Jamaica teacher calls for use of art in culture documenting



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Concern is growing among stakeholders who believe that more needs to be done to change the trend of the increasing absence of cultural awareness in the country.

Tamika Williams, who is also the co-owner of the Ahhh … Ras Natango Garden and Gallery, an ecotourism property, speaks to this issue in a recent interview. Reiterating how history has proven that visual arts have been used to document the history of a number of countries, she points out that Jamaica is lagging behind in this undrstanding and following suit.
an art teacher she is calling for the use of the arts to document Jamaica’s culture, which she says can help the youth develop an appreciation of preserving our cultural legacy and enhance their creativity.

“There is not enough art exhibitions about our culture. There needs to be a huge focus is placed on visual arts and it being used to tell the history of a nation.” she laments. “Jamaica has a vibrant culture, but we are allowing the North American culture to slowly eat away ours. More visual arts must be taught in our schools and practised in our communities,” Williams said. Among the general benefits are the creativity, and the potential business opportunities.

Leading by example, Ahhh … Ras Natango Gallery has initiated an art programme Buckingham Primary School in Camrose, St James.

In a recent Sheena Gayle interview on behalf of the Gleaner’s Western bureau, Philip Clarke, theatre practitioner and lecturer at the Montego Bay Community College, discussed the view that Jamaica Cultural Development Commission needs to create a greater public awareness on what it does.

“Great enthusiasm is shown at the primary and high-school levels, but once the students leave high school, it is almost as if they have lost interest in the performing arts and other cultural activities. If there are more outlets for them to explore after that stage, then the interest can be sustained,” Clarke stated in the interview.

He further suggested that the cultural body needs to put on some more productions or align itself with other theatrical productions, market them through the schools and communities to create that structure of continuation which, in effect, could increase the appreciation of theatre.

“Communities need to support such productions as it helps to preserve our cultural legacy. In addition, pairing digital media with live productions has to be a part of how we move forward because young people communicate digitally,” Clarke highlighted.

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