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Apr 18, 2017

Symposium honors Caribbean feminism

On the Phone: Selene Solis

Indigenous women from Belize participated in a three day symposium in Trinidad earlier this month.  Cristina Coc, Cynthia Ellis-Topsey, Annelita Garcia and Sandra Miranda, along with Selene Solis of the ISCR, attended the “Indigenous Geographies and Caribbean Feminisms: Common Struggles against Global Capitalism” symposium. They brought together Indigenous and other women in the Caribbean to share academic papers and stories of women engaged in activist work in their communities around issues of gender and sexuality justice; indigenous women’s rights, empowerment and leadership roles. The event was organized by the Institute for gender and development studies, as well as department of geography of U.W.I., St Augustine Campus in Trinidad. We spoke with Selene Solis of the I.S.C.R. who tells us more.


On the Phone: Selene Solis,  Sr. Research and Education Officer, ISCR

“They organized this to bring together women, particularly indigenous women from all across the region within the Caribbean involved with individual activist work in their community. So, in particular, the Belizean contingent saw representatives from the Maya cultural group, as well as the Garifuna cultural group. And each individual participated in panel discussions based on the topics of their own choosing related to their individual activist work in their community. So, for instance, there was Annelita Garcia, who is from rural Toledo. She presented on her work with community radio and women involved in developing community radio and radio stations and programming; that kinda highlight the perspective of  Maya women in rural Toledo; their interest; their concerns; their work their day to day lives. Just providing a space for the discussion of these topics at U.W.I.”


Andrea Polanco

“Is there anything going forward that we can expect coming out of it or are there opportunities you think that were created as a result of this?”


On the Phone: Selene Solis

“Sure. One of the topics that was discussed towards the end of this symposium is what can we do going forward to strengthen and establish this network of activist women across the region. How do we continue to help each other? How do we continue to lend each other support? And just general insights and perspectives that can help to build our own activism in our communities. So, we have established a network – going forward – a system of communication via email, social media, to kind of promote each individual group’s activism and each individual activism. There was also the establishment of a committee that will continue to work on outcomes after the symposium. There might be a system of publication via video, YouTube, print documents, that speak to those presentations from the panel discussion and kinda highlight more in depth so that the wider public, the wider region can see and experience some of those presentations themselves.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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