This was originally published on CANE alongside various interviews, features, films and a photoshoot produced by me
This is CANE. An archive celebrating the creative talents of the Caribbean and Latin American diaspora.
The name is derived from Sugarcane, the chief source of sugar and grass-root plant historically-tied to the multifarious nations of the Caribbean and South America, a region referred to as The New World in the 16th Century. The name and plant are a symbolic synopsis of CANE: intrinsically Caribbean and Latin American but internationally present.
The theme of this inaugural issue is [Conversations with the Diaspora]. The following pages consist of copious conversations with creatives, particularly within Fashion, demystifying the work they do and the industries they work in. Taking inspiration from folk-tale-telling culture, I sat down with Creative Directors, Managing Editors, Photographers, Models, Musicians, Dancers and even a Chef. Those featured offer a breadth of stories, lessons and perspectives, unravelling the tales of their lives and careers so far in casual conversations, or ole talk as it’s known in the Caribbean.
Over this process, CANE has increasingly become a personal project. It was initially dreamt of whilst looking for people like myself, people of West Indian and South American heritage, journeying into the Creative Arts. Developed as part of my final major project at London College of Fashion, CANE aims to shed a spotlight on talent both inside and outside of Fashion’s, as well as other creative field’s, archaically narrow Western-Eurocentric scope.
With CANE, I want show that if the people interviewed within these pages can not only survive but thrive by putting their creativity to work— irrespective of where they or their parents have journeyed from— then so can others who circumstances or society may have dissuaded.
I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to the making of this inaugural issue. Those I bombarded with surveys, during the earlier stages of conception. Those who helped guide by providing invaluable feedback. Those I hassled with plentiful messages, emails and calls to get on board. Those who took the time out of their very busy schedules to accommodated my requests and answer a multitude of questions. You are all greatly appreciated. Thank you.
I hope you thoroughly enjoy this issue and close the final pages feeling inspired to spark a conversation of your own.