Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 17th 2016 Contents B40
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 17, 2016
If when you think T&T culture
you only think Carnival, calypso
and steelband, there s a publication
that would like to educate you.
Scroll through the website or the
Facebook page of CulturEgo and
you ll see aspects of T&T culture
that unfortunately too many people
are not exposed to but which are,
in many ways, more vibrant than
the better known forms of enter-
tainment produced in the country.
There s an article about Sheldon
Blackman and Solomon Gabriel per-
forming last August at the New Fire
concert series, which happens at De
Nu Pub in Woodbrook and show-
cases underground bands, singers
and musicians; an article about an
incubation programme for Caribbean
filmmakers offered by the Canada-
based distribution company/film
festival organiser CaribbeanTales;
and a promo for the Trinidad Theatre
Workshop play The Thief Lord.
CultureEgo is an art event mag-
azine similar in spirit to Time Out.
It lets readers know about the dif-
ferent cultural experiences they can
have in T&T. Its founders thought
such a thing was sorely lacking.
"We thought it would be really
good to have an agenda and a diary
of events specifically focused on local
art and culture," said CulturEgo co-
founder Adeline Gregoire.
"There are a lot of people doing
similar things. You can find out a
lot of events going on in Trinidad,"
she added. "But (there s) nothing
with that focus on arts, new and
inspired artists, things like that. So
we wanted to create that home where
people could go to and see what they
can do this weekend that s not nec-
essarily a fete."
Gregoire was influenced by time
spent studying in France. "They re
very big on culture and things to
do," she said.
CulturEgo s focus, said Gregoire,
is "art, craft, theatre, dance. Places
to see that are not very well known.
Music that s not necessarily main-
stream. Anything that s out of the
ordinary and very new and fresh."
CultureEgo recently celebrated its
first anniversary---appropriately at
Soft Box art studio---bringing togeth-
er artists, musicians and supporters
of the arts, who were treated to an
exhibition of works of artists that
had been featured in CulturEgo. The
event also included live audio from
Radyo Shak, an initiative from the
New York-based online Clocktower
Radio that was part of the Ghetto
Biennale art festival in Haiti. The
audio is on the CulturEgo website.
Gregoire said she was surprised
when the station contacted them
about a partnership.
"It was really strange, out of the
blue," she said.
It was indicative of the young
magazine s growing reach. Although
the site was created to target locals,
many of its visitors are foreigners,
who have a chance to see the diver-
sity of cultural experience they can
have in T&T.
"A lot of the traffic right now is
actually people based in the (United)
States and in Europe who are actually
coming to Trinidad to know what s
going on culturally besides what they
get in the tourist brochure, which is
flora, fauna, beautiful beaches," said
CulturEgo s founders eventually
want to cover the region.
"We really think it s a space that s
underexplored," said Gregoire. "It s
really important to show that we
have so many things happening in
the Caribbean region. We would
really like to become that key player
that would attract all the artists and
the cultural thinkers in the area. We
would like to create that home for
artists and cultural practitioners."
In addition to promoting and writ-
ing about cultural events in T&T,
Gregoire and her partner, Patrick
Rasoanaivo, provide graphic art and
event organising and marketing serv-
ices. Rasoanaivo designed a won-
derful series of posters for New Fire.
And Gregoire said among the high-
lights of this past year was working
to promote the Green Screen envi-
ronmental film festival and organ-
ising the launch of a memoir by
Andrew Fitt, an artist with cerebral
palsy, at Medulla Art Gallery. Fitt
sold a hundred copies of his book,
"Andrew Fitt has a lot of potential.
He s a brilliant, brilliant guy," she
said. "He would like to be able to
live from his passion. He has a great
fan base, but we were able to provide
him with the logistic support."
Gregoire and Rasoanaivo would
eventually like CulturEgo to be a
print magazine, something that is
not financially possible at the
moment. In the meantime their main
goal is to get more Trinidadians and
Tobagonians to learn of the many
wonderful things their creative fellow
citizens have to offer.
"Just getting our audience to be
more receptive to local and regional
culture," Gregoire said of CulturEgo s
main purpose currently. "To market
Trinidad for everything else that it
can be, not just what we re known
celebrates first anniversary
Images from CulturEgo magazine.
PHOTOS COURTESY KRYPTIC CHEWIE/CULTUREGO
"Just getting our audience to
be more receptive to local
and regional culture. To
market Trinidad for
everything else that it can be,
not just what we're known
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