barbados

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The political crisis of the capitalist world embodied by the rise of authoritarianism and populism around the world has been met with resistance internationally. Women have played a disproportionate role in these struggles from Sudan to the West Virginia teachers strikes. The Caribbean has been no exception and the rise of the #LifeinLeggings movement throughout the Caribbean as well as the prominence of feminist groups like the Tambourine Army in Jamaica is testament to this. Many Caribbean countries have a hostile atmosphere towards LGBTQ people, these states tend to still have colonial era anti-cross dressing and buggery laws on the books. There has been resistance to this in recent times evinced by the striking down of the anti-cross dressing law in Guyana and the buggery law in Trinidad as well as the rise in visibility of the LGBTQ population through daring Pride parades, some held for the first time in the last few years. These struggles have had important cultural reflections such as legendary Trinidad & Tobago singer Calypso Rose’s “Leave me Alone” song which stood as an anthem against sexual harassment. The emergence of the “Lost Tribe” carnival band with openly gay Indo-Trini director Valmiki Maharaj was yet another such incursion of previously excluded oppressed people into the popular culture of the Caribbean. This panel aims to explore the historical antecedents which gave rise to the oppression of women and the LGBTQ population in the Caribbean. The panel will also look at the contemporary situation while giving details of the recent struggles and how they intersect with each other and the broader anti-colonial and anti-imperialist radical tradition in the Caribbean.