Fri | Apr 19, 2024

ACIJ/JMB rebrands its February programme to AYA

Published:Monday | February 19, 2024 | 12:15 AM

The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank (ACIJ/JMB) has rebranded its signature February programme to AYA.

AYA, a cultural engagement programme to be held annually in February, is designed to facilitate awareness of the contribution of African cultural retentions in relationship to other ethnic groups to the Jamaican cultural landscape and commemorate the celebration of Reggae Month and Black History Month in Jamaica.

AYA, meaning “fern” in African Adinkra symbology, is an icon that represents philosophies of endurance, perseverance, and resourcefulness. The AYA fern is a hardy plant that can grow in difficult places and, in a press release, the entity said, “this we believe embodies the ethos of the ACIJ/JMB. AYA also speaks to the mission of the ACIJ/JMB in safeguarding and documenting African cultural retentions in Jamaica amidst threats to cultural heritage”.

Dr Kirt Henry, director of ACIJ/JMB explained, “With AYA, we aim to connect, engage, and transform communities through activities such as exhibitions, symposiums, panel discussions, film screenings, tours, and outreach events.”

He elaborated that the line-up of events will progress on a weekly basis.

The division’s last Sunday event on February 25 will feature an exhibition of Revival dress on the Northern Park Lawn of the Urban Development Corporation complex. The exhibition, titled Sacred Attire: A Celebration of Revival Raiment, will get under way at 10 a.m.

To close AYA, a youth forum titled, Spirituality and Me: Youth Perspectives, will be held on February 29 at the Institute of Jamaica’s lecture hall starting at 10 a.m.

The mandate of the ACIJ/JMB is to research, document, and disseminate information on African heritage and its impact on Jamaican culture. The division highlights the contribution of African cultural retention to Jamaican belief systems to instill awareness and appreciation of African culture as a part of Jamaican heritage.

The ACIJ/JMB is a division of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport.