Grange hails Sugar Heritage Film Project
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has hailed the Government of Jamaica/University of the West Indies (UWI) Sugar Heritage Film Project as an important undertaking for the preservation of Jamaica's rich heritage.
She noted that the country's ethnic, economic and cultural history up to this point has been inextricably tied to sugar.
"It was sugar and the wealth that it represented for the European colonisers, in particular England, that resulted in our forefathers being plucked from their homeland, Africa, and brought to this part of the world as slaves," she said.
"It was sugar that made our region one of the richest in the world at that time, even if those riches never resided with those who created them. Sugar has always been one of the most important commodities on earth," Grange noted further.
She was speaking at the launch of two productions in the film series at the UWI Regional Headquarters on Tuesday.
The films, produced with support from the Sugar Transformation Unit in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, are Cane Sugar: Recycling Sweetness and Power in Modern Jamaica, which is for an adult audience, and Ms Sugga' for children aged 7-12.
CONTRIBUTION TO HERITAGE
Grange said that the films represent "profound contributions to our heritage, which will help to ensure that future generations are properly informed about our history."
She expressed the hope that they will bring worthwhile information to the nation's youth, along with quality entertainment value.
State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, said that Ms. Sugga is in keeping with the National Standards Curriculum for grades one to nine, which encourages the incorporation of new technology in teaching.
He said that the ministry is very excited about the animated series "not only for the content that it will share, but also the methodology it will use to help us teach our children at the primary level about a very important part of our history and our heritage the sugar industry."
"For us, this Ms. Sugga series will help us to teach social studies, history, geography, but more importantly, identity in relation to our people. More and more, we recognise the reality that the traditional pen and paper essay-writing form of teaching does not work for all students, and, as such, animation is one of the new, innovative ways that we can convey concepts and information to our children, as well as to allow them to communicate their ideas and their stories," he added.
Ms. Sugga is a four-part series that combines live action with archival/historical footage, photographs and news clippings. Ms. Sugga, the lead character, is an ancient spirit that appears as an animated sugar-cane stalk and takes two children on a magical journey guided by the spirit of Tacky, a famous and rebellious 17th century African slave.
The Cane Sugar: Recycling Sweetness and Power in Modern Jamaica film consists of flashpoints in history, starting from 1938, and explores the geopolitics and economies of the sugar industry, which made significant contributions to the creation of modern Jamaica.
The Sugar Heritage Film Project is being implemented by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at UWI and is being facilitated through grant agreement between the Government and the university.
The partners in the undertaking are the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; Heart Trust/NTA, and UWI.
Time Code Productions and GSW Animations Limited were instrumental in the creation of the two film productions.