POVERTY IN DOMINICA

BY: QUISHA PASCAL

Dominica pronounced as “Dom-in-EE-ka” is a beautiful island filled with green majestic trees and vibrant flowers. With three hundred and sixty-five (365) rivers, to breath-taking coastal beaches, to the steaming hot springs, it is known as the nature island of the Caribbean with its beautiful flora and fauna. The island whose official name is The Commonwealth of Dominica is one of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) found within the Caribbean Basin.

In the island of Dominica, “29% of households and 40% of the general population lived in poverty as of 2003. 11% of households and 15% of the general population lived in indigent poverty.” (Barbados and the OECS. (n.d.). About The Commonwealth of Dominica.) The above statement refers to people who lack not only money but homes. On average 50% of Dominica’s children live in poverty and furthermore, 1 in every 2 households in the rural areas is considered poor. Poverty remains a leading issue in Dominica, especially because of the past heavy reliance on the banana industry which destroyed after the removal of preferential treatment in the European Union (EU) market. Data indicates that there was an increased incidence of household poverty, from 27.6 in 1995 to 29 percent in 2002.

More than 37 percent of households on the island do not have access to piped water and 25% of households have no access to toilet facilities. With total government debt currently almost equal to it’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, Dominica also struggles with structural unemployment and under-employment. Also, the unemployment rate on the island moved from 15.7 percent in 1999 to 25 percent in 2002. When the unemployment rate was last recorded, in 2016 23% of the population was found to be unemployed. Dominica has the third highest unemployment rate in the Caribbean. The rate of unemployment for poor and non-poor households is 40% and 16% respectively. This data above demonstrates the correlation between income/employment and poverty in Dominica.

 

 

 

Carisealand Project: Community Poverty and Environmental Justice Proposal

BY: QUISHA PASCAL

What are the impacts of Community Poverty and Environmental Justice on the northeast region of Dominica, in communities such as Calibishie, Woodford Hill, and Marigot? This is where I chose to focus on from my broad topic, Community Poverty and Environmental Justice.

From my last Digital Humanities class, we focused on the different types of research inquiries, which are definition, cause, and effect, value, action, and jurisdiction. Definition research inquiry requires the meaning of the that are brought about through the argument. Cause and Effect Research Inquiry denotes the impacts of the problems faced. Value research inquiry compares the importance of one aspect of the research topic to another. Action research inquiry looks for the ways in which the issue that is being researched is solved. Jurisdiction research inquiry searches for who is responsible for insinuating these problems.

When investigating this branch of the topic, Community Poverty the question that needs insight and enlightenment on are: What the major causes of Poverty in Calibishie, Woodford Hill and Marigot? Are the effects of poverty on Dominica villages inevitable? What actions can be taken to solve this Poverty issue? The Digital Humanities tools chosen to showcase my research findings are visualization and timeline. These tools are chosen as they will bring forth the necessary information needed to be documented. The DH tool, the timeline will showcase the developments of community poverty from the past, present and what could be expected in the future. The visualization tool will be used to display how poverty has affected in the past compared to the present. While working on this project, the research inquiries that will be used are definition, action, jurisdiction and cause, and effect.

Will Dominica win this race?

BY: Quisha Pascal

From reading this article, “This Tiny Country Says it can Beat Climate Change” the question that comes to mind, is Dominica going to win this race? A race against time, natural sources, natural disasters, and climate change. Hurricane Maria devastated the beautiful island on the night of September 17th, 2017. From trees to roads, to bridges, to houses were totally destroyed by the raging winds and rains. Almost two years later and we are still suffering. People lost their houses, electricity was lost, and running water was gone. After Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica in September of 2017, Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, pledged to rebuild the island into the world’s first “fully climate-resilient” nation. Mr. Skerrit said that “We are resilient people”. And that was the mantra for the entire island even to this day almost two years later. But are we really resilient?

Climate change, according to www.science.org.au,  is a change in the pattern of weather, and related changes in oceans, land surfaces and ice sheets, occurring over time scales of decades or longer. Climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system that persists for several decades or longer. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties as stated on en.oxforddictionaries.com.

However, are we rebuilding resiliently? Foreign advisers claim that we are rebuilding homes using the same standards as before the hurricane. The electricity and telecom companies, Domlec and Flow and Digicel respectively say it’s too expensive to shield their entire networks against Category 5 storms. Digicel, which lost 21 of its cell towers in Maria, is building back just the three that handle the most traffic to withstand another Category 5 storm. Bertilia McKenzie, managing director of Domlec, the island’s sole utility, which is owned by the Canadian firm Emera Inc., said the same constraints apply to rebuild the country’s electricity sector. Ideally, she said, the company would put all its wires underground. “You know the cost of that?” McKenzie said. The answer is $1.3 billion—about $17,000 per resident.

With all these stated we can clearly see that Hurricane proofing is very expensive. Maria inflicted $1.3 billion in damage. The resilience plans are sweeping in replacing the buildings and bridges damaged by Maria with hurricane-proof versions, building more and higher seawalls, creating sheltered harbors and higher riverbanks, replacing bananas with hurricane-resistant crops, constructing geothermal power plants, burying electrical wires, and even relocating entire towns. The Government was relocated the village Petite Savanne. With all these resilient plans the question is still asked, Will Dominica win this race? Can we finish this race before the next Hurricane season? Do we have time?

Review of DH Projects – Dominica’s History: The Road to Independence

By Quisha Pascal

The Commonwealth of Dominica located between two French islands,  was under the British rule for many years until they sought independence. The mountainous island gained independence from Britain on November 3rd, 1978. The Road to Independence is a multimedia website resource used to celebrate Dominica’s 2015 History Week. History Week is an annual program by the Division of Culture to create public awareness, especially among the island’s students, on various topics of interest in Dominica’s history. The major question obtained from  “The Dominica History: A Road to Independence” website demonstrates the steps taking by Dominica to achieve independence.

Firstly, the introduction page is a bit dull, however, it seeks to illustrate various aspects of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s history and culture. It gives a brief summary of the journey to Dominica’s Independence. Separated into different sections gives the user the opportunity to click on the appropriate tab to get the information they require. The tabs give you the ability to navigate throughout the information since it contains a wealth of knowledge and information.  The data is separated by decades, Categories and resources allowing for a more comprehensive search.

The user can explore Categories such as cultural Routes, Social Changes, Political Roads, and The Economic Journeys. The category that stood out was the Cultural routes, as culture continues to play a large role in the life of Dominicans. From the indigenous Kalinago to the Europeans who colonized it, and the Africans they brought to work there to work as slaves, the influences of the different people who have lived there remained and shaped the culture of the island. The user can also scout the decades’ section for information under the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and beyond. This makes the information very accessible and the website very user-friendly. The website uses mages, text-documents, newspaper clippings, court, legal and Parliamentary documents, audiovisual recordings, and other resources that appropriately chronicle the history of Dominica’s road to sovereignty to bring forth the information.

The Digital Humanities tools used in this website are Mapping, 3D Modelling, and Topic Modelling. The website is said to have used the Mapping tool since the website is said to have Aerial timelines and spatial storytelling and database mapping. The website is also said to have used the Topic Modelling since visual historical themes were apparent. Furthermore, 3D Modelling plays a part in the tools used in the website since there is a reconstruction of the future and past visible.

To make the Dominica History: A Road to Independence website more effective, more information should be added to the Political Roads and Social Changes before and after the island of Dominica gained its Independence. Information about the Trade Unions and the major role they played in Dominica should be also added.

Review of DH Projects: “A Tale of Two Plantations”

By Quisha Pascal

Living as slaves is the most difficult thing anyone could endure. From sunrise to sunset everyday living in these horrible conditions, from generations to generations. The website, A tale of two plantations, demonstrates the lifestyle of seven multi-generational families in two different locations, yet with similar characteristics. The website breaks down the plantations’ ancestral lines and explores the history of growth or reduction in population.  The website, questions the relationship between the slaves in Mesopotamia and Mount Airy. In an effort to create a clearer picture, Richard Dunn gathered as much information as possible on the families. The information spoke to their direct lineage and explored the difficulties they faced. The families in Jamaica and Virginia undergo harsh treatment, enforced into labour.

The introduction page catches the eye and gives a brief explanation of what one can expect to find. Although it contains a wealth of information, the information is separated into different categories making it easy to click the appropriate tab to take you to the information you require. This makes the info very accessible and the website very user-friendly. The search engine also gives you the option of looking up specific names on the family lists. The family trees is further separated by gender and race.  The website displays pages with information that is brought forth in diagrams, lists and tables for a better understanding. The website pages range from Family Diagrams, Family Trees, Family Lists Analysis and Information of the writer, Richard Dunn. One of the families demonstrated was Sarah Affir. Her family documents several important aspects of slave life in Mesopotamia. Majority of Sarah Affir’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were fathered by white men and the remaining by black men. Her children were fathered by white men led them to have domestic occupations. members of Sarah Affir’s family joined the Moravian Christian Church at Mesopotamia. Another family, Sally Thurton’s family from Mount Airy was also demonstrated. Sally Thurston’s Family was almost entirely composed of field workers. Six members of her family members were sold, another twenty-seven were made to walk 800 miles to Alabama, and another seventeen were sent to Alabama during the Civil War. No one in Sally’s family deserted to the Yankees during the war. By 1870, forty-eight members of Sally Thurston’s family can be found in Alabama, and only three in Virginia.

The digital humanities tool being used in the “A Tale of Two Plantations” website are mapping, topic modelling and 3D Modelling. The mapping tool allows for aerial mapping, database mapping and spatial storytelling. Additionally, the topic modelling enables the ability to visualize historical themes and also the 3D modelling allows for the reconstruction of the past and future. The website is to be collaborative, blended, unstable, and political. To make this project more effective, information on motherhood and how did the slaves having children with the white opposite sex affect their occupation and their living conditions.

The Children of Men

BY: Quisha Pascal

Is this what the world will become? The place that we call home? That our humanity is predicted to suffer drastically decades from now? Will human infertility be rampant?

Human infertility is the inability to become pregnant or impregnate or carry a pregnancy of a child to a full term.

In the movie Children of Men, set in 2027 it starts off by showing us the death of the world’s youngest human who was stabbed to death because he refused to give an autograph. A child hasn’t been born since 18 years ago. What is this telling us? Based on a 1992 novel by the great crime author, PD James, the film tells us that Theo, a former political activist whose spirit is rejuvenated when he was kidnapped by his divorced wife, becomes the saver of humanity. He accomplishes this feat by protecting a baby who would be the first baby to be born since 18 years ago, his mother, Kee who is the key to the future.

But what’s surprising it that the movie was created in 2006 and directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
Is Cuaron a fortune teller? Does he own a crystal ball? How was it so meticulously predicted that the world will be in ruins by now? In the film, it demonstrates that the world’s nations who once believed in humanity, equality and human rights are now vanished leaving only Britain who is slowly but surely coming along. Britain is the last functioning nation who was closed its doors to the rest of the world and engaged in war between the government and the people who still support immigrant rights.  Britain not far behind with a bomb attack not long after the news broke of the death of the youngest human. The world today is quickly becoming what the movie predicts. With terrorist attacks ever so often, to the mass shootings at churches and schools. Will the rule of law, rights of men and women be destroyed by the recklessness of the nations? What can we do to reduce this crisis?

The Internet and the “DH” Projects.

By: Quisha Pascal

With the internet evolving, digital humanists are taking a stand by creating projects to meet the widest audience ever, the world. The internet is not just  a platform used for researching, it is analogous in important ways to the Caribbean. The internet is multivalent, hybrid and an infinitely fluid cultural space. It is also generated by desperate places and desperate peoples  It defies the geographical and physical barriers that disrupt or disallow connection, it places others and elsewheres in relentless relations. So with the use of the internet digital humanists create projects to bring about alarming issues that are faced nationally, regionally or even internationally.  

The digital humanists projects are collaborative,blended,unstable and political. The projects are said to be collaborative because it involves the building and maintaining of communities and networks. It is also said to be blended as it is mixed with methods, tools and different techniques. It is also unstable as it is constantly responding to new technologies and new issues that we are faced with  everyday such as global warming and climate change. The ‘DH’ projects are dependent upon the laws, policies and paradigm shifts in this thriving society, which make them political such as net neutrality.

Stepping into the Digital World.

BY: QUISHA PASCAL

As the world progresses, it has become more dependent on the internet and technology alike. As we explore the world, we use the internet for everything. At one time I thought the internet was just to find out where we are going and to explain difficult questions, but with the help of digital humanities we can now find out where we come from and how far we have come, learn to code and use tools and software to analyse information.

In my opinion, Digital Humanities is a field in which the humanities of the world which are literature, history, arts and physiology connect with technology. With this, everyone has the ability to become teachers, creators, designers, and even students. It’s never too late to learn. And with this rapidly growing technological world, digital humanists have created methods, tools and software to expand our digital use.

I believe that the digital humanities course should be offered to all students as the world is becoming more tech savvy. Everyone should be given the opportunity to advance themselves in technology even if they don’t have a strong background in that field. With the world revolving around technology we all have the chance of becoming students whether young or old.

Paradigm Shift In Technology

By: Quisha Pascal

Since there has been a paradigm shift in technology, the internet has given many people worldwide a purpose. Prior to this research, my view on the internet is merely what it is now. Before I assumed the internet was just a mechanism of finding information, however besides the internet being a mechanism of finding information, it is also a way of sharing your opinions without it being ignored. This was proved in the article written by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel.

The internet has given us the opportunity to do online learning where we learn for credit, self-enhancement, and employment or just for choice. In this article, they speak about the bill of rights and principles one must follow in order to achieve learning in this digital age.

In my opinion, learning is a major key to our success as human beings on this earth. The bill of rights shows that using the internet comes with policies which enhance our learning environments. The right to access allows everyone the privilege to learn, disregarding their social status. The right to create public knowledge gives us humans the liberty to work and supply knowledge and information to the public eye. Also, the bill of rights gives us the right, not just to have teachers but to have great teachers. As students possess different learning strategies, they require thoughtful teachers, mentors and facilitates that can attend to their specific learning techniques.

This article also explains the principles that we humans should follow, in order to obtain the best online learning. The one which stood out was Global Contribution. Global Contribution allows us the opportunity to learn from all across the world and not limiting it the United States or countries that are more tech savvy.