By: Prof. Markle (History/International Studies)
From March 18th to March 25th, a delegation of Trinity College faculty members traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to attend and participate in the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies’ THE COMMON SENSE CONVOIS: RE-AWAKENING THE CARIBBEAN SPIRIT. History professors Dario Euraque and Seth Markle were part of this delegation which also included Milla Riggio (English), Pablo Delano (Studio Arts) and Kifah Hanna (Language and Cultural Studies) as well as undergraduate senior Antonea Ascione (Political Science/English). Since the early 2000s, Trinity College has been partnering and collaborating with the Lloyd Best Institute — named after the renowned Trinidadian economist who died in 2007 — in giving our undergraduate students an incredibly enriching active learning and cultural immersion study away experience.
The theme of the convois centered on the question of the future of the Caribbean in the next 50 years. Policymakers, researchers, students, NGO professionals, cultural activists and academics from nations including Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Jamaica, Guyana, St. Lucia, Senegal and the United States strategized and discussed issues of land ownership, climate change, youth empowerment, participatory democracy and much more. Professors Riggio, Delano and Euraque presented at the convois. On the final day of this historic gathering themed ‘New Politics: Still Searching For Representation’, Professor Euraque, who teaches courses in Latin American and Caribbean history, delivered a talk (together with Prof. Delano) titled, “Art, History, Culture & Technology: Re-defining & Empowering The Caribbean”. An engaging presentation that urged participants to re-think the concept of “Caribbeaness” by moving beyond traditional geographical and language-based boundaries and by embracing the common language of artistic expression and technology to break down cultural barriers.
In addition to attending the conference, Trinity College faculty met with undergraduate students currently studying at the Trinity-in-Trinidad program, on-site staff, and faculty members and administrators of the University of the West Indies-St. Augustine. The goal was to explore ways to introduce newer faculty to the Trinity-in-Trinidad Study Away Program and build upon and expand its strengths as it enters its 15th year of existence.
Some of the key highlights of the visit included an inaugural concert for the Convois, which included musical performances by Calypso legend Relator and drummer Lion, singer Ella Andall, the Soca group 3Canal, Chibale Drummers and the Scherzado Steel Orchestra; and last, but certainly not least, the absolutely delicious Trinidadian cuisine.
More Photographs of the trip to come!