How such small islands in the Caribbean were able and are still able to produce such an artistic profusion ? Everyone should ask themselves that central question.
Since its “discovery” by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, the Caribbean islands turned into a meeting place for almost all the nations of the world (Amerindian, European, African, Asian). Over the centuries, this intermixing of races (even though some people say that there is only one race : the human race) and cultures gave rise to new societies.
The Caribbean islands are often compared to a laboratory, an overview of the future mixed world.
If some regard this region as a string of small islands with no weight in international decision-making in short, almost insignificant lands, the Caribbean islands can be very proud of their contribution to the culture of mankind.
Moreover, we recall that many modern superpowers become rich thanks to our islands, for several centuries.
Indeed, on these Caribbean lands were invented many musical rhythms with their specific dances, such as mento, ska, reggae, dance hall, bèlè, biguine, rasin, twoubadou, konpa, kadans, gombay, calypso, soca, gwoka, zouk, rake n’scrape, son, rumba, salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton… Most of them are internationally recognized.
Today, almost all the islands founded one or more festivals what is a way of highlighting these different musics, of generating currencies…
In the field of literature, the insular Caribbean is also very rich. Some literary movements like negritude or “créolité” allowed our authors to express our realities. Many local and international literary prizes are awarded to our writers ; the region also has three Nobel Prizes for Litterature.
Exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography are increasing in our halls, it’s a proof of intense creativity. Several of our painters and plastic artists are listed in the international art market.
Theatre and cinema become more democratic, the professionals attend training courses to perform better in our region and even export their talents, our islands become shoot places for important foreign film productions…
Traditions (in particular culinary, religious, carnival…) are also very diverse on the Caribbean islands. They are also the cement of our plural societies.
It is up to the West Indians that we are to come together. Thus, we will know each other better, we will see all these similarities which unite us and we will be stronger in the eyes of the rest of the world in order to enhance and honor all the sections of this Caribbean culture and heritage.
This exceptional wealth belongs to the soul of Caribbean people.
With in-depth articles written by competent journalists who have knowledge of the artistic world on their island, KARICULTURE.NET, launched this September 14, 2016, aims to become the reference website in the cultural information of the Caribbean.
Évelyne Chaville (Editor of Kariculture.net)