Happenings (November/December 2010)

A round-up of current and coming events on the Caribbean calendar

  • Film still from The Audacity of the Creole Imagination, a documentary on the creation of pan. Photograph courtesy Cliff Alfred
  • The giant effigy of Ravan at Pierre Road, Charlieville, Trinidad. Photograph by Adrian Boodan
  • One of Robert Young’s creations from his design label, The Cloth, at Guyana Fashion Week. Photograph courtesy Guyana Fashion Week/Donn Thompson

Guyana Fashion Week: art with a heart

The Guyana Fashion Week (GFW) is a fashion event with a difference. Each year, the event supports causes that affect women. This year, it will support breast cancer awareness. The GFW happens in October – Breast Cancer Month – with gala fashion shows and activities that include a breast cancer walk and a “pink runway” show featuring breast cancer survivors.

“Fashion is the perfect method to send messages through to the society, because everyone is interested in fashion,” said Sonia Noel, the woman behind the GFW, and a designer under her own label, Mariska’s Designs.

The fashion week also focuses on developing Guyana’s fashion industry. Noel said while Guyanese are fashionable people, local designers face many challenges, among them the lack of stores that sell fabric and embellishments, and little access to factories to manufacture their clothing.

“We have one factory here that does work for Victoria’s Secret, but you have to be of a certain calibre to get in, so we are trying to get designers to that level,” said Noel.

One way of doing that is via a camp where young designers can develop their craft. Models – including plus-size models – and stylists are included in the Guyana Model Search Stylist Designers portfolio programme, which has been running since January.

Participants are required to undertake challenges, and the winning models got the chance to take part in Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago in June.

GFW takes place at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown on October 30 and 31.

For more information, visit: guyanafw.com or e-mail guyanafw@gmail.com

Laura Dowrich-Phillips


Island Hopper

Jamaica Rock and Blues Jam
When: September 4 – 11
Where: Hedonism II, Negril
What: Party featuring rock and blues music
For more info: www.jamaicabluesjam.com

Tobago Cycling Classic
When: September 28 – October 3
Where: Islandwide
What: An annual cycling event with top local and international cyclists
For more info: jeffreycharles57@hotmail.com

Tobago Blue Food Festival
When: October 17
Where: Bloody Bay Village
What: A celebration of local foods made from dasheen (“blue food”), with entertainment
For more info: www.visittobago.gov.tt

Jounen Kweyol
When: October 24
Where: Rural villages in St Lucia
What: A celebration of creole culture
For more info: www.stluciafolk.org

World Creole Music Festival
When: October 29 – 31
Where: Roseau, Dominica
What: A celebration of creole music with international musicians and singers
For more info: www.wcmfdominica.com

Antigua’s National Warri Festival
When: October 9
Where: Multi-purpose cultural centre, St John’s
What: A tournament featuring the island’s top Warri players. Warri is a traditional African board game.
For more info: Cyril “September” Christian at (268) 461-6400 or Fitzroy Phillip at (268) 461-1615


A fresh take on film

The Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) may not have the prestige of its older counterparts in Venice, Cannes or Toronto, but what it lacks in profile, it more than makes up for in its passion for Caribbean cinema.

Now in its fifth year, the TTFF is a celebration of the best in Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora film, as well as from Latin American countries that border the Caribbean Sea. The festival is also committed to championing an indigenous regional film industry.

This year’s festival will see more films than ever before, from Jamaica, Cuba, Barbados, Colombia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and, of course, Trinidad & Tobago, among others.

Some of the more anticipated offerings include Moloch Tropical, by acclaimed Haitian director Raoul Peck (Lumumba, Sometimes in April), and The Upsetter, a documentary about legendary reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry. Children of God, a stunning debut feature film out of the Bahamas, is also expected to have an impact.

Many of the films screened will be eligible for various jury and audience awards, including the US$10,000 prize for best film.
Continuing a special “heritage” initiative, which began in 2009 with a focus on the cinema of India, there will be a selection of films from Africa this year.

Workshops will include a masterclass with novelist Caryl Phillips on adapting literary works for the screen, and one in Tobago with famed music video director Harold “Hype” Williams. Filmmakers will also lead panel discussions. The directors of many of the films being shown will attend the festival, and take part in Q&A sessions.

TTFF/10 runs from September 22 – October 5. Venues include the MovieTowne multiplexes in Port of Spain, Chaguanas and Tobago, the University of the West Indies at St Augustine, and StudioFilmClub in Laventille.

For more information: www.trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.com

Caroline Taylor

Funding provided by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme Direct Support Grants Programme.
The views expressed on this website are those of the the authors and do not reflect those of the Direct Support Grants Programme.