Fri | Sep 17, 2021

All invited to Link Up and Labrish

Published:Thursday | July 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Amina Blackwood Meeks Michael Reckord Storytelling festival co-ordinator, Amina Blackwood Meeks at the King's House launch, recently.
Dr Donna Hope
Dr Dennis Howard makes a point during the launch of his book 'Rantin From Inside The Dancehall' at The Devonshire, Devon House, Hope Road on Wednesday night. makes a point during the launch of his book 'Rantin From Inside The Dancehall'
Lisa Hanna


As part of its efforts to get public participation in this year's Emancipendence celebrations, the Ministry of Youth and Culture has added a discussion forum to the list of activities scheduled to take place during the August 1 - 5 period.

Dubbed the Link Up and Labrish discussion forum, the sessions will be held daily from 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. primarily at the Independence Village, Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road. According to a release sent to The Gleaner, the discussions will be presented as 'conversations' managed by a moderator, who will place in context the subtheme and issues or questions that are to be examined.

Each session has five panellists, who will each present his or her view in an opening statement. Thereafter, the conversation will unfold with the active participation of audience members.

The discussions will focus on issues relating to Jamaica's rich culture and will seek to generate meaningful debate around the country's achievements and vision for the future.

The opening panel, scheduled for Saturday, August 1, is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion. This forum will be held at the Rudolph Elder Park, Morant Bay, St Thomas. The remaining sessions will be held at the Independence Village and will look at several issues, including problems faced by the agricultural sector, the local fashion industry, cultural identity and the dancehall movement.

Principal director for Culture at the Ministry of Youth and Culture and chair of the panel discussion subcommittee Dr Janice Lindsay explained that Link Up and Labrish came out of a concept that was initially called Signature Conversations in the Jamaica 50 celebrations and independence period. She also stated that the programme has been strengthened to allow more experienced voices to participate in the discussions surrounding Jamaica's culture and increase the interaction among youth.

Some 30 Jamaicans have been recruited to moderate and sit as panellists in this year's discussions, including Amina Blackwood Meeks, dancers Kerry Ann Henry and Orville Hall, Dr Dennis Howard, Dr Donna Hope and poet Miguel 'Steppa' Williams. According to the Honourable Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture, everyone should come out and be part of these conversations.

"Our Emancipation/Independence observance is the perfect time for us to Link Up and Labrish," she said. "It is about sharing, learning, and finding solutions on how to make our cultural heritage assets stronger and more viable on the world stage our youth and older persons in one space having a frank exchange about how we see ourselves and what is our value as a people."