Being Jamaican: A Technicality

I have been missing from the blogging world for a few months, not because I wanted to, but merely because I didn’t feel like writing. It wasn’t until a friend of mine shared a link with me that the urge to write resurfaced.

For most people within Jamaica, and for Jamaican expats, who keep abreast with daily happenings, one would come across articles written about a performing arts group, Quilt, that was “desperately” seeking funds to make a trip to Manchester, England for some performing arts festival. Actually, I wrote an entry about Quilt earlier this year (see link which made reference to said festival. Anyways, I was very perturbed by one of the published articles based on how it was written as well as how Quilt went about seeking said funds. This is where I may ruffle a few feathers.

Whilst I understood where Quilt was coming from, being a former member of the group, I just couldn’t get over how entitled they felt to garner support from the Jamaican Government. Mind you, this is the perception I got from reading this article (see article Why does Quilt feel so entitled to anything from Jamaica? That bit was the most puzzling to me. One may say I’m a complete moron for asking this or even go as far as saying “Keirn is so ignorant.” However, it is my view that you aren’t entitled to anything that you haven’t worked for and Quilt has done nothing for Jamaica (and I say this with no reservation)I’m not here to bash Quilt but I couldn’t go on without voicing my opinion.

Like I told my friend, it’s not that I don’t think they should ask Jamaica for help, but knowing the country which we are from, help won’t come as easily as one would expect. Especially in a case where said Jamaica doesn’t see it benefiting them. I continued by saying, Quilt is going to this festival as first and foremost Quilt and the whole bit about being Jamaican is just an addition or just an identifier. Maybe it’s because I’m not the most patriotic of the bunch why I found the whole “support Jamaicans” a tad bit annoying. Yes, Quilt is a Jamaican group but Jamaica too, had/has done nothing for Quilt, so why the big surprise now? Like I tell most of my friends, I’m Keirn first and everything else after.

What I want Quilt to understand is that they are one of many groups that have been seeking funds for whatever project it is they need assistance for, so running to the Jamaica Gleaner with their story wasn’t unique, nor would it make much difference. The thing is, there’s another arts festival that is being held in Scotland that another group from Jamaica is participating in. I’m left to believe that Jamaica had a choice to make; it was either support both groups, one or none at all. Jamaica chose the other group (which will remain unknown to this entry). 

I’m not sure what happened, but I’m guessing Quilt realized they needed to be more aggressive in their approach to garner funds. This seemed to have paid off as they’ve made it known, they are thankful for the help they received and that they are heading to Manchester, England for the Contacting The World Arts Festival commencing July 7, 2014.

I couldn’t be more happy for Quilt as they have shown they aren’t just your average performing arts group and they have worked hard for this. Quilt has been working hard for this, not Jamaica (if you catch my drift). Quilt is on their way to take part in this festival, the fact that they are Jamaicans is minuscule. I’m sure that when the idea of forming Quilt came about, representing Jamaica wasn’t the first thing on the group’s mind. The irony of it all is, they will be representing Jamaica as this will be their identifier for the duration of the festival. I’m still a bit dumbfounded that Quilt, like many who feel that Jamaica has let them down, still proudly boasts the Jamaican colors.


I guess they haven’t a choice really because they are in fact “Jamaicans”…right? I say, go right ahead and make Quilt proud. Forget about representing Jamaica and make the best Quiltic impression in the UK.

Until next time

KT Speaks

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Read Robyn says:

    I never thought about it like that – I just wondered why they were surprised that the government isn’t helping them This gov’t helps no one. Look at Tessanne – she had to do that all by herself (and she kicked ass). That’s just the way the Arts work in this country.

    1. KeirnyTee says:

      I also thought about that too. Thanks for reading.

  2. carla says:

    Strong points made Keirn, glad I took the time to read…..not seeing the article in the link to the observer tho just pictures

    1. KeirnyTee says:

      I don’t know what that is. Thanks for reading. Let me check that out.

  3. triciatallen says:

    I found you on WordPress! Thanks for sharing your views Keirn. Looking forward to hearing more from you, especially in terms of your experience in Japan.

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