Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: Lucian Says: CARIFESTA - the challenge
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Lucian Says: CARIFESTA - the challenge
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Publisher: Guyana Graphic
Publication Date: 4/21/1972
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: CA00199753
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 the challenge

THE "Legend 6f Kaieteur"
represents the flowering of
one of the 'most vigorous
creative periods in our cul-
tural development. The poem
was written by Arthur Sey-
rnour end set to music by
Philip Pilgrim. This was
about 28 to 30 years ago.
Its creation .takes us back
to the middle forties when
every Guyanese artist, who
subsequently gained recog-
rniton, had begun creative
The leader of the Aesthetic
Movement in Guyanese
poetry, the gifted craftsman,
Water McLawrence, had
made his impact on the lit-
erary scene.
The stripling genius, Edgar
Mittelhfizer, had come down
from his native New Amster-
dam with his pile of manu-
script which subsequently be-
came his great mosaic of
Burrowes, sculptor and
painter ws creating. Guy de
Weever had begun to
reassess the causes of ten-
sion and conflict in our so-
ciety when Demerara had
become, through immigra-
tion# a border area of cul-
iure-entacts and behaviour-
The short story was being
esously studied, In form,
structure and dialogue, by
such writers as K. H. Cregan
,and H. V. Webber.
The Nafional Press was
manned by literary-minded
academics like A. H. Thorne,
Hlltn Harwood and Claude
It was 16 'the Invigorating
artistic and intellectual clm-
ate of the middle 40s, when
the artist had to have a basic
secondary education, that
the Legend of Kaieteur was
The finest tribute to the
work of an artist lies in the
appeal of his art, not to the

meretricious moment but to
all ages The creative faculty
of Philip Pilgrim, who died
young, gave to the historical,
interpretive and reconstruct.
tive poem of Seymour the ap.
peal which makes if living art
today as it was 30 years ago.
Performed in 1944, the
Legend was presented dur-
ing the Republic celebrations
of 1970, and will be present-
ed ai Carifesta, with the in-
clusion of choreographed
dances as Pilgrim intended.
While the Legend will re.
fleet the cultural evolution of
which Carifesta is the revolu-
tionary symbol, I am disap.
pointed that, during the 30
years between its creation
and now, no other artist has
conceived a wOrk of com.
parable Imagination and
The poem itself represents
the historic consciousness of
the middle 40s, when our
artists first became aware
of their environment and its
history and were trying to in-
terpret its significance.
The failure of today's ar-
tists to create a work of corn.
parable dimension can only
mean (1) they are no longer
as historically sensitive as
those of 30 years ago (2)
there is a poverty of artistic
Yet, in an age like today's,
when the Revolution of 1763
has been made the basis of
the Co-operative Republic,
when the revolutionary lead-
er, Cuffy, has been proclaim-
ed the National hero, it
seems strange that our ar-
tists' sensitivity to history
has been blunted, while the
sensitivity of the politicians

to the past has been sharp-
ened. The artist is the cus-
todian of objectivity. Politi-
cians generally make capital
out of history. My plea to-
'day, therefore, is for the
custodians of objectivity and
the Traditional critics of the
society to return to their
I believe that the forces
which have contributed to the
blunting of the artist's crea-
tive faculty are (1) a narrow-
ing of the facilities for ex-
pressing his gifts (2) pollu-
tion of art and the evaluation
of art by ideology and race.
The challenge of Carifesta,
then, cis to be, not only a
forum and a fair, but a stirm'
lasting and purifying force in
artisri'c deve!opmcnt and


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