Categorized | General, Local, News

Alliouagana Literary Festival: Thursday and Friday highlights

By Cathy Buffonge 

Mr. Ivan Berry

Once again the UWI, Montserrat Open Campus, with its dedicated and energetic head, Gracelyn Cassell, has achieved an excellent Literary Festival – the third Alliouagana Festival of the Word. There were so many highlights, each demanding a separate article, but I will start with a glimpse at the pre-Festival Symposium, which was held in memory of Montserrat’s musical icon, Arrow, and addressed the topic ‘Creative and Cultural Industries: Implications for Developing Economies’. This was held on the Thursday evening (November 10th).

Attorney at Law Warren Cassell

The feature speaker was Ivan Berry from St Kitts and Canada, who among other achievements, co-founded the St Kitts Music Festival, and is described in Canada as an entrepreneur, artist manager, record label owner, talent development executive and music publisher. He spoke on the Business of Music, including the need for a proper recording industry in the Caribbean with all the necessary technology, so that money spent on production would remain in the Caribbean instead of going overseas.

Dr. Lowell Fiet

Other speakers included Dr Lowell Fiet of the University of Puerto Rico, who spoke on his speciality, mask making and its many positive uses with groups; intellectual property, entertainment and sports lawyer Warren Cassell, who spoke on the financial aftermath of Arrow’s death when compared with other celebrities; and Internet expert Dr Samuel Joseph, who advocated a complete change in the education system, to prepare for the future with innovative and creative thinkers. Deidre LaBassiere spoke on Cultural entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and the creative industries.  The symposium was chaired by Dr Clarice Barnes.

Dr.Samuel Joseph

The official opening took place on Friday night (November 11), with the launch of two books. The first of these was by Professor Sir Howard Fergus, Poems from Behind God Back – a reference to the village of Long Ground where he was born and grew up. An excellent commentary on the book was presented by Ann Marie Dewar (See Montserrat Reporter 25 November), after which Professor Fergus read several poems from the various sections of the book.

Ms. Deidre LaBassiere

The other book launched was The Ill Concepts of the Caribbean Woman by Jo-Annah Richards, a new young author, originally from Kinsale, Montserrat, but living in the UK. The book is intended to portray Caribbean women rising above adversity, with each chapter being a story in itself although some of the characters are interconnected and appear in more than one story.

The book is quite explicit at times, with much detail and emphasis on the adversities, brought on by a combination of circumstances, skewed view of life or negative self image, before a positive solution is found through inner strength and the support of others. Issues include promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, abortion, prostitution, domestic violence, female homosexuality, skin bleaching, child abuse, and assuming a false character due to racial stereotyping, but each story eventually has a positive ending.

Ms. Clarissa Barns

The Opening also featured the prize giving for the UWI Open Campus creative writing competition. Prize winners for poetry were Laura Taylor Scotland, Pat Ryan, Clover Lea and Zelma White, while for short stories the winners were Celia Marshall, Helena Dorsette and Dr Lowell Lewis. There was a delightful fashion show by Africana Fashions, with a host of attractive locally printed batik outfits by fashion designer Geisi Smith; while two dancers from the group Dance Excell gave a polished performance.

Because of an unfortunate late start the event was a bit long, but all segments were interesting, meaningful and worthwhile. The night’s activities wrapped up with a show by soca musician Scrappy (see review by David Edgecombe in The Montserrat Reporter – www.themontserratreporter.com)

In another article I will look at the Saturday and Sunday events – the main part of the Festival.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Cathy Buffonge 

Mr. Ivan Berry

Once again the UWI, Montserrat Open Campus, with its dedicated and energetic head, Gracelyn Cassell, has achieved an excellent Literary Festival – the third Alliouagana Festival of the Word. There were so many highlights, each demanding a separate article, but I will start with a glimpse at the pre-Festival Symposium, which was held in memory of Montserrat’s musical icon, Arrow, and addressed the topic ‘Creative and Cultural Industries: Implications for Developing Economies’. This was held on the Thursday evening (November 10th).

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Attorney at Law Warren Cassell

The feature speaker was Ivan Berry from St Kitts and Canada, who among other achievements, co-founded the St Kitts Music Festival, and is described in Canada as an entrepreneur, artist manager, record label owner, talent development executive and music publisher. He spoke on the Business of Music, including the need for a proper recording industry in the Caribbean with all the necessary technology, so that money spent on production would remain in the Caribbean instead of going overseas.

Dr. Lowell Fiet

Other speakers included Dr Lowell Fiet of the University of Puerto Rico, who spoke on his speciality, mask making and its many positive uses with groups; intellectual property, entertainment and sports lawyer Warren Cassell, who spoke on the financial aftermath of Arrow’s death when compared with other celebrities; and Internet expert Dr Samuel Joseph, who advocated a complete change in the education system, to prepare for the future with innovative and creative thinkers. Deidre LaBassiere spoke on Cultural entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and the creative industries.  The symposium was chaired by Dr Clarice Barnes.

Dr.Samuel Joseph

The official opening took place on Friday night (November 11), with the launch of two books. The first of these was by Professor Sir Howard Fergus, Poems from Behind God Back – a reference to the village of Long Ground where he was born and grew up. An excellent commentary on the book was presented by Ann Marie Dewar (See Montserrat Reporter 25 November), after which Professor Fergus read several poems from the various sections of the book.

Ms. Deidre LaBassiere

The other book launched was The Ill Concepts of the Caribbean Woman by Jo-Annah Richards, a new young author, originally from Kinsale, Montserrat, but living in the UK. The book is intended to portray Caribbean women rising above adversity, with each chapter being a story in itself although some of the characters are interconnected and appear in more than one story.

The book is quite explicit at times, with much detail and emphasis on the adversities, brought on by a combination of circumstances, skewed view of life or negative self image, before a positive solution is found through inner strength and the support of others. Issues include promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, abortion, prostitution, domestic violence, female homosexuality, skin bleaching, child abuse, and assuming a false character due to racial stereotyping, but each story eventually has a positive ending.

Ms. Clarissa Barns

The Opening also featured the prize giving for the UWI Open Campus creative writing competition. Prize winners for poetry were Laura Taylor Scotland, Pat Ryan, Clover Lea and Zelma White, while for short stories the winners were Celia Marshall, Helena Dorsette and Dr Lowell Lewis. There was a delightful fashion show by Africana Fashions, with a host of attractive locally printed batik outfits by fashion designer Geisi Smith; while two dancers from the group Dance Excell gave a polished performance.

Because of an unfortunate late start the event was a bit long, but all segments were interesting, meaningful and worthwhile. The night’s activities wrapped up with a show by soca musician Scrappy (see review by David Edgecombe in The Montserrat Reporter – www.themontserratreporter.com)

In another article I will look at the Saturday and Sunday events – the main part of the Festival.