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Call for papers – 5th International Garifuna Conference


‘The Island of Balliceaux: Sacred Lands or Economic Opportunity?’

The island of St Vincent, known by the Garifuna as Yurumein, is part of a wider Caribbean living Legacy of Indigenous People’s presence, existence and resistance to colonial imperatives within the Americas. It is on this island, now part of the multi-island state of St Vincent and the Grenadines, that the Garifuna nation, a nation of hybrid indigenous people created from the intermarriage between African and Kalinago peoples, was born.

The descendants of those 2,248 Garifuna persons, who were expelled from Balliceaux to Central America, now number over 300,000 and they have never forgotten the brutal impact of that expulsion. The memory of the loss of their homeland still remains vivid and painful, even after more than 200 years. Those Garifuna descendants, who mainly reside in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua and the United States, still consider Yurumein their “Spiritual Homeland”, a place to which a pilgrimage must be made at any available opportunity. Yurumein still resonates in songs and mournful laments in ceremonies practised within the Garifuna culture, especially in relation to the celebrations honouring the ancestors. The central focus of this pain is the island of Balliceaux. Balliceaux is specially revered as a sacred place, as it was here that approximately 2,500 of the 4,776 Garifuna who were held in captivity died within a period of six months, subsequent to their surrender to the British in 1795.

For this conference, the Garifuna Heritage Foundation is inviting papers by scholars, researchers, practitioners and cultural activists engaged in regional and international developments that explore, strategize and/or theorize the relationship between cultural heritage preservation, sacred sites and economic development in the Caribbean. Papers with particular reference to Balliceaux are especially welcome. Papers may include those presented at previous conferences, seminars or workshops.

Papers: Participants interested in submitting papers are asked to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a one-page biography, including mailing address, presentation format, email address(es), telephone contacts/phone and fax number(s) and Skype addresses by email to Sherise Browne, IGRC Conference Secretariat, at by February 15th, 2018.

Papers must keep to a reading time of 15 – 20 minutes (approximately 7 – 8 pages). Participants can submit papers which have a practice focus, which describes exemplary practices or programmes in the community and which may take the form of a case study, demonstration or technical report. Presentations may also be based on the reporting of original research or on the general application of any theoretical framework.

For more information , call 784-456-2124 or send an email to the above address.