Shanya Springer leads Kambule Campus: Songs of Kambule
We are pleased to have cast member Shanya Springer lead this 5th workshop in the Kambule Campus series which explores some of the songs, chants, and lavways that are a part of Kambule – the Ritual Re-enactment of the 1881 Canboulay Riots.
Join us on Saturday 16th January for our first Kambule Campus Workshop of the year!
Participation is free! Please like, share and donate to our campaign to do a digital production of Kambule for Carnival 2021 @ https://fundmetnt.com/campaign/kambule-the-spirit-of-resistance-and-creativity-in-the-trinidad-carnival
The session will be broadcast live on Facebook @kambulett and Youtube @Kambule Movement at 5 p.m. on Saturday January 16.
With the Kambule Campus online series now in full effect the word has started to spread! Recently the series was featured in the news as Atillah Springer, one of Idakeda’s directors, gave an interview to TT live online. The interview featured the back story behind the online series and its function as a vehicle of learning and culture.
Join us on Tuesday November 17 for our second Kambule Campus Workshop! We are pleased to have cast members Brendon Lacaille and Keon Francis lead this workshop which looks at the performance elements of Kambule – the ritual re-enactment of the 1881 Canboulay Riots.
Participation is free! Please like, share and donate to our campaign to do a digital production of Kambule for Carnival 2021 https://fundmetnt.com/
You can watch live on Facebook @africanlegacytt or Youtube @Kambule Movement! You can also join via Zoom to interact directly with our facilitators.
Topic: Theatre of Resistance
Time: Nov 17, 2020 05:00 PM Caracas
Meeting ID: 850 1837 3281
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/
‘I knew nothing about Kambule. But they (Idakeda) came to my school as a part of their social outreach and engagement, and during my performance in one of our school’s presentations, they saw me and said “We want you to be a part of our performance family.” I started with them when I was twelve years old. I was shocked and a little confused when I first entered the space and stayed to myself. I was unsure because I didn’t know anything about this, but they didn’t allow me to stay in the corner and pulled me centre stage.’
Read the full interview with Idakeda troupe member Kamaya Francis here:
‘Kambule’ will be showcased at Carifesta 2019 to be held in Trinidad between the 16th and 25th of August 2019. Kambule pays tribute to our warrior ancestors of the Mas and brings their achievements to the attention of the entire society. The Carnival that we now take for granted was fought for by the former enslaved of the barrack yards, not only in Port of Spain but also in the East and South of the island. The riots of 1881 in Port of Spain were however the most significant.
The play documents the victory of stick-fighters and ordinary Africans against the colonial administration who tried to stop the celebration of Carnival in 1881. The battle between the community and the soldiers is set against the backdrop of the barrack-yards of Port of Spain – poverty-stricken urban settlements inhabited by the poorer classes. Kambule gives context to the confrontation by chronicling relevant historical details and highlighting the relationships and conflicts that led to the creation of mas such as traditional characters, and the survival of Stickfighting, an African form of martial arts
For video of Kambule 2019 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0n-muCLq0A
For pictures see under: