Tyehimba is a sociologist, educator and activist from the Caribbean twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. His research focuses on globalisation and development, inequality, Caribbean radical thought, coloniality/decoloniality, and subaltern challenges to hegemonic knowledge, and he is particularly interested in the inequalities in the production of knowledge. He has lectured and delivered interactive presentations on aspects of sociology, youth development, Caribbean history, religion, culture and the psycho-social impact of colonialism, at schools, organisations and communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago and the region.
He is a research fellow in the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the University of the West Indies. He is also a director at the Institute of Indigenous Knowledge, Empowerment and Research (IKER Institute), which runs ongoing projects aimed at encouraging ecological livelihoods, dialogue and social justice. The IKER Institute manages a community-based ecological farm and a nature park as part of its mission to set an example of an alternative and decolonial model of development. In this model, agriculture and nature are used as a basis for people to learn about history, society and self.
Tye also works in the development of alternative media, such as Trinicenter.com, that document Caribbean history and culture and examine local and international issues from a multiplicity of perspectives. As a columnist, his writings on global politics and history have been published in local and international media. His most recent academic publication, “The Colonial and Anti-colonial Arthur Lewis: Lessons for Decolonial Caribbean Development”, analysed the contributions of one of the region’s Nobel laureates. He is presently working on two books: one on sustainable development and the other on the Rastafarian movement in Trinidad and Tobago.
I gather hope from the germinating seeds, the resilience and cycles of nature, the stars, the cosmos, the innocence, curiosity and potential of children, the wisdom and stories of the elders, my students, my teachers and the clarity that comes from learning about history and self. The Caribbean where I am from, which has given the world the richness of reggae, calypso and steelpan, also gives me hope. There is something very powerful and symbolic in the creation of the steelpan, where racism and colonialism outlawed African drums and out of this, discarded oil containers were taken and used to create something magical.