{EDITOR’S NOTE – There is the Government perspective and then there’s what is a bit closer to reality, which many idiot Bajans would rather NOT have, preferring to remain trapped in Mediocrity as the benchmark as opposed to what should be avoided, nevertheless, we list both sides and you’ll be able to pick apart which is which in no time}

Dr Keith Nurse may be an essential component for CaribbeanTales Film Festival, but on this day his offering was extraneous and something at least 80% of participants heard before - too much talk and not enough enactment...

Very successful! That is how Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, deemed the one-day consultation on the Cultural Industries Development Bill over the weekend.

  • Wrong – the first two lectures could have been dropped, we know Culture not just in Barbados but throughout the region, except for Trinidad, is considered By The Way and even in their own standards – they feel MORE can be done… What SHOULD have happened is straight into discussions from stakeholders – with so many present? A time limit of 45 to 60 seconds ONLY, and when you have those abusing limitations like Gilbert Melford Rowe? Cut off the Public Address!
  • Commentary, observations, clarifications and questions should have had an overriding presence for the gathering – with suggestions sought to be ratified then and there if need be with a further review down the pipeline if they’re serious about tabling by June?

Powerful photography set to canvas by Ahmad Rasheed Boodhoo - on display for less than 24 hours, for a seminar about promoting Art? Why not let stay for a month, or better... Until sold?

The Cabinet Minister said he was “very impressed” with the numbers that turned out to represent the stakeholders in the cultural industries sector.

  • Ahem – did not see Corrie Scott, Didi Winston, Pat Hoyos, Simon Alleyne, Patrick Foster, (seemed more like an emphasis on Film & Camera with Visual & Performing Arts as Understudies) there was a distinct paucity of Government Dept Rep’s, such as Sanitation… They have to be the Maid Of Barbados after every bram or bashment with Bounty Killa or whoever, seldom are they invited from the start to ensure all waste and refuse is properly disposed of during and after a fete.

COSCAP's Erica Smith was one of three lectures which made sense and it was a pity her presentation was forcibly edited on the spot...

The level of participation was extremely high and the feedback coming from the stakeholders regarding the relevance of the consultation was good. The cultural practitioners welcomed the idea of moving towards a legislative regime which would promote their future.

{FILE IMAGE} No wonder the Jazz Festival under his guidance collapsed, with a dismal attitude for reprimanding Organisers because they dared remind him time is of the essence and there are others waiting - Gilbert Melford Rowe says he will talk until he's finished at which point many guests left the room and took their break... If it was me, I'd cut off the mic one time until he was removed by Security then escort him off the property and during that excitement bring on the next speaker letting them know they have 45 to 60 secs. to make their point... I am sure everyone would be succinct!

“… We received a lot of recommendations and several of them will assist in improving the draft Cultural Industries Development Bill. This piece of legislation will redound to the benefit of the cultural industries sector which government is seeking to invigorate,” he stated.

Nobody set a time limit on how long the Minister could talk for? But don't tell me that is not done, if it is ONE?? Then it is ALL!!

During the opening ceremony for the consultation, which was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Minister Lashley argued that the proposed legislation “sends the clearest signal to date that we have dragged our feet for too long”. But, he stressed that “it should also send a clear signal to you that you need to get serious about your business ventures in the creative sector”.

Somehow Debra Durant's painting made the most sense - Barbados Green Monkeys playing with a Compact Disk and not a clue what's in their hands... This is only meant in the sense where Technocrats are handling an Aesthetic matter with a broad-based reach for laws which should have been in place at least 10 years ago!

He pointed out that the creative sector remained one of the most resilient to recessions and times of disaster and assured his audience that government would “stay the course” with them so as to ensure the sector realised its full potential.

  • Is this measure which is too much/ too little/ almost too late being rushed as everyone suspects Elections will be called at any second?

He said it was unfortunate that inspite of the proven immense talent and potential within this emerging sector, some people were not according it the importance it deserved. “I do believe that tackling unemployment, especially among our youth, depends greatly on how we position the creative sector,” he suggested.

The Minister indicated that since 2000 the creative economy was worth $2.2 trillion and was growing at a rate of five per cent annually. But, he noted that the old economic model of depending almost exclusively on foreign direct inflows for survival had not worked in Barbados.

We clearly need to try new things and have new visions if we are to have sustainable economic growth. My view is that a crucial part of that new focus must be on the creative sector,” he said.

  • If new things were to be tried, then why not leave the paintings – which were shown only for the day of the symposium – for a far longer period? Prove you want Art, Culture and/or Entertainment viewed seriously by taking an instantaneous stance… It’s called? Cojones!

Neville Legall was part of the rather limited presence of Visual Art at the gathering; it was even more surprising how there was only one slight mention of a call for a National Art Gallery (it should have different segments - Craft, Paintings, Photography, Sculpture - etc. Yet no suggestion for location or where funding is sourced)

Acknowledging that this island was fast becoming a venue of choice for some of the world’s wealthiest movie makers, he pointed out that there were some brilliant young entrepreneurs here who were capable of making successful movies.

  • Since 2009 there have been repeated calls for a Film Commission here, the seminar also saw many stakeholders wishing for Customs to have been included in talks and even taught a special class so they understand why certain people wish particular gear for their profession needs to be reviewed before slapping duties willy-nilly…

The Government is closely looking to this sector as a key source of new opportunities for our youth. We are hard at work establishing a Films Commission to intensify our efforts in this exciting area of audio-visual,” he disclosed.

Mr. Lashley contended that the Bill would represent a turning point in the businesses of cultural practitioners and the role that sector would play in the country’s economic development. {DATA COURTESY; SA/BGIS}

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