[Blackstudies-l] The Caribbean Festival of Arts and Culture runs from August 21 – 30--in Haiti

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Jul 5 10:57:01 EDT 2015


   lisaparavisini posted: " This article by Sateesh Maharaj appeared in
Trinidad's Express. When most people think of Haiti, images of the
devastating earthquake in 2010 immediately come to mind. Guy Francois Jr,
Consulate General to Haiti in Miami says the country has sin"    Respond to
this post by replying above this line
      New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>  The Olympics of the
arts: The Caribbean Festival of Arts and Culture runs from August 21 – 30
<http://repeatingislands.com/2015/07/05/the-olympics-of-the-arts-the-caribbean-festival-of-arts-and-culture-runs-from-august-21-30/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: haiti.artwork.cover]
<https://repeatingislands.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/haiti-artwork-cover.jpg>

*This article by Sateesh Maharaj appeared in Trinidad's Express.*

When most people think of Haiti, images of the devastating earthquake in
2010 immediately come to mind.

Guy Francois Jr, Consulate General to Haiti in Miami says the country has
since been making tremendous progress, even attracting increased foreign
investments. Carifesta XII, which will be held in that country from August
21 to 30, is just another manifestition of this positive input. This year’s
event will be held in five different cities; Jacmel, known for arts and
crafts; Port au Prince with theatres; Gonaives where study sessions and
workshops will take place; Les Cayes where a music concert will be held and
additional events will take place in Cap Hatien.

Carifesta—the Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts—was first held in 1972 in
Guyana from August 25 to September 15. Two successive Conferences of
outstanding Caribbean Writers and Artists in 1966 and 1970 recommended to
the prime minister of Guyana that they would welcome the invitation to an
annual Festival of the Arts.

The prime minister had related his vision of a cultural mecca for the
region’s people. It was a vision of peoples with roots deep in Asia, Europe
and Africa coming together to share, to perform their art forms. The dream
embraced the literature inspired by our peculiar Caribbean temperament,
paintings inspired by our tropical jungles and art visualising our
forefathers in the distant past.

Francois added: “Carifesta is one of the biggest festivals in the region
that gathers Caribbean countries. Non-Caricom countries also attend to
share their culture. There are nine different categories of events:
gastronomy, theatre cinema literature, dance, music, craft market, fashion
and art.”

Haiti is hosting Carifesta for the first time and Francois says that
country is very rich in culture and history.

“We are very excited to showcase that to the Caribbean. I think that it is
a great opportunity for us. Uniting the cultures is a big first for us.

Haitian President Michel Martelly is an artist himself and he saw the
vision of having such an event in our country. I think it will greatly
benefit our country.

Francois said that during the last Carifesta in Suriname in 2013 Haiti was
well represented.

“We had Haitian chefs, dance troupes; we were basically represented in each
section.”

He said it was going to be very interesting seeing the Haitian and
Trinidadian food together during Carifesta.

Francois believes that having Carifesta in Haiti will give the festival a
lot of exposure.

“I think it is something new, especially to the Haitians living abroad in
the United States. We have about two million Haitians living in the
diaspora. We’ve done a roadshow to go into different cities with the
Minister of Tourism where we presented Carifesta which was new to a lot of
those people. We’re going to have elected officials from different cities
in the United States come experience the Carifesta.”

Francois added that hotels will be offering packages for visitors coming in
specifically for the event.

He said the entire island was anticipating the event and invited the region
to see past differences and acknowledge our similarities.

“It’s like the Olympics of the arts in the Caribbean. The Haitian community
both in Haiti and abroad are excited to reunite with the Caribbean. We’ve
been lacking that. A lot of people say we don’t speak the same language but
we need to put that aside.

“At the end of the day when you go to Haiti most people understand English
so they will be able to communicate. So this is not an excuse. We have
several things in common—our arts and crafts, and dance and Carnival. There
is a lot we can learn from each other and do exchanges. For example
steelpan is known in Haiti but we haven’t used it as yet. So having a pan
workshop could be a good addition [to the festival]. We also have a lot of
instruments that we can share with the Trini delegation.”

Francois predicts that Carifesta will also make a great impact on the
economy in giving people jobs.

“As I’m speaking to you, everyone is involved. Culture brings everyone out.
Everyone will benefit from the traffic of the delegations.”

And while he did not want to reveal too much of what one could expect at
the various locations, he was eager for visitors to see what the island had
in store for them.

He said: “We can’t wait for people to see what we’re going to bring.
Haitian people are very welcoming. You’ll see the smiles once you land at
the airport.”

For the original report go to
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20150705/features/the-olympics-of-the-arts
  *lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
July 5, 2015 at 8:38 am | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/?cat=103> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-lyY

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