WNGN Guests: Words from Barbados

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. What better way to pick up the pace with content again by starting with a WNGN guest feature from the Caribbean. Get ready for Carnival, palmtrees and Piña Coladas. Take it away Alexandre!

Hey everyone! My name is Alexandre​ ​Haynes​, and I’m a Photographer​ ​from Sleeper Forest, a blog about Caribbean Car Culture. Take some time to go look it up, I promise it won’t disappoint you. I am from a tiny island in the Caribbean, called Barbados.

Our team contains 3 people, Maurice Chapman a fellow enthusiast, Randi Bowen another photographer and myself. We all try our hands at writing articles for the blog, and snapping photos of our own.

Maurice and I always hung out together from an early age, either playing video games based in motorsport, our “Project Torque” days. We tried small mods to our cars and toyed with the idea of starting a blog and trying photography for fun. With some help from some friends, including Rens, we actually made something we and others could take seriously. Eventually we crossed paths with Randi and that’s how we became what we are today.

We started by just going to small events, practice sessions, maybe small meets to provide content for the blog. Eventually things grew a bit more, and we were privileged to photograph and write about some of the most interesting, old and unique cars that our island has to offer. Even being able to fully cover one of our very few drift events here on the island.

When it comes to the casual or private car scene in Barbados, it’s an interesting one because unless you are accepted into a particular circle of individuals, you never really understand the scope of it. Many of the cars imported to Barbados come from Japan, so we have a large cross section of interesting JDM cars here.

We also have a decent amount of EU cars as well, and American cars are few and inbetween here. Photography wise I was really influenced by war photographers. Don McCullin for instance helped me a lot with understanding why I practice photography. He was able to capture not only just what was there but what he felt. His photographs were an interpretation of his views and feelings. “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”​ ​-​ ​Don McCullin.

This is a fundamental truth I understood as a photographer and one I have to keep reminding myself. Once I can make you feel, I know I’ve done my job right.

Motorsport photography was the next natural step in bridging my two passions. I’m a huge fan of Wangan Warriors and Speedhunters for sure! Being able to intertwine narrative with photography and fleshing out the experience with original content, it takes a lot of hard work and effort.

I respect that and we want to contribute amazing stories and builds to the community.

The Caribbean obviously has its own share of petrolheads and we are searching for them, because with each one comes their own unique stories. We have plans to continue to expand what we are doing so we can reach out to persons in other communities in our region and share in their amazing car culture as well. Our short term goals right now are to focus on getting our getting our hands dirty with our own project cars and being able to take part in a few events for ourselves.

Our long term goals would be more having a more regional presence and even hopefully being international like many other blogs, travelling to events and being a part of them. We want to do more than just stand around looking in on Car Culture, we want to be a part of it.

– Alexandre Haynes

Sleeper Forest