Carnival backstage | Closeup

Carnival is a time to shine: from performers on the soca and calypso stage to costumed masqueraders in the street and fete-goers showing off their most acrobatic dance moves. But “the greatest show on earth” wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the many thousands who work behind the scenes — year-round or seasonally — on the organisation and logistics of the festival. Laura Dowrich-Phillips and Georgia Popplewell meet four of the people whose backstage efforts make Carnival happen

Photo by Kibwe Brathwaite

Kambule: on morning ground | Snapshot

Early each Carnival Friday morning, before dawn breaks, crowds assemble at Piccadilly Greens in east Port of Spain for a re-enactment of a key event in the history of Trinidad — and of Carnival itself. Attillah Springer gives an intimate account of Kambule, when the spirits of the ancestors are invoked in a ritual of memory, story, song, and resistance

Kambule performers re-enact the beginning of the 1881 Canboulay Riots. Photo by Maria Nunes

The return of the baby doll | Backstory

With a frilly dress and bonnet, carrying a replica of an infant, the traditional Baby Doll is a playful Carnival character with a serious message about the social roles of women and men. A new generation of activists have adopted the Baby Doll as form of feminist intervention, write Amanda T. McIntyre and Jarula M.I. Wegner — like the masqueraders behind the Belmont Baby Dolls band

The Belmont Baby Dolls band made their debut at Carnival 2019. Patrick Rasoanaivo/Culturego Magazine

Back to the Bahamas | Explore

When the Bahamas was hit by Hurricane Dorian last year, the images of destruction horrified people around the world. But, severe as the damage was, only a small part of the archipelago nation was affected, and one of the best ways to help with recovery efforts is to spend tourist dollars there, explains Nazma Muller

Forty miles northwest of New Providence, the Berry Islands are relatively undeveloped and slightly off the beaten track — perfect for visitors looking for unspoiled seclusion. It’s a coveted spot for big game fishing, while scuba divers and snorkellers explore the shallow waters teeming with marine life. Photo by Michael Freifeld/Alamy Stock Photo

All creatures great and small | Inspire

Last September, Hurricane Dorian devastated the lives of thousands in the Bahamas — and not just the human residents of the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahamas, but their pets as well. As Erline Andrews learns, in the aftermath of the storm, animal welfare organisations have stepped in to save hundreds of domesticated animals and reunite them with their owners

When disasters like last year’s Hurricane Dorian strike, human victims are the priority — but animal welfare activists say pets shouldn’t be forgotten. Photo by Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

For the sake of a lizard | Green

The gem-like colours of the tiny Union Island gecko — a lizard found only on one small island in the Grenadines — are why it’s so highly coveted by the exotic pet trade. As Erline Andrews reports, hopes for the endangered gecko’s survival depend on new conservation efforts, and a push for eco-tourism

Photo by Matthijs Kuijpers/Alamy Stock Photo