About the project

Montserrat Conservation Project

This project is about salvaging a soundscape from the British colonies.

It is an ethnographic teaching about cultural conservation which will involve researching academic materials and constructing an internet platform for students at Queen’s University Belfast and the general public.

It is an opportunity to hear rare and sense previously thought lost examples of sounds and music streamed as an accompaniment to some important teaching texts in the fields of anthropology and ethnomusicology.

Specifically, this website contains:

  • digitization of recently donated sound reels of the last known ‘jumbie dances’ to take place on Montserrat, a British colony in the Eastern Caribbean, destroyed by natural disaster since 1995.

  • a visual archive of the island made the week before volcanic eruption in July 1995.

One of the aims of this project are to reintroduce the cultural and the colonial into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme: the cultural and the colonial are vital aspects of ESD and are closely associated with legacies from the past and relationships with the past and past practices (slavery and land use exploitation in this case).