Institute for Gender and Development Studies

Back to Calls, IGDS St Augustine Unit

The Institute for Gender and Development Studies, UWI St. Augustine Unit
in partnership with
The Cutlass Magazine
In memory of Professor Emeritus Brinsley Samaroo

Call for Submissions Inheritances (640 x 200 px).png

Call for Submissions - Indian Inheritances Across and Beyond Caribbean Geographies.
Submission Deadline: February 28, 2024      ​​​​Notification of Selection: March 31, 2024

Published November 30, 2023


1. Introduction

Indian immigration to the plantation colonies changed the topography of the Caribbean as indentured labourers took an array of dried fruits, seeds, and cuttings across the “kala pani” (black waters) from 1838 to 1916, continuing to import these resources in decades following the end of indentureship. This botanical and cultural heritage can be seen across the landscape of the region and has become creolised, appearing familiar and local to those living in and descended from the region regardless of race/ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexuality, religion, politics, nation, and location. Many of the Hindi names have been retained in local dialects, notably of Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname where Indian descended people are the largest ethnic group. 

To quote the late Professor Emeritus Brinsley Samaroo (2021, 23) whose essay, Changing Caribbean Geographies (Journal of Indentureship 2021) provides the inspiration for this call: 

“The list of items of flora which were fitted into this jahaji bandal is long and impressive. Among these were mango (aam), guavas (amrudh), pomegranate (anar), string-bean (bodi), Indian drumsticks (saijan/moringa), pumpkins (khora, khadu), marijuana, datura, rice (chawal), sapodilla (chicu), betel-nut (supari), turmeric (haldi), bitter gourd (caraillee), ginger (adhrak), curry-plant (karapillay), cinnamon (dalchini), mustard (sarson), black pepper (kali mirch), onion (pyaj), cumin (geera), fennel (sauf), fenugreek (maithi), long gourd (lowki), cloves (laung) and the seeds of the ashoka, bael, neem and lotus (kumud). In the jahaji bandal they brought a whole range of spinach (bhaji) seeds as well as the full panoply of Indian lentils (dhal). Some of these seeds, such as guava and citrus, had been brought to the region before the arrival of the Indians but India now supplied new varieties which improved the native stock. In the jahaji bandal there were seeds of loofa (jinghi), tamarind (imli) and cucumber (khera)”.

This list highlights many of the plants that have now become commonplace in Caribbean religious ceremonies and cultural festivals, drum- and art-making, landscaping and agriculture, home gardening, cooking and decoration. Indeed, some of these plants, such as hibiscus, mango and ganja have provided flowers, fruits and leaves that have become emblematic of the region itself and show the presence and impact of Asia in the Caribbean. 

For migrants who now constitute a significant West Indian population in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and elsewhere, such flora has been transplanted to their gardens and homes, and is therefore a way to reproduce memories of and connection to the region in these more distant lands. In this sense, a legacy of indenture is making another crossing, first to the Caribbean and then to its diaspora where diaspora identity thrives particularly New York, Florida, and Ontario where the majority of Caribbean people have planted their roots. While much of the Caribbean cultural impact on these geographies has been documented, little has been recorded about such botanical acts of new world settlement. 

2. Target media, participant and output

2.1 This Call for Submissions seeks photographs and videos of these plants, fruits, vegetables brought in jahahin and jahaji bandals as they now are situated, nurtured, living and growing in Caribbean and Caribbean-descended people’s homes, backyards, agricultural gardens and travel routes in the region and its diaspora. 

2.2 This Call for Submissions is open to anyone living in or descended from the Caribbean regardless of race/ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexuality, religion, politics, nation or location. It is open to all, beyond professional photographers and filmmakers. We are interested in the personal stories, memories, histories, emotions, relationships, beliefs, desires, and aspirations associated with these plants as they exist in our landscapes and cross geographies. We welcome images that include people, objects, buildings and homes, and wider terrain or space, along with the flora in its living spaces as well as being planted and picked, and we welcome images and videos created or altered using graphic art and AI. 

2.3 Your submissions of photographs and audio-visual material will be curated and selected for inclusion in exhibitions on Indian Inheritances Across and Beyond Caribbean Geographies. Primarily as a multi-component online exhibition (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) and later as a traveling exhibition carded for May 2024. Submissions will be curated by Dr. Gabrielle Hosein of the IGDS, UWI, St. Augustine Unit and Vinay Harrichan of The Cutlass Magazine.

3. Content 

Submissions may highlight the following:

  1. Plants/flora brought from India by indentured workers/through indenture
  2. Impact of on the landscape/how they have transformed the landscape
  3. Roles of these plants in religious, healing and cultural customs across ethnicity, religion and location
  4. Mainstreaming of Indian names for these plants and Caribbean/creole names also given to them (words brought and created)
  5. Plants encountered in the Caribbean and given Indian names post indenture 
  6. How ecology/landscape connects us across ethnic and other differences 
  7. How ecology connects us across ethnic and other differences to the legacy of indenture
  8. How Caribbean Diasporic communities have transplanted these plants in new homelands
  9. How these plants appear in popular culture and music 
  10. 10.Comparative use of historical images (plantation agriculture/subsistence planting) to show history of plants becoming embedded in new landscapes and cultural terrains.

4. Submission Guidelines

Please adhere to the following guidelines when submitting.  

Content Requirement

  • Submit one online form for each subject or species (maximum of three forms per participant) 
  • Submit no more than three subjects (plant, vegetable, fruit) per participant. Choose the subjects that allow you to underline the stories you want to tell.
  • Submit no more than six media files per subject (per plant, vegetable, fruit) - that is, six media files (photos and/or short videos).
  • Submit a minimum of 3 to maximum of 18 media items (Photos/video/audio) 

Technical Specifications

  • Images should be provided in JPEG format. Avoid extensive editing, unless the capturing and editing of image is being professionally done, as that leads to a loss in quality. Please save a copy of the original and unedited photo if applicable. Try to limit each file to 2MB.
  • If using a mobile phone, go to the camera settings, and choose the 16:9 ratio and resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels. Average smartphones provide ideal quality (the iPhone is 12 megapixels). Otherwise please size each image to a maximum of 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. Images/video may be of any orientation (profile/vertical or panoramic/horizontal).
  • Videos should be no longer than one minute and standard 1920 x 1080 pixels in resolution.
  • Filenames must abide by these conventions: lastname_firstname_plantname_number with either jpeg or mp4 extensions for photo and video submissions respectively.

Credit and disclaimers 

  • Photos and videos created with or enhanced by artificial intelligence tools should be indicated with a disclaimer, along with the rationale, process and AI/graphic design tool. 


  • Please note the photographer especially if other than yourself for credits.
  • Please include: place and date of image; locations; any details about the human subjects captured in the photographs/videos; stories or narratives that underline why they are important to share.
  • For anyone in the photo/video, please include their consent for use of their image. 
  • Written reflection of up to 150 words on the videos and/or photographs which highlights, for example, how the plants included connect to family, ancestry, memories, symbolic, medicinal and cultural uses, sustenance and family, labour, emotions and senses, notions of plants/earth as living and sacred, family journeys, art and imagined futures. 

Consent Form 

  • Please complete the “Image Consent and Release Form” for use of data submitted for educational purposes, including: full name, contact information and signature.
  • In the case of including children included in the photos/videos, the images must be appropriate, as well as respect and protect the human rights, integrity and dignity of the children. Permission must be obtained from a parent or responsible adult authorising the use of the image of the child involved.

5. How to submit 

  • Click to go to the ONLINE FORM for sumbission. 
  • If you prefer to fill out a word document and send files via WeTransfer please email. 



Call for Submission Announced: November 30, 2023
Submission Deadline: February 28, 2024 
Notification of Selection: March 31, 2024


For more information on Indian Inheritances Across and Beyond Caribbean Geographies
Email:  and

Dr Gabrielle Hosein 
IGDS, St Augustine Campus

Vinay Harrichan 
The Cutlass Magazine


Image Consent and Release Form
Indian Inheritances Across and Beyond Caribbean Geographies

I do hereby permit and grant The University of The West Indies (hereinafter referred to as the “University”), its officers, employees, agents and servants acting on behalf of the University, the authority and perpetual right to use my image or likeness, and any photographs and/or videos which I submit to the “Indian Inheritances Across and Beyond Caribbean Geographies” IGDS, UWI-Cutlass Magazine research and visual art project, for purposes relating to the core mandate and educational mission of The University and the promotion, publication and marketing of the various operations and scholarly programs of The University. 

This grant of consent includes the right to publish my image or likeness, and any photographs and/or videos which I submit to the Indian Inheritances Across and Beyond Caribbean Geographies research and visual art project, on any medium including but not limited to The University’s web sites, promotional materials, print and television media as well as in University handbooks, brochures, newspapers and/or publications. 

I understand and agree that The University may use my image or likeness for the purposes herein stated, at any time now or in the future, for the purposes of education, artistic production, research, teaching and publication. 

I understand and agree that although The University would not use my image or likeness for any purposes other than those contained herein, The University cannot guarantee any further dissemination or prevent any other use of my image and likeness that falls outside The University’s supervision and control. I also understand and agree that I have submitted my image, photographs and/or videos for collaborative project use by Cutlass Magazine, for the purposes of education, artistic production, research, teaching and publication. 

Accordingly, I release, indemnify and hold harmless The University, its officers, employees, agents, and servants acting on behalf of The University from any and all claims and/or liability arising from or in any way related to the dissemination, reproduction, distribution, distortion, alteration and display of my image and likeness in any and all other forms of media not under the supervision or control of The University. 

I understand and agree that this grant of consent and release shall be binding upon my heirs, assigns, administrators, executors and next of kin. I hereby acknowledge that I am eighteen (18) years of age or older and have read and understand the nature and conditions of this consent and release. By signing my name, I acknowledge that I have carefully read and understand this document. 

NAME (PARTICIPANT)  ________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS ________________________________________________________________________________

PARTICIPANT EMAIL ________________________________________________________________________

PARTICIPANT TEL/CELL _____________________________________________________________________

PARTICIPANT SIGNATURE ___________________________________________________________________

DATE OF SIGNING AND SUBMISSION  _________________________________________________________


Top of Page