(your-o-main) is an important UNTOLD STORY of Carib / Garifuna resistance against slavery that deserves its place in the annals of the African Diaspora. The film recounts the painful past of the Caribs on St Vincent and the extermination of scores of their ancestors
at the hands of the British, while building an intimate portrait of Garifuna culture-in-transition today. We are given firsthand accounts from both Carib descendents who remain on the island of St Vincent and voices of returning descendents whose ancestors were exiled to Central America—where Garifuna traditional culture was able to survive and flourish.
When members of the Diaspora are first reunited and make a collective pilgrimage to the sacred site of Balliceaux (where the genocide occurred) the film reveals the beginnings of a movement among Garifuna people to revitalize traditional language, music, dance, and ritual. As Garifuna from around the world come together to remember and celebrate the lives and resilience of their shared ancestors, they also begin to discover possibility and hope for the future of Garifuna culture and a greater worldwide community.
Why we need the funds:
We are almost there, just a few more months and finishing touches! Andrea began shooting in 2005 and returned in March of 2013 to collect the final footage. We began to shape the story and edit the footage two years ago. It has taken tim
e to pull out the important componets, get feedback from the community in St. Vincent and from our Garifuna friends in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. We have a strong storyline, a fine cut / picture edit, and we need funds to complete the following:
GRAPHICS & ANIMATION : This important story presents historical facts, for which we have no live footage. The animation will cover these historical segments in the film as well as present maps with moving parts. It will take weeks of working with a computer program to develop the animation. The titles, subtitles, credits at the end of the film are all composed by our talented animator and graphic artist, Jon Eichner. The cost for these "final touches" adds up rapidly.
SOUND DESIGN : A crucial part of any film is the sound. This includes music & sound effects. If the sound is done right the viewing experience is enhanced. We have included original music from both the St. Vincent and Garifuna diaspora. Segments of the film need more sound effects; the dialogue in sections needs to have the wind removed, and all of the sound needs to be evened out so some parts are not louder than others. The sound design and sound "fix" will take at least one week of work at a good sound editing house.
COLOR CORRECTION : Some sections of the film too dark, some too light and in some sections the color needs to be enhanced. Some of the funds raised will pay a talented person to even out all the color and light.
OUTREACH AND DISTRIBUTION : I plan on entering this film to as many film festivals as are appropriate for this subject. The word will get out and people who know nothing about this story will become informed. There are fees for entering festivals and some of the funds raised will help pay for these entry fees. We also hope to launch an interactive website whereby Garifuna worldwide will be able to upload their own video stories. Funds raised will help pay for the initial stages of this website effort.
Why this film is important:
In 2005, I was invited to screen my film THE GARIFUNA JOURNEY (1998), on the island of St. Vincent. The film focuses on the living culture of the descendants of the Caribs/ Garifuna who were exiled to Central America and now live in Belize. While the film played, the local audience was very moved by the story told in the film. As they watched the descendants of exiled Garifuna onscreen, they realized that Garifuna culture, language and spirituality had flourished in the Diaspora. The Garifuna who had been living on St. Vincent became even more conscious of the disconnect between their own lives and the history and ways of their ancestors.
This was a transformative experience for me. I realized then that my film only told half of the story. What was missing were the voices of the descendants of the Caribs who were not exiled and who grew up on St. Vincent. Their ancestors have lived under very repressive British colonial rule for the past 200 years. The story of YURUMEIN began that very day.
This story of “Yurumein” has the power to connect a people and culture that have been fractured by war. On the shared Garifuna homeland of St. Vincent, recovery of the buried history of resistance, rupture and resilience is essential. Garifuna people around the world are now presented with an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Garifuna today. These living descendants are part of a dynamic and evolving cultural tapestry that includes diverse histories and voices from around the world—each with an important story to tell, and bound by a common cultural heritage.
In 2001, UNESCO awarded the Garifuna community the title: “Proclamation of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” In doing so, they pressed mainstream scholars, journalists and community activists around the world to ask important questions: Who are Garifuna people? Where do they come from and how has their culture survived despite a painful and fractured history? How can the Garifuna language and culture be preserved and taught to future generations?
While post-colonial stories of re-identification and cultural retrieval among indigenous people—particularly in North America—have captured broader public interest in recent decades, the story of Garifuna, or “Black Carib” people, and their homeland of St. Vincent, has largely been untold. Garifuna culture, dating back to the Pre-Columbian Caribbean, has been revitalized in Central America and other parts of the Carib Diaspora, however, little of it remains on the formally colonized homeland. Few, if any Carib descendants who presently live on St. Vincent can speak their native language. While there are some traditions that remain (and a noticeable absence of Western tourism), few Caribs remaining on the island intimately understand their traditional music, food, and spiritual practices. This is beginning to change.
Who will see this film?
We have plans to enter this film into FILM FESTIVALS
world wide. My previous films have been in festivals in North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe, winning awards in each locale. Film Festivals are a wonderful venue for exposing audiences to subjects they know little about making the viewing an engaging and educational experience.
GRASSROOTS COMMUNITY SCREENINGS
are being planned in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, St. Vincent, Belize and Honduras. The film will be available to Vincentians and the Garifuna Diaspora for screenings in community centers, libraries, private homes, special events etc. The story of colonial subjugation is a common one that many indigenous and minority communities will relate to. The film can be used as a springboard for discussion about cultural preservation and for teaching cooperation and communication within distint populations within and beyond the Garifuna community. Indigenous communities will find this film to be an essential tool.
CLASSROOMS, LIBRARIES, MUSEUMS
will also be contacted for potential screenings. As a member of social issue documentary cooperative, I will draw on my past experience in distributing my films to these organizations and institutions nationally and internationally.
What can you do to help?
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Send a tweet about the campaign.
Email your friends and let them know about the film and our need for funds.
Email Andrea to arrange for a public or private screening of the film with the filmmaker.