December 3, 2007

…so, who made this great movie anyway?


Director, Producer, Original Idea
Annalee Davis

annale and spinal column

Annalee was born in Barbados in 1963. She completed a BFA at the Maryland Institute, College of Art and an MFA at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. After university, in 1989, she returned to the Caribbean where she lives and works.

ON THE MAP is Annalee’s first video project. Her relationships with two migrant women in particular over the past thirteen years made her deeply aware of the struggles and challenges that Caribbean migrants were battling on a daily basis. The ongoing attempt at regional integration seemed to her to be functioning in a “top down” fashion. Annalee made ON THE MAP to present a “bottom up” perspective.

guyana photos jan 2006 001

Although ON THE MAP has largely been a “no-budget” film, Annalee has ideas to create a second video project. Although keen to show the film to an international audience, she is particularly interested in screening it throughout the Caribbean with panel sessions which will allow the ideas raised in the video project to be discussed more thoroughly.

Creative Director, Photography, Editor
Omar Estrada


Omar Estrada was born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1963. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Havana and has exhibited his work in Cuba, Europe, North America, South America and the Caribbean.

Omar came to Barbados in 2004 to mount a solo exhibition. He read of Annalee’s work in a catalogue and called her. They met one evening to attend an opening for graduating students from the local college. By the end of the night he had a job….a working relationship developed between the two as teachers at the college which later grew into their collaboration for ON THE MAP one year later.

Omar has brought an astonishing amount of energy (fueled by coffee and the occasional rum) and courage (ON THE MAP was a big job with little money) to this project.

His untiring dedication, perfectionism and attention to detail have contributed to creating a film which is beautifully shot and intelligently edited.

Omar was willing to go to the very edge, even when his life was in danger, to get the very best shot for ON THE MAP.


Original Sound
David Alvarez


Born in 1972 in Manzanillo in the eastern heartlands of Cuban “son”, David Alvarez grew up making music. He took up classical guitar early and then also percussion, taking music lessons first in Manzanillo and then at the Conservatoire in Santiago de Cuba, before eventually moving to Havana. Here he became involved in the contemporary 'nueva trova' song movement joining the group of Pedro Luis Ferrer, one of Cuba's modern troubadours in 1989.

david and v

An accomplished songwriter, Alvarez’s music is deeply rooted in the Caribbean. His confident arrangements, combining traditional “son” with rootsy fusion and Colombian cumbia rhythms, have an experimental energy that makes them intriguing.
His music has been classified as some of the most exciting Latin crossover music for the new millenium. Alvarez and his band, Juego de Manos were nominated for a Latin Grammy award in 2005 as a part of the production "Cuba le Canta a Serrat".

Alvarez came on board the ON THE MAP project to create original music for the film. His versatility and dynamism as a world class musician have contributed enormously to the outcome of ON THE MAP, creating sounds that were suitably zesty, poignant, fresh and unpredictable.

*guyana photos jan 2006 115


Kelsang said...

Congrats Annalee!

Sounds like a great offering to the Caribbean-- looking forward to seeing it!

Peace, love Rigden

Annalee Davis said...

thanks, rigden,
look forward to setting up a time when you can see the full film.
walk good.

krissyt said...

I saw this short film at the Brooklyn Museum during the Christmas holiday (I live in Miami) and to tell you the truth, it's one of the best I have ever seen. Congratulations on bringing this issue to light! Do you have this available to the public as yet? I would love to show it to my family and friends! All the best,


Cybercíclope said...

Hi Kristy

It´s not Annalee; she is in New Orleans in this moment showing the film. Is Omar, the editor, and yes, you probably will be able to see the film here in Miami.

I´m having an exhibition soon at the Miami Art Workshop (8 ST 22 AVE) and we are planning to show it there.

Thanks for your comments,


Annalee Davis said...

Hi Kristy,
I am just back from a successful screening in New Orleans. Yes the film is now avaialble commercially and I can send it to you by post. The individual cost is US$20.00 and the institutional cost is US$45.00, plus US$5.00 for shipping. If you would like to order a copy please email me at with your mailing address. Once I receive your cheque in the mail, I can send out the DVD.
Thanks for your sentiments.
Warm regards, Annalee

Des said...

Hi Annalee,

I watched On The Map in a Caribbean politics class at UWI Cavehill campus. As a barbadian, I was shocked by what I saw. I didn't realise the horrors of what migrants especially from Guyana went through at the hands of Barbadians.

I will be quite honest and say that i was and am quite ashamed by how we treat them because it just is not right to any degree but I also felt that it put Barbadians in a bad light. I wont say that Barbadians hate Guyanese but i will say that we have issues with the mass numbers in which they come because our island is quite small and i feel that resources cannot be stretched far enough to adequately meet all needs: locals and migrants.

I have no problem with them coming on the other hand because many Barbadian men went to Guyana to work in the gold mines etc and many Guyanese have Barbadian relatives. Plus, i am a firm believer in regional integration and the free movement of peoples.

i did not want to leave such a long comment but i just had to let you know that your documentary is timely and also, i had to get my feelings about it out as well. I hope that it is shown in the classroom not just here at university but in both secondary and primary schools.We need such a film to realise what we are doing to innocent people. Our better than you mentality here in Barbados especially needs to be gotten rid of.The film also shed light on the views of people towards CSME. I dont believe that integration is a top-down occurance but a bottom-up revolution. we need a complete mental overhaul if it is going to work. we can't rely on the politicians or else like now, CSME will fade into memory and in the history books as just one of those things that we tried but was never successful at being sustained

Thank you for making this film and allowing my eyes to be opened and allowing the prejudices that i didnt realise i even had, to be crushed.

thank you!!

Annalee Davis said...

Dear Des, Thank you for your honest response to On the Map. I am heartened to learn that your eyes have been opened to the reality of the migrant situation in Barbados. Hopefully, one screening at a time, it will continue to challenge the bigotry across the region. Good luck with your politics class!

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