I welcome this first number of The Arts Journal as a significant contribution to our understanding of one segment of the populations of Guyana and Trinidad, the beginning of the editors’ intention to highlight and turn to constructive social account from issue to issue “the contemporary literature and art of Guyana and the Caribbean”. I look forward to later issues in which the emphasis will be on other elements of the national population.

Many of the problems in our society are symptoms of more fundamental problems such as

(a)  Lack of knowledge of themselves and their process among particular ethnic groups.

(b) Lack of knowledge and therefore lack of understanding and lack of respect for other ethnic groups; and 

(c)  Lack of a sense of a nation in a particular environment with a complex history of inter-culturation.

If this journal can help to exhume repressed and hidden knowledge of the peoples of the Caribbean, and if it can use the arts to impress our own perspectives on ourselves in place of the divisive ways of looking that are the legacy of enslavement, indenture and colonization, it would have made a major contribution to harmony in our region.

I wish the journal good luck and long life.

Professor Kenneth Ramchand,

Independent Senator in the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and Chairman of the President’s Committee for National Self Discovery