Natasha Marin is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her written work has been translated into several languages and has been showcased in exhibitions, performances and events around the world. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a Hedgebrook alum who has been published in periodicals like the Feminist Studies Journal, African American Review, and the Caribbean Writer. She received grants from the City of Austin, Artist Trust, and the City of Seattle for community projects involving text-based, visual, performance, and multimedia art.
The craft of writing is done in isolation with few exceptions. For this reason, I was inspired to develop projects that engage the larger community and allow others to participate and share in my own creative expression.
The creative work I produce takes on many forms: poetry, video, sound, performance, and immersive and interactive installation. This multiplicity defines my work and functions like a native tongue. I use this language of multiplicity to communicate most profoundly who I am and what I believe about the world we are living in.
My first City-funded project, Graduate-Level Graffiti, produced an adaption of my poetry manuscript of the same title into a series of multicultural events for the public in Austin, Texas. For two years, I worked closely with local performers to transform the poems in my collection into dance, video, and sound pieces. As part of this project, my work was translated into several languages including Marathi, Spanish, French, Japanese and American Sign Language. This process of “translating” my poetry into different languages and kinds of media inspired me to create a formula for mutual artistic growth across the boundaries between “artist” and “audience.”
I was born in Trinidad—a small island in the Caribbean known for being the place of origin of the now-global Carnival masquerade festival that takes place over several days immediately before the Catholic season of Lent begins. Trinidad is a multicultural hub, home to indigenous Amerindians, along with descendants of Chinese and Indian indentured laborers, Irish missionaries and clergy, European Colonizers of a wide variety, and as a pivotal stopping point in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Blacks make up approximately half of the population. What this means is that I come from a place of many contradictions where mixing of backgrounds, classes, ethnicities, religions, and languages is the norm. In Trinidad, homogeneity persists as a modern-day myth, but those who managed to survive did so by adapting to constantly shifting circumstances. I grew up in Canada and was naturalized there and in the United States more recently, where this kind of multivalent mindset is just starting to take root.
My work, especially in terms of Miko Kuro's Midnight Tea is an attempt to reproduce the landscape of poetry, by engaging all of the senses using performance and multimedia installation.