Jeremy Pertz in Guyanese News

After a productive summer of exploratory research in Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago, Jeremy met Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar at a diasporic community townhall forum held in downtown Los Angeles. He plans to research local health and healing practices and their interconnections with religion and politics in Guyana. Through UCLA’s Graduate Summer Research Mentorship program he was able to begin refining these ideas while establishing connections and research partnerships within both local communities and institutions. One such productive partnership involves collaborating with faculty at the University of the West Indies’s School of Pharmacology identifying commonalities and differences between ayurveda as taught by their University department and local Trinidadian healthcare knowledge and practice. But his primary project hopes to focus on how religion and associated health practices become politicized within struggles for cultural representation and equality. After witnessing and participating in this summer’s Emancipation celebrations in Georgetown, Guyana, his thesis project is likely to explore how obeah, an anglo-Caribbean complex of healing and power-harnessing practices, is understood, and misunderstood, within political and cultural struggles for agency and voice.

Photo Credit: Guyana Government Information Agency

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