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…input of youth excluded from forum– concerned artiste“Why is culture being celebrated when governments are to be blamed for continually depriving artistes of necessary support?” Derek WalcottNobel laureate Derek Walcott last evening challenged CARICOM governments to restructure their philosophy in budgeting and invest more in culture.Walcott was speaking at the opening symposium for Carifesta X at the National Convention Centre, and he was adamant that precious little was being done to promote and facilitate culture in a prominent way.The modestly attended occasion featured panelists such as Professor David Dabydeen, Cynthia McLeod and Kenneth Ramchand, among others.Despite conceding that the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta) was a necessity, Walcott questioned why culture is being celebrated when governments are to be blamed for continually depriving artistes of necessary support.Walcott was also adamant that investments in Caribbean countries should come with incentives, given that nothing of a cultural value will be left for generations to come. He noted that only huge hotels will be there.He posited that governments should have investors give money to museums and for theater scholarships, among others.“We are selling our land like whores to foreign investors, and the prostitution is a thing called development,” said Walcott.Head of State,cheap nfl jerseys online (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), President Bharrat Jagdeo, who was also in attendance, sought to defend the Guyana Government’s budgeting logic. He insisting that issues such as roads, drainage and irrigation, and fuel, among others,cheap nfl jerseys china (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), took precedence.This, according to Walcott, was rhetoric that has been preached ever since he was a teen. He insisted that governments need to address culture simultaneously with roads,wholeslae cheap nfl jerseys china (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), among other things.Walcott insisted that Carifesta should only see participation from professional artistes,wholesale jerseys china (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), and questioned what would happen to a performer when he or she returns to his/her homeland.Jagdeo, however, contended that Carifesta was an event that stimulated cultural growth in a country,jerseys nfl wholesale (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), citing infrastructural development such as the refurbishment of the Theatre Guild in Guyana.He also conceded that,cheap nfl jerseys (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), at some point in time, maybe government would need to be re-educated by artistes.Youth excludedDuring the question-and-answer aspect of the forum, a question was posed to the ‘custodians’ of culture as to why youth was excluded from making a meaningful contribution at the symposia that is touted as one that could generate change.The question was sidetracked by the panellists, generating heated debates in the hallways of the Convention Centre following the close of the opening symposium.It was questioned why investors would spend on the ‘elitists,’ who were elderly, when it was the youth that had the spending power.PanellistsDuring the panellists’ presentations of the symposia that was held under the theme ‘Caribbean Culture at a Crossroad,’ Kenneth Ramchand, eminent West Indian literary critic, posited that ‘culture’ is in crisis and is reflected in society as a whole.Ramchand posited that one source of the crisis was bad decision-making by the policy makers of the past.The literary critic was also adamant that another reason for the crisis is the failure to recognize the contributions of arts and culture in shaping a society.Cynthia McLeod, an eminent Surinamese writer, noted that a nation must first know were it came from to decide where to go,wholesale jerseys (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), given that culture is influenced by its history.Speaking to Carifesta, she noted that what was started in 1972 was a fulfillment of a passion in the region to share, positing that Carifesta has now become the cultural Mecca of the region.“Caribbean Culture is El Dorado…Carifesta is a symbol of harmony.”Ian McDonald, a local literary giant, also formed part of the panel. He told the gathering that Caribbean culture is always at a cross road with an unknown destination, with planning always in process.Meanwhile, David Dabydeen impressed on the Caribbean participants that the leading publishers in the world had stopped publishing regional writers,cheap jerseys nfl wholesale (http://www.cheapjerseysnear.us.com/), which in itself presents a huge barrier to cultural development in the region.He challenged Caribbean leaders to invest in a printing press and set up a regional publishing house, which in itself would complement any efforts at taking Caribbean culture to a new height.Walcott, who was the featured guest at the event, is an eminent West Indian poet, playwright, writer and visual artist from St. Lucia, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959, which has produced his plays (and others) since that time, and remains active with its Board of Directors.He also founded Boston Playwrights Theatre at Boston University in 1981 with the hope of creating a home for new plays in Boston, Massachusetts.Walcott continues to teach poetry and drama in the Creative Writing Department at Boston University, and gives readings and lectures throughout the world.He divides his time between his home in the Caribbean and New York City.