The relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean

by Kent J Wessinger

Institution: Prescott College
Year: 2016
Keywords: African studies; Cultural anthropology; Caribbean studies
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2121916
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10144725


After experiencing the reality of life in the Caribbean for nearly two decades, I remain grieved by the level of suffering throughout the region, yet hopeful that a future of sustainable growth is within the realm of possibility. I am a first hand participant in and observer of the longstanding socioeconomic crisis that has forced the African culture in the Caribbean to repetitively ask the same question: “Why is all this hardship happening to us?” In order to participate in the solution, this project comprehensively explores the relationship between creative practice and the socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean––does limited access to environments that facilitate original and conceptual ideas correlate with the socioeconomic crisis in the region? Understanding the relationship and its outcomes could expose the source of long-term hardship and identify a path of sustainable growth for the African culture in the Caribbean. Accomplishing this objective required an analysis of four distinct perspectives: my observations as a participant in the culture, the historical progression of the region, recognized research that speaks directly to socioeconomic crisis and creative practice, and the voice of the culture. Reaching for clarity and rationale in answering the primary research question of this project––What is the relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean? ––the highest priority of understanding and respect has been given to the voice of the Africans in the Caribbean. Therefore, the Afro-Caribs on St. John, United States Virgin Islands serve as the narrative to reflect the reality of life in a contemporary context for the culture. The outcomes and methods of analysis developed in this project should be a useful tool for other cultures seeking to alleviate socioeconomic crisis and implement a sustainable pathway of growth. Keywords: Caribbean, creative practice, creativity, socioeconomic crisis, development, decolonization, dependency, living systems, oppression, cultural conditioning, chaos, Africans, West Indians.