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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

18 January 2020

Is there more to the Caribbean's single-use plastics ban than meets the eye?

The move to go plastic-free is timely. According to the United Nations, 70 to 85 percent of marine litter in the Caribbean originates from land, and the lion's share is...

13 January 2020

The Trinidadian that inspired Sam Mendes’ WWI epic, ‘1917’

Trinidadian Alfred Mendes had a long and extraordinary life in which he was many things – war hero, writer, politician – all of which was worthy of the big screen.

9 January 2020

Is the Caribbean apocalypse-proof?

Two researchers — who admit "their methodology probably isn't perfect" — suggest island nations are the best places to be in an apocalypse. But will the Global South be welcoming?

1 January 2020

Global Voices quinceañera: When the Caribbean did the right thing

In 2019, the Caribbean envisioned a more holistic brand of public education, spoke out against corruption, and experienced a resurgence of respect towards its First Peoples. Part 5 of 5.

31 December 2019

Global Voices quinceañera: How the climate crisis and other disasters affected the Caribbean in 2019

Like other Small Island Developing States, the Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable regions when it comes to the effects of the climate crisis. Part 4 of 5.

30 December 2019

Global Voices quinceañera: The Caribbean steps out of the box

Pride parades. Cannabis legislation. £20 million in reparations. These were some of the victories in the Caribbean for 2019. Part 3 of 5.

19 December 2019

Global Voices quinceañera: Spotlight on Caribbean women's stories

From public breastfeeding to fighting period poverty, here are some of the ways Caribbean women stood up for themselves in 2019. Part 2 of 5.

18 December 2019

In the frenzy over the new $100 bill, Trinidad & Tobago's banking sector reveals its disrespect for an age-old practice

As Trinidad and Tobago makes the changeover to a new $100 bill, the country's Banking Association president declares the age-old cultural practice of "sou-sou" to be illegitimate, provoking an outcry.

17 December 2019

As Global Voices celebrates its quinceañera, 15 ‘coming-of-age’ posts from the Caribbean

Happy 15th birthday, GV! The Caribbean team picks 15 of its best posts from 2019, starting with violent street protests, a refugee crisis, and an inspiring story of justice. Part...

13 December 2019

Anti-street harassment campaign in Trinidad & Tobago: ‘It's high time men are taught to do better’

Street harassment is all too common in Caribbean societies, but the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has begun an educational campaign to inspire behavioural change.

30 November 2019

‘Jump high and shake your manifesto': The rhythms of Trinidad & Tobago elections

For Trinidad and Tobago's politicians, the way to voters' hearts is often through song. A look back at some notable guest appearances by calypso and soca on the campaign trail.

17 November 2019

Antigua & Barbuda wants Harvard Law School to ‘make amends’ for the gains it enjoyed from slavery

"Admitting that Harvard benefited greatly from the backs of slaves in Antigua and making a few token changes to [...] a shield does nothing to correct the grave injustice."

7 November 2019

‘Hypersensitive’ or ‘horror'? Trinidad church mired in fashion show controversy

"Even though the church might promote the positive aspects of the culture [...] due care must be taken to ensure that participants do not cross the line into negativity and...

25 October 2019

Cry of ‘Free the [bleeping] weed!’ leads to arrest of Trinidadian cannabis advocate

"To those who say the war is over, Rowley has promised to decriminalise, tell that to the citizens of this country who are packed 15 man to one stinking cell."

19 October 2019

Is Trinidad & Tobago's LED lightbulb initiative a bright idea or a shot in the dark?

It may seem like a good idea in theory, but citizens are concerned that the fiscal measure of providing 400,000 households with LED bulbs is not part of a bigger...

10 October 2019

Despite last year's ‘alternative’ win, Guadeloupe's Maryse Condé passed over for 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature

The odds appeared to be in Condé's favour, but the Swedish Academy instead named Austrian author Peter Handke winner of the 2019 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

2 October 2019

The Caribbean speaks out on the climate crisis

Caribbean activists are joining the global movement to demand action on climate change; after all, island nations are on the frontline of the crisis with the most adverse effects.

19 September 2019

Trinidad & Tobago government to rethink Sedition Act

"What is needed is an urgent amendment of the Act to qualify seditious intention by adding a specific requirement that the prohibited acts and statements must urge forceful/violent action."

18 September 2019

Why the Bahamas needs kindness right now

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season has been a frightening one — and the climate crisis makes it even scarier for small islands. But we can rise above the fear by...

12 September 2019

A beloved Trinidadian vendor regains his rightful place selling nuts at cricket matches

A sponsorship deal that granted a snacks company exclusive product rights at a regional cricket tournament results in cricket fans getting passionate — about their nuts vendors.