Introducing The New Cari.com, a collective that upholds Caribbean history, and pushes the culture forward by highlighting members of the NYC Caribbean community.
We had the chance to interview City, Tass, and Andrea, the founders of The New Cari.com
ALUMNI: What is The New Cari.com?
City: The New Cari.com is a lens that magnifies what is going on in the Caribbean community here and abroad.
Andrea: Our focus is uplifting and championing the stories of Caribbean creatives throughout the diaspora via interview features in our zine, and experiential events.
A: Tell us about CARICOM. What is the history behind CARICOM?
City: The Original CARICOM is the “Intergovernmental organization of 15 member states throughout the Caribbean having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared and to coordinate foreign policy.”
Tassja: The purpose of the original CARICOM was to foster cooperation between the countries of the Caribbean. Foreign policy and social development are the main pillars of the organization. CARICOM has made strides in education, health, and culture.
A: How does CARICOM inspire The New Cari.com?
City: CARICOM inspires The New Cari.com because we both have goals of creating a space for the Caribbean community to work together on various levels. We have so many skills and gifts and feel it is necessary to bring that to the forefront.
A: When and how did your team come together?
City: We have been practicing what we preach for a while now. Tass and I are 2/3 of Article Ghetto Yutes, a streetwear brand that has been focused on shining a light on Caribbean culture and telling our stories. We have collaborated with Andrea on many occasions and it only made sense that we came together to build this new Caribbean community.
Andrea: In December of 2020, City and Tassja invited me to be a vendor for their first Pandemic Market, highlighting Caribbean-owned makers and small businesses. At the time, I was hyper-focused on my bottled rum cocktail company Cas Rum Beverages, which was also a means to bring folks together. We worked together on various markets and realized that we had similar goals. Fast forward to June 2022, we published our first zine, and we are continuing to build from there.
A: There’s tons of different communities in Brooklyn. What made The New Cari.com gravitate towards the Caribbean community?
City: The answer is embedded in our name; we’re The New Cari.com which is the new Caribbean community.
Andrea: As first-generation Caribbean kids of Jamaican and Belizean descent, it was a natural progression. We all have equally been very proud and vocal in regards to our culture, so it felt right to share that with others, and uplift our community in the process.
Tassja: Before becoming collaborators we were friends who shared a common bond in the pride we hold in our culture. Over the years we’ve formed relationships with folx from various Caribbean nations and noticed the commonalities that linked us. This cultural identity is something that we thought should be celebrated and documented. The New Cari.com is the answer to this.
A: When we hear the word “zine”, we tend to think of it as a small press product from an artist or photographer. What made The New Cari.com gravitate towards a zine format?
City: When doing research I found the zine format to be very helpful in finding my footing as it is a format with less rules. I'm an artist. It just felt right.
Tassja: We are all inspired by visuals and storytelling, so we decided that the zine was the best format to express both. It allows us to showcase our subject and share their story.
City: The story is that there are so many dope creative people in our community and we wanted others to know about them. For me, I felt like It’s what I imagined it would be, and haven’t been surprised yet, but definitely inspired.
Andrea: I agree with City. Over the years we have built such a wonderful community of fellow Caribbean creatives, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and makers. We instinctively would work with these folks or share their work with others, so this has all been a natural progression. We have been overwhelmed by the support and positivity from the community, and are channeling that energy to spread the word of the zine throughout the US and diaspora.
A: Creating a zine isn’t as easy as we think. What is the process behind the zine? How do you decide what goes in?
City: It all starts with the interviews and photos, which sounds like a simple task but can be taxing at times. Once I have those, I get into a creative zone and design the entire layout from cover to cover. Once that's done, it goes through rounds of editing and then gets finalized.
Tassja: The design and layout of the zine is conceptualized and developed by City, with questions from myself and Andrea. For this issue we partnered with Alumni and produced a photoshoot for the zine. The Alumni team styled our features in full outfits from their stores and our team designed the set using items from our personal collections.
A: There’s all kinds of zines out there in the world. What makes your zine different?
City: Well our zine is unique because of our approach. I’m not sure I have seen another zine focused on Caribbean creatives in this way.
A: Tell us about your relationship with Alumni. How did the connection get made?
City: Well Alumni is family! I was the original buyer for Wealthy Hostage which is Alumni’s predecessor. So the connection has been there. Also a little known fact, I actually helped name Alumni. I think that has worked out quite fine.
A: Congratulations on the recent release of your 3rd issue, “Taste”. Tell us about issues #1 and #2. What is the inspiration behind each issue? Are these back issues still available?
Andrea: Thank you so much! Our inaugural issue was released in June 2022 in the midst of Caribbean-American Heritage month. We did not yet have a particular theme, and highlighted folks in art, food & beverage, small business, and more. Issue #2 was the Art Issue, released in December 2022 to coincide with Art Basel in Miami. Although we did not have an official Miami release, we highlighted folks in various artistic practices, from visual art, to live music. Our current issue # 3 “Taste” focuses on folks in the food and beverage industries. All of these issues are available for purchase on our website, TheNewCari.com.
What keeps The New Cari.com inspired to put out more issues?
Andrea: Over the years we have all created and curated such an extensive network of Caribbean creatives across the diaspora. We feel it is our responsibility and duty to tell their stories as we believe and have seen many of these artists and entrepreneurs overlooked by traditional media.
Tassja: We are infinitely inspired by our community and the work that they create. As long as we have the resources to produce the zine we hope to promote our peers and share their work with our readers.
A: Where can we find The New Cari.com Zine?
Andrea: Our zine is available for purchase on our website, TheNewCari.com.
A: How do we connect with The New Cari.com?
Andrea: You can follow us on Instagram at @thenewcaridotcom. It is there that we post about the zine as well as launch dates and other community events. You can also sign up for our email newsletter on our website.
A: What are some Caribbean organizations and initiatives we should be paying attention to?
Andrea: We really enjoy Know Your Caribbean. Founded by St. Lucian historian and artist Fiona Compton, the platform highlights Caribbean historical moments and current events daily via their Instagram page.
City: Little Caribbean. I think they do an amazing job at shining a light on Caribbean culture and connecting people to the area of Little Caribbean in ways that I think it wasnt in the past. Also Caribbean Preservation Society, I love their Instagram and the range of Info they provide.