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30 countries come together for 11th edition of CARIFESTA

carifesta2013balloonsIt is showcase of Caribbeanness.

For 10 days, starting August 16 and ending on Sunday 25, the food, film, fashion, dance, music, culture, craft, are being displayed in all their glory during CARIFESTA – Caribbean Festival of Arts in Suriname.

There will also be story telling, discussions, literary arts, visual arts, a trade fair, theatre.

CARIFESTA was initiated by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in 1972 “to celebrate the arts, foster a vision of Caribbean unity and to positively advance Caribbean culture regionally and internationally. The multidisciplinary Festival showcases the cultural expressions of artists in over 30 countries in the Caribbean Region.

“Since its inception, 10 CARIFESTAs have been staged in eight countries, the most recent being held in Guyana in August 2008.

“In 2011, Suriname offered to host the eleventh edition of CARIFESTA. At the 33rd Thirty-Third CARICOM Heads of State Meeting in St. Lucia held in July 2012, the President of Suriname informed the meeting that since the end of 2011 pre-CARIFESTA XI preparations started at both the Governmental and technical level.

“These initial preparations are conducted at both the national level, through the Ministry of Education and Community Development and its the Directorate of Culture and at the regional level, through the Regional Cultural Committee, which is the regional advisory body of Culture Directors of CARICOM, and at the level of the Council for Human and Social Development more specifically the Ministers of CARICOM responsible for culture.

The theme for CARIFESTA XI: Culture for Development: Celebrating our diversity and promoting the central role of culture in economic, social and human development, encompasses all aspects of sustainable human development while at the same time revealing an inherent respect for human rights by paying equal attention to diversity.

carifesta2013dancers“The theme is translated in a tagline for the Festival for a clearer festival identity. The tagline captures the essence of the mission and objectives of CARIFESTA XI, as related to the theme: the central role of culture in fostering the well-being of our people.

“Culture, not just as an economic driver, but as the core of our identity, the expression of ourselves through our arts, our languages, the source of our dreams and aspirations. Culture is what makes us human, what defines our Caribbeanness”. (

(Photos used with permission from the CARIFESTA Facebook page.)


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