Tuesday, September 5, 2017

(Wo)Man in the Mirror. Murder and the Museum Bemused Musings on The Muse of Museums. Beyond Amusement

Infectious enthusiasm. Claire Broadbridge envelopes me into her unfolding vision for our National
Museum and Art Gallery. The transformation is already evident. She walks me, or rather races
through each room of what was once known as the Royal Victoria Museum, renamed the National Museum and Art Gallery.
In her brisk and hurried racing speech that matches the pace of her steps and gestures, she is the epitome of someone who understands that every moment counts; that time waits for no man, nor woman either, even as a historian, tapping into time to cheat it into lasting one moment longer.
That might have been also her thought as she struggled through last breaths as her life’s blood oozes out of her, throat slit, for having reached a ripe old age, just hoping for an easy expiration.
She points, here will be constructed the story of Trinidad and Tobago to come alive through walk in visual exhibits, and interpretive descriptions. Where actual artefacts do not exist replicas or paintings and illustrations are being commissioned. They are not just vision or plans, she is making them happen, racing on to describe a holistic vision that include natural history, cultural heritage, all the elements that breathes life into a people and a nation.  
Quickening my steps and thoughts to keep up with her, I do not have a krystal ball to see that one day I would be called to steer this institution into a future path myself. I do not look into the antique mirror on one of the walls resonating of historical myths, or I might have seen the Fates that would befall Claire’s dream for the museum, also tugging at me.
In our reflections, staring back at us from the newly installed glass cases laying out the story of our prehistory, I did not interpret, as if not a curator an artist might have, that I would be digging and sorting through our history myself in processes of reconstructing the past.  But the writing must have already been on the wall, like the briefly laid out narratives, capturing the significance of a moment or object.
If I had looked closer, I might have seen myself walking this same route on my inaugural official tour of the Museum three decades hence. It might have shown me how I would immediately vividly recall the moments when Claire is racing me around her creation-in-progress. It might have mirrored my inner thoughts, capturing my quick computation, comparing the life that was being breathed into a half-finished dream, with the pathetic shadow of itself that confronted me thirty years later and enveloped me in a shroud from which I am still struggling to emerge.
I had been to the museum before my first encounter with Claire for that interview in the first few months of my career in journalism. Those early visits were on one or the other of the stops on occasional school outings that included such mundanity of the sweetdrink factory on the Highway which offered a chance at refreshment enroute to the Zoo, the Royal Botanical Gardens where we would stop for lunch after meeting with and greeting the animals, and thence to the National Museum, before heading back to our reclusive south, beyond the reach of the movers and shakers of national life, up north. Even from those early school excursions to the museum, there was an evident lack of narrative continuity and cohesion in the displays most of which were tucked remotely away in unlabelled glass cases. There was not much research being done on broader areas than the colonial condition or the more varied elements and comprehensive picture of what makes a nation. One felt the lack but there was still an inkling of pride.
A few weeks later, I will begin the Discover Trinidad and Tobago to chronicle and capture the life and times of the people, past and present, the forerunner to much of my international explorations as well as scrutiny of the functions and value of national, regional and international cultural heritage systems, mechanisms, conventions, processes and policies and a pile of writings and articles published, and even more unpublished, that can fill encyclopedias.
Recognizing at the same time the gaps in our history and the need to encourage research and cull and cultivate interest and enthusiasm, Claire opened the doors of the museum’s library and the piles and volumes of documentation at the museum for my research that included seeking out the many libraries in not just public but also institutional, corporate and private spaces and sifting through not just documents but also artefacts, and later preoccupation of compiling comparative cultural and historical data from oral experiences.
My interest in the museum was more than a casual one. In my thirst knowledge, instinct for exploration and discovery and desire to get beyond the piloted history with its ad nauseum regurgitation of distortions, inaccuracies, falsities and mistruths, I courted the idea of becoming an archeologist, only to be told that that was a dead end and there were no real education nor employment opportunities for such a pursuit in the country. That was because there was no relationship with the museum and other tangential institutions of the country – art galleries as satellite showcasing, the university to develop research, other educational and community institutions to cull curiosity and a culture of philanthropy that would support efforts to which one cannot put a dollar value. There was no sense of a continuum of the quality of our lives and our treatment of our natural environment, built heritage, cultural heritage, underwater heritage that would aid us into being better individuals in a more livable society.
Without the means to seek education elsewhere - there being no excess income from my father’s farmer and market gardening earnings to support advancing my education beyond high school and I would have to earn to pay my way into any further studies - I shelved the idea of becoming an archeologist, at least in relation to formal education.
While working and saving for advanced education, I spent time engaging with those engaging with the continuum of past to inform the pulse of contemporary occurrences that become the stuff journalism is made of. It was a supposed to be a temporary detour onto other paths that would become a vocation, because it became a portal to access and partake of all other vocations; to advance my education long before I began advancing towards university studies, joining a dig, a field trip, a presentation or discussion. It was education one cannot get in a classroom and has been on going and lifelong.
And so it was that I came to sit at the feet of the likes of the real nation builders - Broadbridge, Harris, Kenny, all now deceased, and others, imbibing their knowledge, savouring their experience, drawing from their passion, drive, the unstinting selflessness, their energy and enthusiasm for their art that they crafted, even as work, into hobbies.  
It was infectious.
Thus infected, if I had one, the krystal ball would have also shown me the stunted pathway on which their dreams raged to their anguished understanding, as they each did, in the end, as Broadbridge did, although, not with the similar physical brutality that took her life.
Emerging from my own confrontation with life’s fragility, having walked the path of these patriots, in facing the mirror - as they each have done time and time again in their private space, and vocally to me and to others – to see the future reflected, in a place where neither one’s work, nor one’s life, is of any significance; that either or both can be snuffed out in a jiffy. The piles of bleeding flesh scattered around the nation mutilated, pumped it bullets, is testimony to the culture of disrespect, of brutality, of hatred, of intolerance we have cultivated. When we had a chance to set forth the best of us, we instead hold up the worst of us. That is the heritage legacy and inheritance of the public service and its system in this country. What little has been gathered or saved has been done through private and largely individual effort as a kind of vigilantism that has become legitimized because the formal systems and institutions have been so disempowered by the pitiful powermongers, aided and abetted by the architects of greed and indifference in the name of conservation.
Without the formal structures, nor systems, nor mechanisms to support a career in archeology, I began my process of reconstruction as a hobby collecting oral experiences and traditional knowledge that spread out from the local into the regional and international sphere, alongside the other things I would do as a vocation, turning them into hobbies. At my side, urging me on, too, as we discuss his work and the stultified progress and lack of interest in what my research pinpoints as indisputably the most significant find in the region, was Peter Harris, with whom I would also have a final recorded full-length interview, before he too goes the way of all flesh; the way of all our real patriots, his life’s work adrift in the wind. Like Peter despairing at the too slow progressing without the resources nor support mechanisms to quicken the pace, while I have written much, I am still in the process of turning into a cohesive whole the bulk of that work and explosive core findings that in its current form can make sense to no one but myself. 
Along this path, I pursue my piecing together of a history continuum drawn from oral and other sources at formal and informal museums, archives and knowledge repositories wherever I visited in the work as a facilitator for UNESCO culture initiatives, developing policy directions through Commonwealth, volunteering or otherwise across continents that connect our history to theirs and our selves with theirs – Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
The undefined cultural underpinnings of the society is captured partly in the focus on fictional literary heritage and its underpinnings in orality represented in LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago, where the National Museum is represented thorough recounts of its origins as a science and arts museum and evolving uses from a craft centre for little old ladies to perfect their art of knitting, embroidery and lacemaking. It appears in early fiction of authors like Naipaul, who like myself would visit the Museum which was just a hop skip and jump from his High School, Queen’s Royal College. QRC - along with other heritage structures, sites and cultural practices - is also represented in LiTTscapes, as an institution of education as well as an object of satire about its relevance or irrelevance in the grooming of new breeds and successive waves of neo colonials that appears throughout our fiction: ‘The purpose of education’ being - to quote Naipaul through the lips of one of his educators thinly disguised as one of his fictional characters - ‘to form, not the inform.’
That early sneak preview of the unfolding ‘New Look Museum’ (see article photo this page) as the first article and interview with Broadbridge is entitled was published even before I began the ‘Discover Trinidad and Tobago’ series which would begin a month later and which would benefit from access to the museum’s library as well as the libraries of other institutions in natural, marine and cultural histories that were worthy of being called such, along with other private archives across the country.
Through various episodes of Cross Country the television series I would be writing a couple years later that shot to the charts, and with the founding of Newsday as the resident researcher, writer, historian and explorer writing of A Piece of History and Glimpses Into the Past along with interviews of many of the founding pillars of the nation, I would see Broadbridge’s dream taking shape, the dreaming into being of a nation through a museum system of which we can all be proud. There would be many other articles and discussions and actions in the decades later – chasing an artefact, joining an archeological expedition, compiling research on an object or incident or activity.  
In another sneak preview interview/tour of the Fort San Andreas Museum at South Quay a few years later which had become part of the museum system, Broadbridge’s vision was also beginning to take shape. With her many hands and heads in command of the various units and activities that goes into the making of an institution such as this, the museum was coming alive as an entity with a narrative of our nationhood threading through the natural history display, glimpsing into prehistory, the various migrant streams to economy, culture, festival and art that makes us who we are.
Because that’s what a museum is. It lifts us up and places us on show, on pedestals of accomplishments, achievements, survivals despite the many challenges life brings. That’s what gives a nation character and buoys for its youths in voyages of achieving their own aspirations despite limitations. But that psyche of the value of legacy has never really penetrated our islands that live only to gorge for today.
Built by the Spaniards to defend the island against other covetuous and intrusive island mauraders to its point of being appropriated as a reading room by the Chamber of Commerce and subsequently traffic branch before being abandoned to be arrested by Claire’s visioning, the San Andreas Museum was to be a showcase to the island’s migratory history, at the port of entry to our island. And it functioned as such for a while, until Claire was hounded out of office, as I would later be too, threats and all, and bit by bit of the work was dismantled, collections neglected with much that seems to be missing. Research had ground to a halt and the museum had very little to engage a society. Subsequent museum administrators with the best of intensions will also face their own share of the manoeuverings, manipulations and meanderings of a place that had lost its way.
When I reentered the museum in that more recent capacity, it was to see the San Andreas structure virtually gutted, with some considerable uninformed construction works that had done more to undermine the structure than to enhance it, a shell of its former self, despite millions already poured into reconstruction and the purses of the architects of our demise. At both, collections and pieces worth millions from what I remembered of early excursions and interviews also seemed to have gone missing and every attempt to harness the existing knowhow of many of the well- wishers in the society were thwarted at every step, a public system gleefully wielding the machetes of its failed massahood and ancient serfdoms of entitlement with a built-in guillotine that all ideas should be beheaded and all must fail. Failure is what we do best. How dare anyone even try to defy that.
They are the guardians and conservators of the processes they have evolved: that millions spent on reconstruction and restoration of the public treasures that keep surfacing are only means to open up more avenues to squander millions, rape and raid what little national patrimony may be left. Despite Claire’s efforts and the efforts of a few others who followed, we have not inched an iota forward in time, but moved considerably backward into some frightening time warp that could inspire a few blockbusters entitled Nightmare at the Museum.
On my inaugural tour of the National Museum as its chair three decades later I was eager to develop and enhance the space where I had spent so many hours pouring over old and rare documents and artefacts trying to coax out their hidden secrets, eyes and nose watering from the dusts and fragility. That eagerness ebbed as I walked through room after room. When I asked to see the library, horror of horrors, I was told there was not one and was shown an empty room that had become something of a stock room for paraphernalia. All the documents were gone, I was told some was in storage.
By the time I was called to serve at the Museum, much of the work of Broadbridge had already been dismantled and the museum itself was in shambles. It took enormous effort to stem the overwhelming sense of despair that descended everytime I entered the structure and every ounce of strength to not sit on the stairs and allow the tears to flow. The despair was compounded by the confrontation of the absolute resoluteness by the powers that be to frustrate the exercise at rescuing the museum and the refusal to relinquish its grip on the institution which was now trying to give effect to the laws to establish its autonomy under its own management system. Despite a host of well-wishers from personal and professional enthusiasts whom I had met along the way, willing to give of their means and services, every effort was thwarted for seemingly no rational purpose except the glee of its perpetrators who had hardened paper-pushing into a pleasurable pastime augmented by the aggravating and thwarting the efforts of others. It was a matter of self-preservation to escape only to be hounded still.
Like an Octopus, is the synonym that comes to mind about the woman who would be and almost-Octogenarian had her life not been brutally truncated.
She took upon herself many roles, as many of us are called to do, because there have not been developed capacities. In other places, these functions are done by drawing together developed expertise in the range of disciplines required and much of that is through division of labour. It is supported by systems, structures and mechanisms and know how that form a supportive and protective cocoon to do what needs to be done so one is not left alone, baying at the moon, pounding one’s head against walls, facing the risk of being branded as an eccentric or idiot for pursuing one’s passion.
Claire’s battle with bureaucracy is historic in itself. She would rub many people the wrong way. How can you not, I would find out for myself, when you are driven by a goal and passion to differential agendas of a system of indifference at worst, at best more intent on asserting its miniscule power to maximum frustration. The antithesis of infectious enthusiasm, or misguided enthusiasm throwing zeal and glee instead into their art of perversion, corrupting new bureaucratic appointees and frustrating every attempt at developing an institution. That was what her crusade was against. I would find out myself, called to Chair the National Museum Board.
The sense of overwhelming sadness that engulfed me, everytime I entered the building, crumbling at its seams, aided and abetted and orchestrated by those who hold the strings manipulating the powers. By then most of Claire’s work and some of those who followed and shared her vision had already been undone. Starved of resources and competent staff – because the education system let you know there are no career options in pursing these fields in the first instance. The exhibits were in disarray, speaking more to a nation in chaos than one with any sense of direction. Much seemed to have been raided; the library dismantled. No sense of interpretation; no sense of narrative, no vision of nationhood.
The sense of futility that fills one, to seem too, the architects of conservation themselves also succumbing to the greed, selfishness and indifference focusing on a few convenient elements when the real treasures of our place in a universe of heritage disappear into ignominy because you cant construct skyscrapers that will aid you into million dollar skyscraper contracts, so instead you build a  legacy where every creed and race finds an empty place.
That has not been only my experience, as a national and a patriot, nor just Claire’s.
As an element of a knowledge or tourism or heritage economy, a museum is the kind of institution to which one ought to be able to go for a quick understanding of a people and a place as I would when on limited time in a travel assignment. To illustrate, a few months before I took up the museum assignment, having directed a delegation from UNESCO visiting for a meeting to the museum, I was horrified to learn the next day that they had exited almost as soon as they entered the building, themselves despairing at the state of such a signature establishment in a country that was not without resources, not without intellectual capacity, not without skills and talent and imagination. By the time I was handed the task to steer the new museum board the writing was already on the wall and I was already a target for those who probably saw their easy access to a ready treasure throve might be thwarted. 
Year after year as the Chamber of Commerce and various other organisations held their discussions on budgets and planning I asked where is heritage on the agenda. ‘In our next meeting’ I was told. The next came and went and never came, and the oil industry began crashing again and with it too is tumbling the nation.
Where are you in the battle for the soul of the nation?
Claire Broadbridge’s dream was already mutilated, long before she was mutilated and murdered.
Look into the mirror, my friends. You know who you are. You too have had a hand in slitting Claire’s throat and signed the contracts on the heads of our nation long before Saturday when Claire was found mutilated in the hours of ripe old age. You have helped create this society that has no sense of its moorings. You have created the environment of hatred and animosity and vicious disrespect and disregard of each other. Your hands on the public patrimony have culled this environment of entitlement that legitimizes the climate of piracy and banditry that allow criminals to roam without fear of reprisal.  
You have created the systems and structures and processes meant not to support but to thwart those who are resolute about repairing, reconstructing and who are outside your clique of entitlement to the purse strings of public institutions.
Utilising your pliable and protected sycophants you have stooped to whatever depths to smear, blackguard, criminalize, and hound out of office, fabricating accusations and evidence and when that fails, construct threat and hired hitmen.
That is your legacy. It is the heritage and the artefact of the life you will leave, when you too are dead, like Claire’s dreams.
I wonder if you are looking in the mirror now, and seeing the bloody streak on Broadbridge’s throat, recognising that you might not have wielded the knife but certainly had something to do with shaping the mind and the atmosphere that inspires such brutality, disrespect, inconsideration and unconscionability?
Perhaps it was never clearly defined that public service is a service to the public and not any excuse to grab, gorge and gouge out as has become the national growl and thwart the efforts of those trying to do public service.
A museum is just one base element of knowledge system of a people. It is an amalgamation of knowledge which is why in many societies museums are associated with research infrastructure, library, art galleries, seminars, workshops, talks, activities which frame core exhibits, allow for engagement and interaction where through private contemplation or through debates in interpretation.
That’s how we build a resolute society, with generations confident and fortified with resilience and self-worth enough to not be suckered into the system as clones of their massas. We are reaping the rewards of this vacuity as we witness everyday in even the youths who have been given an opportunity to serve in the Parliament, for instance in a society built on powerlessness without knowledge that rests back in inaction and all the basest elements of human nature because that’s all that is left to fall back on.
In not allowing a museum and like institutions to blossom, we are already opening the portals through which the termites will crawl and continue to gnaw at not just the weakest but those parts that like to think themselves strong. Claire was as strong as the comes, someone says, but the tentacles of predatory place got her too.
A museum is part of a network of infrastructure that includes private and public systems of education, universities, libraries, art galleries, financiers and philanthropy. In that way, it focuses national energies into constructive goals and strengthens the national character.
Without that we are doomed and all talk of new buildings and infrastructure will fall as quickly to the architects of greed as peopling it with vulnerable.
In a place where knowledge banks and expertise are limited, and the curatorial knowledge to drive it virtually non-existent, one has to educate oneself into competencies that encompass the museum’s multifarious roles. In a place like Trinidad where heritage is the least of valued priorities it is left to one or two or a handful of individuals.
I have seen and worked with many museums and heritage enthusiasts across our region and beyond. From these experiences I have seen first hand of what can be done from little. From the small one-person passion of a little old lady in a village in Belize to the humongous developed facilities of international engagement that the Louvre, the British Museum, the Smithsonian, built perhaps by the collections from other spaces but it is because there is a frame. I have seen what one individual can do, like the colleague who fled Trinidad for another island and is doing yeoman service in developing its museum, virtually single handedly, because much can be accomplish when it is not this environment.
It was not just Claire’s work as we all know, for those who want to point fingers at her ‘difficult’ personality as I’ve heard myself described as well, for which I make no apologies. It is what it takes to accomplish a modicum of anything in an environment like ours. I have cited Peter Harris, Professor Kenny as an environmentalist. I think of Gaylord Kelshall’s Military History Museum, itself on the rocks of myopic development path ongoing unwillingness to relent in pursuit of his passion. Pat Bishop; Sheila Solomon:the human face of constitutional reform
We boast of having the resources, the intellectual capacity and a natural and cultural heritage that is an amalgamation and microcosm of virtually everywhere else. Not many can have that boast. We have no excuse. Is there any institution of note that we can hold up as one of which we can be truly proud?
We have given no priority to strengthening the national character beyond piecemeal tokenism and lip service with no enduring vision nor commitment beyond gouging out to feed today’s habits. We have shown no compassion or sensitivity to what is required to cultivate an environment where youth can see possibilities and potential in something larger than themselves to which they may aspire and achieve, rather than succumb to the temptation of entitlement and of becoming thieves and robbers, whether it is of the national purse or private property. And for those who do, and try, the tentacles move in to cut down and terminate and so create a haven for criminals and criminality to flourish.  
Trying to harness the knowledge and expertise of those who had gone before; trying to stem the swarms of termites crawled through its walls and eating not just at the frame but at the substance; trying to ward off the greedy, gorging on and gouging out the eyes and ears and limbs, to resist the attempts to manipulate one contract and another and another in the name of conservation can bring threats to your life and those around you. That takes its toll on one’s nature, and one’s character. What an effort it is to flee the reach of the mirror image of becoming embittered and branded as the Claires, and many others who have tried to serve to similar ends.
The greed, the selfishness and the indifference has penetrated and permeated every fabric of our lives.
We are poorer not just in losing you, but in the manner of your loss.
It is not about size, it is not about money, or resources, or know how or expertise. It is about how each individual view himself/herself and his or her place in this society and what he/she is willing to put personal ambitions aside to ensure it has a viable future for next generations.
The termites had already chomped their way in to foundations, claiming the largesse of national heritage infrastructure and collections as they have, I daresay burrowed into virtually all institutions in the country. Holding on to illusions of power, tentacles are ready set to grab on to new comers and claw at their dreams to trap them into flycatchers of crumbling serfdoms, webs of shame, guilt, petty politicking and failed massahood.
So even the young, energetic, idealistic and enthusiastic must have more than an extra layer of self worth to resist, or they succumb and become part of the swamp. Just look at the Parliament, boys and girls once bright and promising turned into mimic men and clowns and clones of failed politicians and failed system. What distress must your fathers and forefathers and those who toiled be in to see this. 
They don’t come stronger than Claire, someone said.  You spend years trying to cull a better environment, giving of your time and energy and spirit and it can all be torn down by a gnash of one power crazed individual.
It is patriot’s month and one of the country’s most consistent patriots has her life snuffed out. How can we not connect the dots?

Look into the mirror leaders of and aspirants to office in institutions, agencies, departments
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring leaders of business
Look into the mirror, heads and aspiring heads of banks
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring leaders of industry
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring leaders of education
Look into the mirror, leaders and aspiring leaders of media
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring leaders of parties
Look into the mirror aspirants to public and private office
Look into the mirror leaders and aspirants to the Parliament
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring of government
Look in the mirror judges, lawyers police justices
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring of movements of all kinds
Look into the mirror leaders and aspiring of trade unions
Look into the mirror, leaders and aspiring of the public service

Look, at what you have made and look at what you will inherit.
Knowing that it has been made means it can be unmade.
That’s where change starts.
The end of despair
The beginning of hope
Just look in the mirror.

For Clair Broadbridge. In Rememberance. Rest In Peace.


http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2013-01-13/tobago-underwater-heritage-threatened

Tobago underwater heritage threatened

Former curator, National Museum and Art Gallery, Claire Broadbridge believes that the University of Connecticut is being handed carte blanche—the Scarborough Harbour project to chart and possibly recover some of the French, Dutch seventeenth century and British nineteenth century vessels which lie under the silt of the harbour. In a letter, Broadbridge charges that “this country is being once again sold out to foreign domination.”

She states in the letter that “similar projects in Sweden the WASA Flagship of the Swedish King Gustave Adolph’s sunk in the harbour in 1628 and recovered in 1961; the Mary Rose of Henry VIII sunk in Southampton Harbour the recovery and conservation of which is a work in progress.

“These are of less historical significance than the French and Dutch vessels sunk in the harbour of Scarborough. Hoteliers and restaurants in Tobago should note that these have attracted tourists in tens of millions in a continuing basis while Tobago sits doing nothing for the last decade.” Broadbridge noted that the project of locating and charting and partially recovering one of these vessels in Scarborough was completed in 1990 to 1997. “It was directed locally.

All was charted and admiralty maps of the harbour done. Work was halted in order to plan a Caribbean Institute of Marine Archeology within the University of the West Indies Faculty for Social and Economic Research—Such an institute to serve the entire Caribbean would be very prestigious for Tobago. All funds which have to be garnered for this work would be used for the lasting benefit of Tobago not for the lasting benefit for a foreign university.

Also the student and staff of this institute would serve as workers on the project.” She stated that on assuming office, incumbent chairman of the Tobago House of Assembly Orville London chose to halt the project. He even abandoned the satellite components’ of the project—a historic James Park Tourism centre and a living agricultural museum in Roxborough.

“These were an integral part of the Scarborough Harbour Project 1990-2002. These components had been attached to the project in order to geographically distribute the tourist in land from the harbour.” Facilities for conservation at the docks had been planned to be open to immediate tourist viewing, an explanatory exhibit in the cruise ship reception area was designed, artifacts prepared script and audiovisuals created, Broadbridge indicated. The excavation of one vessel was partially done and filmed.

All previous foreign consultants had been hired and paid fees by the local director of the project, she said, while the Coast Guard divers were present during dives and all funding was strictly used for the benefit of Tobago.


Rampersad: UNESCO concerned
Dr Kris Rampersad, chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, when contacted, confirmed that the Commission was concerned about actions that might endanger these valuable national heritage assets and the lack of understanding and awareness of the issues surrounding protection and development of the heritage assets in the waters of not just Tobago, but also Trinidad.
She said there was a threat that we may be signing away elements without being aware of it. She stated that it is not clear what the arrangement is between the University of Connecticut and the Tobago House of Assembly or any other entity but that in a meeting late last year with the THA, she expressed such concerns and received an open ear from the THA Secretary for Tourism.

Rampersad said, “These are assets that are part of not just the heritage of Trinidad and Tobago but also of the global community given the historical contexts of the development of our islands and there can be some severe international relations repercussions if this is not handled properly. 

“We are a long way from developing the mechanisms that will ensure that the benefits are secured for Trinidad and Tobago, among which includes training of nationals and developing the human resource capacity to take care and oversee these assets. UNESCO encourages the development of the national infrastructure.

According to Rampersad, “It is in our interest that our local universities take charge of this, and also in developing the kind of targeted heritage and conservation expertise we need locally for not just underwater, but heritage in general as training courses and programmes seem to lag behind the new developments in the global environment in which we now function.”

In the case of underwater heritage, she said, “it may also be in our best interest to develop dive and underwater museum facilities for these assets as is the current trend, rather than trying to bring up artefacts at tremendous costs of maintain them above ground.” The heritage dive tourism industry is itself a multibillion dollar industry that attracts enthusiasts across the world and can eventually pay for itself in terms of developing the infrastructure and mechanism required.


Rampersad said we also need to put in place proper regulations and legislation that will protect our interests. “It is for us to ensure that our national laws are up to speed to ward off the risk of foreign entities staking ownership claims and other like threats.”


Related Links:
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/2017/08/creating-revolution-through-knowledge.html
my-discoverie-columbus-lost-and-found
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/2017/07/dr-kris-rampersad-exploring-world.html
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com /from-beirut-to-port-of-spain-how-west.html
The-price-of-passion-awards-and-rewards

Exploring a World Through MultiCultural Lenses https://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/2017/07/dr-kris-rampersad-exploring-world.html

 Power Failure Media Blackout Brets Muffled Threats and Ransoming Father: https://goo.gl/YjbBgx
my-date-with-narendra-modi-dat-merkel affair
Things-that-make-me-go-steups-stars http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/2016/12/things-that-make-me-go-steups-stars.html
Focus-resources on real crime
The-ghost-of journalism past
Ask About LiTTscapes,

Murder She Wrote: Death Written in Stone in Dana Seetahal Assassination
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Apr 30, 2013 Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2....http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
See Also:
Demokrissy: Winds of Political Change - Dawn of T&T's Arab Spring
Jul 30, 2013 Wherever these breezes have passed, they have left in their wake wide ranging social and political changes: one the one hand toppling long time leaders with rising decibels from previously suppressed peoples demanding a ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Reform, Conform, Perform or None of the Above cross ...
Oct 25, 2013 Some 50 percent did not vote. The local government elections results lends further proof of the discussion began in Clash of Political Cultures: Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago in Through The ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Sounds of a party - a political party
Oct 14, 2013 They are announcing some political meeting or the other; and begging for my vote, and meh road still aint fix though I hear all parts getting box drains and thing, so I vex. So peeps, you know I am a sceptic so help me decide. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian
Jun 15, 2010 T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian · T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 8:20 AM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Related:
Demokrissy: To vote, just how we party … Towards culturally ...
Apr 30, 2010 'How we vote is not how we party.' At 'all inclusive' fetes and other forums, we nod in inebriated wisdom to calypsonian David Rudder's elucidation of the paradoxical political vs. social realities of Trinidad and Tobago. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: DEADLOCK: Sign of things to come
Oct 29, 2013 An indication that unless we devise innovative ways to address representation of our diversity, we will find ourselves in various forms of deadlock at the polls that throw us into a spiral of political tug of war albeit with not just ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: The human face of constitutional reform
Oct 16, 2013 Sheilah was clearly and sharply articulating the deficiencies in governmesaw her: a tinymite elderly woman, gracefully wrinkled, deeply over with concerns about political and institutional stagnation but brimming over with ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Trini politics is d best
Oct 21, 2013 Ain't Trini politics d BEST! Nobody fighting because they lose. All parties claiming victory, all voting citizens won! That's what make we Carnival d best street party in the world. Everyone are winners because we all like ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age - Demokrissy
Jan 09, 2012 New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. Posted by Kris Rampersad ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: T&T politics: A new direction? - Caribbean360 Oct 01, 2010 http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 20, 2013 Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an exercise in thoughtful, studied choice. Local government is the foundation for good governance so even if one wants to reform the ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Demokrissy - Blogger
Apr 07, 2013 Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2
Apr 30, 2013 Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2....http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
See Also:
Demokrissy: Winds of Political Change - Dawn of T&T's Arab Spring
Jul 30, 2013 Wherever these breezes have passed, they have left in their wake wide ranging social and political changes: one the one hand toppling long time leaders with rising decibels from previously suppressed peoples demanding a ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Reform, Conform, Perform or None of the Above cross ...
Oct 25, 2013 Some 50 percent did not vote. The local government elections results lends further proof of the discussion began in Clash of Political Cultures: Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago in Through The ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Sounds of a party - a political party
Oct 14, 2013 They are announcing some political meeting or the other; and begging for my vote, and meh road still aint fix though I hear all parts getting box drains and thing, so I vex. So peeps, you know I am a sceptic so help me decide. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian
Jun 15, 2010 T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian · T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 8:20 AM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Related:
Demokrissy: To vote, just how we party … Towards culturally ...
Apr 30, 2010 'How we vote is not how we party.' At 'all inclusive' fetes and other forums, we nod in inebriated wisdom to calypsonian David Rudder's elucidation of the paradoxical political vs. social realities of Trinidad and Tobago. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: DEADLOCK: Sign of things to come
Oct 29, 2013 An indication that unless we devise innovative ways to address representation of our diversity, we will find ourselves in various forms of deadlock at the polls that throw us into a spiral of political tug of war albeit with not just ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: The human face of constitutional reform
Oct 16, 2013 Sheilah was clearly and sharply articulating the deficiencies in governmesaw her: a tinymite elderly woman, gracefully wrinkled, deeply over with concerns about political and institutional stagnation but brimming over with ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Trini politics is d best
Oct 21, 2013 Ain't Trini politics d BEST! Nobody fighting because they lose. All parties claiming victory, all voting citizens won! That's what make we Carnival d best street party in the world. Everyone are winners because we all like ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age - Demokrissy
Jan 09, 2012 New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. Posted by Kris Rampersad ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: T&T politics: A new direction? - Caribbean360 Oct 01, 2010 http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Others: Demokrissy: Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 ...
Apr 07, 2013
Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2
Apr 30, 2013
Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2. 
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Wave a flag for a party rag...Choosing the Emperor's New ...
Oct 20, 2013
Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an ... Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 10:36 AM ...
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Carnivalising the Constitution People Power ...
Feb 26, 2014
This Demokrissy series, The Emperor's New Tools, continues and builds on the analysis of evolution in our governance, begun in the introduction to my book, Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010): The Clash of Political ...
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Envisioning outside-the-island-box ... - Demokrissy - Blogger
Feb 10, 2014
This Demokrissy series, The Emperor's New Tools, continues and builds on the analysis of evolution in our governance, begun in the introduction to my book, Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010): The Clash of Political ...
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Futuring the Post-2015 UNESCO Agenda
Apr 22, 2014
It is placing increasing pressure for erasure of barriers of geography, age, ethnicity, gender, cultures and other sectoral interests, and in utilising the tools placed at our disposal to access our accumulate knowledge and technologies towards eroding these superficial barriers. In this context, we believe that the work of UNESCO remains significant and relevant and that UNESCO is indeed the institution best positioned to consolidate the ..... The Emperor's New Tools ...
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Demokrissy: Cutting edge journalism
Jun 15, 2010
The Emperor's New Tools. Loading... AddThis. Bookmark and Share. Loading... Follow by Email. About Me. My Photo · Kris Rampersad. Media, Cultural and Literary Consultant, Facilitator, Educator and Practitioner. View my ...
http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/



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