Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: CARIFESTA '72 : Caribbean cultural revolution
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: CARIFESTA '72 : Caribbean cultural revolution
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Brathwaite, Edward Kamau
Publisher: Sunday Advocate-News
Publication Date: 10/22/1972
Subject: Carifesta (1st : 1972 : Guyana), Festivals - Caribbean Area
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- Barbados -- Bridgetown
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: CA00199875
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




ONE of the warmest, most
beautiful ot people at Canrl-
esta was the Surnamese poet,
Kobini Ravales, better known
as Dobru. Dobiu is clearly,
burningly, a militant nation-
alist, committed in life and
vork to opposition to Dutch
imperialism and the achieve-
ment of his country's auton-
omy. Dobru is black and this
is very much part of his
resonance. Yet one of his
finest poems, accepted with
tumultuous applause during
the festival, was "Wan Bon'
(One Tree), written in Suri-
Wan bon
some wiwirl
wan ban
wan bon
some k-iki
ala e go na wan so
One tree So many leaves
One tree
One river So many creeks
All are going to the sea
One head So many thoughts..
"One God So many ways of
worshipping one Father
So many hair types So many
skin colours So many
One people.
Notice that Dobru does not
sound one nation; he says
one people. The distinction is
important. It is the difference
between material, structured
politics, and creative inter-
linking culture. People can
be welded into a nation; but
there can be no nation until
tere i. a knowing, possessive
sense of peoplehood.
In the Caribbean today, it
is important to grasp these
di-tin.:;lnr. since they r-p"e-
sent alternative possibilities,
As c.x-) colonies, iui.d
politically from and by a
distant European metropole
that was interested mainly in
commercial exploitation and
socio-psvchological control,
our first instinct, on achiev-
1iginndependence, was tc
eize that metropolitan style
of control and wave it like a
magic wand over our shat.
tered islands. Once we hadl
our own kings and quecni
(disguised as p-esidents ant
premiers) we would colni
lnto our own. We would i--
herit the Kingdom of the B1
Bank Balance, the Kingdorn
o Imroited Whisky, ti
ingdom of the Federa
Idea .

It didn't work. And it didn't
work because there was no
Kingdom of the Word, no
Kingdom of our Selves. We
did not know ourselves. We
were Amerindian, Euro-
Caribbean, Afro-Caribbean,
Indo-Caribbean, Sino-Carib-
bean, a I b i n o. mulatto,
mestizo or just plain visitors
and fellow-travellers. But we
were not one people.
Or rather, we were looking
through the wrong spectacles
into the wrong c' backed mirror
of recognition. The fault lay
in ourselves, that we were
underlings. But it stemmed
from the tale of the slave-
master, that a black man was
a no-man. living in a no-
man's land. It came too from
the forked tongue of the
colonial magistrate flickering
the lie (to misquote H. A.
Vaughan) that our lovelin 's
could escape only into the
established schools. That be-
ing no-people, there was nt
art or culture of the people
by the people, for the people.
It took us Tacky, Garvey,
Malcolm, Fanon and Martin
Luther King to get rid of
that fir-s mi representation.
Our poets, painters, novelists
and sculptors have been wcrk-
ing on the second: Sheriock,
Lamming, Broodhagen, Wai-
cott, Guillen, Kapo, Kitch.
Turn sideways now and let
them see
What loveliness escapes the
Then turn gain and smile,
And be the perfect answer
to those fools
Who always prate of Gre"ce
and Rome. .


ment among Caribbean peo.
pie about themselves. Expio.
sions inward; Soul; Afro;
Drum; Rock. Haiti wi:h
VODUN, Martinique with
Cesaiir, Trinidad with steel-
band, Jamaica with REGGAE,
Surinam with Dobru, Chin a
Foe'ng and MICHAEL SLOR Y:
Just where my words
Cannot reach my fingers
I feel poems living .
Just where my words
Cannot reach the hart o'
the drum
The sun is rising
And Elizabeth Clarke of
Barbados, still only 19, can
already state, with wisdom
as ancient as the caneflelds:
SD massa say dat 'we doan
belong to he and we ain't
have no place in he land,
S Dey say we belong hey!
dis is we land.
In dis land we brek up
de groun'
an'. gow crops, bull' we
start families
an' we ain't doing' so bad.

In fac' we 1ekit' good
But we ain't haPPY.
In de back o' we minds
dey is de feliln
aI. hey ai:. v real home,
Sho it belong to We an'
all cat
But now aI' den we does
get a feeling' of home-
especially, Mudda Afica,
when we hear we come
from you.
And this is what the festi.
val was about. Home, which
is HERE, we reallsed at CaI.
testa, is not only NOW; but
past, spirit, ancestor. Our
heaviest conscience of history:
how we dream, howe we build,
how we dream, now we build,
trunk and offspring.
NOTE: The poems by Dobru,
Michael Slory and Elizabeth
Clarke appear in i.e antho-
logy, New Wribin tn the
Caribbean, edited by A, J.
Seymour (Guyana 1972) for
(NEXT WEEK: Ancestral

Reading this now famous
poem at one of the morning
poetry sessions at the festival,
Hilton Vaughan seemed to Le'
heroically, prophetically trans.
formed. He had come Into his
It was a long time coming.
But in the years since the
success of the Cuban Revolu.
tion and the fallu'e of thi
West Indian Federation, there
had been profound re.assess-


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