As we open our eyes to another day without our brother Alwin Bully, we shed a tear for the passing of another icon who saw our African and Kalinago people through Dominica’s passage in political independence. We dry our eyes and console ourselves with the memories of Brother Alwin’s artistic skills, humility, generosity, depth, vision and unfettered love for people, country and ancestry.
Dominica has much to thank Brother Alwin for, now and for years to come.
Colihaut remembers Brother Alwin for his contribution to the documentation of Bann Move, an African retention now practiced only in Colihaut. Through his UNESCO office he secured funds which contributed to the publication of ‘Blondel, E, 2004, Carnival in Dominica: Bann Move Masquerade, Education Service Providers International, UK.)
One of Alwin’s last major artistic pieces was the writing and production of the film Oseyi and the Masqueraders. He navigated the political and religious divides of our village amid failing health to immortalise Bann Move in film. This brilliantly crafted film unleased the talent of a few and otherwise invisible young people, who he mentored, and the film crew nurtured.
Brother, you led by example, seemingly effortlessly and with no fanfare. For this, we are very grateful.
You have left Colihaut and Dominica richer than you found us. Your memory will live with us, and every Carnival, Colihaut will drum for you and the masqueraders will be joined with you and our ancestors behind their masks.
The ancestors sent you to us and they have now taken you back into their bosom. May you remain in eternal peace with them.
We extend our sincerest condolences to Alwin’s family. We say thank you for sharing Alwin with us. May you find comfort in the huge footprint left by your humble loved one, Alwin Bully.
Below is a trailer of the film which can be viewed in its entirety on vimeo at https://vimeo.com/349422867