Nobel Laureate Week 2016: a bold statement with new patriotic tee shirt initiative

Nobel Laureate Week celebrations for 2016 promise to be different from those of former years because they are based upon a greater contribution from members of the public, says the activities coordinator. Following the launch on Tuesday, the STAR sat with Delia Dolor, coordinator of Saint Lucia Nobel Laureate Week, to discuss this year’s event.

“Before we, the Nobel Laureate Week committee, actually started organizing the events, we asked members of the public to tell us what they would like to see: what kind of events, whether they had any ideas, and so a lot of the events came out of these initial ideas. Apart from the public’s input, there are additions from Vieux Fort, such as Jako Productions, who will be hosting a really lovely activity,” Dolor told us. She proceeded: “In Laborie we have something with artist Jonathan Gladding who is going to ask anyone to come down and paint, whether one can or cannot paint; he is going to lend a helping hand.”

Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, who is the chairperson of the Nobel Laureate Week committee, speaking at this week’s opening.

Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, who is the chairperson of the Nobel Laureate Week committee, speaking at this week’s opening.

The traditional activities, such as the Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott lectures, will also be held. And this year Dennery will host three events as opposed to two. The list of activities for Nobel Laureate Week also includes poetry reading, lectures, church services, panel discussions and more.

“What we are highlighting to people is that when the celebration of our Nobel Laureates started it was really just a day, then it became a week and now we have three weeks of activities, so it is really growing,” Dolor said. “Another thing we are actually launching is the Saint Lucian book fair during the celebrations. We did something similar last year and everyone was like, ‘Wow, we didn’t realize we had so many great Saint Lucian writers,’ ” Dolor added.

When asked what the organisers are doing this year to publicise the event, Dolor replied, “We had our media launch in order to create public awareness . . . A great part of the launch was the T-shirt initiative. One of our members said it would be really nice to show people something, as a way of publicising, and someone brought to our attention the fact that a young man by the name of Shane Larcher was doing T-shirts. We thought, ‘Let’s approach him.’ So he was approached and we asked him to design a shirt with us, which he did. In its own way it is excellent, because he started something small and it is growing, and the more T-shirts we sell, he is actually going to be giving back.”

T-shirts by I-Am-Lucian Apparel will be part of Nobel Laureate Week celebrations this year.

T-shirts by I-Am-Lucian Apparel will be part of
Nobel Laureate Week celebrations this year.

T-shirts by I-Am-Lucian Apparel cost $25 and come in four colours: blue, yellow, black and white. According to Delia Dolor, “Many years ago people seemed to think that Nobel Laureate Week was just about art and creativity, or people who have an understanding of poetry and writing, and I would even go so far as to say that people think it is for the upper class or ‘bourgeois’ type people. It’s not like that; it never has been! Nobel Laureate Week is for Saint Lucians at home and abroad to celebrate excellence. This is why every year we have an ongoing theme: ‘Celebrate Excellence’ and we add on a new sub-theme. This year our theme is ‘Celebrating Excellence – Transforming Lives.

“We looked at the United Nations and their programme; what they were looking at and doing, and we kind of mirrored it, and you will see that in our own programme. What it boils down to, ultimately, is that we want everyone to take part and we want everyone to feel that they can come. There are some people who like lectures, some people don’t like lectures; they find it boring. There are people who love to read Saint Lucian books, other people who don’t want to, while there are others who simply want to see our local children perform. It’s not just about Derek and Sir Arthur per se; it’s about excellence, it’s about showcasing what you are really good at and we want people to have the mentality that I am Saint Lucian and really good at this,” Dolor concluded.

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