Monthly Archives: November 2014

AT THIS MOMENT: An overview of the T&T Creative Sector and Creative Moment in the World

The Gate Opener…
The second confirms the first- Soca waiting in the wings for the mainstage…
Bunji, Machel, Nicki Minaj, the Soca Princesses, Dwayne Bravo, Ato Boldon, Olatunji, young local dance, theatre, and film companies…

THE CUSP OF A GOLDEN AGE

We are at one of those historic junctures again. A young generation’s energy is quickening- here and in the diaspora- and it demands to be facilitated and consolidated… If this facilitation happens the result can be a Renaissance- a Golden Age where geniuses flourish and exceptional works of Art appear from all directions, changing our economy, our social mores, our very vibration. The result will be the liberation of superlative works from every part of the country, art that will deeply affect citizens, coming at us on a weekly basis- local songs that conjugate our moods intimately, local visual art exhibitions that compel people in their thousands to go visit and contemplate, local television shows and films that shut down the country as people flock home  and to cinemas to witness them, a Carnival and Festivals that have communities electric with anticipation for the visual and aural spectacle that one is going to experience… Everywhere there will be works so exceptional that many will go down in the country’s and the globe’s canon as classics. Works that inspire audiences, communities, the nation, and the world…

The city as Art- Dubai transformed
The evolving Dubai skyline-
Creative Economy engines are transforming nations all over the globe

Museum of Middle East Modern Art

Museum of Middle East Modern Art in Dubai

That’s what living in a Golden Age feels like, and many parts of the world are experiencing this high at the moment, as part of the Renaissance in the Creative Industry which is worth an annual bounty of $2.2 trillion. The blockbuster movies; the Golden Age of television; the excitement of the gaming industry; the renaissance in publishing; the excitement around experimental architecture; and the reinvention of countries and cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi that we are witnessing are part of an exciting Age in human development which has catapulted the Arts, Culture, and the Creative into becoming the 2nd largest industry in the world.

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THE MYSTERY AND MAJESTY OF LOCAL CONTENT

THE ENABLERS

The Creative Industries are an annual US$2.2 trillion economy according to UNESCO’s 2000 statistics, with a then projected growth rate of 5% per annum. The cluster of Art, Culture, and the Creative is now the second largest industry on planet Earth. Both developed and developing countries- from Australia to Dubai to Nigeria- have been employing it to transform their landscapes and media-scapes to leverage the transformation of their economies into Service and Information Technology-based economies. The Creative Industry has replaced the traditional economic powerhouses such as the extractive and manufacturing sectors as the go-to growth engine of the world’s economy. This creative renaissance- and the empowerment and enrichment of its practitioners and their nations- is passing Trinidad and Tobago straight by…

The reason is that the current Creative Industries economy with all its working parts was built on 4 waves of enablers- policies, legislations, fiscal enablers, institutions- implemented by developed countries from the period of the World Wars to the present. Local Content was indispensable to that architecture. T&T’s political leaders for decades have refused to implement these enablers, so we do not have the systems in place to economise our creative potential. Read the rest of this entry

DEAR SUNITY MAHARAJ

There are some people who jostle for the position of ‘voice of the people’ and when they get it jealously guard that perch. They do all they can to remove any other competing voices- from blocking those peoples access to media, canceling their popular columns, to gossiping and almost libellously mis-informing on their characters… But Activism and Progressive Change is not a popularity contest. It is not about stage managing your exits and entrances so that the cameras always get ‘your best side’. It is dirty work, it is about rolling up your sleeves’ and working on the problem, it is going where you are not welcome and doing what you would rather not be doing to get the job done. It is about doing the unpopular thing when it is the right thing to do. It is about sacrifice, and it is about seeing a job through to the end- with persistence and with Integrity.

sunity

Sunity Maharaj

Sunity Maharaj mentioned my name and that of my organisation in her Sunday column two weekends ago and her statements about me, my organization, and its work perfectly epitomizes the saying ‘lies, half-truths, and innuendo’. It is unfortunate that a senior journalist and a person that is respected in the community would use their power in such a manner to cast aspersions and repeat untruths when a simple fact check and a phone call could relieve them of the embarrassment of being wrong.

This is Ms Maharaj’s statement:

“At the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism, Rubadiri Victor has successfully peddled the Artists Coalition for an appointment as adviser to the minister and a budget of roughly $5 million for a rush-job project. Titled “Memories and Histories”, it involves 24 sub-projects documenting the lives of some of our most exalted artistes and festivals. At the Ministry of Trade, meanwhile, CreativeTT is still preparing for sail to a destination unknown…. And yet, all the expenditure sounds suspiciously like a CEPEP for the arts with the emphasis on running the money and keeping them happy.”

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