Trinidad Junction and Tamika Phillip Join Forces
November 18, 2006
A little less than a week ago, I received an email from a young woman named, Tamika Phillip, titled “A long overdue website.” The first line of the email, which read, “I discovered your site a few weeks ago and I was so excited – its a revolutionary grassroots idea that is desperately needed to promote our region’s talent” represented a bit of validation that I’d been hoping for, for some time now. As I read it, I thought, “Finally! There are people out there who understand and are excited about what we’re trying to accomplish with Trinidad Junction.” Clearly it’s not about the money, because I’ve done nothing but spend money since I first thought of the idea behind the site. I’m motivated to continue reaching out to artists because I think that Trinidad Junction has the potential to eventually become a key resource for T&T artists, corporations, event organizers, etc. in the future. So when someone, especially someone whom I’ve never met, discovers the site, immediately gets the idea, and feels a connection with the Junction’s mission, I can’t help but feel good. It means that I’m doing something right.
Tamika, an emerging freelance documentary filmaker, recently returned to Trinidad after having studied at St. Francis College in New York and spent time volunteering in Ethiopia. Her most recent documentary short film, entitled, “Ethiopian Journals: Tilahune” centers around Tilahune, an Ethiopian young man who is determined to educate himself, against all odds. The film is essentially a part of what Tamika refers to as her “personal video diaries”, filmed in 2005, about the people she met while volunteering in Ethiopia. “Ethiopian Journals: Tilahune” also accompanied a short film that Tamika made about the school where she was volunteering.
(Her most recent film, which is called “Stepping Up to the Future“, explores how a scholarship program is helping a group of high school students in Ethiopia. The film will soon be on her MySpace page after she receives final approval from her sponsors)
On her MySpace page, Tamika says that she is “moved most by humanitarian stories of international development, culture, music, education and struggle” and that as a native of the Caribbean she has “yet to see our stories open to the world”. As such, she is “on a mission to film and produce inspiring, thought- provoking, rare and unexposed stories of Caribbean peoples”.
The real purpose of Tamika’s email to me, however, was to share an idea (for Trinidad Junction) with me.
“Some time ago, I started to interview Trinidadians abroad through MSN messenger with hopes of creating a series that would capture the experiences of Trinis in unique corners of the world while capturing the spirit of cross- cultural adventure. I have four saved print interviews and they were to be posted on a friend’s website but I believe with further thought and development- this interview series may be a good addition to Trinidad Junction. I’ve called it -Island Tribe- the series.”
As you can imagine, I was totally into the idea and got back to her as quickly as possible. I encouraged her to set up Trinidad Junction page (click here to check out Tamika’s Trinidad Junction page) and said yes to the Island Tribe idea. Although details are yet to be discussed, I’m sure that Island Tribe will fit in nicely with the other components of Trinidad Junction.