A Rastafarian woman in the Caribbean sparks an environmental movement


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​HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ★★★ 1/2 - Video Librarian 

Women's Studies • Anthropology • Environment • African Diaspora • Caribbean Studies • Sustainability

Date of Completion: 2013 | Run Time: 23 minutes​​ | Language: English with English & Spanish subtitles | Captions: No | Includes: Transcript & Curriculum Guide | Directors: Sarah Feinbloom & Alexandra Swati Guild | Producer: Diana Fox

EARTH, WATER, WOMAN spotlights the Fondes Amandes Community Re-Forestation Project in Trinidad and Tobago, and its charismatic leader Akilah Jaramogi, in their ongoing efforts to transform barren hillsides into a vibrant, healthy ecosystem. A micro solution for the macro problem of climate change, this documentary urges young viewers everywhere to examine their relationship to Mother Earth. Three decades ago Akilah, a Rastafarian woman, settled on a barren, deforested hillside, blighted with floods in the rainy season and fires in the dry season. Together with her late husband, Tacuma, they started a family and reforested over 150 acres, restoring health to the hills and the watershed just outside the capital city of Port-of-Spain. When her husband died, Akilah continued this work, initiating the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP), training community members as stewards of the forests and waters. Today Fondes Amandes is a thriving village atop a flourishing forest of 150 acres where residents have planted about 60,000 seedlings over the past 30 years. The community is regularly visited by international dignitaries and Akilah is heralded as the Wangari Maathai of Trinidad & Tobago.

Video Librarian: "Highly Recommended: 3,5 stars" 
Aud: C, P. (M. Puffer-Rothenberg)
"Filmmakers Sarah Feinbloom and Alexandra Swati Guild’s Earth Water Woman looks at how women spearheaded a reforestation project in Trinidad’s Fondes Amandes. Co- founder and director of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP), Akilah Jaramogi explains how the project began as a grassroots effort in the 1980s, and then over the next 30 years led to the planting of more than 60,000 seedlings and restoration of 125 acres of forest. The documentary quickly covers the community’s history: former slaves lost their land because they could not afford to pay taxes, but in the 1970s an uprising of unionists, students, and activists led to land reclamation by Rastafa ians. FACRP grew from Jaramogi’s involve- ment with the Rastafarian movement; while her husband and other men were focused on “freedom gatherings, bubbling food in yabba pots,” she wanted to find practical ways to support Rastafarians and in particular Trini-dadian women. So in the early 1980s, she and her husband started planting seedlings and educating locals about environmental conservation. Reforestation has created habitats for wildlife and jobs for humans while also supporting agriculture, conserving clean water, and preventing forest fires. And the people of Fondes Amandes have developed a protective attitude to the forest and work to preserve the ecosystem it supports. As a West Indies professor says, the FACRP is “an outstanding example of indigenous, self- propelled, community-based eco-forestry.” Combining archival photographs and footage from the community, along with expository intertitles, this inspiring short documentary is highly recommended."

The Caribbean History Reader (Routledge, 2012) Reviewed by Nicola Foote, Associate Professor of History Florida Gulf Coast University
"This film provides an important classroom resource for examining community-based struggles over water rights, while also providing critical insight into some often neglected currents in the study of the contemporary Caribbean. It adds an important new dimension to explorations of the global geo-politics of water and climate change, the environment, and the green economy. The film helps us understand the environmental philosophies embedded within Rastafarianism. Through its sustained focus on women's leadership, the film makes a valuable contribution to understandings of gender and Rastafari, and helps us move beyond simplistic assumptions about male dominance. Through the integration of historical perspectives and footage, the film also provides insight into histories of slave resistance and maroonage, as well as Caribbean Black Power. Highly recommended for academic libraries and for all courses in Caribbean Studies. 

East Side Monthly | Reviewed by Jared Dimascio
"Armed with a camera, a small crew and a passion for water conservation and reforestation, Diana headed to Trinidad to produce her first film, Earth Water Woman: Community & Sustainability in Trinidad."

Trinidad and Tobago Guardian | Reviewed by Paulo Kerhanan
"This film shows the immense strength and commitment of one woman whose resolve has had a contagion effect well beyond the lush hillsides shadowing this verdant hamlet in St Ann’s."

Download the Curriculum Guide

Diana Fox is a cultural anthropologist and a professor at Bridgewater State University, whose documentary film production builds off of her many years of fieldwork in the Anglophone Caribbean, particularly Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. As a scholar-activist, Diana has researched issues of gender and sexual diversity, women’s social movement activism for ecological sustainability, women’s human rights and transnational feminisms. Because she is especially interested in forging collaborations with the communities she studies, her educational and activist films serve community goals, while building awareness among the wider public.