Editorial for 26 February: Cayfest event shines

Those who think there is no Cayman culture probably weren’t
at Saturday’s Red Sky at Night event, part of the Cayman National Cultural
Foundation’s Cayfest 2013 festival.

This large, well-attended event took place over a period of
eight hours and showcased just about every facet of Cayman culture imaginable.
Although it highlighted several aspects of Caymanian culture, this was an event
that traversed cultural boundaries and was, in the end, a celebration of Cayman’s
multicultural diversity.

Over the course of the day, festival-goers were able to
experience a taste of many forms of artistic expression, from poetry and
storytelling, to short films and drama excerpts, to music and dancing, to
paintings and photography.

Best of all, this was a family-friendly event that not only
engaged children, it included them in many of the art forms on display.

Despite the ambitious scale of the festival and the number
of events, Red Sky at Night was well-organised and even the dreaded temporary
technical glitch with the lighting couldn’t take away from what was
accomplished, especially for a first-time event.

There are those who would argue that the Cayman Islands is
losing its culture, referring to traditional types of artistic expression.
However, culture isn’t static; it changes with the times and is a reflection of
the people who express it. These days, Grand Cayman is a wonderful pastiche of
diverse cultures and artistic expression that come together in these gloriously
beautiful islands to create something that reflects our society as a whole.
Yes, we are percussion ensembles, but we also are a group of
classically-trained musicians playing the recorder. We are storytellers and
stomp artists. We are a group of young Caymanian students playing New
Orleans-style jazz.

Interestingly, the teacher of those jazz students said
during their performance that jazz music was conversation with the audience.
Similarly, culture is a conversation with all of the members of a society and
Red Sky at Night captured a little bit of that discourse from many corners of
Grand Cayman.

Take a bow, CNCF; you deserve it for Cayfest 2013.

 

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