Jun 03, 2021 News
…As CSA Conference continues at UG
Kaieteur News – With over 1,000 professionals and youths from across the globe, participating in the 45th Annual Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) Conference officially declared open on Monday May 31, 2021 in Georgetown, Guyana via a virtual webinar.
The Conference is being held virtually and is for the first time hosted by Guyana from May 31 – June 4, 2021 with the University of Guyana (UG) being the local organising partner. This year the event will feature many concurrent discussions on issues related to three major sub-themes, namely, 1. “Identity, Politics and Caribbean Development, 2. “Industry and Ecology” and 3. “Industry and the Intelligent Economy.”
During the opening ceremony, remarks were made by CSA President, Dr. Tavis Jules; UG Vice-Chancellor xi, Prof. Paloma Mohamed Martin and United States of America Ambassador, Sarah-Ann Lynch.
Professor Mohamed Martin, in her welcoming remarks, explained that for 45 years the CSA had never made it to Guyana until now and the University community and other local stakeholders are delighted that the event is finally here even though in a virtual format. She noted that having taken this long; the Conference has arrived at a “special and most historically momentous period of our time.”
She highlighted, “It is to the credit of the planners, who, with great determination and unstinting focus, ensured through their diligent work that we will be able in these next few days, to experience a conference which can boast many significant firsts. Amongst those, first in a pandemic, first virtual, first time open at no cost to students and teachers from Guyana and across the Region and the first time in Guyana.”
“The University of Guyana has been privileged to work with the various CSA teams over the last 24 months under the leadership of the current association President, Dr. Tavis Jules, of Loyola University and Conference Chair, Dr. Kristina Hinds, of UWI’s Cave Hill Campus, amongst many others,” she added.
The VC also expressed gratitude to all the other local stakeholders and staff members of UG who have been working very hard and in difficult circumstances to ensure that the Conference is successfully held.
Ambassador Lynch, in her remarks, said she is proud of the partnerships that are being created in the Region through the Caribbean Studies Association and the University of Guyana.
“Despite the challenges that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, you have managed to come together for your annual conference, which I am sure will be filled with interesting ideas and spark plans for further collaboration and research,” the Ambassador expressed.
Ambassador Lynch posited “The Embassy was proud to support this Conference through its public diplomacy funding – a source of support for people-to-people ties between the United States and Guyana. We are keen to strengthen partnerships, especially with those who share the same values of democracy, security and shared prosperity. It is my hope that your interactions spur further development in the academic arena, and I thank you for all you have done to build the body of knowledge for the Caribbean Region.”
President of the CSA, Dr. Jules, highlighted that the Caribbean Region is “slowly cracking the glass ceiling,” and this was achieved by the appointment of the first woman Secretary-General of CARICOM, Dr. Carla Barnette, and prior to that, the appointment of Prof. Mohamed Martin as the first female to hold such a post in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The opening ceremony also featured a rich cultural presentation titled “Recollections,” which included traditional dances and poetry. The performances reflected that Guyana is a diverse country in every way, culturally, geographically, environmentally and otherwise. “Recollections” pays homage to that diversity and to those old civilisations from which our people came and met the peoples who had already been here. It shows that our existence does not begin with slavery or indentureship. “Recollections” locates agency and memory through the work of notable Guyanese poets, all of whom have passed to the ancestors. Seymour, Dass, Khalicarran and Carter’s reflections on our identity and evolution as a people are performed in music, dance, oratory and shot on historical locations in Guyana, especially for this Conference.
The cultural presentation was produced by the Theatre Guild of Guyana with the Department of Events, Conferences and Communications (DECC) of the University, collaborating with Unique Arts, Waves of Emotions, Roshini Bhodoo, the Confucius Centre at the University of Guyana, and Nadre Designs.
Over the next few days, several high-profile speakers will join participants to discuss and find solutions to various issues impacting the Caribbean’s cultural, economic and social development, including Professor Mohamed Martin and London-based Guyanese novelists, Dr. Michelle Yaa Asantewa. There will also be a high-level plenary (panel) of past CSA Presidents headed by UG Chancellor, Professor Edward Greene, titled “Reflecting on the Future of the CSA through the Lenses of the Past,” and another titled, “The Life and Legacy of George Simon.” US Ambassador Lynch and Secretary-General (Designate) Barnette will also appear on a highlighted panel on women and leadership.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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