Wax figures of Trinidadians Hazel Scott, Calypso Rose and David Rudder were unveiled at The University of the West Indies last evening by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King.
Minister King, speaking about the entity responsible for the figures, stated: “The Caribbean Wax Museum, though similar to others around the world, has distinguished itself as being the only one in the Caribbean…. Institutions such as this act as vehicles to encourage and renew our interest in culture, and what it means to our societies; creating an imagery of persons we love and look up to can positively impact upon our lives and emotions. And it is through these types of institutions, our stories are told.”
He also spoke of the contributions of the persons who have been “enshrined in perpetuity”. “These three wax figures of prominent West Indians have impacted our lives in one way or another…. These persons who are not only singers and songwriters, but who have all championed the causes of social justice, racial discrimination, and sexism through their works. These three Trinidadians, through their music, have brought awareness to social issues, as well as a sense of Caribbean pride and togetherness.”
Minister King further lauded Barbadian artist and sculptor Arthur Edwards and Frances Ross for their efforts in making the Wax Museum a tourist attraction, and appealed to the society to ensure that institutions like the Wax Museum are supported.
“It really is for me important [that] efforts like this are not only celebrated in words, but as Arthur was saying, maybe, this is the time when we can call upon the general public and ourselves to ensure that institutions like the Wax Museum are supported in a completely different way. The only person who’s going to be able to make the living for the artists is the audience, and if we are part of that audience, and if we want this kind of creativity, this kind of honouring of our own to continue, then we have got to be the ones who spread the word.… The ones who are prepared to go into our pockets and to contribute to making sure that these sort of ventures don’t die a natural death, that which is again, a part of our story, which we need to change,” he said.