Under the Sycamore Tree Returns With More Stories from Caribbean Feminists, Activists, and Leaders!

Turquoise background with pink text that reads under the sycamore tree

Are you ready to continue moving with us through the Caribbean?

After a short summer break, Under The Sycamore Tree is back with another round of episodes featuring stories from our WVL-Caribbean grantee partners. This archival podcast provides a space for Caribbean feminist voices and the broadening of our understanding of multiple feminisms in the region, and you can listen to the newest episode on language and leadership!  

Under the Sycamore Tree is a limited series Caribbean, feminist, archival podcast that documents women and LGBTQI+ led organizations across eight Caribbean countries.

Queer people continue to survive, resist, and shape Caribbean history. But too often, their stories are overlooked. We need the podcast to celebrate the work that’s been happening for decades, and to recognise the people and communities that refuse to back down

The conversations are insightful, intimate, and multigenerational, with each episode focusing on topics ranging from eldership to legislative changes to queer families. The release of the second half of the series continues to share the incredible work being done by our grantee partners in the Caribbean and showcases the power of podcasting as a storytelling and community building tool.

Podcasting as a powerful storytelling tool. 

After the release of the first half of Under The Sycamore, we’ve had some time to connect with it, experience the power of it, and reflect on its impact. We know that there is a community out there interested in these stories, streaming each episode, and sharing them widely. Our team has had the opportunity to disseminate these learnings and reflections about the podcast and share about the journey and process of making it, including most recently at Rights Con in June. 

Rights Con, held this year in Costa Rica, is a global convening on human rights in the digital age. Podcast producer Dave-Ann Moses, and Neish McLean, Associate Director of Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, attended Rights Con to talk about digital storytelling, sharing the journey of and process behind Under The Sycamore Tree.

Upon reflecting on the process of creating Under The Sycamore Tree, I decided to focus our session on the very deep endeavor of building the world of our podcast and how the participants could do this themselves. While this did not take much technical consideration, it did require us to bring our whole selves into the process – listening closely, staying true to what we heard, and searching out the right digital tools that would allow us to transmit our Feminist, Caribbean, community-centered audio world to our listeners.

Dave-Ann Moses

Session attendees learned about the importance of digital storytelling and how they can use podcasting as a tool in their own organizations and activist work. The session acted as an important introduction to not only the topic of digital storytelling, but of the work being done in the Caribbean. Reception to the session was overwhelmingly positive and attendees were engaged and inspired to begin or build upon their own storytelling efforts. Rights Con allowed us to invite more people into the world of Under the Sycamore Tree and to share our own experience of creating a podcast–and why we believe it’s a critical tool to tell feminist stories.

Digital storytelling is a reflective and archiving tool and it will be key to our digital futures

Dave-Ann Moses

Digital storytelling is powerful.

The podcast has provided a space for activists and leaders in the Caribbean to share their work, their learnings, and their insights. Podcast producer, Dave-Ann Moses, talks about the weaving of multiple stories throughout the limited series as “creating the world of our podcast,” and we have invited our listeners and digital communities into this world. In turn, the podcast acts as a digital archive for these stories, and an educational tool for others to learn about feminism and LGTBQI+ activism across the Caribbean. It also provides an important point of information sharing for activists and leaders in the region because, as noted by the podcast team, “sometimes, it feels like we have to start everything from scratch; when in reality the solution we need has been innovated and perfected by another organization two islands across.” Under the Sycamore Tree shares these solutions and more with the larger feminist and activist ecosystem in the Caribbean and beyond. 

The podcast is significant because sometimes when we’re doing the work in our communities–when we’re really locked in–it can feel like we’re alone.

Rebel Women Lit and Carla Moore

Storytelling builds community, one that transcends the physical boundaries of geography. Under the Sycamore Tree, by providing a digital platform to share stories, has brought together our grantee partners, a community of feminists and activists, and invited others into this community simply through listening and sharing each episode. It allows those who listen, specifically those doing similar work, to know they’re not alone, to see themselves in the stories, and to find comfort in the fact that the work they’re doing is valued and celebrated. 

In an interview with Astraea Foundation, podcast producers and host Carla Moore shared that podcast needs to break traditional views of what feminism is (White, North American) and bring to the forefront stories of feminist and LGBTQI+ activists that are often overlooked, specifically those in the Caribbean. These stories, past, present, and future, can and should be celebrated. 

About the Podcast Round Two!

As shared at Rights Con, we believe that Under The Sycamore Tree is an important platform for Caribbean Feminist and activist storytelling and we are excited to share this next round of episodes! Like the first half of the series, each episode in the second round is dedicated to a theme related to the work of Caribbean feminist and LGBTQI+ organizing, including: language and leadership, land, sex work, Indigenous women’s activism, and more.  Many of our WVL-Caribbean grantee partners were involved in the podcast. Check out the full list here. 

Under the Sycamore Tree relaunches July 18 with 5 more episodes! You can listen to a new episode every Tuesday on your favourite streaming platform or on the podcast homepage

Caribbean feminisms are powerful, intersectional, and rising, and Under the Sycamore Tree shares these stories with the world. Hosted by Carla Moore, produced by Rebel Women Lit and Queerly Stated, and supported by Government Affairs Canada, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and the Equality Fund, this podcast has taken us on a powerful journey through the Caribbean.  We believe the Caribbean region is very special and the work being done there should and will be shared and celebrated! There is a beautiful rich history and a vibrant current account captured throughout this limited series. We’re inviting you to experience the power of and join the movement for feminist and queer social justice in the Caribbean with the Under The Sycamore Tree podcast. Move with us.  

Under the Sycamore Tree is a podcast featuring WVL-Caribbean grantee partners and is supported by the Equality Fund and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. It is produced by Rebel Women Lit and Queerlystated, and made possible by funding from Global Affairs Canada. 

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