This Guest Post was written by Sashana Sanderson, 2nd Year Journalism Student at Caribbean Institute of Media & Communications (CARIMAC), located on the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.


Innovations, style, creativity, are just a few words to describe today’s youth in Jamaica. The irie land of Jamaica popularly known for its gorgeous beaches and jamming reggae music has for decades been crippled by high unemployment, lack of financial resources and violence particularly among its youth.

These issues have led to the merging of partnerships, to harness the creativity of the youth as a means to generate income, thereby creating jobs which in turn will build our economy. The World Bank in conjunction with other key stake holders has decided to use the Virtual Industry with a combination of the Visual Arts as a means to this end in Jamaica.

The move is seen as a great opportunity for Jamaica and in general the Caribbean. And the idea is to harness the full potential of as much human capital as possible and the Animation industry does exactly this. It entails a lot and is an industry that can take young people far the industry is emerging worldwide and quite possibly has a prosperous future. In the world of animation to do a ten (10) minute clip, an average of 120 people is needed!

And this does not only include drawing, but there is script writing, production, management, story board development and editing; so there is a job for everyone. There are a number of opportunities for Jamaica’s young people by way of international scholarships, internships and access to software and hardware needed.

Jamaica’s young people are extraordinarily creative and are talented in the Arts. The result from previous Visual Arts CXC exams is a good indicator of this talent. and Jamaica stands to gain great benefits from it.

Which is why beginning June 20-21, Jamaica will host in its capital city KingstOOn, the island’s first animation conference and festival.Kingstoon Festival

The first day will be in the form of a conference that will look at the potential for this emerging industry as well as its overall strengths and weaknesses. The second day will take the form of a competition and workshop to showcase and highlight the talents of some of the islands most talented young people.

Some of the entities expected for the launch of KingstOOn are Toon Boom, Bento Box, Shadow Gang, Disney, Matteland and Cartoon Network. Sheridan College in Canada and Columbus College of Visual Arts in the United States are also among the representatives and a member of each will serve as panelists, judges and trainers.

Sounds exciting! And the World Bank is doing its part by giving back what it can to the world’s youths. Stay tOOned for updates on KingstOOn in June.