I believe that as creators we have a duty to leave the world in a better place than we found it. The only way that is going to happen is if we find ways to work together.
Show and tell
We started this event as a way of sharing stories among Trinidad's disparate, often disconnected creative communities. We would clear out our studio, pack away the computers and host every month or so. Two speakers, selected seemingly at random, spoke for 15 minutes about their passion. Beekeepers, Rum makers and Chocolatiers rubbed shoulders with Poets, Artists and Musicians. About 200+ people would turn up for each event, and the afterparty would go on until the wee hours.
DO is the Southern Caribbean's first design association - something that I'm really happy to have played a part in getting off the ground. We'd been talking about this for ages - design as a formal practice is not highly respected in this part of the world, and it leaves the profession open to mixed levels of qualifications, client and employer mis-understandings, and a lack of a forum for critique, review and community building. That, and the referral of designers as "graphic artists" - a pet peeve.
If something doesn't exist and I think it should, I'll make it happen - either by reaching into my own pocket, or by bringing partners and sponsors on board. Case in point: the absence of outdoor classic cinema in the Caribbean. It started in (and quickly outgrew) my backyard, leading me to bring on board a friend's projection company; a co-working space that I co-founded; and music and food. A great atmosphere, great films, and always free and easy with crowd numbers varying from 250 (La Haine) to 30 (Waltz With Bashir - amazing film, total buzzkill). Excuse the picture quality below: it's hard to play host, DJ and photographer at the same time!
For two years I was an active board member for this plastic waste education, collection and recycling NGO (the only one of its kind in the country). You'd think that in the 21st Century plastic recycling would be a given - sadly not. Public attitudes, governmental intransigence, and funding squeezes brought with them a hugely challenging environment that we threw ourselves at.