Dr Sheila Rampersad

Dr Sheila Rampersad

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is set to recognise 30 years since the attempted coup d’état by featuring the newly published, second edition of broadcaster Dennis McComie’s personal account of the 1990 insurrection.

Today, marking three decades to the date since the violent takeover of the TT Parliament and national broadcaster TTT that lasted six days, NGC Bocas Lit Fest organisers will host a panel discussion titled Remembering 1990, to be livestreamed from 5.30 p.m on the Bocas Lit Fest website and Facebook page.

McComie was at work as broadcaster/producer at Radio 610 on Abercromby Street in Port of Spain when the violence began. The second edition of 1990, The Personal Account of a Journalist Under Siege, published on the eve of the commemoration, will provide the context for the timely discussion, which includes McComie; commissioner of the Commission of Enquiry into the events surrounding the 1990 attempted coup Diana Mahabir-Wyatt; journalist and MATT president Sheila Rampersad; and performer, dubbed one of the ‘children of the coup’, Muhammad Muwakil.

Led by OCM journalist Sterling Henderson, the panel will explore the events of this watershed period in the country’s history and address the questions why and how the attempted coup ought to be remembered.

Bocas Lit Fest founder and director Marina Salandy-Brown commented, “These conversations are important precisely because they are difficult, and so we absolutely must make space for them.” She emphasised, “It’s only natural that as we move further away from events of the past that general knowledge and collective memory of those events would wane. So it requires us to make a point of chronicling and revisiting, ultimately so that we learn the lessons of the past and better understand our present. And as the national literary festival, we embrace this as part of our intellectual responsibility.”

For details of this and the many other Bocas Lit Fest events, visit www.bocaslitfest.com/2020/events

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