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Author Topic: Govt gags Pat Bishop  (Read 825 times)

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Offline sammy

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Govt gags Pat Bishop
« on: March 19, 2010, 04:18:31 AM »
Govt gags Pat Bishop
By ANDRE BAGOO Thursday, March 18 2010

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Artist LeRoy Clarke...
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ARTISTS yesterday expressed deep concern over reports that award-winning musical conductor and Trinity Cross holder Pat Bishop was gagged from speaking at a National Museum event on Tuesday evening by officials of the Ministry of Culture, in the wake of critical comments Bishop made over the museum.

Bishop was scheduled to deliver an opening address for an exhibition of work by artists Glenn Roopchand, Carlisle Harris and Ken Critchlow on Tuesday evening at 6 o’clock. However earlier on in the day, officials in charge of the exhibition, entitled “Perspectives, memory and desire”, were given a directive from the ministry that Bishop was not to be allowed to speak.

Instead, the organisers at the last minute brought in painter LeRoy Clarke to deliver the opening address.

But Clarke, who received information about Bishop’s gagging, spoke about it openly when he addressed a large crowd gathered in the upper exhibition space at the National Museum. “From what I understand, Ms Bishop had made some comments that were critical about future plans to the museum,” Clarke said yesterday. “One got the clear impression that this action was linked to that.”

“The three artists on show had requested her to open the event. She had gone as far as to even write the forward for the brochure for the exhibition,” he noted. “However the curator was told that she (Bishop) was not to open it.”

“On Tuesday, the artists spoke to me and I voiced my own discontent with the whole situation. I think people need to be aware of the dangers when people have these gags imposed on them. I don’t think free speech is a simple matter to be easily dismissed at all. It is something to be fiercely guarded in my view,” Clarke said.

He noted that he spoke about the incident on Tuesday evening, “because it can get worse. Once this is done and it is left to rest, other things can happen.” He also revealed reports of pressure being exerted on staff at the National Museum over the conduct of their affairs.

“We are also getting feed back about staff of the museum coming under pressure to act contrary to their duties. It does not augur well for us as a nation,” Clarke said.

At a media luncheon on March 8 at the Hilton, Bishop expressed concern over the State’s handling of the Royal Victoria Institute, housed in what is known as the National Museum on Keate Street, Port-of-Spain.

Bishop, a former curator of the Royal Victoria Institute who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the West Indies in 1994, commented on recently confirmed plans to relocate the Institute from its current home on Keate Street, to Knowsley. She said the plans would result in a loss of “an archival building” in a socio-historical sense on par with the destruction of the Grand Stand in the Queen’s Park Savannah.

“The ministry seemed to disagree with her posturing that way and they banned her,” Clarke said. Newsday also understands that Government officials had received reports that Bishop had also deemed the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) as a “monstrosity”.

Contacted yesterday, Bishop would offer no comment.

“The art community is definitely disturbed by such an action,” Clarke noted yesterday. “It affects the very meaning and being of artists and citizens.” Word of the offensive taken against Bishop came one day after Culture Minister Marlene Mc Donald was accused of abusive conduct in public office. It also came as reports circulated over planned action by the Ministry of Culture to counter what it views as negative publicity over the NAPA facility – which has come under heavy criticism this week – with an advertising campaign featuring hand-picked artist.,117492.html
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Offline TriniCana

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Re: Govt gags Pat Bishop
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 08:54:30 AM »
Leory if you felt so strongly about this, why didn't you and other fellow artistes boycott the function?


There is MORE to this story that what the media printed.

Offline signal

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Re: Govt gags Pat Bishop
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 09:07:48 AM »
Leory if you felt so strongly about this, why didn't you and other fellow artistes boycott the function?


There is MORE to this story that what the media printed.

my sentiments exactly...
chief justice ivor archie say so
ex-chief justice sharma say so
law assoc pres martin daly say so
transpareny institute say so
Ken Gordon say so
jones p say so....then is so!!!


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