Tue | Feb 25, 2020

French gov’t supporting Caribbean culture

Published:Friday | December 13, 2019 | 12:05 AM
Examining the project’s brochure are (from left) Pierre Lemaire, Laurent Gueslin, Alando Terrelonge, Sebrina Lipoff and Wendy Dyemma.
Examining the project’s brochure are (from left) Pierre Lemaire, Laurent Gueslin, Alando Terrelonge, Sebrina Lipoff and Wendy Dyemma.

Jamaica has joined other regional countries and the French government to promote the work of Caribbean artists and culture. They are working under the umbrella of the IFLE CARICOM programme to “integrate French as a language for linguistic, cultural and entrepreneurial exchanges” and enable the region “to benefit from the assets of the Francophone community in the areas of education, culture and business”.

The work is being done through Jamaica’s Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, which serves the region, and the Alliance Française societies in the Caribbean.

“The region has amazing talent and we think that it deserves to be more visible on the world map,” said the IFLE project manager for education, entrepreneurship and communication, Wendy Dyemma, last Friday.


She was the main presenter at a press conference held at the French Embassy on Friday to report on the progress of the IFLE programme. Others affirming their support included the embassy’s chargé d’affaires, Laurent Geslin; Alliance Française (Jamaica) President Pierre Lemaire; and Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Dyemma reported on the many projects that have been going on in the region since mid-year, including the training of French teachers to prepare students for the DELF examination, an internationally recognised certification programme for competency in French. By chance or design, the press conference was immediately followed by a ceremony on the lawn to hand out graduation certificates to some 50 DELF students. Some embassy officials took part in both functions.

Another current project Dyemma spoke of was the mapping of the current initiatives in CARICOM, including the identification of artists, venues, festivals and websites promoting artistic endeavours in the region, and the implementation of a linguistic and technical support programme for selected artists.

Already, she said, more than 100 applications have been received from interested parties and the criteria for selection has already been decided on. She said that master classes would involve training in various aspects of theatre, like lighting and playwriting. The programme will, from February 2020, include assistance to artists in the marketing of their products and talents to the region and wider world.