Remembering Bookmann geocites 2004 – Robert Yao Ramesar

The camera angle, shot from the perspective view of a child

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A video still of Robert Yao Ramesar, Big River 2, Dave Williams to the left

How does Robert Yao Ramesar interpret memory?

For those unfamiliar with the filmmaker, “Yao,” the name given at his immediate Ghana-birth, works with the illusion of memory and shadow. He uses film or video to capture and translate a rhythm of moving stills pertaining to the human experience.

Mr. Ramesar works with repetition, using voices, chants and imagery of Carnival characters to religious sectors of the Baptist faith, or the passage of an indenture Indian worker. He removes himself from the voyeuristic position of “looking out to see in.” He documents the subject without exploiting their plight. At moments, he slows the frame down to encapsulate the individual’s gesture and body movement.

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Robert Yao Ramesar at big River 2, Grande Riviere, Trinidad in 2001

As a signature, Yao utilizes the reflected glare to temporally blind the viewer as if he filmed the subject at midday. This technique has two revealing affects. The result can be equated as chakras of light projecting the energy of life or in contrast the cast shadows which captures the falling passage of the unknown. The filmmaker is respectful over memoirs and ceremonial acts of the West Indian peoples, through sounds and visuals revealing the essence of the moment, captured by a mirage of exposed film.

Robert Yao Ramesar
has broadcast and exhibited his work internationally. He lives and works in Trinidad, West Indies.

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