Event by Joycelyn Longdon

Home Team Project: Inspiring Collaborative Spirit

Built to inspire, support and address representation issues, Home Team Project is a series of sustainable creative workshops held for young people in Grenada and Carriacou.

Led by Founder and talented Creative Erin Corrian-Alexis, the project has gone from strength to strength over a period of only two years. Their most recent event, held at N-Studio, received a great deal of love and support, with the proceeds going towards the second outreach trip happening this month. The event was a genuine celebration of art, culture and community with Jerk Chicken, Rum Punch and Art provided as well as a line up of straight heat with names such as Bossy LDN, aaatheonlyway and Yemisul. The stellar line-up, beautiful food and inspiring art submissions from a range of talented creatives attracted a guest list of notable figures including Jorja Smith, Julie Adenuja, Leah Abbot and Michael Phantom to name a few. If this wasn’t enough, the event raised a whopping £900 for the upcoming second round of workshops.

Erin was able to take some time out of what must be a very busy schedule of preparations to talk to us about where it all started, the impact the project has on the youth of Grenada and how it empowers their narratives.

Now in its second year, Hometeam has grown into a beautiful community initiative bringing people together not only in Grenada but here in the UK as well, where did it all start?

I started thinking about how I could get involved in the arts community in Grenada after a family holiday in 2016. I’d been looking for artists to work/meet up with out there but I found that my family and friends could only point me in the way of western artists practising in Grenada. It’s pretty shitty to see your people lacking in representation so I started thinking about ways to do my bit.

Home Team didn’t actually get legs until summer 2018 when I thought why not, I had another family holiday planned and wanted to share my skills with a small group of young people... so I started the go fund me page and received more support than I could have imagined at the time. Now we are going out for our second year of workshops this month and Home Team has expanded from myself and a Grenadian photographer, Brandon John, to our latest team member Shivani Dayaram - Trippin actually helped link us!

What is the social importance of Home Team Project, in a world where the disparity between the fortunate and the less so continues to grow?

It’s still early so it’s hard to speak on our impact as yet but our second trip and those that follow will help us to gain a better understanding. Home Team is a grassroots project made up of a small group of people with intentions to share skills, ignite a DIY culture, push collaboration and to build confidence. At a small scale we are able to work directly with local people and pick up on things that bigger groups may not. Until recently HTP was made up of only Brandon and I, both Grenadian people wanting simply to create change in our own communities. We are now lucky to also have Shivani on board, who reached out to me looking for a volunteering opportunity that promoted sustainability, aided real development and enabled young people to gain skills.

Together we hope to break social stigmas that hold young people back from expressing themselves creatively and to push for creativity being viewed as worthwhile to engage in.

How does it feel going back into the field for a second time and what did you learn from the first journey?

Exciting but equally a massive responsibility. We are in our infancy and learning everyday so there’s a feeling that we’ve got a long way to go until I think we can shake that with time. The most exciting thing for me about this trip is that we are spending more time in Carriacou and working with local crafts people and professionals to run the workshops - communicating with local people and teachers is pivotal in the way we are running this project so more opportunity of having face to face conversations makes everything much easier.

Home Team Project supports the youth in Grenada, how do they react to the workshops and how can they use what they learn to empower their narratives?

Ultimately we want to build confidence, inspire a DIY culture and push a collaborative spirit. If the students leave our workshops with intentions to work together using the skills we’ve shared then it’s a win.

Your most recent event saw a beautiful range of artists work come together, as well as an inspiring range of guests and close friends, what do these events mean to you?

Stress! I keep saying this but I’m an artist and I want to create things. Organising events is draining but I push for it because they bring people together and remind them what we are working on. It’s motivating to see how many people believe in what we are doing!

Photography: Nti


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