We are in the middle of the Emancipation (August 1) and Independence (August 6) holidays. Most of us take a few days off, and it’s easy to get caught up in family activities – or simply lazing around. For young Jamaicans, it’s summer and it’s party time.
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) the guardian of our history and heritage, wish to gently remind us to learn something, too. One reminder is that this is still the UN International Decade of People of African Descent (or had we forgotten, again?)
If you’re in Kingston, Jamaica over the next few days, do try to go along and take a look at one or both of the IOJ’s special exhibitions.
IOJ Celebrates Emancipation and Independence by Educating Jamaicans
(Kingston, Friday, August 2, 2019)
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) celebrates Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence from August 1 -6, by ensuring that Jamaicans and others remember the reasons why we celebrate these milestones created by the hard work and resilience of our people before us. The Institute currently has two running exhibitions for the period, one on display at King’s House located on Hope Road in Kingston, and another at the annual Independence Village being staged at the National Arena.
For the past three years, the IOJ has been invited by the Governor General to mount exhibitions at King’s House as a part of the annual Governor’s Reception that celebrates Emancipation. In support of this year’s theme, ‘International Decade of People of African Decent (IDPAD) – A manifestation of The Legacy of Marcus Garvey” the Institute has mounted an exhibition highlighting the achievements of our African ancestors prior to colonization; the consequences of the transatlantic trade on enslaved Africans and plantation slavery; the legacies of displaced Africans; overcoming inequality and injustice; and the modern day influences of Pan-Africanists.
Divided into four sections, the exhibition is laid out by categories: African Royalties, Enslavement, Cultural Retentions, and Marcus Garvey’s Legacy.
The display will be mounted until August 5, when His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, will be making a courtesy call at King’s House in the evening as a part of his State Visit to Jamaica and will be taken on a tour of the exhibition. The public is also invited to view the exhibition on Friday August 2, and Monday, August 5 between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm. Arrangements should be made through the Executive Office at King’s House. Visitors are encouraged to dress appropriately.
Meanwhile, at Independence Village, an exhibit is mounted on this year’s independence theme “Independence 57: One Nation, One People”. This exhibit is displayed inside the National Arena and is available for viewing by the public throughout the six (6) day period of the staging of Independence Village from August 1- August 6 between the hours of 12 noon and 12 midnight. The IOJ’s seven (7) divisions including National Museum of Jamaica, National Gallery of Jamaica, Natural History Museum of Jamaica and Jamaica Music Museum will also be mounting exhibits each day related to different aspects of Jamaican cultural heritage for the public to enjoy.
The Institute of Jamaica, established in 1879 by Jamaica’s then Governor General, Sir Anthony Musgrave, is charged by the Government of Jamaica to store and preserve some of the country’s most valuable treasures that date back to pre-colonization, and also to educate Jamaicans and others about the country’s rich cultural heritage through the “Encouragement of Literature, Science and Art”. The IOJ is an Agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.