Carnival traditions Celebrated in online workshop series ‘Kambule Campus’
With Carnival 2021 officially cancelled due to ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19 Idakeda Group, producers of the annual Canboulay re-enactment are keeping the spirit of the season alive with a series of online workshops focusing on the theory and practice of Carnival’s traditional artforms.
‘Kambule has become a staple of the annual Carnival celebrations, but it’s so much more than a play,’ explains Idakeda founder and Kambule choreographer Dara Healy.
‘We have a returning cast of over 50 young people and we think it’s important for us to continue that connection regardless of whether there is an official two day observance on the streets.’
Healy says they have stayed in touch with the cast through this year of challenges for artists and cultural workers.
‘All of us felt it was important to keep going. This is the essence of what Kambule teaches us, that we must keep our traditions alive. And the digital space offers an opportunity for us to do so.’
The online workshop series began on November 14 2020 with drumming led by Kayode and Iremide Charles and continues this year starting on January 16 2021 at 5pm. There will also be workshops in dance, protection of artistic copyright, and Kalinda!
Preparations are also underway to re-imagine the pre-dawn production for an online broadcast.
Written by poet and playwright Eintou Springer, Kambule imagines the conversations between the stick fighters and jammettes as they prepare to do battle with Police Commissioner Captain Arthur Baker. Springer uses the spelling ‘Kambule’ – a Kikongo word that means procession. This meaning became conflated with the more widely known spelling Canboulay, which is a French patois word meaning burnt canes.
Alongside these workshops we are asking participants to support a 2021 online Carnival production of Kambule by contributing to our fund-raising campaign at https://fundmetnt.com/
Stilt walking, painting and wire-bending are just some of the exciting activities on offer at the Zanté! Carnival and Theatre Arts vacation camp this year. The camp, a project of the non-profit arm of Idakeda – ICAN, the Indigenous Creative Arts Network – boasts a new location and new activities. Additionally, the camp will run for three weeks instead of two, and will be held at #63 Carlos St., Woodbrook, from August 6th -25th.
The main objective of the camp is to ensure the long-term survival of the traditional Carnival Arts of T&T by teaching about Carnival Arts, traditional Carnival Characters and indigenous folk forms. The camp encourages the participation of vulnerable youth, so members of the public are encouraged to sponsor the attendance of a young person in need.
Click here to enjoy photos from Zanté! 2017
The Zanté camp caters for children ages 6-12 years old. The cost is TT400 per week, per child; two or more children TT350 per child. For further details and to register please contact 753-0798, visit our website or like our Facebook, Indigenous Creative Arts Network.
Contact Idakeda directly to book Interventions or Workshops for your organisation, school or community or to purchase our educational videos, books and DVDs. Your contributions go towards our community programmes, cultural events and the work of our NGO, ICAN – the Indigenous Creative Arts Network.
Thank you for your support and stay with us on our journey…