Podcasting the history of the Caribbean in 100 objects

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Archaeologists Alice Samson and Angus Mol use a different object or artefact in each episode of  their podcast The History of the Caribbean in 100 Objects to tell the story of past and present cultures and societies of the Caribbean. What I particularly enjoy about the podcast is that they have selected artefacts from across the Caribbean, crossing language barriers to teach us about artefacts from the formerly Spanish, British and Dutch parts of the region, as well as the pre-Columbian era. This is no mean feat—historians are all too often limited by language barriers in studying the Caribbean, particularly those who are reliant upon documentary (written) evidence. As archaeologists, Samson and Mol have managed to cross some of those barriers. Episode 1 discusses a guaíza, which is a small sculpture of a face, dating back to between 1200-1300. Studying this artefact opens up research on the people who lived in today’s Dominican republic, before Columbus ‘discovered’ the region.

The episodes are of a manageable length—some as short as 15 minutes, but most about 25 minutes long. The hosts’ discussions provide all sorts of information, and give us a fascinating insight into the fieldwork and research undertaken by archaeologists across the Caribbean. The episodes range across topics as diverse as the discovery of a blue bead from Statia, a coin from St.Kitts, and three statutes from a house in the centre of Santo Domingo. There is also an associated website which has some stunning photography of the objects (and of the Caribbean itself).

This is a link to the podcast on iTunes: A History of the Caribbean in 100 Objects

and this is a link to the website, with show notes: Shores of Time Podcast Notes

Making Jamaica: Photography from the 1890s

A collection of more than 70 historical photographs go on display later this month  in a free exhibition at Rivington Place in London. ‘Making Jamaica’ explores how a new image of Jamaica was created through photography in the 1890s. The images are being exhibited in London for the first time, and are drawn from the Caribbean Photo Archive. If you’re in London and get to the exhibition, please report back! It looks well worth visiting.

 

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Jamaica Boys—Brown & Dawson, c.1890. Caribbean Photo Archive.

This is a link to the exhibition details: Making Jamaica  and this is a link to a recent article about the exhibition in the Guardian, which includes a gallery of some of the photographs: Gallery