Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Guyana, French Guiana & Suriname

Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. This ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi Jagan was elected president in what is considered the country’s first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet Jagan, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat Jagdeo, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006.

French Guiana was originally inhabited by a number of indigenous American people. It was settled by the French during the 17th century. Its infamous Île du Diable (Devil’s Island) was the site of penal settlements from 1852 until 1951. A border dispute with Brazil arose in the late nineteenth century over a vast area of jungle, leading to the short-lived pro-French independent state of Counani in the disputed territory and some fighting between settlers, before the dispute was resolved largely in favour of Brazil by the arbitration of the Swiss government. In 1946, French Guiana became an overseas department of France. The 1970s saw the settlement of Hmong refugees from Laos. A movement for increased autonomy from France gained some momentum in the 1970s and 1980s.

First explored by the Spaniards in the 16th century and then settled by the English in the mid-17th century, Suriname became a Dutch colony in 1667. With the abolition of slavery in 1863, workers were brought in from India and Java. Independence from the Netherlands was granted in 1975. Five years later the civilian government was replaced by a military regime that soon declared a socialist republic. It continued to exert control through a succession of nominally civilian administrations until 1987, when international pressure finally forced a democratic election. In 1990, the military overthrew the civilian leadership, but a democratically elected government – a four-party New Front coalition – returned to power in 1991 and has ruled since; the coalition expanded to eight parties in 2005.

CIA World Factbook: Guyana, French Guiana & Suriname

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Film discussion: "O Pai, O" - Carnaval and the intersectionality of oppressions in Salvador/Bahia

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Language: introduction in Portuguese Questions and comments welcome in Portuguese, English, or Spanish

Facilitators: Sílvia Lorenso, Associate Professor and Director, Middlebury School in Brazil Guimário Nascimento, History Teacher, Colégio Nossa Senhora Soledad, Salvador Tatiane Cerqueira, Mestre and PhD student at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, UFSC

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*Warning: Some scenes in the film contain graphic violence and sex.

Office of Study Abroad

"The Past is a Foreign Country" and "Landscape Fever" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

“The Past is a Foreign Country” and “Landscape Fever” are Spanish-language short films directed by Gabrielle Garcia Steib, sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:

The Past is a Foreign Country addresses the past as an idea of which we have control, particularly to discuss the intersection of communities in New Orleans with those in Latin America”.

Landscape Fever is a short film that addresses the narrative of a Honduran immigrant corroded by violence upon her path migrating to New Orleans. Using archival footage filmed along the U.S. / Mexican border, and sound designed by Udit Duseja merged with field recordings- the viewer may step into the world of a traumatic yet common experience that occurs among the borderlands.”

Individual passes are not available for short films. However, the NOFF offers a “Virtual Shorts Pass” for $55.00 that allows access to all short films. This pass can be purchased here

"Landfall" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

Landfall, is an English-language Puerto Rican documentary film, directed by Cecilia Aldarondo.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:
“A kaleidoscopic portrait of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane María, Landfall investigates a storm of much greater magnitude: the economic crisis crippling the island long before María arrived.”

Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring this film. More information and tickets are available here

Cuban Slavery and the Atlantic World

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The Gilder Lehrman Center‘€™s 22nd Annual International Conference provides a forum for discussion of the study of Cuban slavery and emancipation today, placing the island‘€™s history within the wider Atlantic world. Over the past few decades, the study of Cuban history has been an increasingly international effort. Cuban historians have interacted more and more with colleagues from abroad, with discussions grounded in the unique primary sources found in the rich Cuban archives. These scholars have demonstrated the importance of understanding Cuban slavery within the context of the Atlantic world and broad colonial networks of domination and resistance. This conference brings together scholars from Cuba and abroad working on the transatlantic slave trade, resistance, systems of control, abolition and emancipation, and the memory and legacies of slavery in Cuba. Join us for in-depth conversations about the present and future of understanding slavery and its long aftermath in this crucial part of the world.

"Verde" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

Verde, is a Spanish-language, Dominican feature film, directed by Alfonso Morgan-Terreno.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:
“When a bystander is killed during the robbery of a goldmine, the spilled blood stains more than the three men responsible, saturating the tight-knit fabric of their tiny Dominican village, seeping into the landscape itself. In a feature debut that pairs clear-eyed observation with ghostly intelligence, Alfonso Morgan-Terrero takes a familiar story, a dark passage of revenge and bloodshed, and sinks its noirish elements deep into the texture of its surroundings: rough-hewn structures, alleys of broken rock bathed in grimy orange streetlight, and the enveloping green of the forest. Under the film’s hypnotized gaze, kinship, brotherhood, and enmity are blurred and masquerade as one another”.
-Jonathan Kieran.

Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring this film. More information and tickets are available here

"Right Near the Beach" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

Right Near the Beach, is an English-language, Jamaican feature film, directed by Gibrey Allen.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:
“After the death of famous runner Jeffrey Jacobs, the Jamacian public becomes enamored with the details of his life and speculates as to the motivation behind his murder. Jeffrey’s father, a reserved and kind farmer, struggles to grieve while inundated by the inescapable coverage. Through moments of blinding rage and quiet contemplation, the camera is a window into a life burdened by the death of a child that will never know justice. Against a backdrop of beautiful vistas, Right Near the Beach takes a lyrical approach to the exploration of homophobia in Jamaica. Rather than treat the murder as a voyeristic mystery, the film challenges us to contemplate the anguish of loss while everyone else debates the value of one person’s life”.
-Greta Hagen-Richardson

Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring this film. More information and tickets are available here