IF Barbadians are to enjoy and celebrate the heritage that we have, then we must truly treasure it and preserve what we have now and for future generations. That is the belief of a man who is taking his passion for Barbadian heritage and that of the wider Caribbean to another level. Allison Ramsay reports in The Barbados Advocate.
David Michael’s background has always been in heritage, so much so that he continued in this vein during his studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, which culminated with a Masters in Heritage Studies.
It is this love that led Michael to embark on a project to sensitise Barbadians, Caribbean people and tourists about the region through an upcoming magazine called ‘Echoes Caribbean’, with the hope of extending this drive in the future to the production of documentaries and films on the Caribbean.
“I am very much focused on the evangelism of heritage preservation and conservation, not only in Barbados, but the Caribbean as a whole. Personally, my goal is through this magazine to educate and stimulate the Caribbean populace, specifically Barbadians, about the importance of heritage,” he said.
Michael, who is the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, explained to Homemakers that “heritage defines who we are as a people and says a lot about our identity and certainly we ought to be able to preserve our identity now and in the future. I am very much in the business of promoting heritage conservation. I see the magazine as a good tool to start this whole process of sensitisation.”
“In relation to the understanding of heritage, it is what I would like to term the contemporary use of our past. There are lots of aspects of our past, whether it be tangible or intangible heritage. For instance, tangible heritage can be divided into two sections: built and natural heritage is for example the landscapes, the seascapes. We also have intangible heritage, which we can determine as folklore, festivals, music, literary, visual and performing arts…”
According to him, the creation of this magazine is timely as Barbados received World Heritage status for Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison earlier this year.
“Not only does it come on the heels of the World Heritage designation, but it is set to open new doors in terms of the showcasing of our heritage. Prior to this magazine, I don’t think we would have had a concerted effort in terms of marketing and making available the many aspects of our heritage in Barbados and the region. I am committed to the wider Caribbean because I believe that we are all one. Each Caribbean island has its own heritage which lends to that diversity and richness of Caribbean heritage, which makes us unique,” he said.
Celebrate & enjoy
The focus of Echoes Caribbean is to present Caribbean heritage, not only to tourists, but to Caribbean people, so that they can have that opportunity to enjoy, celebrate and share in it.
He stated that the first issue of this annual publication will be out by the end of January next year. It will focus primarily on Barbadian heritage and will feature contributions from well-known authorities such as Dr. Lennox Honychurch, Kevin Farmer, Professor Pedro Welch and Dr. Tara Inniss.
Topics will range from the indigenous people of Dominica, the importance of Barbados’ UNESCO success, superstitions in the Caribbean and the history of Bridgetown. It will also feature a book review and a photographic journey of Barbados’ development. Barbadians will be able to have a preview of what is to come by searching for Echoes Caribbean on Facebook and the website http://www.echoescaribbean.com which will be up and running by Christmas.
For Michael, it is important that the youth get on board in terms of pushing Barbados heritage. “We have to bring about that cultural mindset for the appreciation and valuing of our heritage. In the future, programmes will be planned to promote this to children because the appreciation must start from as early as possible.”
He lamented that sometimes Caribbean people do not value what they have. “People come from far and when they come here, they are awe-struck by the serenity of our landscape. I want us to enjoy and celebrate what we have so that we would treasure it. In doing that we would preserve what we have now and for future generations.”
For the original report go to http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=lifestyle&NewsID=21316