JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange is looking to the 2008 ACS Crossroads Conference on Culture, to find solutions to some of the pressing issues of youth, culture, urban violence and political identity in the region.
Minister Grange expressed this on Thursday evening (July 3), while welcoming participants of the 7th International Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference at Vale Royal, the Prime Minister’s official residence.
In endorsing the international conference now on underway at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Minister Grange said she was pleased that all aspects of Jamaican culture, including the island’s other indigenous spirituals and rituals such as kumina, revival and pocomania would be given equal prominence and attention.
“The discussions, panels and papers that will be presented at this conference will form the basis of a body of work that will document important cultural forms, not only of Jamaica, but other Caribbean nations that share a mutual history,” she said, adding, “I can think of no better place or gathering of intellectuals at which to find new answers to these old problems”.
She referred to rastafari as the new culture that Jamaica has given the world, through the sounds and rhythms of reggae music, noting that both these innovations have placed Jamaica in the forefront of global culture, not merely as producers of an attractive and popular entertainment form, but as emissaries of a new spirituality.
“This new spirituality”, she said, “has enhanced the meaning of something very old – Christianity – and brought a refreshing new interpretation of Christ’s message in the all-embracing rastafari message of ‘one Love’ that has no boundaries of race, gender, nationality or age”.
The July 3 to 7 conference, which is being held in Jamaica for the first time, has attracted participants from over 60 countries to focus on revival, drumming, dancehall and reggae, to help bridge the gap between traditional scholars and the wider public.
The reception was hosted by Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, who was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, Others present were Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most. Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall; Former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga; Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the conference, Professor Barry Chevannes; Vice Chancellor Emeritus, UWI, Mona, Professor Rex Nettleford; and Chairman of the Association of Cultural Studies, Professor Meaghan Morris.

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