With the aim of creating a comprehensive database on the work and status of artists in Seychelles, that will be accessible to all locally and internationally, the Creative Seychelles Agency (CSA) is launching a national census soon.
Through the State of Artists Census, the agency will collect details such as the form of art the person is involved in, the number of years the person has been practicing the art form, and if the individual is practicing the art full-time or part-time amongst other details. It is expected to take a year to complete the census.
The executive director of the agency, Emmanuel D’Offay, said in a press conference on Tuesday that “the census is very important for us, as it will provide us with all the information that we need so as to know the state of arts and of artists in the country.”
“We often find ourselves in situations, where, especially on an international level, we get a lot of demands for specific artists, and we do not know all artists in that specific field. So if we are aware of only one person who does jazz, for example, we are always sending that one person overseas, and other artists complain,” explained D’Offay.
He said that the database to be compiled after the census will tackle this problem.
“Each artist, regardless of the art form they practice, must make it their responsibility to participate in this census,” added D’Offay.
Once the census is launched, artists can access the form online on the Creative Seychelles Agency Facebook page, the National Arts and Craft Council of Seychelles website as well as that of the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts.
During the census, a team of people, led by Jany Letourdie, a well-known Seychellois singer, will be responsible for the collection of information. She will go to districts and do the necessary to ensure that we get the maximum of artists to partake in the census.
“As an artist myself, I already know quite a number of artists. We can go through associations as well, put out adverts, and word of mouth. We will make announcements when we are going to different districts,” said Letourdie.
Once the information is collected, it will be handed to Sybil Labrosse, who will compile the information in the database, which will later be placed online on the upcoming CSA website.
CSA will then be able to establish the number of artists at each level of professionalism. Post-census, the agency will meet up with artists to provide training and talks, to provide information on diverse areas in the creative field, such as making it to the international scene, the need to have managers, and having a retirement plan.
“Anyone with a sense of creativity can become an artist, but not everyone can be placed in the same category or level. So this census will allow us to be able to establish if an artist is a professional, an amateur, or debutant amongst other categories,” said D’Offay.
The census will also provide statistics to hold talks with banks and insurance companies among others to find ways to better serve artists in the country.