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Free Conference On Use Of African & Caribbean Creative Arts In Schools, Mental Health And Offender Service, April 8, 2009, University Of Birmingham, England

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Using African and Caribbean Arts and Culture to address issues in Schools, Offender Services and Mental Health Provision

Wednesday 8th April at Brooksbank Hall, University of Birmingham.

N. B. This is a FREE event – but places must be booked and venue details will be given

Please arrive for either 11am or 2pm prompt start

Keynote speakers: Professor Fred Hickling and Yasus Afari

Session 1   11.00am – 1.00pm, with opportunities for artistes to showcase their work 

  • Presentation and discussion of some of the current UK Government initiatives and their potential to enable African and Caribbean Arts Practitioners to make an even more effective contribution to supporting education, offender services and mental health services.

Lunch  1.00pm – 2.00pm 

Session 2   2.00pm – 4.00pm, with discussion til 5.00pm Chaired by Dr Peter Lewis

  • Presentation by Professor Fred Hickling with the latest information about  his work
  • Presentation by Jamaican Dub Poet and Author, Yasus Afari, to explore the approaches he has developed and successfully uses

N. B.  Participants can book for one or both sessions. 

Professor Fred Hickling, is currently the Professor of Psychiatry, University of the West Indies, and has pioneered Caribbean Cultural Therapy since the 70’s. Prof Hickling has spent time in the UK developing and delivering approaches to group and individual psychotherapy which is grounded in “the dialectic* historical experience of the Caribbean” (*the art of investigating the truth of opinions and testing the truth by discussion and logical disputation: criticism dealing with metaphysical contradictions and their solutions.)

Professor Hickling has agreed to make a short stop-over in the UK between his other international engagements to meet with staff working in education, offender services and mental health services, as well as Cultural Arts practitioners and others involved in addressing the issues that the Caribbean communities still face in the UK today. 

Yasus Afari initiated the programme of Culture Agents in Jamaican schools in the 1980’s which involved Artistes using an “edutainment” approach to work with schools to ensure that children are brought up feeling confident in their own identities and heritage. Since spending time in the UK recently, Yasus Afari has been exploring ways to enable school children, people in offender services and mental health support services to explore their identities and heritage through his “edutainment” approaches.

Yasus Afari has returned to the UK as an “Ambassador for Rastafari” on his 2009 Tour to promote his book “Overstanding Rastafari: Jamaica’s Gift to the World”. He will be continuing to develop his “edutainment” strategy working closely with other artistes and professional colleagues in UK.

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Written by Staff Writer