CCI Alliance calls for talks inclusionThursday, September 16, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
THE cultural and creatives alliance formed as an umbrella group earlier this year to speak with one voice regarding matters to do with their industries is expressing concern over its absence from discussions in light of the current pandemic.
The group, known as Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI) Alliance, is made up of major individual organisations drawn from within the local creative industries. These include: Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA); Women in Film and Television (WIFT); Book Industry Association of Jamaica; Kingston Creative Limited; Dancers of Jamaica; Association of Rastafarian Creatives; Jamaica Film and Television Association; Johnny Live Productions Limited; and, John John Music Limited.
Each month the chair of the umbrella group shifts to one of the member organisations, and for the month of September it is WIFT in the driver's seat.
WIFT executive Sherando Ferril told the Jamaica Observer that the organisation is concerned that talks regarding the future of the creative industries are being held without the participation of member groups or the CCI Alliance.
“We are just looking for a seat at the table where the decisions having to do with our future are being made. Yes, the authorities have established the Entertainment Advisory Board and other such bodies, but we are a legitimate organisation and, therefore, strongly believe that we should have a say in matters that are about us and our livelihood,” said the film producer and actress, whose credits include Sweet Rind, Departure, and Invincible Boy.
She noted that since the establishment of the CCI there has been communication to the relevant authorities, but there has been no response.
“We have yet to be acknowledged, and during this time we have seen the opening and closure of the industries in which our member organisations are affiliated with no discussion with us — the largest single alliance representing creatives in Jamaica. We just want to be included in the conversation so we can speak with one voice,” said Ferril.
“We look forward to real change in this sector with the respect that we deserve as artisans, performers, etc, and the ability to help shape a sector that we belong to and that [the] country needs in order to survive. We crave a seat at the table to aid in the decisions being made about us and our livelihood,” she reiterated.
At the time of its establishment, the CCI Alliance noted that there is need for equity in representation as decisions are made that affect creatives.
“We believe this alliance can be a practical way to ensure that a diverse set of voices are part of the conversation to move our industry forward while supporting Jamaica's recovery. We also stand ready to provide relevant stakeholder input to address concerns and put forward possible solutions for our respective creative sectors, while factoring in wider public health concerns,” read a statement from the group.