I am trying to make sense of a place that is not responsible for my upbringing but is wholly responsible for my existence. The place that leaks into my daily references and confuses me about what I call home. I do not always understand this place, though I long to be a part of it. I look into faces of my family members and ask questions. I see the resemblance, I wonder what it might have been like if I wasn’t born an ocean away. Sometimes I call this place home. I call it home because my parents do, and I want to belong from all the same places the belong from; because when I hear the lilt in my cousins’ voices I feel like I am missing a part of myself. At home things are dying, the colonial vestiges are falling away while people succumb to that certain brand of western drink that swallows islands whole. I wonder what would happen if i moved home, would my family be accepting? Will my countrymen recognize me? I photograph Trinidad because I am looking for myself. It’s that search we’re all on; and I’m hoping, someday soon, I’ll find me too.
Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bard college in 2010 with a BA in Photography where she studied with An-My Le, Tim Davis, Barbara Ess, Michael Vahrenwald, and Larry Fink. Upon graduation she worked for Larry Fink for one year before moving to Berlin, Germany and Trinidad and Tobago. She is interested in using photography education as community empowerment, the African diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America, as well learning about Pennsylvania. Sasha was artist in residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2015.