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Denyse Thomasos: A Driving Force for Caribbean Art

Exploring Colonial History, Imprisonment and Hope

Written by Tricia Gopi

While I am by no means an art connoisseur, I am an avid consumer of pop culture, be it TV shows, trips to the mall, movies, concerts, festivals, books, art galleries, museums, and so much more. When art is showcased, that has traditionally meant featuring Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, or Da Vinci. And while "Water Lilies" and "Starry Night" are undoubtedly beautiful and appealing pieces of artwork, they often fall short of connecting with onlookers outside the realm of standard Western Art. 


More and more, the Caribbean has been given the attention it deserves in important conversations about society and culture. Most of the time, the islands are regarded and often reduced to vacation destinations with beautiful beaches that only garner thought from the general public when it's time to pack their suitcases. But in Toronto, we see Caribbean influences everywhere, in popular music, clothing trends, food, and how people speak. 


This year at the Art Gallery of Ontario, another Caribbean artist was prominently featured: Denyse Thomasos. Denyse Thomasos is a name I'd never heard before, but it's a name I'll remember. I walked through the large white walls of the AGO, unsure of what I would see. Beauty? Resentment? Hope? ...Read More

The Beauty of Conflict: Growing up Sassy in an Indo-Caribbean Household

Written by Ayesha Khan

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been called argumentative. 

When I was a little girl, my mom used to say “yuh mouth hot.” If you’re Guyanese like I am, you’re likely familiar with the term. It means you have, as they say here, a sharp tongue. An answer for everything. Wit. Attitude. It’s usually a pejorative, but it’s sometimes used in awe. It’s a way of saying, especially to young women, that you’ve noticed they are talking back and that is out of the ordinary. It was used on me a lot. 

I grew up in righteous indignation, feeling that talking back was my one form of power. If I didn’t agree with someone, I probably couldn’t change much, but at the very least I could stun them and shock us all into silence. I’d ruin dinner, the function, the hangout, whatever it was. To be honest, the times it happened were many and often—probably more than it should have. It was awkward, and some would argue it wasn’t right, but I never shied away. ...Read More

Wear the Yellow Dress

Written by Felicia Gopi

When I’m picking an outfit out (that isn’t sweats) I often go through a series of criteria before making a choice. Is it something I like? How does it suit the occasion? Is it trendy or is it classic? Is the fit flattering? And also, is the colour flattering?


That last one has been on my mind for a while now that colour theory seems to be a trending topic on social media. It’s not uncommon for folks across many skin tones to consider what colour garments compliment them best; but I do wonder if there are other POC out there that feel like they’ve limited themselves from exploring certain colours because of their skin tone. ...Read More

Ricky Sookram: Reflecting on “Star Bhai”, Future Goals, and Empowering the Indo-Caribbean Community

Written by Rebecca Dass

"I want people within our own community, the Indo-Caribbean community, to know that they are capable of anything."

Born to parents from Trinidad and Indian origin, Ricky Sookram, 43, is a Manager of Learning at Toronto Community Housing. He declares himself a lifelong learner, earning a college diploma in Business Administration specializing in financial planning, in addition to possessing certificates in adult learning and agile project management.


“I’m at a stage in my life where I want to give back,” he says. “I’ve been raised by a good family, I’ve always had their support. My family has passed on a lot of wisdom to me during the course of my life, and as I get older, I wish to do the same by serving our community as well as our greater society.” ...Read More

A Letter from the Chair

Written by Ryan Singh

April is a special month for the Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association because it's our anniversary month. At merely two years old, our organization has grown, built a reputation, and proudly delivered on a number of objectives for Canada’s Indo-Caribbean community. Throughout this journey, as we onboard new volunteers, the one thing that has become evident is that we are boundless. While our community deals with the ongoing risk of falling victim to stereotypes that box us in, or being rather niche in that we have remained largely undiscovered and under-recognized, our talents and ambition prove that we have the full potential to exceed expectations and defy limitations. ...Read More

Story is an Indo-Caribbean newsletter designed to bring Canadian Caribbean culture to the forefront. Explore Indo-Caribbean news, identity, and culture online.

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