Back in 2018, the PNC coalition Government plunged enthusiastically into the launch of a “Guyana Carnival”! It was held in March and organised by some (Surprise!! Surprise!!) PNC types – like the then ubiquitous Bobby Vieira. Said to be inspired by the Grand Jubilee Independence Celebrations two years earlier, your Eyewitness had railed against it for being a cheap and tawdry cogging of what they thought Trinidad’s Carnival was!! In 1970 they’d adopted a similar crass cogging from Linden – but had the grace to call it by some fake made-up “Amerindian” name – Mashramani!!
The Trinis couldn’t very well complain about the total lack of historical awareness of the traditions of carnival – and all that we saw were lewd and rude competitions as to who could dress and gyrate the most vulgarly!! The introduction of Jamaican Dancehall offered the fig leaf for the vulgarity – if one was needed!! The costumes were cheap pasties – unlike the Trini standards where one can see the months of preparation by experts in the field of costuming and were themed. This was repeated around Independence 2019, but thankfully COVID tanked it for 2020 and 2021!! One of the few positives that came out of that scourge!!
Well, Administrations changed in 2020 and to your Eyewitness’s surprise, this year it was announced that the Government itself – not private organisers – would be launching a “Cricket Carnival” in tandem with the CPL playoffs. The Government had earlier signed a three-year contract with the T20 Tournament to host those playoffs in September hence the carnival was unhitched from “Independence” and tagged on to Cricket. Now one can be thankful for that disassociation and your Eyewitness hoped with the Government involved and all, there would be some thought expended to ensure that the CONTENT of the Cricket Carnival – be inspired by our history and cultural evolution – as was Trinidad’s Carnival to theirs!!
Sadly, it was not to be and once again one groped to find some indigeneity in the cultural expression displayed. They say that culture comes out of the experiences of the people at the bottom and its expressions may be polished and displayed by the artistes in the society. This then is a failure to develop a community of artistes in our country. There was a discussion recently about CARIFESTA’s launch in Guyana in August 1972.
Didn’t it occur to anyone in Authority – capital “A”!! – that if they were launching this Cricket Carnival around the same time, there could’ve been a gathering of our artistic community – from ALL our cultural strains – to discuss the content of this new spectacle?? From what your Eyewitness saw, this was just lazy regurgitation of an undigested Trini product!!
Meanwhile, did Montano share his pickings with Pres Ali??
You just can’t go by these polls, can you?? On the eve of Sunday’s election in neighbouring Brazil – the polls predicted that Lula had a double-digit lead against Bolsonaro. But when the numbers came out – the SAME evening, thank you!! – the difference was just 5% and Lula hadn’t secured a majority!! So at the end of this month, there’s gonna be a runoff election between the two of them!!
So what’s the lesson for us in Guyana?? Your Eyewitness isn’t sure whether populist Lula will do any better than Bolsonaro – and might very well take Brazil down the Venezuelan rabbit hole!! But what he gleaned is that those in the PPP Government, who may be enthusiastic with the recent LAPOP polls showing that “traditional PNC supporters” are looking more favourably at them – shouldn’t get too excited about shifts in their voting pattern!!
People frequently tell pollsters what they wanna hear to hide sentiments that might appear “irrational”.
Which voting in Guyana frequently is!!
…and oil companies
Your Eyewitness finds it more than passing strange that the sound and fury against the horrible contract signed by PNC’s Raphael Trotman (remember Nassau?!) is directed towards Exxon and Hess.
Doesn’t China’s CNOOC own 25% of the contract??