When my long time friend, Patrice Carter, asked me to collaborate to feature stories from across the pond in Cape Town, South Africa - my immediate reaction was, yaaassss! However, it had to be under the condition that she give you, the readers, a peek inside her cozy cottage, nestled in the Cape Town Observatory. Thank goodness she quickly agreed!
Patrice is Jamaican born, but currently based in Cape Town. She works as a Producer in broadcast television and curates documentary film as a form of media advocacy.
I'm excited to share her comfortably curated sanctuary, because I instantly fell in love and I'm sure you will too...
My career started in film production in the golden era of the black celebrity directors like Hype Williams, Little X (aka Director X), Paul Hunter, etc. Now, I am working in documentary doing media advocacy. through broadcast television and community outreach. It's been quite a journey.
how does your space inspire you?
Living overseas can be disorienting after the newness and the adventure stage wears off so it's important for me that where I call home, feels like home. Our space is exactly that - it has a real homely vibe that helps me feel centered.
We live in an urban area in Cape Town, but the house reminds me of a quaint cottage nestled amongst the trees. Everyday you can hear the sound of the main road's hustle of cars and people especially the hooting and hollering of the mini bus taxis. They're like the dollar vans in Brooklyn and Queens, but they're legal and actually more dangerous. So being surrounded by nature gives us a feeling of having one's own space away from it all, especially when hanging out in our backyard.
One of my favorite things is the serenity of a Saturday morning where I'm not rushing off to work in one of the taxis. I have my coffee in hand standing in the backyard looking up at the blue sky and big trees, birds chirping - this energizes me like nothing else.
my favorite thing:
Pure aloe vera gel! I enjoy the process of making natural products for my hair and skin. This happened organically for me. I've been natural for over a decade and never really experimented with DIY recipes until moving to Cape Town and seeing the lack of products for my hair type. Yes, I'm in South Africa and I can't find good products for afro or curly hair. But that is a deeper conversation for another day. My aloe obsession was birthed from a hunt for the best hair gel recipe. Besides what amazing things it does for my hair, I found out how great it was for my skin too. So it's now a staple in my cupboard along with essential oils, flaxseed and a slew of other things.
your space in one word:
what are you most passionate about?
I realize I'm passionate about building something from nothing - similar to what we do in film production. I enjoy the process of starting with an idea and working creatively and strategically to make it happen - especially when it allows for positive transformations like the work I do in documentary and outreach.
I work primarily on our broadcast initiative, AfriDocs, where I curate powerful global and local documentaries for our series on BET Africa, broadcasting to 49 countries on the continent. Also we’re building our online streaming platform, geo-blocked for Africa unfortunately, where audiences will be able to watch some of the best documentaries for free. I definitely believe that exposure breeds awareness and that is a strong catalyst for positive change. So, the point is to get as many eyes on films that can inspire or educate people on issues that affect them and their societies but also to show just how small the world is - that our differences geographically, racially and culturally don't have to divide us.
I’ve been asking myself that very question a lot lately. I’m new to documentary and media advocacy as a whole so I want to continue on this road for a while longer. I would love to somehow marry my previous background in mainstream entertainment with what I’m doing now. I try to do it at present by curating contemporary documentaries like CNN’s Fresh Dressed that chronicles the evolution of urban fashion from the streets of NYC to the world, and the Bob Marley doc Marley, also Nas’ executive produced documentary Shake the Dust about the power of break dancing culture in the world’s slums. I believe in the importance of documentaries and the need for it to be used more in popular culture, so perhaps I would work more on creating the taste for it in those spaces. How to evolve from here into doing that…I am still on that journey of discovery…off to the backyard I go. :)
Patrice's Instagram: @infiltrate_everything