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Shouters & The Control Freak Empire

African documentary "Shouters & The Control Freak Empire" explores the prohibition of African religion, Shouter Baptism, in Trinidad & Tobago in the 20th century.


In  the African documentary "Shouters & The Control Freak Empire" Nigerian-Trinidadian director Oyetayo Raymond Ojoade explores the controversial prohibition of Shouter Baptism in Trinidad & Tobago from 1917-1951. Here is a quick synopsis:

"From Trinidadian-Nigerian filmmaker Oyetayo Raymond Ojoade, this thought-provoking documentary questions power and social control by exposing the central conflict between Euro-centric and Afro-centric religions. It exposes the schisms inherent in the unhappy marriage between the secular and the sacred, first offering a socio-historical context as it re-visits the 1917 - 1951 Prohibition Ordinance on the “Shouter” Baptist religion of Trinidad & Tobago. But it goes further by daring to challenge laws that legislate against a belief system, questioning the real causes and effects of such legislation both on members of the faith and the general public."

Featured on Buni TV, the 30 minute documentary focuses on interviews where current Shouter Baptist church members explain how colonial authority interpreted the religion, through its incorporation of Africa belief systems as somehow threatening to the colonial regime.

The documentary is certainly captivating, particularly in how it unearths components of colonial history. One member of the church states that when the prohibition was written into law "it was like being erased from the map of your homeland." Perhaps this is where the film could have been more affecting- if it had been more effective at highlighting the post-colonial materiality of the prohibition. In other words- how can we understand the prohibition today- what does it mean for current Shouter Baptists beyond the historical facts? Overall, the documentary provides an interesting history lesson, so be sure to check it out to learn more about the fascinating history of Shouter Baptism and the relationship between law and colonialism.

Watch the documentary here.

Interview

Interview: Wavy The Creator Is Ready to See You Now

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The professional recording artist, photographer, writer, fashion artist, designer, and evolving creative has been spending all of this time in a house occupied by other creatives. This situation is ideal. At least for an artist like Wavy who is always in a rapid motion of creating and bringing interesting things to life. The energy around the house is robust enough to tap from and infuse into any of her numerous creative outlets. Sometimes, they also inspire trips into new creative territories. Most recently, for Wavy, are self-taught lessons on a bass guitar.

Wavy's days in this house are not without a pattern, of course. But some of the rituals and personal rules she drew up for herself, like many of us did for internal direction, at the beginning of the pandemic have been rewritten, adjusted, and sometimes ditched altogether. Some days start early and end late. Some find her at her sewing machine fixing up thrift clothes to fit her taste, a skill she picked up to earn extra cash while in college, others find her hard at work in the studio, writing or recording music.

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