Postcards from the Caribbean’s most extraordinary places
Issue 174 (January/February 2023)
Experience the “mother of all carnivals” through the eyes of a singer, a stilt walker, a pannist, and twin designers as Trinidad & Tobago Carnival returns — as do exciting festivals and events across the diaspora. Celebrate 50 years of soca music; and explore how regional festivals can become more sustainable. In our travel features, escape to Tobago, and take a tour of some of the Caribbean’s special World Heritage Sites. Learn about Anton de Kom and JR Casimir, freedom fighters from Suriname and Dominica. Explore the history of dukunoo — one of the oldest Caribbean desserts. And take in reviews of new Caribbean book and music releases, before testing your mettle with our puzzles and trivia quizzes!
Essential info about what’s happening across the region in January and February!
This month’s listening picks from the Caribbean — featuring new music by Leon Foster Thomas; Monique La Chapelle; Fay-Ann Lyons; and Kevon Carter
This month’s reading picks from the Caribbean, with reviews of The Dreaming by Andre Bagoo; The Island of Forgetting by Jasmine Sealy; What A Mother’s Love Don’t Teach You by Sharma Taylor; and What Noise Against the Cane by Desiree C Bailey
In a special career retrospective, the work of the late Trinidadian-Canadian artist Denyse Thomasos is on show in Canada
Calypso Monarch Terri Lyons shares her calypso faves
Vaughn Stafford Gray looks at the intuition and resilience built into the history of dukunoo — one of the oldest Caribbean desserts — as well as its cousins across the region and the Americas
Trinidad’s K2K has been innovating with their mas designs since debuting their award-winning medium Carnival band in 2012. Now they’ve moved into the NFT and metaverse landscape. Karen and Kathy Norman, the twin designers and investment bankers behind K2K, talk about what this means for mas — as told to Caroline Taylor
American musician and educator Vance Umphrey on the love of steelpan that brings him to Trinidad Carnival year after year — as told to Attillah Springer
It’s been 50 years since soca music emerged in Trinidad & Tobago. Nigel A Campbell looks back at the birth and evolution of the music that’s become the soundtrack to Caribbean carnivals around the world — and continues to seek a commercial life beyond it
Two-time Queen of Carnival Shynel Brizan on how she got into stilt-walking and moko jumbie mas; balancing the demands of Carnival with motherhood; and the experience of winning her second title last year while four months pregnant — as told to Caroline Taylor
Lennox Honychurch explores the life of the late Dominican activist JR Ralph Casimir — an early Pan-Africanist, Garveyite, and poet — who is also the subject of a powerful new biography
Tobago is an island of contrasts that offers a range of distinct experiences for visitors. Some like to be in the centre of the action and follow the well-beaten paths to Tobago’s best-known attractions. Others prefer quiet escapes, far from the madding crowds, and as close to being off-grid as possible. Aisha Sylvester introduces both sides of Tobago so you can pick your paradise!
Bursting with historical and cultural significance, centuries of stories await among the Caribbean treasures inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. Shelly-Ann Inniss shows the way
With their ephemeral nature and reliance on a great number of “single use” materials, Erline Andrews looks at how Caribbean diaspora festivals can become more environmentally sustainable — and at some of the organisations leading the way
Suriname’s great freedom fighter Anton de Kom was born 125 years ago. His work — including We Slaves of Suriname, which has recently been published in English — and his short, tragic life deserve to be much better known, writes James Ferguson
Think you’re the ultimate music buff? How much do you really know about the Caribbean’s diverse musical traditions? Let our trivia column put you to the test