(Ministry of Culture)

See heritage as intangible attributes that we can pass on to future generations.

Director of Cultural Policy and Research in the Ministry of Culture, Sheron Johnson, made this call during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service.

"Heritage is more than what is put in a glass case!?? Heritage is what we live everyday.?? It is the way we dress, our memories, the way we interact with each other.?? It is what makes us Barbadian, what makes us different from a Jamaican, Canadian or an American," she explained.

June is Heritage Month in Barbados and according to Ms. Johnson, it marks the second anniversary of the inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a UNESCO World Heritage Property. The month was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and the Barbados World Heritage Committee.??

Giving the rationale for the extended celebrations this year she said: "We felt the inscription was a significant enough occasion to dedicate an entire month to the commemoration of this milestone.?? Last year, we had two weeks of activities but this year we extended the activities to give more visibility to the site and the work of the Barbados World Heritage Committee over the past two years."

The theme for Heritage Month is Celebrating our Heritage: Connecting with our Future.?? The Director of Cultural Policy said it was chosen to help Barbadians connect the past to the present and the future.

"Our desire is to have all Barbadians feel that they have a sense of ownership in Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.?? We as a people must strive to preserve the memories of our forefathers in film, stories, song, art or dance," she exclaimed, adding, "Our cultural heritage is a springboard for the development of our creative economy and a point of reference for our people."

It is anticipated that the month’s activities will increase Barbadians’ awareness of their intangible heritage which led to Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison being inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

"People generally identify with the built heritage of the area, but we must remember we didn’t get the inscription based on the built heritage.?? If we were going after that, we might have not been successful because Barbados has lost a lot of its 17th century buildings because of fire, neglect and hurricanes," she said.

Ms. Johnson elaborated: "We got the inscription based on our intangible heritage, what took place within these 400 year-old streets and alley ways."?? She said it was the interactions and stories of persons, cultural entities and religious groups within the space that had contributed to the inscription.??

"There were boys in Bridgetown diving off The Wharf, people gambling in Ricketts Street in the City, and travelling theatres.?? All these things happened within the Property that helped to make Bridgetown a cultural space.?? Then you had the Garrison which was a living military and it still is today.?? These experiences helped to showcase the heritage of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison," she shared.

Ms. Johnson also pointed out that many iconic cultural institutions which exist today emerged from Historic Bridgetown.?? These include the Barbados Landship, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary; the Zouave Regiment and the Royal Barbados Police Force band.??

The Director of Cultural Policy stressed Bridgetown has "many rich heritage assets and spaces which we take for granted," and she encouraged the public to actively participate in the month’s events, by visiting the spaces within Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.?? She added that the planned activities would give locals and visitors an opportunity to learn more about the island’s heritage and its identity.

Some immediate events for Heritage Month include the George Lamming Distinguished Lecture: In the Castles of our Skins: Architectural Heritage and the Caribbean Psyche.?? It will be given Dr. Lennox Honychurch and is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

The George Lamming Distinguished Lecture will be given by Dr. Lennox Honychurch and is scheduled for June 6, at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination??at 7:00 p.m.(Ministry of Culture)

On Saturday, June 8, the Heritage Exhibition will open at the EBCCI gallery.?? It features the art of Rasheed Boodhoo and work from the Barbados National Art Gallery and the Barbados Gallery of Art.?? The exhibition will continue until Monday, June 17.

Persons can also witness the Changing of the Sentry at the Garrison Savannah every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.?? On Thursday, June 13, at 6:00 p.m. the Garrison Guns and Galas lecture by Professor Pedro Welch will take place at the St. Ann’s Fort.?? That event will also feature a tour of the Armoury and a cotillion performance.?? An admission fee will be charged.

On Saturday, June 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. there will be a Sidewalk Exhibition and Art Market at Heroes Square – this event is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.??

Commencing at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, will be a Gallery and Museum Crawl.?? Patrons will visit the Cricket Legends Museum, Parliament Museum, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and Dr. Lance Bannister’s Outdoor Gallery.?? Interested persons should contact the Ministry of Culture at 310-2700 to reserve their space.?? There is also a small admission fee.

Saturday, June 22, at 7:00 p.m. will be a family affair, as parents are encouraged to bring their children to Movie Night in Independence Square.?? This event will feature the work of EBCCI film students.

More information on Heritage Month may be obtained by calling the Ministry of Culture at 310-2700.?? A full list of the activities for the month is available at https://www.facebook.com/HistoricBridgetownAndItsGarrison.????


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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