Guyana, Suriname showcase folklore at Animae Caribe
Surinamese and Guyanese folklore were creatively featured in the Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival recently in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. This collaborative animated demo was presented at the Festival by the Suriname Animation Network (SAN) and Guyana Animation Network (GAN), who have joined efforts since July 2016 to advance regional collaboration in animation.
The animated demo is based on a mythical creature known as the Old Higue, who appears in a ball of fire at night and lives on the edge of the villages during the day. According to village folklore the Old Higue is reborn every two centuries at the birth of a baby during full moon. Anita, the main character in the story, is told by a village elder that she is to be the next host of the Old Higue. The story unfolds as John, her boyfriend, desperately seeks a way to save her from this dreadful fate. The Old Higue or Ol’ Higue is also known as Soucouyant or Soucriant in folklore from Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Guadeloupe.
The Suriname Animation Network (SAN) was established on 4 July 2015 out of a need for collaboration among professionals in the animation sector of Suriname. The Guyana Animation Network (GAN) was established on 2 July 2016 and comprises of visual artists, animators, designers, story writers, researchers and other professionals in support of the animation industry in Guyana. Both networks engaged in a programme of collaborative activities which included participation in Totness Creations, Suriname (July 2016), visits to the CARICOM Secretariat and to major government ministers and officials in Guyana (August 2016) as well as participation in the 15th edition of the Animae Caribe Animation Festival (October 2016).
Both animation networks participated in a Boot Camp at the Animae Caribe Festival and met with various stakeholders in the animation industry. SAN and GAN are collaborating with other animation networks such as the Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network (TTAN), the Jamaica Animation Network (JAN) and the Barbados Animation Network Guild (BANG) to strengthen Caribbean Animation Networks under the guidance of Animae Caribe and the CARICOM Secretariat. Animation has been identified as one of the priority sectors in CARICOM’s Regional Development Strategy for the Creative Industries, as it has tremendous growth potential as an emerging sector which leverages digital technology and engages youth.