Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gays support Jagdeo's showpiece

CARIFESTA X celebrates the richness, the resilience, the diversity and the skillfulness of Caribbean imagination and SASOD has organised a fringe of events called "SASOD @ CARIFESTA X" to contribute to the imagination of a Caribbean which recognises that its Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) citzens are part of the rainbow of peoples.

On Saturday, August 23, from 10am at Oasis Too in South Road, two important books will have a CARIFESTA launch. One, "Homosexuality in the Caribbean: Crawling out of the Closet" by Grenadian sociologist Claude Douglas is a balanced view at the way in which the Caribbean approaches a future in which people who are not heterosexual are accepted. This book is a result of interviews with religious leaders, gay and lesbian people, social workes and academics. The second book "Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles" edited by Thomas Glave is a collection of outstanding fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and poetry by little-known writers along with selections by internationally-celebrated figures such as Reinaldo Arenas, Audre Lorde, Achy Obejas, Assotto Saint, José Alcántara Almánzar, Michelle Cliff, and Dionne Brand. The thirty-seven authors hail from the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti,
Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Suriname, and Trinidad. Many have lived outside the Caribbean, and their writing depicts histories of voluntary migration as well as exile from repressive governments, communities, and families. This launch will be by Helen Klonaris from the Bahamas who is a contributing author to the anthology.

SASOD continues with a mini-festival of films, all to be screened at Polo's Sports Bar and Lounge in the Majestics Building at 288 Middle Street. The festival starts on Monday, August 25, at 7pm with "Dos Patrias y la Noche" from Cuba and follows on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with other films from Belize, Guyana, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago. The film "Coolie Gyal" is directed/produced by Renata Mohammed and is in the form of a letter read to her parents from Guyana.

On Wednesday, August 27, at Sidewalk Cafe, there will be a programme of poetry, prose, song and dance. Trinidadian writer Colin Robinson writes that "SASOD @ CARIFESTA X highlights some distinctly GLBT-identified voices and visions, their talents and products, and their relationships to the process and conditions of Caribbean cultural production. It promotes the best tradition of dialogue – about transformation, and the role of culture in it. It documents how power shapes culture. And, finally it demonstrates the agency of Caribbean communities to create cultural expression for our liberation."

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