Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 9th 2015 Contents A27
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A comedian who criticised overweight
people has sparked a row over censorship
Nicole Arbour uploaded a video called
Dear Fat People in which she derided
people for being overweight.
She claimed she had been censored
after her channel was suspended, while
others accused her of deleting her own
channel to gain sympathy.
But the BBC understands the channel
was automatically suspended because a
lot of people reported it to YouTube.
Ms Arbour's YouTube channel has since
Nicole Arbour is a Canadian comedian
who uploads video rants to Facebook and
YouTube. She has a combined following of
more than 500,000 people.
In a controversial video, which has been
viewed more than 21 million times, Arbour
described times she encountered
"Fat-shaming is not a thing. Fat people
made that up. If we offend you so much
that you lose weight, I'm OK with that.
You are killing yourself," she said.
Arbour has faced criticism from
prominent social media stars.
Whitney Way Thore, star of US reality
show My Big Fat Fabulous Life, said fat-
shaming was the "spawn of a larger
problem called body shaming" that she
was sure "everyone on the planet" had
Fat-shaming video causes YouTube row
Prolific documentary film-maker, Christo-
pher Laird s entry for this year s T&T
Film Festival explores the revolutionary
impact of Carnival artist, Peter Minshall s 1976
portrayal of Paradise Lost, in the voice of the
Laird told T&T Guardian he chose to have
the story of Paradise Lost told because "apart
from the genius of the design of individual mas
orchestrated into the four movements of the
band, Paradise Lost established a baseline for
a new technology of mas."
He said the use of materials such as fiber-
glass, cane and vacuum-formed plastic masks
and headpieces were "all put to the service of
a dancing mas player,
facilitating a sense of
their body and
movement in what
Minshall terms a
kinetic revolution ."
Minshall s cre-
of the epic poem by
17th Century poet,
John Milton, was,
according to Laird,
the first band "to
extend its concept
instead to explore
existential and, I
dare say, politi-
cal, themes through its
exploration of a classic poem."
Once described by the Carnival artist as "a
visual thesis" that would lead the way for new
approaches to the art of mas making and play-
ing, Paradise Lost, which won Band of the Year
in 1976, remains, for aficionados, an enduring
benchmark against which contemporary offer-
ings are sometimes measured.
Laird said the idea for the documentary came
to him following the launch of US-based Car-
nival connoisseur Ray Funk s We Kind ah People
featuring the photography of George Tang. The
book is a photo documentary on the work of
band-leaders Stephen and Elsie Lee Heung
under whose banner Paradise Lost emerged.
"I felt it was vital that it be properly doc-
umented for generations who know little of
our history and who seem to be content to be
poor imitations of Las Vegas showgirls not
knowing how to play mas instead believing
the street," said Laird.
"Paradise Lost," Laird added, was also "a
statement that gave rise to the ridiculous con-
troversy fuelled by the middle class Carnival
establishment about theatre and Carnival
which was to dog Minshall throughout his mas
The veteran film-maker said he believed his
chosen medium, the documentary film, is an
effective story-telling platform. "I believe sto-
rytelling is the best way to engage people and
yet have them go away with a new way of see-
ing," he told T&T Guardian. "Storytelling can
be done through fictional drama, of course,
but it can shape a documentary also, and that
is what I am interested in."
"Documentaries should be about the process
of discovery, even
added. "Paradise Lost
is such a story beau-
tifully and movingly
told by Peter Minshall
himself, illuminated by
George Tang s mar-
velous footage and
Minshall s sketches and
Laird, who in 2003
co-founded Gayelle, the
first all-Caribbean tele-
vision station in the
region, has been respon-
sible for over 300 pro-
ductions over a career
spanning three decades.
In 2013, he completed No
Bois Man No Fraid ---a fea-
ture length documentary about two young
martial artists who rediscovered their roots in
traditional stick fighting (Kalinda).
Laird said the advent of social media had
offered up no serious competition against the
film documentary since "social media is sto-
rytelling but much of it is ephemeral and trivial."
"I am interested in storytelling that is about
something that we should know about, need
to know about to rejoice in our very existence
as Caribbean people," he added.
Minshall s memorable portrayal of a timeless
literary classic, he argued, forms the basis for
a story worth telling and remembering.
According to Laird: "Nothing could be the
same after Paradise Lost."
The film premieres at MovieTowne on Sep-
tember 18 and plays again at the same venue
on September 24.
Minshall as he
in 1976. PHOTO:
playing Satan in
the Garden of
Eden, one of the
costumes to be
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