The XII Edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) will be held from August 21st to 30th, in Haiti under the theme “Our Roots, Our Culture, Our Common Future.” Guyana will be sending an eighty member contingent to cultural event.
However, before the team heads to Haiti, the Theatre Guild will open its doors on August 16, for the general public to witness the cultural performances that Guyana will take to the largest cultural and artistic event in the Caribbean.
“We owe it to the people of Guyana to showcase what we are taking to Haiti,” Coordinator of the Guyana CARIFESTA team, Lennox Canterbury, told the media.
Addressing a press briefing at the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport on Main Street on August 7, Canterbury and the other Coordinators of the Guyana CARIFESTA team, explained that the public will preview the performance of the cultural delegation, under a concept, expressed in the “Rights and Rhythms of Guyana.”
Technical Personnel for the Delegation, Dr. Seeta Roth, explained that this basic theme will drive all aspect of Guyanese culture, from folklore, legends, myths, dance, drama and literature, at the CARIFESTA. “It would be carried through our music, dance, etc.,” Seeta said. She further explained that performances have come out of different auditions and workshops.
Dance Choreographer, Roshinie Boodhoo said that the dances will skillfully combine “The use of colour, light, costume, projection background and choreography to explore Guyana at its best.”
According to Boodhoo, Guyana’s contribution, a sixty minute synopsis of dance theater production, will be executed by a skillful cast of dancers who were shortlisted from open auditions. The dance crew features some leading members of known dance groups and crews in the country, skilled in the art of two or more dance styles.
CARIFESTA carries an intellectual component in the form of a symposium, which allows for literary giants in the region to discuss issues of importance, governing the development of the arts in the regions. The CARIFESTA Committee sets the agenda for this symposium. The Guyana delegation, for this component of the event, will be seeking to bring to the fore three issues relating to the creative development of arts in Guyana and the Region.
University of Guyana Lecturer Al Creighton said that Guyana is prepared to lead discussions on the state of the creative and cultural industries in Guyana and the region, and the development of the Indian dance form in Guyana and the Caribbean. He said that the focus on the Indian dance form will be on bringing attention to the lack of research in the area, as well as examining the impact of the traditional contributions and influences in Guyana and the Caribbean on the dance form.
Guyana will also lead discussions on writing and theatre drama in Guyana and the region. The focus on writing will be on the whole concept of the writing of fiction, the kind of tasks that have been presented to writers and how writers, who have been doing it the years, dramatising their societies in fiction, Mr. Creighton said.
Guyana’s participation in CARIFESTA also has a literary component, to which end, there will be a major exhibition of Guyanese literature. Creighton explained that the literature for the exhibition has been put together by the University of Guyana’s Library. He said that the exhibition will have several major parts include a display of all Guyana Prize books and manuscripts. There will also be an aspect that looks at the Guyana Classic, a series of publications developed and printed since 2008. This is a collection that attempts to reprint many ‘out of print’ Guyanese publication from icons of Guyanese literary works.
Guyana is registered to participate in 11 areas of the festival, which include Visual and Literary Arts, Fashion, Theatre arts and Music.
CARIFESTA celebrates diversity and similarity, and talent and brotherhood. It gives artistes the opportunity to discuss, share experiences, and learn from one another, and to the people of the Caribbean, Latin America and the world, the opportunity to share their knowledge and traditions. (File photo)