Guy-Braz conference to examine mutual development, integration

Mutual development, integration and identity are among issues to be examined when a Guyana-Brazil cultural conference is held today at the Umana Yana.

The ‘Guy-Braz Conference,’ which is being held under the theme ‘Decolonizing our Hearts and Minds: Towards Human, Cultural, Social and Economic Development’, is intended to share knowledge, experience and culture between the two countries, according to organiser Priscila Pascoal.

Pascoal, who is Brazilian and teaches Portuguese at the University of Guyana, said it is important to appreciate that the wealth shared by the two countries is “more than simply gold mining.

“We have much to share, and to learn from Guyana,” she said, while adding that the conference would explore “What type of development we want our countries to have and how can we support each other in this process.”
To this end, there will be presentations at the conference by researchers from Guyana and Brazil on a range of issues, including human rights, health, history, literature and linguistics. They include an examination of how Guyanese and Brazilians perceive each other as well a talk on HIV/AIDS infections in the two countries.

Among the presenters will be Reginaldo Gomes de Oliveira, Vice-Rector and lecturer at the Federal University of Roraima, in Brazil; Professor Marcio Akira Felismino and agronomy student Adilson Felismino, also of the Federal University of Roraima; Dr Melissa Ifill, Al Creighton, Mark Tumbridge and Pascoal, of the University of Guyana; Roberto Campos, UNAIDS Regional Coordinator; and Ferlin Pedro, blogger.

The conference, which will also see cultural presentations featuring dance, music and martial arts, is scheduled to begin at 4.30 pm and it is open to the public.

In addition to the conference, a photo/video exhibition by Guyanese photographer Ulelli Verbeke will be hosted at the venue on Monday afternoon and throughout Tuesday. This will also be open to the public.

A capoeira, puppetry and drumming workshop is also scheduled to be held on Monday for children from the David Rose School and the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Center.

Pascoal said that collaborators in the conference include the University of Guyana, the University of Roraima, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport as well as the Let’s Dance dance studio, the Camangula Capoeira Group, and the Buxton Fusion School of Music.

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