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Thursday, April 20, 2006

An Announcement...

Having spent the past several months researching the idea of a creating think-tank designed to help make positive changes in the lives of Guyanese people everywhere I am pleased and I guess somewhat proud to announce that after this weekend's meeting in Scarborough, that I will launch the "Illumination Foundation" which will begin as an internet forum so as to be more accessible to people throughout the world...

I hope that once the forum/or message board is organized that we can post things such as jobs, advice, commentary and any other such resources that can be used by all Guyanese people... In short, I hope that it will be a network of people looking to help in any way they can... One of the immediate problems that I foresee is that many in Guyana do not have easy access to a computer so they may not be able to post or view various messages, an area that I would appreciate any input on... I want them to feel free to share their problems, concerns, questions and even fears with those of us who have perhaps a better perspective on things...

In addition, I am also pleased to announce that I have been working with the Mitteholzer family in an attempt to republish his works in time for our fortieth Independence Celebrations... I do not think that it will happen by then, however, we do plan on working with a publisher (most likely Peepal Tree Press) to publish and distribute his works throughout his native Guyana... Presently, the books are quite scarce and as a result expensive...

I deliberately selected Mittelholzer because it is a name that is easily recognizable and, arguably he is our greatest novelist who was the first Caribbean author to make a living solely based upon his writing...The fact that he does not receive more recognition is primarily based on the circumstances of his death (suicide)and the period in which he lived however, there is little doubt of his overall importance in world literature...

Once the books are published, the main objective will be to make them available throughout Guyana to all Guyanese people including school children... I believe it is crucial that they learn to celebrate their own artists who will hopefully serve as a form of inspiration... I would like to say that, once this has been achieved, that a certain percentage (if not all) of the profits will be used to the betterment of our people... This will be an area which I hope to rely on many of you (such as MT) who have firsthand knowledge of the problems faced by the people down there...

I can tell you that the Mittelholzer family and myself are leaning more towards helping children (perhaps by way of creating or updating a childrens hospital) as they are our hope for the future and also in preserving our literary history as I have informed that many works by authors such as Denis Willams, A.J. and Elma Seymour, etc etc are either impossible or in the possession of private collectors whose sole purpose is to make an obscene profit upon their sale... It upsets me when I hear that some of their descendents have no copies of their works and several members of the Mittelholzer family do possess any of his works or private papers...

I may be somewhat premature with my announcement as my enthusiasm gets the better of me but I remain an ardent believer that humanity has the unique ability to adapt and change ... To that end, I know that we have the necessary determination, work-ethic and ambition to work together and improve the lives of the people who are most in need...

Thanks again to everyone for your support and encouragement and I am also appreciative to those of you with dissenting points of view as I completely respect your right to express them and I am always, always willing to listen and learn about differing views since that is the only way we can truly deal with any particular issue...

If anyone has any comments, suggestions or even criticism, by all means, please do not hesitate from contacting me at the listed email address...


Posted by jebratt :: Thursday, April 20, 2006 :: 1 comments

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