CULTURE + POLITICS

The intersection of the creative industries with government policy and government officials. Everyone is an expert. Analysis and insight to elucidate and educate.


Response to outline of CreativeTT document from MTII, March 2013.
creativett-thumb03 May 2013: “The viability of the creative industries depends on the notion that individuals are free to create without fear, without rancour and recrimination, without official disinterest in local output in favour of business models that have foreign bias. Part and parcel of the hesitancy of stakeholders to latch onto the policy thrust of the Ministry of Trade and Investment (MTII) to implement the TT Creative Industries Company (CreativeTT) is the lack of trust given the prior hasty actions…”


Copyright: An Inconvenient Truth¹
facebook-thumb24 Feb 2013: Just before Carnival, a collective management society, The Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO) that includes the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) among its members released a statement warning photographers against posting “Carnival photos” on Facebook for fear that those photos would be exploited by a third party for potential profit through publication.


ADDENDUM: Some more Copyright Confusion
wipo-thumb21 Feb 2013: Researching the history of the subject of the protection of works of mas by copyright for another article, I was pointed to an article in the Trinidad Guardian dated February 15, 2011 entitled “T&T mas designs to be protected by copyright” outlining the efforts of the Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organisation (TTCO), the local Intellectual Property Office (IPO), and the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) to successfully pilot “to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva to establish and accept the Works of Mas into the WIPO convention.”


People Who Really Know: A Focused Response to Vasant Bharath’s take on the Creative Industries.
vasant-thumb23 Nov 2012: “We have not destroyed the creative industries sector, what we’re trying to do is strengthen it by putting some commercial sense and commercial acumen into developing the sector with people who have succeeded in those areas…who have been there, who have done that, who have been successful, who know what to do, who have the international contacts, who have the network…”


Crosstalk and Jargon, or How To Confuse the Words Creative and Industry
howai-thumb19 Nov 2012: The idea and nomenclature of a “creative industry” are novel in Trinidad and Tobago when prior to this year we talked about a fledgling fashion industry (catalyzed by Miss Universe 1999 and Anya’s win of Project Runway, among others), a film industry (catalysed by Hollywood coming here in 1957 and 1960, to Sharc Productions in the 1970s to The Mystic Masseur in 2000), a Carnival industry and a music industry based on calypso and steelpan and soca (from forever!)


Creative Industries Company has a heritage that should be avoided.
sotw-thumb15 Nov 2012: I recently saw a movie at Movie Towne (Skyfall; it good!) and before the main feature a short movie/promo was shown with Derek Chin presenting his “Streets of the World” project to all assembled. He was acting as if it was a done deal. He spoke to all watching and listening there like this was the fillip for the creative and entertainment industries.


Pride, In the Name of Love, or The Cost of Putting on a Pappyshow.
kamla-and-shaq-thumb3 Jul 2012: Shaquille O’Neal was in town at the end of June lifting our Prime Minister like a waif to reach the basketball rim, and all hell break loose on that image and the cost of the programme associated with the former NBA superstar’s presence. The launch event was hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Housing. The Minister of Sports was in also tow for the launch.


Everybody Gets a Piece of the Pie: Grants and other handouts for TT Arts and Culture.
grant-chart-thumb22 May 2012: Recently, there was the publication of the Audited Statement of Grants Disbursed by Ministry of Arts & Multiculturalism 2010/2011 in the daily newspapers, and it made for interesting analysis. (Statement published in Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, 18 May 2012, pp.A60-68.) A total of $23.3M in grants was disbursed to organisations (private, public, for-profit, non-profit) and individuals for myriad endeavours…


On Lionel Belasco, or The Politicization of Culture in Trinidad and Tobago
anand-thumb20 Jan 2011: Attorney General, Sen. The Hon. Anand Ramlogan has shown his ignorance of Trinidad and Tobago culture. In making a claim that there was a misuse and abuse of public funds by the PNM via UTT in the purchase of 10 Bosendorfer grand pianos, including the Special Edition Johann Strauss model…the following exchange of words were recorded by the Parliament Channel…


The Lessons of NAPA
UdecottNAPA33x7.jpg16 Mar 2010: As I read Rubadiri Victor’s important report on the “NAPA tragedy” in the press and the statement, “$80 million is a realistic estimate of the costs that would be involved to correct the defects,” I was reminded of another architectural landmark on a small island which endured similar criticism, The Auditorio de Tenerife located in in the Canarian capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain.) That project was criticized for various structural problems and budget increases.


No love for Michael Jackson…or just another American President
obama-on-mj18 Jul 2009: This rambling note is about the power of politics to remake a man, and the power of fame and infamy to recreate a great man. This morning, I saw Barack Obama, immediately and publicly lauding late CBS News anchor, Walter Cronkite; an official White House statement, if ever I heard one. I wondered how come he could not do the same for Michael Jackson, until asked to by a reporter days later. His mealy-mouth response can be seen here…


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