Portrait of a winner
A new book is about to be released on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. In a series of glossy postcards, photojournalist Sean Drakes, traces Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the campaign trail, from the kick-off rally of the People's Partnership to her swearing-in ceremony as the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
"Most every journalist who has covered general elections season in Trinidad and Tobago will attest that the 2010 campaign was an exceptionally unique experience," said Drakes, a contributing writer for Black Enterprise magazine in New York and columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in Georgia.
"The outpouring of adoration for Kamla at the nightly rallies was infectious. The sophistication of the People's Partnership's branding strategy raised the bar. The power of coalitions got the attention of the world. These are some of my observations from my four-week journey with Kamla."
Drakes said he decided to focus on the campaign of the People's Partnership because of similarities to the Barack Obama campaign: "Clever and emotive messaging, appeal to the grassroots sector, and the story of the underdog candidate." Drakes believes the story of the coalition's campaign deserves a comprehensive coffee-table book, but until that project is done he felt he needed to share some of his handsome collection of exclusive images.
Drakes crafted a binded collection of 5" x 7" candid portraits that serve multiple purposes. Each page is perforated to make it easy to remove an image and frame it, add it to a scrapbook or mail it to friends overseas. The backside of each glossy postcard gives a caption of what is taking place in the photo, highlight of that day, the date and location—and space for your own notes. The book will be available at bookstores, souvenir shops, Rienzi Complex and the Cinnamon Bistro at Hyatt Regency Hotel. Checks can also be made at 'Sean BlueMango' on Facebook to preview and special order.