We recently quoted Emma Lewis (blogger at Petchary’s Blog), writing on Simply Antigua Barbuda, about the fact that Barbuda has the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the western hemisphere. Here is a little more information about the sanctuary: The Antigua and Barbuda blog reports: Barbuda’s Frigate Bird Sanctuary is located in the island’s northwestern lagoon and is […]
Tag Archives: Barbuda
Some of our students brought a little Wadadli flavor to the UWI Cave Hill campus in Barbados recently. Here are some highlights courtesy (Cushion Clubber for Life) Latisha Browne.
The night’s performances included dedications to some of Antigua and Barbuda’s historical icons – through dress and mime – Oscar Mason, Short Shirt, Gwen Tonge, and national hero Nellie Robinson. Beyond the Short Shirt mention, there was also a calypso corner, where a student, Terro Ralph, did a tribute to Short Shirt, singing ‘Nobody Go Run Me’. Soca wasn’t left out – the university students also shared synopses of the careers of CP, Tizzy, and Tian while other students pretended to be them. During the mas segment, the students wore costumes from party bands Fantasy 268, Myst, and Dumz Tree. During the week there was also a panel discussion and a beer lime with music by DJ Elementz from Antigua, giving a bit of home.
Thanks, Latisha, for sharing how our student ambassadors are helping spread Antiguan and Barbudan arts and culture.
The University of the West Indies Open Campus Antigua and Barbuda
The Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association
Our 11th Annual Conference
“GENDER EQUALITY IN ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA”
The University of the West Indies Open Campus Antigua
August 11–12, 2016
Greetings All! Welcome to the call for papers for the 11th in the series of annual conferences on Antigua and Barbuda that have been jointly organized by the University of the West Indies Open Campus Antigua and Barbuda (UWI) and the Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association (ABSA). Many of the papers from last year’s historic 10th Anniversary conference will be published in this year’s issue of The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books. For 2016, the theme of our conference will be “Gender Equality in Antigua and Barbuda”. Our keynote speaker will be Professor Natasha Lightfoot, author of the recently published book, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation. It is our hope that you will be interested in presenting a paper at this important conference.
The changing relations between men and women in Antigua and Barbuda have been for some time now an intensely debated social issue. It is the theme of this year’s conference as a result of overwhelming demand. No other suggested topic came close. Clearly the time to take up this issue in the context of this particular forum has come.
Like many of the other societies of our region and across the globe, Antigua and Barbuda has been going through major changes in gender relations. These changes have been both structural and cultural in nature. That is, they are taking place at the levels of organizations and institutions as well as in the areas of identity construction and the narratives that legitimate our changing male and female identities. These significant changes in gender relations have been driven by the power of four historically reinforcing social movements aimed at changing or reforming the dominant capitalist social order. The first was the Pan African Movement of the early decades of the 20th century, which re-ignited the struggle against colonialism and anti-black racism in Antigua and Barbuda. The second was the international Workers Movement of the 1930s, which gave rise to the trade union movement in Antigua and Barbuda. Third, were the nationalist and civil rights movements across the Caribbean, Africa and Black America, which brought political independence to Antigua and Barbuda.
The fourth social movement contributing to current changes in gender relations in Antigua and Barbuda is the international Women’s Movement. This movement and its issues of gender equality were present but definitely submerged in the three previous social movements. Consequently, all four can be seen as a continuing chorus of different voices calling for change in the European-dominated social order of the early 20th century. The revolutionary and activist practices of the first three movements together with their failure to address the issues of gender equality within their own ranks and in the larger society set the stage for the rise of a global Women’s Movement, which has had very strong responses of support from the women of Antigua and Barbuda.
Gender inequality in Antigua and Barbuda has a long history, as long as the history of our country. It has African foundations, which established men as political leaders and dominant figures, at the same time that women were restricted primarily to the domestic sphere with only limited roles outside of the home in agriculture, marketing and the public life of lineage groups.
On these African foundations were imposed the gender relations of the period of colonization and slavery. As a result, these were centuries of colonial de-gendering – the masculinization of African women and the feminization of African men. The subjectivities of both were radically dehumanized – niggerized – as their labor was brutally exploited to generate profits for the sugar plantations. Added to this already extreme level of oppression was the sexual exploitation of Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan women.
In the post-slavery period, colonial policies of re-gendering according to European patriarchal norms were introduced. This was the era in which the Christian nuclear family was more systematically imposed the structures of the African family that survived the previous period of de-gendering and family disruption. Along with these new policies came the classes in home economics for teaching Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan women how to be good Victorian wives. Outside of the home, much later the fields of teaching and nursing opened as areas of employment for women along with dressmaking, which was done largely in the home. These post-slavery initiatives reached only a tiny percentage of the population. Thus the majority of men and women occupied creole or bicultural constructions of family life that left Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan women without the specific female protections that were enshrined in either the African or European kinship system.
This was the particularly disadvantaged position in which the failure of the post-slavery family reforms left Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan women. They were without the protections of African kinship institutions such as the lineage group and bride wealth, and without those that went with the legal status of a European wife. If we add to these the limited opportunities for employment issues such as spousal abuse, we can easily understand why Antiguan and Barbudan women have responded so positively to the feminist appeals and promises of the Women’s Movement.
The primary purpose of our conference is to assess where we are today with this project of gender equality in the postcolonial period. What have been the new policies adopted by the V.C. Bird, the Lester Bird, Baldwin Spencer and now Gaston Browne Administrations to address the status of women and improve family life for the majority of the population? We can point to obvious areas such as primary, secondary and tertiary education as well as the opening of many new areas of employment for Antiguan and Barbudan women. At the same time, we want to know what are the remaining areas of social life in which Antiguan and Barbudan women still experience gender discrimination. What of pay differentials? What of access to the arena of politics? What of spousal abuse? What of gendered occupations?
In 1997, in her keynote address to the recently opened Centre for Gender and Development at the University of the West Indies (Mona), Johnetta Cole told her audience: “It is we women who are the major participants in the churches, the backbones they call us, frying the chicken, making the roti, but it is the brothers who are almost always the heads, the leaders. It is we women who take the notes at the meetings, organize the buses for the rallies, go door-to-door to get the votes, but the it is always the brothers who are the Prime Ministers”. Is this where we still are today? And if so, what are we doing about it?
To address questions like these we suggest the following themes as guides in deciding the exact topic on which you will present:
Women and the structure of the Contemporary Antiguan and Barbudan Family
Gender policies of postcolonial administrations from Bird to Browne
Gender discrimination in Antigua and Barbuda
Gender and Sexuality in Antigua and Barbuda
Race and Gender in Antigua and Barbuda
Antiguan and Barbudan Women in Party Politics
Women and Education in Antigua and Barbuda
Antiguan and Barbudan women in the media
Growing up female in Antigua and Barbuda
Women in Antiguan and Barbudan music
Women and the Arts in Antigua and Barbuda
Antiguan and Barbudan women in carnival
Women and economic development in Antigua and Barbuda
Recent books by Antiguan and Barbudan women
Women and Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda
If you are interested in presenting a paper at this 2016 conference, please send us a brief abstract that includes your title, your name, and a brief description of the theme of your paper. These abstracts must be received by May 15, 2016. They will enable us to put you on the right panel. Your abstract, in a word document, should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org and to email@example.com .
Paget Henry Ian Benn Janet Lofgren
President Head Editorial Assistant
ABSA UWI (Antigua) A&B Review of Books
The Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project: A Space for Young Antiguans and Barbudans to Get Creative
Talked a bit about the Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project on Observer Radio ( @Observer Media ) this week. Thanks to Darren Matthew Ward and Amar Spencer.
I’ll add only that I’m here situated in Antigua, a writer and a media person, interested in working with young writers or with young people (and adults, my adult writing workshops, like Ah-nuld, will be back) in general who want to improve their literary skills or just carve a space in their lives to flex/exercise their literary muscles. We are all works in progress and I continue to work on my own as well, participating in writing workshops and retreats when I’m able. You don’t realize how draining life can be on your creativity until you’re in a space, if only for an hour that is just about the creativity.
Darren asked me during our interview about the future of the arts (in Antigua and Barbuda) and (despite the intimations by some that I am effectively in a dying industry and the sense, certainly in our space where it is not prioritized) all I can say is go back to earliest civilization, there has been a creative spark, through all the changes over millennia, there has been a creative spark, on the plantations where oppressors worked overtime to stamp out my ancestors’ humanity, there was a creative spark, there will be as long as there are humans trying to interact with or make sense of their world, as long as there is a living, breathing soul inside of us, a creative spark. We create because we are.
As a freelance writer, in a space with limited (very limited) support for the creative arts, I try to find ways to not only do what I do, share my own work but work with others. When I started Wadadli Pen, best known as an annual arts Challenge it aspired and aspires to be more than a competition. As a voluntary project with zero resources of its own, the Challenge is primarily what I’ve been able to do with it. But one thing the challenge reveals each year is the spark of potential in so many of our young people and young writers, there only to be stoked and encouraged.
Through the Jhohadli Writing Project, my own professional writing services, I hope to play a more developmental role, allowing people to pay where they can and/or businesses and individuals to support someone else in the journey, where they are able and willing. It’s not something I can do for free, but I do want it to be accessible which is one of the reasons that I invite sponsorship so that I can offer spaces to promising writers who don’t have the ability to pay. That’s where I am with this.
Appreciated the opportunity to share more.
And as usual thinking about a million other things I should have said (such as the obvious connection between this arts programme and the kind of programme the kids in #MusicalYouth were involved with). Musical Youth is my latest book and my publisher CaribbeanReads will probably want to ring my ear for not plugging it…or Best of Books which was so gracious for spotlighting the book as its teen summer read. Glad I got to get a word in on the reading challenge put on by my two primary voluntary projects the Cushion Club and Wadadli Pen (supported with book discounts by Best of Books and Cindy’s Bookstore…shout out as well to Map Shop which helped us compile the reading list).
As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad!, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. And using any creative work without crediting the creator will open you up to legal action. Respect copyright.
Joy Lawrence remains a woman on a mission, earlier this year releasing the latest of her village histories…and you can bet she’s not done yet. When last we caught up with her, she’d just written about Parham, on the heels of her history on Bethesda and Christian Hill. Well, she’s been busy since her April launch promoting Barbuda and Betty’s Hope, including a stop over in the sister island.
Per her launch release: “This latest publication chronicles the history of Barbuda and the Betty’s Hope Estate beginning with review of the mutual factor, the Codrington connection.
“The book is littered with references to support the historical facts mixed with lively first person recounts of special events and daily events from individuals who experienced life in both communities from a variety of socio-economic perspective. …”
We’re late but as we always say around here, books don’t have a limited shelf life; so we want to take this opportunity to say congrats to Joy who volunteered with the Wadadli Pen programme in 2014 and who has also been a patron of the programme.
Copies of her books are available in all major bookstores across the island. Copies are also available for international delivery. You can also find Joy on facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org