Posted by: lisaparavisini | July 8, 2014

Caribbean Conferences: July 2014


Our thanks to Peter Jordens for compiling this update on upcoming conferences for our readers. The abbreviated list is below. To download the full list, which covers the period ending in April 2015 and contains additional information about the conferences listed click here: Caribbean Conferences July 2014

Abbreviated list of scholarly conferences relevant to the Caribbean

Month of July 2014 only

July 6-9, 2014. Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

29th CARALL AGM: “The Heart of Caribbean Law Libraries: A People-Centered Approach”


July 7-11, 2014. San Juan, Puerto Rico

15th Latin American Conference on Religion and Ethnicity: “Memory, Identity and Religious Diversity”


July 10-11, 2014. Paris, France

Interdisciplinary Conference: “Locating Guyane”

Webpage or

July 10-11, 2014. Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

8th AGM and Conference of CAACM: “Revitalising the Audit Committee: A Strategic Priority in an Uncertain Economic Environment”


July 10-12, 2014. Cave Hill, Barbados

13th Annual ACHEA Conference: “Creating a Sustainable Lens for Higher Education: The New Urgency”


July 11-12, 2014. London, England, UK

Conference on Non-Traditional Slaveholding in the Atlantic World


July 11-13, 2014. Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago

NCIC International Diaspora Conference: “Towards a vision for Indo-Caribbean Diasporic Culture”


July 15-18, 2014. San José, Costa Rica

23rd WHA Conference: “Latin America in World History” & “The Environment in World History”


July 31 – August 2, 2014. Miami, Florida, USA

24th Annual Meeting of ASCE: “Cuba’s Perplexing Changes”




They have a reputation for avoiding humans and being easily frightened.
But this rare loggerhead turtle had no problem coming out of its shell for a selfie – or a shellfie – in these amazing pictures with diver Cristian Dimitrus, Corey Charlton reports for The Daily Mail. FOllow the link below for the original reports and a gallery of photographs.
The pair recreated the famous style of photograph – made popular by celebs like Kim Kardashian – under the waves in the Bahamas.

The wildlife cinematographer, 39, travels the globe searching for great wildlife moments but said he’s never experienced anything like this before.
‘I took the turtle pictures in the Bahamas, in a dive site called the lost blue hole, near Nassau.
‘The Bahamas is known as one of the world’s best dive destination and I was there for vacations, not working. But I always take my camera with me.
‘It’s is a loggerhead turtle and it is a great rule of thumb to keep your distance from marine creatures and not touch them
‘But when you work underwater and visit sites regularly you get to know the inhabitants of the area, in other words you get to know the hood and you get to meet the gang.

‘This was my first selfie with a turtle and no other turtle has ever allowed such of thing.
‘It’s not hard to see a sea turtle but they are usually skittish and do not approach divers.
‘But this one was different and when it saw me it came straight towards me which is really weird.
‘She was all over me, following me, gently biting my fins, and looking me straight in the eyes.’

‘I have never seen something like that, a totally different behaviour and I count more than 4,000 dives all over the world. it was an amazing encounter, really unique and after taking some pictures of the turtle, I just had to turn the camera around and start making selfies to remember this rare encounter.
‘Imagine how wonderful it would be if all the animal did not fear humans and how nice it would be to interact with wild animals like that with love and respect in a daily basis.
‘After that encounter I felt that this could be possible and we just need to spend more time with nature, loving it, admiring it, enjoying it and not destroying it.’

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | July 8, 2014

Call for Papers: Special Issue: The Aesthetics of Trash


NANO: New American Notes Online

Call for Papers: Issue 7

Deadline: 22 September 2014

Special Issue: The Aesthetics of Trash

This is why the properly aesthetic attitude of the radical ecologist is not that of admiring or longing for a pristine nature of virgin forests and clear sky, but rather of accepting waste as such, of discovering the aesthetic potential of waste, of decay, of the inertia of rotten material that serves no purpose.

— Slavoj Žižek, Living in the End Times

This special issue of NANO begins with a question: in what new ways can trash and waste be acknowledged or conceptualized today?

Contemporary critics are eager to laud sustainability and to celebrate modern and postmodern arts and practices that make inventive use of the wastes of industrial production and the trash of consumer capitalism. These possibilities provide compelling ways to grasp late capitalist culture because it seems to offer a potential answer to an almost unimaginable problem: the ceaseless, ubiquitous, and disastrous production of waste. Some practices of collection and creative reuse in collage, collections, and found-object arts create stunning acknowledgements of the sheer and generally unacknowledged scale of waste (think, for instance, of work of artist Vic Munoz so well documented in the film Waste Land). However, endlessly celebratory emphases on isolated examples of re-use and recycling risk becoming profound disavowals, as if such reuse solved the problem and absolved us of responsibility. Put simply, is this celebration of arts or practices that incorporate or recycle waste simply making us feel better about waste problems that we cannot adequately solve by making some waste useful? Are there ways—through art—to acknowledge or conceptualize waste that would do more than celebrate such recuperations?

How can artists, philosophers, theorists, activists, and others produce new ways to acknowledge or envision events and phenomena like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, radioactive wastelands like Fukushima or Bikini Atoll, the animal wastes of feedlots, the water wastes of fracking, or the mountains of trash produced by consumer culture? How can such new conceptualizations address biopower, in which whole populations are controlled by the industrial production of waste or by the dumping of waste? How can new ideas address the ways in which some populations are themselves figured as potential waste or treated as waste, living out what Giorgio Agamben names “bare life.”

In this special issue, we seek critical reports or multimodal notes (up to 3,500 words) that sketch new strategies, modes, or practices of acknowledging waste.

Potential topics can include, but are not limited to:

•       Representations of waste

•       New trash aesthetics

•       Trash beyond the dialectic of recycling

•       Trash and populations

•       Mapping waste

•       Collections of trash and waste

•       Waste and the sublime

•       Populations and waste

•       Waste and abjection

•       Wastelands

•       Waste and power

Direct any questions to the Special Issue co-editors: David Banash ( and John DeGregorio (

Keywords: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords to accompany their submission.

Schedule: Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:

•       22 Sept. 2014: notes due

•       Nov. 2014: Comments and peer review complete

•       Dec. 2014: Pre-production begins

NANO SUBMISSIONS STYLE: NANO uses MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting and style. Visit:


Image: Tony Capellán’s Caribbean Sea.


A post by Peter Jordens.

Every year in July, the city of Avignon in the South of France hosts the Avignon Festival, one of the oldest and most famous theatre and performing arts festivals in the world. This year the 68th Avignon Festival is taking place from Friday July 4 through to Sunday July 27. Beside the official Festival called the “In”, there is an alternative Festival called the “Off”, where both new and established performing artists vie for the attention of the general public and potential funders. The Off Festival includes TOMA, Théâtres d’Outre-Mer en Avignon [Overseas Theaters in Avignon], which focuses on performances from the overseas territories of France, especially Guadeloupe, French Guyana, La Réunion, and New Caledonia.

The Avignon Festival includes several Caribbean-related performances such as the following:

Léon Léon, Nègres des Amériques [Léon Léon, Blacks of the Americas], a combination of theatre and spoken word, Léon Gontran Damas (French Guyana).

La vie sans fards [Life without makeup], a play based on an autobiographical novel by Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe).

La faute à la vie [Blame life], theater, Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe).

Avé Césaire [Hail Césaire], a combination of music, spoken word and theater (Martinique/Cameroon).

En roue libre [Freewheeling], theater, Gérard Lefort (Guadeloupe).

Touche-moi [Touch me], theater, Aloe Theatre Company (Guadeloupe).

There will be Q&A sessions with Maryse Condé on July 9 (after a staging of La vie sans fards) and July 23 (after La faute à la vie).


Avignon In Festival,

Avignon Off Festival,


Posted by: lisaparavisini | July 8, 2014

Call for volunteers for trinidad+Tobago film festival 2014


The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) wants you!

We are looking for volunteers for the ninth edition of the Festival, which takes place from 16-30 September 2014.

We welcome people of all ages who love movies and who share a commitment to supporting the growth of a vibrant film culture here in Trinidad and Tobago.

As a volunteer, you will receive an official Festival pass that gives you free access to film screenings, an official T-shirt and as much verbal appreciation as we can muster.

You’ll also get the chance to meet filmmakers, actors and other film industry professionals from the region and around the world.

In short, we can promise you an exciting experience you won’t soon forget.

If all this sounds like something you’d love to be a part of, then fill out the online application form at:

We can’t wait to welcome you to our team!

Founded in 2006, the ttff is an annual celebration of films from and about Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its diaspora. The Festival also screens films curated from contemporary world cinema. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of the Caribbean film industry by hosting workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. The Festival is presented by Flow, and given leading sponsorship by bpTT and TTFC.


pared expo title copy

The project called “Festejo, disfraz y sustento: el arte y la creatividad colectiva” [Celebration, Costume, and Sustenance: Art and Collective Creativity] aims to present visual, artistic and poetic experiences related to collective festival arts and, in particular, to Vieques’ Patron Saint Festivities [Fiestas Patronales de Vieques]. All the events will take place from July 12 until September 21, 2014.

The festivities open on July 12, at 7:00pm, with a collective exhibition in the west room of the Conde de Mirasol Fort Museum—a collaboration between Proyecto Diáspora, represented by Nadjah Ríos and Camilo Carrión and másTaller, a mask-making workshop led by Lowell Fiet. The celebration includes a screening of the documentary Vieques, manos arriba [Hands Up, Vieques] at Conde de Mirasol Fort. This will be followed by a cocktail party where participants will be able to speak informally with the creators of the event.

másTaller is an artistic and educational project led by Professor Lowell Fiet (UPR-Río Piedras) offering workshops on mask-making and artistic-body expression for children, youth, and adults in schools, through organizations such as the Caribbean Project for Justice and Peace and the Claridad Festival.

Vieques manos arriba, a documentary film by Nadjah Ríos and Proyecto Diáspora, explores the musical tradition of calypso and steel drums on the island municipality of Vieques. This cultural practice—so common in the Anglophone Caribbean—has found on this island (dubbed Isla Nena) an audience accustomed to the migration flows from other Caribbean islands, allowing for the ready adoption of the deep musicality of the steel drum. The documentary is based on ethnographic interviews of musicians, singers, calypso orchestra leaders, who trace the arrival of this rhythm to Vieques. The trajectory and development of steel pan music is complemented with images and historical documents that reveal a Puerto Rican history linked to the English-speaking Caribbean.

[Information based on an article by María Cristina Rodríguez, En Rojo, Claridad, 9 July 2014.]

Posted by: ivetteromero | July 8, 2014

Kagendo Murungi Interviews Dorothea Smartt


Kenyan writer Kagendo Murungi interviews literary activist, live artist, and poet Dorothea Smartt for Black LooksAt the end of the interview, Smartt reads the introductory poem to her latest publication, “Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On.”  [Also see previous post New Book: Dorothea Smartt’s “Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On” .] See excerpts of the introductory essay here, with a link to the full article and interview below:

Described as a ‘Brit-born Bajan international’, her work typically bridges the islands of Britain and Barbados, effortlessly shuttling between local and global scenes as it weaves a diasporic web.

[. . .] In this interview, Dorothea underlines her relationship to her Bajan voice as a critical medium for her poetry. She reflects on her South London birth and upbringing in a Bajan household and the process of finding her voice and creating her place in the world as a Black girl in Britain. In the course of discussing her depiction of specifically located characters and their particular voices within her poetry collections, she repurposes historical and mythological figures, from Medusa to “Samboo” whom she renames Bilal. She engages us in her practice of historical “healing, restitution, recovery, re-membering, and re-calling” in the excavation of overlooked and erased voices in past and present contexts. Her philosophy as a cultural practitioner is revealed through her treatment of cultural narratives as they impact individual and collective memory and consciousness, and implicate themselves in geographical landscapes. Her work re-inscribes a gendered, multiply located, lived and mythologized individual, familial and collective healing space.

Kagendo Murungi is a Kenyan writer, video producer and activist with a background in international sexual and gender rights advocacy.

For full essay and interview, see

[Photo from]


Dorothea Smartt’s Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On was published this month by Peepal Tree Press.

Description (by Donna Aza Weir Soley, poet and professor at Florida International University): From the first poem to the last, Smartt’s new chapbook collection advocates a revolutionary decampment from the madhouse of desires “reigned in” to protect a precarious and often incoherent code of Caribbean respectability. This is Smartt at her sensual and lyrical best. These poems sing, and dance and love passionately ‘til morning cum. From the hazardous terrain of same-sex loving in Jamaica for some couples, to the manipulation of heterosexual marriage conventions in Barbados in the name of love, to the freedom of sexual abandon and the fulfilment of desire in Amsterdam, this small body of work is subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic. Smartt’s cartography renders new the old directive that we love each other, that we build and sustain community, that we protect and care for each other’s needs, desires and dreams. Ultimately, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings On is about Black diasporic love at its most radical and life-affirming.

From “The Poetry Archive”: Dorothea Smartt is a stunning performance artist and poet. She has taught in the United Kingdom, and Bahrain, South Africa, Barbados and the U.S, after beginning her writing life in the Black/feminist co-operatives of the Eighties, and publishing her first work in anthologies. She plunges into a complex and diverse world which embraces Banjul, Barbados and her London base, Brixton. Little wonder, then, that she has been dubbed the “Brit born Bajan International” by her iconic mentor, Kamau Braithwaite, who clearly recognised her strong inner voice, so evident to listener and reader, and validated her blossoming poetic identity. Smart turns out to be both the site-specific child of her South London upbringing, and a chorus member of the vocal Caribbean Diaspora, laying claim to more distant, shared identities, which speak in different voices and draw on historic memory and myth.

For a full bio, see

For more information, see

Posted by: ivetteromero | July 8, 2014

Barbados is Going Green


In “Barbados Beaches: Caribbean Island Is Going Green, People Are Taking Notice,” Chaka Phillips writes about how Barbados is making big waves in the world of green energy. Here are excerpts:

Exactly one month ago on June 5, it was World Environment Day (WED), and on that day Barbados hosted the WED conference for Small Island Developing States. Some of the media and countries of the world are looking at this island as perhaps the renewed vision for sustainable and clean energy of the future. The theme at this year’s WED conference was “Small Island Developing States and Climate Change,” and the official slogan was “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level.” The world leaders converged in the capital Bridgetown, Barbados, for this esteemed celebration. [. . .]

This was a global conference that saw environmentalists, non-governmental organizations, and some world leaders making plans for their environmental future, and for Earth. While Barbados maybe a leader in the environmental front for solar energy, itself, and other small island developing nations are at the highest risk of climate change: it includes rise in temperature that could negatively impact agriculture, and a rise in sea level. [. . .]

Barbados with its 270,000 inhabitants, and 166 square miles, the Island State has set a goal for providing clean and renewable energy, as well as favorable chances for green economic growth. For 2029, they have set a goal of providing 29 percent of all electricity consumption. The estimated outcome of this action could reduce carbon emissions by 4.5 million tons, the National Catholic Reporter confirmed.

Electricity is not free, but the sun’s rays can be harnessed. According to the United Nations, Barbados’ solar water heaters have made them a leader since the 1970s. As a result, Barbados ranks among the top users globally of that kind of technology. In 2002, it was estimated that there were 35,000 solar water systems in Barbados, which had earned $100 million in energy savings, while carbon emissions were reduced by 15,000 metric tons, the National Catholic Reporter wrote.

As of now, plans in the island are already in motion to have solar panels installed in 19 government buildings, nine schools, and in hurricane shelters.

Solar energy and its overall costs are causing others to take notice. Solar energy alone lowers electricity bills in under two years. And Barbados’ latest venture is its desalination plant, which turns sea water into drinking water; the island is now adding photovoltaic arrays to it to reduce their own electricity bills.

A Solar advocate to the Barbados government, William Hinds, says that they are already some private investors interested in solar energy in Barbados, the Huffington Post reported. Hinds adds that within 10 years Barbados could switch to complete solar energy, but the market has it controls on that. [. . .] Barbados could be the next leader in solar energy, once the rest of the world continues to take notes and grasp this sustainable concept.

For full article, see

Also see related articles at


Top Caribbean female circuit racer Jamaican, Natasha “China Dolly” Chang and Former Motoring Club Barbados Inc. champion driver Jamal Brathwaite, will be brand ambassadors for Honda through their agents in Barbados, Platinum Motors.

Brathwaite, who was among the starters in the recently held Sol Rally Barbados, is the 2011 Motoring Club Barbados champion driver and Chang, thanked the automobile company for the accreditation and said they would be going out to give of their best for themselves and the company.

Both Chang and Brathwaite competed in Honda cars at the Digicel Williams International Race meet, featuring round one of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Racing Championship (CMRC), which took place at Bushy Park on Sunday.

Whereas New Zealand’s Emma Gilmour competed on the shorter Red Bull Global Rallycross circuit in her Hyundai Veloster during Top Gear Festival Barbados in May, Chang is the first woman to race on the full two-kilometre circuit at the redeveloped St Philip facility.


The Jamaican was at the wheel of a hi-tech 1.8-litre Honda Civic in the Bushy Park Motor Sports Inc’s (BPMSI) SuperModified 1 class, while Brathwaite contested the Barbados Rally Club Challenge.

Harris said Platinum Motors was pleased to be associated with the two drivers noting they fit well with the “Honda Experience” and that they have joined in a worldwide mission by the Japanese automaker in the effort to supply the highest quality products at reasonable prices to customers.

For full article, see and

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