Digital research resource launched for History Week

by: - October 13, 2015
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Dr. Schuyler Esprit, Director, Create Caribbean Inc.

Dr. Schuyler Esprit, Director of Create Caribbean Inc.

A multimedia web-based research resource on Dominica’s history has been launched to commemorate History Week 2015.

The Division of Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and Constituency Empowerment partnered with Create Caribbean Inc., Research Institute at the Dominica State College on this research resource.

History Week, which runs from Monday 12 October to Friday 19 October 2015, is being celebrated under the theme “The Road to Independence; 1950 -1978”.

The signature project for this year’s History week was the official launch of a multimedia web-based research resource which took place on Tuesday 13 October at the Dominica State College’s Stockfarm Campus.

The multimedia web-based research resource project, conceived in an effort to steer dialogue about Dominica’s journey from colonial rule to sovereignty, with a view to understanding the lessons we can learn about 21st century national development, will appeal to a wide range of people interested in Dominica’s rich history.

This multimedia project includes images, text-documents, newspaper clippings, court, legal and parliamentary documents, audio-visual recordings among others and will highlight the key historical events, with detailed primary and secondary source analysis, along with present day reflections on the lessons of that era.

The general topics addressed within the project include colonialism, anti-colonial internal struggles in Dominica, adult suffrage, the impacts of colonialism on social institutions including education, religion, health and social services; infrastructural development; E.O Leblanc and the use of education of the working class to create middle class autonomy, the Salisbury declaration, Grand Bay as a locus of independence activism, West Indies federation rise and fall and collective resistance among labour and trade unions political party formations and radical grassroots organizations.

“The Road to Independence” project provides research, teaching and learning resources teachers and students at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

It also includes surveys and overviews for introduction in public education/awareness programs and for general interest audiences in Dominica, the Diaspora and the wider world, significant analysis and visualizations for scholars and researchers in Caribbean studies to better understand and contextualize this particular era in Dominica history.

“The Road to Independence” is as an ongoing repository for archival, scholarly or publicly-sourced information on the “Road to Independence” and will be the source document for History Week lectures and presentations and serve as a reference document by Division of Culture officials, educators, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders for further engagement on the topics analysed within.

The project will continue from History Week through Independence season to the months ahead and will include “History Harvest” town hall meetings in a number of communities, such as Grand Bay, Mahaut, Atkinson and Portsmouth.

The Division of Culture and Create Caribbean Research Institute at the Dominica State College are committed to the intellectual and cultural engagements that will be generated by the research, analysis and visualization of Dominica’s road to political independence, and to the various discussions that will be generated as a result.