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Hurricanes and Headpieces: Storytelling from the Ruins and Remains of Caribbean History and Culture


Moy digs a hole beside Grandma who tends to the hibiscus tree in the garden. It is a muggy July in Markham. Satisfied that the hole she’s dug is a sizeable home for the new batch of baby rabbits, Moy looks up at the sky. The clouds are starting to turn gray.
“Come gyal,” Grandma says. “Pass the rope.”
“What are you doing?”
“Tying the tree.”
Moy notes the scraggly tree in front of her. It hardly looks like it will blow away. She turns towards Grandma.
“Rain coming. You feel it?”
Moy doesn’t; she only hears silence. But she nods in agreement anyway.

What can hurricanes teach us about our relationship to nature, time, and storytelling?

In this project, I propose a methodology called “hurricane-thinking” to answer the question: “What can hurricanes teach us about our relationship to nature, time, and storytelling?” I categorize “hurricane-thinking” as a mode of thinking used by those who have experienced hurricanes first-hand. Throughout, I consider three concepts: ruin (what remains from the aftermath of hurricanes); whirl (how hurricanes challenge periodization); and awareness (what those living in the Caribbean diaspora or on mainlands learn from hurricane survivors) and how these stories are conveyed. Ultimately, I set out to consider how hurricane-thinking, as a transhistorical and multi-geographical approach, allows us to trace multiple connections between the past, present, and future.

This article has been featured in 9th issue of Contemporary Media Arts Journal. To read the full article, click here

Headpiece Making Process, April 2020

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