International Conference on Caribbean Culture and Performance


The International Conference on Caribbean Culture and Performance is scheduled for June 12 to the 14th on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. This event is sponsored by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, in a joint project with the University of the Cayman Islands and the University of South Florida, and celebrates Caribbean literature and culture.

The conference will focus on Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. I haven’t seen or read this play, but as a fan of literature around the world, I plan to do so at the first opportunity. Moon on a Rainbow Shawl was first produced in London in 1958. It is considered a regional classic by many Caribbean theater scholars. The play was written in 1957 in Creole and set in John’s native Trinidad. The play was the winner of the National Observer Award that year, and focuses on the lives of 14 people, all of whom want to escape poverty.

According to the Miami Herald, “The Conference will examine Moon on a Rainbow Shawl’s depiction of cultural identity and difference, the interaction of artistic traditions, historical context and subsequent influence on theatrical and artistic practices in the Caribbean and the Diaspora.” The conference will look in to the characters, the representation of cultural identity and the interaction of diverse traditions.

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Discussions at the conference may include:

• Errol John’s life and work
• Contemporary productions (directing, acting and design)
• Representations of gender, race, class, and national identity in the play
• Theatrical, architectural and social space in the yard play
• American military presence in pre-independence Trinidad
• Interconnectedness of theatre and popular forms (Calypso, Hollywood films)
• Transnational narratives: the emigration of West Indian artists
• Intercultural traditions in theatrical representation
• Social roles and responsibilities of artists
• The interaction of critical theory and artistic practices
• Politics and Caribbean aesthetics
• Archivization of source material in Trinidad (e.g., Whitehall Players, playscripts)

For more information, you can e-mail: Henry Muttoo, director@candw.ky; Patrick Finelli, finelli@art.usf.edu; Eugene Williams, eugenewill@hotmail.com; Keith Jardim, kjardim@ussi.edu.ky; or Rawle Gibbons, rawle.gibbons@sta.edu.uwi.

Via The Miami Herald