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NCC Chairman: No Confirmation on Whether Carnival 2022 Will Take Place in T&T, But More Vaccinations Could Be An Impetus for It.

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Artistes and other carnival stakeholders are patiently awaiting word on whether Trinidad and Tobago will host Carnival next year. Last week, news emerged that officials charged with making this decision were in closed door meetings to discuss the way forward. This morning, National Carnival Commission Chairman, Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters, told EBUZZTT that he could not confirm whether there would, or would not be a Carnival next year. He however urged the population to take advantage of the buffet of vaccine options available, indicating that the more people that are vaccinated in the country, would be a driving factor in the decision.

The NCC Chairman explained that the meeting last Friday between himself and the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism occurred to discuss the possibilities of hosting something that resembles the traditional carnival experience. “We are trying to see what can be done, collectively ; What can be done safely in order for us to have carnival-like activities in certain safe zones,” said Peters. He however said to date, no concrete decision has been made.

Miami Carnival took place in October and the NCC Chairman experienced it first hand. He said it was well executed and admitted that while some aspects of Miami Carnival’s safety protocols could be emulated here in Trinidad and Tobago, he would not say that this is a reason for Trinidad and Tobago to host the festival. “Miami Carnival is a totally different thing to Trinidad- different place, different laws and different cultures and so, we have to do what is best for us. I was there. They did great, and we can in some ways emulate some of what they did, but I would not say that because Miami did it, that’s a reason we can do it. I will say that yes, we can in fact emulate some of what Miami did because it was people from the Caribbean who were in Miami Carnival, so it can be done, but Trinidad is a totally different place so we would have to apply totally different principles to what we are doing.”

Soca artist, Kees Dieffenthaller. The NCC Chairman is urging everyone to get vaccinated.

Trinidad still in limbo as it relates to the vaccination process, and recent case increases and death toll numbers, making news headlines, Peters urged the people of Trinidad and Tobago, inclusive of artistes and other creatives in the sector, to go out and get vaccinated. ” I am leading the way as a vaccinated person. I am asking the artistes, people in the culture industry and all of Trinidad and Tobago to go out there and get vaccinated so we can have a better chance of beating this pandemic. Trinidad is a small place and whatever monies we have in this place is finite you know, so we have to do the best that we can to contribute to the preservation of ourselves, our country and indeed our scarce resources,” he said.

I am asking them to go ahead and get vaccinated because those vaccines cost a lot of money and the government did all that they can to have vaccines for everybody to be vaccinated. When we didn’t have the vaccines we wanted to protest that the government wasn’t doing this and that.. now we have a buffet of vaccines to choose from so you can go get whichever one you choose and yet we have this hesitancy. I am asking people – the world may never be normal as we know it again, so I am asking that we do as best as we can to contribute to the normalcy that we want to see so that we can be as normal as we possibly can in this country.

The NCC Chairman said that he is of the firm belief that if an announcement regarding the hosting of carnival-type activities and an intent to allow vaccinated persons to enjoy such, is announced early enough, it could be an impetus for a lot of people to get vaccinated.

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Caribbean Hard News

Acclaimed Trinbagonian Architect, Mark Raymond Adds His Voice to Major Conference for Development this November.

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As the world continues to grapple with the effects of Covid-19 and countries and industries attempt to pivot, in a bid to regain some semblance of normalcy, the Caribbean region, too, is effectively and strategically embarking on hosting meaningful dialogue. On November 3, 2021, architect and educator Mark Raymond joins a distinguished group of Caribbean museum professionals to provide the keynote to discuss cultivating resiliency and what it means during a global health crisis. Though virtual, this year’s Museums Association of the Caribbean Conference(MAC) will see Raymond connect with intellectuals from over 15 Caribbean countries as they weigh in on MAC’s theme of “Cultivating Resilience in Museums and Cultural Heritage Sites.” His experience and knowledge in a wide range of areas related to architectural education, in addition to his intellectual capabilities as a lecturer in the field, position Raymond astutely within this meeting of like minds. Raymond is the current Director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Attendees can register for the conference by CLICKING HERE.

As the keynote speaker, Raymond will delve into the role that Caribbean museums and architecture can play in helping the world responsively engage its past, embrace its unprecedented contemporary struggles and imagine its future. The theme of his address, “Soon Come: Anticipating Memory,” will hear London’s Architectural Association graduate commence the three-day annual conference and general meeting, delivering what will undoubtedly be a keynote address that promises to be as engaging as it will be thought-provoking. “The Caribbean is central to my own life, my work, and my research, and I’m looking forward to sharing my reflections on the intersection between my own practice as a Caribbean architect and educator and the theme of the conference, and certainly the work of the MAC community,” said Raymond. Admitting that he personally feels this is a particularly important moment in time, considering the global pandemic, climate change, and political upheaval around the world, Raymond explained that these occurrences all represent a radical transformation from a very particular, universalized and centralized, and seemingly now-discredited view of the world. “Culture, creative practice, and curatorial practice all play a critical role at this moment, and as we collectively hold the present and try and imagine and speculate upon a resilient future, it is critical that we learn from and reassess what has come before,” he noted. 

Raymond looks to share his vast knowledge, highlighting his view of architecture’s influence on Caribbean culture and vice versa. “The project of the museum is an active site and nexus for such reflection and is also a perennial and enduring theme for architecture both typologically and metaphorically. The cultivation of resilience in relation to both the idea of the museum and the wider landscape is a critical conversation,” he explained. 

Those attending this year’s event are certainly in for an awakening of sorts, as they’ll likely walk away with concepts that remind them of the connection each individual and their professions have in molding the cultural landscape we all share. “It’s important to step outside of what we do every day and reflect on how and why we do what we do. I hope that people will be reminded that while we toil away every day in our roles, carrying out our personal, familial, and societal responsibilities, we can easily lose sight of the value, intention, and relevance of our work and how all of our activities, directly and indirectly, contribute to the formulation of culture,” he said.

Between November 3rd and 5th, the virtual atmosphere in the Caribbean will be abuzz with excitement and engagement as this collective Caribbean view is presented and discussed, intimately experienced, with even a virtual museum tour of cultural heritage spaces in The Bahamas carded to take place. As someone who has worked on architectural and urban design projects throughout the Caribbean, Raymond says he is thrilled to be part of this particular meeting and expects that it will bring about significant change in its aftermath. “I recently relocated to South Africa as Director of the Graduate School of Architecture. I’m immersed in the process of absorbing and learning about – and also learning from – an extraordinary city of cultural confluences – Johannesburg,” explained Raymond, adding, “We often reference European or North America when modeling culture, but having spent most of my life working within Caribbean culture, my experience in South Africa has allowed me a view of the Caribbean from outside. I find myself every day, being reminded of differences between the culture in South Africa and the Caribbean culture.” 

Raymond said he is often reminded of the depth and richness of Caribbean culture and society, explaining that Caribbean intellectuals’ collective knowledge of Caribbean history, literature, art, architecture, of Caribbean cities, landscapes, and people, constitutes an extraordinary corpus of dynamic and valuable knowledge that simply cannot be ignored. 

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Caribbean Hard News

Another Loss to the Calypso Fraternity. Machel Montano Remembers Joker.

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Prolific Trinidad and Tobago songwriter and cultural master, Dr. Winsford Divine, best knows as ‘Joker’, has passed away at the age of 78. He was responsible for classic calypso hits such as Baron’s “Feelin It,” Sparrow’s, “Saltfish” and even Machel Montano’s “Take Me Back Africa and Too Young to Soca.”

The Trinbago Unified Calypsonian’s Association in paying homage to Devine today, said the cultural organization’s membership was saddened to hear of his passing.

Soca heavyweight, Machel Montano took to Instagram to express his feelings on the cultural figure’s passing, explaining that Devine had played “such a significant role in my career,” adding that he was deeply grateful for his input.

Ebuzztt joins in solidarity with the cultural fraternity in mourning the loss of a national treasure.

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