“ Culture: Shared Narratives of Healing and the Arts Through Social Change in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis”- Short Film Created Released by SKN Nationals in the US

St.Kitts-Nevis Nationals Dr. Cherése Novelle Godwin and Deanza L. Walwyn-Bowrin created a short film, narrated by Laverne Caines entitled “ Culture: Shared Narratives of Healing and the Arts Through Social Change in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis” For the University of Pennsylvania Latin American & Caribbean (PLAC) conference, “Shared narratives: arts, culture and conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean,” 

This documentary was selected amongst many submissions and was viewed at the Perry World House, on the campus in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 23rd, 2022 at the PLAC Conference. Dr. Cherése Godwin is a University of Pennsylvania Professor and Hall of Fame Inductee and Deanza is a human rights lawyer, who are both social scientists and encaptured by St. Kitts and Nevis history, especially their family’s ownership of the Wingfield Manor Estate, the first British Settlement in St. Kitts and the Caribbean and the former residence of Caribe Chief, King Tegreman. Dr. Cherése Godwin was able to work over the summer with her Wingfield land neighbor, Jack Widdowson, the CEO of Old Road Rum, and the son of the owner of Romney Estate and Caribelle Batik, to collectively gather historic information about the property and its important historic relevance, and artifacts including the original land title issued to Samuel Jefferson Sr. (aka “Jeaffreson”) and the world-famous book a Young Squire of the 17th Century Vol. II, written by Christopher Jeaffreson on Wingfield Manor Estate expressing his time on the property.  Investigating history, Dr. Godwin met with the Heritage Society at the University of Pennsylvania, who suggested submitting to the conference. Dr. Godwin is the Lead Professor for the Data for Equitable Justice course series at the University of Pennsylvania, through the School of Social Policy and Practice, which provides Masters’ students an opportunity to analyze some of today’s most important political, policy, and social issues through data and, with faculty support, create a product for audiences well beyond our classrooms and campus. Therefore, Dr. Godwin wanted to create a short film, as her mode of social change and awareness. She solicited Deanza L. Walwyn-Bowrin, her first cousin, to complete the short film with her, and together they choose national orator Laverne Caines, the creator of The Marketplace SKN as the narrator of the film. 

Dr. Godwin articulated that the Film is depicted through the lens of native current inhabitants of the island, the citizen. It tells a story of history from the other side of those who were in Power and had world Influence to maintain it.  It portrays “us” the citizen as the expert, the storyteller. Sanara Bassue, stated at the AgroStrip where she was showcasing her purse collection in collaboration with CraftHouse that took place on June 23rd, 2022, “we have used crafts as healing, we finally get paid and acknowledged for the products we produce“, and as short as the statement was, it was very impactful and powerful. Her statement helped direct the tone of the short film. The film shows images of local Nevisians’ and Kittitians’ enjoying our tourism, instead of utilizing European models and tourists to show the enjoyment of the beauty of the island and all its many historical aspects. The film conveys a poetic journey of arts, crafts, music, dancing, and what we know as humanities, that assisted in the creation of our culture. The showing of the short film went very well, and gathered many powerful statements and astonishing inquisitiveness about our Federation, and what we call our culture. 

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