Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: CARIFESTA '72 part two : 'Black Pride' : 'Witness the future and bring it about'
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 Material Information
Title: CARIFESTA '72 part two : 'Black Pride' : 'Witness the future and bring it about'
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Seymour, A. J.
Publisher: Weekend Post and Sunday Argosy
Publication Date: 4/2/1972
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: CA00199712
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 '72 Part t& --


'Witess ait Fature mnd ,Brin
Y. aA.A Seymourl
Shave just one final quota 'from such a society. The wordiAnthoogy. "New Writing in ws granted at the top of his
tion from the Vidia Naipaulwas used in relation to the the Caribbean is being pre. literary career' and one must
Sview Free University -of Black Stud- pared for the young scholars perceive through and .in the
iOne of the things that.l repw established in London in fifth and sixth forms, men words the yearning, the desire
Lte me and have struck meand according to a journalist nd women tin adult classes to be .identified which in a
4nony.years is that even atmi the London. Times, "bpcck" everywhere, and the minds lc,- esen repudiiates ah 'the
aeigtof imperial pcwer, is equal to "oppressed: ex-coted at the growth points of;earlier stances. I can, of
~venwhen peQple make thepoited' impoverished citizen our regional ecd~omies. Wecourse, seee thit his-very isola-
mort fantastic assumptionsof the Third World, and he are discovering that politics tOn, his'very se'e,. of being
but their ploce in the world went on to -say that the pur- is not enough. We realise that unconcerned: n the unrespon-
still have these enormousPose of the Free University of we must involve :our art. We sive imbo of London thet~
Sal problems; problems Black Studies in London was must ensure that ther,"may hcwe 0 summoned out
W can make their .poweit, eng der block dignity and is a direct response from of himw'creative and liberated
'meaningless to them black prie to create citizens our audience. We must eng0es"that otherwise m.iqht
of black nations with self- gve readers and writers'not hav'eseen.the li,ght.~f dcy
'i .l.tfidenee,. and, toaive black the sense of identification,
S.i ..::i.. peoples everywhere a garment and, therefore, of fulfilment, 'Pgf~ ,IT IS i
St'." of self respect, and our eliite in the sense of wi
It sqluite'clear thot in the the producers of cultural arti-
Caribbean arpo the politicians facts ik-e.ploys and novels, The sm of the artist ks to
.-'.i re ecomiiatlivete the need and poems must Ibe harnessed communicate and in a young
te for the.movement of the cul- securely to our folk. and developing society the re-
Sture stream to keep in step This 'is, of course, a diffi- sponsibility of the artist is to
t. witthe economic, social nd cult matter. It cannot be done communrcate at a level which
PO ithiothe economy, social by any fiat or decree. The de- becomes the need to witness
u being vice of the Festival of the as well in the sense that he or
H' urb d Creative Arts lays emphasis'she expresses involvement anJI
A cultatra'l movement however upon the inspiration- commitment to. certain ideals.
II 'Teans a re-oientation of our al, educational, and peoples" Some artists witness more
a tti tu es- nd, if I may beol- orientated approach which clearly than others in the
' owed to -sugest the frame- will provide a platform for sense that obviously their
S. ':' work of a personal alphabet the artists to multiply relates to the imperative
] of ul tural dveloprnent, we values by coming together need to change the social and
Shave och oand expose their thoughts to '2'nomir conditions of the so.
S have to change our attitudessu- the enquiring minds of ycung- city by focussina upon the
A. tionsleand our attitude, S er people. ual'lty of life and the copa-
A. J. Seymour beliefs, our customs and con- ,m not sure whether city for improvement.
.duct our unconscious defini- Vidia is -oin" to like beina
mkl it merely a background tions, our expectations -and mad 'theg entreo is But to the discerning mind
Their own anguish. Thenour etiquette, our fcmily ef nl l thmore since oall artists bear witness in one
thesis this new thing which trcitions, r c lyf analysis, all1 themore since all artists bear witness in orn
Ytere is this new thing which troacitons, our group values, he has said that he prefe-sway or other to the humnr
iyu will have seen, though tour historical hcbits,, to be referred to f s. citizen desre'for improvement I am
s erding contact, that you terets, our iteratupe, jr of the world, 'bt w.e must continucilly expressing my
hoave English people whdmusic, Ol r proverbs, our sex- claim him by virtue of the hope that we can see the li
0o sAfrica in search ofual behaviour, our attitudes standpoint of vis cultural erary values of work are im-
some sortof personal fulfil-iof worship and our general vision which is still. ooted in portent over and obove the
meat and are lost just as youexpec:toJors. the Caribbean. Ti interview 'sociological Impulse and im- Indian servant who Fundamrentpl in all this ,is pjli~ptions. In the United
goes to America and is lost."the need to have c.diclQgte ,i States of Americ.o where a
h tredin which the artists,-os gets; considerable body of blOCK
I have tried to put Nai-of chrLne, discuss. ideas with literature is emerginQ and in
poul's concern with. placeless-'the general, mass of -the peo- J' the U. .S.R. where an appa-
'ess, with- fulfillment on aple. Tha 'is partly whyrtfiss to keep the tist n w
pesnc0l plane, with the sense the political values, literary
Of concern for others with e r
bis own gradual developmentt T:, values se-m -soririncte to
:iin the colonial cocoon be- r". rthe so0otokgical values in the
C.s I e that the Corib- .Poleof .priorities, but every
feel that the Cariebti .., .-. -.i-tist..t the momertt-of"rea-
nestival of the Creative! kn tt h st re
prt- is designed to 'make ea rtpudiate this order,
kngfe in our regional and
tol el situation.

Ictame across:o most in- .
terestirg definition of the .....
.ord 'black' the other day Ted Bpoithwate
hich, by defining the word
n -terms of social and econ-
itmlC conditions partly sets
it -the proje-lems of society"
the ex-colonial world and Martin Carter
SeMkes it easier to examine
-.Characoteristic* of the
ure that may emerge

The importance. of the lit-
erary values lies in the fact
that -the -.epression. of the
eQtist is'.deaised not ohly-to
speak. to -the contemporary
saciaogicl.. condi tins d',:to
help neutratise their more un-
worthy aspects to .Ilcypollitical
unrest in the interest of so-
-c'l justicess oan agent of, so
.CiolihaBhr e,,ait through these
also to appeal to the.rnimdiand
the spirit in succeeding-gen-
rfatioim by reason of certain
timeless emphasis the
manp4UtiQon of -myths, the
appeal byl.imagery to arch-
etypq.l raespQonss in the ,per-
sonility, the reconciliation
and harmonisotion -Of eRpo'
site tendencies by the use of
rhy-thr and-metre onr thewing
dfr psycho girco- penetration.

It lis a measure of the dif-
fereTcc' between communPi'a-
tion 'on the orne hand and wit-
rvess oe the other that ot their
point of contactt values and
facts.are transferred from one
person to another, but in wit-
ness the point -of conteot is
enlarged and-with 'the reii.
ggious oveCtones implicit in the
word come ,personal con-
frontation and invdivement
designed to produce change
in attitudes. There is a dis-
placement of consciousness
from understanding to faith
in the sense of commitment
to realising a particular qual-
ity of life in the future.
And this is what history
coils us to do as artists in the
Caribbean, to witness to the
future and bring !it about.
And I find it in myself to
say. that Vidia Naipaul in this
interview bears his own un-
willlling and inescapable wit-
ness to the Caribbean.


I want to consider this
Open Letter, and to send it to
a number of my friends and
colleagues-to Derek Walcott

Edwacd Broithwoite and Ken.
neth Rch:nd since they crc?
products of the University
syAtem of.higher education. I
am senrinrg this to John
f*Necrne who returned home to
live and w.ite in the region.
A copy of this letter goes
to F. M. Roach who never left
the region, but developed his
gift in his own private soli-
tude, and to 'Martin Carter
who more than anyone of us
has :tOsted and even drunk
deep of the political waters.
I send a copy to Wilson Harris
who, in the Wordsworthian
sense, has written his novels
in on emotional recollection
of tranquillity far from the
area .of his formation and I
'send, a copy to Andrevw Sallkey
who has, become one of the
models of the successfully ex-
patriate West.lndian writers.
I select these eight col-
leagues and I ask them if
they woui!d be good enough as
to set their thoughts down on
poor ,,on any capect of this
web of relationships that I
hcve attempted to describe
'or define and to send itback
in time for publication in our

This is not a penetrating
analysis end it does not ore-
tend to be. I cannot pretend
that the issues I raise are not
fundamental for a writer in
West Africa or Hong Kong
for that matter, but then it is
not in West Africa or Hong
Kdno that we are planning,
this Festival of the Creative:
Arts. but in Guyana for Aug-'
ust 1972.

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