The first thing to say is that prior
to the launching of The
Arts Journal in Guyana in 2004,
there was virtually no critical material published in Guyana
and easily accessible to students of the humanities and cultural
studies. Literary and art criticism of Guyanese themes and issues
were mostly to be found in journals published overseas, often
economically prohibitive to students in Guyana.
Then, there was a clear need for more avenues available to scholars and creative writers at home, regionally, and in the Diaspora to publish their work relating to the Caribbean. In addition, there was need to create a bridge with writers and artists in the Diaspora so that scholarly and creative works were not lost either way.
The Arts Journal has been deemed “the premier Journal of Guyana” (David Granger, Guyana Review).
Up to the turn of this Century, important works of the visual arts andsignificant cultural artifacts in Guyana were critically neglected and hardly existed in the national consciousness. Some of these artists had passed on and their works were in danger of being forgotten without being brought into the national heritage. The creative works of some strands of our plural society were not being noticed< during the last eight years The Arts Journal has filled these gaps by providing a blend of readable analytical material on Guyanese and Caribbean works of literature and the visual arts, and on aspects of social history and culture.
While The Arts Journal recognizes a tradition of critical debate across the disciplines on Caribbean themes, its aim is to extend the debate to embrace the plurality of Caribbean peoples, and to attempt to bring to light works that have been under-represented in the “mainstream” tradition. The Journal sets out to find and illuminate such works and does so through critical essays, interviews, book reviews, travel writing, the short story, poetry and the visual and traditional arts and culture.
In addition, the consequences of globalization upon our lives and its rendering of national borders fluid and porous will demand more critical space for debate.
The aims of The Arts Journal are:
to strengthen the tradition of critical thinking in Guyana and the Caribbean
and wherever our peoples are dispersed;
to recognize the plural nature of Caribbean societies and to illuminate Caribbean works from a culturally relevant perspective;
to bridge the gap between Guyana, the Caribbean and their Diasporas so that scholarly and creative works on either side are not lost;
to provide an avenue for publishing to scholars and emerging writers; to bring the arts to the centre of individual consciousness and foster deeper understanding of the cultural environment to which we are heir.