Thursday, May 12, 2011
Gambia: Writers Asssociation Maiden Workshop On Fiction
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The Writers Association of The Gambia (WAG) with funding from UNESCO-NATCOM is holding a workshop from 9th-13 May 2011 at the Senegambia Beach Hotel.
This workshop, the first of its kind in The Gambia and initiated by WAG, intends to provide the required skills in fiction writing by putting special focus on short stories and at the same time build capacities of writers, so declared by Mr. Yahya Al Matarr Jobe, Principal Programme Officer of NATCOM at the official opening of the workshop.
UNESCO-NATCOM is proud to be associated with such an activity for diverse reasons,according to Jobe, some of which are expected to mark a significant and meaning collaboration between UNESCO-NATCOM and WAG in the near future.
One of the mandates of UNESCO since its inception has been to engage all stakeholders in the promotion of education and cultural diversity under which the workshop falls, as Jobe pointed out.
He noted that UNESCO’s programme in domain aims to support the action of every national and regional actor in the book chain.
The NATCOM official also said it is based on a participatory approach and on partnership with all professionals, political stakeholders and beneficiaries at both national and regional level.
This, he told his audience, is why UNESCO celebrates annually the World Book and Copyright Day, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and many important dates.
He said it is therefore their task to provide all available assistance for the promotion of knowledge production at all levels.
At home front, Jobe said The Gambia has got many writers and poets and that the number is increasing, but her added that the big question is whether the written products are read by this generation or not.
However, he was quick to admit that there are many writers-young, middle-aged and old-who could not remain indifferent to the happenings in the society.
According to Jobe, the role or mission of the writers in the modern society is complex, noting that since life is the source of all inspirations, serious writers could not ignore the problems which confront people from day-to-day.
He urged WAG to be cognizant of peace and upliftment of society in which we all live.
In conclusion, he assured WAG that UNESCO-NATCOM and its entire Staff would continue to support them, while expressing hope that the workshop would sow the seed of the writing spirit in all.
He said very soon quality production would be seen in the book stalls.
Mr. Said Usuf, Pearson Publishing Group Representative in The Gambia, gave background information about Pearson, saying it is the World’s largest publisher with dozens of imprints under their customer publishing and education divisions and, with a long history from 1844, “we are global leader in providing complete, integrated education solutions”.
He told the gathering that Pearson has provided the facilitator for the workshop. And with the diverse of experience and enthusiasm of writers present, he was optimistic that the workshop would focus on key techniques to creative writing.
Speaking on behalf of Doyen of the Writers Community in The Gambia, Mr. Gabriel Roberts, thanked UNESCO-NATCOM for funding the workshop and Pearson for providing facilitators.
Roberts believed the participants’ writing skills would develop and have an impact on them in future. He further told participants to participate fully during the course of the workshop.