Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: CARIFESTA '72 : Government and people
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: CARIFESTA '72 : Government and people
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Brathwaite, Edward Kamau
Publisher: Sunday Advocate-News
Publication Date: 10/29/1972
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: CA00199876
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




Sthe first ot these articles,
I ated how Carie~ta at-
ef to and celebrated our
waresnex as Carbbean art-
S Ii my second artvtle, I
tr to point out how At a. w
,se.d our sense of being
Ciobetn people;
Home, wbctn is here, we
yat4aea. ., i not only now,
at future, spirit, ancestor.
our heaviest conscience of
jistorY. How we dream,
Sow, we build, how we grow:
yaot and trunk, and off-
Srfig. -
tie printer's devil that left
j'joot, crippled my meaang
laVetely. For what above
tIf wish to stress is that
Cffea e involved us in a
r -<*

sense of cultural wholeness:
past, present, future: root and
trunk and offspring.
This sense of wholeness,
however, brings us face to
face with certain very real,
very serious counter-con-
siderations: fragments: that
exist within ourselves and our
societiTs. 'he illierate black as
opposed to white, nigger to
cookie; poor versus rich; we
versus nuns; hey as distance
from away...
These are the heritage of
colonialism, the broken clay-
pots brought to us from slav-
ery; the result of material poli-
tical action, of cultural inter-
action. The healing/restoration
of our wounds and fragments
camnot therefore be achieved

by governments alode: aspoint
that Comrade Burnham was.
at pains to make during hiS:
opening address to the as-i
serqbled artists, visitors anhd

the new .legislation will be
consciousness : the kind of
Sspiiritual energy, craft and
insight we saw. released and
'made maifdst at Carifesta: to
conceive of change; to inter-
pret it; to .give it form and
Content; and above all, to pro-
vide it with protection. Change
of house without roof, with-
out padlock. without prickle!
shell of 'idea/value, wourti ce
to invite disaster.
To legislate creatively there-
fore,,we must understand and
interstand. We must know:
the way we talk; verb, trom-
bone slide, smooth pebble of
syllable, incantation. How we
walk, cook, dance, make love,
worship; how we interpret
our dreams; prepare our plots
for planting; how we bury

Shots at the National Stadium'
in Georgetown on August 25.
Governments can (and do)
legislate against class bar.
riers: taxation, school systems,
housing. But it doesn't get
very far. New classes arise:
meritociray, technocracy, un..
ice's children.
Governments can (and do)
legisiate against colour/ethaiic
Sdiscrim4 ation acc e ss to
beaches, open cius., penalties
for thee of certain words
(cooie/tigger in Trmindad).
But our prejudices mutate *CASTRO
ike viruses riding antibiotics -
anttiong hair; anti-Rasta;
nti-tie head.
Goven'raents man (and do)
leilate to help the etnse of
Ben bulcal: Byv legal, woawrk
eanii common imarke But
whta ptri'e tht eIOal prAduct.
Io w Wtsa aei 'Who> wil. wrMitA
hew bvP 'I~t A d ta '
Ths_ AU"h a4wa OWWa Of



* The Jamaican Community group known as Count Ossie and thel Mystic Revelton of Rsptafhii, ifich
took part in Carifesta. .

our dead.
The Government of Guyaha
voted the money for the Car.
ibbean Festival of Creative
Arts; but it could never have
made us sing the way we
sang there: dance the way we
danced; blowing each other's
minds. Castro, Manley, Brad-
shaw, Barrow sent plane-
loads of loveliest, liveliest
talent to Geordrown; but
they could never have imag-
ined the spontaneous people's
festival it became.
So for the moving closing
ceremony, it 'was not slick
broadcaster, nightljab enter-
tainer, commissioner, commer-
cial PRO or prof, who stood
before the mike to hold us
all together; but a queh-queh
queen from Berbice, using the
folk-song "Open the door leh
we neighbour come in," as cue
for the various participants
from the new-found Carib-
bean nation to come and make
their farewells. And Shake
Keane. great bearde-l flugel-
horn poet of St. Vincent, could:
intone from h i s cigarette'
box cover, the new poem he
had written and which had
brought him home:
wind say:
touch me throat
and let today be the day
to' thread all voice
thru' all valley
and let there be
in the midst of.all music
one note
drum' say:
flute, rattlp and sitar.
stand up like lip and
breast and singer
making one mountain
dreaming one star
locking one love
in the midst of the sea
i)pople like we say.

Things like this at :Carifes-
ta (and the importance' of the
festival is that they happened
days, as living miracles) ob-
literate the frAgmints; "made
the parts whole. And this
stance, this landscape balance
of Shake Keane and Queh.
Queh Queen, came not by ac.
cident or politics, but from
a long history of intuitive
root. Since emancipatt i, since-
the people's wars,. since inde-
pendence, we have been mov-
ing towards a realization of
local form, authentic style and
For reasons of state, of stai
tus or because of just plain
laziness, some of us have been
pretending not to see the
hanging on to Victorian verse,!
contours of this meaning,;
Canadian accents, rose cot-:
tages ,by the sea. But it has'
been a blind eye to. reality.'

When the& audience ros, .to
Nettleford's Kumina, we kniew
it was underway; when *\we
joined the Cubans in-,Carli-
val, we knew it would riot
stop; when we heard 'Opei
the Door," we knewyhere we
had dome from: continuing
journey out of Africa;. im-
memorial Amerindian jour-
.ney (Atlantis; Behring Straits)
that everlasting shipload
trauma from Madras; descent
from bell and belfry to plan-
tation hell.


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