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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

13 May 2019

Trinidad & Tobago promotes equality, but politicians often can't resist talking race

Trinidad and Tobago's Equal Opportunity Act has provisions against offensive behaviour, but when it comes to politics the race card gets played time and time again.

3 May 2019

A mixed welcome for Trinidad and Tobago's plan to regularise Venezuelan migrants

From exploitation of refugees to an increase in violent crime, Trinidad and Tobago has its hands full as streams of Venezuelan migrants continue to arrive.

12 April 2019

Easter in Trinidad & Tobago looks (and tastes) like this

A glimpse into what Easter time is like in the most southerly islands of the Caribbean archipelago.

30 March 2019

A magical image of a Carnival stilt-walker asserts the legitimacy of public breastfeeding in Trinidad & Tobago

"Eating in public spaces is normal and natural regardless of whether you’re eating off of a plate, a banana leaf or your mother’s breasts."

23 March 2019

Website fighting against body-shaming proves Carnival is for #everyBODY

"Thanks to masqueraders like Candice Santana and our followers, we can shed a different light on what true representation of masqueraders looks like."

13 March 2019

Carnival may bring out latent body-shaming in Trinidad & Tobago, but this masquerader is having none of it

"My band ran a campaign endorsing all sizes, shapes and shades. This excited me on many levels because truth be told we are a body shaming society."

28 February 2019

This Trinidad and Tobago steelband changed its tune, prompting discussion on a steelpan policy

"I don’t think people really understand what happens in a panyard. Problems like the one with Exodus will resurface if we keep looking at pan as pure entertainment."

14 February 2019

The Caribbean needs to work on its homophobia, but it doesn't need a lecture

"To Gabriel’s credit, he […] accepted he was wrong. That is a solid first step."

12 February 2019

Venezuela's humanitarian crisis puts Trinidad and Tobago's refugee policy under the microscope

Venezuelans fleeing their country have been seeking refuge in Trinidad and Tobago in increasing numbers, but the country is yet to get its act together to deal with the influx.

8 February 2019

Who will win Trinidad & Tobago Carnival's 2019 Road March?

A strong melody, a memorable refrain ... just some of the elements that make up the magical formula for a Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Road March.

Former West Indies cricket great: ‘We have to put a lot of things right to sustain that level of play’

West Indian cricket fans are longing for a return to their side's glory days, but cricket veteran Deryck Murray says there's still a lot of work to be done.

6 February 2019

‘No-confidence’ vote upheld by Guyana's courts

On January 31, 2019, Guyana's acting chief justice ruled in favor of the opposition coalition's 'no confidence' vote. New presidential elections will be called in March.

29 January 2019

Displaced farmers’ coalition reclaims their road to sustainable livelihoods 9 years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake

"We had nothing to fall back on, nothing to sell at the market. [...] What we suffered through the most was the loss of our dignity."

5 January 2019

After a fire destroys Jamaica's LGBT headquarters, 2019 deemed ‘year of rebuilding’

Pending the outcome of an official investigation, Jamaicans have been forming their own conclusions about the cause of a fire that gutted Jamaica's LGBTQIA+ support organisation.

29 December 2018

A ‘no-confidence’ vote finds Guyana politics in uncharted territory

After a surprising "no-confidence" vote, Guyana's president and members of the cabinet must resign, according to the constitution — a first for the country's politics.

19 December 2018

Ten quintessential Christmas tunes from Trinidad & Tobago

Some seasonal songs from Trinidad and Tobago that are sure to put you in a Christmas kind of mood — and that you won't hear anywhere else!

5 December 2018

Trinidad & Tobago court rules Olympian's dreams were killed by ‘biased’ gymnastics federation

The whole fiasco had more twists and turns than a gymnastics routine, but many believe Williams' forced withdrawal was illegal and her attorneys have been fighting for justice ever since.

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.

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