PHOTO: Colonisation in reverse?
When Usain Bolt's image flashed across the British Houses of Parliament in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, it proved just how powerful Brand Bolt and, by extension, Brand Jamaica, has become, putting the focus on celebrity rights as an economic issue. The Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at UWI, Mona in February addressed this issue as part of its "Fifty-Fifty" project to mark the 50th anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Today, SALISES will continue its analysis of the last half-century of independence in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with reference to the two regional powerhouses, when scholars from across the Caribbean gather at a four-day conference titled "Fifty-Fifty: Critical Reflections in a Time of Uncertainty" at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The conference will discuss the successes and failures; the best and worst practices; and possible solutions to the region's myriad problems. Guest speakers will include Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Jamaica's Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness, Chancellor of UWI and former Director of the Pan American Health Organisation Sir George Alleyne,Jamaican-born United Kingdom MP Diane Abbott, professors emeriti of UWI Norman Girvan and Selwyn Ryan, and historian Professor Verene Shepherd.