In this impressively detailed, well referenced video production a young citizen of Trinidad and Tobago presents a snapshot of political, financial, social and cultural matters in Tobago.
Outside of the formal structures of any society organised on the basis of the Westminster parliamentary model, with a party in power superseding the organised initiatives of the grassroots, there is also what can be defined as a civil society.
The producer points to an apparently weak expression of such a civil society in Tobago.
In the Tobago context this civil society comprises the village councils, farmers and fishermen’s collectives and associations, businesses and enterprises and their associations, Chambers of Commerce, elders groups, religious organisations and their congregations, mas camps, carnival organisers and participants, myriad sports associations and clubs, writers, drama and arts guilds, trades unions and the political parties.
So a civil society certainly exists in Tobago and does as much as the mainstream structures – maybe more – to ensure the society functions and that the material, cultural, spiritual, sporting and other needs of the people are met.
A problem to be taken up for solution is that this civil society – rather than operating as individual silos, fragmented and atomized, doing their own thing – needs to be activated and empowered as such. Working out how to empower the civil society with decision making power is a big challenge being taken up.