(right) Evan Marshall collects the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his mother Paule Marshall, from Prime Minister the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart.
Prime Minister Stuart accepts two books from Barbadian-born author Cecil Foster, including his novel ‘No Man in the House’.
BIM Litfest applauded
PRIME Minister, the Right Honourable Freundel Stuart, is lauding the organisers of the BIM Literary Festival for staging that event.
He offered the kudos at the launch ceremony of the festival, which was held on the grounds of his official residence, Ilaro Court, yesterday morning, as the Prime Minister said that through such festivals, the body of Caribbean literature is increased for generations, not only in this region, but further afield to experience and indeed enjoy.
“This festival has been challenging us to diversify our cultural offerings, and in that way, to give visitors yet another reason to want to be in Barbados. This is in keeping with our thrust also to develop the cultural industries as a new focus for our economic development,” he said.
Additionally, he used the opportunity to encourage the organisers of BIM Litfest and its sponsors to continue their work, as their efforts are “deeply appreciated” by his Government.
He made the comments as he spoke of the concerns at the national level regarding the participation by the population in the literary arts. A critical area of concern, PM Stuart said, is as it relates to reading, particularly given people’s fixation with the gadgets which are a feature of the modern technological age. With that in mind, he suggested that by using the festival to nurture that skill, as well as the skill of writing, will certainly slow the advance of any threats to the development of the literary arts in this country.
Meanwhile, reflecting on the fact that a number of activities of this year’s BIM Litfest are focused on the children, he said that is to be commended, as there is no better instrument for the development and training of young minds.
The PM was speaking just moments before presenting Evan Marshall with the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his mother, noted author Paule Marshall. The Prime Minister was also on the receiving end, as he was presented with copies of several books from visiting authors, among them Cecil Foster, Selma James and Olive Senior. (JRT)