Arts Envoy IPR Jamaica 2019
The Arts Envoy Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) visit to Jamaica in October 2019 was an incredible cultural exchange experience.
Thank you to everyone at the US Embassy in Kingston, Ms. C especially, and particularly to JIPO (Jamaica Intellectual Property Office) and their Executive Director Lilyclaire Bellamy, Deputy Director Marcus Goffe and the entire staff for their work organizing our visits.
Read on for highlights and pictures from the trip >>
Facts About Jamaica:
Capital city - Kingston
Prime Minister - Mr. Andrew Holness
Used to be a British Colony until 1962
Over 80% Christian
Part of British Commonwealth
Languages spoken mainly English, Jamaican Patois / Creole dialect
Jamaica is an island country
Many workers are in tourism, farming
Marijuana is illegal in Jamaica
People & History
From the outside looking in, Jamaica is an island paradise with sandy beaches, coral reefs and dreadlocked Rastas selling hand crafted goods to tourists.
From the inside looking out, Jamaica is a sacred land steeped in history, mystery, and cultural wealth waiting to be discovered.
History books will tell you the island nation was discovered by Christopher Columbus, but few go on to reveal the brutality of the situation for those who were found.
The modern Jamaicans are a cultural melting pot of what happens when you mingle Arawaks, Indians, African slaves, European slaveowners and merchants, Chinese and Irish indentured servants, and eventually everybody else.
Considered to be a "Third World" or developing nation economically, Jamaica is a prime location for the development of a robust creative economy using intellectual property (IP) as its driving engine.
Arts & Culture
Jamaica is rich with art and culture. Life and art are virtually intertwined in the tropical island nation.
Anancy the spider of West African folklore is a favorite, especially when recited by "Miss Lou," Dr. Louise Bennett renowned performance artist and author.
See some highlights from the trip in this gallery, including pictures depositing my original works into the National Library of Jamaica, visiting the Bob Marley Museum, and jamming with local musicians.
Food & Everyday Life
During a JIPO event, one of their interns did a performance art piece called "National Dish" about how rice and peas should replace ackee and saltfish as Jamaica's official national dish (both ackee and saltfish are imported items whereas rice and peas are a staple food for many.)
True to our experience, many Jamaicans eat rice and peas, stews of various kinds including ox tail and even Chicken Back Gravy (also the title of a wonderful book by Professor Donna Hope).
We did not have the pleasure of visiting Jamaica's world class beach resorts, but we very much enjoyed our stay in the capital of Kingston, and our day trip to Mandeville.