By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir
The third season of television journalist Sarah Peter’s show Off Limits began re-airing on September 18 on CaribVision. As the show title indicates, Off Limits features taboo, unconventional and out-of-the-box issues which one would not normally seek to delve into. Paradoxically she says, “We are taking the limits off these issues.”
Peter enlightened me in an interview, “I have always been passionate about human rights issues and violations, education and the youth and I find there are a lot of issues that while journalists in the media cover, we do not get the opportunity to investigate and dig deep. My documentary offers an opportunity to explore those issues.”
She proceeded, “While I was in New York, I was lucky to have met this man – he was a former Calypsonian who relocated to New York to go and seek a better life. People all over the world do this.” From Peter’s account, what he encountered was not what he anticipated; far from what the media had portrayed.
“When you sit here from a third world island perspective and consider New York, England and other places, an idea may be generated in your head which may not necessarily reflect the reality. I am not criticizing anyone for going overseas and attempting to pursue a better life – every single person wants to have a better life, but the moral of the story is that persons should be open minded and move with a solid plan in place, as opposed to going there blindly,” she expounded.
“The story of this young man is that he fell into addiction, unemployment and numerous other obstacles. It was alcohol addiction,” disclosed Peter. She believes that it is not realistic migrating with a rose-tinted perception of what life overseas is like, “It is senseless migrating with the ignorant view that everything is going to be a bed of roses, because it is different from going someplace on vacation than when you actually intend to live and reside there.”
According to her research, one can encounter several things such as loneliness due to lack of friends or family to socialize with and of course the economic situation, “Living some places overseas is very expensive compared to living in St. Lucia and other parts of the Caribbean region,” she highlighted. “I am not discouraging anyone from migrating abroad – surely they can make that move, but the point I am trying to push is that people must be aware that it is not necessarily what the media is making it out to be.” The young journalist believes the media portrays a false reality of what life overseas is truly like.
In the case of the featured young man, the show truly captured his perspective. When asked about his reasons for turning to alcohol abuse she shared, “It was a combination of all he faced – to drown out his circumstances,” she revealed. “People assume many forms of addictions whether it be food, drinking or reckless partying to forget about their struggles and their worries.”
Asked what her aim for the show is on a long-term basis she disclosed, “My show is thought provoking, triggers debates and interest and I want it to educate people and have them want to research further and plan better. For instance, in the case of migration, people can be better prepared, make sure all mechanisms are in place so when they get to their destinations things are organized and life in general will be easier for them. That is my focus!” she enforced. “In terms of the LGBT Community for instance,” she shared, “people are now educated, so they realise that what is an offense against one person is an offence against all of humanity.
The 30-minute program features a ten to twelve minute segment called Youth Talk, highlighting the achievements of young people regionally.
This season of Youth Talk features young successful university graduates, entrepreneurs and young people who have persevered and toiled fervently toward success. The programme also features young successful persons within the tourism industry.
This season’s half hour series focuses on both regional and international issues and show times are as follows: Sundays at 9 pm, Mondays at 8:30 am, Tuesdays at 12 noon and 11 pm and Thursdays at 7 am.