30 August 2011

Being a West Indian

Yesterday I traveled all the way home to my lovely little island in the Caribbean. It is a long journey but one that is totally worth it! I love my island and I love the feeling of coming home.

On the plane on of the films they showed was Fire in Babylon. I've been meaning to see it since I first saw the trailer a few months ago. But it did a really stingy tour of UK cinemas and I hadn't had the opportunity. So obviously I was really excited that they were playing it on the flight. I've got to say, it definitely lived up to all the expectation. It is a fantastic film! If you have any interest at all in the West Indies, cricket, sport, racial tension, regional identity, or team dynamics, you should definitely give it a go. Watching this film made me so proud to be a West Indian. It reminded my what the spirit of our region is about. It is about working hard, defying prejudice, exceeding expectations. It is about forging a culture out of a complex history but not conforming to colonial pressures. We may be small islands but we are not insignificant and we will not be ignored. I'm not going to give a summary of the film because you can find a better one here and here. And you should just watch it yourself anyway. One of my favourite quotes was this (and I'm paraphrasing a bit because I can't remember exact wording): Babylon is not a place. It is a condition. It is a state of being in which unjust actions are cast upon a people who do not deserve it.

from here


  1. Roo, this film is one of the reasons why I love BA - I assume you travelled BA? I saw it on my way down to Barbados, like the last three quarters of it, then needed to buy the whole thing on iTunes. It's a shame that every.single.west-indian has not seen this yet!

  2. I actually flew Virgin Atlantic. I always do. But I'm really glad you've seen it and really glad you liked it :)

  3. My personal favourite quotation was: "let me cut it short for you: it was like the slaves whipping the white man's ass"

    Say it like it is, why don't you!!

    Loved the film, also made me sad because things aren't really like that anymore- also made we wish that the WI team wasn't doing so crap at the moment!!

  4. Don't be too sad Fay. I think that often we forget what it means to be a West Indian. But I really do think that same mentality is still embedded in our region; it rears its head from time to time. As for the cricket team... every team has their ups and downs. Losing matches doesn't make me nearly as sad as losing supporters.