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Iconic Pieces from Trinidad Carnival to be Featured at this Year’s Grand Gala


16 carnival TT  DSC_0631KINGSTON, Jamaica – Monday, July 25, 2016 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has announced the inclusion of ‘Saga Boy’ and ‘Tan Tan’, two iconic pieces from the Trinidad carnival, by renowned Trinidadian artist, Peter Minshall, in this year’s Grand Gala.

“The Saga Boy and Tan Tan giant puppets are the most popular of Minshall’s work. They showcase the human spirit and are a great expression of our creativity as Caribbean people. The spectacular display of both these iconic pieces will give a good glimpse of what to expect for our 55th Independence celebrations come next year,” the Minister added.

The announcement came following a recent visit to the twin island Republic, to explore possible partnerships for the advancement of culture, as both countries celebrate their 54th year of independence.

“Incorporating the work of this iconic Caribbean artist into our national celebrations is an indication of true Caribbean unity. It is also an important collaboration as both countries seek new avenues of cooperation in culture and the creative industries,” Minister Grange said.

Minshall also conveyed his delight in being approached by Jamaica and expressed gratitude for having his work included in one of the country’s most significant and historic events.

Grand Gala will take place on Independence Day, August 6, at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Commentary

Jamaica is trying to mend fences following a period of shaky relationship with Trinidad & Tobago. There was a recent State visit by PM Keith Rowley and his Foreign Minister Moses.

The five day visit to Jamaica seem to have produced positive results. We have to wait and see if Jamaicans will have it easier to enter Trinidad & Tobago from now on. Immigration Officers of T& T have been retrained.

Background

Jamaicans have been detained or hassled at port of entry to Trinidad & Tobago. Many have been detained and held under deplorable conditions like having to sleep on the floor at their Piaco International Airport. There have been a number of questionable deportations.

This conduct by Immigration T & T appears to be contrary to the spirit and letter of the hassle free agreement for Caribbean nationals traveling to member States.

Displaying iconic pieces at our Grand gala is a good move.

We hope going forward will produce better bilateral relations as result of the State visit.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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