Photo/ Courtesy of Jubilante Cutting
To achieve one’s ultimate dream requires determination, diligence, and persistence, coupled with an evolving spirit of purpose. Jubilante Cutting is a young, Caribbean woman on a mission to demonstrate the possibility of what many thought was an impossible dream.
Knowledge beyond the Courtroom
In less than five years, she has positioned her non-profit foundation the Guyana Animation Network Inc. (GAN), to advance into a globally recognized digital media and animation organization. She recently took time out of her busy schedule to speak with Unstoppable Yes You.
24-year-old Cutting, the cofounder of GAN, is realizing a unique possibility. She is in pursuit of developing an innovative infrastructure in Guyana and impacting the digital media and animation industry.
Last fall, in the midst of the greatest pandemic to impact the globe, she implemented digital skills training and partnership initiatives with Concept 3D and Dynamic 3D, two youth-led groups. Together, they addressed one of the problems of COVID19; the need for medical shields. As a team effort, they created 3D printed face shields for hospital professionals who faced the challenge of supply deficits.
Jubilante Cutting was born in Georgetown, Guyana, and reared by her mother, Abigail Cutting, a trained educator. She graduated 2nd in Class with Distinction from the University of Guyana with a Bachelor of Laws Degree. She also received a Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.
Cutting continues to pursue her purpose to be a motivating force. Since the age of 16, Jubilante has traveled a path that will eventually enable her organization to leverage globalization and formalize inter-island businesses on micro and macro levels. GAN, a business idea turned reality, is her brainchild. The combined vision and mission of GAN are to lead, activate and contribute to change in the digital media and animation industries of Guyana and the Caribbean as they collaborate across borders and inter-sector.
Interestingly enough, Cutting isn't actually an animator or digital media expert. She tells Unstoppable Yes You that as a “facilitator and advocate I am operating in a space where I don’t have the technical skills, but my focus is about getting the opportunities to others.”
Jubilante became involved with information technology more than seven years ago when she attended the CARICOM-USAID Animation Workshop and was subsequently given the opportunity to participate in the prestigious Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival, held in Trinidad and Tobago. This unique exposure to investors, leaders, and professionals in the industry allowed her to grasp the potential impact that this genre might have on youth in the Caribbean. Jubilante almost a decade later, continues her mission to raise awareness and advocate for young people to take advantage of the developing opportunities in this space. She currently engages to bring the concept of GAN to the local, regional and international community in art, film, animation, design, and solutions challenges.
Teach, hone and enhance skills
Prior to the COVID19 pandemic, GAN held its fourth annual summer camp and hosted 100 youth from Georgetown, Guyana. The youth received training in animation, virtual reality, game design, and coding; transferable skills, Cutting firmly believes, enhance their educational, personal, and professional growth. During the interview with Unstoppable Yes You Cutting said, “Our programs introduce new concepts every year. They touch on developing niche creative skills that are relevant to the world today and that allows us to showcase Caribbean concepts and stories.” She added that “Each year the camp experience results in students developing ‘an end’ product and this year, our focus will be on digital design-based topics to help entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators create products for the present and digital future.
In 2018, Cutting was featured on the podcast, Conversations with Selwyn (CWS) on YouTube to promote her theories. She assuredly told the show’s host, Selwyn Collins that “there is a lot of untapped potential,” relative to youth and their work in animation and digital media. Three years later, Cutting shares with Unstoppable Yes You, her visions for the region, which is to include physical and digital infrastructure transformation, advancement in and equal access to technologies, and curriculum changes in regional universities.
She argues that the traditional pursuit of success may need to be re-imagined and says that “when you look at the global economy there are many young persons in school, starting businesses of their own.” Jubilante is convinced that in this social climate, innovative paths to success must be explored. The traditional ideology to encourage students to “stay in school, finish school and then find a job” presents limited opportunities and needs to be reimagined as a strategy to empower youth of color. She offers this advice to educators and mentors, “tell them [students] about business, show them elsewhere in the world where young people are bringing about solutions.”
She asserts that when society encourages young people to “think outside of the box,” hone their critical thinking skills and incorporate educational training the results lead to creativity and innovation.
Moving Toward Substantial Actualization
Part of Jubilante's mission is to help Caribbean countries create and recount their own stories. The success of that plan depends on increased demand for local professionals in the field, exposure to international markets, and initiatives to develop the economy. Her plans include providing a platform for the development of an animators’ network to showcase their talent and acquire vital information on trends and career possibilities in the industry.
Networking with private sectors and industry, Cutting and GAN may provide Caribbean youth with opportunities to develop diverse, cultural content. Participants and graduates of her program may then create cultural narratives that reflect the diversity of the West Indies and ultimately partner with business units and production entities. On the cusp of changing stereotypes and forging ahead in the animation and digital media industry, giants like Netflix, Disney, and MIPCOM should take note of the Caribbean's burgeoning grassroots initiative. Caribbean youth are pursuing their purpose with the help of Guyanese mentors like Jubilante Cutting.