I Am Lucian
Tuesday February 8th 2022
I Am Lucian Webinar Series Launches
Award winning Saint Lucia Photographer and Sustainable Tourism Evangelist Kirk Elliott has launched this webinar series to coincide with Saint Lucia’s 43rd Anniversary of Independence. The webinars will explore: What does it REALLY mean to be Saint Lucian? What sets us apart and distinguishes us from every other nation on earth? How can we use this ‘Unique Saint Lucian Essence’ – whatever this might be, as a motivator towards excellence?
The I Am Lucian Webinar Series seeks to engage Saint Lucians at home and abroad, along with anyone else interested in joining the conversation, as identifying and connected with who we truly are is of great value to all mankind.
The Webinar Series which launches Thursday February 24th 2022 features 12 webinars, with one per month for a full year of engaging self-discovery. When asked what was his motivation for these webinars, especially as they are not linked to photography for which he is widely known, Elliott explained: “I was blown away by Prime Minister Philip J Pierre’s reference to the importance of 1795 in his 2021 Emancipation Day address to the nation, especially since this is not taught in any of our formal history classes.” Elliott himself only became aware of the significance of 1795 to Saint Lucia’s history as a consequence of his “Caring Entrepreneurship” work with the community of Fond Gens Libre in Soufriere. Elliott has been working with the community since 2015 helping it create a tourism product that he seeks to develop into an International Benchmark of Community Based Sustainable Tourism within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As a result of his work with the community Elliott discovered that in 1795 Saint Lucian heroine Flore Bois Gaillard, starting out from the community of Fond Gens Libre in Soufriere, successfully led her troops against the British in the Battle of Rabot. Her victory and others that followed resulted in a year of freedom (1795-96) in which blacks and mulattoes who could read and write were placed at the head of some local municipalities. During this period many persons enjoyed civil liberty and political equality as enshrined in the French Constitution. Elliott learnt of these little known facts from Robert Devaux’s book ‘They Called Us Brigands’ and he feels compelled to share these amazing stories with Saint Lucians at home and abroad.
The first webinar will explore the Battle of Rabot as a possible anchor to this unique Saint Lucian-ness we seek to identify. Sylvester Clauzel, Caribbean History Researcher and Winston Phulgence, Historical Anthropologist and President of the Saint Lucia Historical & Archaeological Society are special guests for this inaugural webinar. Their insights and contribution to the discussion sets the stage for enlightening engagement for both this and subsequent webinars.
When asked about the importance of identifying this essence of Saint Lucian-ness Sylvester Clauzel shared: “My research on the indigenous peoples of our islands have led me to the conclusion that even what is described as primary source material is biased and unreliable, pregnant with deliberate misinterpretation of facts about the history of our people. We must find the instruments to research, collect, collate, and re-write that history.”
As a historical anthropologist whose studies as a Fulbright scholar focused on Caribbean Pre-history and Heritage Management Winston Phulgence is an excellent anchor for this initial exploration into who we are and who we have the potential to become.
The I Am Lucian Webinar Series is included in the official calendar of events for Saint Lucia’s 43rd Anniversary of Independence celebrations and it has also enjoyed logistical support from Export Saint Lucia where Kirk Elliott Ltd is a member. When asked what he hoped will come out of this webinar series Elliott commented: “By engaging directly with a broad cross section of society both at home and abroad over the course of a year my hope is for us to gain meaningful insights into who we uniquely are and how awareness of this can inspire us to becoming “The Very Best That We Can Be.”
Register for free at IAmLucian.com