Reimagining Nanny Documentary premieres at NYU and virtually

ST JAMES, Jamaica— The documentary dubbed “Reimagining Nanny: Her Sword - A Seed” premieres on March 23, 2023, at the New York University (NYU), in New York, USA, and virtually.

This documentary, produced by Jamaican Professor at NYU Leo Douglas, will retell the story of national heroine Nanny of the Maroons.

Traditionally, Nanny has been portrayed through a lens of mountain guerrilla warfare, but in the documentary, she will be represented in what some Maroon scholars believe to be a more accurate and broader reality - as a healer, a protector of the springs, forests and watersheds, and as the quintessential wise woman of all that lived and grew in the Blue and John Crow Mountains of Jamaica.

“The documentary comes at an opportune time when we commemorate Women’s Heritage Month, under the theme ‘Women Who Tell Our Stories’. It highlights the untold stories of Queen Nanny as a fundamental means of deepening our appreciation of the contribution of the Jamaican black women on whose shoulders we stand. The documentary is positioned as a fresh and informational retelling of community and ancestral cultural preservation in Jamaica, including a description of a rich pantheon of West African knowledge and traditional practices about plants, herbal healing and the conservation of the natural world,” Professor Douglas said.

The documentary also focuses on Afro-Caribbean practices that are largely unrecognised or undiscussed in Jamaican eco-culture as being of West African in origin.

“By positioning Nanny as one of the island’s first naturalists and as a central and early Afro-Caribbean eco-spiritual leader of renown, the documentary also explores questions about the intersection of racial identity, gender, sexuality, and religion in relation to womanhood and how Afro-Caribbean women are perceived if and when they choose to work on the land, be it as farmers, herbalists or as environmental protectors,” Professor Douglas continued.

Jamaican Professor Marcia Douglas of the University of Colorado - Boulder, who portrays Queen Nanny in the documentary feature had this to say about her role:

“Queen Nanny would have believed that nature was life, that it was spirit, and that the essence of our being remained around us, in the things that grew in the Blue Mountains, even after death. That the natural world was also spiritual, a world of unseen and immeasurable powers, saturated with the energy and wisdom of our Afro-indigenous fore-parents, that all life was sacred, spiritual and full of teachable wisdom.”

A panel discussion will be held following the screening of the documentary. Among the panellists are Liberal Studies professor and author Jacqueline Bishop of NYU; Dr Thera Edwards lecturer in the department of Geography and Geology, University of the West Indies, Mona, where she has focused on environmental management and sustainable development; Dr Marcia Douglas award-winning author and professor of Post-Colonial studies at the University of Colorado Boulder; and Dr Tao Leigh Goffe, professor of Africana Studies, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University.

Persons wishing to participate virtually must register at The official documentary trailer can be viewed at:

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