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The relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean

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Kent Wessinger

on 18 May 2016

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Transcript of The relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean

The relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean
Why
is this happening in "Paradise"?

Kent J Wessinger, PHD
Three facts about the Caribbean


Population
Scholars
World leader

Qualitative Inquiry:
Positionality
of investigator
Historical
progression
Theoretical
analysis
The
voice
of the people
Positionality
It is essential that the positionality of the investigator be firmly
established

"Paradise" lost in
crisis
: Historical Progression
of the Caribbean
Theoretical Analysis
3
lenses
of
The
voice
of the people
Restoring
the Afro-Carib Culture
Is there a relationship

between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean?
Kent J Wessinger, Phd
-Creswell. 1999
The beaches and harbors are for
white
Americans seeking the sun, but
black
Afro-Caribs see it as a stepping stone, a place to wait for a few years before
moving

northward

little known
Losing
their sense of self for the colonized Africans was defined as the
deletion
of all cognitive processes, which
included
creativity, innovation, and any decision related to sustainable growth.

The history of the islands can never be satisfactorily told. History is built around achievement and creation; and
nothing
was created in the West Indies.
Going for the goods: The dark side of capitalism in the Caribbean
Dependence embedded with chaos:
Cultural conditioning theory
Lens II:
Lens I:
The most serious blow suffered by the Africans was being removed from from history and the community. Caribbean colonization usurps any free role in either war or peace,
every decision contributing to his destiny
, and all cultural and social responsibility--Memmi, 1957, p. 91
After
living
in the Caribbean for nearly two decades, I have experienced and observed in two
realities
:
1.
socioeconomic crisis,
hardship has become an
accepted way of life.
2.
Creative

practice
seems to have been reduced
to daily Survival.
Two year
To comprehensively
answer the question:
-16 conversational
interviews
-12 questions & 7 followup questions strategically designed to analyze four
realities
:

The objective of qualitative research is to
"
uncover the meaning
of lived experience within an everyday lifeworld
"
(Rehorick & Bentz, 2008, p. 3).
The
voice
of 16 Afro-Caribs residents.

Public servants - 2
8th grade students - 6
School guidance counselor- 1
School superintendent - 1
Professional musician - 1
Entrepreneurs -3
Public utility - 2
HOW, WHO & where?
HOW?
-sense of
self
-sense of
place
-
Socioeconomic
reality
-
creative
potential
WHO?
8 - females
8 - males
WHERE?
WHY
is this happening in "paradise"?
ISLAND LIFE
–Naipaul, 1969, p. 29
Why only 16 participants?
Selecting the
number
of participants is correlated to accuracy, population varaibility, and thorough data analysis-Newman, 2006
Creswell (2013) & Neuman (2006) suggests that the population size be
small
in order to accurately define the texture of reality.
Why St. John?
-
Genocide
of indigenous peoples
-
Manufactured
labor force
-Agriculture
profit center
-Hegemonic
dependency
-
Convergence
of Afro-Carib cultures
St. John, United States Virgin Islands
?
Chaos theory: The initial conditions matter
Chaos is a science of process rather than a state, a becoming rather than a beginning
-Gleick, 1987, p. 5
Cultural conditioning theory:
Encounter era: 1492 - 1501
Colonial period: 1501 - 1945
Decolonized period: 1945-1980
Developmental period: 1955 - 1980
Neo-liberal: 1980 - current
Initial Conditions in "paradise"
They lack tools made with iron, not so much because I seek to trade, but rather because it implies that they have no weapons to be fearful–no guns, no swords, no crossbows–I can conquer the whole of them with 50 men and govern them as I please
-
as cited in Columbus & Tosconelli, 2010, p. 41
Develop me-underdevelop you: Underdevelopment theory
At the center, growth is development–in the periphery, growth is not development. Growth in the periphery, based in integration into the world market, is development of underdevelopment
-Amin, 1974, p. 18
An intimidating power: Hegemonic theory
A critical ethnographer observes and explores cultural phenomenon as a
subject
in the respective research project
-Madison, 2012, p. 6
The Spanish in the Caribbean had transformed themselves from guests into host by exterminating the indigenous population and replacing it with an extraneous, racially alien labor force violently-as well as profitability-extracted from another continent
-Mintz, 1966, p. 918.
A. Intentional?
B. Theoretically Substantiated?

What is
creative practice
?
Intentional?
Intentional?
Intentional?
–MEMMI, 1956, p. 63
exploitation
Violence
The Africans were only needed for their muscles
De-humanization
-Memmi, 1957, p. 80
To satisfy the growth criteria, the United Kingdom (center) had to strategically fix prices for agriculture and raw materials in the Caribbean (periphery) to maintain their growth trajectory
-Girvan, 1973
Initial conditions
of exploitation, violence, and de-humanization....
Are they relevant?
Murder rates
in the Caribbean are higher than any other region in the world
Crime

is the number one issue for all the cultures in the Caribbean.
Three of the top ten
rape
rates in the world are in the Caribbean
(United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 2013, p. 7-13)
Creativity is .....
"
vital originality balanced with fit and appropriateness."
Practice is ......
the type of activity within the environment - I.e.: Shaping or reshaping ideas into a reality through the access to tools, facilities, and instruction. ––Runco, 2014
Why is this happening in the "Paradise"?
phenomenon
Legitimize
the voices of those who have been historically marginalized
–Bentz & Rehorick, 2008.
The structural components of the qualitative method are designed to secure the characteristics of a phenomenon beyond
biased
appearances

Outcomes of the initial conditions?
emergent themes–Synthesized theme unit
one
The people they took away
knew how
to build houses, govern empires, erect cities, cultivate fields, mine for metals, weave cotton, and forge steel. Their customs were pleasing, built on unity, kindness, and respect for age. No coercion, only mutual assistance, the joy of living, a free acceptance of discipline
"
restore
" what?
-Cesaire, 1948, p. 7
The value of
unleashed potential
has yet to be realized for the Africans in the Caribbean. "The entire Caribbean basin could hold a dignified global position if the African culture would realize its potential.
Why "
restoration
?"
Eric Williams, 1993, p. 148; Former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
Cultural conditioning
........
Is it relevant?
-sense of
self
-sense of
place
-unrealized
creative
potential
-Controlled
Economic
environment
emergent themes–Synthesized theme unit
two
emergent themes–Synthesized theme unit
three
emergent themes–Synthesized theme unit
four
emergent themes–Synthesized theme unit
five
We recognize that our strength is in our oneness. We have a lot of people come and go, but our culture is resilient
–P15
The economy is causing us to lose our best-educated people. We are losing homegrown people. In my school, the number of native St. Johnian students is dwindling fast. Families are moving away at greater numbers than I can ever remember
–P7
A narrative that reflects the reality of everyday life by "exploring real life within a contemporary context or setting" Creswell, 2013, p. 97.
Findings...The
VOICE
of the people
Five theme units that were "
synthesized to develop meaning and essences of the phenomenon
"–Moustakas, 1994, p. 181
Composite and structural descriptions
Legitimize how?
Legitimized voice
YES
Culture
:
"the complex
whole
which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs"
E.B. Taylor, 2013
Conditioning
:
"Africans were only needed for their muscles, which required the European oppressors to
dehumanize
their enslaved asset"
Memmi, 1957, p. 80
Realities of.....
––Leedy & Ormrod, 2010.
--–Walcott, 1984, p. 68.
Paradise?

PARADISE?
uncovering meaning
Congruency: My observations, the historical progression, the Theoretical analysis, and the voice of the people.
––Runco, 1988, p. 4
"Creativity can be defined as an idea or product that is original, valued and implemented."

––Csikszentmihalyl, 1996, p. 28
.....
Acknowledgments:

Family & friends
faculty
Cohort 8
Dissertation committee:

Pramod Parajuli, PhD - Chair
Roy Beckford, PhD
Mark Runco, PhD
Kim Langmaid, PhD
Intentional extraction
Lens III
outcomes of:
Dependency
underdevelopment
embedded chaos
cultural conditioning
Is
voice
congruent with observations, historical progression, and theoretical analysis?
Intentional restoration: creative practice

more
than an observed
Are the initial conditions in the region relevant to today's socioeconomic crisis?
-sense of
self
-sense of
place
-unrealized
creative
potential
-Controlled
Economic
environment
Intentionally Extracted
Intentionally Restored through creative practice
Entry point
The
voice
of Caribbean scholars
Full transcript