Biographies


Dr Laura Obermuller (The UWI Jamaica, Mona Campus)

Laurajan Obermuller is an Amazonianist/Caribbeanist anthropologist of Guyanese descent in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Laurajan’s research interests and lecturing focuses mainly on gender, natural resource engagements, climate change, Amerindian cosmology, migration, kinship, applied anthropology and indigenous languages preservation in the Caribbean. She strongly advocates and actively participates in collegial collaboration and conversations across anthropological specialisms (sustainable development, history and linguistics). Laurajan has conducted research within the Caribbean region as well as in the United Kingdom. Her current project explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in deprived communities in Jamaica. Her most recent publications on the ‘Windrush Generation Fiasco’ in the Caribbean and the UK are available in Migration and Society and Anthropology Today. In addition to attending and organising numerous international, regional and local conferences and seminars, Laurajan has written several situation analysis and country reports.


Arthur Torrington (Chair of Windrush Foundation)

ARTHUR TORRINGTON CBE is a community advocate, and a co-founder (with the late Sam B. King MBE) of Windrush Foundation and The Equiano Society, which they established in 1996 in London. Through Windrush Foundation, a registered charity, Arthur promotes good race and community relations, and designs projects that celebrate the history and heritage of African people. Both organisations publicise the contributions of African and Caribbean men and women who settled in the UK before and after 22 June 1948, especially those who served King and Country in WWII. Also, Arthur’s work highlights the life and times of Olaudah Equiano, a former enslaved African known as Gustavus Vassa, the African, who was a businessman, explorer, human rights campaigner, best-selling, author, war-veteran and an abolitionist in 18th century Britain. Also, Arthur is a founder member and chairman of the African Heritage Forum.


Dr Shelene Gomes (The UWI Trinidad and Tobago, St Augustine Campus)

Shelene Gomes is a Caribbeanist social anthropologist whose research interests include migration, mobilities, cosmopolitanism, feminist praxis as well as postcolonial religion and spirituality. An alumna of St. Andrews, and presently a lecturer at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus in Trinidad and Tobago, Shelene has done ethnographic fieldwork in Ethiopia tracing the linkages between African diasporic imaginings and Caribbean cosmopolitan sensibilities. Through the spiritual repatriation of Rastafari to Ethiopia, her ethnography delineates the power of the imagination to move Caribbean persons as they reinvent themselves. Her current interdisciplinary research centres the experiences of migrant women returning to Trinidad from North America and the UK to undertake socially reproductive labours, in particular unpaid caregiving for aging relatives. Overall, Shelene’s public and scholarly writing is unified by a focus on contemporary solidarities, acts of agency and place-making within the context of unequal historical conditions of modernity. 


Kaye Hall (Education and Community Outreach OfficerB.M.H.S.)

Kaye has been actively involved in the development and implementation of a co-curation of practice model which was utilised in the creation of the Enigma of Arrival: The Politics and Poetics of Caribbean Migration to Britain.   This model, based on the “community of practice” work of Lave and Wenger (1991) and taking into account Hooper-Greenhill’s (1992) concept of the social responsibility of the Museum, was used to create an exhibit co-designed with the community whose story it sought to interpret at every step of its development.  They contributed content and artefacts, made suggestions for research areas and reviewed the research material as well as previewing and commenting on the exhibit itself before its formal launch.  The resulting exhibition is a texturally rich, complex, multi-vocal and multi-disciplinary, self-sustaining and self-replicating project. It uncovers the heart of the British Caribbean migrant experience and resonates as it travels cross the diaspora in both physical and digital forms. The emerging and ever evolving model of co-curatorship is being readily accepted both within this ongoing project as well as others subsequently developed, proving itself to be a robust and comprehensive model for Caribbean curatorial practice.


Dr Alan Miller (Lecturer; Director of Open Virtual Worlds, University of At Andrews)

Alan is a lecturer in Digital Heritage and Communications based at St Andrews. As part of the EU LAC project Alan visited designed and delivered workshops on 3D and Spherical media with Catherine Cassidy, Adeola Fabola, Kate Keohane and Karen Brown. Workshops in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica in 2016 created a cultural heritage digital resources consisting of 3D artefacts, virtual tours and virtual museums and a skills legacy which has been carried forward through Summer intensives, shows and exhibitions. Working with University of West indies and Barbados Museum and Historical Society, we have been developing a Virtual Museum of the Caribbean Migration and Memory, featuring the “Enigma of Arrival” exhibition. (https://www.eu-lac.org/vmcarib/). Interactive Maps and Exhibition Panels together with Galleries featuring artefacts, lectures, plays and testimony all help tell the experience of migration from a Caribbean Perspective.