Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Broadway to Biennial: A Carnival Timeline 1930-2015 By Claire Tancons

 "With Caribbean migration to and from European colonial capitals and North American urban centres, Carnival, and other festivals such as Junkanoo, have influenced and in turn been influenced by artistic developments and social events around a reconfigured, postcolonial, circum-Atlantic circuit.
This timeline chronicles the creation of diasporic pan-Caribbean carnivals from Harlem to Notting Hill in the pre-and immediate post-Independence era, as well as in Brooklyn and Toronto in the mid- to late 1960s.

It traces the emergence of Caribbean carnivals and festivals on theatre, dance, and Broadway stages in New York and London, in metropolitan contemporary art galleries and biennials from São Paulo to Havana to Gwangju, at the Olympics and other games since the 1980s as well as in protest and other movements, all the way to Occupy Wall Street.

 Cursory yet never compiled before, this account seeks to record the impact Carnival has had on contemporary artistic and curatorial practices as well as critical discourses on art and performance, participation and the public sphere among an increasingly global ever growing number of creative domains. It highlights the contributions of artists, critics and curators, many of whom are collaborators of En Mas’, while pointing to the way in which these events have provided benchmarks for their practice–from Lorraine O’Grady’s attendance of the Caribbean Carnival musical in Boston in the 1940s to Marlon Griffith’s experience of Peter Minshall’s Rat Race in Port-of-Spain in the 1980s.

Like most exhibitions about the Caribbean produced in the English speaking world, this timeline is predominantly about the English speaking Caribbean even as it strives to account for accomplishments in the Spanish and French speaking Caribbean as well—even as it also shows how Carnival continues to dismantle such boundaries in a post-colonial, multi-focal, global arena.
 Like En Mas’ , this time-line places a great emphasis on the Trinidad Carnival and its diasporic exports, due, in part, to the unprecedented reach of the Trinidad Carnival model—akin to, say, the recognition of Jamaican music globally.
 And like En Mas’ as a whole, it is only but a bench-mark towards further studies and future creative endeavours." (source;Claire Tancons)







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