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
26 Apr 2018

Island Futures: An Island State of Mind

Climate change, the world economy, migration —tricky issues like these raise questions about the sustainability of small island societies. With a special focus on island perspectives running through the 2018 festival, we open with a high-level debate on hopes and possibilities for islands like ours. With a wake-up performance by Deneka Thomas.
Alexander Girvan
Deneka Thomas
Mark Loquan
Philip Nanton
Sharifa Ali-Abdullah

Extempo Debate: Island Life

Master calypsonians Black Sage and Myron B debate the positives and negatives of life in a small island country, and what the future may hold.
Black Sage
Myron B

Chocolate Walking Tour

Books and chocolate. Rum and chocolate. Dreams and chocolate. A specially conceived tour for NGC Bocas Lit Fest patrons starts with viewing documents in the Heritage Library collection to comprehend...
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Secret Lives: Why literary archives matter

Scholars Alison Donnell and Evelyn O’Callaghan and writers Kei Miller, Lorna Goodison and Sharon Millar discuss the value of Caribbean literary archives and the challenges of identifying and preserving a writer’s “papers” in the digital age.
Alison Donnell
Evelyn O’Callaghan
Kei Miller
Sharon Millar

Salon

Tracey Baptiste, author of the Jumbies series for young readers, on traditional folklore as subject matter for fiction writers. Bookmark
Tracey Baptiste
Day 2
27 Apr 2018

One-on-One with Afua Hirsch

The UK journalist, author of Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, talks to Marina Salandy-Brown about nationalism and ethnic tensions in contemporary Britain, 70 years after the arrival of the...
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Afua Hirsch

Film And Discussion: Calypso and the World?

A documentary on the life and career of the greatest exponent of calypso from Costa Rica, Walter Ferguson, “Calypso King” of Cahuita, followed by a talk on the international reach...
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Chocolate Walking Tour

Books and chocolate. Rum and chocolate. Dreams and chocolate. A specially conceived tour for NGC Bocas Lit Fest patrons starts with viewing documents in the Heritage Library collection to comprehend...
Read More

Discussion: Pan, present and future

The state of our national instrument, and its possible futures, discussed by pan arranger Jeannine Remy, musician Johann Chuckaree, Nestor Sullivan of Pamberi, and journalist Mark Lyndersay, chaired by Sunity...
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Johan Chuckaree
Mark Lyndersay
Nestor Sullivan
Sunity Maharaj
Day 3
28 Apr 2018

Secret Lives: Inspired by the archives

Presenting new pieces inspired by T&T’s literary archives, by Andre Bagoo, Anu Lakhan, and Breanne McIvor, joined in conversation with Kei Miller. In partnership with Caribbean Literary Heritage, supported by...
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Andre Bagoo
Anu Lakhan
Breanne McIvor
Kei Miller

Salon: balancing creative and editorial roles

Barbadian writer and editor Robert Edison Sandiford on balancing creative and editorial roles, and the literary scene in Bim. Bookmark

Imagining A City: How Port of Spain became a modern city

Scholar Stephen Stuempfle discusses his new book Port of Spain: The Construction of a Caribbean City, 1888–1962 and what the hidden archives reveal about the development of T&T’s capital, with...
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Bridget Brereton
Judy Raymond
Rudylynn De Four Roberts
Stephen Stuempfle

Ole Mas Competition: I-Land State of Mind

Words meet costumes and performance in T&T’s traditional protest masquerade. In partnership with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. Bookmark
Day 4
29 Apr 2018

Beyond Boundaries

In North America and Europe, home to substantial Caribbean diaspora populations, recent politics have put questions of ethnicity and migration on the front burner. UK writer Afua Hirsch, author of...
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Afua Hirsch
Alison Donnell
Anthony Joseph
Debbie Jacob
Muli Amaye

Crossing Tongues

Writers and translators Adalber Salas Hernández of Venezuela, Loretta Collins Klobah of Puerto Rico, Haitian-American Danielle Legros Georges, and Vahni Capildeo of TT/UK on how and why writing crosses borders...
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Adalber Salas Hernández
Danielle Legros Georges
Loretta Collins
Vahni Capildeo

Salon: “Commonwealth literature” in the 21st century

What does “Commonwealth literature” mean in the 21st century, and how do writers from the very different nations of the Commonwealth question the history that connects them? Writers Romesh Gunesekera...
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Romesh Gunesekera
Sharon Millar