KINGSTON — Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, has welcomed the move by the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) to build a national collection of music and film productions and is appealing to stakeholders in the entertainment industry to contribute to the process.
The initiative, she said, “will prevent the creative outputs of Jamaicans that tells Jamaica’s story, from just being locked away in the private collections of individuals”.
"Without this kind of preservation of the images and sounds, our people will lack self-knowledge, which is the premise on which cultural identity is reinforced,” she argued.
Minister Grange was addressing the NLJ's forum on ‘the role of the music/film industry in building the national collection’ held on September 29 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
The forum is part of an education campaign by the NLJ to increase awareness of the Legal Deposit Act and encourage compliance with the provisions of the legislation.
Under the law, passed in 2002, all films and music produced on the island must be deposited with the NLJ. The objective is to preserve the cultural history by archiving audio recordings and films.
The Minister contended that such creative work should be preserved in one central space (the NLJ) for historical accuracy, to ensure sustainability of the nation’s cultural heritage and identity, and help in the development of the cultural industry.
“The images and lyrics contained in the music and films we have created, give testimony to our varied experiences, to our frustrations, to our triumphs, to our pains, to our joys and even our idiosyncrasies,” she pointed out.
She stated further that “as a cultural super state, we must be able to display, to ourselves and the rest of the world, the content that gives us the right to that kind of recognition, and that display must be accessible right here in Jamaica.”
The Minister urged all Jamaicans to participate in building Jamaica’s cultural reserves and pledged to work towards placing the NLJ in a position where it will be fully competent to achieve all its objectives.
She said it is expected that by the end of 2012, the NLJ should have at least 10,000 compact discs (CDs) and almost the same amount of DVDs in its collection, moving up from the 310 CDs and 83 DVDs.
By Toni-Ann Russell, JIS Reporter