TU Berlin

Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in ChinaChinese Influence in Jamaica and the Caribbean


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Guest lecture:

"Impossible Desires: Debt, Development and Settlement Contemporary Chinese Influence in Jamaica and the Caribbean"


What happens when small, weak, deeply indebted, oligarchic governed nation states with impossible development desires become dependent on the large, powerful, cash ready, resource and settlement seeking Chinese? Contemporary Chinese influence in the Caribbean begins with infrastructure projects capitalized through loans from the Chinese government and constructed by Chinese companies and personnel. This talk and film screening by Esther Figueroa, Ph.D. will give the development context for Chinese influence in the Caribbean, and describe specific Jamaican examples, including expensive infrastructure projects and their relationship to Chinese ownership of land, natural resources, large and small-scale businesses and Chinese settlement in Jamaica, their socio-political, economic and environmental impacts, and the attitudes of Jamaicans to these perceived threats or benefits of Chinese influence. Short films will be screened to illustrate some of the issues under discussion.

About Esther Figueroa:


Esther Figueroa, BA, History, George Washington University (1979), MA, East Asian Languages & Literatures, University of Hawai’i (1984), Ph.D, Linguistics, Georgetown University, (1990) is a Jamaican independent film maker, writer, educator and linguist with over thirty years of media productions including television programming, documentaries, educational videos, multimedia and feature film. Figueroa’s films are screened and televised all over the world, and taught at numerous universities. They include the award-winning feature documentary about tourism and unsustainable development "Jamaica for Sale" (2009). Her latest documentary in progress, "Fly Me to the Moon" is about bauxite and aluminum. Figueroa was 2013 Visiting Distinguished Writer English Department, University of Hawai’i. Her publications include "Sociolinguistic Metatheory" (1994), "At Home the Green Remains" (2003), and most recently Limbo (2013), her environmental novel which was finalist in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards for Multi-cultural Fiction. She lives in Jamaica.


19th October, 6 pm.


MAR 0.008,
Marchstraße 23



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