The power of Obama for ART

Posted in Debate, Opinion by Adele Todd on March 22, 2008

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787 ……… Barack Obama  Read the entire speech as a pdf 

By now, everyone who cares about politics in America has heard a bit of the marvelous speech by Barack Obama on race. I was extremely moved by all that he said as well, I felt that it was a long time in coming. Having gone to school in America, being an outsider looking in, it was simple at that time to see the dynamics of the place at work. I am sure that this is the same perception foreigners to Trinidad and Tobago see when they come to work and live here.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we are all terribly guilty of wanting to feel superior at the expense of everyone else. Despite all of the religious buildings and schools, there is an underlying sense of selfishness and faithlessness that washes over our society.

It becomes specifically apparent in the lack of penetrating interest in many fields of art and culture in our society. The apathy that is felt, makes it very clear that for many, even acknowledging an opinion is but a start, and looking more closely at the way to go, is all but understood.

So much of what we consider entertainment in Trinidad and Tobago is done with such disregard for the audience. So much of what we take in is done in such an unprofessional manner that it leaves one shaking their head wondering who really approved the thing? Then when you make a point that it could have been improved, you are always accused of being negative.

I really do not believe that most of the artists I know, want to create the work that they do, only to hear that it is nice and that they are talented.

There is so much more to why an artist takes the time to create and share what they make.

I am constantly saddened by the lack of writing on art and culture of any real significance in Trinidad and Tobago, and when people do write, they lose most of the audience who want to read what is said. A balance must be struck, but first of all, we need to understand that our art and our culture is for us and about us, and it is meant to be used and explored in many ways, not just to raise your hand and raise your flag or your rag or whatever other piffle seems to draw the crowd.


One Response

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  1. steupz said, on April 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Just found your website and am reading frantically.
    Will make much more worthy comments, soon.

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