The University of Belize’s Faculty of Education and arts launched the First Annual Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series on Tuesday. The launching is part of the Jaguar Salon Series, which aims at encouraging students to take up interest in reading and engaging in the literary arts, by exposing them to noteworthy Belizean intellectuals, and writers, and other artists in the field.
Ivory Kelly, one of the Organizers of the annual event, told us more.
“It is a part of a broader series of artistic and intellectual events here at the university of Belize, that we have entitled ‘The Jaguar Salon Series,’ a year-round series of events, plays, lectures, and so forth, to broader our students perspective on life, and academic life in particular.
It is not sufficient for our university students to pursue training or preparation for the job market. That is an important aspect of education, of course, but we also want to develop other aspects of their gifts. Students who are creative in the arts are able to apply that creativity in the workplace, and just to fulfill their souls.
So we really wanted this series to galvanize that aspect of our students development.”
The series was named after one of UB’s very own literary artist, Dr. Silvaana Udz, Assistant Professor at the University of Belize.
Dr. Silvaana Udz – Writer and Assistant Professor at UB
They saw fit to name this lecture series after me, well best of all they spelt the word Lekcha in Creole, so we continue the perpetration of learning, just from the visual. So every year when students come to this lecture series, and get exposed to Belizean, regional, and foreign writers, they also will be exposed to the fact that you don’t have to stamp out Creole to learn the much needed global English.
[It works] on so many levels, but most of all that it’s the English Department, the lecturers who understand that we can use this local language in improving English. That these people, my colleagues saw fit to do this, I just work with the best faculty, the Faculty of Education and Arts at UB, because they have vision.”
Godfrey Smith, Lawyer and author of the authorized biography, “George Price a Life revealed,” was the guest speaker of the event. He told us why he believes writing is important not only for self-development but also for the development of a nation ,
“I think the importance of it was captured in, perhaps, the last question to me, which was ‘How can Belize and Belizean writers fit into Caribbean writing?’ And I said, ‘But you have to begin by writing!’
The whole lecture series is about fostering an appreciation for writing for critical thinking analysis, which is so important on many different levels, not only for the feeding of the soul through good writing, but to develop critical thinking. For instance, in the profession you are in, which is journalism, because you are our public opinion shapers, and writing’s involved in all of that. So I think that for the development of the society, writing, whether it’s in the form of novels or short stories or reporting or journalism, is critical to nation building.”
Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series is part the Jaguar Salon Series- a year round series of events that feature local artists and writers. Other events include dramatic presentations, poetry night and evening of arts.