Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hidden Transcripts: The Black Super Hero series parts 3 and 4

I was recently talking to a friend who informed me that in South Africa the traditional art form of beading is also a form of coded communication by tribes such as the Zulu and therefore plays an important part in the structure and preservation of that society.

To the untrained eye however, they are just pretty beads...

Take in parts 3 and 4 of Black Super Hero.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hidden Transcripts: The Black Superhero project

I am often going on and about the fall in the standards of mas and the inability of this present crop of designers to grasp or stick to themes, because there is much more to these traditions than simply tradition. In past post I have asked readers, be they masquerader, band leader or designer to understand the power in the art form and respect it, don’t water it down making us a voiceless people in the process.

In the past I have spoke about hidden transcripts in mas , and the use of such transcripts to communicate to the masses, I have too decoded themes, and pointed you in the direction some themes are going or could have gone, if the designers put their minds to it or understood what they were doing.

There is a series on you tube called ‘The Black Superhero project’ in it the poster decodes almost every superhero imaginable and Identifies the root or source of such ideas and concepts, now any one can argue that these are his/hers opinion, but it’s hard to deny that he got something there.

In the days to come I will be posting two episodes of this series a day on massassination for all those who want to see just how far the ‘rabbit hole goes’ and what an impact conscious or subconscious these concepts and narratives have on us , this is a power that mas once had an influence beyond the service that is offered today by mas bands, if you have eyes to see, you might understand that the message i the greatest service you can give.

Enough of this babble check out the ‘BLACK SUPERHERO PROJECT

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Bacchanalia Launch: Alter Ego Through the looking glass: for N.H.C 2011

So Bacchanalia has drawn first blood for Notting hill carnival 2011 with their band launch at the Imbibe bar Saturday night.
It’s been a long time in London since I’ve been to a band launch I have enjoyed, if I had to be precise the last band launch I enjoyed was south connections about 4 years ago (and that’s because I found a nice woman to wine on...the mas was cool too).

So on Saturday, I (or we depending on who reading this lol) decided to attend the band launch of Bacchanalia to witness the revealing of  their Notting hill Carnival 2011 presentations of ‘Wotless’ for Sunday and ‘Alter Ego Through the looking glass’ for bank holiday Monday.

The crowd was a good one; convert this crowd and the energy it possessed into a strong 4 section band and the folks at Bacchanalia will surely be a force to reckon with in the Notting Hill Carnival.

Bacchanalia’s theme of choice, ‘Alter ego-Through the looking glass’ is a simple but effective one, in short the alter ego is that spirit of carnival that takes over when you hit the road on carnival day in costume, and become someone your mother does not know, and while at the launch I could not guess what costume was Bold and Beautiful or Mirror Mirror by looking at them, under the lights of the venue the costumes, (or was it the ladies in them?) did have me Spellbound for the 20 minutes it took to present them. Good show Bacchanalia, I enjoyed it!

However, looking critically  at the presentation Alter ego looks like some of the new bands in Trinidad , i.e. a head piece band, it seems that now the emphasis is on the larger (almost individual sized ) headpiece that with luck , will draw away from the fact that design wise the mas  says absolutely nothing.

As a mas man I saw Alter Ego as one of those  dream themes that you could take in one thousand directions and produce some sexy and meaningful portrayals with.  Unfortunately it seems that those that came up with the vision did not (or could not?) connect this inspiring concept to the imaginations of the design team of Bacchanalia...

Maybe the designer/s could not find a medium or motif to assist in the depiction of the theme, or it might be that they simply did not do the research, but if team Rajpaulsing with 18 years experience in carnival are truly dedicated to not only keeping the carnival culture in the UK alive but also improving it, they have to understand there is so much more to mas than sparkly things and pretty plumes.

Much much more.

As a medium band looking for a minimum of 160 and a maximum of 200 masqueraders, Bacchanalia may be shooting themselves in the foot with section prices of £225.00 for their premium female sections and £195.00 for the males. Boldly challenging their punters not only to release their courageous Alter-ego’s but also release their common sense and part with so much money for sparkly bikinis in this present unstable economic climate.

Overall the Bacchanalia vibe is a good vibe, the energy at the launch was positive and the presentation professional. As they now cross the bridge from T-shirt, to full costumed band I can only hope that they can in time evolve from the generic fun band approach to mas without meaning, to one that visually and philosophically demands the world not to simply look at us, but sit up and pay serious attention, for this too is a fundamental aspect of what mas is about.

Don’t just shout say something

Please note: Massassination must say a special thank you to band leaders Kelly and Andrew Rajpaulsingh for inviting Massassination to their band launch (a first) and the warm welcome on introduction.  This was done with the full knowledge of the blogs nature and in my opinion showed a supreme confidence, in their  product, a desire to progress, and a mature understanding that the opinions expressed in my posts are constructive (most times)  in intention, and done with an undying  love for  the art form that is MAS.

here's a 5 min clip...

a video clip of the bacchanalia band launch. held on the 16/04/11

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bacchanalia Present: ALTEREGO: For Notting Hill Carnival 2011

Bacchanalia - a London Notting Hill carnival band dedicated to bringing you the best possible carnival experience - all year round! Bacchanalia was incepted in 2005 as a fun mas band and have evolved into a full costume mas band. We are a small team focused on bringing you a package unlike any other. Small, intimate, focused on detail and customer service - and most importantly keeping it real.

The bandleaders for Bacchanalia are Kelly and Andrew Rajpaulsingh - both who have been involved in carnival for over 18 years and are dedicated to keeping the carnival culture alive and improving. We want to raise the profile of carnival and all the elements associated with it - from what carnival is to making the mas, the history of carnival and the true mas men of our generation, costumes and more...
For the hardcore carnivalists in Bacchanalia, this is what you been waiting for: PREMIUM LEADER (FRONTLINE COSTUMES) WILL BE OPEN FOR VIEWING AND BOOKING FROM 9PM at the launch on Saturday. Deposits for all costumes :premium sections and premium leaders are £80. When it gone, it gone.... for tickets to the launch of the season!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

JAY-Z - "Evolution Of My Style"

Evolution is important...

ev·o·lu·tion  (v-lshn, v-)
1. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. See Synonyms at development.
a. The process of developing.
b. Gradual development.

I wonder...has mas evolved ?
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Friday, April 08, 2011

ADDICTED for Nottinghill 2011: UNSTOPPABLE

After leaving a teaser trailer before Trinidad’s carnival in March, the section ADDICTED has released the designs and name of their Notting hill Carnival 2011 presentation UNSTOPPABLE. While details on the section or band launch dates have yet to be released, word on the grape vine is that costumes are already being paid down for based on the designs that seem receiving growing approval from their masqueraders.

As always I will keep you in the loop with future updates on ADDICTED.
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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Handspring Puppet Co.: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler

Handspring Puppet Company was founded in 1981 by four graduates of the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa. Two of the co-founders, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones, continue to run the company. Originally they created shows for children and thereafter works for adult audiences. Arguably one of the greatest puppetry companies in the world, Handspring has since collaborated with a succession of innovative South Africa directors including Malcolm Purkey, Barney Simon and artist William Kentridge.
source TED

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