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The Grenada Revolution - The Creative industries

The Grenada revolutionary period from 1979 to 1983 saw the emergence of what today is referred to as the Creative industry. In those times, this creative industry consisted of handicrafts, books, arts and culture.


Handicrafts

There was the establishment of the Grenada National Handicraft Institute (GNHI) for the development of the Handicraft industry.

In September 1981, the first handicraft store opened in St. George's, Grenada. The store called Grencraft sold a selection of straw, fiber and woodcraft products. Furniture made from bamboo was also produced and on display. Straw items produced for sale came from cooperatives for handicrafts comprising women who made straw hats, bags, baskets, table mats and dolls.

Yvonne Palmer worked as the Director of Grencraft.


Grenada revolution - Creative industry
Source: Gale

Books

During the revolution, Grenada established its first national publishing house to publish books by local authors. Fedon Publishers was the publishing house started in March 1982.


Arts and Culture

The first Department of Culture was started by Maurice Bishop as Prime Minister in 1980. Maurice was known to love culture and this was one of the driving forces for starting the department. He also was interested in building a "New Grenada" as evidenced throughout various speeches delivered. Other intentions were for the promotion of the arts and the creation of employment for artists. Jacqueline Creft was given the culture portfolio under the Ministry of Education and culture. Jacob Ross was the Director of cultural programs under the ministry.


On November 07, 1982, Grenada celebrated its first ever National day of Culture. This day also marks T.A. Marryshow day. Marryshow is known for his contribution to the West Indian federation which was the first attempt at one political union for the Caribbean. The federation was short lived, lasting only 4 years (1958 to 1962).


With regards to Art, the use of large billboards and graffiti were prominent across the island to communicate the messages of the revolution.

Grenada billboard

Billboard Grenada

Source: Women, Art and Culture in New Grenada by Betty LaDuke


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