Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
What does it mean to begin in and belong to an island, where no one begins or belongs? What does it mean, when suddenly you experience a rupture and your sense of self (predicated on fragmented geography/a hobbled together mosaic of opposing colloquialisms) is broken, bent, light under water? What about when we see that everything, absolutely everything, is revolving in a motion of constant push and pull? No wonder we feel split, spread, torn. For example, what could possibly be pure emotion, that which is not a mix of all emotions (particularly those that are “opposite”)? Love (and all capitalised emotions) generate their magnificence from the vibration of terror.
I was not born in the isle of St. Vincent, but in England. We adopted the island in 1992 when I was two years old. Twenty-one years later we have been fully expelled. Our house has been broken into too many times, our lives have been threatened, every time we try to go back something happens and we have to leave again. Pulled by exquisite beauty, pushed by intolerable violence, bearing the fears “what if we’d been home when they broke in? what if we’d entered the growing ranks of those murdered during burglary?” These have been real and actual concerns for the past eight years.
Prior to January 2013 I had planned to make my Senior Project Film a portrait piece about one man, Mr. Guy. I saw him as a channel through which I could start asking questions about why the island is so violent. Since a young age I examined my blood, and saw that it was all equally red. Since a young age I’ve examined my blood, and have seen that it is two different reds, a crackling spark of vibrant red, that of the British, and a red of dull thuds and hammerings, the deeper, quieter, earthen red of the Caribbean peoples. Colonialism, I honed in on it, and prefixes like “post” and “pre”. This whole mess is because of these, and there are collective psychological scars (I posited to whoever would listen) from the trauma of colonialism, that hadn’t been dealt with. That island needs a good therapist, but first is to acknowledge that we are sick. Mr. Guy worked for many of the British plantation owners. His knowledge about the colonial period is extensive, and his character and charisma are up lifting. Some lessons, to be learned here, to be shared, to be sprinkled across the island in electric image, to smile meekly up from the soil, finally, some seed in which we can be hopeful? Read More …
Interview of Aiko