Launch of LiTTscapes ADDRESS BY SENATOR DR. BHOENDRADATT TEWARIE Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development
Members of the Diplomatic Corp
o High Commissioner to India
o High Commissioner to Canada
Head of UNDP (Acting) – Harry Morand
Guests of Honour
o Michael Antony
o Earl Lovelace
All other distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
This book derives out of the literature of Trinidad and Tobago and the inspiration that our land, our people, our culture and our heritage have provided to our writers. What has inspired them and what has given context to the work of writers of Trinidad and Tobago have in turn inspired this book which is a valuable addition to our literature and meaningful guide to our literature and our literary landscape. This is a book worth reading. It is a book worth having.
This book can be a stimulus to readers and reading, an encouragement to literacy and literacy development, to empowerment of our people and our culture and can facilitate business and employment.
It also demonstrates how one publication can make a big difference to the publishing industry and be a bridge to other sectors of the creative economy and the wider economy as well. One book such as this one can involve 100 people in various activities – printing, research, writing, photography, design, marketing, administration, quality control, copy editing, proof reading, IT services, legal/copyright, advisory services.
Event surrounding the launch – art, craft, banners, t-shirt, drama, staging, organizing, managing, light sound cameras, music, after event cleaning and other requirements.
Linkages – music, film, animation, design, tourism, education, community development, product development related to tourism, tours, knowledge services.
The people of this country have not yet begun to appreciate the extent to which our culture, our heritage and our creative products are linked to the creation of a knowledge economy to the expansion of dimensions of the services sector, to economic diversification and to mind intensive and labour intensive industries that are homegrown and have international appeal and global interest.’
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is happy to support the publication of this book LiTTscapes – focused on landscapes of fiction in Trinidad and Tobago as a book worthy of publication at time of celebration of our 50th Anniversary of Independence.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has supported two other publications – one by Hansib covering the evolution of our country over the last fifty years and looking to the future and the other by First Magazine which takes a look at life, culture and development in Trinidad and Tobago today. The Government also supported the Bocas Literary Festival.
We are pleased to be associated with these publications and we are pleased with the publication of LiTTscapes which is a totally local effort from start to finish.
LiTTscapes is a wonderful book to introduce young people to literature and to help them to discover their country. It is also a great introduction of Trinidad and Tobago and our literary output and cultural heritage to the rest of the world. There is a lot of potential in this little book.
I am sorry that I was not able to make the literary this afternoon. But given the nature of this book literary tours are a natural and I am sure that several tours will be crafted with positive impact.
The celebration of fifty years of Independence has been a good opportunity for reflection and celebration of ourselves and a good opportunity too to think about our future and prospects for that future.
We have created so much in this country. Not just calypso and chutney and soca; not just steelpan and steel orchestras and great athletes, all of which we continue to share with the world; but we have also given the world great writers, thinkers, intellectuals and creative artists.
So many of you are present here today and so many of our creative citizens are living abroad. It is wonderful to be launching a book which is derived from what so many have created and which is likely to be stimulus to other imaginative possibilities.
We must begin to truly cherish who we are and what we have been able to create. We must begin to believe more deeply in our people and to have stronger faith in what we can do in the future. We must learn to respect ourselves and each other in a way that strengthens our dignity as a people and we must develop the bigheartedness to celebrate the achievements and victories of others and cultivate the humility to share our own achievements and triumphs.
Let us together celebrate this effort of Dr. Kris Rampersad and the publication of LiTTscapes. It celebrates our literary genius and our great country, which in spite of our perpetual complaints, is a source of inspiration to all of us.