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Possible Landscapes: Documenting Environmental Experience in Trinidad and Tobago


The goal of the Possible Landscapes project is to study and document environmental experience in Trinidad and Tobago through field research and the making of a documentary film that would aim to convey various spaces and landscapes and the changes they have undergone in the context of people’s experiences of everyday life and work.

Drawing on the design disciplines, humanities, and film through the collaboration between an architect and spatial theorist working in the phenomenological tradition (DuFour), a humanist studying Caribbean literature and thought (Melas), and a documentary filmmaker (Arunasalam) this project aims to develop methods of research and representation in documentary film that foreground people’s everyday experience of their environments. It aims to be attentive to the manners in which such lived experience—as affective and embodied, spatial, and infused with narrative—speaks to forms of community and is characterized by meaningful attachments to persons and places, through which senses of history and the future are shaped in implicit and explicit ways. The project furthermore enquires into the relation of lived experience to the formation of environmental and climate imaginaries, with a view to getting at larger historical questions—of colonialism, imperialism, racism, and economic dispossession—that inform personal judgments and everyday practices in ways that are extremely difficult to identify and to articulate, precisely because they are concretely lived.   


Possible Landscapes is funded through a grant from the Mellon Foundation Just Futures Initiative, part of the Cornell University Migrations Initiative. 

Photo of woman sitting in living room
Image by Tao DuFour
Pink and purple image of atmospheric mountain
Image by Jelani Serrette
Rabbit farers under tent
Image by Kannan Arunasalam
Principal Investigators

Tao DuFour

Natalie Melas


Kannan Arunasalam

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