Gambia: COVID-19 Suppresses Creative, Cultural Sector

The creative and cultural sector in The Gambia has become boring and suppressed by covid-19, a pandemic that warranted partial and total lockdown in some countries worldwide.

The negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on this sector is huge and cannot be quantified in a jiffy as all activities and events are at standstill

According to director general of National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), "the pandemic is really having negative impact on the NCAC."

Hassoum Ceesay, who visited some the sites, museums and other places of attractions in the country, said the impact of covid-19, has dropped to zero per cent since the beginning of March as all activities have stopped automatically.

"Museums, James Island, Fort Bullen, Stone Circles in Wassu, Kerr Batch, craft markets are all on shutdown. Other activities like musical events, drama and theatres, presentations, book launchings, are all put on hold whilst about 12 festivals postponed from the month of March to date," he disclosed.

He went on explain that sites and museums depend on tourists that visit the places but all went back and school children that always go on frequent excursion to places like museums, Arch National Monument, James Island, Stone Circles in Kerr Batch and Wassu which are UNESCO World Heritage sites "have all stopped since the outbreak of the pandemic."

Sending out messages to the cultural and creative community, the director general said it is a trying time that will come in to past.

While the NCAC shares creative and cultural sector's plight, he urged artists to continue to create in their safety home as per the demands of the State of Public Emergency recently declared by the government.

As part of measure put in place to control the spread and contact of covid-19, sites and museums, the National Centre for Arts and Culture distributed informative posters on guidelines and stationed sanitary items with disinfectant across all the heritage sites and museums.

The institution also engages the communities that house the sites and museums on sensitisation campaigns on how to control the spread of the pandemic.

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