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What’s in Your Old Shoebox?

You know the shoebox!

We talking ’bout the one that Aunty keeps in her closet and Granny keeps under her mattress.

The one with all the old photographs of Aunty and Uncle when they went to a concert when they were younger.

The one where Granny kept the “programs” from an event she attended “in de ole days.”

It is generally agreed that memories, both individual and collective, are crucial resources in the telling the complex stories about post-colonial societies such as Guyana.

The August 5–7 mostly virtual symposium will be a unique opportunity. For the first time, a community of researchers, creatives, and members of the national and international community will come together to exchange knowledge, document personal and collective memories, and collect memorabilia related to Carifesta ’72.

A goal of the symposium is to launch the creation of a digital archive dedicated to Carifesta ’72 and other Guyanese and Caribbean festivals at the Caribbean Research Library of the University of Guyana.

The archive will include oral histories and memorabilia, such as documents (e.g., pamphlets, brochures, performance guides, poems, music scores, and trinkets) produced for Carifesta by the Carifesta organization or participating artists and delegations or reactions (e.g., songs, personal photographs, and written reflections) recorded by attendees during the event.

These items are often tucked away in albums, scrapbooks, and shoeboxes at home.

You are invited to contribute to this archive. You can do so in several ways at the Carifesta@50: The Festival City Exhibition scheduled for the Den of the Lions Club of Ruimveldt, Festival City, on Saturday, August 6, 2022, or afterward.


  1. You can bring the items(s) you wish to donate to the exhibition. If you feel uncomfortable parting with the Carifesta ’72 memorabilia in your shoebox, the University of Guyana library staff will safely scan/digitize your materials and return the original copies to you.

  2. If you are unable to attend the Carifesta at 50: The Festival City Exhibition on Saturday, August 6 but wish to donate to the digital archive, you can email Ms. Syndrene Harris at to arrange an appointment at the Caribbean Research Library in Georgetown. Alternatively, you can scan your donation and send it to Your scans must be at least 300 dpi.

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