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…condemns Halloween “hanging” display
The International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G) has condemned the recent Halloween haunted house erected and promoted by MovieTowne which portrayed African dolls in Afrocentric clothing “hanging” from the walls and the ceiling.
The display which was shared in a video on MovieTowne’s social media page garnered much backlash from the Guyanese public leading to its removal. It was followed by an explanation message from MovieTowne which stated that this was not the establishment’s intention and that it respects all races in Guyana. However, this was not accepted by some as an apology.
In a statement, IDPADA-G said it is gravely disappointed by the MovieTowne’s erection and promotion of the same which is akin to the brutal lynchings Africans who suffered because of the racist ideologies propagated which continue today.
“This display, although described as being for the purpose of entertainment, conjures up images of the greatest atrocity in human history — the enslavement and genocide of millions of Africans during the transatlantic slave trade. This unfortunate occurrence comes at a time when there is a global recognition of the historic and continued crimes against people of African Descent,” IDPADA-G stated.
It reminded that discrimination and acts of hate against Africans are ongoing which is why the United Nations, in 2015, recognised the necessity in establishing a decade for people of African descent.
In March 2021 the UN executed a week of solidarity for the elimination of Racial Discrimination and established the Permanent Forum for people of African Descent in August calling on all nations to establish policies and programmes of redress and restoration to eliminate this scourge.
IDPADA-G added: “These acknowledgements and calls to action make one thing clear – racism is pervasive and if left unchecked, it will destroy our society. MovieTowne and all business entities that rely on the patronage of Guyanese society have a duty to advance positive change.”
IDPADA-G, which is a consortium of 60 African Guyanese organisations located in various regions of Guyana, has since called on the removal of the display and all promotional material that includes it and the investment in cultural sensitivity training by MovieTowne for its management and other staff.
It was also recommended that creatives and other sponsors involved in putting together and approving this insensitive display should receive training. It has also invited Directors and Managers of MovieTowne Guyana to discuss how such programs can become a reality.
“…we vehemently condemn the portrayal of People of African Descent in this demeaning and culturally inappropriate manner, whether consciously or unconsciously, by MovieTowne Guyana…the International Decade for People of African Decent Assembly-Guyana encourages MovieTowne Guyana to take more meaningful action to make amends to the African Guyanese community by investing in programs that can benefit marginalised groups in these communities”, IDPADA-G stated.