About IEDP

About IEDP

The IEDP was established in 1999 by the IPSA at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It is a student initiated, three-credit program that serves as a forum for students to discuss the challenges faced by developing economies. IEDP participants engage in a seven-week course in the winter semester, extensively studying the country of choice, and then take a one-week trip to the country over Spring Break. During the trip, IEDP students conduct extensive interviews and discussions with policymakers, members of civil society, foreign development agencies and university students. So far the IEDP has visited 11 countries, including Ethiopia, Cuba, Morocco, China, Costa Rica, Peru, Jordan, Senegal and the Philippines. The country of study for 2011 is Grenada, the first country from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the IEDP's history.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Exploring the Sounds of Grenada

Week 3 of the IEDP focuses on Grenada's cultural dynamics. A cultural element such as music can serve as a means to express social commentary as well as protest. Calypso is an Afro-Caribbean style of music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the 18th century that blends modern folk culture with the history of slavery and colonialism. The Calypso musical style stems from the Caribbean's African heritage as well as French, Spanish, and British influences. In many ways, the Calypso genre became a means to spread news and test the boundaries of free speech under British rule. Historically, the general public of Trinidad relied upon these songs for news of the day, but the songs also inspired many political debates surrounding corruption, political independence, and social norms.

                                     (King Ajamu, http://www.ajamumusic.com/biography.htm)

Today Edson Mitchell, popularly known as "King Ajamu," is Grenada's most prominent award-winning Calypsonian. King Ajamu began singing and writing Calypso in Trinidad in 1983. His music is a combination of Calypso, soca, and reggae. Some of his most popular songs are: "A Prayer to the Nation," "Oh Grenada," "Freedom," and "Until My Work is Over."

Movie: Island in the Sun

The movie, Island in the Sun, was filmed in Grenada in 1956, helping promote Grenada as a tourist destination. The movie is based on the novel by Alec Waugh, and stars an ensemble cast including James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins.

Plot summary for Island in the Sun:

Set on a fictitious island in the Carribean during colonial British rule. It focuses on the life of a young charismatic and handsome black male with political aspirations. He finds himself confused on returning home when his romantic liaison with a white female tends to conflict with his political views. As rumor has it an interracial screen kiss caused quite a commotion in the U.S. when the film was released. The plot is further strengthened by a look at the lives of a white ex-pat family also living on the island. The family has to deal with problems of infidelity, racism and murder. Written by Warren D. Mottley <trident@toj.com>