guyana

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.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

W.A.R Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney is a 2010 documentary film by Clairmont Chung which is a political and personal biography of the Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney who was assassinated in 1980. Cornell University's Africana studies dept gives this apt summary of the film: "It’s a story of a man who dedicated his life, and ultimately, gave his life in the struggle for equal rights and justice. He did so through his considerable intellectual gifts and actual grassroots involvement everywhere he went. The people who knew him weave a tale of how they related to him and him them. In the process we see the growth of their friend, brother, father, husband, his ideology and how that changed over the years from his coming of age in racially divided Guyana through the cold war, the Black Power Movement, Pan-Africanism, Caribbean independence, and the idea of self emancipation. " After the screening (1hr 27 mins), a brief discussion will be held on the implications of the film for contemporary Guyana and the wider Caribbean with the director Clairmont Chung, Robert Cuffy of the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana and Twinkle Paul of Guyana Trans United.