Cockpit Country Is My Home
A cross-section of the large gathering that turned out to see the premiere of Cockpit Country Is My Home, a 30-minute documentary commissioned by the Windsor Research Centre and financed by a grant from the Arthur and Catherine McArthur Foundation.
The film, four years in the making, used firstperson narration, giving a voice to the Cockpit Country (Asberger Harwood) and some of its endemic inhabitants. It featured bats (Jeremy Downer), the slider turtle (Clifford Palmer), the laughing frog (Karen Ricketts), the Yellow Boa (Tishana Johnson), the snail (Walton Christie Jr) and the spider (Christina Mothersill).
Cockpit Country locals Lorna Williams-Christie and Wayne Francis, as well as ecologist Susan Koenig, did the on-screen narration. The film was written and directed by Esther Figueroa.
Koenig, co-founder of Windsor Research, said the total budget for the production was US$30,000. A lot of volunteer work also went into it, she said, “easily doubling it in our volunteer effort”.
Some of the volunteers she singled out were Pear Tree Press, Red Bones Café, which hosted the premiere, and environmentalist Diana McCaulay.
“The film is for Jamaicans, by Jamaicans and I hope that everyone will be able to walk away feeling more pride in Cockpit Country and knowing that in whatever little way, that they are helping to protect it,” Koenig said.
In recent years the Cockpit Country, the boundaries of which are in dispute, has been threatened by companies that want to mine bauxite. (Photo: Karl McLarty)