A two year Creole Research Project was launched in Dominica Friday 6 April 2018.
The project is aimed at developing and advancing policy proposals to establish the island as a Centre of Excellence in the preservation and promotion of creole culture. It is a collaborative effort between the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, the Konmite pou Etid Kweyol, the Cultural Division and the National Cultural Council in Dominica.
Cultural Officer Gregory Rabess, during the launch at the Old Mill Cultural Center said research activities will be carried out in Dominica and the UK during 2018 and 2019.
“Key activities planed in Dominica include community workshops and focus groups and focus group discussions in selected communities considered as creole hubs in Dominica. A workshop in the Kalinago territory; a youth forum and focus groups targeting youth. In addition there will be an international creole symposium in 2019. Interviews with cultural elders, experts and icons are also planned,” he said.
Activities in the UK include an academic conference, a youth forum, focus group discussions and public engagement workshops.
This research project will assist in determining current attitudes, ascertain support for further institutionalizing creole culture and traditions and document critical aspects of the heritage for the sustainable development of all its dimensions Rabess explained.
“The research will also investigate and document core principles and best practices on advancing policy on preservation and promotion of the creole heritage. The research will lead to the development of a policy paper on creole language and culture, two books and a video documentary. A project website and social media initiatives will provide visibility and information on the project on an ongoing basis,” he added.
Thus, a research network will be created between the University of Bedfordshire and the Kommite Pou Etid Kweyol, the Cultural Division and the National Cultural Council in order to establish and develop advocacy for advancement of the creole heritage and culture through the arts and humanities and to also establish and sustain long term engagement and partnership between key actors and stakeholders in Dominica and academics at the University of Bedfordshire.
“Dr. Violet Cuffy who is a Dominican national and senior lecturer at the university of Bedfordshire in the UK. She is the principle researcher and she is of course here with us to help launch the project in Dominica. The research project is supported by the Arts and Humanities research council in the UK and the Dominica high commission in the UK and various UK based diaspora organizations are key stakeholders in the project,” Rabess said.