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“Conversations on Citizenship” begins this week

The Janus Cultural Policy Initiative (JCPI) will be hosting Conversations on Citizenship this August 28, 29 and 30 at the Umana Yana, Georgetown, the organisation said in a statement.

The JCPI believes that many of Guyana’s social and subsequent developmental problems can be solved culturally. Among these issues are ethnopoliticization and the consequent lack of social cohesion. As part of its Education and Capacity Building component, the JCPI will be facilitating “conversations” on various aspects of culture and human and social development. These conversations will help shape the JCPI’s cultural policy which it will produce by next January.

We also believe that the policy shaping process should be as consultative as possible and reach stakeholders and citizens across the country. As a result, the agenda for Conversations on Citizenship and other similar events are shaped by pre-conversation meetings.

On August 15, the JCPI met with more than 20 representatives from various religious, ethnic and cultural organizations at the National Library’s Conference Room to create the agenda for the three-day Conversation on Citizenship. This pre-conversation meeting brought together as wide a cross-section of stakeholders as possible to shape Conversations on Citizenship.

Conversations on Citizenship is meant to create a space where Guyanese from all walks of life can meet and express themselves in a free, open and honest manner. Every day, beginning from Thursday conversations with focus on the following themes: Paths to Citizenship (Thursday), which deals with the legal frameworks of citizenship, from the Constitution to the Citizenship Act; “To love my fellow citizen” (Friday) which deals with issues of tolerance and inclusion; and Truth and Reconciliation (Saturday) which tackles the question of race/ethnicity.

The JCPI, a culture-themed project, was launched officially at the Theatre Guild, in June. Earlier this year, the Prince Claus Fund (PCF) for Culture and Development awarded Project Lead and local writer Ruel Johnson a grant to carry out a three part action plan which aims to generate cultural solutions that have the potential to solve Guyana’s ethnopoliticization issues and consequent developmental problems.

All Guyanese are invited to participate in Conversations on Citizenship. It is a free event with no dress code.