Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MASQUERADE 2000 IGNORANCE UNFOLDS







esigners often have to write a synopsis of his or her own work, in this summery you explain the theme, and possibly, the influential components behind the design of the band.
This shows that the designer actually has, a clear working knowledge of the theme or topic he or she has chosen to depict in their work, it also shows his or her understanding and command of the art form that is mas, and the designers skill and ability to turn this concept into a working functional band or costume.

However designers now use the synopsis like a politician uses spin…to get attention away from the brutal fact that the costume design before you has nothing to do with the theme. They talk about how much research they done, or write up explanations that when put up to the mas with a critical eye the sums don’t add up at all.

When however, a designer’s synopsis, THE VERY EXPLANATIONS, of his work is not original but copied from another source what does that make of his work?

Are we to trust that the designer’s works are as original as his plagiarised descriptions?

If the artist does not have the intellectual ability to describe in his very own words, his own designs, or what inspired them, or why he chose this colour or that, how I ask, could this work be borne out of his mind if he can’t talk about it in his own words?

East London mas band Masquerade 2000, has produced for Nottinghill Carnival 2007 “Africa Unfolds” the designer clamed that this presentation is " a tribute to the 200 years emancipation of slavery in the uk” NOW call this statement a typo but if he in fact intended to pay “tribute to 200 years of emancipation of slavery in the uk” this guy went wrong before he even put the concept in his mind to paper.

Why?

One reason.

In the U.K or GREAT BRITON there was no slavery…..there were black people, but there were no slaves ……there were millions of slaves transported to locations all over the British Empire but Mr. M2K there were no slaves in England.
Sorry man.

Slaves were brought to England from the W.I with their sugar wealthy masters but often walked out, because in Christian England no man or woman was a slave, their masters might have considered them slaves but they (the slaves) knew better and walked off. so the boy went wrong from “GO”.

Ok we all know what the boy really meant to say, he going to pay tribute, he says “ "AFRICA UNFOLDS" a tribute to the 200 year abolition of slavery anniversary” The flyer don’t say so but he is the designer so he must know what he saying, not so?

You would think so.

However.

I started this post, talking about the designer’s synopsis, and plagiarism, and questioning if the designer had to use the words of someone else, to describe his own work, can one trust that the designs themselves are his, in short does this guy know what he is talking about, or doing, or going, with his theme?

Look at this.

On the 13th of April the designer post a list his sections on islandmix.com

04-13-2007, 03:19 AM


“Presentation section“MOKO JUMBIES”A moko jumbie (also known as "moko jumbi") is a stilts walker or dancer. The origin of the term may come from "Moko" (a possible reference to an African god) and "jumbi", a West Indian term for a ghost or spirit that may have been derived from the Kongo language word zumbi. It is believed that the Moko Jumbies are a West African tradition. A Moko Jumbie character may wear colorful garb and participate in festivals.Special section.

“KENTE WRAPPED IN PRIDE”Kente is made by the Asante and Ewe peoples and is the best known of all African textiles. Kente comes from the word kenten, which means "basket." The Asante peoples also refer to kente as nwentoma or "woven cloth."The icon of African cultural heritage around the world, Asante kente is identified by its dazzling, multicoloured patterns of bright colours, geometric shapes and bold designs.



Section 1 “NUBIANS AND WARRIORS”Around 5000 years ago, a rich nation called the kingdom of Kush also referred to as “Ancient Nubia” centre of culture and military might of Africa. Ancient Nubia has natural resources such as gold, ivory, copper and frankincense. The female part of this section will feature influences from a traditional Nubian costume. The male counter part will be “Bowmen Warriors” who were known and feared by Nubians. Nubians are believed to be the first human race on earth who’s customs and traditions were adopted by ancient Egyptians. The section will be pure red with flashes of gold and black.



Section 2 “AFRICAS PRIDE”This section travels back to ancient times when Africa was rich with gold, treasure, precious artefacts and adornment. This section is based around “Ashanti’s Gold” the Ashanti tribe live in central Ghana in Western Africa. The Ashanti are a major ethnic group of the Akans in Ghana. The Ashanti religion is a mixture of spiritual powers, they believe that plants, animals and trees have souls. The golden stool is very sacred to the Ashanti, there is also an elaborate legend surrounding it. The golden stool is very carefully protected, no one has ever sat on it the stool represents the worship of the ancestors, well-being, and the nation of Ashanti. This will be a male and female section of pure gold and adornment featuring a large traditionally shaped headdress.

Section 3“DANCE FOR FREEDOM”This section will reflect the dream, but not the pain of black people during slavery. The search for freedom as they pick the cotton, working for their masters being tortured and stripped of any rights “Dance for freedom” breaks their chains releasing them to fly as free as a bird. This section incorporates African patterns and stark white fabrics symbolising heaven and freedom whilst letting out subtle colours and shades flowing through their wings. This will be a female only section with the option of releasing a male design at a later date.

Section 4“ZULU”The Zulus are the largest ethnic group in South Africa they are well known for their beautiful brightly coloured beads and baskets. The Zulu believe they are decedents from a chief from the Congo area, and in the 16th century migrated south picking up many of the traditions and customs of the San who also inhabited this South African area. During the 17th and 18th centuries many of the most powerful chiefs gave control of the Zulu villages to the British. This section will feature multicoloured beads and stones on a gold base with large graphic head piece designs and will be both male and female.

Section 5 “EGYPT THE LOST CIVILIZATION” New kingdom 1550-1070 BC 18th Dynasty determined never again to allow Egypt to suffer humiliation from outsiders, Pharaohs of the new kingdom strove to build an empire. As loot and captives from the near east poured into the country Egypt once again grew wealthy and ever more cosmopolitan, abandoning any of its new ways. The riches found in the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamen testify the splendour of the era. The female part of this section will represent Ankhesenpaaten the wife of Tutankhamen and will be gold, pink and purple. The male counter part will represent the great king Tutankhamen and will be gold, midnight blue and turquoise.there are about 20 charecters included in the presentation covering historical people and events of africa and also a king, queen, male and female individual.



BLESS PAUL.”
Last edited by masquerade2k : 04-13-2007

Impressive looking huh?

Well I googled parts of each paragraph and found the sources of all the ‘borrowing’ that Mr M2k pinched his information from.


Moko jumbies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moko_jumbies
KENTE WRAPPED IN PRIDE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kente
NUBIANS AND WARRIORS
http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/nubians.html
AFRICAS PRIDE
http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes/ashanti.htm
ZULU
http://www.africaguide.com/culture/tribes/zulu.htm

Now not only is the information to explain the theme of each section 'borrowed', but look sharp!
Not much of the band has anything to do with the slave trade or its abolition 200 years ago, not in Africa, the U.K. or the W.I, in fact, the Egyptians, Nubians, Zulu’s have no connection with the theme.



The truth is the Triangular Slave Trade between Africa England and the Caribbean comes THOUSANDS OF YEARS AFTER EGYPT AND THE NUBIANS, ON THE OTHER SIDE (north east) OF THE MIGHTY AFRICAN CONTINENT. AS FOR THE ZULU’S,.m2k your plain wrong.

In fact the amount of tribes and cultures that came “OUT OF the AFRICAN west cost during the period of slavery, can produce more than ten big band on that very theme, Africa unfolds, if this was in fact a tribute to Africa and the abolition of the trade or even the Caribbean it would have shown in the designs.

Is this another example of a six for a nine, or better yet a mas designed long before the theme was picked? M2k talked about learning lessons from the past he talks about the amount of research he did on this. I could tell by the synopsis alone that his research on Africa, the slave trade, the abolition of the slave trade was an ABSOLUTE MINIMAL.
The research I think this designer spent a great deal of time researching was the male costume designs of harts and maybe old poison designs, the designer also seems suffer from an overdose of influence from island people.




While the number one mouth in Nottinghill Carnival, does seem to have upgraded his design game by riding the formula of Trinidad’s big fun bands he has missed his theme by a long shot….to the point of ridiculousness.

This so called TRIBUTE is in fact nothing of the sought; it is in fact the worst misrepresentation of African themed mas I have ever seen.

A couple of weeks ago I clashed m2k on saucy’s blog,
http://saucytrini.blogspot.com/2007/04/two-bands-merge-for-carnival-2008.html
in it I hinted to him that I was on to his game, I spoke to him about being a student of the culture, trying to suggest that he to should study it harder.

This band he has produced is monument to the massive amount of ignorance that is ultimately undermining the culture of Carnival, it is a monument to the pure ignorance of masqueraders of African and Afro Caribbean descent whose ancestors not only survived the slave trade and 400 odd years of slavery but who right up to the 1980’s had to fight for equality on the very streets of Nottinghill and Brixton in a tradition of AFRICAN RESISTANCE THAT GOES RIGHT BACK TO THE SLAVE PORTS OF AFRICA, AND ON BOARD THE FIRST SLAVE SHIP BOUND FOR THE NEW WORLD.
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