[ISEA2009] Paper: Roshini Kempadoo — Counter-practices to the Caribbean archives: the feminised narratives in Domino Effects (2009).


This presentation explores the Caribbean archives and the Trinidad archive (1838 – 1938) in particular – as being the basis of research for the interactive artwork Domino Effects (2009). The archive presents two paradigms as contested practices. The archive is inherently conservative and conventional both in processes of conservation and curation. And there is the persistent way in which the Trinidad archive is limited by the inherent absence of particular and personalised narratives.
I would like to present the fictional interactive artwork Domino Effects (2009) as an interpretation of historical material including the Trinidad archive, to centralise the women worker’s presence and everyday experience of the colonial period. As a creolised creative artwork that comments on legacies of forced migration, plantation landscapes superseded by tourist economics and services, Domino Effects offers a metaphoric method for the retrieval and reconfiguration of archival accounts that are so often formulated in the ‘language’ of the male colonial figure. The artwork also allows for an expansion of social and historiographical space to take account of the imagined horizons, futuristic dreamscapes and everyday contemporary practices of the ex-plantation worker experience.