Sun. May 19th, 2024
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Writes and Kulcha is a a digital quarterly that combines traditional journalism with the refined style of magazines and the community feel of social media. We present stories from Jamaica, the Caribbean, Africa, Indigenous Peoples, and our Diaspora through journalism, event reporting and research. We take a conversational storytelling approach to highlight the art, life, and issues in these communities. The publication is primarily intended for Caribbean and Diasporic Indigenous communities such as the Tainos, Maroons, Garifuna, Kalinago, and Rastafari, as well as their leaders, traditional authorities, and social organisations.

It was started by culture and lifestyle journalist, author, activist and researcher, Tameka A. Coley, (Indigenous name Ke’tani), also known as Tami Tsansai; and her partner who later came on board. Both are members of the Yamaye Guani (Jamaica Hummingbird) Taino and Maroon Peoples who grow up with the combined teachings of Christian, Maroon and Pan-African principles. As members of these communities, we investigate and present the lesser-known, under-appreciated aspects of our shared cultures, languages and traditions to foster self appreciation and acceptance. Accurate information about our heritage and traditional practices is either extremely difficult to obtain, or completely unavailable. Our goal is to address this knowledge gap, since, as disadvantaged groups, we are largely unaware of how our disconnection from each other and our roots places us at a disadvantage.

Why We Did This

Our motivation for creating this online journal is to write, rewrite, shape, and publish our own stories. As such, we offer them with a colourful, sardonic voice and perspective, similar to the people we represent. We also use native languages as much as possible. The goal is to de-centre Eurocentric hegemony and highlight our own while inspiring thought and action that leads to measurable, long-term changes. It responds to the paper genocide against Jamaica’s Taino Peoples and counters mainstream media’s marginalisation, mockery, whitewashing, and disregard for Indigenous struggles, benefiting capitalist institutions. It’s media for us, by us and about us.

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Our Indigenous Connection

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) reports that 80% of the planet’s biodiversity is found in Indigenous lands, accounting for 22% of the planet’s land area. Plus, it’s estimated that Indigenous communities globally maintain around 80% of “critical ecosystems” as their ancestral homeland. While the Caribbean has many Indigenous Peoples, there is still much work to be done to legitimise their status. This is a huge setback for these communities and the benefits they can provide in their role as custodians of the environment if they are continually restricted in their rights to claim their lands and practice their cultures. Our goal, therefore, is to communicate this reality in their own words, adhering to their customs, conventions, and norms while avoiding dishonesty, censorship, and middlemen.
Another key interest for us is the defense of our Peoples’ collective rights. This includes rescuing the public from misrepresentation when necessary, as well as accurately safeguarding and disseminating our history, promoting Indigenous culture and self-determination. We will also inform these Peoples about issues that concern them on a local, national, and global scale.

Additional Services
In addition to journalism, event reporting and research, we also accept aligned writer submissions and offer internships. Interested youth from our communities can receive on-the-job experience in journalism, research and digital media; as well as learning how to leverage these skills to preserve their culture and heritage.

We also have a mental health and holistic wellness arm, Mind-Being Wellness, through which we work within and provide much-needed resources to our communities.