my 36th birthday. ase ancestors. ase spirit guides. ase orishas. ase mom. ase dad. ase moon. ase phoenix. ase all my mentors and mentees. ase communities. ase global village. for your love. guidance. challenge. celebration. inspiration. faith. and for holding me as I grow inwards… thank you
NGOZI PAUL (canada/st.kitts & nevis)
who am i: I am a Child of God. Lover of humanity. creator, healer and storyteller. My relationships with family and friends are what matter most to me. I create, heal and tell stories to honor myself and them. I feel as though we are all one thing.
how am i: I am mostly very well, in a phase of some transformation presently. I recently took on a new position and have decided to live bi-coastly between canada and the u.s. with the ultimate goal of a 3rd location on the continent of africa. to that end I am in the middle of an adjustment. I have recently found that I am a bit over stretched and looking forward to carve out more time for my artistic practice.
what is my purpose: to love, inspire, tell stories and create space for others to do the same.
what art(s) do i practice: i am an actor, writer and producer. i have recently began directing. I work across most platforms. i have currently taken on the position of co-ad at bcurrent. I am passionate about creating stories from the black diaspora with a specific focus on the femine lense. I am interested in telling stories that have wide reach but retain artistic intergrity.
BERYL BAIN (canada)
who am i: I’m Beryl Bain. I’m an artist. To me, this means that I am a professional actor and producer. My goal is to practice “esoteric journalism” (my term) through my work, which means researching and developing understanding of humankind.
how am i: Eager to dig deeper into what I can do and who I can be.
what is my purpose: To uncover beauty in my environment, to help make ‘emotional sense’ of the world, to discover my personal potential as a conduit for my fellow humankind and my own ancestors. I believe I am designed for research, for collection of personal and esoteric data, a journalist for my own emotional landscape and that of the world I live in.
what art(s) do i practice: I primarily practice interpretive acting. Recently, I have ventured into producing my own work. I write often, although my goal is to practice much more writing.
MARYAM ABDUL-QAWIYY (belize)
who am i: I am a beloved child of the universe, but just recently learning how to accept and love myself. I am an infinite field of endless possibilities, and trying to stay connected to the source within. I am a writer and storyteller, but still struggling to release the negative blocks of resistance that comes along with being an artist.
how am i: Emotionally exhausted and drained, mentally overwhelmed, and feel artistically malnourished; however, I do my best to affirm positive feelings. I am learning that a holistic healthy approach to life is working in my favour and in applying this method it has affected my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual self; however every new day brings a challenge so that I am mindfully putting this into practice.
what is my purpose: My purpose is to use the creative mediums and arts that have chosen me and use them as catalysts for social change. My purpose is to tell stories that pull on human emotion and show universality in our pains and struggle. My purpose is to be a reflection of the divine plan unfolding within me and through my stories.
what art(s) do i practice: I practice several arts: writing that is the premier art; however in is intertwined with all the arts of singing, drama, and dancing. When I sit down to write a play all these facets come to mind and I hear music and singing, and see choreographies, which will help to render the emotion of the tale.
LISHAI PEEL (canada)
who are you: I’m discovering who I am every day – who I am in relation to the people around me, the context i come from, the city i live/love in. who i am is very much tied to my relationship with art.
how are you: currently, my nomadic heart is restless.
what is your purpose: I thought to answer this question by describing the moment i realized that storytelling was my vocation. upon further reflection, i revised my answer because i believe that my purpose is to share my human experience through storytelling from a place of love. every day i work to cultive self love so that i may love others and myself better.
what art(s) do you practice: I began a few years ago with spoken word but now I feel that I am emerging from the womb of myself and reclaiming my childhood dream of writing plays. my professional practice emerged out of the tradition of poetry but now I am ready to take my writing to the next level.