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Be swept away with a story of love in times of carnival with Karen Martinez’s short film, After Mas (2013), before hearing from the director herself. Learn about the Caribbean roots of carnival and its contemporary capitalist connotations in a short talk by carnival expert Emily Zobel-Marshall (Leeds Beckett University). Sample some delicious Caribbean food, before jumping in to an interactive carnival music workshop, led by Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel.  Connecting the North East with the Caribbean, this free event promises fun for all the family, and is guaranteed to get you ready for ¡VAMOS! Mardi Gras on Saturday!

The film:
After Mas is a short film telling the story of a love that flourishes under the cover of darkness during the festival of J’ouvert on the streets of Port-of-Spain. Shot in Trinidad during Carnival, we experience the charge of this bacchanalian drama before the characters return to their separate lives. In the cold light of day, can these young lovers from different backgrounds stay true to their desires?

The talk:
It’s not all Sequins and Bikinis? Power, Performance and Play in the Diasporic Caribbean Carnival
One of the main criticisms aimed at contemporary carnivals with Caribbean roots is that they no longer seek to challenge the power of the establishment but have become a spectacle of the body and a celebration of capitalist consumerism. Emily Zobel-Marshall, through an examination of the cultural roots of carnival, asks if contemporary Caribbean carnival in Trinidad and Leeds are indeed all about sequins and bikinis, a vanity show that satisfies the tourist or male gaze, or if at the heart of carnival we still find a uniquely subversive  performance aimed at overturning unjust, hierarchical systems of power?

Co-organised by Dunja Fehimovic (Newcastle University)

Photograph by Johnny Mora.