I Hope This Works

August 31, 2006

Yay! So I just sent out an email announcing the official launch of Trinidad Junction and the initial feedback is good. Well, maybe ‘good’ is not the word. I think ‘supportive’ is better. I’m glad that I have friends and family that are on my side. No matter what, they’re rooting for me and wishing me the best of luck. That’s really all I need. Anyway, here’s the email I just sent.

When? When? When? When? Now!”
– Shurwayne Winchester

Yes, NOW is the time. The world has been waiting for us with bated breath and we can disappoint no further. The anticipation ends here. Another Reveillac production has arisen in an attempt to fill one of the many creative voids plaguing cyperspace today – we call it Trinidad Junction ( http://www.trinidadjunction.com) and here’s why.

It will be our voice. It will spread our unsung talents throughout the Caribbean diaspora via the latest in technology. But such lofty goals can not be achieved alone. After all, this is not the story of one individual, this is the tale of a village, a community, a movement. So I call on you today to arm yourself in this artistic revolution. This is a weapon of mass instruction and you my friends are the teachers who will deploy it.

Calling all musicians, writers, artists and arts supporters! Together we can create a webspace where your innovative works, ideas and thoughts can be shared with likeminded souls and the fruits of your talent can be showcased. Mp3s will be sold. Stories will be told. If you the reader of this email do not fancy yourself an artist, then please forward this to someone who might find such a site of interest. And of course come back soon to see what your fellow Trinis have done. Details on how to make submissions are currently available on the site, as are the beginnings of a forum, a gallery, a blog and numerous placeholders. But its your participation that will make this site all it can be.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

My fingers are crossed.

Special thanks to Daniel who helped with almost everything.


Everywhere but Trinidad

August 30, 2006

When I was in secondary school studying Economics, I learned about the ‘brain drain’. Back then, I was easily distracted and amused, so the term ‘brain drain’ didn’t make me think, it only made me laugh. I had no idea that I might eventually become part of the problem. But all that changed once I left home for a U.S. college in 1998.

According to Wikipedia, a brain drain refers to

“an emigration of trained and talented individuals for other nations or jurisdictions, due to conflict or lack of opportunity or health hazards where they are living. Investment in higher education is lost when the trained individual leaves, usually not to return. …

At one point, I think it was back when I was at Barry University, I was sure I would return home. I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else. My mother and sister still lived in Trinidad at the time so obviously I’d return to be with them. Trinidad wasn’t under the control of some ruthless goverment, neither was the country overrun with crime and poverty (I know, the crime situation is something else now) so I didn’t feel a strong need to remain in the U.S. like I was escaping something terrible or incurable.
It saddens me to think that the majority of my friends (the girls I went to school with and those who I danced with) and I are contributing to this brain drain. No, we’re not bad people. My friends and I love Trinidad as much as the next Trini. The truth? Well, most of us left to attend college. After A’s, my choice was easy. I didn’t go to U.W.I. so I can’t talk about how good or bad it is but I know that you couldn’t get in if you didn’t do well enough on your A’Level Exams and it was impossible to apply to without those scores. The other thing with U.W.I. is that your choice of major depends on the subjects you studied for A’s. I wanted the freedom to choose whatever major and/or minor I wanted, including dance. So I went to college in the States instead and so did many of my friends. I minored in Dance, something that I am sure I would not have been able to do if I stayed in Trinidad.

That brings up the question of the arts. What happens if you grow up in Trinidad wanting to become a professional dancer? Could it really happen? Could you make a living as a dancer in Trinidad? There are a few terrific dance schools that churn out amazing dancers. I studied at the Caribbean School of Dance (CSD) and danced with the Metamorphosis Dance Company.

My friend Zara, also studied at CSD and is majorly talented, so talented that she’s now the Dance Captain of Lion King in London. She’s doing well for herself and I’m proud of her. I mention her because she’s an example of why talented Trinis leave Trinidad. Making a good living as an artist in Trinidad is hard. Some people make it work. For instance, you may not be able to live comfortably as a professional dancer but you can try to find a teaching job and hope for the best.

So what do you think?

Slowly but surely

August 27, 2006

Thanks for reading my first post.

I’ve been working diligently on TrinidadJunction.com for over one week now and I’m thoroughly impressend with myself. Thanks to the Internet, Google and the support of my bf Daniel and my sis Anikka, putting this website together has been relatively simple and stress free. Don’t get me wrong though. I am in no way a website design expert. However, I do pride myself in being a creative thinker who has a lot of interesting website layout and business ideas in general. So to sum up, me + tutorials + family support = pretty awesome looking site.

Although it’s far from being done, TrinidadJunction.com is bursting at the seams with potential. In the upcoming week, I plan to get the blog, gallery and forum elements going. But after that comes the tricky stuff. How do I go about finding and wooing talented Trinbagonian artists?

I grew up in a somewhat ‘artsy’ environment (I studied ballet and modern with the Caribbean School of Dancing and Metamorphosis Dance Company in Port-of-Spain and came from a family of jewelers and mas makers) and know some people that should be very interested in the site. But since I no longer live in Trinidad, it will be hard for me to actively network with the artists trying to make waves today. The Internet will help spread the word but it will only go so far. I think that I need to be in Trinidad to really get things going.

Or maybe I’m wrong. I have faith in the product. I know it is good. And sometimes when a product is good, truly good, it does the work for you. You don’t need to work hard to convince people that what you’re selling is of superior quality and won’t break after ten uses. People talk to each other and get excited about what your offering on a purely organic level. That’s ideal and that’s what anyone starting a new venture should want. So of course that’s what I want too. But only time will tell.

Stay tuned