3106 - When Haile Selassie meets Jack Palance : facing the New World challenge in Earl Lovelace's Is Just a Movie (2011).

As a medium of representation of the Self and the Other, culture plays a part of paramount importance in the building of individual and collective identity. In a 20th century characterized by an increasing circulation of global cultural flows, identification and differentiation processes — which participate in defining and locating the Self — become more and more complex. Within its territorial boundaries, the West Indian culture is swamped by these cultural flows coming from other parts of the world — such as American films — but is, at the same time, broadened and renewed by the Caribbean diaspora. Interactions between cultural diversity and unity, individual and collective identity, the local and the global, are key concepts to the contemporary Trinidadian writer, Earl Lovelace. In his recent novel Is Just a Movie, set in the aftermath of the 1970s Black Power movement in Trinidad, Lovelace points to the rise in enclosed ethnicities and underlines the difficulties encountered by the still young Trinidadian nation when facing the New World challenge — leaving one’s ethnic harbour to sail freely in an all-encompassing world. This paper aims at examining the connection between cultural globalisation and communitarian strengthening. In other words, does the struggle for the survival of particularisms impede the achievement of a Caribbean collective identity?

Keywords: ethnicity, diversity, identity, Caribbeanness

Author: Le Vourch, Noémie (Université de Bretagne Occidentale (BREST), France / Frankreich)


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