Fyah-red cookup: Groundings with film, from Guava Island and Guyana

Alyce Cameron, Christina Edwards, Christine Comacho, Jeremy Peretz, Khemchan Persaud

📃• URC22 Abstract • 

Published: May 16, 2022Book of Abstracts of the 4th Undergraduate Research Conference. University of Guyana, Office for Undergraduate Research.

Alyce Cameron, Christina Edwards, Christine Comacho, Jeremy Peretz✉️, Khemchan Persaud Department of Language and Cultural Studies. Faculty of Education and Humanities. University of Guyana-Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana

Christine Comacho, Khemchan Persaud Department of History and Caribbean Studies, Faculty of Education and Humanities, University of Guyana – Turkeyen Campus

Alyce Cameron E.R. Burrowes School of Art, Georgetown Guyana

This collaborative contribution centres teachings and practices of Guyanese political historian Walter Rodney, especially as expressed in a lecture he delivered at University of California, Los Angeles that first appeared in Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies in 1972. Through personal reflections, critical analyses, and creative responses, the piece also grounds with Donald Glover’s 2019 film Guava Island, and the 2001 film Life and Debt, which is based in part on an essay/book by Jamaica Kincaid. Along with our focus on Rodney and the neo/post/anti/de/colonial politics of Guyana/British Guiana from the 1950s on, we draw on film reviews and other writings that appeared in Ufahamu over the past decade. Our cookup/mashup presents a creative reappraisal of both films—along with other films and other artworks—in light of Guyanese political past and present embodied in the life and death of Brother Walter. What legacies connect Dr. Rodney, we ponder, to Deni Maroon, star of Guava Island, as well as to poet-musician-activist-philosophers like Bob Marley, Boots Riley, and Martin Carter? In poems and autoethnographic vignettes, relationships between our own family and community political histories and those of the wider Guyanese nation and global capitalist structures are explored. Drawing on many diverse sources and perspectives, the resulting bricolage forms a collective, unfinished, open-ended, partial, and fragmentary “affective archive” in which can be read, among other things, a lived ongoing confrontation with the fictions of Red Cargo—sovereign of Guava Island.  


Keywords: Guyana politics, Walter Rodney, affective archives, Caribbean coloniality, poetry, Creoles

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The 4th Undergraduate Research Conference (URC22) was hosted by the University of Guyana’s Office for Undergraduate Research on May 18-20, 2022.