Trinidad and Tobago-born filmmaker (/dancer/artist) Maya Cozier has been praised throughout the region for her ability to highlight the Caribbean’s rich culture through the art of filmmaking. Having looked up to Maya as her junior in secondary school (shout-out to all my Holy Name girls!), and having had the ability to work with her on more than one occasion, I know that there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. Maya is a daring individual with a keen sense of self-awareness and appreciation for individuality and uniqueness. Her body of work speaks volumes to her character and inspires creatives such as myself to be truly fearless. She is a force to be reckoned with; a strong, independent, Caribbean woman.
I’m extremely grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work with Maya again this past weekend. I decided to ask her to share with me a few things about her that most people don’t know, so here are a few fun facts about this local she-ro:
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is about challenging the norm and experimentation. I always find the most striking people to have some unique feature that stands out. I mean think about why a model like SlickWoods is so popular? Her energy is alluring. Confidence and individuality are beautiful. We’re no longer going to accept the same one dimensional beauty ideals in 2018.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Instagram?
Right now I’m really loving Savannah G Baker. She curates the PumPum Gyals page and her styling work draws from an electric mix of influences. Mykki Blanco is musician and he’s not afraid to say it like it is. I find his messages about being an openly trans artist quite inspiring. And well Museum Mammy is your quintessential art world cool girl.
What does feminism mean to you?
My feminism is intersectional. I’m not a fan of elitist feminists that exclude women based on race or class. I love when women without a college degree claim feminism as their own. Isn’t it powerful that ex strippers like Cardi B and Amber Rose can be a part of a movement that’s meant for the liberation of all women (including trans women)? I think we’re giving into the same patriarchal systems we’re trying to fight by excluding some and including others.
How would you describe your personal style?
Growing up I always borrowed shirts from my dad. He would complain about shirts that have gone missing over the years. I never limit myself to what I feel a woman should wear. My personal style draws on DIY elements where I would piece together things I’ve found and try to make it work. I always like looking free, comfortable and effortless. I was made fun of a lot in secondary school for some of my style choices but I think I really learnt to embrace that side of myself when I got to NY. I realized then that it was kind of OK to be weird.
What’s your favorite music?
There’s so many genres that I vibe with but on most days I listen to R&B. I remember discovering SZA and Kehlani on Spotify before they blew up. I love Blood Orange and Frank Ocean. I love listening to Nina Simone one second and Vibez Kartel the next. My music taste is all over the place.
I know you don’t want to reveal too much but what can we expect from your next film, She Paradise?
You can expect sisterhood, discovery and a lot of jump splits lol
Follow Maya and She Paradise the film on Instagram to stay in the loop and learn more about Maya and her projects!
She Paradise on Instagram: @sheparadisethefilm