Cultural Entrepreneurship & Documentation Program Grenada – It’s day eight. Which is startling because it feels like we’ve been here for no time at all.
=I am at a loss for words in terms of describing what we have been doing (and if you ask my NSCC and TAMCC colleagues, I’ve always got something to say).
As far as the work goes, this is much more than just doing some research and interviewing people. It’s not just an oral history project and entrepreneurial study. We’re playing a rare part in an ongoing effort to preserve a culture. The rarity of our role comes in the way that we are also looking for ways to support a relatively new economy. And we’ve more-or-less got carte-blanche as to how we approach the issue. As foreigners we are not bound by cultural norms and taboos, therefore, we can be effective (the journalist in me loves that). To a certain degree, we can use our general lack of perspective as a tool to learn more – and our Grenadian counterparts are here to guide and teach us, all the while learning new things about their own people and culture. The involvement of the TAMCC students and faculty is, in my opinion, the foundation of this project. These people (two generations of Grenadians) know the ebbs and flows of the island and the culture. If we, of TAMCC and NSCC, are intent on finding the impetus that preserves the culture of the people here, while at the same time allowing for economic growth and developing an education tool – I think we’ve already found it. It’s us. The project is the project.
This experience has also helped me grow personally. I’m in an environment that in some ways is completely foreign to me and in others, completely familiar…and my presence has been often noticed. I’m a lanky, 6’6” sweaty white Canadian rubber necking my way through a population that 80% black. It’s teaching me a lot; (Niomi, one of the Grenadian students was reading over my shoulder and told me to add ‘sweaty’ to that description).
The island and its people are captivating. Beautiful, peaceful and always living. I’m constantly engaged and present – I can’t help it. Everything is breathing and moving and singing and dancing. This really is cultural immersion. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I don’t really recall any of the expectations I had before getting here, but I know that they’ve all been surpassed.
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