The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 54, Issue 2

Article 4
Cinema and Contestations for the Imagination in late Colonial Trinbago

David V. Trotman


This paper is an examination of censorship of the cinema in colonial Trinidad and Tobago. It argues that the success of colonialism depended not only on the use or threat of superior physical force on the colonized but was also dependent on the ability of the colonizer to convince the colonized, or sections thereof, of their cultural superiority. The advent of the cinema at the beginning of the twentieth century presented new challenges to colonial rule. The available cinematic fare undermined the capacity of colonialism to present an unchallenged claim of cultural superiority. The cinema became another source which provided fodder for the continuing contestation for the imagination of the colonized.