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Montserrat’s sixth Literary Festival on its way

by Cathy Buffonge

Olveston, Montserrat – For the sixth year in succession, Montserrat will once again stage its Literary Festival, starting on Thursday, November 13 at the Cultural Centre. The Alliouagana Festival of the Word is named after the historic Amerindian name for Montserrat, Alliouagana. The event is the brain child of dedicated UWI Open Campus Head Gracelyn Cassell, who is the main organizer together with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

This year’s Festival has the theme, “Let’s Talk: Giving Youth a Voice”. As usual, the first event, on the Thursday evening, will be the Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell Memorial lecture symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Arts and Entertainment: Implications for Creative and Cultural Industries in the Caribbean”. The symposium is dedicated to Montserrat’s singing superstar, the late Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell, who attracted worldwide fame.

 

The feature speaker at the symposium will be Professor Ian Boxill, who will speak on the topic “LeveragIng the Cultural and Creative Industries for Development in the Caribbean”.

Several other distinguished regional and international speakers will also take part in the symposium, including Aurelia Bruce, Shawn Daniel, James Robertson, Linda Sturtz, and Trinidadian Cherry Ann Smart, who was once Chief Librarian here in Montserrat. All will address thought provoking and diverse topics related to the theme, so this is an event not to be missed.

An exhibition entitled “Artists Enriching our Community; Enriching our World” will also be shown on this occasion and throughout the Festival. The exhibition features the work of crafts woman Maggie Peters and artist Dem Pollock, both of whom adopted Montserrat as their home and contributed to the development of young artists in Montserrat. It will include a poster presentation on their work, and possibly other local art work as well.

On the Friday, the visiting authors will visit the various schools and interact with the children. The evening will focus on the official opening of the Festival, introduction of authors and the launch of new publications.

he Saturday and Sunday feature a wide range of sessions and activities, with the participation of several regional and international authors. Featured authors include Roland Watson-Grant, Jason Reynolds and A-dZiko Simba-Gegele, a talented storyteller and performer, based in Jamaica with strong Montserrat connections, who will be releasing her first book, “All Over Again”. Jason Reynolds will talk to young people about the importance of using their voices to tell their stories, which is the greatest gift they can give to themselves and the world.

Coral Cay, a conservation group based on Montserrat, will involve children in the making of puppets representing marine and terrestrial wildlife, to be used in a puppet show later on at the closing of the Festival. Coral Cay volunteers will also present a session on ecotourism and how it relates to their work.

A highlight of the weekend will be a play by Montserratian dramatist based in the Virgin Islands, David Edgecombe. The play is “Lady of Parham”, which will also be shown in Antigua, the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean territories. The play is based on a legend involving a ghostly lady who haunts the Antiguan village of Parham, looking for someone to reveal where her ill-gotten gold is hidden.

The foyer and patio usually feature stalls selling books, crafts, food and local drinks, providing a very pleasant ambience in this area, where an “open mike” session is also held. Also in this area will be the prize giving for the Volcano Observatory’s annual creative writing competition for schools, with the winners reading their entries: another very pleasant occasion.

Dynamic Montserrat-based media specialist Nerissa Golden will conduct a workshop on “Mastering Social Media to Promote Your Work”, and there will also be a publishing workshop; both events very useful for aspiring writers and good knowledge for people generally.

The closing of the Festival will feature an innovative puppet show on environmental protection, and the well loved Book Lovers’ Parade, where children will wear home-made costumes depicting a favourite book character. There will be a prize giving ceremony and Authors’ Round Table.

The Festival promises to be exciting, and should appeal to a wide range of people, both local, regional and international.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Cathy Buffonge

Olveston, Montserrat – For the sixth year in succession, Montserrat will once again stage its Literary Festival, starting on Thursday, November 13 at the Cultural Centre. The Alliouagana Festival of the Word is named after the historic Amerindian name for Montserrat, Alliouagana. The event is the brain child of dedicated UWI Open Campus Head Gracelyn Cassell, who is the main organizer together with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

This year’s Festival has the theme, “Let’s Talk: Giving Youth a Voice”. As usual, the first event, on the Thursday evening, will be the Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell Memorial lecture symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Arts and Entertainment: Implications for Creative and Cultural Industries in the Caribbean”. The symposium is dedicated to Montserrat’s singing superstar, the late Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell, who attracted worldwide fame.

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The feature speaker at the symposium will be Professor Ian Boxill, who will speak on the topic “LeveragIng the Cultural and Creative Industries for Development in the Caribbean”.

Several other distinguished regional and international speakers will also take part in the symposium, including Aurelia Bruce, Shawn Daniel, James Robertson, Linda Sturtz, and Trinidadian Cherry Ann Smart, who was once Chief Librarian here in Montserrat. All will address thought provoking and diverse topics related to the theme, so this is an event not to be missed.

An exhibition entitled “Artists Enriching our Community; Enriching our World” will also be shown on this occasion and throughout the Festival. The exhibition features the work of crafts woman Maggie Peters and artist Dem Pollock, both of whom adopted Montserrat as their home and contributed to the development of young artists in Montserrat. It will include a poster presentation on their work, and possibly other local art work as well.

On the Friday, the visiting authors will visit the various schools and interact with the children. The evening will focus on the official opening of the Festival, introduction of authors and the launch of new publications.

he Saturday and Sunday feature a wide range of sessions and activities, with the participation of several regional and international authors. Featured authors include Roland Watson-Grant, Jason Reynolds and A-dZiko Simba-Gegele, a talented storyteller and performer, based in Jamaica with strong Montserrat connections, who will be releasing her first book, “All Over Again”. Jason Reynolds will talk to young people about the importance of using their voices to tell their stories, which is the greatest gift they can give to themselves and the world.

Coral Cay, a conservation group based on Montserrat, will involve children in the making of puppets representing marine and terrestrial wildlife, to be used in a puppet show later on at the closing of the Festival. Coral Cay volunteers will also present a session on ecotourism and how it relates to their work.

A highlight of the weekend will be a play by Montserratian dramatist based in the Virgin Islands, David Edgecombe. The play is “Lady of Parham”, which will also be shown in Antigua, the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean territories. The play is based on a legend involving a ghostly lady who haunts the Antiguan village of Parham, looking for someone to reveal where her ill-gotten gold is hidden.

The foyer and patio usually feature stalls selling books, crafts, food and local drinks, providing a very pleasant ambience in this area, where an “open mike” session is also held. Also in this area will be the prize giving for the Volcano Observatory’s annual creative writing competition for schools, with the winners reading their entries: another very pleasant occasion.

Dynamic Montserrat-based media specialist Nerissa Golden will conduct a workshop on “Mastering Social Media to Promote Your Work”, and there will also be a publishing workshop; both events very useful for aspiring writers and good knowledge for people generally.

The closing of the Festival will feature an innovative puppet show on environmental protection, and the well loved Book Lovers’ Parade, where children will wear home-made costumes depicting a favourite book character. There will be a prize giving ceremony and Authors’ Round Table.

The Festival promises to be exciting, and should appeal to a wide range of people, both local, regional and international.