New arts journal to serve as bridge -Gafoor
Stabroek News
June 16, 2004

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The recently-launched publication The Arts Journal is intended to serve as a bridge to those who represent a sizeable portion of Guyana's knowledge base, says Ameena Gafoor, editor of the 115-page compilation.

The publication which features local art forms including poetry, historic writings and paintings is the latest journal available to serve Guyanese, the Caribbean and the Guyanese diaspora, a Government Information Agency (GINA) release said.

Former career diplomat Lloyd Searwar described the publication as "a remarkable forward step in fostering intellectual exchange in Guyana" at a time when it is urgently needed. Referring to former local publications such as Timehri, Indian Opinion and Kyk-over-al as great reading material, Searwar said Guyana needs to reactivate the days when intellectual debates took centre stage.

The Arts Journal was printed by Pavnik Press in May on behalf of the Arts Forum Incorporated. Among those attending the official launching two Mondays ago at the Georgetown Club were Prime Minister Sam Hinds; former President Janet Jagan; Deryck Bernard, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Guyana; and columnist and author Ian McDonald. The publication will be initially compiled annually and is intended to present well-researched papers on a sustained basis, Gafoor said. She also noted that Guyana has produced some of the world's most brilliant scholars, adding that intellectual thought and critical examination, including self-examination, are essential elements of any democracy.

"We are a nation rich in history, in literary culture, myth and folklore, but disadvantaged by publishing," GINA quoted her as saying. She observed too that literary journalism has a valued place in life, but is no substitute for scholarly research.

Contributors to the journal include historians Tota Mangar and Verene Shepherd, writers Alim Hoosein and Clem Seecharan and artists Bernadette Persaud and the editor herself.