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Sep 9, 2011

WAMI; Conference on writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals

The first annual Writers, Artists, Musicians and Intellectuals (WAMI) Conference was held today in conjunction with the September Celebrations. The overview of the conference and introduction of the WAMI panelists was conducted by Adele Trapp. WAMI intends to keep a fresh dialogue on all arts. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Pen Cayetano

The Conference on Writers Artists Musicians and Intellectuals took place earlier today at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. It was opened with a soulful rendition of Pen Cayetano’s anthem.

Pen Cayetano, Artist

{Rendition of anthem…}

Jules Vasquez told the audience that Belize needs a new beginning.

Jules Vasquez

Jules Vasquez, Channel 7

“Well folks, there is no going back to reality just as there is no going back to virginity. The problem though is once we say post anything, we signify an end and that reminds us that when we say something is at an end, you have to talk about what comes after the end and at the same time the impossibility of ending at all. That I believe is what we face today. Ivan Duran would confirm that music as a business is at an end. Writing in the age of television, texting, audio books and I-everything is at an end—history, I have declared it, is also at an end. So we shouldn’t waste our time talking about the end. It is past and we are post. So instead of the end, let us grapple instead with the impossibility of ending and from there maybe—however counterintuitive this may be—we can find a new start.”

Poetry was also served in the type that questioned the direction of the Belizean diaspora and national identity.

Jose Sanchez, Poet

Jose Sanchez

“The blood of the Ibo and the Maya which hollows the sun brought freedom from slavery; the empire’s rod. By the plight of the economy the decline of the mahogany and death by logging companies. No longer shall we be hewers of wood. As the coconut fell, many asked why. Coconut comes from the sea which comes from the roots that we can’t see. I came from the banana boat, CNN and WGN. The palm trees shook outside my head. Many stepped out of the potholes into the slick Diablo of electric crab holes. To every patriot, he is metro and to his child, a North American ghetto? Then where is the origin? Where do we get to where we believe? Seagulls have eaten Hansen’s trail of crumbs and all he has left is manufactured sweets. Sea has washed away the tracks from diasporic feet. Walcott as a conch shell under his bed and mine hidden in the corals of my head.”

Audrey Matura Shepherd

Audrey Matura Shepherd

“What does the word free mean? It connotes having the legal and political rights of a citizen because there are several things you can see free as. Enjoying civil and political liberty. That is an intense word—liberty being the synonym of enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination, enjoying personal freedom not subject to control. It’s interesting that we talk about outside domination, but we fail to look at inside domination. So I love the new words from Pen in the anthem: “take off those chains from thy brains.” It’s the necessity that people have for just mere survival that is being used against them to cohorse them into making choices or doing actions they would not have otherwise done. And so we are not looking at the system we are creating and the way we are doing—contrary to what we claim we are; free. We are doing the opposite: we are enslaving, we are keeping people down. So actually liberation from slavery or restrain or from the power of another. That’s very powerful if we really consider what these words mean and how we loosely use it on a daily basis.”

The event which lasted the day, finished with panel discussions on artists and musicians. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

In addition to Audrey Matura Shepherd, other panelists included Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis, Amado Chan, Ivan Duran, Tony Wright and Jaime Awe.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “WAMI; Conference on writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    WE NEED MORE OF THIS………and tell Jules he needs to go on a diet.

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