The Island Sessions
in Washington, DC
By and large, the environmental and sociocultural realities of the world's islands are conspicuously absent from curricular and extracurricular life in Washington, DC. This is disconcerting, since the DC area is home to large immigrant and expatriate populations from islands in the Caribbean, Pacific, and well beyond; and also since islands serve as a compass for decolonial, environmental aware education and politics.
Music & the Earth seeks to provide opportunities for youth and adults in the DC area to learn about culture and ecology on the world's islands. We strive to inform those who are unaware of the geographic beauty, cultural dynamism, and environmental urgencies of islands. We also create spaces where those who do have ties to islands around the world can nourish those bonds and connect over shared experiences.
To that end, Music & the Earth takes the themes of the Caribbean-based Island Sessions and The Politics of Coexistence in the Atlantic World and brings them to schools (to broaden young minds) and to adults (to enrich civil society). We conduct activities in art, science and humanities classes in a high school outside of Washington, DC. These activities are intended to convey to students the vibrancy of tropical islands and the urgency of the challenges facing them.
We also host island-focused activities for adults through our Mayla Partnership and other "in-house" collaborations (see below). In all of our activities, music from the world's islands, and the soundscapes of island ecosystems, serve as the means by which we create space for "island environmentalism" in Washington, DC.