Trinidad and Tobago is unique, with an ethnically heterogeneous society where citizens claim to share a common identity, while maintaining degrees of difference. This uniqueness as a nation is unprecedented. Music is the best of our culture which portrays this theme. Its mixes, fuses and integration of ethnic and western sounds and rhythms represent primarily our multifaceted identities with alarming fluidity. We advocate in the Road to Recovery programme, that cultural planning includes archiving/preservation/digitisation of all our music. The establishment of an all-inclusive music museum, is a means of contributing to a knowledge society and promoting development of a national identity.

Today the most pervasive sentiments are accorded to three music forms: Trinidad and Tobago is the Land of Calypso, Trinidad and Tobago is the Land of Steelpan, Trinidad and Tobago is the home of Carnival. These genres express the highest values of our musical cultural heritage. Yet, we must pay attention to also preserve other distinctive genres and artefacts of music and performances which are linked through African cultures, generated in T&T. Together they all need professional/sentimental attention. That is, they as well will need institutionalisation for collection, preservation, documentation, digitisation, protection and recognition as accounting for our musical cultural heritage in T&T.

Museums today serve as nurturing and inspirational tools. Many which choose to employ a collaborative approach are most likely to contribute best to human capital. That is, they use strategies to emancipate social environments grounded in intangible and tangible cultures.

This method mainly encourages and acknowledges human skills of creativity, communication, as well as establishes analytical and problem solving ones. It also engages communities in building and developing their respective sites as part of the main administration. It provides the means for consolidating meaning of diverse identities while sharing the fundamentals of nationhood.

An example is the development of panyards into specific sites to link to a comprehensive paradigm of national musical cultural heritage museum.

Museums also form an integral part of the culture industry. Culture industries are the fastest growing sectors globally. They are one of the few industries which continue to perform well even during global economic downturn.

Culture industries, and by extension, museums add to the GDP of the economy and provide employment and sustainable growth. A national museum of musical cultural heritage can increase the national economy through integration with the tourist industry, the performing arts/culture industry, corporations and education/research institutions. It can also engage in cultural exportation on demand from like organisations, regionally and internationally organisation.

Social effects of museums can be found in provision of learning experiences, as well as, maintenance of community involvement to enrich the lives of our citizens. It is in our music that we have demonstrated how innovative, creative and entrepreneurial we are as a people.

In our road to recovery as a nation, we should seek to move beyond the fixed mindset of inaction and blame towards one that aims to seek solutions, promote development and enact social change. Now, more than ever, creative hubs are needed to foster this dialogue and develop human capital.

Many citizens love and enjoy the derivatives of historic music art forms, which have been configured as the genesis of a musical cultural heritage. Yet, our country has not developed significant means for looking back at evidence of pitfalls and achievements which are ineffaceable in our music.

The role is paramount of museums in training younger generations in the knowledge of our narratives of identity, in order to encourage life-long learning. With what else can we move forward but with music, to enjoy the strength of our intangible culture? Music sweet, sings Shadow. “Everybody could dingolay”.

A national all-inclusive museum of musical cultural heritage of T&T will adopt the collaborative approach, appropriate to capture and display the cultural richness of our nation which is a mix of identities and experimentations to cause differences to coagulate in T&T.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Newly-released video of the police involvement in the Beetham protest in which the pregnant Ornella Greaves was killed calls for a serious review of the statement by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith that no officers were around when she was shot.

While the public is yet to see the video on which the Commissioner has based his claim, new video clips being shared on social media show a large number of police officers, with guns drawn, descending on protesters and shooting in the midst of the protesters with their hands up chanting “Don’t shoot”.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “unreality” as “the quality of not being or seeming to be real”.

Will what awaits us after August 10 subdue the unreality that normally pervades a general election campaign in Trinidad and Tobago? Will we be real?

My principal but probably vain hope for the general election, to be held on August 10, is that it will not polarise the country further.

Realistically, one cannot hope for more, and it is mamaguy to feed us dreams of unity and overcoming, while our leaders are likely to engage in verbal warfare, way beyond the so-called cut and thrust of political debate.

I met Sophia Chote only once, but was enchanted by the intellectual sophistication and emotional maturity of her columns. Her writing reminded me of the quali­ties that one found in the thinkers of the romantic movement of the 19th century: a belief in democracy and republicanism, an appreciation for the sublime and transcendence and, most of all, a belief in the power of imagination.

I don’t know why Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar thought it necessary to appeal to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to invite a team of observers from The British Commonwealth and/or Caricom to witness the conduct of the general election that will take place on August 10.

This letter is addressed to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Sir, following the recent protests staged by the people of severely challenged communities over the killing of three residents, you have made a masterful response and appointed a committee to undertake an analysis of the situation and make recommendations on the way forward.