Delorean in Jamaica

Hello friends! My name is Delorean. I’m a student at the University of Toronto studying International Development Studies and Anthropology. I just finished my third year of University and am going into a year of co-op before returning for a final year where I get to write an undergraduate thesis.

For my co-op placement, I have been hired by CUSO International to work in Kingston, Jamaica. I will be working with a local partner organization, the Jamaica Diaspora Institute as their Youth Entrepreneurship Development Advisor. I will be supporting the local partner in their efforts to develop inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment opportunities.

As a student studying Anthropology and IDS, I’m very interested in studying how inequality and oppression are stitched into the fabric of society – from institutional structures to offhand jokes. But also how people resist and remake the world around them – particularly through art, music and performance. So while I’m in Jamaica, I hope to be able to do my research for my undergraduate thesis on art and resistance.

Of course, studying these things I’m also very passionate about doing something to resist these structures. But I’ve come to question – as a white, middle class, Canadian woman – how I can help without contributing to the same discourse and ideology that oppresses people. How I can help without being the “White Savior”, how I can stand in solidarity with people doing incredible things without stealing their voice or occupying their space, and so on.

And so I’ve called this blog The Adventures of a Budding Activist – because I don’t want to simply document my placement but instead also create a space for a conversation about how to do activism – especially as a person of privilege. I hope to use my experience working with and learning from a local development organization in Jamaica to add to this conversation. I also hope I can use this space to direct you towards the work and the art of locals that I encounter in my research on art and resistance. I encourage you to add to this space, to bring up questions and comments and additional sources for learning!

I look forward to learning with you,

Delorean
 

Follow Delorean’s blog here: adventuresofabuddingactivist.wordpress.com