Alice Besson née Alice Schwarz moved to Trinidad and Tobago from her native Germany in the late 1990s following the winning of a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service to conduct a year of field research in Trinidad on the topic of Mass Media and the Carnival Arts—a topic on which she had written her Master’s thesis, which was published by the Institute of Popular Music at Humboldt University, Berlin.
She holds a Master’s of Arts Degree in Communication Arts from University of the Arts in Berlin, an institution that can look back on a 300-year history. She also holds a Journeyman’s Certificate in Photography from the Photographers’ Guild, Berlin.
After her move to Trinidad, she became the Managing Director of Paria Publishing Company Limited, a communications company with a publishing arm that specialises in the recording of the history and folklore of Trinidad and Tobago.
Besson has co-authored with her husband Gérard A. Besson a number of historical accounts of institutions and corporations, namely Alstons/McEnearney (today ANSA McAL), Scotiabank, M. Hamel-Smith and Co. and the family history of the Harford and the Lewis families.
She co-authored the history of Cannings/HiLo (today Massy Stores) with Gillian Royes and that of TECU Credit Union with Mary Shand.
She researched and wrote the first draft of the history of Neal & Massy, the Syrian Lebanese Women’s Association, and the biography of architect Anthony Lewis, which was later published as “Manikin”. She, together with Rani Sinanan, also knocked the biography of Dr. Rupert Indar into shape, whose first draft was written by Hamid Ghany.
Most recently, during the stringencies of the COVID pandemic, she teamed up with Simon Lee to write and produce the history of the Co-operative Bank of Grenada, and helped Ronald Harford with the writing and production of his memoirs, “Nil Illegitimi Carborundum”.
Books solely researched and written by Besson are the history of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago—today RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited, Republic Bank Limited’s second historical account, and the history of Laughlin & De Gannes. She also wrote the biographical section of masman Wayne Berkeley’s book “Costume Design”.
With the exceptions of the first drafts, all books mentioned above were designed by her and produced by Paria Publishing, as were the historical accounts of Citibank, Naparima Girls’ High School, the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago, and the biographies of Anthony Sabga (ANSA McAl), written by Bridget Brereton and Raymond Ramcharitar, Sidney Knox (Neal & Massy), written by Robert Clarke, Abdou Joseph Sabga, written by Joseph Abdo and Natalya Sabga, and the autobiographies of Clinton Bernard (Chief Justice) and Therese Mills (Newsday).
Alice Besson also edited, proofread, planned and designed a large number of books by self-publishers over the years, too numerous to mention, and researched, wrote and designed corporate magazines for Angostura, BP Trinidad and Tobago, AmCham T&T and many other corporate and institutional entities.