Kweyol documentation competition for Nobel Laureate Week

Kweyol documentation competition for Nobel Laureate Week
Hon. Derek Walcott
Sir William Arthur Lewis

PRESS RELEASE – Local students, young photographers and creative individuals are being given a unique opportunity to make (or at least record) history in the coming days.

Preparations are well advanced for celebrations to mark Nobel Laureate Week 2016 in Saint Lucia. The 23rd annual commemoration of Sir William Arthur Lewis and Hon. Derek Walcott, the island’s two recipients of the Nobel Prize, will be held January 17-23.

The theme for 2016 is Celebrating Excellence, Transforming Lives. Among this year’s activities, the National Volunteer Organisation, Volunteer Saint Lucia, is holding a special competition to help document the nation’s history, traditions and culture.

The competition, aimed at the country’s younger citizenry, is known as Dokiman Kweyol. It will entail persons aged 13 to 35 interviewing or photographing older persons in their families and communities, in order to tell stories about Saint Lucian history.

From tales of community togetherness, dance, drama, koudmain, fashion, war, work and play, no subject is off limits. Participants just need to be able to convey what it was like in “the good old days.” But they must do so entirely in Kweyol.

Hon. Derek Walcott
Hon. Derek Walcott

Winners will be selected in three categories – best video, photography or written documentary. Videos must be no more than 10 minutes. Photos must be accompanied by descriptive captions and written submissions in Kweyol must be at least 300 words long.

The deadline for all submissions is January 15. Submissions can be made via email to [email protected] delivered by hand to the Volunteer Saint Lucia office on the 5th floor of the Greaham Louisy Building.

Enquiries can be addressed via email or interested persons can call National Volunteer Coordinator, Cyril Saltibus, at 484-3244 or 468-2125.

Nobel Laureate Week marks the achievements of Sir Arthur and Hon. Walcott, who won Nobel Prizes in Economics (1979) and Literature (1992), respectively. Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy is chairperson of the Nobel Laureate Week Committee.


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  1. Once upon a time, there was a much unvalued language that was spoken by the unschooled and people of low status until a writer captured the vernacular of the common people for entertainment in plays to be consumed by the people. That crude language of low brow is now the most complex language widely spoken in world; it is the medium for commerce, politics and education - I write using it – English.

    Consider the Kweyol language spoken with confidence and eloquence not by our parents but are grandparents. It is imbibed with a rich vocabulary and culture and yet it does not get the recognition it deserves. It is still viewed as ‘backyard talk’ despite attempts to regal it. The Kweyol language if not captured will die with that generation and we will lose a rich seam of linguistic heritage.

    I think the ‘Kweyol documentation competition for Nobel Laureate Week’ is a fitting tribute to the Kweyol language and should be entertained with a positive sentiment.


    • This needs to learn the basics of logic. Creole is not a variant of "olde English" is today's or modern day English English from England is. Nor is it like American English, a variant of English English. Right there, your "House of Cards" collapses.

      Moreover, the variant of the creole we have adopted departs from its French roots, further isolating us from those countries that have stuck to the original French.

      What clinches the matter for us, is that we are not a major player in the world with such deep backwardness in our culture. We are not a conquering type. Instead we invite conquerers with the retention of our slave mentality. We beckon people in from outside to lead us like cattle.

      The American variant of English English has dominated the world from WWII. They had the manufacturing infrastructure to sell to the world. Everything of value or innovative came from the US.

      AmericanEnglish became the "Lingua Franca" of the business world, and not English English. Another major factor was the sale of armaments. Almost all countries wanted the USA's weaponry. You want to do business? You speak American English.

      Next came the music. The Beatles needed the wider American market to make it. The Vietnam War and Armed Forces Short Wave Radio such as Voice of America in support of US bases and troops everywhere, helped US English to penetrate the cultures of other countries. Can creole compare and compete?

      In Eastern Europe, young people are still struggling to sound like the heavy metal and Punk Rock bands of the US, like AC-DC. Where is Saint Lucia's equivalent acts ?

      Then there is American movies. Not only are songs translated but the dialogues of American films are too. Sometimes they are subtitled. How many Saint Lucian films are being watched anywhere in the world? One? Two? And how many are translated from creole to native or national languages?

      Saint Lucians are some of the most illogically stupid and ignorantly unsophisticated people walking this planet. Whew!


      • Kweyol is a both a culture and language that has evolved and continue to evolve in St Lucia. It is the heritage of St Lucians. Appreciating what is ours and engaging our youth so that they are not further leached clean of their heritage is what continuity is about. They in turn will add another layer and so on and so on.

        However, from your argument the bombardment of all those global influences has rendered St Lucian illogical, stupid and unsophisticated. These are very strong negative self -presentation that needs cultural address and reorientation. Getting back to one’s roots is like a well-spring - it enriches and empowers. An island life with little natural resources is simple living and not one without struggles. St Lucia still raise health children with healthy minds and that is worthy of celebration. If all that St Lucia can achieve is to grow food and nurtured ourselves well that too is worthy of celebration. St Lucia educates its population within its means; then that too is worthy of celebration. Withstood many natural catastrophe, got up, dust ourselves down and rebuild even if it is not total before another catastrophe strike the resilience of the people is worth celebrating.

        Like culture, not all produce is for the export market. Home produce for the home market is just as valuable and worthy of appreciation as those exported. And it does not need an international seal of approval!


    • Yeah man! Creole makes our education ministers past and present celebrated guardians of the maintenance of old school buildings. BTW, almost all animal species reproduced. Those that EVOLVED, have records to show who grand parents were. Some things go beyond simplistic comparisons my dear. At the same time, greater complexity does not necessarily equate nor correlate with utility or value.


    • Where is the fitting tribute to the achievements of these two Nobel Laureates? Is it harking back to a past of subsistence agriculture, by just being able to feed ourselves? What is the abandonment of agriculture for ganja cultivation scream at you? Is there any thinking power or capacity left between your ears?
      As soon as the young and intelligent get the hang of getting the opportunities to get out and the necessary skills, the brain drain as happened in Guyana will be earnestly in full swing. Mark my words. What a population of retards and dunces!


      • This is when we must wait for eggs to hatch and to give rise to chickens!

        Until then, in this competition the two Nobel Laureates are simply the backcloth for the competitors to perform their creativity and not the laurel to rest hoes against because people are mesmerized by the Laureates’ brilliance and ‘greatness’, and rendered too self-conscious to be creative.


        • Now ironically, the laureates are holding back our progress. So we must go back to celebrating a past that failed us to help deal with our marginalization as fodder for international tourism, and as beacons for creativity and innovative progress. Woy! You elites are so full of $#it?


  2. These people are just crude. They are debasing the value of the achievements of the people who gave us the international recognition. My! My! Oh Saint Lucians! You have no sense of value. It hurts. It wounds. Nobel Prize and ly-dayeh?


  3. What a very cruel joke these so-called intellectuals and elite are playing on this unsuspecting public. What the hell is deeply intellectual and academic giving us wold-wide recognition that can be found in creole day?

    The events are largely entertainment! Wow! What kind of idiots are we?


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