location:NASSAU, BAHAMAS Lat. 25° 03' N, Lon. 77° 20' W. location updated -
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 3:15 PM
Top image: Kishan poses with the inhabitants of a small settlement in rural Haiti on a previous expedition there. Below- the controversal fence at the US/Mexican border.
Progress Preview:Views of Mexico - July 23- Oct. 6, 2009. "The Other Side of the Fence" - Exploring a Fascinating and Often Misunderstood Culture.
HIGHLIGHTS: ( from left to right )
1."Where is my vote?" A participant of the Iranian protest covers her face with a green placard.
2. In mourning loyal Michael Jackson fans sit against the front walls at the entrance of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Hospital at UCLA.
3. Michael Jackson's star on the Hollywood walk of fame, Hollywood Blvd. Barricades line the sidewalk holding back thousands of fans and flowers left in his memory.
4 A man dressed in drag donning a bridal dress bears a sign "America Marry Me", at the May Day Parade A.K.A. "The March of the Immigrant", downtown Los Angeles.
5.The famous amusement park at Santa Monica Pier.
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GUATEMALA - Captivating Culture - A very visible tradition. "I was planning just to drive through for the most part but the exuberant beauty and charm of the country just drew me in", Kishan said speaking of his time in Guatemala.
In this mountainous land of active volcanoes and fog, towering over lush valleys of thick greenery, its people still parade the streets in their colorful traditional attire. Munroe visits different towns of this Central American country exploring the beauty of the native people; from the Mayan shamen and jovial inhabitants in remote rural towns to the more modern man in the city. A true cultural experience.
MEXICO - The Other Side of the Fence - Exploring a Fascinating and Often Misunderstood Culture. Kishan considers his treck through Mexico one of the most interesting and yet challenging tasks he has had to endure thus far. "This journey was filled with good mixed with the bad, but still at the end of the day they all proved to be valuable and enlightening experiences that have changed me for the better. I feel wiser, I feel stronger, I feel more 'human'. I am proud of the Mexican people and their triumphs over the many adversities throughout their history".
Almost at the end of his journey through Mexico Kishan had a vehicular accident which he miraculously survived without life threatening injuries. It slowed him down and changed the course of his planned route, however he continued on an alternate path which proved to be even more enlightening and adventurous than he could ever have imagined. In a land where death is celebrated, and is a huge part of its history, this near death experience left Kishan with a greater understanding of mortality and its role in the Mexican mentality.
CALIFORNIA, USA -Old Mexico, New America - Never a dull moment. "A land where everything seemed to be happening all the time" Kishan says describing California. Munroe traveled as far north at San Francisco and lived within the LA area for about 2 months. It was here that Kishan also acquired an SUV to continue his journey south through the latter Americas.
While in California Kishan was in the heart of the action as events of monumental and historic significance unfolded; from the passing of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson to the celebration of the Los Angeles Laker's 2009 NBA victory. Munroe also documented social unrest such as protests against the Iranian gov't, protests against the Armenian genocide and the May Day parade AKA "March of the Immigrant". Munroe also got what may have been one of the last interviews given by Alex Sanchez, reformed gang member of an El Salvadorian gang and founder of the "Homies Unidos" organization. Just a few weeks later Sanchez was arrested, charged with still having gang relations and detained in a maximum security prison.
CROSS COUNTRY, North America - "Watching the World Change Before My Eyes". Departing Nova Scotia, Canada, after his second trip there to uncover the story of Africville, Munroe boarded a train and headed cross country in the dead of winter. He stopped in Chicago for a few view the numerous galleries and museums on his way west. His journey then continued through the obscurity of winter's frost.
Munroe's route took him through and to historic natural phenomenon - he watched as leafless giant trees stood in an ocean of water during the floods in Fargo, North Dakota and rode through the majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains. Munroe then concluded his journey by air plane to Anchorage Alaska where he was greeted by the temperamental eruptions of Mt Redoubt (volcano). Kishan had the grand opportunity to watch the world freeze, thaw itself out, and freeze once again - right before his very eyes. He then began his journey into fascinating Alaskan cultures.
NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA - "From Africa to Africville". "I ride into the future seeking to unravel the past; a dark past of one of Canada's little known and often forgotten towns - Africville. The story of Africville is arguably one of the darkest humanitarian blemishes on this country's flag. I travel here in the dead of winter, through snow storms and sickness to introduce you to this very similar horrific tale, of a town that once was - now only a memory to those who lived there; a simple dog park to those unaware of this sacred ground's past." - Kishan Munroe
Kishan spends quality time with original members of the lost town of Africville, Nova Scotia. Africville was a small, self-sustaining town just on the Bedford Basin of Nova Scotia's waterfront; this real estate was a prime piece of land that was granted to them by the Queen. Canadian governmental officials, in a act to steal this land away from these black Canadian citizens engaged in a series of cruel and inhumane actions which drove the people out of the town under the guise of urbanization; forceable relocation it was! They destroyed the houses and lives of many only to convert the land into a dog park. The remainder is now used as a sea port and a rail way runs through the center of the old town.
Chinese New Year, NY city - A "new" New Year - Walking throught time at the pace of a different culture. During his second trip to New York Kishan had the opportunity to document the various ways and dates that different cultures celebrate the new year and Christmas / the holiday season. There he visits and speaks with members from varying religions in order to gain knowledge as to the signifigance of these dates and practices to the people of their cultures and religions.
Kishan focuses on the Chinese New Year in China Town, NY. He follows the movements of a dragon procession tracking the participants all the way back to their inner-city homestead. There they engage in a most interesting exchange of cultural knowledge and give and outstanding performance for the curious visiting artist.
Washington DC (Inauguration) - Rebirth of A Nation - Documentating Modern Revolution. For the most anticipated and unpresidented presidential inauguration Kishan packs up his cameras and heads to Washington DC. For the next few days he works himself through the heart of the action as the whole world gravitates toward the nation's "power houses".
Kishan focuses not only on the actions of the political events that transpired but also the reactions of the masses that gathered by the thousands. The artist examines these series of events from his unique perspective, documenting everything from his arrival into Washington DC, accounts of personal interactions with individuals from all over the world, as well as the negativity and conflict which usually accompanies large gatherings of human beings. For this historic moment Kishan was there and captured a perspective and mood seldom shown in mainstraim media.
"I chose to document 'my-story' instead of relying on 'history' because sometimes 'he' lies." - Kishan Munroe.
HAITI - Beyond the Headlines - A Documentation Based On Reality Rather Than Sensationalism. "Haiti is a place that must be experienced and not just researched in books or viewed on television, to better understand the country and the plight of the contemporary Haitian people. My time spent in Haiti was enlightening beyond measure, affording me the opportunity to see many places and experience many things I would not have, had I not taken the initiative to seek awareness for myself." - Kishan Munroe.
This examination of the Haitian people began while in the Bahamas, as Kishan delved into the varied situations of Haitian migrants, their lifestyles, and their stories of desperation to escape the turmoil that exists in present day Haiti. Kishan trekked the Haitian experience, from everyday life to the catastrophe of mass death at sea; the ultimate consequence met by many illegally seeking refuge. Not only were the obvious negatives examined but also an unparelled beauty one discovers if the nation is truly explored.
TRINIDAD - Conversations With Real Men - Examining the Mentality of the Everyday Man to Better Undersatand a People. This was Kishan's second trip to Trinidad. Earlier this year he had the opportunity to experience Carnival and its festivities. The reason for this was three-fold: to investigate the difference in attitudes and relations within the populace during Carnival (apparently there is a dramatic decrease in crime and violence during this celebratory season, however after its conclusion high levels of criminal activity and violence return to ever rising levels); to document and archive the similarities between the cultural expressions of Trinidad and other Caribbean countries (namely Carnival and Junkanoo); and to examine the apparent Indo/Afro conflict.
Kishan examines the apparent situations from the unique perspective of an artist, using his creative work to capture the truness of his experience.
GUYANA - With paintbrush and camera in hand, artist Kishan Munroe has planned an ambitious trek around the world. Through his imagery, he'll tell the many and varied stories of human struggles and triumphs in the hope of finding a common ground.
Kishan commenced the first leg of his ambitious journey in Guyana which was host to CARICOM's 10th annual CARIFESTA celebration. There he examined the various cultural expressions specifically noting the commonalities within the people of the participating nations. After CARIFESTA had ended Kishan stayed behind in order to explore this third world nation more in-depth. Included in his online documentation are interviews from the survivors of the massacre at Lusignan, Munroe's personal experience trecking the "illegal" path through the Guyanese/Surinamese border as well as footage from CARIFESTA 10.
BAHAMAS - Presently there is a strong Haitian presence in the Bahamas society. Kishan goes deep into the heart of these villages and plants himself within the Haitian community in order to better understand the culture and the plight of the Haitian immigrant in the Bahamas. Kishan tackles issues of religion, mortality, criminality, discrimination and other social misconceptions and taboos. Munroe is able to capture the moments of the reality of this Haitian existance, transferring them to a platform where they can be experienced by the masses and hopefully understood.