Friday, April 12, 2013

Seeing connections in our Caribbean Sea

Seeing connections in our Caribbean Sea Reflections on Epic Aesthetics of the Archipelago The AuTThor: Dr Kris Rampersad At LiTTribute to the Antilles @ Museum of Antigua and Barbuda St John’s, Antigua, March 23, 2013 The Caribbean has never been taught to appreciate the value of the space contained by the Caribbean Sea from which it draws its name, identity, and sustenance. We have been programmed to conceive of ourselves as islands. To see ourselves in our smallness, rather than in the bigger picture of who we are and how we fit into the scheme of things and the broad mechanics of this space we occupy in the universe. We are 22 islands, we are told, and then our knowledge providers give us other diminutive denominations of identity: Greater and Lesser Antilles; Windward and Leeward Islands; big and small islands of the Caribbean: OECS, CARICOM, ACS; and then the linguistic divisions - English, French, Spanish, Dutch speaking; our islands named and still yet the narrow national markers of identity: Trini Doubles, Jamaican Jerk, Bajan Flying Fish. We get lost in the minute divisions. Rarely do we hear the bigger picture: a presence in a Caribbean Sea that contains us - almost three million square kilometres of earth; that comprises not

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