The incomparable Philip Moore

By Alim Hosein It might be a trite expression, but indeed, the passing of Philip Moore – the Immanuel Kweku Moorji – marks the end of an era in Guyanese art.

The power of the jonkanoo parade

We have on different occasions reviewed the masquerade tradition in the Caribbean.  It is a very old and deep-rooted foundation of Caribbean culture with historical records that reach back to the seventeenth century, and is the most pervasive far-reaching and wide-ranging cultural practice known to the region. 

A look at David Dabydeen’s literature

Some years ago, David Dabydeen did a presentation on the close historical relationship between British art and sugar, articulating the association of art with the financial gains of African slavery in the West Indies.

Attempt at film industry continues

The attempts to build a Guyanese film industry continue. The latest contribution in this long-running saga is the new film A Jasmine for A Gardener directed by Mahadeo Shivraj and released in Georgetown last week. 

What is West Indian literature?

West Indian literature or the literature of the Caribbean provides an excellent illustration of the currently accepted understanding of what literature means. 

What is literature?

What is literature?  Definitions have gone far and wide and have included common misconceptions, and for quite a while, there has been a new understanding of what is considered literature where the academic study of it is concerned.

The Romantic and the Modern in a Hardy poem

The Darking Thrush I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires.

What is calypso?

What is calypso?  Many have attempted to answer that question, including a few calypsonians. 

Christmas: A religious and secular festival

Christmas is a religious festival, but it is much more than that.  It is Christian, and is one of those typical religious festivals that are expressions of belief with internal sacred rituals and worship, but which also have a large public outreach.  

A poet of the Harlem Renaissance

When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

The 32nd season

Guyana’s National Dance Company (NDC) performed its Season 32 on October 22 – 23, 2011 on the theme Hello Darkness. 

Engaging the Amerindian environment

The importance of the Amerindian heritage to the literature of Guyana has been articulated with specific reference to the fact that what is normally referred to as Guyanese literature includes Amerindian folk tales. 

A Haitian winner

Guyana Prize Chairman of the Jury Victor Ramraj in his official report commented on the excellence of the poetry in the Guyana Prize 2010 which prompted the panel to select a shortlist of six books. 

Babel

By Alim Hosein As part of the Guyana Prize for Literature 2010 awards activities at the beginning of this month, items from a series of prints done by one of the judges, Stewart Brown, were exhibited at Castellani House. 

Wilson Harris: A lifetime achievement

In November 2010 the Guyana Prize for Literature announced that it was opening a new page in its literary activities to strengthen its developmental partnership with Caribbean literature. 

The Guyana Prize

A number of interesting factors will arise from an examination of the shortlists of contending books released by the juries of the Guyana Prize. 

An ‘ancestral poet’

Sir Walter Ralegh (1554-1618) has been both cursed and celebrated in this part of the world, just as he was in England in his time.

Carpe diem in drama

Popular plays revel in topicality and reap rewards from their engagements with something resembling the carpe diem philosophy relished by Metaphysical poets in the camp of the ‘Cavaliers’ of the seventeenth century. 

Ova Mi Dead Body:

An audience-oriented play

The recent performance of the Jamaican play Ova Mi Dead Body by Paul Beale was a very timely intervention where the state of Caribbean theatre is concerned.

Nrityageet: Creativity and innovation over three generations

Nrityageet is “a pure dance theatre production reflecting the creativity and innovation of three generations of dancers, choreographers and producers.”  This is how the director Seeta Shah Roath describes the production as she introduced the performance in the Programme Notes of Nrityageet 32 at the National Cultural Centre. 

The Indian ethos in Guyanese literature

That part of Guyanese literature that may be described as East Indian literature is indistinguishable from the totality of the nation’s writing in terms of styles, themes, subjects and other concerns of authors today.

Easter and its impact on the arts

Easter is one of the most important religious festivals for Christians and the second in magnitude of the two very prominent ones with extensive public appeal (the first of these is Christmas).

Developing a tradition

Arts On Sunday

It might surprise many to hear it said that after 41 years Guyana’s premier national festival is still a developing tradition. 

Not satire

The theatre of satire in the Caribbean has a very strong history and tradition dating back to the period of slavery.