Forward Ever

When Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Movement staged a coup and took control of the caribbean island of Grenada in 1979, people of African-heritage across the world caught a glimpse of an alternative social and political reality - one that flew in the face of the capitalist, imperialist, neoliberal one they had been conditioned to. 

'Forward Ever' revisited this flashpoint in diaspora history working with Damani Baker's film 'The House On Coco Road', a range of experts and practitioners and the public to better understand the legacy of Pan-African revolution and what this might mean today.

Throughout the project, we worked closely with Caribbean Labour Solidarity (CLS) who were concurrently developing a digital archive and learning resources focussed on Fedon, the publishing house of the Peoples' Revolutionary Government of Grenada. Items from the archive are featured on this project page alongside images from Damani Baker's personal archive, excerpts from Maurice Bishop's speeches, contemporary poetic responses to the revolution and a range of associated material. The full Fedon archive collated and hosted by CLS is now available to view here:

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 Examples of the US Army Psyops during the invasion of Grenada

Examples of the US Army Psyops during the invasion of Grenada

 New Jewel Movement's Statement of Principles. Image courtesy Caribbean Labour Solidarity/University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

New Jewel Movement's Statement of Principles. Image courtesy Caribbean Labour Solidarity/University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

...no one, no matter how mighty and powerful they are, will be permitted to dictate to the government and people of Grenada...we have demonstrated...that we were prepared to die to win our freedom. We are even more prepared to die to maintain that freedom now that we have tasted it.
— Maurice Bishop 'In Nobody's Backyard'. A speech delivered to the nation via Radio Free Grenada on 13/04/79
 
  Angela Davis and friends in Grenada, 1982 (Image courtesy Damani Baker)

Angela Davis and friends in Grenada, 1982 (Image courtesy Damani Baker)

Forward Ever

a poem by Theresa Lola


Forward is a provocative direction,

the face of our countries is red,

but not from blushing, from all the blood that spilled

when cutting out a revolution.

Home should not be a fish hooked

to the rod of another countries flag.  

Plotting freedom has meant staying up for years

to watch the half-moon drink itself into a bloated ball.

The ghost of Maurice Bishop holds a flashlight

as torn flags are stitched back.

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 Maurice Bishop addresses an African Liberation Day crowd in Grenada, 1981. Image courtesy  Caribbean Labour Solidarity /University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

Maurice Bishop addresses an African Liberation Day crowd in Grenada, 1981. Image courtesy Caribbean Labour Solidarity/University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

 A community run school in Grenada during the Revolution. Image courtesy  Caribbean Labour Solidarity /University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

A community run school in Grenada during the Revolution. Image courtesy Caribbean Labour Solidarity/University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

 The people taking their services into their own hands. Moount Moritz, Grenada. Image courtesy  Caribbean Labour Solidarity /University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

The people taking their services into their own hands. Moount Moritz, Grenada. Image courtesy Caribbean Labour Solidarity/University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

 A Peoples' Revolutionary Government public service announcement. Image courtesy  Caribbean Labour Solidarity /University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press

A Peoples' Revolutionary Government public service announcement. Image courtesy Caribbean Labour Solidarity/University of the West Indies Grenada/Fedon Press