tab my winnings …

identity construction labels

According to Stuart Hall, identity and representation are intertwined; an exercise in selective memory; the silencing of one voice to enable another to speak. Identity is not a story we tell ourselves about ourselves, but a set of stories that shift with historical circumstances, continuously evolving us from from outside in. A societal mirror that shapes us. ¨Without the others there is no self, there is no self-recognition¨ (Hall 2001, p. 26, 30). This raises questions around definitions of Caribbean vs. Indo-Caribbean vs. Indo-Trinidadian identity, in a region typically referred to as the West Indies. Taken further, how is the notion of identity construction resolved for people who have emigrated to North America or Britain from the Caribbean? In attempts to draw a line around a cohesive identity in the region, using an Indo-Caribbean lens, identity is revealed to be a slippery subject. This essay argues that Caribbean identity, infact does not exist. This is largely due to the legacy of racialized political and economic structures that continue to persist throughout the region today. Across …