Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: CARIFESTA and the Cultural Revolution : Ideology and pollution
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 Material Information
Title: CARIFESTA and the Cultural Revolution : Ideology and pollution
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Daly, P. H.
Publisher: Guyana Graphic
Publication Date: 8/26/1972
Subject: Carifesta (1st : 1972 : Guyana), Festivals - Caribbean Area
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: South America -- Guyana -- Georgetown
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: CA00199836
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

Carifesta and the Cultural Revolution

THIS IS the second article
on CARIFESTA and the
Cultural Revolution. The
first appeared yesterday.
The political' spray and
spume in the blue Caribbean
sea which has been churned
up by the thrust towards in-
dependence has not left the
artist unaffected. Still re-
sponsive to the pull of
pluralism, narrowing his vi-
siol to defensive positions
on race, the artist next found
himself under the ideological
spray from thd thrust for
6ince there is no formal
ideology in the Caribbean-
I mean. an indigenous ideo-
logy-the political parties
fighting for independence
from foreign rulers paradoxi-
cally have fought, and are
fighting, under the banner of
foreign ideologies, such as
Communism, Socialism and
aight.wicng Conservatism.
Thugh the Caribbean has not
y evolved what I may
tet, a regional ideology-
tha philosophic equation of
itl regional culture that
islto say, an ideology with
itsi own philosophic identity
-there is no doiulbting the
rt that we have an ideolo-


gical heritage related to our
revolutionary struggle for
fundamental human free-
This heritage was ought
for, not begged for. Fighting
men bequeathed this heritage
to the region; men to-whom
freedom meant more than
their lives; men who fought
and died on alt theatres of
liberation in the blue Carlb-
bean sea, in the Spanish,
French and British islands,
and also here in Guyana on
the mainland of South
To this heritage of free-
dom; to this the mausoleum

by P. IL y

where sleep the spirits of the'
undying dead, from Ceapedes
to Castro, Cuba has made a
significant contribution in
which the Commonwealth
Caribbean shares because
Cuba is our Brother.
When de Cespedes pro-
claimed Cuban independence
at Yara in 1868, he ensured
the coming of the Ten Years
War which inevitably fol-
lowed because it was the con-
tinuing process of Yara.
With the death of de
Cespedes in revolutionary
action, the Cuban revolution,
by 1894; had been taken
over by Cuba's great poet-
.philosopher, Jose Marti.
When in 1895, Marti rais-
ed the banner of revolt he
ensured the emergence of
Fidel Castro.
Carlos Manuel de Cespe-
'des, Jose Maiti, Fidel Castro
- I salute the apostolic
succession of revolutionary
fighters who willed to us this
legacy of freedom to
have and to hold against the
forces of reaction:
To this heritage we add the
contributions of Haiti, for-
merly Saint Domingue. To
the sacrifice of de Caspedes
and Marti we have to add
that of Toussaint L'Ouver-
ture, Dessalines, Christophe
and Maurepas; Toussaint's
followers. Just as there is a
geocultural link between
Latin America and the Carib-
bean, there is a freemasonry;
of revolutionary struggle be-
tween them. We add, there-
fore, the name of Simoi
Bolivar, Venezuela's liberm
tor and Patron Saint.
We have glimpsed at th.
base of our. ideology as we
have scanned the base of our
culture. We have seen that
the revolutionaries of the
past fought and died for
freedom unpolluted by poli-
tical ideology. But we have
to notice the paradox of
the revolutionaries. of the
present, while, fighting
against foreign domination,
inconsistently fighting under

logy and


the banner of foreign ideo-
Under the Wpray and
spume of ideologies foreign
to the region, the artist,
whose social protest up to
then was pure and unpollut-
ed, moved away from the
immaculacy gt social protest
to the contamination of ideo-
logical commitment.
This shift was particularly
noticeable in the field of
poetry. Ideological poetry
began to appear as the artists
went over to the political
camps and reinforced, with
their art, the politicians'
demand for regional free-
dom in the name of a non-
regional ideology.
I may point out that In
two ofmy early books -
"West Indian freedom and
West Indian literature" and'
"Ourrenta in Caribbean
life", I analysed the problem
of ideological poetry.
Apart from the poet's
vision being narrowed by
ideological partisanship, the
quality of his work and its
evaluation has been affect-
ed. Artistic mediocrity and
sometimes sheer, insipid
banality went up in the
,scale of values because the
poet had made his protest
in the name of this ideology
and that which happens to
be popular.
Caribbean literature teems
with travesities of poetry
propagating a foreign ideo-
logy, and rated high in the
popular Press, not for its
poetical value, but because
it was the work of an ideo-'
logical guttersmith.
The same criticism is true
of the new Ideology of Black
Power which is popular in
the Caribbean. As an ideo-
logy, Black Power, as Dr.
Eric Williams hinted; had
been indigenous to the re-
gion long before it appear-
ed in the American South.
But I am concerned with
pollution and not with ideo-
logical necessity. Whatever
nonsense the Black Power

miltMnt writes in the fotm
of poetry and prose is vest-
ed with an importance be-
yond its worth. This the
pollution of literary critclom.i
Whatever the Black, Power
militants invent in the name
of history and economic is
hailed for its source. lhis is
Pollution is the threat to
quality of art, Caribbean cul-
ture has come full cycle in
the impact on It of various
types of pollution. First, it
was pollution by the video.
logy of the foreigner. Ten
it was pollhtiont in the col
onial society by plurallsm
Now, as the Colonial Carib.
bean changes into the Inde
pendent Caribbean, pollution
is taking the form of the
foreign ideology under which
regional revolutionaries a*
I term CARIFESTA the
revolutionary signpost Of out
evolutionary developMer
CARIFESTA is bothevhl
tionary and revolution
CARIFESTA Is the Pa&i"5
ment of the creative arts in
the Caribbean. It reflects our
cultural autonomy. As
parliament, CARIFE TA
cannot shirk legislation for
disciplining the cultural re.
evolution and,for purifyin,
On the cultural lIe
CARIFESTA is the approx,.
mation of CARIFTA on the
economic level. Just
CARIFTA represents the
coming together by several
regional governments to
formulate a policy of eo.
nomic integration, CAlt1.
FESTA should represent the
co-ordinator of regional cu.
tural policy by as many gov.
ernments, CARIFE STA
should mean the fusing of all
culturespatterns into a culty,
ral synthesis working to.
wards an identity. But cult.
ral impersonation should b,
considered unconstitutiona
in the context of CAMI,
FESTA's symbolism of To,
gional autonomy in the fel
of the creative arts.

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