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Janine Mendes-Franco

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

Email Janine Mendes-Franco

Latest posts by Janine Mendes-Franco

31 October 2018

For Calypso History Month in Trinidad & Tobago, #metoo does a double-take on empowering tunes

Readers offer a few suggestions for calypsos that make female empowerment their priority.

21 October 2018

Heavy rains and flooding turned parts of Trinidad & Tobago into disaster zones

"Residents are trapped. My road is cut off completely. Not even trucks can access the highway, the water is so high.”

18 October 2018

For Calypso History Month in Trinidad and Tobago, six tunes for the #metoo era

In a genre that has often painted women in a negative light, the tunes that broke the mould are etched forever in the national consciousness.

1 October 2018

Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore, Trinidadian musician who took steel pan music ‘by storm’, dies

"This is the equivalent of a Brahms, Bach or Beethoven passing. This is huge. This is a loss."

22 August 2018

Anatomy of a Trinidad earthquake

The Bridge

"I was silenced, diminished and at the same time in total awe. This was nature and I understood myself to be at the very heart of it."

24 July 2018

‘They can’t duck the question of decolonisation and transformation anymore’

"That's partly why I’m here in Trinidad. It’s really important for us to have spaces and places where [such] concerns are central, in really deep, rigorous, creative, investigative, explorative ways."

13 July 2018

‘In a lot of the post-colonial world, so much of what really drives us is suppressed’

"The majority of students are black. It’s not so much a colour as the fact that they come with emotional relationships to the rest of the world that are different."

9 July 2018

‘Apartheid couldn’t have happened without that spatial carving up of the landscape’

"In South Africa, certainly, architecture was always complicit in oppression. Apartheid might have been a political and social structure, but it was also a physical one," says architect Lesley Lokko.

14 June 2018

Trinidad and Tobago's religious leaders ‘unite to divide’ people around the issue of gay rights

"Doing what you can to reduce murder, child abuse, domestic violence...nah, more important to use your leadership position to say who should or shouldn't be allowed to love each other"

15 May 2018

Trinidadian photographer Maria Nunes pays tribute to ‘Carnival dreamers and makers’ in new book

"For me it’s about immersion. It’s about going all out, no half way business. Also, as a photographer I see myself as a participant too, not a spectator."

20 April 2018

‘Compromising journalism. Compromising a young woman's right to be herself. Compromising the nation.’

A Trinidad & Tobago newspaper is slammed for its "homophobic" coverage of history-making sprinter Michelle Lee Ahye.

17 April 2018

Though opposition remains, Trinidad & Tobago takes a historic legal step towards LGBT equality

"We are all humans. We are all the same. When are you going to realize you’re on the wrong side of history?"

12 April 2018

PHOTOS: Celebration as High Court Deems Trinidad & Tobago ‘Buggery’ Law ‘Unconstitutional’

"In the end, whether or not the court's ruling managed to change anyone's mind, LBGT+ and religious activists stood side by side on the steps of the Hall of Justice..."

11 April 2018

Trinidad & Tobago's LGBT Community Speaks Out as Court Decision on ‘Buggery’ Law Approaches

"Religion must not trump reason when it comes to basic human rights."

4 April 2018

Diplomatic Storm Strikes When Trinidad and Tobago Refuses Hurricane-Hit Dominica an Ease on OAS Contributions

"I hope the people of Dominica know that not all Trinbagonians are as graceless as this official position might indicate, and this objection makes many of us feel deeply ashamed."

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.

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