Jamaica

Cultural Diplomacy: Ja-TT One Love alive and well

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 Where One Love Lives – With the last of the Wailers – The Honourable Bunny Wailer as he graduated from our training at a UNESCO Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Jamaica last month. (Right photo)

This is how we do regional unity

Left Photo  Cutting the CARICOM cake at the CARICOM evening at the UNESCO General Assembly with Minister of Culture and Youth of Jamaica, The Honourable Lisa Hanna (
from right), Dr Kris Rampersad – Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO; other Caricom Delegates and Trinidad and Tobago Permanent Delegate based in Geneva, Ambassador John Sandy (left)

Kris Rampersad photos.
Website: krisrampersadglobal
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Caricom must use UNESCO agreement to leverage Caribbean cultural heritage

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CARICOM should take advantage of the current renewal of its memorandum of agreement with UNESCO to review and table collaborations and cooperation that are relevant to the region, heritage educator and consultant Dr Kris Rampersad urged yesterday (Friday).
Speaking at the close of a workshop she co-facilitated in Kingston, Jamaica yesterday, Rampersad said the institutions, communities and NGOs in the region should also take an interest in the negotiations on the MOU to ensure that Caribbean priorities and interests are represented in ways that can bring optimal benefits to our societies.
“In the workshop we addressed several contemporary obstacles and challenges to advancing the process of leveraging the region’s vast cultural heritage resources locally, regionally and internationally, and several mechanisms which CARICOM can itself strengthen, including through using international instruments as the UNESCO conventions and such cooperative mechanisms as the MOU.

“It would be a major oversight if the region signs the draft agreement which is an exact replica of one signed a decade ago between CARICOM and UNESCO without taking into consideration changes in the situation and environment over that period. Participants and institutions should now use this knowledge to inform their government on how CARICOM may be directed to better serve the region’s interests.   It is not enough to just complain about how institutions like CARICOM’s ineffectiveness but to find ways of instructing and informing it on how it can better serve the interests of the countries it represents.”
Caption: Heritage facilitator Kris Rampersad and participant in the workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage Bunny Wailer shows his certificate in Kingston Jamaica

2nd National Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage

Participants in the 8 day workshop

Participants in the 8 day workshop
A second national workshop on community based inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is in progress, having been organised by the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica / Jamaica Memory Bank in collaboration with the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean.
The workshop runs from September 4th to 13th at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston. The opening ceremony was held on September 4th at 9 a.m.
(L-R) Mr. Robert Parau, Mr. Joseph Pereira, Ms. Anne Marie Bonner and Hon. Lisa Hanna

(L-R) Mr. Robert Parau, Mr. Joseph Pereira, Ms. Anne Marie Bonner and Hon. Lisa Hanna
Funded by the Government of Japan, the workshop is part of a sub-regional project being implemented in Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago within the context of UNESCO’s Global Strategy on capacity building on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.
“This is the 10th anniversary of the Convention and I want to commend the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica / Jamaica Memory Bank and UNESCO for spearheading this strategy workshop in Jamaica,” commented Mr. Robert Parau, Officer in Charge at the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean.
Mr. Robert Parau, Officer in Charge of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean gave his address at the opening ceremony

Mr. Robert Parau, Officer in Charge of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean gave his address at the opening ceremony
In his address, Counsellor/Deputy Chief of Mission at the Japan Embassy, Mr. Koji Tomita expressed that ICH plays a central role in the Japanese culture and a workshop of this nature is necessary to strengthen Jamaica’s heritage in light of rapid social change and economic stress. He further stated that the workshop will lay the groundwork for future generations and lays the framework to protect our traditions and creativity.
Mr. Tomita also gave his address at the opening ceremony

Mr. Tomita also gave his address at the opening ceremony
The workshop is being facilitated by two international experts, Dr. Harriet Deacon and Dr. Kris Rampersad. Focus will be placed on a) community involvement in identifying and inventorying in accordance with/as advocated by the UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage Convention; b) information gathering with communities; c) organising, accessing and updating information in inventories and d) a hands on experience in preparing field work.
website: https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal

Call made to preserve local heritage

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Opening Remarks
Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the National Commission for UNESCO at the Community Based Inventorying Workshop, Trinidad and Tobago, June 22, 2013.

 On behalf of the National Commission for UNESCO greetings and welcome to this the third in a series of Caribbean based workshop in Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Jamaica, funded by the Government and people of Japan to help our societies safeguard for future generations our intangible living heritage.

This is of course one of several capacity building exercises in which the National Commission is engaged to help develop national capacity, whether it is in creating classrooms like this or sending nationals to benefit from UNESCO training and capacity building opportunities elsewhere.
In this, today we are one step closer to safeguarding our intangible cultural heritage through the mechanisms and provisions of the in Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention – often referred to as the 2003 Convention
It is one of several conventions, quasi legal instruments promoted by UNESCO, to capture, preserve and share the rich diversity of our lifestyles and cultures with each other and promote peace and understanding among our communities and between societies.
This is an exercise to empower our communities and practitioners and knowledge holders in retaining and transmitting knowledge, skills and practices as much as it is in strengthening the mechanisms for researching, documenting, archiving, inventorying for the benefit of future generations.
We think of and lament loss of those knowledge holders who have taken stock of knowledge with them: like Peter Harris who died recently with much of his research and knowledge of prehistoric societies of Trinidad and Tobago passing with him without our realisation of how such knowledge could enrich our understanding of ourselves and of our societies and for our future generations. We must move quickly to capture the accumulated knowledge and experiences these knowledge holders have and let that be part of our thinking when we think of drawing up our inventories – who are some of the most critical sources of knowledge that we should reach before we lose them and irretrievably, too, lose their knowledge.
We are here to strengthen identification of who and what we are; to quote a popular calypso  – how we does walk, how we does talk, how we does cook, how we does lime and wine, key elements that place us among representatives of the sea of humanity that is the UNESCO community.
The focus of this convention on intangible cultural heritage is on the living expressions, knowledge and skills and traditions in the performing arts, oral traditions, practices, beliefs, festivals
Though intangible, we know that they are pivotal to holding the diverse fabric of our social tapestry together, to help intercultural dialogue among ourselves and with communities similar or different elsewhere to promote and, encourage mutual respect for one another.  This exercise is part of the mechanism to particularly address what is a common cry among us; to define and promote inclusivity, to make communities feel represented, understood and respected in the national milieu.
We will find in this process much that we are doing well, and we would want to table these and inventory them among the best practices we would want to share with the rest of the world.
In other areas, we can use the help, particularly in developing infrastructure, systems and processes to respect and value what we have.
A most significant element of this convention is the importance and value it places on communities as central to the smooth running of state apparatus – a fact that sometimes get lost within our bureaurcracies and macro based policies and positioning.

(From left) Discussing safeguarding national heritage at the opening of the workshop on UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage are: facilitators Rieks Smeets, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO Dr Kris Rampersad; Minister of Arts and Multicultralism Dr Lincoln Douglas, Ambassador of Japan Yoshimasa Tezuka, facilitator, Harriet Deacon, and culture specialist in the UNESCO Jamaica regional office, Hima Gurung. Photo courtesy Kris Rampersad

Call made to preserve local heritage
http://ctntworld.com/cnews2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5505:call-made-to-preserve-local-heritage&catid=137:c-news&Itemid=707
“We cannot allow our unique traditions to die out with the older generation.” That was the message delivered on Saturday by the Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, Dr. Lincoln Douglas, who said our cultural heritage must be preserved for future generations.
He spoke at a Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Kapok Hotel.
In keeping with the guidelines laid out in the UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, many local cultural practitioners participated in the workshop.
The Minister said the store of knowledge, which is passed down from generation to generation, is fading and must be collected and documented.
Dr. Kris Rampersad, the Chairperson of the National Commission for UNESCO, said although this country is small in size and more vulnerable to external influences, we can become a strong counter-cultural force if we are secure in our cultural identity.
She said a greater focus on local content on television is needed to promote culture.
The Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism is the keeper of the flame and Minister Douglas said the “Remember When Institute” will serve as a storehouse of the collective cultural conscience for generations to come.

Inventorying of living heritage builds momentum in Trinidad and Tobago


20 June 2013 – Community practitioners, government officials and members of non-governmental organizations are mobilizing themselves for a national workshop on inventorying of intangible cultural heritage to be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 22 June to 1 July 2013.  
Organized by the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of the Arts & Multiculturalism of Trinidad and Tobago and the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, the workshop marks a significant step in safeguarding the living heritage of Trinidad and Tobago. It will focus on community participation in the identification and inventory of intangible cultural heritage, organization and management of information, and hands-on experience in preparing field work. The field activity will be reinforced by a pilot inventory activity to follow in proceeding months.
Funded by the Government of Japan, the workshop is part of a sub-regional project being implemented in Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago within the context of UNESCO’s global strategy on capacity building to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. It will be conducted by two experts from the UNESCO facilitators’ network: Harriet Deacon and Rieks Smeets.

Building Capacity in Caribbean Heritage

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CCBP: Caribbean Capacity Building Workshop in preparation for the sites nomination dossiers to the World Heritage List. Kingston, Jamaica, 5-15 June, 2012 Within the framework of the celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , took place from 5 to 15 June 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica, the Caribbean Capacity Building Workshop to prepare the nomination dossiers for the INESCO World Heritage List. The workshop was organized by the UNESCO Kingston Office with funding from the government of Japan and the cooperation of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana and the National Jamaican Commission for UNESCO. The course was addressed to professionals working in the field of cultural and natural heritage, staff in national institutions and specialists sent by National Commissions for UNESCO in each country and was focused in the development of capacities for the nomination of sites to the tentative lists of World Heritage on the Eastern Caribbean countries as a way to expand the number of sites representing Caribbean heritage in the world list and to balance its geographical location. The workshop aimed at providing support to the conservation of world heritage and to expand the knowledge about places of memory in the Caribbean taking into account their own specific characteristics and their high potential to promote social participation and improve sustainable development of the communities in small island states. Another objective was to strengthen the participants capacities for the effective implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and increase the participation of Caribbean countries in the preparation and submission of the nomination dossiers to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre , thus increasing in number and quality the nominations to world cultural and natural heritage and highlighting the perspective of the Places of Memory existing in the Caribbean. The workshop used the modules of the Caribbean Capacity Building Programme for the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Caribbean 2004-2014 (CCBP), to facilitate the participants’ work in the nomination of the sites in their respective countries. The CCBP consists of six training modules that deal with the application of the 1972 Convention, the management of tourism, risk prevention, management of cultural landscapes, management of historic centres and management of natural heritage. Outstanding international experts, specialists from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and from the UNESCO Offices in Havana and Kingston taught the workshop, which was facilitated by consultants Arch. Patricia Green of Jamaica and Dr. Arch. Isabel Rigol of Cuba. Several other highly prestigious professors were invited to lecture, outstanding among them for their contribution and the special relationship established with participants, Dr. Alissandra Cummins, President of the UNESCO Executive Council and one of the most active promoters of the inscription in 2011 of y Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, in Barbados, in the World Heritage List. Dr Cummins, who is also head of the National Commission for UNESCO in Barbados, exchanged experiences and shared important details with regards to the nomination process. After a brief stay in the country, Mrs. Cummins returned to her country to welcome UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, in her official visit to Barbados, where she visited the site most recently inscribed in the World heritage List, the twenty-first in the Caribbean. Sixteen places of memory were studied in the workshop, new proposals were considered to be included in the national tentative lists for their submission by the countries to their inscription in the World Heritage List. https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal http://www.unesco.lacult.org/proyectos/showitem.php?lg=2&id=137&paginasweb=29&idtitulo=1589

World Heritage in the Caribbean

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World Heritage in the Caribbean: updating the Action Plan 2012-2013 Kingston © UNESCO Kingston / Official opening of the course in St. Mary’s, Antigua and Barbuda, March 24, 2013 April 8, 2013 / Kingston UNESCO World Heritage Center of UNESCO, in Paris, the UNESCO Offices in Kingston and Havana, in collaboration with the National Commission for UNESCO in Antigua and Barbuda, organized the training course for the Caribbean in the preparation of nomination dossiers for World Heritage , developed in St. Mary’s, Antigua and Barbuda, from 24 to 28 March 2013. This training exercise was designed within the framework of cooperation of Japan’s trust funds for the project “Capacity building to support World Heritage conservation and enhancement of the sustainable development of local communities in small island states (SIDS ) “. The official opening took place on March 24, 2013 at the Jolly Beach Hotel in Antigua, in the presence of Dr. Hon Winston Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon Winston Williams, Acting Minister for Education Sports, Youth and Gender Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda; Yoshimasa Tezuka His Excellency, Ambassador of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Alissandra Cummins, President of the Executive Board of UNESCO and the UNESCO National Commission in Barbados, so as representatives of the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO and the Organization offices in Kingston and Havana. Course, trace output to developed in June 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica, brought together about 20 participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Granada, Guyana, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamas. During the training the participants exchanged their candidature files and information, while receiving advice and guidance of facilitators and Caribbean experts as well as representatives of ICOMOS, IUCN and the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO. ‘s Workshop 5 days concluded with an action plan aimed at strengthening the professional capacities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) for preparing dossiers to increase the number and quality of nominations of cultural heritage sites and natural, focusing on the Sites of Memory in the Caribbean. Participants also committed to continue its efforts to implement the World Heritage Convention, including through the completion of the application pack and awareness and public education on World Heritage issues and UNESCO Conventions in the field of Culture. Kingston Action Plan (updated) (available only in English) More information Note: Spanish translation provided by UNESCO Havana

Kris Rampersad joins UNESCO group

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Kris Rampersad joins UNESCO group Story Created: Apr 5, 2013 at 10:35 PM ECT Story Updated: Apr 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM ECT Trinidadian author and educator Dr Kris Rampersad is one of six international experts who will serve on the consultative body of the international InterGovernmental Committee on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The decision to appoint the experts was made at last December’s meeting of the InterGovernmental Committee in France and Rampersad was elected as Vice-Chair during the committee’s first meeting this week. As a member of this organ, she will participate in scrutinising applications to the UNESCO’s Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, the Urgent Safeguarding List and requests for international assistance in relation to Intangible Cultural Heritage. Rampersad is a UNESCO-trained expert towards helping communities strengthen mechanisms to safeguard their cultural heritage. She has been conducting capacity building exercises in this regard across the Caribbean, including in countries such as Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. Rampersad has been examining and critiquing national and international policy instruments, including UNESCO mechanisms, and devising mechanisms and recommendations for culture-centred development for more than a decade. Rampersad, who is also the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, recently published LiTTscapes–Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago. —CMC http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Kris-Rampersad-joins-UNESCO-group-201720511.html T&T Author Dr Kris Rampersad on UNESCO international culture body By Caribbeanemag on April 5, 2013 | From caribbeanemagazine.com http://www.zimbio.com/Caribbean+Entertainment+News/articles/JuevBlOChHK/T+T+Author+Dr+Kris+Rampersad+UNESCO+international Author and educator, Dr Kris Rampersad has been invited to serve on the consultative body of the international InterGovernmental Committee on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation. Rampersad was also elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the consultative body during its first meeting held in Paris this week She is one of six international experts who will serve on the committee in their individual professional capacity, following the decision which was taken at last December’s meeting of the InterGovernmental Committee in Paris, France. As a consultative member, she will participate in scrutinising applications to the UNESCO’s Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, the Urgent Safeguarding List and requests for international assistance in relation to Intangible Cultural Heritage. Dr Rampersad – an independent media, cultural and literary consultant and facilitator – is a UNESCO-trained expert towards safeguarding cultural heritage and strengthening community and national tangible and intangible culture mechanisms. She has been conducting capacity building exercises in this regard across the Caribbean, including in countries as Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. She has also prepared and trained Caribbean youths, policy makers, decision makers and cultural communities in accessing the provisions of the Conventions towards strengthening mechanism for cultural survival and endurance. She further participated in the intergovernmental meeting on intangible cultural heritage in Bali, Indonesia in December, 2011. Rampersad has been examining and critiquing national and international policy instruments, including UNESCO mechanisms, and devising mechanisms and recommendations for culture-centred development for more than a decade. She has also been engaged by various international and regional agencies to present her perspective and coordinate multisectoral examination of development issues, bringing together policy and decision-makers, academics, private sector, media and civil society on a range of fields including science, technology, communications, agriculture, gender among others. A journalist, and newspaper editor, her research and recommendations are represented in UNESCO publications as well as the Commonwealth Foundation’s Putting Culture First Report; the culture reports of the ACP-EU (Africa, Pacific, Caribbean-European Union), and the International Who’s Who in Culture Policy Research among others. She is the author of the highly acclaimed LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago; Through the Political Glass Ceiling, and Finding a Place along with numerous print and new media journals and fora on culture, gender, literature, media and development. Rampersad is the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO. Friday, April 5, 2013 T&T AUTHOR DR KRIS RAMPERSAD ON UNESCO INTERNATIONAL CULTURE BODY 9:50 AM Caribbean E-Magazine No comments Author and educator, Dr Kris Rampersad has been invited to serve on the consultative body of the international InterGovernmental Committee on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation. Rampersad was also elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the consultative body during its first meeting held in Paris this week She is one of six international experts who will serve on the committee in their individual professional capacity, following the decision which was taken at last December’s meeting of the InterGovernmental Committee in Paris, France. As a consultative member, she will participate in scrutinising applications to the UNESCO’s Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, the Urgent Safeguarding List and requests for international assistance in relation to Intangible Cultural Heritage. Dr Rampersad – an independent media, cultural and literary consultant and facilitator – is a UNESCO-trained expert towards safeguarding cultural heritage and strengthening community and national tangible and intangible culture mechanisms. She has been conducting capacity building exercises in this regard across the Caribbean, including in countries as Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. She has also prepared and trained Caribbean youths, policy makers, decision makers and cultural communities in accessing the provisions of the Conventions towards strengthening mechanism for cultural survival and endurance. She further participated in the intergovernmental meeting on intangible cultural heritage in Bali, Indonesia in December, 2011. Rampersad has been examining and critiquing national and international policy instruments, including UNESCO mechanisms, and devising mechanisms and recommendations for culture-centred development for more than a decade. She has also been engaged by various international and regional agencies to present her perspective and coordinate multisectoral examination of development issues, bringing together policy and decision-makers, academics, private sector, media and civil society on a range of fields including science, technology, communications, agriculture, gender among others. A journalist, and newspaper editor, her research and recommendations are represented in UNESCO publications as well as the Commonwealth Foundation’s Putting Culture First Report; the culture reports of the ACP-EU (Africa, Pacific, Caribbean-European Union), and the International Who’s Who in Culture Policy Research among others. She is the author of the highly acclaimed LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago; Through the Political Glass Ceiling, and Finding a Place along with numerous print and new media journals and fora on culture, gender, literature, media and development. Rampersad is the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO. http://www.caribbeanemagazine.com/2013/04/t-author-dr-kris-rampersad-on-unesco.html Trinidadian Named To UNESCO Group Published: Friday April 5, 2013 | 4:05 pm0 Comments PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidadian author and educator, Dr Kris Rampersad is one of six international experts who will serve on the consultative body of the international Intern Governmental Committee on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The decision to appoint the experts was made at last December’s meeting of the InterGovernmental Committee in France and Rampersad was elected as Vice-Chair during the committee’s first meeting this week. As a member of this organ, she will participate in scrutinising applications to the UNESCO’s Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, the Urgent Safeguarding List and requests for international assistance in relation to Intangible Cultural Heritage. Rampersad is a UNESCO-trained expert towards helping communities strengthen mechanisms to safeguard their cultural heritage. She has been conducting capacity building exercises in this regard across the Caribbean, including in countries as Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. Rampersad has been examining and critiquing national and international policy instruments, including UNESCO mechanisms, and devising mechanisms and recommendations for culture-centred development for more than a decade. Rampersad, who is also the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, has recently published “LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago”. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/extra/article.php?id=2297