by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger
A Plain Vision Publishing production (2012), Trinidad & Tobago: A Caribbean Expression of Cultural Diversity showcases the photographs of prolific freelance photographer for publications such as Caribbean Beat and the Trinidad Guardian, Edison Boodoosingh. The glossy-paged, coffee-table title sets itself the herculean task of providing as panoramic a series of perspectives on Trinbagonian culture as possible. The frequently breathtaking shots presented by Boodoosingh represent more than six years of curating, colour composition and journeys throughout the republic. In the book’s preface, Boodoosingh expresses his desire to showcase more than just the inarguable splendour of T & T’s Carnival.
He explains that he draws inspiration for his photographs from the full flourish of the islands’ many observances: “the captivating fusion of the drums of Hosay; the duelling of the Kalinda Stick Fighters; the colours of Phagwa,” and numerous other festivities. The photographer’s images are accompanied by text from Emmanuel Guadeloupe. In seven sections: People & Culture; Architecture & Monuments; National Festivals & Observances; Eco-Systems & Natural Wonders; Commerce & Industry; Sights & Scenes, and The Ever Evolving Faces of the Races, the vistas of Trinbagonian people embracing various aspects of their ample cultural legacies are given generous room to unfold.
Guadeloupe’s written descriptions are informative and suitably vibrant, complementing Boodoosingh’s artistic vision in each arm of the book’s explorations of T & T’s beauty and multiplicity. Transcending the typical expectations for a standard coffee table conversation piece, Trinidad & Tobago: A Caribbean Expression of Colourful Diversity marks an indispensable addition to any solidly patriotic Trinbagonian’s bookshelf, as well as to anyone even casually interested in joining Boodoosingh on an unforgettable tour of two islands in vivid, compelling captures.