Extending Caribbean Literature to the Real World

Extending Caribbean Literature to the Real World

As part of her Literature of the English-Speaking Caribbean class, Dr. Ricia Chansky tasks her students with a micro-documentary project. Though it is a recent development, the project has been met with much enthusiasm from the students themselves. The micro-documentaries, as the name suggests, take a look at the life of Puerto Rico objectively, giving the viewer an idea of what the subjects have experienced on the island.

The subjects of the micro-documentaries– artist, expert, or a voice from the past– are chosen by the students in the class. Seeing as the project is relatively new, there are quite a few people the students can interview for their video. Some potential interviewees have even approached Dr. Chansky for the chance to star in one.

You can view the videos below or by visiting the English Department’s YouTube channel here.

A Journey into Aguadilla by Jesús Quiñones

This student chose to interview an Aguadilla local, David, and asks him how the town has changed throughout the years, local celebrities, and the origins of some traditions the people of Aguadilla still celebrate today. Quiñones intends to show the viewer the history of Aguadilla, its origins and its progress throughout the years.

The Artistic Proposal by Ashlene Lebrón & Ana Vázquez

The students chose to interview Luis “Güijllo” Cruz,  an artist who blends African and tribal elements with contemporary art, in order to explore Puerto Rico’s art history.

Salinas de Cabo Rojo by Maurice S. Dilán

This micro-documentary explores the Salinas of Cabo Rojo, a place one may find unique plants, animals, and of course, salt. He interviewed Heriberto Irrizary, a local Coordinator for the Research Center, who details a brief history of the Salinas and makes one eager to visit.

Project Drag by Igmarie Mercado

This video aims to show another side of the island of Puerto Rico. This student chose to interview Juan Carlos Santiago, a pro driver of the sport, in order to expose the drag racing underground that takes place in Puerto Rico, and to create awareness of how it positively influences the lives of many, even serving an educational purpose.

Festival de las Ballenas by Abdel Ruiz Pérez

This micro-documentary promotes the Puerto Rican culture and urges one to participate in events like the annual Whale Festival in Rincón.  Through various interviews with different local artists and vendors, the creator weaves a tale of Puerto Rican identity and the preservation of a culture that is fast disappearing from the Island’s shores.

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