Letter from Avvy:
Wendell Mortimer Avion's Ent. ® Matthew Town, Inagua, the BahamasFebruary 08th, 2009 To Whom It May Concern: Absence of art ..... A concept very difficult to play out in the mind; A Bahamas without "Goin down Burma Road"... A Bahamas without "Bookey and Barabbi..." That I can't imagine. For too long this movement has been a thorn in the sides of Bahamian artist, and for too long we over analyze, asking ourselves
- Why am I not where I want to be?
- Did I make the right career decision?
- Am I the only artist experiencing these up-hill battles?
Well now is the time for us to answers these questions publicly as one... (Unified). Please note that this movement is not a cry to the public for a handout, or a plea to the government to welfare our dreams, but only to make it known to our citizens that there are some people in our country who we like to label " The Powers To Be" whom do not value our contribution to our culture. Also there are many among us who are not open to change who wear the tattoo "set in there ways." These two groups described, overtime have helped keep artist down by ways of divisiveness and poor attitudes. I think that this long-standing mentality has played itself out and must come to an end, and I feel that this is the time for action. My name is Avvy (Bahamian songwriter and performer) and I support this movement. _______________________ W. Mortimer (Avvy)
Hear, hear.More support below the fold.Post by Helen Klonaris:
I am here in my apartment in Oakland, California thinking about my people there in Nassau, Bahamas, in Grand Bahama, in Eleuthera and Andros and Cat Island, and on and on across the archipelago, and I am thinking of the artists, the culture workers, the creators of the new symbols, the creators of the new songs and poems and plays and films, the tellers of the stories, the old stories, the new stories, the stories we have to write if we are going to live them and I am thinking about this planned day of ABSENCE and how you are all coming together, to rally around the desire for not only work but for the kind of society that values you/us, that values the life of the artist, the role of the artist, (the artist who knows how to make life out of her body, his body, life that the community needs and most of the time doesn't know it, can't appreciate it, and can't live, really live, without) and I am thinking that I am with you ...if only in spirit... in solidarity with all my co-creating artist sistren and brethren... more power, more creativity, more valuing and honouring to all of you; more love, more celebration, more hopefulness, more bigitteyness, more soulfulness, more inspiredness, more getting paid-ness, more community and solidarity-ness to you there, in my beloved community... I am with you, if only in the vibration of these words, in the vibration of my heart sending you these words, believing in a new day... Let absence make the heart grow stronger; out of absence let the new day be born.
Hear, hear.Post by Lynn Sweeting:
To mark A Day of Absense on February 11 I interviewed the creator of this day of remembrance and protest in honour of culture workers in the Bahamas and the world, old friend Dr Nicolette Bethel. I wanted a clearer understanding of the true state of cultural affairs in this country from her perspective, having just completed five years of service as Director of Culture. The problems, obstacles, complications and inadequacies she faced were multitudinous yet she and her noble, self-sacrificing staff rose to the challenges, putting on five National Arts Festivals and sending contingents to two Carifesta Arts Festivals during her service. Its a long interiew but I urge you to read to the end where Nicolette speaks about the hard work and dedication of the culture workers on staff at Cultural Affairs who keep on keeping on in spite of too much red tape, not enough money, as well as unfairly bearing the brunt of the public's blame for what may be lacking. I'm especially grateful for the way Nicolette sets the record straight regarding their service to the Bahamian people. They are the folks we especially need to be grateful for on the Day of Absense.
Post by Geoffrey Philp - no excerpt because it's an image.