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Biographical Note: The Journey to Conscious Expression ‘I want to say that from my birth on, it was written in the stars for me that I would live my life consciously and living consciously hurts, it really hurts. But I know that there will come a moment of vast education in the Caribbean and that will also mean a vast solution.’ Jean Girigori, Painter Jean Girigori’s life is her art and her art is her life. The painter’s birth on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean sea on January 14, 1948 was a powerful first sign that her life would be dedicated to celebrating the splendor of the islands. The boat first touched land in Anse Sapito in Haiti, but Jean was destined to spend the first years of her life in Santo Domingo with her mother and grandfather. Early Beginnings Jean’s grandfather Chandi was one of the many Curacaons that emigrated to work in the canefields of Cuba and landed in Santo Domingo after the Second World War. They were called ‘kokolo,’ leftovers. The word in the Creole language means the delicious part of the ‘funchi’ (cornmeal porridge) that is left for the children to scrape out of the pot a day later. Jean’s father got a good job with the utlity company and her mother was a well-educated women, handy at sewing. However, her father was a womanizer known in the atmospheric ‘Bar de Cien’ in the neighbourhood of Borojol not far from the Callejon Chandi. Jean’s happy life changed dramatically when her mother met another rman and traded lively city life for the distant coutnryside of Yawati. The ‘princess of the Callejon Chandi’ was reduced to becoming a virtual ‘house slave’ as are so many in rural Caribbean communities. Jean still remembers being forced to walk for hours for water with heavy containers on her head. And having to wash and pound clothes in riverbeds. She recalls grinding corn with milling stones to make the ‘mai mole’ of Haite and ‘chenchen’ of Santo Domingo. (Read more….)

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