The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) will launch a three-part video series titled Pan to the Poet as part of its I am Here: Borders of Hope campaign.
The video series launching on May 21 features three pairs of poets highlighting topics related to interactions and relationships between Venezuelan migrants and locals through spoken word poetry.
The campaign, an initiative of the PADF, was created to encourage and facilitate informed discussions about migration and its impact on migrants and their host communities, a media release said.
The poets came up with the ideas for their pieces during workshops facilitated by Kamilah Morain, deputy director of PADF in TT and the First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS) 2021 winner, Derron Sandy. Sandy is also the artistic director of the 2 Cents Movement.
“The workshops provided participants with a safe space to interrogate and explore in depth the prevailing discourse on and perceptions of migrants and migration in TT," Morain said in the release. "Participants were encouraged to reflect on their lived experiences, this served as the point of departure to critically engage with key concepts underpinning the current conversations on migration and to form their own opinions on the subject.”
After the workshops, each pair developed its poem and performance with Sandy’s guidance.
Samuel Negrin and Mishael Henry will be featured in the first video on May 21. Samuel is a Venezuelan migrant who came to Trinidad six years ago. Mishael was born in Venezuela and migrated to Trinidad as a toddler and has known no other home.
They refer to each other as “hermanos” (which means brothers in Spanish), and they hope that the series positively impacts the way in which locals develop and nurture their relationships with Venezuelan migrants.
Sandy, who directed the video series said, “Pan to the Poets is a unique and exciting collaboration and another critical step for spoken word poetry in TT.”
The following videos will feature Melyssa Rosillo and Ronaldo Mohammed, and then Renessa John and Paola Silva.
Anyone interested in watching the video series can follow the I am Here: Borders of Hope campaign on Facebook and Instagram (@iamherebordersofhop) and Twitter (@BordersHope) or e-mail email@example.com.