Green Reading on Boardwalk
ON A BEAUTIFUL SUN-DRENCHED evening, the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, in partnership with ArtsEtc, held its third annual Green Reading – a literary event used to raise education and environmental awareness in Barbados as part of activities for Environment Month.
The first reading for this year, held last Saturday at the Boardwalk, Hastings, Christ Church, featured three literary artists – each having 15 minutes on stage to provide poems reflecting their view of the environment.
Dorhonda Smith, who has been writing poetry since she was seven, treated the audience to Home Improvement: the story of a woman who one day looked at the trees in her garden and dreamed of feeding her family. The husband, however, decided, as a gift for his wife, to destroy the trees to build a new kitchen and bathroom.
This highlighted environmental destruction in the name of progress.
Veteran writer Nailah Imojah, had to dig into her archives to find the work These Fields And Hills which she wrote in response to a work by Kamau Brathwaite.
She highlighted the fact that Barbadians were unaware of their source of rhythms, noting: “The sea pounds rhythmic life into this rock. We have survived. We are here.”
Philip Nanton meanwhile, used his Island Voices collection to read Weather Report with the after-effects of a hurricane and the witty Vincy rap Traffic Report, which makes fun of people’s tendency to gawk at disasters.
Afterwards, the audience was invited to make comments, and from their responses the artists said that they had used the environment as a source of inspiration.
“Environment has to affect your creativity and mood and therefore must affect productivity,” Imojah said.
The second Green Reading, with different artists, is due next Saturday at the Speightstown Esplanade.