The future of the Caribbean is creative

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Nneka Jackson (Jamaica Gleaner) on Jamaican filmmaker Nadean Rawlins:

As the creative and cultural industries develop, Caribbean creative and cultural practitioners are often forced to redefine themselves and to sometimes take on additional roles for the sake of their sector’s success. A great weakness of creative entrepreneurs in our region is that their projects are not supported as a business. Many Caribbean artists are eager to contribute to the effort to strengthen the region’s creative and cultural sectors. Over the past five years, Jamaican artiste Nadean Rawlins evolved from actor to talent manager, to film-maker because she needed to take up space.

Rawlins launched RAW Management in 2015, a talent representation and production company as she recognised the greatest challenge of the local creative industries – a lack of resources. After joining the Pantomime Company as an actress in 1996, she soon learned that creative productions were much more than entertainment.

As she observed all the intersecting supporting roles on stage, in the wings and behind the backdrop, she learned that the creative economy is full of sectors teeming with activity that requires their own experts and funding. For example, though the Jamaican film industry remains fledgling, a five-minute film production requires a crew of over 25 and a budget of over J$1.5 million.

“Look at Bollywood, look at Hollywood, look at Nollywood. People are making money in the creative sector. It’s time we start doing that here,” she shared. Nollywood is the second-largest film industry in the world, receiving international acclaim.

Lagos, Nigeria, is getting it right. If Lagos was a country, it would have the fifth-largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the African continent. It’s also Africa’s capital of music, fashion, film. Set to contribute 5 trillion Naira (about J$374 billion) to the country’s GDP, Nigeria’s creative impact is hitting new levels of global visibility. Their artists are reaching international markets through various visual art showcases and fairs while their music elicits Grammy Awards.

For original article, see

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