Sitting in the verandah with me cup o’ green tea, reading newspapers. Lazy Sunday, yesterday mornin’, no breeze, no bees. No news either. A haze settle on me brain, nothing new to do, nothing in the nothing-ness, the day gon drift into another daze.
Then I suddenly remember, got to call Ameena Gafoor, editor of The Arts Journal.
[Incidentally, the second issue selling really well, here and overseas. And another "incidentally" for the Guyanese who want to email me: The Arts Journal is a non-profit venture].
Drag me tail into the living room and phone.
We talk about art, and we discuss and cuss the lack of it in we society.
"I meet M. the other day," I say. "She in theatre, no? And I tell she we have a shortage o' creativity, we just not bubbling. I don’t see a sharing o' thoughts and ideas. I don't see newness and openess. I think she get huffy."
Then I hop on me soapbox about getting people here involved in art...
...and I grumble how the only 'art' so-called educated folks understand is duck curry competition.
"I don’t think they appreciate the role of art in this society, and the need for intellectual thought, and vision. And how ordinary Guyanese hungry for it, how they hungry."
Ameena say. "The venue is also important. The art gallery is so inaccessible for the ordinary people. To them, you have to dress a certain way to enter the gallery, and you have to be from a certain well-to-do group in society, financial and education-wise. Remember that East Indian art exhibition The Arts Forum held in 2003?"
"Yes, in the new wing o' the National Library."
"Girl, I was so happy with the impact it had," Ameena say, "If you see the kind o' people who come to view it. Working people, market vendors. Women and children from the countryside. People walking in off the streets, in they flip-flop slippers. I was there every day to oversee the exhibition, and people come up, and talk to me, they were so delighted."
Ameena say, "One lady from the countryside, she tell me, 'I hear about this thing, this art exhibition, and I say, lemme come see is what. I never see art before.' Girl, when she told me that, tears came to my eyes."