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Dear Minister Tewarie

Dear Minister Tewarie, greetings from the local cultural community! This message meets you on the day the canny Mayans earmarked as the End of Ages—so either this missive meets you throat-deep in water, avoiding the flames, or experiencing the molecular re-alignment of harmonic convergence. However the day meets you, may my message reach you, too!

How did we reach this pass? How can the country of CLR James, Beryl, Sundar, Carlisle Chang, Attila, Spoiler, Kitchener, Bailey, Constantine, Butler, Rienzi, and so many warriors and artisans of Light lie so ruined? So far off-course? So bereft of Hope and Dream? How did we become such a dirty, harried, mangy shadow of ourself? And in particular—how have the dreams of artists who slaved so hard for this place been so completely betrayed with such bloodless ruthlessness by politicians? Of course I’m talking about your Cabinet kicking off the boat the 129 line-items which embodied the dreams of artists, to then smuggle on-board the “Creative Industries Company (TTCIC)”, with its cargo of businessmen and hidden party-financier agendas.

The great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca delivered our own Minshall’s favourite quote about the role of Art, “The poem, the song, the picture is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink—and in drinking, understand themselves.” The phrase at centre that resonates for me is: “the people”. The people… It’s always “the people”. If you destroy “the artist”, you destroy “the people”… Read the rest of this entry

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WE REJECT THE IDEA OF TTCIC

 Friday 1st December 2012

The Honourable Ms Kamla Persad-Bissessar
The Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
The Office of the Prime Minister
St Clair
Port of Spain

Dear Honourable Prime Minister,

It has come to our attention that the Ministry of Trade along with the Ministry of Finance has instructed The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) to meet with the Minister of Finance (Corporation Sole) immediately to have its named changed to that of The Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries Company (TTCIC) thus effectively winding up the TTFC and cementing the process of forming the super-company TTCIC.

REASONS NOT TO PROCEED:

We the undersigned do strongly urge the government NOT to proceed with the former action for the following reasons:

  1. Such an action is a clear breach of faith by the Minister of Trade who at our first and only consultation agreed to continue consultations with the sector as regards the nature and fate of the TTFC and the idea of the TTCIC. All subsequent attempts to engage such a meeting with the Minister have failed.
  2. We also note through correspondence sent to us that the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Authority (TTCSI) has been instructed by said Ministry to coordinate ‘consultations’ with stakeholders on the forming of cultural sector ‘advisory committees’ for the TTCIC. This came despite the fact that there was near unanimous rejection of the governance model of the TTCIC at the ‘consultation’ with its idea of a businessman-led and weighted board along with a hand-picked CEO running the company in charge of the Creative Sector with cultural industry stakeholders reduced to ‘advisory committees’ with zero executive and policy making powers. This TTCSI initiative then is a clear breach of trust and bargaining protocol Read the rest of this entry