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Musical Life in GuyanaHistory and Politics of Controlling Creativity$
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Vibert C. "Cambridge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460117

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460117.001.0001

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The 1980s: Long Live the President—The President Is Dead!

The 1980s: Long Live the President—The President Is Dead!

(p.231) 9 The 1980s: Long Live the President—The President Is Dead!
Musical Life in Guyana

Vibert C. Cambridge

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the President Forbes Burnham administration, and how he recognized the importance of public entertainment as a vehicle for the citizenry to let off steam, for diverting attention, for mobilizing the society in times of crisis, and for the promotion of a political regime. Under Burnham's leadership, the state acquired a range of assets with which to execute the panis et circenses tradition. By 1980, the nation's calendar of holidays, festivals, and anniversaries provided the framework on which to organize and influence “entertainments.” After governing the Guyanese society for the first half of the 1980s, the impact of his decisions remained evident throughout the remainder of the decade. The chapter also shows how the 1980s was not a great decade for European classical music in Guyana.

Keywords:   President Forbes Burnham, public entertainment, political regime, panis et circenses, Guyanese society, European classical music

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