On Capture Land

On Capture Land

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Cummings, Ronald
2023

Among the narratives recounted in Dionne Brand’s A Map to the Door of No Return, is a story of Rastafari longing for return. This discussion considers that story, told to Brand by a friend, alongside Chronixx’s song “Capture Land” and Nabil Elderkin’s short film, “Captureland.” In reading these works together, I use the concept of “capture land” to engage with the question of the authority of maps. I also examine how these works narrate land, coloniality and the politics of longing and belonging in diaspora and how they each locate Black life in and through different sites and scenes of (dis)orientation.

Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the US Virgin Islands

Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the US Virgin Islands

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Navarro, Tami
2021

Virgin Capital examines the cultural impact and historical significance of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) in the United States Virgin Islands. A tax holiday program, the EDC encourages financial services companies to relocate to these American-owned islands in exchange for an exemption from 90% of income taxes, and to stimulate the economy by hiring local workers and donating to local charitable causes. As a result of this program, the largest and poorest of these islands—St. Croix—has played host to primarily US financial firms and their white managers, leading to reinvigorated anxieties around the costs of racial capitalism and a feared return to the racial and gender order that ruled the islands during slavery. Drawing on fieldwork conducted during the boom years leading up to the 2008–2009 financial crisis, Virgin Capital provides ethnographic insight into the continuing relations of coloniality at work in the quintessentially "modern" industry of financial services and neoliberal "development" regimes, with their grounding in hierarchies of race, gender, class, and geopolitical positioning.