Trinidadian author and educator, Dr Kris Rampersad has been invited to serve on the consultative body of the international InterGovernmental Committee on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation. Rampersad was also elected to serve as Vice-Chair of the consultative body during its first meeting held in Paris this week.
She is one of six international experts who will serve on the committee in their individual professional capacity, following the decision which was taken at last December’s meeting of the InterGovernmental Committee in Paris, France.
As a consultative member, she will participate in scrutinising applications to the UNESCO’s Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, the Urgent Safeguarding List and requests for international assistance in relation to Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Dr Rampersad – an independent media, cultural and literary consultant and facilitator – is a UNESCO-trained expert towards safeguarding cultural heritage and strengthening community and national tangible and intangible culture mechanisms. She has been conducting capacity building exercises in this regard across the Caribbean, including in countries as Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. She has also prepared and trained Caribbean youths, policy makers, decision makers and cultural communities in accessing the provisions of the Conventions towards strengthening mechanism for cultural survival and endurance. She further participated in the intergovernmental meeting on intangible cultural heritage in Bali, Indonesia in December, 2011.
Rampersad has been examining and critiquing national and international policy instruments, including UNESCO mechanisms, and devising mechanisms and recommendations for culture-centred development for more than a decade. She has also been engaged by various international and regional agencies to present her perspective and coordinate multisectoral examination of development issues, bringing together policy and decision-makers, academics, private sector, media and civil society on a range of fields including science, technology, communications, agriculture, gender among others.
A journalist, and newspaper editor, her research and recommendations are represented in UNESCO publications as well as the Commonwealth Foundation’s Putting Culture First Report; the culture reports of the ACP-EU (Africa, Pacific, Caribbean-European Union), and the International Who’s Who in Culture Policy Research among others.
She is the author of the highly acclaimed LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago; Through the Political Glass Ceiling, and Finding a Place along with numerous print and new media journals and fora on culture, gender, literature, media and development.
Rampersad is the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO.