Ten Things Outerregion Can’t Live Without
The Outerregion Team is excited about the possibilities for 2011. We are in the midst of visioning and charting our course. We are making plans for our (r) evolution. Look out for a new blog format, event listings, forums to interact with us and opportunities to even write blog posts.
We thought we’d kick off the year by giving you a little background information on us. You’ve all seen these lists in magazines about celebrities. Now you can get first hand information on the ten things the Afrofuturists behind Outerregion can’t live without.
Camille Turner – Chief Creative Officer, Founder, Afrofuturist, Student
1. My macbook – Its four years old and in dire need of upgrades and repairs. It works as hard as I do and I can’t imagine how I could do without it.
2. Email – I check it obsessively and I get way too much of it.
3. My phone – Like a lot of my friends, I haven’t had a landline for years and I don’t miss it. Sometimes the best feeling is disconnecting but really, I am totally obsessed and would go into withdrawal without it.
4. CBC – I started listening to CBC when I was a kid. I have a constant craving for intellectual stimulation and I love listening to smart people talk about just about anything. My fav programs are: Ideas, Quirks and Quarks, The Age of Persuasion and the Massey Lectures. Revision Quest was fantastic when it was on and I totally love the quirky Johnathan Goldstein’s Wiretap.
5. My info jukies– My sister Karen, and my friends Jim Ruxton, Patrick Ellard and Michael Alstad are an unending source of fascinating information. I have no idea where they find all the whacky things they glean and send me via email. Thank goodness they have taken it upon themselves to share. I am infinitely more well- informed about the world because of them.
6. Spas – I am a big fan of the luxurious, sensuous feeling of feeling pampered and totally letting go of all the worries and cares of the world. My favourite spa is Scandinave in Collingwood but I also love St. Anne’s and the spa at the Bellagio. The biggest spa I have ever experienced is Bad Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel, Germany. It has 9 Finnish saunas, solariums, Turkish steam baths and a giant water slide.
7. Sunhine – At this time of the year I suffer from the lack of light. I will come to life again when the sun returns. Sunshine is like life itself. It reminds me that I am a physical being and meant to feel pleasure. Natural surroundings give me that same high. It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining if I am out in the country, canoeing down a river or walking through the woods on a crisp autumn day.
8. Sticky Notes – I am constantly on the lookout for the ultimate organizing tools. I love sticky notes and just about any other office supply I can get my hands on.
9. Traveling – I asked for two things in life…to travel and to make art. I have done both, probably in equal measure. Traveling is a way to get beyond my boundaries and see myself clearly.
10. Good emollient skin and hair care products – I love anything from Burt’s Bees. I especially like their Radiance line which makes my skin sparkle. And I totally dig Nubian Heritage Shea Butter hair mist.
Karen Turner – 2nd in Command, Afrofuturist, Civil Servant
1. My silver bangles – I have several silver bangles from Jamaica. Most of them are gifts from my mother. Silver bangles are sometimes passed down through the generations, though fewer young women wear them now. I never take mine off and often forget I’m even wearing them. They’re a part of me.
2. Earth, Wind & Fire – This band are some of the original Afrofuturists. Their music and album cover art convey dreams of future worlds. I love their funky clothes, the much-sampled bass lines, the horns & of course, those falsettos!
3. Isotoner gloves – I buy a pair every winter. I wear them every day until they fall apart and the next season, I start the cycle all over again. They’re warm enough for walking, but thin enough to wear while driving.
4. Black mermaids – I started collecting Black mermaids about 15 years ago. I’ve always loved the mysticism surrounding mermaids, but they’re often depicted as White women with long flowing blond hair. Black mermaids are hard to find. I now have several in the forms of prints, dolls and wood, stone and tin sculptures from local Canadian and Caribbean artists.
5. Leslieville brunch – I moved to Leslieville (an East-End Toronto neighbourhood) six years ago from the West end, and previous to that, Hamilton. I’ve totally fallen in love, and my favourite weekend activity is brunch. Among my favourite spots are Edward Levesque, Joy Bistro and Lady Marmalade, and the baked French toast at Bonjour Brioche reigns supreme.
6. Jamaican pastries – Of course my first love is being in Jamaica and patronizing the bakeries there. (A favourite is the Devon House bakery in Kingston). In Toronto, I can’t resist pastries from several Jamaican shops. When in Kensington Market, I always stop for bulla, ginger cake or toto from Patty King. Albert’s Real Jamaican produces substantial and dense fry dumplings.
7. Edwidge Danticat – She is a Haitian-American writer whom I absolutely adore. I have read almost all of her books and am mesmerized by her haunting, poetic writing. Even when writing about pain and sadness, her words are beautiful to read. I’ve given “Krik? Krak!” as a gift several times, but I think my favourite is still her first, “Breath, Eyes, Memory”.
8. Niagara Region wines – I grew up in Hamilton, within an hour of a multitude of vineyards. However, I didn’t really begin to enjoy the region’s wine until much later in life. I am trying to embrace shopping and eating local, and Niagara wines have been a pleasant surprise. Some of my favourites are from the Kacaba Vineyard –their best wines are found only in their store at the vineyard in Vineland.
9. Blaxploitation movies – There’s something about the over-the-top Black films from the 70’s that constantly intrigues me. Politically, of course this genre was full of negative, ridiculous stereotypes, but my guilty pleasure is curling up for a few hours of Pam Grier.
10. Le Scandinave spa – I started going to this Collingwood spa a few years ago. It’s an outdoor series of hot and cold pools, a sauna, eucalyptus steam room & relaxation rooms. Best of all, the smell of cedar burning envelopes the whole resort. I have to get there at least twice a year.
…and after all that, if you’re still wanting more, here’s ‘the list’ for two African-Canadian revolutionary brothers living Toronto. These lists are from Toronto Life Magazine.
Cameron Bailey – Co-Director, Toronto International Film Festival:
K-os – spoken word artist, record producer: