The construction of the Panama Canal affected a large number of Barbadian families. It was certainly very much part of the consciousness of Barbados. However, our literature has not really explored this event which is of important socio-cultural significance. Panama Silver does this. It explores the relationships between Barbadians displaced to the Canal, the compromises into which their circumstances forced them, their attitudes toward people working there who came from other places, their attitude towards Barbados and the state of the society that drove them there. The play begins in 1912 and ends when the Canal is handed over in 1914. It synthesizes the hopes, the despair, the longings, the frustrations, the dreams of hundreds of people bound by a system over which they have no control, geared to the accomplishment of a task the fulfilment of which in no way answers to their needs, and for which they will not even be thanked, nor their dead remembered. And yet, there is a pride in a job well done. This play is full of the contradictions of the human spirit with its capacity for good and evil, its easy movement between laughter and tears, unselfishness and self-centeredness, kindness and cruelty. These contradictions and the complications of the story, form the warp and woof with which the playwright weaves his tapestry of an era much neglected in our chronicling.
Used availability for Glenville Lovell's Panama Silver
April 2018 : Paperback