On Saturday, February 3 at 4:00 p.m., The Gri Gri Project at Bajo El Sol will be hosting Danish filmmaker Helle Stenum, who will be screening her 2017 documentary ”We Carry it Within Us.” This is Bajo El Sol’s first movie screening of 2018 and the first since hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Stenum is traveling to the V.I. from Denmark to screen the film, which investigates collective memory and different perspectives on the shared colonial past between Denmark and US Virgin Islands. The film was released during the centennial year of the islands’ transfer from Denmark to the United States.
About the film:
The colonial history of the U.S. Virgin Islands (formerly the Danish West Indies), and the history of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, are often told in Denmark from a Danish perspective: ‘Danes telling the narrative about and for (primarily) other Danes’.
In “We Carry It Within Us,” the legacy of slavery, the memory of the Danish presence, the sale of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, and the relationship of the islands to the U.S., are told through interviews conducted on St. Croix, in New York and in Copenhagen. Four Virgin Islanders are featured in the documentary: La Vaughn Belle, Chenoa Lee, Tiphanie Yanique, and Tami Navarro.
The film aims to investigate colonial histories as told through the memories, experiences and reflections of four Virgin Islanders (an artist, a student, a writer and an anthropologist) as they engage art and cultural historians in Denmark. In this way it seeks to illuminate how the colonial past is leaving its mark on today’s media, art, museums, education and wealth distribution, as well as in various ways of commemorating and forgetting.
You can learn more about the film at, http://wecarryitwithinus.com/home/
Praise for “We Carry It Within Us”:
“Helle Stenum’s documentary ‘We Carry It Within Us’ is a very powerful yet elegant interrogation of the legacies of Danish colonialism, a film full of memorable insights into the postcolonial condition of Denmark communicated in very poignant ways. This film should become a catalyst for altogether new kinds of dialogue and debate within and beyond Denmark.” – Nicholas De Genova, editor of ‘The Borders of “Europe”: Autonomof Migration, Tactics of Bordering”
About the director:
Helle Stenum, PhD, is a researcher and educator who has for many years worked on issues including migration, culture, collective memory, ethnic relations, transnational connections, and race and gender constructs at Danish universities and as an independent researcher and consultant.
About Bajo El Sol and The Gri Gri Project:
Bajo El Sol, located at Mongoose Junction on St. John is a gallery and events space dedicated to featuring the best in Virgin Islands fine arts and cultural expression. It is home of the Gri Gri Project.
The mission of the Gri Gri Project is the creation of interpretive exhibitions, critical writing, events, and archives related to the cultural patrimony of the U.S. Virgin Islands.