Picture the Caribbean Experience

New Photographic Arts Group Putting The Community in Focus

CCPAC photo - Kids play in Malvern Park - Stephen Wei

By Stephen Weir

Six months ago Toronto photographer and videographer Anthony Berot began approaching fellow Caribbean Canadian photographers about forming an association. The goal of the proposed non-profit group? Documenting the Canadian Caribbean experience and inspiring social change through film and digital images.
President Anthony Berot
Berot, the official photographer and videographer of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and contributor to many newspapers and TV networks in the city, turns out to be a persuasive talker. The Canadian Caribbean Photographic Arts Collective (CCPAC) already has a website, close to a dozen members, bi-weekly meetings and has booked its first exhibition in January!
“Photography is a powerful tool for social change and a means by which we can establish our place in society,” reads the mission statement of the Collective on its website. “With photographic statements the CCPAC will be a strong voice for the Pan-Caribbean community.”
“Over the past few years I have uncovered the fact that none of the archives – be they national, provincial or civic – have documented the vitality of our community,” explained the CCPAC president Anthony Berot. “We are being passed over, I guess because in many ways we are a closed society. They (archival photographic historians) know we are here but they don’t have much to show in terms of the diversity within our community and the contributions that are made daily to this country’s culture.”
The first exhibition for the Collection is set to open on January 15th at the A Different Booklist Cultural Center, on Bathurst Street in downtown Toronto. The 6-week photography show tentatively called “Our Neighbourhood”, features black and white pictures taken in Bathurst and Oakwood Streets communities.
“ We are still looking for photographs to include in this exhibition, and all photographers are invited to submit their selection before December 15,” said Anthony Berot. “And we welcome new members of all skill levels to join the Collective.”
The non-profit collective has photographers who are prepared to be involved in professional development panels, media education sessions and workshops, juried exhibition and community service projects. The Collective website is www.theccpac.com
As originally published in the Caribbean Camera


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