Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 15th 2017 Contents B2
Friday, September 15, 2017
Inked N Proud
Welcome T&T to REC magazine!
Focus with Tyrel De Bique
Cinema & Events
Music Spotlight with Cali Gray
We will be your guide to what's on every weekend and upcoming weeks.
This weekend is sure to be fun one with the launch of Restaurant Week.
Be sure to check the restaurant listing on the events page to help you de-
cide where you will be dining.
This week we also, take a look at artist, Tyrel De Bique and his recent body
of work entitled Looking Glass.
There is lot's more in store, so take your thumbing through and most im-
portantly enjoy the Weekend!
Advertising Sales: (868) 225-4GML(4465)
TT ilm festival celebrates Canadian diversity
with Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things
TT ilm festival celebrates Canadian di-
versity with Two Soft Things, Two Hard
In celebration of Canadian diversity, on
and off the screen, the trinidad+tobago
ilm festival will host a screening of the
Canadian ilm Two Soft Things, Two Hard
Things - to highlight one aspect of that
diversity. The screening, which will take
place at the Hyatt Regency on Sunday 24
September, from 3.30pm, is free of charge
and courtesy the Canadian High Commis-
sion in Port of Spain.
Allison Brewer, one of the activists who
appears in the documentary, will be in
attendance to introduce the ilm and par-
ticipate in a Q&A session at the end of the
screening, giving the audience the opportu-
nity to further explore the issues examined
in the ilm.
Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things, by
Mark Kenneth Woods + Michael Yerxa, ex-
plores a dramatic period in the 1950s when
colonisation and religion shamed and
erased traditional beliefs about sexuality
and family structure among the Inuit pop-
ulation in northwest Canada.
What started as a ilm about a commu-
nity's LGBTQ pride celebration, quickly
developed into a layered discussion of
government colonial programs, Christian
missions, language and the loss of cultural
Under systematic indoctrination, na-
tional pride was soon replaced by shame,
as over a generation - Western colonisers
through Christianity, the education system
and con iscation of land, taught Inuit peo-
ple that their traditional ways were barbaric
and blasphemous, silencing and erasing an
entire culture - from family structures, to
spirituality and sexual practices. The loss
of identity and sense of shame still persist
today, but now a new generation of activ-
ists, politicians and artists are seeking to
reclaim and "un-shame" the past.
That past includes ancient words passed
down by elders to describe same-sex rela-
tionships. For women, it translates as: two
soft things rubbing against each other; for
men, it's two hard things.
An important layer to the discussion is
the historically different conception of gen-
der, sex and sexuality in Inuit culture.
According to an article on the ilm pub-
lished in Xtra, a Canadian-based, LGBT-fo-
cused internet magazine, Dr Chris Trott,
associate professor of native studies at the
University of Manitoba and author of the
article 'The Gender of the Bear,' examining
gender ambivalence in traditional Inuit cul-
ture, believes homoerotic behaviour likely
existed among the Inuit historically, but did
not translate into homosexuality for them.
Key to this is the Inuit understanding of
gender: "You receive your gender from the
person whose name you receive," Trott ex-
plains. "If it's your grandfather, it doesn't
matter what sex you are; you are a boy
because you are named for your grandfa-
ther, and you will be brought up as a boy.
Roughly around puberty, people's sex and
gender would be realigned. So for Inuit
people, gender is much more contextual
Trott contrasts this with modern Western
society's understanding of sexual orienta-
tion. "In our society, being gay or lesbian
is constructed as a way of life: it's a way of
being in the world. It's not simply particu-
lar sexual acts. And so that translation of
homoerotic acts into being gay is a transla-
tion of activity to gender. What I am saying
is that Inuit don't make that translation.
At least, historically, there was no way to
make that translation."
Of course, these traditional views were
disrupted when entire generations of Inuit
people were sent to residential schools and
exposed to Western notions of homosexu-
ality and homophobia. The result appears
to be a curious fusion of cultures: some
Inuit people do identify as gay, while oth-
ers do not use such labels. Furthermore,
others who may not be used to the idea of
"being gay" nevertheless invoke the Inuit
values of being accepting and caring.
There are some of course, who question
the need to highlight same-sex issues sep-
arately from other social issues affecting
Inuit communities. "We've got suicide,
substance abuse, domestic violence" says
Natalie O'Grady, a 30-year-old lesbian orig-
inally from Halifax. "LGBTQ issues are part
of it, but it's so small compared to all of the
other issues stemming from colonialism
and developments like mining."
The screening of Two Soft Things, Two
Hard Things at the trinidad+tobago ilm
festival is presented by the Canadian High
Commission, on Sun 24 Sept, 3.30pm,
Hyatt Regency Trinidad, followed by a Q+A.
The trinidad+tobago ilm festival (ttff )
celebrates ilms from and about the Car-
ibbean and its diaspora, as well as from
world cinema, through an annual festival
and year-round screenings. In addition,
the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Car-
ibbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging
industry programme and networking op-
portunities. The ttff is presented by Flow;
given leading sponsorship by BP Trinidad
and Tobago and the Ministry of Commu-
nity Development, Culture and the Arts;
supporting sponsorship by the Inter-Amer-
ican Development Bank and UN Women;
and contributing sponsorship from RBC
For more information visit: ttfilmfestival.com
Now in its fifth year, Inke N Proud's Tattoo Festival
scheduled for this Sunday promises to out-do all
others. With tattoo artists coming from as far as Po-
land, the US and UK the festival has truly grown into
an international event.
Dominic Jaglal, started Inked N Proud in 2012
and his first event was a tattoo competition which
was held in Chaguanas. The turnout was very en-
couraging and so the tattoo Festival/Competition
was born. For Jaglal, raising the standard of tattoing
in Trinidad was the main goal. Due to its popularity,
other aspects, such as best hygiene practises and
after care technique has been added to the event.
According to the founder, this has gone a long
way towards improving the tattoo artists and also
helped foster a proper structure withing the local
"First of all part proceeds will be going to the
Irma relief fund. We are encouraging people to
bring canned foods. This event promises a techni-
cal aspect which will cover hygiene, after care and
everything a person interested in a tattoo should
know. Over 60 tattoo artists will be present and
there will prizes and giveaways. Tattoos have made
a possible impact for a lot of people. It has created
entrepreneurs allowing many people of limited
means to make living. So, it has not just helped
wearers but also artists. The cadre of local tattoo
artists continue to get younger and with that the
standard has improved as well as the artistic as-
pect," said Jaglal.
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