Jamaican famed Film-maker, photographer; creator of The Afflicted Yard Peter Dean Rickards has lost his battle with cancer in the early hours of December 31, 2014.
Rickards was an astute user of social media as a vehicle for his thoughts and his art — right up until his death, he held active accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, under the handle Afflicted Yard.
On social networks including Facebook and Twitter, people who knew him said he was a man before his time, that Jamaica and the world weren’t yet ready for him.
Jornalist Ross Sheil shared his perspective about how Rickards, in hospital towards the end, was “interested only in hearing news about others”:
“Peter had lived life to its fullest. And it was his appreciation of life that which was such an essential quality of his art. There weren’t the conventional divides in his work: he crisscrossed uptown as much as downtown as much as country; and he looked outwards of Jamaica as much as he proudly celebrated his own culture.”
Global Voices editor Janine Mendes-Franco described Peter Rickards as smart, edgy artist with an original eye, quick wit and unique perspective.
“Dem get out Bab Morley, Dem get out Bill Casby, and now they try to get out me.” – Peter Dean Rickards, shortly before his death.
Even in death, Rickards decided how the last page of his story would be written:
“The Afflicted Yard. I’m dead. No returns. Peter Dean Rickards † 31/12/2014.”