Letters & Opinion

A Clarion Call to Let The Arts Ring Out Louder!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

AFTER watching this grand display of artists display their talents and artistic commitment to the nation over the independence celebrations, I felt joyous and thrilled and still feel hopeful for the Arts as a tool towards our development and growth.

But I also recognise the glitter and purpose for the hyped-up festivities and the once-in-a-blue-moon occasion that has always been the order of our days these days.

I see and know that art can enhance education in so many ways, make people aware, through stories of several kinds, things they may not have been aware of, plus some needed bits and pieces of information that they may have missed ordinarily.

The sadness still remains, though, knowing that there is an absence of artistic festivities geared towards the upliftment of the local artists.

Outside the National Cultural Center in the city, there are still no outlets for creative group departments. The arts and artists still strive to eek-out a living, but parents still don’t feel comfortable with their offspring choosing art for their survival means.

Schools still consider art – and in some cases sporting activities – to be a hobby. But, nobody thinks that art could become a vehicle for learning and can absorb a lot of the negative time of people, both young and grown-up.

We never seem to develop along these lines. It is like art and sports are leisure activities to be done by a few in their spare time.

We as a nation will never be able to absorb great numbers of unemployed through conventional methods, as the discipline needed is not part of our DNA and art is a slow (but also very meaningful) way to make a commitment without forcing it down their throats.

We are all intelligent in our own way and painting, or carving, or dancing, or acting, all take a considerable amount of time and effort to become proficient and progressive creatively.

As for the government, as usual with all governments, they give certain incentives and concession to a selective few and usually such perks are offered to the elite and well-of people. But to invest or make available the means for ordinary people to grow and become prosperous seems to still be just be a figment of my imagination.

Are there no people employed within wide and large government sector with a soul or a passion for the Arts to the point of commitment, making sure that they influence their bosses to go that route?

I believe that social as well as spiritual and artistic needs all constitute development, so I pray that the game will change and the tables will turn, especially after the output and commitment that the artist showcased throughout this year’s 40th independence celebrations.

Meanwhile, in the name of The Arts, let’s continue to beat the iron while it’s still hot. (In other local words: Annou bat fer-a pandan e sho!)

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