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Janine Mendes-Franco

I am a writer and media producer based in Trinidad and Tobago. Follow me on Twitter @JanineMFranco.

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Latest posts by Janine Mendes-Franco

The Caribbean's case for reparations: Part III

Reparatory justice can play an important role in dealing with challenges like disease, climate change and COVID-19, all of which pose existential threats to the region.

Caribbean alphabet series provides lots of laughs on TikTok

Laughter has become a critical coping mechanism in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in an era of social media "influencers," can anyone lay claim to originality?

The Caribbean's case for reparations: Part II

"We transformed these broken colonies into functional democracies without any support […] and now we have this debt crisis because we were abandoned by those who plundered our wealth."

The Caribbean's case for reparations: Part I

"When a wrong has been committed, it must be repaired. If you recognise that colonization has been a source of massive crimes against humanity, then reparations are legitimate."

Trinidad & Tobago loses a fount of cultural knowledge with the passing of comedian Dennis ‘Sprangalang’ Hall

"He was our identity, he was a creole griot. A historical raconteur who spoke the nation language in a way that was universal. A comedian who made us think."

COVID-19 causes Trinidad and Tobago to cancel its Carnival for 2021

"Everyone else has already gone ahead and cancelled theirs. I do not [...] see how [anyone] could possibly think to put the country under further threat from Covid-19."

In Trinidad & Tobago, citizens defend sou-sou savings against pyramid scheme comparisons

"It has become popular to bad talk traditional methods of savings [without] a clear understanding of the roles they played in the economic development of historically disenfranchised communities here."

Brutal murders in Guyana seen as ‘continuation of earlier ethnic upheavals’

After a months-long election stalemate, and the opposition party's framing of the murders as the failure of a "fraudulent government" to protect Afro-Guyanese, racial tensions are again on the rise.

Barbados declares intent to recognise same-sex unions and remove British queen as head of state

The Cayman Islands recently made same-sex partnerships legal, but Barbados may become the first CARICOM member to do so. It will also replace the queen as head of state.

The Caribbean's ‘double standard’ on the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols

Some social media users are convinced that when it comes to COVID-19 regulation enforcement, police officers come down harder on residents of disenfranchised communities.

Trinidadian writer Ingrid Persaud talks about her new novel, ‘Love After Love’

"I let the characters lead me and often, I wasn’t too sure where we would find ourselves. It was the only way I could navigate these themes."

Calls for unity as Trinidad & Tobago celebrates Independence Day

"The General Election 2020 flipped Trinidad and Tobago over and exposed what can be described as its ugly underbelly […] laid bare seething tensions that have simmered between ethnicities."

A conversation with Trinidadian Nneka Jones, the artist who created compelling American flag image for TIME magazine: Part II

"This hand embroidered flag was created with the intention of signifying optimism and hopes that we can all work together to build a brighter future."

A conversation with Trinidadian Nneka Jones, the artist who created compelling American flag image for TIME magazine: Part I

"We had decided that using the American flag would be the perfect symbolism as it is a reflection of everything happening in the nation currently."

After recounts revealed the same result, Trinidad & Tobago's government is finally sworn in

After a drawn-out recount which failed to affect the original result, the incumbent government has been sworn back into office for another term.

Trinidad & Tobago's 2020 election results are currently being recounted

The preliminary results of Trinidad and Tobago's general election were clear: the incumbent won, securing 22 of 41 parliamentary seats, but the opposition has challenged the outcome.

After its general election, Trinidad & Tobago's racist underbelly is showing

In a racially heated post-election climate, blogger Amilcar Sanatan advises being "brave enough to call out what is wrong" in order to build a more just and equal society.

The historic selection of Kamala Harris as the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate resonates in the Caribbean

Could Kamala Harris, daughter of immigrants and the first Black/South Asian woman vice-presidential candidate for a major U.S. political party, be "great for diversity"?

In Trinidad & Tobago, the use of Black iconography in Emancipation Day ads backfires

"This ad brings to light greater issues of the way Africans are represented in media and how careless and flippant many media programmers are with African icons, legacy, and symbols."

Ahead of elections in Trinidad & Tobago, one party promises to build a dome to limit ‘illegal outsiders’

With less than a week until Trinidad and Tobago's general elections, electioneering has reached a fever pitch. Still, no one quite expected a dome as a campaign promise.

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