Big Ideas: Conversations & Discussions

Our Big Ideas series explores the questions of the day, and of the ages, with panels of expert writers and thinkers.

Over the years we’ve hosted lectures, conversations, debates and discussions with some of region’s, and the world’s, greatest minds on a huge range of topics such as human rights, race, the environment, press freedom, political leadership and so much more. The series started as an annual event at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest back in 2011, and is now a regular feature that takes a deeper look at current affairs and thought-provoking topics touched on in the media and in new writing from (and about) the Caribbean. 

Carnival Bodies: Peforming Gender and Sexuality in Carnival

Carnival has notoriously been an expression of “playing yuhself”, but is this freedom equally available to all of us? Our panel takes a look at the hidden truths behind this narrative, exploring the space that may or may not exist for queerness and (un)masking in our Carnival.

CARNIVAL BODIES: AN EXPLORATION OF PERFORMING GENDER & SEXUALITY IN CARNIVAL with Amir Hall, elisha bartels & Robert Young, ft. Rosamond S. King Hosted by Ardene Sirjoo.

The Case for Reparations

International Day for Reparations is marked on 12 October. What does that mean for us in the Caribbean, the birthplace of the triangular slave trade? In an era of the Black Lives Matter movement, we are presented with an opportune moment to further examine this contentious issue in a special one-on-one conversation with Sir Hilary Beckles, chaired by Andy Knight.

How we remember: reflections on the 175th anniversary of Indian Arrival

The arrival of 227 indentured Indian immigrants aboard the Fatal Razack on 30 May, 1845, was a defining event in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. As we commemorate the 175th anniversary of Indian Arrival, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest brings together a panel of writers to reflect on how indentureship and the Indo-Caribbean experience have been documented and imagined in our contemporary literature. Writers Andre Bagoo, Gaiutra Bahadur, and Gabrielle Hosein, along with publisher Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press, share their perspectives through readings and conversation, hosted by Shivanee Ramlochan and Nicholas Laughlin.

Supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture, and the Arts of Trinidad and Tobago.

Remembering 1990: Why and how should we?

Monday 27 July 2020 marks three decades to the date since the violent takeover of the TT Parliament and national broadcaster TTT that lasted six days. We will recognise 30 years since the attempted coup d’etat with this conversation aimed at exploring the events of the period, their impact, and their place in our nation’s collective memory.
Dennis McComie was at work as Broadcaster/Producer at Radio 610 on St Abercromby Street in Port of Spain when the violence began. The second edition of his 1990: The Personal Account of a Journalist under Siege, will provide the context for the timely discussion, which includes McComie; commissioner of the Commission of Enquiry into the events surrounding the 1990 attempted coup Diana Mahabir-Wyatt; veteran journalist Andy Johnson; and performer, dubbed one of the ‘children of the coup’, Muhammad Muwakil; moderated by journalist Sterling Henderson.