Guyana proved a major force at Carifesta XIII

Guyana proved itself a major force in Carifesta XIII. The performances and exhibitions commanded attention and made a notable impression upon all, it seemed, in Barbados last month.

It can be asserted that Guyana appears to take Carifesta more seriously than the other participating countries with the result that it made more of an impact than others. So concerted was the Guyanese effort, that the country was able to outshine territories with greater reputations in some areas of the arts at Carifesta.

Barbados, itself, despite the important home advantage, did not stand out. The local output was not often memorable, and ironically, what the host country will be remembered for were the administrative horrors of the early days and the fact that it failed to sell Carifesta to its own population.

This was most unlike the case of Suriname in 2003 and 2006. Barbados did take the festival performances to a number of communities like the Foundation School in Oistins and Speighstown where the audience turnout was somewhat better, as was the case in Haiti in 2015.  Audiences were overwhelming in the large popular stage shows such as the Bay Street Esplinade and the mega concert after the closing ceremony at Kensington Oval. Those, however, were in the heart of the popular culture with reigning soca artistes and would have excited the crowd with or without Carifesta.

Unlike many other territories, Guyana ….