Success of MACFest masks undercurrent of dissatisfaction

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By Alfred Sasako

Pan pipers from Malaita

AS the veil of success of the two-week Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival (MACFEST) lifted, undercurrents of dissatisfaction by some local artists have begun to emerge.

And one member of the Arts Association is calling on authorities to take onboard their concerns, which included being sidelined in terms of allocation of venues to display their wares throughout the two-week arts and crafts bonanza.

“We feel we were being ignored during the festival,” Mrs Rosina Esther Fa’arodo told Island Sun on Tueasday.

Mrs Fa’arodo, a seasoned artist, with the Arts Association said the intention of the Arts Association is to promote Solomon Islands through their art work. Instead, they were denied the opportunity.

“We were given, for example, venues that were either very expensive or were located away from the main venue of the Festival,” Fa’arodo (pictured) said.

Fa’arodo is a member of the Arts Association for seven years.

“I want to make it clear that this is not a complaint. It is a concern shared by our members because we too would like to put on display our products in the hope of making sales. That opportunity was denied the local artists.

“I am hoping that this concern would be addressed in future,” she said.

Fa’arodo said members of the Arts Association were also disappointed with authorities regarding allocation of space at the new Arts and Crafts Centre, funded by Taiwan.

“We asked whether we could start using it after MACFEST, but were told we have to wait until a new committee has sorted out allocation of spaces. As a result, we had to bring out our umbrellas and set up outside the new Arts and Craft Centre.

“In fact, the Ministry responsible simply asked us to go back home and wait for the decision of the new committee. This is totally unfair as we need to sell our products to earn a little money to help our families,” Fa’arodo said.

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