In Summer 2022, Patchwerk returned to Charis Works Christian Academy in Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago and Charles Town Basic School in Charles Town, Jamaica for youth programming. We welcomed 10 alumni artists in our Trinidad & Tobago cohort and 18 returning artists in Jamaica. The Fashion Boljah project celebrated the languages and fashion history of the Caribbean. Both country cohorts completed a week of art history and film classes to explore the dynamic ways their ancestors used cloth and dialects to preserve the Caribbean imprint in the midst of colonization and cultural cleansing.
Student filmmakers retold stories of expression through cooking tutorials, fashion news reports, poetry and skits. They also crafted cultural scrolls and Ludi board games to showcase traditional household crafts that continue to amplify island voices today. For a final project, designers painted denim collared shirts with fashion symbols, national mottos and island map silhouettes to honor the Caribbean's vibrancy.
Upon completion, the young creatives hosted a fashion show to model their collection. Local educators and community members from Tacarigua, Trinidad & Tobago and Charles Town, Jamaica judged the pieces to crown first, second and third place designers. Our cohort winners received cash prices in addition to the art supplies, certificates and original works gifted to all participants. International program sponsors joined together to raise $182,618.28 Jamaican Dollars equivalent to $8,113.49 Trinidad & Tobago Dollars for project materials and cash prizes. Check out the program photos and film project below.