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When we reached out to Third Horizon, they kindly let us know that they were in the midst of production. That gave us a clue as to how invested the team is in their work. We wanted to talk about it, meanwhile, they were busy making it happen.

Third Horizon is comprised of members Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Monica Sorelle, and Robert Colom with additional members in New York and London. Since 2016, they have been organizing their own Miami-based film festival that has been able to share unique stories that are reshaping how people view the Caribbean. Sadly, the beauty and glory in the Caribbean are glossed over in documentaries and tourist-like documentations. We have to start acknowledging that it’s much more than jerk lobster and coconuts. There’s a powerful, unifying presence, that reigns over the islands.

Third Horizon Film Festival

Source: Jason Fitzroy Jeffers / Jason Fitzroy Jeffers

“The Caribbean being one of the most culturally and even genetically diverse regions in the world”

It’s a shame that not everyone is interested in capturing the more real parts, because the current, widely publicized clips of the Caribbean have viewers deluded when it comes to understanding how ahead of the curve the space is. Some also don’t know about the diaspora that gave birth to Caribbean culture, nor the second wave of culture that stems from it. Jason Jeffers, one of the collective’s founding members, shared that the Caribbean deserves more nuance — and he’s right.

Jeffers put us on to the fact that the Caribbean goes through things at a much quicker pace than other areas do. With that knowledge, we should be more open to listening to them, right?

“The Caribbean being one of the most culturally and even genetically diverse regions in the world – one of which is staring down the ravages of climate change well before the countries that [caused it did]. Its stories exploring issues the rest of the world is just catching up to. The Caribbean is the frontline.”

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Source: Elton Anderson / Creative Services / iOne Digital

The crew takes their name from the term “Third World,” which is an offensive term. It refers to countries that have chosen not to assimilate, and also have experienced economic and political problems. The damning part of this is that no one discusses how some of these territories in the Caribbean came to be impoverished. The role white colonizers played is conveniently muted.

Taking an opportunity to transform a negative into a positive is just what Third Horizon did, even though they have issues with the original phrase.

“I’ve always resented it. Even though it’s a somewhat outdated term now, it still rubs me wrong.” said Jeffers. “Growing up in Barbados, even as a little boy, I struggled with the connotation that existence in the so-called “Third World” was somehow lesser than that in the so-called “first” especially when the societies commonly held as so much more developed have mined so many resources, ideas and so much people power from these smaller, darker nations.”

The organization has its sights set on radicalizing consciousness though, slowly but surely. Their film festival returns for its third installment in late September.

Nominate yourself or someone you know who embodies the spirit of the CASSIUS Creative Class series by emailing creativeclass@ionedigital.com.

 
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