Big Ideas

Debate the questions of the day or of the ages with our panels of writers and thinkers, and join intimate salon conversations
Day 1
27 Apr 2016

Cricket then, now, and when

To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, a panel of players and expert observers debate the importance of the game to the Caribbean’s past and present,...
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David Furlonge
Deryck Murray
Fazeer Mohammed
Ken Ramchand
Merissa Aguilleira
Day 2
28 Apr 2016

Is the calypso dream dead?

It’s sometimes called T&T’s national artform, but has calypso’s time passed? Does survival mean a return to roots, or reinvention? Calypsonians Kurt Allen and Kizzy Ruiz, scholar Gordon Rohlehr, and producer...
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Gordon Rohlehr
Kenny Philips
Kizzy Ruiz
Kurt Allen
Sunity Maharaj

NALIS Library Tour

A tour of the historic National Library of Port of Spain, with Debbie Goodman, Corporate Communications. Sign up at the NALIS booth, Library atrium (ground floor), and assemble in the...
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Debbie Goodman

A passage to China

Hannah Lowe and Paula Madison Williams read from and discuss their family memoirs, tracing ancestral routes from Jamaica back to China; chaired by Tracy Assing. Bookmark
Hannah Lowe
Paula Williams Madison
Tracy Assing
Day 3
29 Apr 2016

When writers become politicians

What happens when literary authors enter the political fray? The lives and times of Phyllis Shand Allfrey, Martin Carter, and Aimé Césaire, as told by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Gemma Robinson, and...
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Barbara Lalla
Gemma Robinson
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
Michael Dash

NALIS Library Tour

Tour of the historic National Library of Port of Spain, led by Debbie Goodman, Manager, Corporate Communications. Assemble in the Library Rotunda. Bookmark
Debbie Goodman

When history meets fiction

Gerard Besson, author of the novel Roume: A Memoir, and Desha Osborne, editor of Horatio Nelson Huggins’s epic poem Hiroona, discuss literature’s ability to bring history to life; chaired by...
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Bridget Brereton
Désha A. Osborne
Gerard Besson
Day 4
30 Apr 2016

Welcome to the 21st Century: the frontiers of human rights in Trinidad and Tobago

As our society evolves, are our laws and judicial systems keeping up? Who’s leading the way in current debates on human rights, and who’s lagging behind? Attorney Lynette Seebaran-Suite, activist...
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Elizabeth Solomon
Julian Rogers
Lynette Seebaran-Suite
Nazma Muller

War Chants

Black Indians, traditional masquerade characters of Trinidad Carnival, are known for their fierce costumes and war-like songs, composed in a secret language known only to initiates. Anderson Patrick and Darlington...
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Anderson Patrick
Darlington Henry
Maria Nunes

Aching to Be

Andrew J. Fitt discusses his memoir, Aching to Be, about life with cerebral palsy with Nickolai Salcedo. Bookmark
Andrew Fitt
Nickolai Salcedo

The most important readers of all: why children’s publishing matters

The future of publishing, and literature itself, depends on creating a new generation of readers. Marsha Gomes-McKie, Julie Morton, and Summer Edward discuss key issues in Caribbean children’s publishing; chaired by...
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Julie Morton
Marsha Gomes-McKie
Ramabai Espinet
Summer Edward

Remembering the Merikins: Short Documentary

200 years ago, the Merikins — free black settlers from the United States — arrived in Trinidad, establishing close-knit communities that survive to this day. This special programme of events...
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Remembering the Merikins: Land and freedom

200 years ago, the Merikins — free black settlers from the United States — arrived in Trinidad, establishing close-knit communities that survive to this day. This special programme of events...
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Remembering the Merikins: River of Freedom

200 years ago, the Merikins — free black settlers from the United States — arrived in Trinidad, establishing close-knit communities that survive to this day. This special programme of events...
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Day 5
01 May 2016

Resisting Paradise

Angelique Nixon talks to Attillah Springer about her study of Caribbean tourism, and how artists and activists suggest other paths for social development. Bookmark
Angelique V. Nixon
Attillah Springer

Shakespeare and me

Four writers discuss the Shakespeare plays, characters, and lines that have influenced them. With Vahni Capildeo, Martin Daly, Marlon James, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips. Chaired by Funso Aiyejina. Bookmark
Marlon James
Martin Daly
Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Vahni Capildeo

Peepal Tree Press at 30

How did Peepal Tree Press become the leading publisher of Caribbean writing? Founder and 2016 Bocas Swanzy Awardee Jeremy Poynting and his colleagues Hannah Bannister and Jacob Ross talk to...
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Jacob Ross
Jeremy Poynting