Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

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

19 February 2020

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival's steel pan competition in photos

There's only one place you can hear the best steelbands in the world compete against one another: the annual Panorama competition during Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival.

14 February 2020

An interview with Roger Robinson, winner of the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize in poetry

Roger Robinson's poetry collection explores the theme of paradise, with topics ranging from London's tragic Grenfell Tower fire to the Windrush controversy, presented in bold, raw, and honest ways.

6 February 2020

Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite leaves behind a legacy of language

"His use of nation language and the breadth of work he produced leaves an indelible mark on us all."

31 January 2020

Remembrance for femicide victims in Trinidad & Tobago raises awareness of gender-based violence

The gathering highlighted several key issues, including the need for better support systems, updated legislation and social reformation programmes to inspire cultural change.

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.