Alliouagana Festival of the Word
Technology and the Word Contemprary Manifestations
Technology is transforming almost every aspect of our world and the theme for the 2016 Alliouagana Festival of the Word (AFW), the 8th literary festival, is Technology and the Word: Contemporary Manifestations. Workshops, presentations and discussions will explore the impacts of technology, some good and some not so good.
We welcome Her Excellency Elizabeth Carriere, the Governor, as Patron of the Festival and thank her for graciously hosting the reception for our visitors, presenters and sponsors. Sincere thanks to the Office of the Premier, the Montserrat Arts Council, the Ministry of Health, the Community Services Department and several individual donors from the private sector for their monetary and in-kind contributions. Without these combined sources of support, the festival would not take place.
The Festival begins on the evening of Thursday, November 10 with the 4th Distinguished Lecture in the Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell Memorial Lecture Series, by Dr Samuel Joseph who established Montserrat’s first software company, LavaBits. His topic, in keeping with the theme and Arrow’s legacy, is ICTs Transforming Cultural Industries.
The festival welcomes international guests who will highlight a range of topics pertinent to Montserrat and its technological development including J.D Scott (writer and one of the Scott brothers of HGTV fame), co-presenting with Annalee Belle (who uses social media for promoting business ideas), Alan Springer (educator who takes a critical look at the dangers of technology and advises on keeping children safe in the digital world), Amanda Springer (blogger and artist), Eva Greene Wilson (creator of the award-winning Caribbean parenting blog, SocaMom.com) and locally-based Nerissa Golden who will provide her perspective on innovative uses of technology.
Students from the Montserrat Community College will discuss the impact of ‘shaming’ using Jon Ronson’s TED Talk, and last year’s Sir George Martin Fellow, Cris Van Beuren will join the festival via video to describe the technology involved in composing music.
AFW would be incomplete without book launches and this year we highlight books by Blondina Howes and Sir Howard Fergus. A nostalgic album resulting from digital collaboration between Bernadette Irish and Wayne (J.MacWell) Dyer will be presented and our friends, Howard and Mitzi Allen from HAMA, Antigua, will be screening selections from the Caribbean Film Showcase.
Computer applications developed by children in Montserrat will be presented and the Book Lovers’ Parade has been renamed Tech’ Lovers’ Parade to allow youngsters to dress up as the characters they meet and identify with online or in video games. The Coral Cay Conservation team, another regular at the festival, with be describing how they use technology to enhance their message about marine conservation. WordUp that was introduced for the first time last year is back with a new twist in the hands of staff and students at the Community College.
Those of you who are already well versed in new developments in technology, please come out and add your knowledge and commentary to the discussion that will be a key component of this year’s festival. Those who feel less confident or downright left behind come and explore what technology can – and cannot – do for us as individuals, as entrepreneurs and as communities.