Unravelling Paradise

Co-preesnted with Metrograph

There’s a powerful myth that’s been reinforced in the Caribbean for centuries. From early tourism campaigns to contemporary media, visions of the region as a tropical “paradise” abound—each peddling a fantasy carefully crafted for maximum consumption. Curated by Dessane Lopez Cassell, Unravelling Paradise presents a selection of Caribbean films and artist’s moving image that puncture and pry apart these illusions. Framing paradise as a case study in colonial mythmaking, this film series centers hybridity, instability, and mischief as counter gestures to the structures that bind the Caribbean in a predatory economic and cultural relationship with the Global North.


Dessane Lopez Cassell is an editor, writer, and curator based in New York. Her work focuses on artist’s moving image, documentary, and experimental film practices concerned with race, gender, and decoloniality. Cassell is Editor-in-Chief of Seen, a new journal of film and visual culture from BlackStar Projects, and previously served as the reviews editor at Hyperallergic. A former museum worker, she has organized curatorial projects and screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Flaherty NYC, among others.


Unravelling Paradise is co-presented and co-commissioned by Abrons Arts Center and Metrograph. Early research support for this series was provided by Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center.

Image courtesy of Dessane Lopez Cassell, photo credit Rachell Morillo