Tuesday, April 10, 2007


hat a weekend nice and long, I hope yours was a good one too.

I went to the British Museum on Sat, to see an exhibition, “LA BOUCHE DU ROI” by an African Artist, Romuald Hazoume , part of the bi centennial of the Abolition of the slave trade the main piece of the exhibit was a plan of a slave ship made up of the tops of black petrol cans, the can tops have an uncanny (pun boy) resemble lance to African masks, and were used to represent people and tribes that were transported to the “New World” to be slaves .

What happened next I did not expect, but sometimes these things find you when your on that road.

The creativity of it all struck me because the whole piece actually was made up of symbols that told the story of the “trade” and using materials around him, like the traditional original mas men of Trinidad, he produced a powerful piece of work, of a standard that the Museums of the word can display.

Now like some Prophet of doom I have been “ranting” about the death of Carnival and the historic “AMNESIA” keepers of the Culture seemed to display during this Carnival, in a year significantly important to all Afro Caribbean’s and Trinidad Carnival.

On the wall of this display was a quote that hit me in the face this artist making his creative comment on this part of Africa’s and the Caribbean’s shared history had this to say about us…..

Could I have said it any better………. or worse?

This is an artist looking at us from across the seas; can we put up a creative defence to such a claim? Can we argue that this claim is based on ignorance because we have retained so much of our African culture that he does not know about?

Any how “who the cap fits let them wear it” I think this hat was made for Trini’s I can’t speak for other Islands.

Like I said in the past one day some one will look at our art forms and judge our society by them. Carnival 2007 in the Mecca of Carnival has come and gone and we forgot to pay homage to those who through all kinds of odds laid the very foundation for Carnival not Justin Trinidad but throughout the Caribbean.

I took some photos and scanned some leaflets for you to see this work.

On leaving the Museum I came across a book shop with some books in the window, on once again the History of the African slave trade and the events, in England that lead to the Abolition, of the “trade” (like I said this is a huge thing over here).
Of course “yuh boy must check it out ” on a table I saw some leaflet and picked one up and it found yet another side of my argument, as to why would band leaders study the French revolution and Sahara and cocktails , when the Heroes in the Caribbean were fighting for their’s and our Freedom right in our own yard!

Might be that case of cultural/historical AMNESA again or right out CULTURAL/HISTORICAL IGNORANCE or ARROGANCE that would make a collective of cultural gate keepers overlook such a massive period in our history, but this is what the flyer was about.

Consider this, “Trinbago” Carnival is the mother of many Carnivals world wide, and many if not all her Children still feed at her breasts, if she I dying of the POISON that is HUBRIS, what shall happen to her offspring who still feed of her milk?

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