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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

20 March 2018

Trinidad and Tobago’s First Female President Claims Her Role as ‘Humble First Servant’

"It finally feels like the narrow vision of the past has broadened to include people on their merits, yet what a heavy burden of expectations the first one [...] carries."

16 March 2018

Guyanese Literary Giant Sir Wilson Harris Leaves Behind a ‘Literacy of the Imagination’

"The indigenous people of the Caribbean, the landscape [...] and native myth were [...] given new meaning because of him. He changed the way Caribbean literature is written and read."

28 February 2018

‘Ready to Reckon With the Colonizing World, Daring It to Try’ — What the ‘Black Panther’ Film Means to Trinidad & Tobago

"Black Panther is sublime. Not because it's a perfect narrative. No such thing exists. [...] It's sublime because it's an ardent vehicle for black joy."

20 February 2018

Protests in Trinidad's Capital as Residents Face Off with Police

Police say they shot and killed a man in a shootout, protestors claim it was an extrajudicial killing, wider society has no sympathy, and no solutions are being put forward.

10 February 2018

Trinidad & Tobago Finally Gets Its ‘Steups’ Emoji

One Trinidadian Facebook user, tired of waiting for Facebook to get the memo about the need for a "steups" emoji, went and designed one herself.

22 January 2018

Changing Trinidad & Tobago Carnival's Culture Starts With Consent

"Flirting is not a crime. Forcing your attention on someone is." Trinidad and Tobago Carnival may be experiencing "a progressive cultural shift”.

Barbados’ Sewage ‘Crisis’ Causes a Flood of Problems

"The South Coast of Barbados [is] known as the place to wine, dine and party. Regrettably, the South Coast has been making news because of sewage overflowing onto public spaces..."

8 January 2018

What's In a (Nick) Name? Ask the Caribbean!

"Acid". "Leech". "Totee Muff". Caribbean people love to rename things. Check out a few of their most spectacular sobriquets...

6 January 2018

Trinidadian Man Transforms Pothole Into a Hot Tub in Humorously Effective Protest

"So that's how to get things done in this country…you have to get on social media..."

3 January 2018

‘Offensive’ Soca Song Gets Boost After Ban From Carnival Contests in Trinidad & Tobago

"There is much that we have to talk about in Trinidad and Tobago as regards race, sex, class and even State-sponsored censorship..."

31 December 2017

If You Spent 2017 in the Caribbean, This Was The Kind of Year You Had

2017 was a bit like a rollercoaster for the Caribbean archipelago, complete with incredible highs and stomach-churning lows.

20 November 2017

Glimpses of Hope as Dominica Rebuilds After Hurricane Maria

"You will see the drastic difference in how the landscape changed after the storm [...] I’m planning future timelapse films, to hopefully showcase the return of our lush, green landscapes."

27 October 2017

In Trinidad & Tobago, It's No ‘Small Thing’ How People Rallied After Flooding

While most people had "no words" to describe the damage caused by days of flooding, the deputy head of the country's disaster agency called the situation "a small thing".

13 October 2017

‘They Tried to Give Us One Day Back’ — Trinidad & Tobago Marks a ‘One-Off’ First Peoples Day

"How do you know you are indigenous? [...] It does not matter what we are called, we know who we are. It is you who do not recognise me."

12 October 2017

Like the US, Trinidad & Tobago Won't Be at the 2018 World Cup, But They're the Only Ones Smiling About It

‘America, we know we not going to Russia,’ a nuts vendor shouted to nobody in particular, during the first half, ‘but allyuh not going neither!’

27 September 2017

Clapping Back Against Online Xenophobia, Trinidad & Tobago Citizens Continue to Help Hurricane-Ravaged Dominica

"I apologise for our having here persons who are less charitable and more ungracious in your time of trouble. They do not represent the majority of us."

20 September 2017

‘We Dare Not Look Out': Dominica Is Brutalised by Hurricane Maria

'Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. [The] physical damage at this time [...] is devastating…indeed, mind boggling.'

8 September 2017

The Caribbean Comes Together After Hurricane Irma

"We need to see and hear and interact with each other much much more. That's the message Irma has brought to me".

2 September 2017

55 Years After Cutting Ties With Great Britain, Is Trinidad and Tobago Independent or “In Dependence”?

"We have almost all the models we need right here; we have most of the solutions that will move us up to a different level."

28 August 2017

30km Protest ‘Swim’ from Tobago to Trinidad Turns Into ‘Another Post-Colonial Tale’

"Those Tobago transport woes are real. Maybe it's a PR stunt, but it's a bold move to draw necessary attention to travel challenges between Trinidad and Tobago."

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