Department of Culture attends CSA Conference

Participants from the Dutch Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago at the 2017 Conference in Nassau, Bahamas.

PHILIPSBURG–Department of Culture Policy Officer Sharine Allamby was amongst the 300 attendees at the 42nd Annual Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Annual Conference, which was held at the Meliã Nassau Beach Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, on June 5 to 10.

  The forum was themed: Culture and Knowledge Economies: The Future of Caribbean Development?”

  Other St. Maarten representatives at the conference included Programme Chair of the CSA’s Executive Council Okama Brook and University of St. Martin representatives Dr. Francio Guadeloupe and Geneve Philips-Durham.

  The main aim of this annual conference was for key players to examine opportunities and challenges facing the Caribbean, regionally and globally. Multi-disciplinary work was shared through plenary sessions and panel discussions, presentations, published journals, books, thesis papers and dissertations.

  Informative sessions included “Building a Nation: Institutional Practices in the Dutch Caribbean” and a presentation was given on “Restricted Media Landscapes of Curaçao and St. Maarten,” by Ph.D. Candidate Sanne Rotmeijer of Leiden University.

  Philips-Durham made a presentation on “Approaches to Governance in St. Maarten, Curaçao and Trinidad and Tobago.”

  Other sessions highlighted issues such as “Creative and Cultural Industries: Challenges and Opportunities,” “Culture and Development Policy: Regional Perspectives,” “Constitutional Reform in the Contemporary Caribbean,” “Caribbean in/securities and the creative imagination and ‘The Politics of Development and Challenges in Participatory Public Policy Making.”

  During the opening ceremony, the Bahamas Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard delivered a keynote address and a local “Junkanoo” performance was held.

  In addition, participants were treated to a myriad of cultural activities including a tribute to the late Caribbean Poet and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott and a stage play “Honourable Member” by Bahamian Playwright Ian Strachan. Bahamian heritage and culture tours were arranged and the closing banquet and award ceremony recognised executives and members’ achievements and contributions.

  “CSA enables the most esteemed cultural/creative professionals and scholars throughout the Caribbean and within the Diaspora to interact, exchange and acquire ideas, information and research. Overall, this was a knowledge enhancing experience and more policymakers from across the Caribbean Region should take advantage of this conference and provide public policy paradigms and perspectives from our respective countries,” Allamby said.

  CSA President Dr. Woolward said: “the continuing absence of both national and regional policy frameworks where culture, heritage and creative industries are acknowledged as critical enablers and drivers of sustainable development.”

  The Department of Culture said it recognises this trend and is actively seeking ways to increase capacity-building, perform more in-depth policy research and analysis and develop viable models that target the cultural sector and creative economy of St. Maarten.

  The Department of Culture will launch a cultural portal website, pursue the Cultural Mapping of St. Maarten Project, produce a National ICH Inventory and participate in the upcoming International Conference on Small Island States (SIS) and Sub-National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJ’s) hosted by USM and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Source: The Daily Herald