Thursday, November 24, 2016

A LiTTribute At UNESCO: Celebration of National Literatures

The international flavor of national writings was evident in a ‘’LiTTribute” – literary tribute to writers and poets of the world by members of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris. It saw a world of poets and writers of Greece, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Venezuela, China and Trinidad and Tobago on the gather to read and explore their national literatures. The readings for the Caribbean came from the highly acclaimed LiTTscapes - Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago by Dr Kris Rampersad, which celebrates the value of writers to society through presentation of more than 100 works of fiction since 1595 to present in descriptive and pictorial snapshots.
Selected passages from LiTTscapes scanned the significance of the writings of not just Trinidad and Tobago's two Nobel Laureates Sir Vidia S Naipaul and Derek Walcott along with other multicultural milieu if awarded writers as Samuel Selvon, Ismith Khan, Earl Lovelace, Michael Anthony, Robert Antoni, Lawrence Scott, Lakshmi Persaud, Shani Mootoo but others less known as Sonny Ladoo. It placed the fiction writings within the social realist traditions that yet resounded poetic sentiments bringing to life the fictional representations of such challenges of island states being addressed by UNESCO that brought tears in the eyes of some of the world's award winning writers and our audience. "I was touched from the opening statement, the Ambassador of Greece stated. 
LiTTscapes features more than 100 writers of fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, through descriptions and photographs of more than 500 'scapes' of tangible and intangible lifestyles.  Evoking the impoverished background that contributed to the premature violent death of Sonny Ladoo's, it cited the insight in LiTTscapes' representation of No Pain Like This Body, that captures the poignant clinging to life by those on the edge of survival: "there was life in the wind as it left the corners of the sky and swept the face of the earth;  there was life in the dawn that was coming with pain in its mouth..."

The audience heard of LiTTscapes' revisionary representation of Ismith Khan's passages in The Crucifiction of "the long tongue lashes of the sea lap up on the edges of the earth as if waiting a chance to swallow the island," relating the ever present threat of flooding or being engulfed by sea that much predates theories of sea level rise, climate change and global warming as well as LiTTscapes' presentation of the primeval antiquity of the original name of the islands from the indigenous Kairi that has been rebranded the New World, an old world since 'the beginning of time' as told by Lawrence Scott in Witchbroom.
"Globalisation has been very real to us for a very long time, it did not begin a few years ago with some metropolitan theorists," said Dr Kris Rampersad, reading from the Introduction to LiTTscapes which has been dramatized as an Invocation to the Muses at national and international presentation. It acclaims the significant role of writers in a society, was from the introduction of LiTTscapes which has since become the themed "invocation to the muses" at LiTTributes so far held as LiTTribute to LondonTTown in August 2013; LiTTribute to the Antilles in Antigua; LiTTribute to the Continent in mainland Guyana and LiTTribute to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago hosted by former First Lady Jean Ramjohn Richards. This followed the launch of LiTTscapes at White Hall, one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ of Port of Spain (also featured in LiTTscapes) as part of Trinidad and Tobago's golden jubilee celebrations in 2012.
The soiree also heard passages from Naipaul and Walcott, other writers cited Nobel Laureates of India as Rabindranath Tahoe, Greece, China, among others. The soiree was organised by the Ambassador and delegation of Bangladesh.








. For more see: LinkedIn: krisrampersad; FB: krisrampersad1 T: @krisramp; Blog: Demokrissy