Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
It could be considered cliché to opine that times are indeed changing, but that they are, and on the face of it, it's those societies, cultures and individuals who embrace the changing times and channel the emerging changes into creative and/or commercial avenues of expressions that are now the new pacesetters, captains of industries and the new economic powerhouses.
Indeed, it can be argued that those of us, stuck in the intellectual, social, economic and political dialectics of yesteryear, are doomed to become mere bystanders in the emerging new social and economic order, now being reordered by technology and innovation.
Curiously, for years, many of our political and social leaders spoke of the coming 'New Economic World Order', or conversely, argued for a revolution and/or revolutionary approach needed to level the economic and social playing fields, in the effort to provide greater access to goods and services produced and provided by the few, by the majority.
Since the heady days that this political platform was first advanced as the alternative operational framework to advance political and social equality, time and circumstances have basically made that argument a redundant one, as individual industry has pioneered the hoped-for revolution, using technology and the access it provides to format a new world economic order.
Interestingly enough, when one looks retrospectively on the world as it was a decade or two ago, when the contending forces were primarily that of two economic models, capitalism as practised by the West, and socialism, as practised by the Soviet bloc and its hegemonic states, which produced a climate dominated by the fear and constant threat of war, it would have been difficult to forecast such an evolved world where the removal of the threat of feuding ideologies has produced a renaissance and the much-argued-for new world order.
Indeed, Russia, as one of the protagonists of the time, is thought to have paid a major price in crumbling infrastructure and declining stature and sense of order on its home front, due to the economic ravages of the then cold war.
THE REBIRTH OF RUSSIA
Alas, that was then. Today, like the phoenix, a new and vibrant Russia is emerging from the ashes of the cold war, and here in Kingston there is a new Russian Ambassador in town, His Excellency Vladimir Polenov, who arrived just around six or so months ago, armed with the mandate of sensitising Russia's old allies, with news of the emerging new Russia, and the opportunities, possibilities and prospects the new and democratic Russia now boasts.
And so it was, in his effort to sensitise old friends and to encourage and promote renewed interest, last Friday afternoon, His Excellency Ambassador Polenov hosted a charmingly swanky and fabulously intimate reception at the the Spanish Court Hotel, in the All-White Valencia Suite, to launch a photographic exhibition chronicling and highlighting the Russian journey through the years, and dears, it makes for a fabulous historical and contemporaneous perspective, and then some!
Dears, to begin with, the reception was a charmingly fab and intimate do, the T-shaped Valencia Suite proving the perfect setting to stage the photographic exhibition, consisting of a number of easels, housing various collages, depicting Russia, then in transition, and Russia now, a picturesque journey through time, all underpinned by the majestic beauty of a land that was once the playground of tsars and tsarinas.
Indeed, it was a beaming Ambassador Polenov who welcomed guests to the exhibition, and then in his introductions entreated guests to browse and enjoy, with a view of one day exploring his homeland.
Dears, it made for a fabulous and intimate do, as the ambassador, a linguist with a command of four languages, proved the consummate host, with the knowledge and historical perspective that made for a most enlightening outing. And quite a charmer it was too. Among those out were: Minister of Mining and Technology Phillip Paulwell; Chief Justice Zaila McCalla; Permanent Secretary, Ministry Mining and Technology, Hillary Alexander; Archbishop of Kingston The Most Rev Charles Dufour; the executive director of the Institute of Jamaica, Vivian Crawford; Herbie Miller, director/curator, Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Music Museum; historian, Professor Verene Shepherd; German Ambassador HE Josef and Mrs Gudrun Beck; French Ambassador HE Madam Ginette de Matha; Mexican Ambassador HE Dr Luis Martinez-Fernandez; Panamanian Envoy HE Ambassador Jorge Constantino Gonzalez; Cuban Ambassador HE Yuri Gala Lopez; Chilean Ambassador HE Eduardo Bonilla Menchaca; chargé d'affaires of the Indian High Commission, Anil Saxena; DCM of the Argentinian Embassy Ramon Corvera and his fabulous wife Deidre Corvera; Japanese Embassy official Hiroshi Mitsuya; outgoing head of the Consular Section of the Russian Federation, Egor Blagodatskiy and his lovely wife Antonina Blagodatskiy; Honorary Consul of Iceland Robert MacMillan; the charming Belinda Levy; Charley Johnston and wife Lisa McGregor-Johnston, the Honorary Consul of Costa Rica, and their son Liam Johnston; IFC resident representative to Jamaica and Belize, Rajeen Gopal and wife Monita Gopal; Dr Laura Tanna; Dr Jonathan Greenland; the very charming Nicola Croswell-Mair; the lovely Deidre Ewart; the charming; Lorraine Murray, editor of The Jamaican magazine; Andrea Bickhoff-Benjamin; plus a number of others.