Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: Saved by the satire of the streets : a CARIFESTA feature : it keeps us all from playing God
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 Material Information
Title: Saved by the satire of the streets : a CARIFESTA feature : it keeps us all from playing God
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Moore, Robert
Publisher: Sunday Guardian
Publication Date: 4/16/1972
Subject: Carifesta (1st : 1972 : Guyana), Festivals - Caribbean Area
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- Trinidad and Tobago -- Port of Spain
Funding: Support for the development of the technical infrastructure and partner training provided by the United States Department of Education TICFIA program.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA00199743
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Holding Location: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: CARIFESTA I 1972

Full Text







A .





and perception. In fact
it is pav. mnrp thai

necessity, which is the
mother of invention.
And nations smitten
with specific gravity; or
drilled into humanless
automatons by leaders
without a lighter side
are usually, the. un-
creative spectators of
The highly original and
creative Greeks know the
value of play. They not only
invented democracy, they
also invented the Olympic
Their dramatist played
with reality and so deepened
their people's understanding
of it; and their comedians
laughed at reality and so
depend their people's enjoy-
ment of it. And because of
this they produced one of the
nest culutral epochs in the
history of man.
Cari'esta fails into place ift
een in this light. It is not
merely the celebrations of-
Caribbean cultural achieve-
It is an elaborate frame-
work for Caribbean play -
play made richer by the
sparking of several tradi-
tions; and more creative by
the collusion of many kinds
of consciousness.
But there is more than
this: there is an important
connection between play and
politics and between play
and progress.


us all

from pl ying
Pressed with economies:, -
devalued by underdevelop- its probable that the West f
meant and peoples devaled i Indian-sense fi humour has f
by frustration, many pd5- prevented the West Indian t
clans in the third world rve 'politicalsystem degenerating t
been tempted to behave like into th dour dictatorship
Messiahs and to save their of Haiti and Santo Domingo. u
peoples by a sort of religious But whence ddes the West t
hypnosis. Indian sense of humour a
To be fair to them, they arrive?
have faced two monumental Fundamentally, it seems to b
problems. First they have me, West Indians have plenty
had to evoke energy out ofu of self-esteem bitt not enough o
apathy. Second- they have self-respect and the differ- ii
had to turn communal divj- ence between them is this: ti
sion into common commit self esteem is a neurotic t
meat :desire to see oneself as
Noticing this new religious something significant.
secreting into the colletive Self-respect is the quiet a
bloodstream the eneriiyf-i conviction that one is already k
mnves mountains, leaders something significant.
like Nkrumah of Ghana have ; Te e onfli c t there-
produced a faith and a b.te j e e eref- e
Messiah; the faith sustained fore between self-
by dogmas, litanies and e#pem and self-respect cre- V
mass rallies; and the mes- $es an acute tension -which a
siahs being of course nie--l levied by laughter -
other than themselves. :lausar at ourselves to pre- v
serve our mental health and b
SThe energy is duly and at thoie in authority to de- e
sometimes t quickly evoked. fuse gravity.
But new nationis:need not iThis accounts for that
only energy but What is far marvellous institution exist-
more important ingenuity. mingrolhos the length and
And ingenuity needs not a ingthrmugliot thelength and
puritan orthodoxy but the breadtRof the Caribbean- a
Sorthodoxy but the the satire the streets i
permissiveness of play. which is both pungent and i
Perceptive. It prevents
IMAGINATION periods of political crises t
from becoming periods of c
Play is, after all a com- bitter bereavement.
bination of speculation, hum- But the West Indian sense
our and patterning. The spe- of satire should not be con- e
eulation and humour are fined only to the street. If it c
agnostic qualities: the for- is allowed to become part of
mer needing a framework the stage and the mass
wide enough to allow the media, subtle and sophisti-
imagination freely to ope- heated shows will have the

rate; the latter needing an
atmosphere in which uho-
rity is respected f..p
ravreneed. -


freedom to show us our
foibles; and the temptation
o be pompous will give way
o the need to be prudent.
For sensitive satire keeps
Is all from playing God. In
he colloquy of arts which
after all, is what Carifesta
ill be, one hopes there will
e a large place for satire.
But play is not only hum-
ur; it is patterning and
imagination the imagina-
ion dispensing with old pat-
erns so that it may rub
rith new ones. Our children
o the West Indies tend to
e but not many of them
actually play., Liming is a
ind of activated lassitude.
Most school children are;
encouraged to work hard for
he proper rewards; and
rhen those rewards are few
nd fearfully sought the child
works itself out of the acti-.
ity of play. A perfect sym-
oy of this process is our
examination system.
It frequently imposes such
Strain upon the child that
t strangles the imagination
n the interest of accuracy.
One hopes that as educa-
ion becomes more sophisti-
eated and at the same time
nore popularly based in the
Caribbean that teachers and
dutatieonslit would see the
creativee imf rtance of play.
In the present system a
iild certainly learns to be-
come accurate; but he there
after finds that he can create
little or nothing because
accuracy is a discipline but
not an inspiration.


When children play they
create; they learn the value
of freedom and the stimulus
of risk and you then produce
an inventive population who
can solve problems as they
grow because they made
new patterns as they played.
Imitation of other models
taken from the home is not
play unless of course the
children begin with the imi-
tation and end up with a pat-

tern which is more appealing
and more relevant to them-
Our greatest needs there-
fore at the moment are in-
genuity and probing and both
of them are born of the con-
ditions of play.
CARIFESTA is an oppor-
tunity to see play at its best.
And if it leaves behind it a
sense of continuity which
stimulates a sense-of cultu-
ral enterprise then all of us,
both the grown-ups ahd the
children, should benefitfrom
it both immediately and in
the long run.

If we develop the art of
play we will bring a sane
balance to ourselves and to
our politics: and even more
important we shall bring an
inventiveness to the com-
munity as a whole.
Flay is rit bottom the
enemy of solemnity and as
one French philosopher put
it "Solemnity is the mystery
created by the body to con-
ceal the defects of the
mind." Nobody can doubt
that in the present era our
temptation is to emphasise
solemnity at the expense of

W4 v

Self-help is a way of life in G uyana. Here volunteers from Guyana
and the Caribbean virtually use their bare hands to cut a 120 mile long
road through dense jungle to help open the country's interior. Their
work will make access to the Interior easier for the thousands of visitors
expected for CARIFESTA '72.
The Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts will be held in George-
town, Guyana, August 25 September 15, 1972 with twenty-six nations
of the Caribbean and South America taking part.


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