I have spent the greater half of two years mostly exploring and documenting the innards of abandoned buildings, walking through empty hallways over creaking wooden floors. These spaces have can be very intriguing and have so many stories to tell once you lend an ear. Even the walls can talk and you may realise that you might just find a firebrick or two or more.

Young Lai Shop on Belmont Circular Road

However from the blissful joy of new discoveries comes the heavy hammer of reality as those very walls are dismantled signaling the end of their story. Now all that are left are just memories and the few pictures that I have taken.

About 80% of all the sites I have been able to explore have simply been demolished and are now just car parks.

This is where the idea, to enlist the talents of a core group of creatives who have a shared interest in history and doing what they do best, tocapturing the memories of these spaces. That is the crux of this project “Between Lines” as it is the lines of the artists, writers, architects, etc that will bring these spaces to life and preserve their memories. The other aspect of this project of bringing such a diverse core of creatives together, is to share what they have discovered and to enjoy the adventure together.

As for the outcome of this project I am collaborating with both The Caribbean Memory Project headed by Dawn Cumberbatch and Kevin A. Browne and Plantain headed by Felicia Chang and Zaake De Coninck. Both the Caribbean Memory Project and Plantain have done a lot of research and projects which includes both a digital archive and publications that compiles these stories neatly where anyone can have access to them. I am confident that this group of experts who are dedicated to capturing the story of our nation and its people will add another dimension which will enrich this project.

The Caribbean Memory Project had already started a project called Place + Memory which in essence collects every single bit of detail about the history of a particular site from old photos to documents and even voice recordings on our memories. They have offered to include all the materials collected from the Between Lines project to be included into the Place + Memory project which will help bring to focus the importance of the creative community in terms of documentation and at the same time raise awareness of such sites. Plantain will also provide consultation for this project and will assist in the organisation and sorting of the materials that are collected to produce engaging products that combine different elements of what we find and create during our process. They will also be key in interviewing and collecting the oral histories and life stories of people connected to the site.

Leper Colony, Chacachacare around the early 20th century

After some discussion, it has been confirmed that our first trip will be to Chacachacare Island. We felt that that the island contains a very rich past and that there is diverse collection of sites mostly related to the Leper Colony from 1921 till it was closed in 1984. To get more information about the island you can click on the link below that was compiled by the Caribbean Memory Project.

http://www.caribbeanmemoryproject.com/placememory-chacachacare.html#/

The date for this trip will be on the 22nd of October and we will gather at Medulla Art Gallery on 37 Fitt Street for 7 am. We will then take a maxi taxi together to Power Boats for 7:30 am and get a boat that will take us to Chacachacare Island. Bring your own meals and drinks for the trip. The cost of the trip will be $160.00 which will cover the transportation costs.

Due to logistical factors we are able to only take 15 people on this trip. I do apologize for this but please do not be discouraged as there are more trips planned and everyone will be informed.

To reserve your spot you can email Josh Lu at jlckcreative@gmail.com. All confirmations must be final as we need to go with a full group and we are looking to fill 15 spots and no more. All payments will be due on the 19th of October and we are only accepting cash, so don’t be late and miss this opportunity!

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