Death to nostalgia and to the tellings of my own beginnings (c. 2023, S8mm/8mm/16mm) 

Wings spread in anticipation of flight as I sit and wait. It’s just the wind. A seagull dead and decomposing on the rocky shores of Awenda lake became my own awakening to passive grief. Where the edge of water and land has inserted a physical and symbolic division and integration between boundary, navigation, and longing as part of the Caribbean diaspora of African descent. In a visual eulogy, to mythologize and romanticize a place of home, “Death to nostalgia and to the tellings of my own beginnings” bids farewell to Youloumain/St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to the passing of memories that embodied my own. Working with 8mm film and experimental processing techniques to decay the film, the objective of this film diary was to explore a new visual language and relationship with film when tying the process and material to the narrative’s body. Prompted by the viewing of “Dawson City: Frozen Time” (c. 2016), in the process of decaying film, I was influenced by writer Dionne Brand’s “A Map to the Door of No Return: Notes of Belonging” in examining the alienation and imagination of blackness within the diaspora, artist David Hammons “Bliz-aard Ball Sale” (c. 1983) also introduced me to concepts of ephemerality in art. This led to the influences of filmmakers Eva Kolcze and Alex Faoro’s techniques of decaying film. With 8mm in-hand I buried one roll in soil with acidic fruits such as squeezed orange juice, peels, and pulp, with a mist of coconut water to slightly dampen the soil for a week. As mold grew, partial textures from the film changed as the bacteria latched onto specific areas of the film. The film’s emulsion decayed slowly. In this temporal process time deconstructed the nostalgia, the yearning for familiarity, and brought forth the ambiguity of memories documented from the shores of Awenda.

Using Format