Cinematography, Animation and Storytelling – appropriating, conjuring and creating moving images of Trinidad and Dominica
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AbstractCaribbean movie images often evoke picturesque views of beach or tropical forest, people and culture, in features or wildlife programmes (Thompson, 2006; Mohammed, 2009, Sheller, 2003). Allowing sensuous, kinetic experiences, these erase environmental damage evidence and override local culture (Patullo, 2006). Shelley and Urry thought that ‘Tourists have, ‘the urge to travel elsewhere, the pleasure of immersing oneself in another environment…the fascination with…differences in the materiality of the world’ (2004;1). Movies are consumed by tourists, but also by inhabitants, migrants, exiles, returnees, and diasporic communities. Marks (2000) and Naficy (2001) argue that intercultural and diasporic film narratives privilege haptic or tactile modes of seeing. There are similarities between tourists and filmmakers’ performances; relations of embodiment and sensation with sound and image; the role of narrative in coordinating events, aesthetics and performance; and the carnivalesque swopping of artifice for authenticity. With increasing mobility, narratives order random experience and create opportunities for ludic play with identity. Browne boasts in Trini Talk, ‘telling stories is a special talent we got. Trinis could make up a story right dere on de spot’ (1994). The diverse peoples of TnT are connoisseurs of the carnival form, with music, imaginative language, dance, humour and costume masquerade. They are practiced at appropriation, interdisciplinarity and pluralism, skills needed in the tourism economy, and potentially enhanced by film storytelling. Urry describes how ‘“post-tourists” find pleasure in the multiplicity of games. They know that there is no authentic tourist experience’, (2002:12). So do the people presenting the scene‘. Places are constructed as “playscapes” with “aesthetic coatings”, with those re-coating themselves quickly being able to stay playing (2004:8). In this work film clips invite cultural curiosity or a setting from two case studies. 1) The Animae Caribe animation film festival in TnT, devised by Abrahams, raises awareness of animation and technology in the Caribbean, providing a platform for innovative local “boutique” product and potential outsourcing. Animation brings visibility to the rich regional cultural and oral traditions as well as generating revenue. Ashworth creates workshops in TnT, enabling good writing for animation. 2) Rastayoga Enterprises runs yoga retreats on Dominica, where Donovan mixes the expertise of cooks, craftsmen, calypso and reggae artists with the Dominica brand narrative, “nature island of the Caribbean” River swimming, black beaches, abundant wildlife and organic food, combining wilderness fantasy with eco-ethical wellness holidays. Greenhalgh produced moving image “meditations”, for the company website.
TypeConference or Workshop
Ashworth, Joan <http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/view/creators/Ashworth=3AJoan=3A=3A.html> and Greenhalgh, Cathy <http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/view/creators/Greenhalgh=3ACathy=3A=3A.html>, 2012, Conference or Workshop, Cinematography, Animation and Storytelling – appropriating, conjuring and creating moving images of Trinidad and Dominica at For the 2nd International Tourism Conference. TOURISM, CULTURE AND THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES – EXPLORING THE LINKAGES., St. Augustine, Trinidad., 18th- 21st January. (Submitted)