April 10, 2008

ON THE MAP at Advanced Seminar, UWI, Cave Hill

I screened ON THE MAP today to a small group of third year students in Lits 3501 Advanced Seminar in West Indian Literature at the Cave Hill campus in Barbados. After the screening we spoke about the issues raised by the film for nearly an hour. It was an honest and open discussion with an articulate group of bright, young students from around the Caribbean.

One young woman confessed to wanting to turn Guyanese into the Immigration Dept for a reward of BDS$75.00 - much to the surprise of her class mates. Another said she was unaware that people who were living as illegal immigrants were afraid and unable to seek recourse for being disadvantaged because they were completely outside of the system. Another felt that the film should be screened at all secondary schools to help students be more aware of the issues surrounding integration. Some students shared positive experiences in other Caribbean countries where they were warmly hosted by Vincentians and it made them realise that we could all do well from being more hospitable to our neighbour. They wondered how we could change things to make integration work better. I suggested that the value of literature, art and film was that they provide platforms for discussion, to challenge fixed points of view by offering another way of seeing. I welcome their participation and feedback on this site.


Anonymous said...

The film was a total experience. An opportunity to open a window on a world that lies beneath the surface of our society. The existence of illegal migrant workers is taken for granted, what is also taken for granted is their humanity. Everyone who lives in the Caribbean should see this film; we need to open our eyes and ears and hearts and stop running.

Shawn Adderson Forde

Annalee Davis said...

Shawn, Thanks so much for your sentiments. I have felt that some of the negative banter about illegal immigrants can turn into bullying and violence and we cannot take for granted that this cannot d/evolve into more than just talk. We must challenge the zenophobic, racist and intolerant language when we hear it and begin to speak more about our own experiences which have forced us to, as you say, open our eyes, ears and hearts. Be well.

Shawn Adderson Forde said...

Keep up the good work.

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