sx salon 6: Locating Caribbean LGBT Histories

sx salon, issue 6 (August 2011)

Introduction and Table of Contents

In June of this year, the Caribbean IRN, a “resource for people and organizations inside and outside the region whose work focuses on issues related to diverse genders and sexualities in the Caribbean,” held a multimedia event at Brooklyn College to launch the newly formed digital archive of the Jamaica Gay Freedom Movement. As the queer Caribbean receives more attention in the academic, political, and cultural arenas, those fighting homophobia might be tempted to promote themselves as pioneering progressives (similarly, those fighting homosexuality might view themselves as suddenly under siege). But there is a history of LGBT activism in the Caribbean, a slice of which this digital archive now makes widely available. The archive is hosted by the Digital Library of the Caribbean, itself a noteworthy innovation in archival work.  sx salon 6 brings together essays on the process behind making the collection a reality and its potential for Pan-Caribbean queer communities.

The multimedia form of the launch was as significant as the archive it showcased. By utilizing a WebEx platform, the organizers were able to make the event global. Anyone with Internet access could participate (or just observe) the launch and discussion of the collection. Indeed, one panelist, Vidyaratha Kissoon, presented virtually from Guyana. The Caribbean IRN also organized “hubs” for virtual participation in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Guyana, and Trinidad. With a mélange of interests, accents, and locations, the Q&A period following the panel presentations was inspiring in its breadth and scope. In the discussion section of sx salon 6, we feature essays from all the panelists—Thomas Glave, Larry Chang, Angelique Nixon, Rosamond King, and Vidyaratha Kissoon—and in tribute to the format of the archive and its launch we feature our first video piece, as Kissoon takes the sx salon audience on a virtual tour of the Jamaica Gay Freedom Movement collection.

The book reviews in sx salon 6 lean heavily toward academic texts on a range of topics: Kaiama Glover’s examination of the Spiralist movement; Martin Munro’s study of rhythm in the African diaspora; Donnette Francis’s connective explorations of citizenship and sexuality; and the timely collection Postcolonial Ecologies, edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey and George B. Handley. Holding ground with the lone fiction review in this issue, Anton Nimblett considers Earl Lovelace’s latest novel, Is Just a Movie, in light of the celebrated author’s oeuvre.

In “Poetry and Prose” we feature poetry from Ian Strachan, Elvis Alves, and Jerome Branche, and prose from Katherine Atkinson. Also included is the conclusion of Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat’s two-part story “Like Fish, Drowning.” (Readers who missed part one of Josaphat’s story may find it here).

We hope you enjoy the August issue of sx salon.

Kelly Baker Josephs

Table of Contents

sx salon, issue 6 (August 2011)—Kelly Baker Josephs

Is Just a Movie by Earl Lovelace—Anton Nimblett
Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon by Kaiama Glover—Nick Nesbitt
Different Drummers: Rhythm and Race in the Americas by Martin Munro—Carter Mathes
Fictions of Feminine Citizenship: Sexuality and the Nation in Contemporary Caribbean Literature by Donette Francis—Christopher Ian Foster
Postcolonial Ecologies: Literatures of the Environment edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey and George B. Handley—Nicholas Gamso

Discussion—Locating Caribbean LGBT Histories
Jamaica: Toward a Queer Prayer—Thomas Glave
Genesis of the Jamaica Gay Freedom Movement Archive—Larry Chang
Preserving Our Stories: Caribbean LGBT Histories and Activism—Angelique Nixon
Building a Digital Archive: The Journey to Upload the Jamaica Gay Freedom Movement—Rosamond S. King
Chantilly Lace—Vidyaratha Kissoon

“Like Fish, Drowning (Part II)”—Fabienne Sylvia Josaphat
“Kaiso Blue”—Katherine Atkinson

Ian Strachan
Elvis Alves
Jerome Branche

Anthony Winkler by Barrington Salmon