On Saturday 15th June 2019, the first Vincentian Diaspora Leadership Symposium in the UK was held as part of SVG40 – The 40th Anniversary of Independence for St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The Symposium was attended by Vincentian Diaspora members including the Chairman of the National Council for St. Vincent & the Grenadines UK Associations, Vincy Alliance Mas and SV2G – St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2nd Generation.
In recent years there have been many Diaspora organisations that have increasingly become visible players on the global stage from awareness of culture, heritage, peace building, advocacy to humanitarian assistance.
SV2G has been involved in many significant heritage projects where their work has been showcased at the Palace of Westminster in the UK. The narratives discovered with their current heritage project on 18th Century Vincentian presence in Britain have attracted global attention.
It is therefore crucial that the SVG40 committee will form a Vincentian Diaspora plan from the outcomes of the planned expo forums, as they will explore ways in which the Vincentian Diaspora in the UK can effectively engage with the British Government and the Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
The outcomes of the weekend’s symposium have established a framework for the forthcoming SVG40 Expo being held in the UK on the 9th November 2019. Plans are now in progress and will be made available in the upcoming weeks.
The SVG40 committee wants to encourage all communities in the UK to learn and experience more about Vincentian culture. The Expo will host Vincentian businesses to market their products and services with an aim to generate an increased interest in Vincentian merchandise, heritage, arts and culture.
The outcome of the Expo will address some of the Diaspora challenges and opportunities that will influence the Vincentian Diaspora plan within the context of aligning with the UN sustainable development goals and agenda 2030.
Vincy Alliance Mas was commended at the symposium for their new carnival programme that will be giving the opportunity to showcase local Vincentian designer Hartiem Farell at this year’s London Notting Hill Carnival. This event attracts over two million visitors to celebrate Caribbean heritage and culture.
Farell’s section “Cosmic Rays” pays homage to the 40th Anniversary theme complimenting the Vincy Alliance Mas theme “Super Nova”. Cosmic Rays will also be used as an example to highlight Vincy Mas as an art form to export and attract international collaborations with future commissions within the Diaspora.