Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley (FP)

Events such as the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) have provided a platform of excellence where the work of local artists could be appreciated, enjoyed and respected.

This was emphasised by Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, who said the festival was also an opportunity for Barbadians to see the true value of visual arts and photography, both of which had contributed to "our understanding of past eras".

He was speaking at the opening of the Visual Arts and Photography Exhibition and Film & Video Preview at the Old Spirit Bond Mall, The City, on Sunday night.

"As we look, fascinated, at photographs of old Barbados, of relatives long passed on, we are learning to appreciate their importance. Through them, we gain insight into how our people lived and how their life experiences unfolded. And, as we reflect, we know that in many cases, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, would certainly not have had the privilege of everyday access to digital cameras or cell phone cameras.??

"In their cases, there would probably have been the tradition of the once a year (at best) journey on a bus to Bridgetown, to have a photograph taken to commemorate some important event.?? Today, when we look at them, we are able almost to be in their lives," Mr. Lashley said.

He added that in addition to visual arts and photography, film and video were also growing in popularity and, together, these disciplines played an important role in the lives of Barbadians.

The minister said there were a core group of "creative practitioners" with access to the latest technology, as well as a growing number of people who were documenting every aspect of Barbadian life for future generations.


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