Miss Grange spoke today at the press launch of the two film productions in the UWI-GOJ Series, Sugar Cane: Recycling Sweetness and Power in Modern Jamaica’ for adults and Ms Sugga, for children.
She told the audience at the launch function at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters that the production of the films which took place in the Jamaica 55 year was commissioned as a Jamaica 50 Legacy Project which the Ministry of Agriculture in 2011 had committed to undertake.
Minister Grange said sugar and Jamaica’s history were inextricably tied together.
“It was sugar and the wealth that it represented for the European colonizers, in particular England, that resulted in our forefathers being taken from their homeland Africa and brought to this part of the world as slaves.
“And when we accomplish our objectives in what we are seeking to do with this UWI-GOJ Sugar Heritage Film Series, I guarantee you that Sugar while not king any more will more than continue to earn its place at the king’s court.
“This will be so as we use the messages of these two films to find the ways to reinvent our sugar industry. We must discover how to make new money from the oldest industry in Jamaica…Sugar.”
“For 200 years, sugar was the only reason behind Jamaica’s existence as home to populations of African, European, Indian, Chinese and to a much lesser extent ethnic tribes who were forced into the periphery of our social and economic history.
“Yet terrible though it was, it was that experience that shaped us into a tough, resilient, fighting people; fighting for our freedom, dying for our freedom.
“The descendants of these slaves comprise the majority of Jamaica's population.
They influenced every sphere of Jamaican life and their contributions are immeasurable and today we see it reflected in our flag, our music, our speech and now in our films.
Miss Grange said Jamaica’s sugar industry remains oldest continually operating industry in Jamaica as well as the second largest employer of labour.
The Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister said thanks to the University of the West Indies, especially the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES); the Ministry of Industry Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Franklyn St. Juste of Time Code Productions; and Mary Wells and GSW Animations Limited for the production of the films.
The audience was shown trailers of Sugar Cane: Recycling Sweetness and Power in Modern Jamaica and Ms Sugga.