Monday, March 09, 2015

Last Colonies Conference

This would be a great idea to have in the Pacific. A conference that focuses on the remaining official colonies and the near colonies. Amongst the last colonies in the world there is sometimes discussion about solidarity work, but there are so few venues for it to form. So few mechanisms for it to actually be forged and sustained. The United Nations was for a long time one such space. On the internet the Overseas Territories Review run by Carlyle Corbin (featured in the image below) provides a wealth of information on all the world's remaining colonies. Part of the problem, and this is very true for Guam, is that as a colony we are conditioned to see the world through the eyes, the media, the history, the political possibilities of our colonizer. So if the colonizer connects us in some way, we accept and privilege that, but any other way seems outlandish or difficult. For instance, the peoples of Guam and American Samoa are more likely to see each other as American minorities who serve in the US military in high numbers rather than colonized peoples of the Pacific.

Dr. Carlyle Corbin, conference keynote speaker

Conference on the Last Colonies in the Caribbean Slated for March

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GREAT BAY, St. Martin (Monday, February 23, 2015) – The Independence for St. Martin Foundation will be organizing an international conference here under the theme, “The last colonies in the Caribbean,” from March 6 – 8, 2015.

Invitations have been sent to individual scholars and organizations in the region engaged in the decolonization of the remaining territories in the region, and according to ISM Foundation President, Jose Lake Jr., the response has been “quite encouraging so far.”

The aim of the conference, he explained, is to bring together those in St. Martin with others in the other remaining colonies in the Caribbean who believe in the goal of political independence for their territories, especially in view of the fact that the United Nations has set 2020 as the target date for all colonies to achieve sovereignty.

Among those who will be making presentations at the conference is Dr. Carlyle Corbin, a renowned expert on governance and decolonization. Dr. Corbin recently observed the referendum held in St. Eustatius.

Some of the presentations at the conference will be considered for publication by St. Martin’s House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), which has been working on a volume on the topic for some time now.
Jose Lake Jr., author of the seminal work, “The Republic of St. Martin,” also published by HNP, said the conference is long overdue, given that “we’re only five years away from the 2020 deadline set by the United Nations.”

Coordinating the conference is Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, who stressed that the conference is open to the general public. “The opening is set for March 6, at the Cultural and Community Center on Backstreet while the conference proper will be held at the University of St. Martin on March 7,” she said. “Participants, especially those from abroad, will be able to return to their respective territories on March 8.”

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