Introducing The Black Consciousness Festival 2023

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Project Namescapes: Illuminating Histories and Names of Trinidad andTobago’s Landscapes and launching The Black Consciousness Festival 2023

The Black Consciousness Festival proudly unveils Project Namescapes, an innovative visual narrative initiative aimed at fostering awareness and catalysing discussions about the complex histories, names, connections, stories, and silences intertwined with the landscapes we inhabit and engage with in Trinidad and Tobago.


Drawing inspiration from the groundbreaking work at The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at the University College London, Project Namescapes will conduct extensive research to identify and map the names and locations of plantations that once existed in Trinidad and Tobago during the European colonial era. This historical data will be overlaid onto contemporary maps using cutting-edge ARCGIS Technology, enabling a tangible representation of shifting boundaries, names, and ecologies over time.

“The project’s first phase will focus on the estates that were situated in the former parishes
of Arouca and Tacarigua – two of the parishes with some of the largest and most significant
plantations at the time of Emancipation in 1838.”


The overarching goal of Project Namescapes is to engage in a national dialogue that includes group, school, and community discussions. These dialogues will invite contemporary community members to view, reflect upon, and interact with the data through various mediums.


The persistence of European place names that honour the enslavers and their intentions, rather than the indigenous peoples and those formerly enslaved or indentured, is a pressing issue that hampers our nation’s development.

Project Namescapes addresses this concern by unveiling the connections between historical land usage and contemporary practices. By creating virtual and physical spaces for community interaction, we endeavour to unpack our colonial past, share our histories, and envision new place names that resonate with our present reality and future aspirations.

Conceived by The Black Consciousness Festival, Project Namescapes is led by Erica Ashton, Festival Director; Sean Samad, Content & Communications Director; Dawn Cumberbatch, Artistic Director of Project Namescapes; and a team of students of the Geomatics programme at The UWI St Augustine led by Mr. Kevin Noel.

The Project is partnered with and supported by the West Indiana Division of the UWI St Augustine’s Alma Jordan Library, the Bois Academy, Caribbean Memory Project, The Repair Campaign, and the University College of London’s Department of History – Centre for the Study of theLegacies of British Slavery.
Project Namescapes will be launched at the Alma Jordan Library, University of the West
Indies, St. Augustine, on Friday 6th October, 2023 at 4:30 pm. To participate via Zoom,
please register your interest by emailing theblackconsciousnessfestival@gmail.com.

Project Namescapes will be launched at the Alma Jordan Library, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, on Friday 6th October, 2023 at 4:30 pm. To participate via Zoom, please register your interest by emailing theblackconsciousnessfestival@gmail.com

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