Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, will lead a delegation to participate in the 12th edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts, CARIFESTA, to be hosted in Haiti later this month.
Mr. Lashley will also represent Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at the Opening Ceremony on August 21, where he will deliver a message on behalf of the Prime Minister, who is currently Chairman of CARICOM.
The festival, which was officially launched in Haiti on July 8 under the theme: Our Roots, Our Culture, Our Common Future, will be held from August 21 to 30. It will feature a cross-section of cultural disciplines, including, fashion, literature, the visual arts, film, dance, music, and theatre presentations.
Examining the importance of the festival, Mr. Lashley stated that CARIFESTA presented a unique opportunity for “the best of our island’s creativity and cultural expression across many disciplines to be showcased”.
“Every opportunity should be taken to promote all aspects of our cultural industries at home and abroad, and CARIFESTA XII provides such an opportunity,” he underscored, adding that the Government of Barbados remained committed to culture as an emerging economic sector; and the cultural industries as a pillar on which economic growth could be built.
The Minister of Culture pointed out that sending a delegation to Haiti this year was especially important. “Barbados was successful in its bid to host CARIFESTA XIII. It is therefore imperative that Barbados has an active presence in Haiti. Our presentations will commence the marketing campaign for the 2017 festival, as audiences will get a glimpse of what Barbados has to offer.
“From a more practical perspective, Barbados as the next host country needs to be present to receive the baton from Haiti and to issue the official invitation to meet in Bridgetown in 2017,” he explained.
The Barbados delegation for CARIFESTA XII will comprise visual and performing artists, as well as Ministry officials. Among the many pieces to be showcased in Haiti will be the Crop Over Evening of Folk 2015 play: Sounds of Resistance: Echoes of Change; musical presentations, inclusive of tuk and calypso; and the works of six top visual artists (paintings and photography). The island’s presentation will be produced and managed by the National Cultural Foundation.
CARIFESTA was initiated in 1972 to promote regional unity and the marketing of Caribbean art.