Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

The Bianca C: into the deep

One Sunday fifty-five years ago, residents of St George’s, Grenada, woke up to a disaster unfolding in their harbour. More than six hundred people on board the liner Bianca C were in grave danger — so dozens of Grenadians leaped into action. James Ferguson remembers the story.

La Soufrière caldera, St Vincent. Photo by Jonathan Palmer/Mustique Airways

Caribbean volcanoes: fire down below

Shaped by subterranean forces, the islands of the Lesser Antilles are an arc of volcanoes — some extinct, some dormant, some still active. And among their dramatic forested peaks, crater lakes, and hot springs, amateur vulcanologists (and ordinary tourists) can find ample evidence of our planet’s restless energy.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Historic gold: the earliest Caribbean Olympic heroes

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Caribbean sports fans will have dozens of home-grown champs to cheer on. But the region’s history of Olympic success stretches back more than a century. James Ferguson looks back to the earliest Caribbean Olympic heroes, and how today’s athletes have kept their victorious legacy alive.

A graveyard and old headstones: a typical scene around one of the many Baptist churches on the hills of the company villages. Photo by Marlon Rouse

The Merikins: heroes of the forgotten war

Two hundred years ago, a group of free black veterans of the War of 1812 arrived in Trinidad. In the island’s deep south, the villages they founded still preserve the traditions of the “Merikins,” as writer Judy Raymond and photographer Marlon Rouse discover — and still have much to teach their fellow citizens.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Wilson Harris — into the interior

The Guyanese writer Wilson Harris, celebrating his ninety-fifth birthday in 2016, has lived far from his home country for many years — but Guyana’s landscape and history continue to haunt his magical imagination. James Ferguson explains how Harris’s novels bring together reality and dream.

Angelo Bissessarsingh at home, surrounded by his library and collection of artifacts. Photo by Mark Lyndersay

Angelo Bissessarsingh: back in times

For Trinidadian Angelo Bissessarsingh, what started as a childhood obsession with yesteryear artefacts grew into a passion for researching and writing about history that’s helped reignite public interest in T&T’s complicated past. Judy Raymond tells the story of a young historian’s archive and love for what once was.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Voyager among gods

Eighty years ago, an African-American anthropologist stepped off a boat in Kingston, at the start of a journey to investigate Caribbean religion and spirituality. Zora Neale Hurston is better remembered for her fiction, writes James Ferguson, but her book Tell My Horse remains a fascinating record of Jamaica and Haiti in the 1930s.

Peter Minshall on the road with the band. Photo by George Tang

The history of paradise: on Peter Minshall’s Paradise Lost

It’s the stuff of Carnival legend: the eruption of masman Peter Minshall’s Paradise Lost on the streets of Port of Spain, forty years ago. Now a new documentary, using long-forgotten archival footage, brings the band back to life. Ray Funk tells the story.

A75T6X Taino Indian petroglyphs on basalt rock on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts

First things first: the Caribbean’s First Peoples

The Caribbean’s First Peoples shaped our landscapes, language, and culture — and across the region, our indigenous heritage remains within reach, if you know where to look.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

When London was the place

Sixty years ago, in the aftermath of the Second World War, London Transport faced a labour shortage. The solution? Recruit employees in the Caribbean to run the city’s buses and trains. James Ferguson explains how these migrants survived difficult times, and changed the old imperial capital for ever.