Crop Over Festival Part of a Cultural Dynamic

Cranston Browne - CEO,NCF

Cranston Browne – CEO,NCF

We live in a society where the study of humanities is trivialized when stacked against the sciences. Why would human beings – in this case Barbadians – fail to appreciate the importance of understanding how we interact and integrate with our environment through the many avenues we use to express ourselves? We have so many ways to relate to our environment through art, music, literature, music and other forms of expression.

In any society stakeholders in the private and public sectors  combine to nurture and educate individuals how to ‘connect’ with their environment; in the process defining ones existence. In the Barbados context the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is charged with the responsible. A view of the About the NCF website confirms that the NCF  is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament in 1983. Its mandate is to oversee the cultural landscape of Barbados AND To fuel the development of culture through training, research and the creation of opportunities in cultural industries.

An economy that continues to struggle has forced the government to slash budgets and this has affected  planning for the 2014 Crop Over Festival. All reasonable Barbadians understand the implications of cash flow and revenue challenges but in a politically polarized environment it is no surprise decisions taken by government will be testily debated.

The time has come to question government’s role as promoter of the Crop Over Festival.  The financial benefit to the economy has become too significant to be managed by a government agency that should be concerned with the development of culture through training, research and the creation of opportunities in cultural industries. The scenario playing out translates to –  if the economy continues to decline we will experience more cuts to the NCF budget.  Although the impact to the cultural landscape of Barbados cannot be accurately assessed there is a good argument to be made that more cuts will equate to stasis state.

The time has come for the NCF and government to outsource parts of the Crop Over Festival to private enterprise to ensure its development role is not compromised during the economic slowdown.  It is a strategy which former Prime Minister Owen Arthur promoted when he assigned the culture ministry to himself. We cannot continue to appoint political pimps to key positions at the NCF. We cannot continue to have unqualified government ministers who are able to use the office to direct a major festival. It is time for professionals to be allowed to get more involved.

BU is not optimistic the proclamation of the Cultural Industries Bill will achieve desired outcomes. Also disturbing has been the lack of partnership between key stakeholders in the creative sector. The importance of cultural expression to a society is too important to be dictated by lilliputian minds.  The NCF must be allowed to carryout its mandate.

We wish the minister of culture every success on his junket to China.

80 thoughts on “Crop Over Festival Part of a Cultural Dynamic

  1. Pingback: Crop Over Festival Part of a Cultural Dynamic | Black In Barbados

  2. “It is a strategy which former Prime Minister Owen Arthur promoted when he assigned the culture ministry to himself.”

    Ha ha ha .. What a crock … The master of smoke and mirrors then took responsibility for assigning a key national project, the design and building of a National Hero statue, the Father of Independence, to a foreigner, as every other member of his Cabinet would have known better …

    With respect to the Crop Over events and the Private Sector, the inclusion of the present CEO is a nice compromise, but do not confuse his role as a Crop Over expert with his role in China … one is a round hole and the other is a wrong hole.

    And by the way, the purpose of the NCF as indeed the Ministry of Culture, and the Cultural Industries Bill, is:-

    “To Use The Fact That There Are Cultural Practitioners As An Excuse To Pay Bureaucrats A Salary”.

    • @Baffy

      This is a subject, culture, which we are very passionate but the lack of discussion in the blogosphere is a good indication that the majority of ordinary Barbadians tolerate culture and view as perioheral to what is important.

  3. David please write a definition of “culture” as you think the average Bajan can be educated to understand its true value to Barbados.

    • @Hants

      A simple definition is how we express ourselves as a people, what we eat, how we sing and dress, the technology and methodology to how we do produce and think…

  4. @ David
    A simple definition is how we express ourselves as a people, what we eat, how we sing and dress, the technology and methodology to how we do produce and think…
    ….and this leads us to Kadooment, and cavalcades?

    Have we not been assessing “how we express ourselves as a people” here on BU? …..and coming to the conclusion that we are in fact a bunch of brass bowls?
    What the hell is .”We Culture” then? Brass bowls behaving like brass bowls?……..while others eat their lunch?

    A Minister / Ministry of Culture should be a high level national function that has the capacity to visualize a positive, futuristic self-image for Barbadians…..and to effect the kind of leadership and promote the kind of values to get us to that agreed future.

    Right now “culture” is about a bunch of low class jackasses with no vision, no hope, no values, no pride ….who behave almost exactly like wild animals would be expected to…..

    Lotta shiite…..
    Right now it would be a MAJOR improvement if we disbanded the whole damn ministry/minister/ NCF and saved the money being wasted.

    Culture should be something that one can be proud to promote….not latching on to the very worst of the worst and importing every foreign freak show…..

  5. The Ministry of Culture and everything associated with it is an expose of the curse that Political Parties are to Barbados – Popularity over substance

  6. “The time has come for the NCF and government to outsource parts of the Crop Over Festival to private enterprise to ensure its development role is not compromised during the economic slowdown. It is a strategy which former Prime Minister Owen Arthur promoted when he assigned the culture ministry to himself. We cannot continue to appoint political pimps to key positions at the NCF. We cannot continue to have unqualified government ministers who are able to use the office to direct a major festival. It is time for professionals to be allowed to get more involved.”

    For example, let us take a look St. Vincent’s “Vincy Mas” carnival. This annual event is growing in popularity each year, and has been attracting increasing amount of visitors from all over the Caribbean and beyond the region. Vincy Mas is successfully planned by the Carnival Development Corporation. Then there is St. Lucia’s “Lucian Carnival” which is planned by The Carnival Planning & Management Agency.

    Political interference and political appointees who bring with them an autocratic style of leadership does nothing to boost staff morale. This brings us to the point “We cannot continue to appoint political pimps to key positions at the NCF”….. what qualified Monique Taitt to be chair(wo)man of the NCF, other than being Branford Taitt’s daughter? Her tenure at the Foundation was wrapped in controversy and caused low staff morale.

    There are some things in Barbados that go beyond personal political agendas, arrogant behavior and political parties….. culture and the Crop Over Festival are two of them.

  7. This is a debate which is long overdue. Every comment above makes a point or points about the state of culture in Barbados. In the meantime the practitioners just get quietly on with their lives resigned to the fact that the people charged with helping have other agendas that are doing nothing to promote Barbados as a cultural destination. I hope in the reorganisation of the BTA someone literate will read the freely available information that cultural tourism is the current biggest growth sector and put pressure on the Ministry of Culture. But I can dream on when the main function of NCF seems to be to promote wukup and as one official told a group of art and craft people culture not only means art and craft but shopping is part of “we Culture”

  8. Barbados has been copying other people’s music and events for years.

    Our brilliant talented musicians and designers have evolved over the years to come close to being the equal of the greats.

    Cropover/kadooment is a copy of Trinidad carnival.

    Our Calypsonians copied Sparrow and other Trinidadian masters.

    Some of our musicians excel in R&B and Jazz etc

    A Ministry of culture should be tasked with providing direction and opportunities for the youth to develop talent and skills that are marketable.

    How about 4 to 6 cropover bands from the Community college and the SJPP where everything from DESIGN to manufacture of the costumes is entirely executed by students?
    How about the music for these bands provided by the muscians from Kolig, CP and cawmere ?

  9. What is CROP OVER ALL about? Is it still a tourism event designed to bring visitors to the country during the slow summer period?

  10. Pelican Village is a great concept to promote and sell culture based art and craft but the location (at the moment) is bad.

    However if an dining and entertainment component was added it could be successful.

  11. There are serious social political tensions and conflicts disconnections and distances that exist between many of the various human and other fundamental components of the multi-farious cultures in Barbados.

    For instance, many of those components of the local banking institutional culture – a subculture of the entire local financial culture – are substantially conflictous disconnected, with many of those found functioning within the performing arts culture – a subculture of the entire arts culture in Barbados.

    So, whereas two of the banking culture’s main components are collecting and transferring out money, two of the performing arts culture’s main components are practicing/rehearsing and performing of the artistic talents and abilities.

    Moreover, each of those sub-cultures has its own business (industry) ideologies, principles, methods, applications and markets – a few of which would overlap or be in harmony with each other, but the majority of which will either disconnect or conflict.

    But unless and until the major players/the players in each local culture know that they must as much as possible properly develop and in whatever ways the local sub and wider culture commercially financially, and unless and until the major players/the players in any domestic business know that they must as much as possible and in whatever ways maintain, preserve and express the business’s and sectoral culture, and unless and until the major players/the players have a functioning appreciation and regard for each other’s roles and functions in assisting the development of each culture and business (industry) in Barbados, then – as the concept of cultural industry by the NCF narrowly myopically stands – there will be no or hardly progress and development of these cultures and industries at this critical juncture in the country’s history.

    Hence, it is not only ridiculous but also farcical that these intellectual and politically bankrupt and discredited DLP and BLP disorganizations in this country cannot realize that what they have narrowly defined as culture and what is industry will not or will only hardly further grow and develop, when there still remain little real balances, consistencies and connections between the multifarious cultures and industries in Barbados, but remain these serious imbalances and inconsistencies and distances between the multi-farious cultures and industries in this country.


  12. I am not dreaming Kathy. I offer suggestions that I believe are practical. If the brassbowls do not want to accept or execute them… problem.

    The problem with us Bajans is that we don’t bust our basses until we move to hostile environments like the UK,Canada and the USA.

    Sorry. let me re phrase and speak about me…..I would never have done anything I could be proud of if my lazy brass had stayed in Barbados.

    Barbados has a lot of well educated and talented people but by the time they become decision makers they become “un motivated”.

    Cultural industries should be generating massive forex.

  13. David said
    “We wish the minister of culture every success on his junket to China.”

    Dr Leroy McClean and his 20 member delegation just back from their three-week junket.

    Now Minister Lashley and his delegation gone to promote Barbados culture.

    I hope the Minister took along a copy of the VerseeWild Push It Back Music Video at related blog:

    When the Chinese get a taste of that real Bajan culture, China Airline will have to put on daily flights.

    That slice of Bajan culture should generate massive forex

    • So are we saying we don’t have a culture an authentic culture of which we are proud?

      Going back to what is humanities and our inability to nurture and at the same time bottle cultural outputs for commercial benefit what have we achieved?

      Is there any current study or audit of our cultural landscape?

  14. David wrote “So are we saying we don’t have a culture an authentic culture of which we are proud”

    I will be honest David.
    I am trying to think of what is authentic culture in Barbados and I am struggling.

    Food ….Flying fish and cou cou…..and puddin n souse.

    Clothing. There is no authentic Bajan clothing other than “shirt jacs”(which I wore in the 60s)

    I hope someone will define what constitutes identifiable aspects of Bajan culture”

    • @Hants

      Can we define the Barbadian experience?

      This is the kind of national discourse we need to have.

      Our Creatives need to step up and add value to the dialogue.

      What is occuring is that politicos are leading based on what this is not clearly defined.

  15. @ David
    Can we define the Barbadian experience?
    Vessels of a brazen nature….. (pun intended)

  16. A culture should bedefined by things that are original or habitual if not original.

    Rum shops are part of we culture but they may have evolved from the “British pub”.

    Making and Flying kites is cultural.

  17. trying to define culture is impossible. But Bajans mus\t take a hard look at what the NCF is promoting as “We Culture”. But in my field , visual arts the artists have to accept that the government regardless of party really has no intention of doing anything to alter the present situation. The question that must be asked is why? Are they afraid that people will see reality reflected in art and start to ask questions? Should not be a problem.But I go over my years when I have tried to promote our artists overseas and been sidelined and blocked and I still can find no answers. Unless one looks very deep and then it is a very different matter .Frightening in many ways, As I personally never stood to benefit who did ? Don’t be misled some astonishing art is being produced in Barbados yet no serious attempts are being made to promote it. Yes I know exhibitions are sent overseas but questions surround the meaning and purpose of these exhibitions,We have artists who are known and show overseas but their work is never shown in Barbados. But when you talk about culture bear in mind that those who are paid to promote it like it exactly as it is.

    • @Kathy

      You last comment should create a lot of concern for Barbadians at large. If at this stage of our development we don’t have a sense of what defines us as a people we need to press the SOS button. A vibrant culture, a connection to to self multiplied underpins a vibrant society.

  18. Barbadosadvisor Actual
    April 28
    In comparison to large metropolitan police departments in the United States, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) response times are slower, and resources are fewer. However, the RBPF enjoys comparatively greater resources than its Eastern Caribbean neighbors. Generally, uniformed police are adequate to have an influence on crime deterrence, but uniformed police response to alarms or emergency calls are sometimes below U.S. standard. Police performance and conduct varies from poor to acceptable in professionalism and training, and regional police organizations have definite resource/manpower limitations that inhibit their deterrence and response effectiveness.
    Like · · Share

    Vladlena Kozlofsky a bunch of useless bastards, when i reported my incident they laughed and said i must have lead my attacker on.
    47 minutes ago · Unlike · 1
    Barbadosadvisor Actual i am so sorry,i know. how have you managed to get from russia to barbados? some of them are animals.
    44 minutes ago · Like
    Barbadosadvisor Actual you can personal message me if that question was too personal.sorry.
    41 minutes ago · Like
    Barbadosadvisor Actual can i use your picture and comment on a popular barbados blog where it will be seen by many barbadiens?vladlena.
    7 minutes ago · Edited · Like
    Vladlena Kozlofsky yes it is no problem i wish to spread awareness.. its been a troubling time as now my husband cant even look at me. it as tho the devil has eaten my soul.
    6 minutes ago · Unlike · 1
    Barbadosadvisor Actual ok thank you.i will get the word out,when did this happen?
    6 minutes ago · Edited · Like
    Barbadosadvisor Actual have they caught the man?
    4 minutes ago · Like
    Barbadosadvisor Actual The mulatto drivers enjoyed using the whip on whites. It gave them a sense of power and was also a protest against their white sires. White women in particular were singled out for punishment in the fields. Sometimes, to satisfy a perverted craving, th...See More
    2 minutes ago · Like

    Barbadosadvisor Actual
    April 28

  19. I am not quite sure what Barbados trip Advisor posting is about in relation to culture. But I have lived and travelled widely and police are police world wide and I don’t know how anyone from Russia can have experienced anything better in her own country.
    But I have never had a problem in Barbados and my recent experience involving Speightstown police fills me with admiration for the officers there. Not only did they respond quickly but the help they gave me went far beyond the call of duty ‘i am truly indebted to them.

  20. These people at CBC show alotta statues pun TV that was supposed to represent a number of national heroes and the Jackasses did not have the broughtupcy to say who the creators were … But, come de end of the broadcast, every blasted CBC employed that was involved with the production get mention’ … In a nutshell, Jackasses rule ..!

  21. your culture would come from where your ansestors lived in africa before you were imported to barbados.that would be your culture.
    make sense.
    are you understanding this?
    was raga raga ear drum exploding and sexual wucking up a part of your ansestors culture???????
    common sense.!!!!!!!!

  22. Does because he was black make it worse. Rape is no joke and as someone who was lucky to get away it was no consolation that he was white

  23. You are venturing into waters that you cannot navigate when you begin to talk about Culture and defining Culture. Cease and desist!
    With due respect to Stuart Hall and the Contemporary thoughts

    This is Jason Patrick Price, outer the Lakeside Crew, Lower Estate, St. Michael

    • @Baffy

      What is the problem? It is art.

      If you listened to Wickham today we should have no problem with it if she is comfortable doing what she is doing.

      He neglected to add if she has a diplomatic passport we do have some say.

  24. le mule are you obsessed with well hung men?
    and by the way anything i have ever put up on here has never been has been fact not fiction
    ever thought all this sexual ,wuck up, and people like le mule have added to the constantly lower values of this barbados.
    causing rapes to increase?
    David can ban me for telling the truth but that does not stop it from being the truth.
    he has removed a link to a breaking story that is in direct focus of this column. it is a good example of to the raped and ignored white woman
    i was talking about.this will show her what she is dealing with and hope fully
    more women in her same position.RAPE OF WHITE WOMEN IS OK IN BARBADOS CULTURE.and is bullshit.


    Crop Over Festival Part of a Cultural Dynamic@
    More like when will this CRAP be OVER , TODAY A Male worker for the NCC said the papers will read 200 to go home ,but he said its more like 250 to 300 is to go home ,
    More PAIN because of Massive Land Fraud the PONZI is near over

  26. .
    Trip advisor AKA “KENT TAYLOR” is a coward, who sits behind a shitty handle thinking its good to tell young white tourists that the blacks are out to get them and they conspire trying to make money from them and rape them. He also goes so far as to tell them, the blacks apparently feel superior hurting these women.. and though what he says does have some credibility to what he says.. he is a fucking TARD jesus christ dude ur such a fucking douche.. focus ur energy elsewhere and stop being such a blind cunt.. sorry for the expletives everyone else.. but the man is a fucking idiot.

  27. It would be nice if there was a place, a ‘we never close’ place, where artists, poets, dancers, writers and music people came together to relate to each other and everyman – a sort of Greenwich Village.

    As Hants says, Pelican Village has potential. Now it needs a coffee shop. Gee BAF, we might even meet. Yeah.

  28. Thank you Marcia..Harry/iabingy/tripadvisor all the same creep..Don’t think he gine show he face in Bim anytime soon! Nuff licks gine pelt in he ass.

  29. Marcia-Kent Taylor here .all i say is fact .
    i not scared of any of you assholes.does everyone know who David is?
    i ready for all ya can be sure some others going with me ,or going to dodds.
    so big deal nasty mouth negro. go fusk your self.
    you ugly ass.
    when ya come at me know i be ready i.i ready anytime.always prepared for nast mouth stinking skum.
    by the way Marcia i have your death threats copied.
    so big lawyer will see all this and to post my brother also.
    that is illegal and copy righted.

  30. some body going to jail,or dead,i may dead ,i dont give a fuck,but some coming with me.bring it .want to play.i got things i can play with also.
    nast mouth heathen dogs.kill me please.
    come on.ya bunch of fools as i have this page coppied now. and will be handed to my lawyer.threats. fuck off i trembeling.come round and see what happen.

  31. now you all have shown your are racist against whites on this page. haha fools
    everything i ever put on this blog or mine is fact and can be proved.
    so the truth hurts that bad .waste my time.lay your hand pun me
    and you will loose it.guaranteed.
    my ancestors was slaves and on barbados before all of you..
    so i more bajan than all wunna. if you see me come close.and touch me.
    even in the sea on a kayak i got something for ya.
    and David you asshole you going to get sued.

  32. marcunta=- there is total credibility to what i say.i seen it .ibeen there.
    wow mar cunt is a me bitch.

  33. if you write on my face book or any where i will have you banned for life and i will sue your asses as harassment.
    watch yourselves .!they got cyber police now.!!!!!!!! haha

  34. i be checking on all of you i am quite a computer wiz by the way.i already have ip addresses.i am in canada and their a bit ahead of you all i will be showing all this to the RCMP as well.i got all your ip addresses now.
    i know where you live…………………………..
    see you all soon.

  35. Kent,

    Don’t get too worked up … the side of the story that you are telling needs to be told … no question. In the same way that there is White Trash, there is Black Trash, and I have no stomach for either …

  36. Kent:

    I saw you struggling with your demons of well hung men raping you or your family and I was only trying to hold your hand in the moment. I have not judged you or your performance here; all I am trying to do is assist. Remember that white men rape too, and a lot of your ancestors raped the black men and women slaves.

    Are you accusing the BU bloggers of cyber bullying you?


    I concur with your position.

  37. BAF and Lemuel

    Good ….and it’s time you made that abundantly clear directly to the racists on BU and that includes David alias Pacha alias God Knows Who. All too often people like me have been ostracized on BU for making the point you both just made. Time to be counted fellas. Clean this place up.

    Which causes me to say two things.

    First, Trip, I think, asked about wukking up. Like so many carry-overs – eg stupsing and SSSSSSS’ing and “Axing” for ‘asking’ wukking-up is a direct derivative from a Yoruba dance where the fellas wearing their agbada essentially wukk-up to the females. I have also seen it in Itsekiri-land. The wukking-up is frontal and behind-wise.

    Second. On culture. Again we talk about it but do nothing. I have let it be known here twice that I want to produce an anthology of Bajan poetry. No takers. I have spoken to Yagga about his poetry. No response. I asked you, BAF, whether you knew any poets. You didn’t answer me. So all this talk is just yukky froth.

    Consider the mentality. RR following Hants’ lead, suggests a coffee shop at Pelican. That results in a negative vote . Now HOW for Christ’s sake does that warrant the negativity? Are they saying ‘we don’t like you’ (probably) or ‘it’s a bad idea’. Well who knows. BUT if THAT is what ‘world changing’ is about there is no hope. And if the people who are in a position to act don’t or won’t what’s the point of all this jawing?

    I think we should thank people like Trip for trying in their own special way to get BU back to basics..

  38. the English used to breed African Slaves with Irish Slaves , but the RAPE continues until this day and its the Africans that are the POLICE IN Barbados , THIS IS WHY WE GOT GUNS !

  39. Kent are you trying to scare the natives? Why are you reading this blog just click on the X and we will no longer be in your face.

    I believe that the crop over festival should be renamed. We no longer have a crop to cut, we no longer can meet our quotas and sellling whatever sugar we make way below cost. Also people adopt customs from others and make them their own. Since many haven’t delved deeper into where we were from in Africa, and have made no direct ties with the motherland to learn what we had left behind or have
    forgotten. Then again the neighboring islanders who had migrated to these shores have their bit to add to
    the pot. Some cultures appear to be more authentic than others because they have a strong sense of their history.

    • @islandgal

      Making the best decisions about the crop over festival must be located in a narrative further up the ladder.

  40. Blacks in Barbados should listen to this DECENT Educated and realistic Black American

    He is dissing people like this Marcia Chandler ! So you want exposing too , you got all kinds on your FB page dear !

  41. man even Rhianna say that she get discriminate against in Barbados schools cause she wasn’t black enough ,
    All dat Crop over shite will destroy Barbados not help it . If the culkture was more KIND and less lOUD and Agressive Tourism would flourish But keep blocking the sea and making the concrete jungle and it will be another Miami Ghetto

  42. Bucker 7

    Thanks for the link. First rate. I heard it first on BU thanks to Pieceuh, BT and others. “puppets on a string – we’re being played…why are we so dumb to over-react to stupid stuff…a private matter… are being used.” Good for him.

  43. Crop Over represents colour, fun, dance, letting go, being yourself, indifference to convention and fake respectability two steps removed from orgasm X days of the year. Can that be bad?


    robert ross | May 1, 2014 at 4:39 PM | @

    What CROP? And as you can see the CROP IS OVER, SUGAR LANDS NEAR DONE shutting down , laying off ,
    Distractions to the truth of Barbados matters , After that is done back to the real world broke and out of work

  45. Is the crop over debate really one about supposedly public prurience, children and morals?

  46. all ya calling people cowards and making threats , I will find your names and where you work ! Lets see how big ya will talk then . I believe you are the cowards hiding behind a fake name and fake photos , this one Marcia Griffith and Johnny be good ,could be anyone .
    That Crop over shite has made Violent IDIoTS of you people ! But at least we know where ya will will be ! ANB !

  47. it is good that you seem to have gotten rid of that trip guy.
    but on the other using underhanded and illegal ways to do this to a person just because he has a different opinion to it seems the administrator of this speech is a right for all?is that not a fact?
    a small blog like this one with few viewers and few commentators it really means nothing exposing a person through illegal ways and hacking ,slandering, threatening them,is not a professional way to go about things!
    for example suppose you did this to a person that had access to bombs and was not just a man expressing his private opinion.
    this could a very big problem.
    i am just a visitor to your island but i see from this fiasco that you caused the white man is no less than barbaric.he has a right to his opinion just as
    all of you have .suppose he has jehad friends you may run in to trouble.
    i suggest you try to be less racist and do not break the law in the manner that you have.any fool could see he was provoked to react the way he did.
    i am sure he will not be writing or reading this blog again.
    i suggest that you remove his picture as that is or can be used against the administrator and comment makers on any and this blog.
    after all .you can plainly see this fake Marcia Griffith lured ,and others prevoked the does show racism against a whites on this blog.

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