Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 19th 2015 Contents A27
Monday, October 19, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The T&T Guardian s own
Arts and Entertainment edi-
tor Peter Ray Blood has been
awarded the 2015 Sunshine
Lifetime Achievement Award.
T&T Guardian columnist,
BC Pires, speaks to him about
his life, work and the award.
Where in Trinidad are you
I am a product of Laventille,
the Old St Joseph Road. I live
on the border of Donkey City,
now Wrightson Road. My
extended family---the Bloods of
Mayaro and Goddards of Bar-
bados---is enormous. One uncle
had over 30 acknowledged chil-
dren. I am twice divorced, have
eight children, aged 21 to 41,
and 11 grands, aged one to 18.
Were you raised in a faith?
Anglican. At age 11, my ambi-
tion was to be a priest. I believe
in God and that all humans are
connected, regardless of reli-
gious indoctrination. I am not
a staunch churchgoer but do
occasionally attend ceremonies
at Orisha shrines.
You worked in computers
I retired at a young age as a
and became a journalist in 1982,
at the Express for 13 years and
at the Guardian for 22. I have
written for regional newspapers
and have done TV and radio.
As a professional journalist, I
have never attended a political
rally. I have family in all political
parties, two being past PNM
AGs, one an NAR and another
a UNC cabinet minister.
How did you get into the
papers and do you regret
[Former Express publisher &
CEO] Ken Gordon gave me my
first break but many elders still
alive moulded my career,
including Owen Baptiste, Mr
Brunton, Lennox Grant, Sunity
Maraj, Andy Johnson, Nylah
Ali, Pat Ganase and Suzanne
Lopez. I would not have skipped
my computer training [from
which] I learned discipline,
punctuality and meeting dead-
Arts & culture was your
I have always written on
entertainment and thoroughly
enjoyed it. If you love what you
do, then you are not working.
I haven't worked a day in my
life for 35 years. And I get paid
for it. My column, "Bloodline",
was born over 30 years ago in
the Express and became "Pulse"
in the Guardian 20 years ago.
My job has taken me to Italy,
the USA, Canada, South Amer-
ica and across the Caribbean.
Of all the places I have travelled
to, my favourite city is Toronto,
Canada, in the autumn. I love
Rome, Italy, too, for its antiquity,
especially the Colisseum, where
so many Christians were
slaughtered so many centuries
ago. The spot in the centre
where the blood drained still
gets damp at nights.
How do you feel about the
I am grateful for it as [my]
being appreciated by experts
and luminaries in arts and
entertainment, and am espe-
cially grateful to be in the com-
pany of such eminent recipients
[as] Prof Gordon Rohlehr,
Winsford "Joker" Devine, pan
icon Rudy "Two Leff" Smith,
my former QRC mate Leon
"Smooth" Edwards, and my
cousins Rawle Gibbons and Pel-
I have lost some special
friends, each having had a pro-
found impact on my journalism
career, like Keith Smith, Terry
Joseph, Raoul Pantin, Kitty
Hannays, Undine Guisseppi,
and Zen Jarrette. Had they been
alive, Keith would have said, "I
discovered him." Terry would
have said, "Let's go and have a
beverage to celebrate." Zen
would have just smothered me
in hugs and kisses.
Do you have an entertain-
ment highpoint of the last
Queen's Park Savannah in
1981, to see calypsonians Blue
Boy, Nelson, Chalkdust and
Explainer upstage Kool & the
Gang. After the calypsonians
sang, nobody wanted to hear
the American superstars. We
were really a nationalistic people
back then; not like today when
Jamaican dancehall and foreign
BS rule the airwaves.
Have you read Raymond
Ramcharitar s historically-
grounded dismissal of Can-
boulay, the supposed foun-
dation of Carnival, as
I have done cursory reading
of Ramcharitar's writings on
the Canboulay riots and can't
adjudicate on them. What I do
believe is, when the riots
occurred in 1881, the embers of
slavery, which ended a mere 43
years before, were still aglow;
so there would have been
resentment, mistrust and con-
frontation between former
slaves and colonial masters,
inclusive of the French Catholic
planters who would have come
to Trinidad from the French
Antilles. I believe our Carnival
has roots from both the French
and from West Africa.
A great job negatively
affected your personal life?
Indirectly, my matrimonial
demises were partially job-
related, especially the first mar-
riage, when I devoted most of
my waking hours to the job.
Nothing is the same after
divorce. I have maintained a
Sunshine Award for Blood:
'We're all connected'
Oscar-winning actress Meryl
Streep has called for a documentary
chronicling the rape of a young stu-
India's Daughter tells the story of
Jyoti Singh, 23, whose rape and violent
death in India's capital in 2012 caused
a public outcry.
Streep said at the New York pre-
miere she was on the "campaign" for
it to be nominated for best documen-
"When I first saw the film I couldn't
speak afterwards," Streep said.
The nominations for the 88th
Academy Awards will be announced
on 14 January.
The hour-long film is made by the
BBC and directed by British-based
actress and film-maker Leslee Udwin.
She also produced the film East is
East but India's Daughter marks her
debut as a movie director.
Udwin said she had found hope in
the protests following Singh's rape
but was dismayed at the relatively
weak outcry after a four-year-old girl
was raped and beaten with stones in
Delhi earlier this month.
"Why are people not out on the
streets now?" said Udwin.
There were 33,764 victims of rape
in India in 2013, according to the
country's National Crime Records
Medical student Jyoti Singh was
returning home from seeing Life of
Pi at the cinema with a male friend
in December 2012, when she was
raped and murdered by a gang of
Udwin's film draws on footage of
an interview in jail with one of the
attackers, Mukesh Singh, who
blamed Singh for being out in the
evening with a male friend.
"A decent girl won't roam around
at nine o'clock at night," he said.
"A girl is far more responsible for
rape than a boy."
Mukesh Singh and the other
attackers have appealed against their
India's Daughter was due to be
broadcast in March in India but was
banned while Udwin was in the
country promoting it.
The government said it thought
certain excerpts could "encourage
and incite violence against women".
But a senior government minister,
M Venkaiah Naidu, also described
the documentary as "a conspiracy
to defame India".
Another big area of debate has
been whether Udwin and her team
got proper permission to film in
Tihar, the prison where Singh is
The movie will open across the
US on October 23.
Screenings are also scheduled in
a handful of countries from Iceland
to China. (BBC)
Meryl Streep campaigning for Oscar for India rape documentary
Peter Ray Blood
who has been
recognised by the
for his life's work
in promoting the
country's arts and
Continues on Page A28
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