#TurksandCaicos, January 23, 2023 – The 2022 Turks and Caicos International Film Festival (TCIFF) Poster, designed by 10-year-old Janiya Harris of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, was recently named one of the world’s best film festival posters by FestivalinLA.com.
The international platform created by film critic José Alberto Hermosillo promotes the talent of the most prestigious festivals worldwide, and the organization selects the most creative, colorful, and inventive film festival posters each year.
Karen Whitt, Chairman of TCIFF, said that this is truly a win not just for the young artists but also for the film festival and the Turks and Caicos Islands as a whole.
“We are so proud of this accomplishment and so proud of the work that both Janella and Janiya have done to put this beautiful country on the international film festival stage among so many other creatives.”
She continued, “Turks and Caicos is home to some incredible talent, and year after year we are raising the bar on the poster designs for the festival, and we are happy that these designs are being featured among the best in the world.”
According to the FestivalinLA website, the organization curated every featured piece based on concept, originality, and supporting components, all conjoined to their respective festival’s theme and harmonious style. The final line-up is a collection of wonderful gems that help the public recognize the cultural identity and beauty of each festival and its designated city or country.
Patrina Pollard-Harris, mother of Janiya Harris, said that she was excited when she saw the feature on her daughter’s work and that it doesn’t matter how young you are, there is always an opportunity to make a difference, you just have to be ready to apply yourself when that opportunity comes.
“We are all so proud of our Janiya, and we are even more excited to see that her design was included with so many international posters,” she said. “It’s been non-stop excitement for her. This goes to show that you are never too young to make a difference, and no matter the age, a dream can still come true.”
Young Harris was one of over 40 children from the Edward Gartland Youth Centre who participated in the 2022 poster competition. The 2022 competition focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and allowed children with artistic vision to bring their designs to life with the aid of a finely tuned computer program. The event was curated with the help of London-based creative company Once Upon A Time. Their Creative Director, Jolyon Meldrum, commented,
“I was so impressed with Janiya’s final result, and how easily she took to using generative AI. The beauty of what we are seeing here, is that technology has removed a barrier. This now allows a younger generation to express themselves in a completely different and unique way”
Harris created her poster by describing the picture in her mind to the AI program with phrases such as kids playing, flamingos, seashells, blue fish, crystal clear waters, flowers, and a clean beach. After fine tuning her descriptive phrases and tweaking the program’s results, she arrived at the final winning piece that has risen to international acclaim.
Her winning piece was a playful and inviting take on the beaches that the Turks and Caicos Islands are known for. It features crystal-clear waters, sand, shells, and a flamingo, all created in a style reminiscent of an afternoon arts-and-craft session.
“From featuring the art of world-renowned local artist Bradley Theodore for our inaugural poster to highlighting the incredibly talented youth of these islands in subsequent years, our posters not only represent the festival to the world, but also this incredible country,” said Whitt. Speaking on the upcoming poster competition for the 2023 festival, she continued, “For 2023, we will once again host a competition for the country’s youth, and we encourage all our amazing, young local creatives to get involved. This year, we invite our youth interested in photography to join in on the fun. As always, the theme of the festival, ‘oceans and environment’, should be the central focus of any entry, but how that is demonstrated through photography is entirely up to the artists submitting their work.”
Festival organizers are asking that all interested parties visit their social media pages and website, www.tciff.org, for more information.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, and the organizers will be making some exciting announcements soon about this year’s festivities. The main event is scheduled for November, and it will once again be a multi-day event that combines the glitz and glamor of Hollywood with impact and purpose. The festival will also celebrate the best of filmmaking with a focus on safeguarding our oceans and environmental conservation.
For more information on the Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, and the upcoming poster competition, interested persons are encouraged to visit their website at www.tciff.org or the social media pages.
Header: Janiya Harris and Country Music Star Jimmie Allen.
Insert: Janiya Harris of the Oseta Jolly Primary School
CARPHA Remembers Former PAHO Director Emeritus – Dr. Carissa Etienne as a “Tireless Advocate for Regional Solidarity”
Port of Spain, Trinidad. 01 December, 2023: It is with profound sadness and shock that I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends, people of Dominica, the Caribbean Community and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), on the untimely passing of PAHO Director Emeritus, Dr. Carissa Etienne.
Dr. Etienne’s contributions to public health in the Americas were not only significant, but also transformative. Her leadership and unwavering commitment to our Caribbean Community’s collective pursuit of healthier people, healthier spaces and a healthier Caribbean were a source of inspiration to many. Dr. Etienne was a tireless advocate for The Americas’ regional solidarity, for she knew that was the only way to address the glaring inequalities that exist here.
She was the Director at PAHO for most of the life of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and under her leadership, CARPHA graduated from the PAHO Biennial Work Programme (BWP) arrangement to having framework agreements.
PAHO funded many of the programmes that are difficult to attract support, like the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) and the Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance Department (MQCSD), which are important services for the Region to ensure the quality of medicines. Under Dr. Etienne’s leadership, PAHO also funded non-communicable disease interventions, another area that does not attract large pots of funding, although the number one cause of deaths in the Caribbean region.
During the Pandemic, CARPHA worked with PAHO to fund the downpayments to give 12 Member States access to COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX to the tune of US$2.6 million.
Dr. Etienne will be remembered as a true Caribbean lady who worked with great dedication and focus throughout the horrible COVID-19 period and right up to her last working day at PAHO.
During this challenging time, we pray that God will give strength to Dr. Etienne’s family, friends, and colleagues. CARPHA cherishes the memories of her remarkable contributions to the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the Americas, but especially the Caribbean.
The CARPHA Executive Management and staff stand in solidarity with our Caribbean Community as we mourn the loss of a visionary leader.
Dr. Joy St. John
Executive Director, CARPHA
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
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