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Summit of cultural mimicry and disgrace

Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold said, “It was quite disappointing that persons were placed there (Friday’s opening ceremony) to mimic steelband. “Can you imagine in the land where steelband was invented a live steelband could not be seen or heard? “This cultural ceremony was meant to expose T&T to the world at the opening of the Fifth Summit of the Americas. “Steelband pioneers like Victor “Toty” Wilson, Winston “Spree” Simon and Oscar “Bogart” Pile must be somersaulting in their graves.

“It is important too, that respected and responsible steelbandsmen who participated in this act must be careful with the false values their services are hired for. “T&T,” Arnold said, “cannot be compared with Brazil and several other carnival nations where costuming is concerned, yet we make a cultural presentation to the world with 90 per cent Carnival costumes… and not a live steelband. “Whoever is responsible for this mimicry of steelband must give Pan Trinbago an explanation for this insult,” the pan boss said.

full story in Trinidad Guardian http://guardian.co.tt/features/life/2009/04/26/summit-cultural-mimi...

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Mr Arnold just awoke from his slumber.Like Alice in wonderland he is trying to find out what happened to the months that the preparations for the summit were taking place.Alas! being asleep he could not advise or beg or implore or demand that Mr Mc Farlane and his committee use a steelband or a pan soloist to play our National Anthem.Instead we were subjected to a ridiculous version of the anthem by an operatic soprano.Pan Trinbago officials raise their heads for a few weeks during the year and after that they crawl back into their holes and continue their slumber.
This is not Mr. McFarlane's fault. He did his thing quite well. Pan Trinbago dropped the ball. A full steelband could have welcomed the delegates at the airport or at the Diplomatic Center. Does anyone know what role Pat Bishop played?
That is the type of disrespect that the national instrument faces in the land of it's birth. Who ever organised that affair cannot organise a drunken party in a brewery.
Think of how many steelbands you see with a "Mas" band on carnival day to them they are silent and that is what they depicted in that opening. The "Dimanche Gras" was a better production than that.
You all must remember that many people in Trinidad no matter how far the Pan has come, are still (a) ashamed of it and still dwell on the negative aspect of it (b) resent it as they cannot make a buck out of it and despoil it in the way that they have done with the Mas bands, as there are to many people to share the money with and no one person can claim the success of it.
Why do they always call a "Mas Person" to put on these things are they aalso theatrical producers. For the first time in his tenure I have to agree with Mr Arnold.
That is the type of disrespect that the national instrument faces in the land of it's birth. Who ever organised that affair cannot organise a drunken party in a brewery.
Think of how many steelbands you see with a "Mas" band on carnival day to them they are silent and that is what they depicted in that opening. The "Dimanche Gras" was a better production than that.
You all must remember that many people in Trinidad no matter how far the Pan has come, are still (a) ashamed of it and still dwell on the negative aspect of it (b) resent it as they cannot make a buck out of it and despoil it in the way that they have done with the Mas bands, as there are to many people to share the money with and no one person can claim the success of it.
Why do they always call a "Mas Person" to put on these things are they aalso theatrical producers. For the first time in his tenure I have to agree with Mr Arnold.
Thats a damn Shame! ....in de land of Pan?. I support Mr. Arnold 100% I await their explanation and apology. It better be a good one. Were these mimicers real panmen? If so, the greater shame lies with them. Degrading panmen from all over. No appreciation for what we do for Caribbean culture.
Wake up people! Pan is still in danger, well, in the land of steelband and kaiso anyway, what will it take? A very not happy trini living in Bermuda.
Mr. Arnold is 100% incorrect. One hour was alloted to show the entire cultural history of this country going to back to the Arawaks. There was pan on the presentation-the original pan i.e.pan around the neck. There was a small stage so there was neither time nor space for a steel band to set up and play. Mr. Arnold also did not address a problem that would have arisen if he had gotten his way-which player or band did he want? Within its limits, Brian McFarland did an excellent job of trying to include as many facets of this society as possible. He also received other complains such as there wasn't enough of the Indo-Trini culture shown or why did he use the Professor rather than Boogsie etc.
Mr. Arnold also fail to mention that five pan yards were placed on the tour route for the delegates and staff to visit and be entertained. I beleive that Mr. Arnold would have cared less as to whether any of the other 33 delegates ever saw a pan. I feel his real complaint is that no member band of his organization got to perform for Obama.
Every individual has a different way of putting on a presentation, and in so doing you will be able to identify their strength and direction. In other words what they love most and admire will be featured unless otherwise directed. Being a dis-satisfied representative of an organization or an opposition leader, isn't it right to complain ?

The logo for the 5th SOA was a large number 5 with a stylized pan in the circular section of the "5". I wonder how many attendees to the conference even new what that was?........
Patrick Arnold and Pantrinbago got some nerve to complain about their absence. If they were a responsible institution they would have madr sure that the national instrument was present at all functions. Shame on pantrinbago.
Before I make a broad statement that we are reactive instead of proactive, I will like to know if all the heads of culture in T&T, were called in for their imput by the powers that be, way in advance of this April's Summit. If they were not called, why didn't they run to the media. Now, if I am a head of an entity of culture, I will make sure there is dialogue between "me" and "them," way in advance. I am not going to wait for Moses to come to me; I will go to him.

Ian Franklin
Greetings All, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed here. First I support Arnold's position. THe people who run the country, in I opinion, do not feel a groundedness with Pan and as such do not find it necessary and highly inportant to give it its full expression. Pan Trinbago should be a functioning part of TnT gov't. TnT as a small (in size) should have more cultural input into its political plans and decisions.In both above cited cases there will be less likelihood of such a FAUX PAS occuring in the international sphere.Question? What checks and balances are there intact to prevent and correct these glaring mistakes? How about Pan Trinbago demanding accountability to the extent of an INQUIRY.....One Love RAs Rico ISELASSIE I

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