Culture and Creative Arts

The Unity Labour Party Youth Manifesto 2015
Table of Contents

In the main ULP Election Manifesto for 2015 there is a compelling section entitled, Cultural Industries: Creating Jobs, Wealth, and an Enhanced Spirit through Cultural Creativity.  The youths are thus encouraged to read that section as part of this overall narrative on “Culture”, particularly its Jobs and Wealth Creation dimensions.

The ULP, through its Political Leader, has repeatedly reaffirmed, correctly, that the Caribbean, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, possesses a unique and distinct island or seaboard civilisation of historical authenticity, legitimacy, and nobility, in quest of further ennoblement in the interest of our people’s humanization.  Our unique and distinct Caribbean civilisation has been shaped or fashioned by our geography, our conditions of nature, our history, and our peoples __ indigenous and those who have come, free or un-free, from disparate lands the world over.  Metaphorically, our Caribbean civilisation, including its magnificent Vincentian component, is a veritable symphony: We are the songs or voices of our indigenous peoples (Amerindians, Callinago, Garifuna); we are the rhythm of Africa, the melody of Europe, the chords of Asia, and the home-grown lyrics of the Caribbean.  Through the fever of history, in our unique landscape and seascape, our society, and thus our civilisation, has evolved since European conquest and settlement through a long, painful, yet sweet, liberation struggle to overcome racism, native genocide, the enslavement of Africans, indentureship, colonial and imperial domination to emerge as a more or less homogenous society of liberty and democracy under the suzerainty of Almighty God, stuffed with a core of tried and tested values. The text and context of our Caribbean civilisation, inclusive of its Vincentian component, are its culture, its way of life, its visible and invisible sides, its formal institutions and customs or traditions, its creative adaptations and its peoples’ genius; the way it makes its living and lays its material base; its life and living ___ our language (written and spoken), forms of creative expression, courtship, marriage, family, food and drink, social interaction, music, song, dance, ideas, the celebration of our lives and the mourning of our dead, our worship, our laws, our institutions of governance, and our relationships with other civilisations, whether dominant or not.

Through all of this we affirm that while we are not better than anyone, no one is better than us. Our creative cultural expressions take popular, and less popular, forms (song, music, drama, dance, pan, mas, painting and sculpture, deigns of our clothes and buildings, photography, creative writing, modeling, and so forth).  All of these, and more, a ULP government naturally and easily encourages and facilitates because of its profound understanding of, and sensibility to, our Caribbean civilisation, including its especial Vincentian component.
It is this sense and sensibility of our civilisation, and culture, which lead a ULP government to pledge that over the next five years, we will:

✔ Continue to facilitate the upliftment of, our many-sided culture and its manifold creative expressions; it is a noise in our blood, an echo in our bones;

✔ Ensure the further building of appropriate structures/systems to market and/or promote our cultural artistes and expressions of our creative imagination, locally, regionally, and internationally;

✔ Make certain that cultural artistes of promise and/or prominence be gainfully employed or be in training or education towards a career goal;

✔ Continue to designate appropriate persons as Cultural Ambassadors;

✔ Continue to provide material support, and encouragement, to organisations in the field of culture, cultural and historical heritage;

✔ Continue to build our national cultural festivals: Carnival, Nine-Mornings, Gospel Fest, Culinary Exhibitions, and the like;

✔ Continue to uplift pan music, including the further strengthening of Pan Against Crime; the ULP government, in concert with pan enthusiasts, saved pan music from dying in St. Vincent and the Grenadines;

✔ Build a modern multi-purpose Creative Arts Centre, with facilities for the performing arts and other artistic works and with resident personnel to provide training in all cultural and artistic fields. Peace Memorial Hall which we refurbished is a useful, but inadequate, facility for performances.

✔ Strengthen the institutional capacity of the relevant organs of the State in this field: the Ministry of Culture, the Carnival Development Corporation, and the National Cultural Foundation, and work assiduously with non-State entities in the vineyard of culture.

✔ Set up an Office of a Coordinator for Cultural Industries which will evolve into a fully-fledged Unit to focus on the job and wealth creation possibilities of cultural industries.

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