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Open Letter to Dr Anthony Sabga Saviour of the Trinity Cross Key Keeper of City Guardian of Demokrissy

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The More Things Change: From  Montage of Articles & Columns
on Social and Economic Development
(c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
Dear Father Tony,
Please hear my plea,
To revive the economy
Try that city key
Tho of you and me
Dey making bobolee
And the poor already
Heading to vagrancy
Save this country
We call La Trinity

 

 I may call you that, Dear Father Tony, may I not, although we is not family, we are still part of the Trini famalee and the human famalee, part of the same national journey on the same ship, and I was part of your empire on the media side for most of me journalistic life and that was how some referred to you in revered whispers though others had less reverent terms; and it may be said, ’twas in your empire whence I cut meh journalistic tooth and whence my career was birthed and so you really are meh father in some sense of the word, eh Tony!
 
Vagrant’s View of Woodford Square, Port of Spain

See more: Demokrissy:  www.kris-rampersad.blogspot.com 

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Ask About LiTTscapes,
Ask about LiTTours and LiTTributes

 

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Countdown to the 25,000 reader of Demokrissy begins now

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Countdown to the 25,000 reader of Demokrissy begins now….

LiTTour and LiTTscapes in Spotlight – Final 2 days of Special LiTTour offer

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LiTTour and LiTTscapes in spotlight as Bocas LiTFest Begins Thursday
Last 2 Days for Free LiTTour Offer: Register Now! call 1-868- http://goo.gl/pcZxm
see also:
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/featured-news/Bocas-Lit-Fest-begins-tomorrow-204384801.html

Bocas Lit Fest begins tomorrow

 At the third annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest which starts tomorrow at the National Library the very first Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Literature will be awarded to Trinidadian John La Rose (posthumously) and Sarah White for their own exemplary work publishing and promoting Caribbean writers.
In the 1940s Henry Swanzy was the editor in what is now the BBC World Service of the weekly Caribbean Voices programme that featured creative writing from the English-speaking Caribbean. It became pivotal in shaping the development of the region’s post war literature, now regarded as the Golden Age of Caribbean writing. 
The programme helped launch the careers of many writers who achieved international fame: Trinidadians Sam Selvon and Nobel Laureate VS Naipaul; the other Caribbean Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott from St Lucia; Kamau Brathwaite and George Lamming from Barbados; Jamaicans Gloria Escofery, John Figueroa and Andrew Salkey; Guyanese Edgar Mittelholzer, Wilson Harris and Ian McDonald; and EM ‘Shake’ Keane from St Vincent. 
Between 1943 and 1955 when Swanzy left, 400 stories and poems along with plays and literary criticism had been broadcast by 372 contributors. On Swanzy’s departure the Times Literary Supplement wrote “West Indian writers freely acknowledge their debt to the BBC for its encouragement, financial and aesthetic. Without that encouragement the birth of a Caribbean literature would have been slower and even more painful than it has been”. Naipaul noted that Swanzy brought to the programme ‘standards and enthusiasm. He took local writing seriously and lifted it above the local’. 
John La Rose migrated to Britain in 1961. With his partner, Sarah White, he founded in London in 1966, New Beacon Books, both a pioneering publishing house and a specialist bookshop focusing on writers and writing from the Caribbean. For him publishing was a vehicle to give independent validation to one’s own culture, history and politics, a way of achieving cultural and social change. They published works by writers such as Wilson Harris, Andrew Salkey, Errol Hill, Dennis Scott, Erna Brodber, Mervyn Morris, and numerous others. 
La Rose co-founded with Andrew Salkey and Kamau Brathwaite, the Caribbean Artists Movement, providing a platform for Caribbean artists, poets, writers, dramatists, actors and musicians. In 1982 he co-founded and directed the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books until 1995. The George Padmore Institute, an archive, library and educational research centre housing materials relating to communities of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe, was established in 1991.
On Thursday at 5 p.m. Horace Ove’s film on La Rose Dream to Change the World will be screened, followed by a short talk by Sarah White on the work of the late John La Rose and presentation of the inaugural Award. 
Every year the NGC Bocas Lit Fest and the National Museum and Art Gallery partner to invite an artist to create a limited-edition work of art. The first numbered piece becomes part of the unique Festival Art Collection of the National Museum and Art Gallery. Funds raised from the sale of the signed, numbered works go to the Lit Fest.
The 2013 festival artist is Wendy Nanan whose piece for this year’s event was unveiled on the First floor of the National Museum and Art Gallery, Frederick Street, Port of Spain. Born in Port of Spain in 1955, she obtained the BFA (Painting) in the UK and currently lives and works in Port of Spain. She has been exhibiting regularly since 1985, including shows in France, Britain, Canada, and the Dominican Republic.  
Transmission pursues Nanan’s interest in the book form, and the idea of the transfer of knowledge.  
A special tour of Port of Spain through the eyes of award winning fictional writers and famous characters began last Saturday.
Based on the critically acclaimed LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago by Kris Rampersad, the LiTTour starts 8 a.m. by prebookings only, leaving from the South Quay compounds of the Public Transport Service Corporation, through the capital city: landscapes and lifestyles; institutions, cultural life, politics, architecture and will be free to persons who, until tomorrow, purchase, a copy of LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago. 
LiTTscapes presents Trinidad and Tobago through some 60 writers in more than 100 works since 1595. Head of the Guyana Prize for Literature, Professor Al Creighton described LiTTscapes as a work of art; a documentary, a travelogue, a critical work with visual and literary power.  It takes us on a tour of the country, giving some exposure to almost every aspect of life. 
In conjunction with LiTTscapes and LiTTours, launched last August, Rampersad has also introduced LiTTributes – events in tribute to Caribbean cultures and creativity which have to date been staged in Guyana, Antigua and Trinidad and Tobago and soon in the UK and USA. They are meant to promote literacy, creativity and interactive appreciation of the global multicultural milieu Trinidad and Tobago.   
Customade LiTTributes and LiTTours based on district, theme or body of literature are available on request. For details contact 377-0326 or email lolleaves@gmail.com and visit: http://www.kris-rampersad.blogspot.com.
The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is free and open to all. It runs from April 25-28 at NALIS.
Free, secure weekday parking is available in Queens Park Savannah with a free hourly shuttle service to NALIS and back. For more information about the Festival programme, visit http://www.bocaslitfest.com.
The 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest 
Schedule for Thursday
The 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest officially kicks off!
Writers vs. Politicians 
with Martin Daly, Paula Gopee-Scoon, 
Sunity Maharaj, and Ralph Maraj
Looking ahead to our Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference debates, local luminaries read portraits of politicians — hilarious, ironic, tragic — from classic and contemporary works of Caribbean fiction by Jamaican John Hearne, Barbadian Austin Clarke, Trinidad-born
Monique Roffey, and Guyanese Pauline Melville
9–10 am • Old Fire Station
WORKSHOP
Getting started
with Marlon James
For new writers: how to find your subject and voice, and break through the barrier of the opening line
10 am–12.30 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
FATHER FIGURES
Colin Grant and Hannah Lowe
chaired by Ruth Borthwick
Prose and verse portraits of Jamaican fathers, by the authors of Bageye at the Wheel and Chick
10.30–11.30 am • Old Fire Station
POETRY
Marion Bethel and Cyril Dabydeen chaired by Nicha Selvon-Ramkissoon
Readings by poets from the Bahamas and Guyana
10.30–11.30 am • AV Room
NEW TALENT SHOWCASE
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
The first of our New Talent Showcase writers reads from her poems and discusses her work
12–12.45 pm • Old Fire Station
PERFORMANCE POETRY AND OPEN MIC
Lunchtime jam
A selection of performance poets take their vibe to the streets of the city. Plus a chance for budding
writers to share their work
12–1 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade
FILM
Barbado’ed, dir. Shane Brennan and Paul Arnott
The poorest community in Barbados is the Redlegs, the direct descendants of Scots transported to
Barbados in the 17th century.
Scottish author Chris Dolan discovers what they know about their roots, and what their prospects are
12–1 pm • AV Room
FORGOTTEN STORIES
Andrea Stuart and Chris Dolan
chaired by Margaret Busby
Forgotten parts of the history of Barbados, retold by the authors of Sugar in the Blood and Redlegs
1.00–2.00 pm • AV Room
WORKSHOP
Length matters
with Cyril Dabydeen
There are stories that need a few dozen pages, and some that need a few dozen words. An introduction to short-short fiction
1.30–4 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
DISCUSSION
Beyond a Boundary at 50 with Deryck Murray and Arnold Gibbons, chaired by Kenneth
Ramchand C.L.R. James’s great book on sport, politics, and society celebrates its half-century in 2012. A panel of sportsmen and scholars discuss its continuing relevance
1.30–2.30 pm • Old Fire Station
MUSIC
Lovey and Co.
with John Cowley
The first Trinidadian musicians ever to be recorded were Lovey’s Original Trinidad String Band, in 1912. The author of Carnival, Canboulay, and Calypso tells the story, and discusses Lovey’s legacy with Trinidad Express features editor Deborah John
2–3 pm • AV Room
FICTION
Courttia Newland and Ifeona Fulani
chaired by Ryan Durgasingh
A reading of new fiction by the authors of The Gospel According to Cane and Ten Days in Jamaica
2.30–3.30 pm • Old Fire Station
FICTION
Kerry Young and Diana McCaulay
chaired by Giselle Rampaul
Jamaican family histories transformed into fiction by the authors of Pao and Huracan
4–5 pm • Old Fire Station
SHORT TALK
Alison Donnell and Michael Bucknor talk to Barbara Lalla about the Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature, and our evolving literary canon
4–5 pm • AV Room
ONE-ON-ONE
Marina Warner
The British author of Alone of All Her Sex and Stranger Magic talks to Lawrence Scott about myths, history, and stories
5–6 pm • Old Fire Station
FILM
A Dream to Change the World: A Tribute to John La Rose, dir. Horace Ové, CBE
A documentary about the life of the late John La Rose, poet, essayist, publisher, trade unionist, cultural and political activist, and founder of New Beacon Books and chairman of the George Padmore Institute in London
5–7 pm • AV Room
BOCAS HENRY SWANZY AWARD
The presentation of the inaugural Bocas Swanzy Award, recognising distinguished service to Caribbean letters, to John La Rose (posthumously) and Sarah White of New Beacon Books
7–8.30 pm • AV Room

An innovative approach to literature and landscapes – Stabroek News – Georgetown, Guyana

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An innovative approach to literature and landscapes – Stabroek News – Georgetown, Guyana

Professor Al Creighton presents LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago by Kris Rampersad in Stabroek News ….

An innovative approach to literature and landscapes

Arts on Sunday

(Kris Rampersad, Littscapes: Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, St Augustine, Trinidad, 2012 : 200 p.)
20110807artsonsundayIn reading this work we find a neat kind of confluence.  Guyana at this time is in the middle of celebrating nationhood – the peak of it was Republic Day yesterday. The publication which was launched in Guyana a week ago is a celebration of nationhood as it is captured through photography, an explanatory text and the literature of Trinidad and Tobago.  The easiest way to begin an analysis of this book Littscapes by Kris Rampersad is to describe it – give an idea so that the audience gets a clear picture of exactly what it is.  But that is not the easiest way, because it is a text that defies easy description.  There are more types that it is, than things that it is not.
Kris Rampersad

Kris Rampersad
The publication is Littscapes: Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago by Kris Rampersad, published in St Augustine, Trinidad, in 2012.  The bibliographical details describe it as “First Edition 2012”, which is not surprising, given its multi-tasking nature and its wide reach, and this suggests also, that considering the several things that it seems to set out to cover, there is more to come in future editions.
It is 200 pages of written and visual text, presenting the landscape of Trinidad and Tobago in passages of descriptions, explanations and quotations, very impressively supported and complemented by hundreds of colour photographs and excerpts from the literature of the country.  Rampersad always interweaves into her own descriptions, the pieces taken from the literature, so that one gets pictures of the several varied subjects from the point of view of the writers and of their fictional characters. These are taken predominantly from works of fiction covering a range of short stories and novels, but to a lesser extent, there is reference to poetry and drama.
The idea of “littscapes” comes from drawing from the literature to give scenes, views and visions of landscape and life in clear, colourful, illustrative pictures as well as snippets of how they are treated in the literature.  It is a quite thorough artistic concept.  It is a portrait and biography of the nation of Trinidad and Tobago which actually pays tribute to the Repub-lic in 2012, the year of its 50th anniversary of Independence.  The book is attractively, neatly and effectively designed, using a recurring motif of the double-T – “TT”, which, of course, is “Trinidad and Tobago”, but is also “literature” so that there is not only the visual impact but the tribute to nationhood as reflected in the various works of literature.
Littscapes is a work of art; but also it is a documentary, a travelogue, a critical work with visual and literary power.  It takes us on a tour of the country, giving some exposure to almost every aspect of life.  It may be too heavy and too academic to be called a tourist guide, but no tourist guide can give a better, more comprehensive introduction to Trinidad. It entices and attracts just as the other glossy tourist literature does; it looks like a weighty volume, but an important factor is that it is very easy to read.  Neither is this link to tourism accidental, because one of the objectives of the book is that it must show the value that literature has in promoting and presenting and selling the nation. It must show different uses of literature, encourage new approaches to it and make it more attractive and interesting.  The book does for literature, what literature does for the country.
Rampersad tours the countryside and highlights features of it, at the same time exploring the literature to indicate how the writers treat the subjects, what they or their fictional characters say, and how they are used in the plots.  Photographs of several sections of Port of Spain are accompanied by the descriptions and literary excerpts; this treatment is given to the capital city, other towns, streets, urban communities, villages, historic buildings and places, vegetation, animals, institutions, culture and landscape.  There is considerable visual beauty, what Derek Walcott calls “visual surprise” in his Nobel Lecture (1992); an impressive coverage of social history, geography, and politics, but also a strong literary experience.  It is a survey of Trinidad’s landscape and of its literature.
The publication reflects a considerable volume of reading, drawing from as early as Walter Ralegh at the dawn of Caribbean literature, which adds historical character and depth to the landscape and culture.  The references include early fiction such as ARF Webber’s Those That Be In Bondage. The connectedness of nationhood becomes relevant again here, since both Webber and Ralegh have ties to Guyana as strong, if not stronger than those with Trinidad.  The relevance of this literature to the building of Guyanese nationhood is similar to the case of Trinidad here. Just as the historical development of the country is reflected in the places and monuments, so it is in the rise of social realism through the fiction of the 1930s in Port of Spain. Rampersad presents her subjects through the eyes of CLR James and writers from the Beacon group such as Alfred Mendes, and has done the painstaking work analogous to that of a lexicographer, of sorting out their several hundred references to her subjects.
This account includes some memorable passages of real literary criticism, although these are very brief. They include the entries on The Humming Bird Tree by Ian McDonald, another writer that is more Guyanese than Trinidadian, with instructive insights into the novel’s title and its meaning.  Others are the references to Lion House in Chaguanas and the Capildeo family which hold great interest for background to VS Naipaul.  Naipaul immortalises his mother’s family in Hanuman House and the Tulsis, and Rampersad provides additional information about Naipaul’s use of his migratory existence in her discussions of various parts of Port of Spain. There is also similar enlightenment in the way such locations as San Fernando, Mayaro and Princes Town accumulate greater meaning when used to treat the work of novelist Michael Anthony.  Yet another passage of deep criticism is the brief reference to “girl victims” as they are treated in the fiction.
The other side of that has to do with omissions and reductions.  There are many topics that appear undersubscribed.  There was not much information or there were hardly any literary references, even in places where it is known that the subjects were well treated in the literature.  Examples of these are the entries on politicians, calypsonians and superstitions, all of which abound in the fiction but are not sufficiently handled in Littscapes.  However, while that is noticeable, it could never be a requirement that the book must cover everything – as indeed, it cannot.  Were it a dictionary, one would fault the lexicographer on important omissions, but this work does so much already that it might be unfair to judge it on its omissions or reduced treatments.
Then there are the odd segments in which the publication does in fact behave like a tourist guide without the usual strength of literary material.  Added to this are the errors which are typographical as well as where some details of literary texts are concerned, such as characters, names and titles.  One or two authors are claimed as Trinidadian who might well be claimed by other islands.  Walcott has produced quite a lot of Trinidadian literature, but many references to his work in this book really belong to St Lucia, and not Trinidad.  Then there is the Tobago question.  Trinidad is in all respects the major and dominant island, and this is overwhelmingly reflected in Rampersad’s treatment.  She says in her text that Trinidadian writers on the whole neglect Tobago, treat it as the lesser of two sisters or do not treat it at all.  In this book, therefore, the imbalance is noted.
In the end, Rampersad’s Littscapes does achieve an innovative approach to literature in bringing it alive in the description of landscape, life, culture and people.  It encourages people to take ownership of it, see themselves, their home or familiar places in it and accept it as a definer of identity.  But the book is as much photography by Rampersad and others as it is literature, and the pictures help to illustrate, highlight and make the fiction real.
Above all Littscapes: Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago has an extremely powerful sense of place and reinforces what in Rampersad’s words is “the pull of place on authors”.  It may claim to be an accessory to what she calls “the body of fiction inspired by Trinidad and Tobago”.  It communicates the character of the country.
No one book can be everything; no one book can set out to achieve everything that a literature and a visual text can do for its people and its nation; but whatever you say one book can’t do, this one almost does it.

Rome Confluence of civilisations in art and water

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Piazza Navona,  one of my favourite spots in Rome. The artwork of the confluence of civilisations in its riverways represented in art – the fountain’s sculpture which depicts the convergence of the four rivers made an indelible impression when I visited, maybe too because Rome has been one of my faviourite sites in it’s conversation with the past ….
The Trevi Fountain, itself, warms the heart as it conjures up the movie Three Coins in Fountain and the music of the movie too … as indeed that movie has influenced the way we view fountains wherever they are ….see https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal