Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: Poet praises CARIFESTA but feels too much emphasis on entertainment
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Poet praises CARIFESTA but feels too much emphasis on entertainment
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Publisher: Guyana Graphic
Publication Date: 9/2/1972
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: CA00199904
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

Poet praises Carifesta but feels


THI distinguaihe
Indian poet and ac
Edward Braithwaite,
that CARIFESTA is ti
important event ever
place in the Caribbei
explosion of the c
energies of a people,
is not an occasion
dulge in sterile dil
to engender hostility
compete. It is a remr
panorama of express
cross section of the
of so many of the tec
in the region.
But it is not all praid
this West Indian hi
and writer. Braithm
clearly disappointed
number of ways
restricting himseal to
criticisms, however, 1
you of what he wouli
liked to see and maki
gestions for a
In an interview I ha
him earlier this
Braithwaite seia
thoughts on CARIFES"
on the position of th
Indian writers, very
seen as expatriates
region's peoples; of th
Indians in the Caribbe
need for proper reco
by officialdom of the
buttons of the writers,
cularly those of the
ling' creole moveme
rating from with
regional soil and no
metropolitan centres.
The 30-od writers,
and critics now in the
try for CARWDSTI
necessarily have the
views which may or
reflect tosf of Mr.
vwite's. So far as the
and artisw' sale in th
bean is concerned, h
we shall be hearing
this next week when
day conference open
uiYversity of Guyana
with vucLh theme as
ture and Education?; A
Society; and Must
Mr. Braithwaite
appreciate the need
tact among writer
artiste, for a croes-f
tieons o ideas, and f
logue, partlewnurly w
But he does not fe
writers conferenees l
one organized for
week, can achieve
since they we iot r
enough to be concerns
Nevertheless, e he
if tte public can be r
benefit from this mee
writers and artists,,
than the authors,
painters, sculptors, mi
and critics talking
themselves in a gran
'bral exercise, then tbi
only serve to deien |


d West appointment of those who,
ademic, like him, feel that there
thinks, should have been some
he most guidance to the writers and 1
to take artists invited to CARI-
an. An FESTA as to what it is
relative hoped to achieve by their 1
he sees participation in the festival.
to in- In terms of Caribbean cul-
alogues, ture, said Mr. Braithwaite, t
or to the greatest achievement has 3
arkable been from the creative writ- 3
ns of a ers and artists, way back
ulturer from the writings of the i
ritories Black slave poet, Francis
Wiliams to today's musia o
se fom and fol songs. a
iterlan Yet, in spite of the very t
site is onnenodable physical ar-
in a rangements made for hosting
about the festival, to ensure the
than comfort of participants at
mere Festival City and elsewhere
ie tells and the smooth running of t
d have performances, the "greatest I
es sug- gap" in the Carifesta pro-
"future gramne, Pccording to the a
writer BraiPhwaite as dis- a
d with tinct rom Braithwaite the r
his n **
i72 By Rickey Singh 1
e West
often West Indian academic is n
by the that "tke creative writers a
te East have been relegated to small R
an; the public appearances at the
gaition Publia Free Library." L
iptri Conceding that writers and I
Sfled Wtists are not as spectacular R
Dnf op, as dance troupes and folk
1n the fingers, and also appreciating
t fro the vale of the visual t
art forms in communicating d
with the masses, Mr. Braith- w
waite nevertheless holds the T
view that the Caribbean o
artists writers should have been
SCOUr given "equal status" at the c
mt twtivid.. t
ir own festival,
ay not He would ave lked to e
Ith {for xsiaple, a major poetry
rii reading session at the Na.
rib- tonql Culture Centre with a
however te active particlp.tion of a
adck of the public. U the organizers
a two. tfe that the public may not ,r
at the hav been ale to appreciate
to deal a f4ength poetry session,
Lren- involving as many poets as
Lrt a" powfble, then they could ^
and thv sup e Umeated the ses
vion wi ZperbaW ,*fo*lk musia c
and 4a1ngt1.
or aon- But the writers have been s
S aed related to a minor rol*
ttlsa*- at CARIXESA, contends t
or dia- Brmthwaite, because that n
ith the there was too much preoccu-
paion by the orglnisers -
iel that with the immediate and emo-
ike the tional impression of the peo- 0
next pie, rather than a concern a
much ra more acting and mean- b
cou d inf ui napreasion.
This attitude may be due L
to the official notion that a
els that writers of the region do not M
nade to communicate to the public. f<
ting of But Braithwaite feels that o
rather while this view was justified g
poets, two years ago, it is certainly n
musicians not the case at this period. 0
among These days," he declared, i
d cere- "the writers of the Carib- re
is could bean are truly speaking tlb ti
the dis- language and expressing the e,



feelings" of the region's
,,And the fact that
1le people wish to be identi-
led with their writers -
many of whom they have
been associated with only on
a bookshelf is evident in
erms of the public's response
a the discussions and poetry
recitals at the Public Free
Library, which take place
or many working people, at
convenient times."
0 While on the question
f the Caribbean writers, I
saked Mr. Braithwaite whe.
her, before expressing his
riew on other aspects of the
APRIFESTA programme, he
wouldd offer a comment on the
feelingg that many of these
writers while wishing to be
identified with the aspira-
ions of the Caribbean masses
ave in fact alienated them.
elves by choosing to operate
way from the area of their
oots and rationalise their
presence in Europe and
north America. And
Iraithwaite, the History
lecturer of the UWI, and an
editor of Savacou, the Jour-
al of the Caribbean Artists'
movement and poet of "The
rights of Paisage" (which he
nil read at the Public Free
~irary on Monday morn-
ng), declared:
"There is some virtue in
is feeling about West In-
ian authors who live and
rork outside the region ...
h'ere are in fact, two kinds
f writers in the Caribbean
first, there are those who
laim that in order to survive
hey had to move to the
letropolian centres. They
developed the migration
onaplex, and the myth grew
p that the West Indies was
iilistinie society where
Lrture was dnad ..."
But he added, while there
rained those in our midst
1oi have migrated siritual-
r, though not physically,
ie encouraging development
S6k place in the 196g0 by
e growth~ of the Creole
movement with writiew being
native within their native
11. And Braithwaite feels
tat the public will respond
o this movement if the
use media of the region
i11 catch up with the
change in attitude of the
writers rather than idolise
r ridicule on the basis of
ssesement and reviews made
y the mass media of the
metropolitan centres.
There was need for corre-
ation between the writers
nd the mass media, but, said
r. Braithwaite, as well as
or a local publishing house,
operating independent of
government control. Lm-
nediately, however, there
would be at least a central
inrmation bureau in the
region to bring to the atten-
on what was being publish-
d or just published.

Ia this eeatezt, he
was disappointed that the
organiser of CARIFUETA
did not see the ecessity or
value in having a book shop
specially set up for the sale
of t9rk by Caribbean
writers rather tan Just
mounting a book exhibition,
and lUmited at that.
Thli was tht glorious op-
portunity, be aid, for the
public to personally meet
writers and artit., buy their
works and disouos these with
them. But perhaps it should
be borne ia mte for aeoter
Not only should WrOe care
ful planning 8o into the in.
volvement of writer at an-
other festival of h2is type,
said Mr. Braitwaite, but
also with respect to the in-
ternational art exhibition
which, in the case oa the
current one, "i' from my
point of view, disappointing .
"The general impression in
looking at the art exhibition
as a whole," he said, "is an
avoidance of the critical is-
sues in the Caribbean today.
Or, to put it differently, in
looking at the art exhibition
alone, one would not be
aware that the Caribbean is
today in a state of crisis and
'9"is is not to say that
there are not works reflect-
ing this state o crisis. But it
seems to be a problem of
selection of the works of art.
What we have ended up with
from the small islands for
instance, is tourist art, while
there is nothing about the
Black Power revolution in
Trinidad, and Jamaica is not
represented in aay way iJ
the field of art...
"TJtre Is too mubI enmba-
sis on the romantic Carib-
bean which 4de net trLy
say mu~s to u today. And
on the other hand there i*
apode[isT or ebstrAt at
whldh avoids the ae'al is-
What war parclaly dis-
couraging, he ade
the absence of basic ma-
terial like a catalogue ar an
art exhibition.
With respect to the
great emP i sis on olk danc-
ing and sipping, Mr. Braith-
waite said that one ets
the impression of a lack of
coherence, 9 a sense of in-
coampleteness of unsienta-
One notable feature of
Carifesta, Mr. Braithwaite
further stated, was the very
limited involkemont of the
"Indo-Caribbean element."
Without wiahing to get in-
volved in any controversy
he feels that some special
effort should have been made
to ensure reasonable repre-
sentation of the Indo-
Caribbean element of our
culture. There could have
been, for instance, an exhi-
bition of Indian costumes, of
______ **

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