Trini artist highlights Caribbean hidden figures in Wiki Unseen Project

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Marshelle Haseley (Newsday) writes about Esther Griffith, from Trinidad and Tobago, one of the three artists chosen from a global pool of submissions for the Wiki Unseen project.

The Wiki Unseen project, created by the Wikimedia Foundation, is intended to help spread global awareness of people from under-represented backgrounds who have made a profound impact on a range of industries and fields of study on a global scale.

The creators of the project define it not merely as a project but rather as a promise. The project’s website says the project is “a promise to show the world the people who have shaped the world, but were systematically erased from knowledge spaces. People whose images were taken out of the picture. Our goal is to redraw those within the global majority — including black people, people of colour, and indigenous peoples – back into history, one image at a time.”

Among the three artists hand-picked by the team from thousands of submissions is Trinidad and Tobago artist Esther Griffith. Other artists featured in the first instalment of the project are Ghanaian artist based in Accra, Enam Bosokah and New York-based artist Bukhtawar Malik.

Griffith, who is from St James, Port of Spain, has been a painter and illustrator for over ten years, specialising in portraiture and was a recipient of the Emerging Leaders of the Americas scholarship from the government of Canada.

Griffith’s work has been exhibited both in TT and in Canada and has been bought by collectors from TT, Canada, and the US. Griffith has painted watercolour portraits of Caribbean people who were outstanding in their fields within and outside the region, namely, Jamaican astronomy and astrophysics professor Mercedes Tharam Richards and Asquith Camile Xavier, a Dominica-born Briton whose relentless efforts saw the ending of a colour bar at British Railways and became the first non-white train guard at the Euston railway station in 1966.

Griffith also did a portrait of Trinidadian women’s-rights activist and community worker Leonora Pujadas-McShine, who founded the League of Women Voters in TT.

Griffith said she received a list of potential subjects from the organisers of the project, from which she chose the three. The list included documentary filmmaker and pioneer of African-American filmmaking William Greaves, African-American poet, playwright/educator May Miller, Ugandan linguist, scholar and literary theorist Pio Zirumu and Ghanaian biochemist Marian Ewurama Addy. [. . .]

For full article, see

Meet Esther Griffith the artist who will be bringing to life prominent Caribbean figures to Wikipedia
Xavier Murphy,, March 2022

Esther Griffith: Meet the artist | Wiki Unseen
Wikimedia Foundation, February 9, 2022

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