Page 1


Crafted Richer. Aged Deeper.

www.theeldoradorum.com PLEASE ENJOY EL DORADO RESPONSIBLY


Contents

No. 141 September/October 2016

19

64 EMBARK 19 Datebook Events around the Caribbean in September and October, from Indigenous Heritage Month in Guyana to Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival

26 Word of Mouth Caribbean writers star at the Brooklyn Book Festival, a new musical work remembers the Guyanese poet Martin Carter, and Trinidadians anticipate the sweet treats of Divali

32 Great outdoors How four brave Antiguans mastered “the world’s toughest row” — across the wide Atlantic

36 The look Trinidadian design company By Making combines traditional and innovative forms

38 Bookshelf, playlist, and screenshots This month’s reading, listening, and film-watching picks 44 Cookup

dining like the ancestors Our earliest Caribbean ancestors had a more diverse diet than we realise, writes Tracy Assing — and a 10

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

“new indigenous” food movement is turning back to ingredients native to our ecosystems

IMMERSE 50 closeup

No easy readings Born in Trinidad, based in Canada, navigating between identities — gay, Chinese-descended, Caribbean diaspora — filmmaker Richard Fung was “intersectional” before the term even existed, writes Jonathan Ali, and his complicated background informs his pioneering, innovative work

56 own words

“artists, this space is available” Trinidadian architect Sean Leonard, co-founder of the Alice Yard art space, on the influence of family generosity and Carnival productivity on his practice, and Alice Yard’s decade-long experiment — as told to Stephen Stuempfle

58 backstory

Memories from the verandah Lauded as the first female dub poet, Jamaican Jean “Binta” Breeze writes from a sensibility informed by the political ferment of her youth, and her struggles with mental illness. David Katz finds out more

ARRIVE 64 destination

Antigua for adventure Think of Antigua, and you probably imagine lazy days on the beach, sipping sweet rum cocktails. But thrill-seekers needn’t fear getting bored — Antigua can offer more than a few ways to fill your days with adventure

70 neighbourhood

Ponce, Puerto Rico The Pearl of the South, the City of Lions — Puerto Rico’s second city is an open-air museum, an architectural treasure, and home of the island’s best ice cream

72 offtrack

Between the pitons The resorts and nightlife of St Lucia’s north may be the biggest draw for most tourists. But the island’s more rugged south, and the spectacular peaks of the twin Pitons, attract a different kind of visitor. Philip Sander explains

80 layover

Port of Spain, Trinidad A free day to explore T&T’s capital? A few hours in between business meetings? Our quick guide to getting the most out of Port of Spain when time is tight


CaribbeanBeat An MEP publication ISSN 1680–6158

84

ENGAGE

Media & Editorial Projects Ltd, 6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Tel: (868) 622 3821/5813/6138 Fax: (868) 628 0639 E-mail: info@meppublishers.com Website: www.meppublishers.com

Editor Nicholas Laughlin General manager Halcyon Salazar Online marketing Caroline Taylor Design artists Kevon Webster & Bridget van Dongen

Business Development Manager Trinidad & Tobago Yuri Chin Choy T: (868) 460 0068, 622 3821 F: (868) 628 0639 E: yuri@meppublishers.com

Business Development Manager Caribbean & International Denise Chin T: (868) 683 0832 F: (868) 628 0639 E: dchin@meppublishers.com

82 discover

revolutionary medicine The CimaVax vaccine may be the biggest breakthrough yet in the treatment of lung cancer — and it’s just one of the success stories of Cuba’s biotechnology innovation. Nazma Muller investigates

84 green

Follow us:

www.facebook/caribbeanbeat

www.meppublishers.com

www.twitter.com/meppublishers

Grow wild You don’t need to venture deep into the forest to encounter fascinating wildlife. Even an ordinary urban garden can attract birds, butterflies, and more, if you know how. Sharon Millar tells you how

This is your personal, take-home copy of Caribbean Beat, free to all passengers on Caribbean Airlines Printed by Solo Printing Inc., Miami, Florida

86On this day

Into the deep One Sunday fifty-five years ago, residents of St George’s, Grenada, woke up to a disaster unfolding in their harbour. More than six hundred people on board the liner Bianca C were in grave danger — so dozens of Grenadians leaped into action. James Ferguson remembers the story

Caribbean Beat is published six times a year for Caribbean Airlines by Media & Editorial Projects Ltd. It is also available on subscription. Copyright © Caribbean Airlines 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher. MEP accepts no responsibility for content supplied by our advertisers. The views of the advertisers are theirs and do not represent MEP in any way. Website: www.caribbean-airlines.com

94 Onboard entertainment Movie and audio listings, to entertain you in the air

96 parting shot Three islands in one amazing view

The Caribbean Airlines logo shows a hummingbird in flight. Native to the Caribbean, the hummingbird represents flight, travel, vibrancy, and colour. It encompasses the spirit of both the region and Caribbean Airlines.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

11


ADVERTORIAL

The Bahamas

– unique destinations with unforgettable beaches

Gold Rock Beach

A

mong the many offerings of our beautiful Bahama Islands, which have etched indelible images and magnificent memories on the minds of visitors and locals alike, there exist a myriad more breathtaking vistas for your continuous enjoyment and pleasure, romantic reflection, serenity and quietude, glorious getaways, and absolute adventure! Many of you have experienced the true meaning of paradise, a state of complete happiness, as your sun-starved bodies lay prone on mainland’s Cable Beach and Junkanoo Beach or Paradise Island’s Cabbage Beach (a few minutes from the New Providence capital of vibrant Nassau). Perhaps you are willing time to move slower, so that your personal sunbelt would last just that little bit longer. As you grow accustomed to the amazing reality that you are in The Bahamas, you slowly open your eyes to the massive expanse of brilliantly white sand and crystal blue waters, inwardly declaring: “This is indeed paradise, and I am living it!” Those who have journeyed fifty miles off the coast of Florida to The Bahamas’ second city of Freeport, Grand Bahama, will have a definitive appreciation for why the style of living here

abound in Grand Bahama: from activity-oriented Xanadu Beach through Taino Beach (of Junkanoo Carnival fame), offering ultimate family fun, to less known Gold Rock Beach for which the prizes are spectacular views. Be prepared to take a leisurely walk through an eco-friendly mangrove forest in the Lucayan National Park to get to Gold Rock Beach, which you will never forget. In subsequent advertorials we shall muse on some of the other exciting treasures of The Bahamas, including the super sailing opportunities through the Abacos, the strange but intriguing thought of swimming with pigs, and the exotic pink sand beaches of Harbour Island and Eleuthera — as well as more on our year-round festival calendar. Keep reading Caribbean Beat, there’s still lots more to discover about this ever-engaging archipelago called The Bahamas! For further information, please visit bahamas.com Written by Elaine Monica Davis

“This is indeed paradise, and I am living it!” is often described as “The Grand Life.” Freeport, renowned as a fulfilling travel destination, though slower-paced, boasts many familiar amenities which bespatter the island and warmly greet you. They include divine duty-free shopping for the finest jewellery and perfumes the world has to offer, and well-stocked clothing stores, sporting the latest fashion or timeless design, all available tax-free. Mouthwatering, savoury conch prepared in ten different ways, as well as international cuisine, await you at every turn. And, yes, beaches

Junkanoo Beach WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 107


Cover Antiguan kiteboarding pioneer Andre Phillip goes airborne Photo Roddy GrimesGraeme

This issue’s contributors include: Jonathan Ali (“No easy readings”, page 50) is a writer and independent film curator from Trinidad and Tobago. His articles and reviews have appeared in the T&T Review, The Caribbean Review of Books, the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express. He spent ten years as a member of the organising team of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, from 2006 to 2015. Tracy Assing (“Dining like the ancestors”, page 44) is a Trinidadian writer, editor, and filmmaker. Her awardwinning documentary The Amerindians is the first film made from the perspective of Trinidad and Tobago’s indigenous community. Joanne C. Hillhouse (“Atlantic wide”, page 32) freelances from Antigua and Barbuda. She’s published five books: The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, and Burt Award finalist Musical Youth. Visit her at jhohadli.wordpress.com. Born in San Francisco, resident in London and a frequent visitor to the Caribbean, David Katz (“Memories from the verandah”, page 58) is the author of three books exploring Jamaican music and culture. He has also produced radio documentaries on the subject, and currently hosts a monthly reggae vinyl night in Brixton. Sharon Millar (“Grow wild”, page 84) is a Trinidadian writer. Her short fiction collection The Whale House was published in 2015. She is the winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the 2012 Small Axe Literary Competition for Fiction. Nazma Muller (“Revolutionary medicine”, page 82) is a Trinidad-born, Jamaica-obsessed writer who has worked in newsrooms in T&T, Jamaica, and the UK. She writes frequently on science, the environment, and culture for Caribbean Beat.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

13


A MESSAGE From OUR CEO Dear Valued Customer, Thank you and your families for your continued support in making Caribbean Airlines the leading airline serving the Caribbean. Enhancing your travel experience is the motivation behind our transformation to reflect and embody the themes we care, we connect, we create, we are the Caribbean. We just concluded a busy and successful July/August travel peak period. Many of you would have travelled from Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and benefitted from our new concierge service, where customer service agents greeted you on entry at the airport to ensure you experienced the warmth of the islands even before you stepped on board. Another major project being undertaken is the redesign and redevelopment of our corporate website, which is scheduled to be completed by December 2016. The purpose of this re-design is to: • improve our customer service offering for new and existing customers who use our website for bookings and other travel-related activities, • provide a website that is user-friendly, responsive, and visually appealing, • and better communicate with all our stakeholders to elevate the overall image of the Caribbean Airlines brand. Also, there is exciting news for our Loyalty Rewards members, as 7th Heaven is being merged with our Caribbean Miles Rewards Programme, and this streamline will be completed by the end of September. These small but important conveniences are meant to provide you with the personalised service you deserve.  Whatever the reason for your travel — be it business, vacation, visiting family and friends, or a wedding, sporting event, or culinary adventure — Caribbean Airlines will take you there and will take care of you. Caribbean Airlines also provides cargo services within the Caribbean as well as to North America, South America, and Europe. From perishable goods to heavy specialist equipment, we are skilled in cost-effective and timely transportation to meet the demands of our valued customers. From destination to destination, Caribbean Airlines Cargo,

along with our partners, delivers to 250 countries worldwide. Our comprehensive route structure and dedicated freighter service allow us to transport a wide range of goods and live cargo. We also have a package service, JETPAK, which caters for packages less than 50 lb. We are focused on customer service quality, and are unrelenting to ensure reliability and competitive pricing. Also, for those of you travelling in September, remember to take advantage of our “H.U.M.” (Happiest Ultimate Moment) promotion. Regional and international passengers will be given a “H.U.M.” pass to enjoy special discounts with retail partners throughout the Caribbean Airlines network.   Over the next two months, the region continues to buzz with activity, and we are happy that you chose Caribbean Airlines to get you to and from your destinations. You can check the Datebook section of the magazine (page 19) for a full list of upcoming events for September and October — and please take your complimentary copy of Caribbean Beat with you.  Please visit our website, www.caribbean-airlines.com, become a fan by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ caribbeanairlines, and follow us on Twitter: @iflycaribbean. Thank you for choosing Caribbean Airlines — we value your business and look forward to serving you throughout our network. Tyrone Tang Chief Executive Officer (Ag.)


datebook

mark lyndersay

Your guide to Caribbean events in September and October, from a theatre festival in the Bahamas to Antigua’s celebration of warri

Don’t miss . . . Ramleela October A folk theatre dramatisation of the ancient Ramayana, the Ramleela (or Ramlila) is a tradition brought to the Caribbean from India in the nineteenth century, and still flourishing among the Hindu communities of Trinidad, Guyana, and Suriname. The re-enactment of the life of the god Rama — admired for his courage, devotion, love, and compassion — is performed by amateur volunteers in the weeks and days leading to Divali. It culminates

spectacularly with the burning of a giant effigy of the demon king Ravana, symbolising the ultimate victory of good over evil.

How to get there? Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to Piarco International Airport in Trinidad, Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana, and Johann Pengel International Airport in Suriname from destinations in the Caribbean and North America WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

19


datebook

If you’re in . . . A HUNGRY MOOD

TORONTO

TRINIDAD

Restaurant Week

CaribbeanTales International Film Festival

Hosay

7 to 17 September caribbeantales.ca/CTFF “Caribbean Love” is in the air — and on screen at the CaribbeanTales Film Festival, known for its annual feisty blend of Caribbean and Canadian films. This year’s programme of nine feature-length and seventeen short films will be screened in amorous categories like LGBT Love, Revolutionary Love, #BlackLoveMatters, Love Thy Neighbour, and Animated Love. Founder Frances-Anne Solomon and her team assemble a compelling, entertaining, and thought-provoking line-up — including highlights like Pieta (2015), a short film by Barbadian Melanie Grant, examining the relationship between a dying mother, her estranged daughter, her nurse, and the huge secret that keeps them

courtesy samurai restaurant, trinidad

Earth, wind, fire, water — and some good food — are the basic elements. Always wanted to go to a fine dining restaurant, but couldn’t afford it? Or maybe you’d just like to try something new? Several Caribbean countries offer an annual Restaurant Week, the

20

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Still from Pieta

courtesy melanie grant

perfect opportunity. Special prices, local and international cuisine, a glass of wine — you can’t go wrong. So get ready to taste the cuisine of top chefs in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, the Cayman Islands, and Aruba. Revel in decadent flavours at participating restaurants, with menus prepared specially for you. Some tips to help you get the most out of the week: menus of participating restaurants are typically available in advance, so view them before you go. Reservations are needed to secure your table, so call as early as you can. If a place you wanted to try is booked up, leave your name on the list, just in case there’s a cancellation. You might get lucky! And remember: “One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well, if one has not dined well,” as Virginia Woolf aptly put it.

all apart. Or The Legacy Project, a series of documentaries highlighting the work of six black Canadian activists, and the way life-changing events alter your worldview. And the festival is more than screenings. It also includes the CaribbeanTales Incubator Programme, aimed at helping emerging filmmakers develop strong projects for the global market. Who knows, the next major talent in the world of cinema may come from the Caribbean — or the CaribbeanTales Film Festival.

Trinidad 10 to 13 October You can hear the tassa drums long before you see them. The tempo lures throngs of people into the streets of communities like St James, in western Port of Spain, and Cedros, in the far south. But the main attraction isn’t the music. It’s the beautifully decorated tadjahs, memorialising the death of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandsons.

aarti gosine

27 August to 3 September, Barbados 16 to 25 September, Trinidad and Tobago 1 to 31 October, Cayman Islands 3 to 16 October, Aruba

Hosay is a Shia Muslim observance — known in other parts of the world as Ashura — commemorated in Trinidad since the nineteenth century, adapted to local circumstances. It begins with Flag Night — a procession of floats bearing multicoloured flags. The second night is Little Hosay, when miniature tadjahs representing the burial place of Hussein are carried through the streets. On Big Hosay night the full-size tadjahs appear, accompanied by dancing “moons.” Heavy effigies spun on the shoulders of strong-bodied men, the two moons, green and red, represent Hassan, killed by poison and Hussein, martyred by the sword. The following day, the tadjahs are carried back to their yards at sunset, to a frenzy of drumming. Finally, at a signal from the leader, the drums suddenly go silent. Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss


JAMAICA

Kingston: The City and Art

“The city of Kingston is, in many ways, the crucible in which modern Jamaican culture is forged,” writes Veerle Poupeye, executive director of the National Gallery of Jamaica — a major cultural institution itself based in the capital city. That simple but complicated idea of Kingston as a creative matrix is the subject of the NGJ’s latest major exhibition, curated by Monique Barnett-Davidson and drawing on the gallery’s deep collections of Jamaican art. Here are landscapes and photographs recording the city’s physical and imaginative topography, portraits of anonymous citizens from a span of two centuries, art objects made from natural materials found in and around Kingston Harbour — also depictions of music, masquerade, and religion, street murals memorialising folk heroes, and more. If the variety of works seems bewildering at first, that’s only appropriate for a theme so expansive and a city so boisterous. And if the most grandiloquent visions of the city’s past and present stand out first — like the late Carl Abrahams’ version of the Destruction of Port Royal — quieter gestures await your observation, like Kay Sullivan’s delightful little sculpture Star Boy. He’s a jaunty rendering in bronze of a skinny adolescent, schoolbook tucked under his arm, backchat in his mouth. He’s the young prince of Kingston, as far as he’s concerned, and you can’t bear to begrudge him the title.

pictures courtesy national gallery of Jamaica

National Gallery of Jamaica 31 July to 30 October nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress. com

Top Destruction of Port Royal (oil paint on hardboard, c. 1975), by Carl Abrahams Middle above Devon House (mixed media on hardboard, 1979), by Sidney McLaren Above State Visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to Jamaica (oil paint on hardboard, 1953), by Michael Lester Left Star Boy (bronze, 1972), by Kay Sullivan

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

21


datebook

Sensational September

Sean Pavone/shutterstock.com

St Vincent and the Grenadines Dance Festival Venues around SVG Free your mind and let the rhythm guide your body, at performances and workshops hosted by professional dance companies, schools, and community groups [1 to 30 September]

Indigenous Heritage Month Guyana Indigenous Amerindian culture, cuisine, craft, and more are showcased in the Heritage Village, with grand celebrations on 10 September, Heritage Day [1 to 30 September]

Nevis Marathon nevismarathon.com Turn up the pace in marathon, halfmarathon, 10K, and 5K events, in the peaceful, picturesque jewel called Nevis [8 and 10 September, separate days]

Separate days

30 16

22

01 17

02 18

03 19

04 20

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

05 21

06 22

07 23

08 24

09 25

10 26

11 27

12 28

30

13 29

14 30

15 31

16

01 17

1


30 16

01 17

02 18

03 19

04 20

05 21

06 22

courtesy shakespeare in paradise

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Renaissance Festival Plaza, Aruba caribbeanseajazz.com Feel the vibes of jazz, Latin, soul, salsa, hip-hop, and blues, performed by Grammy-winning artistes, local and international talent, under the palm trees [23 to 24 September]

Shakespeare in Paradise Theatre Festival Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts, Nassau, Bahamas shakespeareinparadise.org A celebration of theatre in all forms, with the place of honour reserved for Shakespeare and, this year, Bahamian playwright Winston Saunders [25 September to 8 October]

07 23

08 24

09 25

Ends 8 October

10

26

11

27

12 28

13 29

14 30

15

30 31 16

01 17

02 18

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

23

0

19


datebook

Outstanding October

Iris Kürschner/ imageBROKER/Alamy Stock Photo

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/shutterstock.com

National Warri Festival Venues around Antigua The champions of Antigua and Barbuda’s traditional national game compete in a month-long festival. Why not try your hand too? [1 to 31 October]

Bonaire Regatta Around Bonaire and Klein Bonaire bonaireregatta.org Beach, food, waves, parties, sports, and a kids’ playground — and let’s not forget the sailing! [13 to 15 October]

30

30 16

24

01 17

02 18

03 19

04 20

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

05 21

06 22

07 23

08 24

09 25

10 26

11 27

12 28

13 29

14 30

15 31

16

01 17

1


courtesy coco dance festival

World Creole Music Festival Windsor Park Stadium, Dominica The Nature Island’s signature musical event is back with an even stronger beat — look out for international stars like Wyclef Jean and Akon, alongside local favourite Michele Henderson [28 to 30 October] Blue Food Festival Bloody Bay Recreation Ground, Tobago Dasheen — a popular root vegetable with a bluish hue — is the star of this food festival, featuring unlikely dishes and delicacies, like dasheen wine, dasheen lasagna, even dasheen fudge [16 October]

30 16

01 17

02 18

03 19

04 20

05 21

06 22

COCO Dance Festival Venues around Port of Spain, Trinidad Escape into the artistic expression of contemporary choreography with some of T&T’s most innovative dance talent [28 to 30 October]

07 23

Print----Caribbean Beat Magazine- Take a photo.pdf

08 24 1

09 25

30/6/16

10 26

12:23

11 27

12 28

13 29

14 30

15

30 31 16

01 17

02 18

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

25

0

19


word of mouth Dispatches from our correspondents around the Caribbean and further afield

September brings New York City’s biggest free literary festival — with Caribbean writers always in the mix. Nixon Nelson gives a preview

W

here is the capital of the literary Caribbean, if such a place exists? Sixty years ago, it was indisputably London, thanks to the postwar publishing boom that drew in many West Indian writers of the 1950s and 60s. Nowadays, Port of Spain and Kingston may wish to vie for the title, but you could make a strong argument for New York City, and in particular the borough of Brooklyn: home to tens of thousands of Caribbean migrants and their descendants — writers and literary activists among them. A good place to investigate t he question: the eleventh annual Brooklyn Book Festival, a jam-packed programme of literary readings and discussions in mid- September, w it h a week of widespread “Bookends” events, starting on 12 September, and the main festival on Sunday 18, drawing huge crowds of literature lovers to Brooklyn’s landmark Borough Hall. NYC’s biggest free literary festival ranges from avant-garde poetry to heated debates on current affairs. Brook ly n-based authors are always among the headliners. And Caribbean writers are obviously in the mix. One of the BKBF’s hottest tickets this year — that is, if you needed tickets, which

26

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

courtesy nicole dennis-benn

Lit city

Jamaica-born debut author Nicole Dennis-Benn

you don’t — will indisputably be Claudia Rankine, the Jamaica-born poet whose book Citizen is an astonishing dissection of racial pressures and aggressions in the twenty-first-century United States. With a bracing timeliness that poetry can sometimes achieve, Citizen has won Rankine nearly every possible poetry prize. Expect the queues for her BKBF events to be long and ardent. And Rankine won’t be the only star Jamaican writer in downtown Brooklyn. She’ll be joined by debut novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn, a longtime regular in the festival audience, who’ll now find herself on stage, in the spotlight, reading from Here Comes the Sun. Lauded left, right, and centre, Dennis-Benn’s novel, set in the Jamaica of her childhood, has leapfrogged the author into the literary front ranks. Another obvious favourite: Olive Senior, one of Jamaica’s best-loved writers, making her BKBF debut with The Pain Tree, her OCM Bocas Prize-winning collection of short fiction. Her fans — and they are many — will have no fewer than three opportunities to hear her read from her scintillating fiction. On Wednesday 14 September, she’ll head the bill at a Bookends event hosted by

T&T’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest, also featuring fellow Jamaican Jacqueline Bishop, Trinidadians Sharon Millar and Shivanee Ramlochan, and Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands. Senior will star once again on Saturday 17, reading alongside Elizabeth Nunez, Bernice McFadden, Carol Mitchell, and 2015 Burt Award winner Imam Baksh, at a literary evening cohosted by Brooklyn-based Caribbean Cultural Theatre. Finally, Senior will bring her sunshine to the BKBF’s main Sunday programme, alongside literary luminaries from far and wide. Look out too for Puerto Rican novelist Esmeralda Santiago and Cuban writer Yoss, a.k.a. José Miguel Sánchez Gómez, whose sci-fi novel Super Extra Grande involves interplanetary escapades and sly political satire. And keep an eye in the audience for budding Caribbean-Brooklynite writers with bright eyes, clutching notebooks, imagining their own future appearance on the stage — one of them might be the next Nicole Dennis-Benn.

For more information about the 2016 BKBF programme, visit brooklynbookfestival.org


ESCAPE

AT MAGDALENA GRAND

Tobago is a naturally beautiful island with a spectacular rainforest, all types of watersports and beautiful beaches. The Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort has 178 deluxe oceanfront guest rooms and 22 suites, all featuring breathtaking ocean views from large private balconies and terraces. There are 3 oceanfront swimming pools, a PGA designed 18-hole golf course, tennis, a PADI 5-star dive center, spa services, guest activities, a kids club and a variety of excursions, as well as a wide range of dining options.

Tobago Plantations Estate, Lowlands, Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies • Phone: 868-660-8500 • info@MagdalenaGrand.com

W W W .M A G D A L E N A G R A N D . C O M We have exciting holiday events planned and hope to see you during the Christmas Season. You will want to make your plans early since this is a busy time of the year for us at Magdalena Grand. Join us for our special New Year’s Celebration. It will be a great way to start the new year.


word of mouth

courtesy hannah kendall

Out of his time A new musical work by composer Hannah Kendall tells the story of the late Guyanese poet Martin Carter, and the continuing relevance of his words and ideas. Philip Sander learns more

I

dance on the wall of prison / it is not easy to be free and bold / it is not easy to be poised and bound / it is not easy to endure the spike.” The poems of the late Martin Carter — literary conscience of his native Guyana — embody the human spirit’s defiance of political oppression and the harms of history. Veering from rebellious optimism to fierce melancholy, Carter’s words always proclaim the power of art to intervene in an unfair world. “Out of my time I carve a monument,” he wrote in “The Knife of Dawn”. “Out of a jagged block of convict years I carve it.” “A lot, if not all, of what Carter stood for — including political freedom, racial and social equality — is still very relevant today,” says Hannah Kendall. “He showed us how vital it is for us to continue challenging and fighting against these issues, which are ever-present.” British but half Guyanese — her mother was born in Georgetown, with roots in Berbice — Kendall was first introduced to Carter’s poems by her uncle. A formally trained composer, she had previously set poems by writers like the First World War poet Wilfred Owen to music. “I was immediately struck by how evocative Carter’s texts are,” she says. Her musical mind was at once inspired. She began with an orchestral work, commissioned for the London Philharmonic, inspired by Carter’s poem “The Great Dark”. “Lines such as ‘the probability of the spirit’ and ‘the ever weaving weaver’ allowed me to create a contrasting musical journey from broad and menacing, to delicate and still, to fast-moving and kinetic,” she says. It premiered in 2013, and Kendall already knew then that she wanted to compose another major work based on Carter’s poems. The result is The Knife of Dawn, a one-act chamber opera set during Carter’s imprisonment in 1953. A leading anticolonial activist in what was then British Guiana, Carter was detained without charges after the British authorities declared a state of emergency in the colony, to head off the newly elected socialist administration of the People’s Progressive Party. The experience inspired Carter’s classic Poems of Resistance, published in 1954 — and now Kendall’s opera, with a libretto by the Guyanese writer Tessa McWatt. It premieres on 6 October, 2016, at London’s Roundhouse Sackler Space, with solo baritone Eric Greene in the lead. “Carter’s poems are beautiful, powerful, and incredibly lyrical, and therefore lend themselves very well to music,” Kendall says. “There are varying structures to his texts, which means always having to think of different ways to ensure interesting musical material, if the structure is particularly extended, or making a concise, yet impactful musical statement if it’s overly short.” And though it’s written in what Kendall calls “the Western contemporary classical idiom,” The Knife of Dawn incorporates subtle influences from her Guyanese background — such as a traditional lullaby she remembers from her grandmother. “At some points the tune is very clear, so that the listener might be able to point it out,” she says. “In other instances, it’s been masked or embedded into the overall musical landscape, but I enjoy knowing that it’s there, forming an important part of the work’s structure.” Kendall’s hope is that The Knife of Dawn will eventually travel to Guyana, and elsewhere in the Caribbean, taking Carter’s words and story back home, transformed by this granddaughter of the soil. And she hopes too that audiences take inspiration from Carter’s courage, finding ways to channel his political commitment into different kinds of endeavour. “If we all work towards and champion inclusion and equality through ways we’re able, such as writing an opera, we’ll see greater shifts and advances.”

For more information, visit www.hannahkendall.co.uk/the-knifeof-dawn 28

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


nyla singh

word of mouth

Sweet celebrations As Hindus across the Caribbean prepare to celebrate Divali, their friends anticipate the delicious sweets shared at the festivities. On a trip to India, Nazma Muller learns the candy repertoire is even bigger than she suspected

G

rowing up in the “Kwayzay” — as Trinis call the Croisée, a busy crossroad in San Juan (pronounced “Sah Wah,” of course) — I saw Indian sweets in the nearby market every Sunday. Precisely stacked columns of golden jalebi, creamy barfi, round ladoo, and fat, dumpling-like kurma called to me from behind a protective cover of clear plastic, and I would diligently save a dollar from my pocket change every week to buy a gleaming honeycomb of jalebi.

30

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

My fa mily being a t y pica l Tr ini mélange of religions and ethnicities, both my Chr istian mother and my Muslim father would be inundated every Divali with oil-stained brown paper bags filled with these goodies from their Hindu friends and colleagues. Every year without fail the fridge would be filled with a dozen bags of these sweets — along with ten pounds of paratha roti (better known as buss-up-shut) and container-loads of curried veggies and

sweet mango. Like us, many other nonHindus in T&T look forward to Divali, eagerly awaiting these goodie bags of sticky prasaad, kurma, jalebi, barf i, halwa, and gulab jamoon. We all knew these sweets originated in India, and they were part of the traditions brought over by immigrants in the nineteenth century. It never occurred to us that back in India there could be dozens more different sweets made from dazzling permutations and combinations of sugar, flour, milk, and ghee, with fruits and nuts. Imagine my shock and awe when, on finally landing in India in 2005, I discovered, in a small Delhi market near my friends’ apartment, a sweet shop. The glass cases were filled with rows upon rows of traditional sweets in every colour of the rainbow. All manner of barfis, halwas, and ladoos sat gleefully glistening with ghee. Barfis made with cashew nuts, others with cardamom or saffron, ladoos with coconut, sesame seeds, dates, and almonds, and halwas specifically for the goddess Kali, who is honoured at this time. The shop staff gave me odd looks, puzzled by my surprised delight. Surely I had seen sweets before, in whatever part of India I came from? My friend explained that I was not Indian Indian, but one whose ancestors had migrated to Trinidad. “Trinidad? Where is that?” they wanted to know. So then came the task of describing this tiny island’s precise location on the map — no, it was not part of Jamaica, yes, close to Cuba, but not that close. Finally, I said, “The island that Brian Lara comes from.” “Ah, Brian Lara!” They smiled and nodded admiringly. They then proceeded to give me an Introduction to Indian Sweets 101. Divali sweet-making is now a major industry, with even online shopping portals to a virtual Candy Land of barfi (also called burfee or burfi), flavoured with every type of nut and fruit, as well as mit hai, ma lai chu m chu m, jangiri, and kalakand. But the king of all Indian sweets, the rajah, if you will, is the rasgulla. Perfectly round, soft, milky white and syrupy, the rasgulla is popular at ever y Indian festival, especially Divali. n


great outdoors

At l a n t i c o c ea n

Atlantic wide It’s called the “world’s toughest row”: a transatlantic race from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, powered by human strength. And in December 2015, the first-ever team from Antigua and Barbuda took up the challenge. Joanne C. Hillhouse learns more Photography by Ben Duffy, courtesy the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

32

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


T

hinking about climbing Everest? How about a real challenge? Not knocking Everest, but folks taking the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge — formerly known as the Atlantic Rowing Race — will tell you that fewer people have done what they’ve done. Antigua and Barbuda’s Team Wadadli — Dr Nicholas Fuller, age sixty-four; Rowan “Archie” Bailey, fifty; John Desmond “JD” Hall, twenty-nine; and Peter Smith, seventy-four — braved the selfdescribed “world’s toughest row.” They journeyed 2,600 nautical miles, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, in Wa’omani, a boat no longer than seven metres, no broader than two. They made the Guinness Book of World Records (twice!) while doing so, and they’re the only Caribbean team, to date, to take the challenge, which has attracted rowers from around the globe.

man was needed on each shift to steer manually. Working in their favour was a clear chain of command (“Dr Fuller was the boss” — JD), a relationship with the sea (“We know what’s out there” — Smith), a commitment to go the distance (“There’s no ‘give up’” — Smith), everyone pulling his weight (“Look at it like a job” — Doc), a nodrama policy (“It takes two to make an argument” — Archie), and the boat (“I knew that engine inside out” — JD). It was December 2015 when the race began, and it was cold in the Canaries. “I thought we were going to die,” Archie says. Soon they’d be rowing in 43ºC heat on a steady diet of porridge and noodles slurped out of a Ziploc bag, supplemented by whatever fish they could catch. “Chocolate was one thing we craved out at sea,” JD says. One time they found a stray chocolate bar, stopped rowing, and each had a piece.

It was Doc Fuller’s idea. “For years I’ve been seeing them row across and come to Antigua as the finishing venue. I didn’t think there was any reason that we couldn’t do it,” he says. Fuller and his teammates were dubbed “bloody mad.” Rowing the Atlantic, even for seasoned seamen, even with practice rows around Antigua for prep, is hard. “Sailing is much easier,” Smith says. But in the Wa’omani, there were no sails to catch the wind, just human effort, 7.30 am to 8 pm, every day, in two-hour shifts — and even more once the automatic stern broke down ten days in, and a third

Hygiene was a priority. Pee in a bottle, “hang your bum overboard” (recalls JD) for other things; sanitise, sanitise, sanitise. They were making good time. Then “the hurricane came and we didn’t expect that,” JD says. Nothing to do but tie everything down to the deck, set the sea anchor, and retire two-to-acabin to wait it out . . . for forty-eight hours. Wham! Bang! Crash! Forty-foot waves pummeled the small vessel. It was, says JD, “like being in a washing machine.” And that’s about the most pleasant description of the experience. “It was very, very

Opposite page Team Wadadli: from left to right, Peter Smith, Nicholas Fuller, John Hall, and Archie Bailey Below The triumphant return to Antigua

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

33


Thousands of well-wishers turned up to welcome Team Wadadli home

34

noisy, hot, and stink,” says Archie. At one point, Smith strapped on the safety harness and “crept out for air.” And, he says, incongruously, “the sea was just beautiful.” There is wonder in their description of the spectacular sights out there at sea: the humpback whale that “looked just like a submarine coming out of the water” (says Smith); or the days when there was nothing to do but go to the “beach” — “it is so nice that we swim in the Atlantic Ocean!” (Archie). The most beautiful sight, though, came about four hundred miles out from Antigua, when they spied frigatebirds, swooping and picking flying fish out of the air. Synonymous with Barbuda, the distinctive black and red bird was a sign of home. Then came the helicopter, sixty miles out: “the first human we see in fifty days,” Archie says, confessing that tears flowed then as it hit them what they’d done. Twenty boats went out to escort them in, but even so the crew did not expect the welcoming crowd of thousands. “Coming round the corner into Nelson’s Dockyard” was, JD says, “truly emotional.” They finished fourteenth in a field of twenty-six, and logged fifty-two days at sea. Smith made the record books as the oldest rower — “it felt pretty cool” — and the team as the oldest team overall to cross the Atlantic. They were sea-battered — a combined sixty

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

There were no sails to catch the wind, just human effort, 7.30 am to 8 pm, every day, in two-hour shifts pounds lost among them, bone weary for weeks afterwards, slow to shake the row-boat feeling — but they’ve been on a school-visiting, autographsigning, officialdom-feting high since their return. Team Wadadli also raised EC$400,000 for the St John Hospice, and planned to raise even more from a screening of their adventure and auction of a commemorative painting by Rachel Bento. Doc may even write a book. And another team is already practicing for the 2017 Challenge. As for Team Wadadli, they are back at work — Doc at his medical practice, JD doing his tours, Archie on the boat he captains, Smith at the National Sailing Academy. But they are changed men — humbler, not as caught up in the hustle and bustle, according to JD. And bonded: Archie put it best when he said of his cabin-mate Doc Fuller, “we used to be friends, but remember, we slept and hug up and [now] it’s like we are twins.” n


A

D V

E

R

T O

R

I

A

L


the look

Design that blooms By Making, founded by Trinidadian designer Marlon Darbeau, combines traditional and innovative forms to make furniture and household objects for contemporary lifestyles Photography by Damian Libert, courtesy By Making

O

Top and above The Bloom plant pot is inspired by traditional metal mailboxes

ver the past six years, Trinidad-based design company By Making, founded by Marlon Darbeau, has become well known for its beautiful bespoke and limited-edition utilitarian works, pushing the boundaries of Caribbean design. Duality is a strong theme that runs through their output — not only in concept and function, but also in material mixes of metal and wood. By Making’s works — whether the playful, multi-use Peera; long- or short-handled Dishout servers; or sleek, custom-designed Scene outdoor seating — are rooted in local tradition and familiar methods of making, while being fine-tuned around the idea of progressive and flexible modern living. After a roster of sought-after yet exclusively available products shown at several prestigious exhibitions and fairs, including Milan’s Design Week, By Making is finally entering the wider retail market with its first commercial product release, Bloom. These plant pots are a clever spin on the design of the metal mailboxes that Darbeau grew up watching his father make. Available online from mid-October, these charming little pots will be sold with an accessories pack that allows them to be staked on a lawn, hung, or simply placed on a flat surface for a unique burst of brightness and cheer. Melanie Archer

36

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Above By Making’s Charm table was a custom commission Left Peera, a multi-use object, is a toolbox, a portable bench, and more

For more information, visit bymaking.com/bloom

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

37


Bookshelf A Walk Back in Time: Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago, by Angelo Bissessarsingh (Queen Bishop Publishing, 225 pp, ISBN 9789768255174) History books are records of fact and conjecture: the perfect recipe for public and private opinion, battling it out. While it’s certain that there’s no one way to remember how a thing happened, the best history books focus on remembering honourably. Angelo Bissessarsingh’s Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago sets itself high, honourable stakes, and capitalises on them in one sepia shot after another. Chronicling the twin island republic’s governance, industry, commerce, cultural development, transport — indeed, seeking to give foundation and formation to the temperament of an island consciousness itself — is no small undertaking. Bissessarsingh commits himself to the study of T&T in newspaper column entries, several of them originally published in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Reproduced here, and flanked with material written

38

exclusively for Snapshots, each entry is as the volume’s title suggests: a colourfully told contemplation replete with both historical data and personal annalist’s panache. From Trinidad’s steampowered era to the Georgian architecture of S c a r b o r o u g h , To b a g o , herein lie a culvert, cloister, and closet of antiquities for every amateur archivist longing to uncover more of the country’s past. Also a handsome companion to any professional historian’s library of reference works, Snapshots shines because it never confines itself to a recounting of dates. Bissessarsingh isn’t afraid to trawl for the stories beneath the census figures: in the diary entries, second-hand reports, and peered-into journals of the past, the most miraculous fragments of history wait to be gossiped over, anew. Snapshots assembles them and gives them their timely due.

Children of the Spider, by Imam Baksh (Blouse & Skirt Books, 208 pp, ISBN 9789768267016)

Gone to Drift, by Diana McCaulay (Papillote Press, 210 pp, ISBN 9780993108617)

Young spelunkers and adult adventurers alike, take note: G u y a n e s e I m a m B a k s h ’s Children of the Spider is contemporaneous proof that the Caribbean has always possessed its own natal magic. First-place winner of the 2015 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, this novel brings together cavern depths, Hindu prayer flags, dogfighting, alien-human telepathy, and trips up the Demerara River, governed by a consummate storyteller’s hand and a riotous respect for a tale wellspun. Baksh eschews stale colonial schoolbook legends for the crafty innovation of a speculative, present-day Guyana, a cunningly curious, prismatic place where “no god ever deal fair with nobody in this life.” Here, in clever prose that’s big on Guyanese dialects, is Anansi rendered as you’ve never quite glimpsed her before. These are the Caribbean’s myths, repurposed: Baksh animates his novel with fierce inquisitorial delight, spreading it from Georgetown to Guyana’s hinterland, and beyond.

Jamaican Diana McCaulay’s attention turns to the seas in Gone to Drift: both as a masterful force that snatches life in its powerful maw, and as the capricious cradle of birth itself. Second-place winner of the 2015 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, the novel splits its voice between young Lloyd, whose grandfather has been jettisoned to the oceans, and the lost grandfather himself. Through these layered perspectives, McCaulay allows the natural ebb and flow of Jamaica to reach towards her young readers, revealing the island through its beating, breathing heart: a place where, despite the passion of young conservationists, spoilage and infrastructural waste wield threatening sceptres. Avoiding a preaching stance to her environmental passions, the writer shapes a world where the love of the land and surf can — and should — be worth the sacrifice of a million plastic monoliths.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Dancing in the Rain, by Lynn Joseph (Blouse & Skirt Books, 200 pp, ISBN 9789769543690) Third-place winner of the 2015 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, Trinidadian Lynn Joseph’s Dancing in the Rain paints a cruel coming of age with vivid brushstrokes of imaginative flight. Elizabeth, at the beginning of her teenage years, believes in the moonbeam-light of mermaid necklaces, the restorative powers of flan, and the capacity of love to mend all hearts, in time. The Dominican Republic’s visual splendour and dense history is Elizabeth’s canvas for doing good, proving that more than one kind of pain can be healed through the everyday magic of open-heartedness. Joseph brings young characters to the page who have been brined in disappointment, showing keenly how Caribbean families lived and mourned in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. In the forging of new bonds on a lush, creatively constellated island, Dancing in the Rain sensitively excavates hope from every ache, pulling love from the wreckage with grace, good humour, and gentle bravery.

’Membering, by Austin Clarke (Dundurn Press, 496 pp, ISBN 9781459730342) Barbados-born, Canada-based, the late Austin Clarke did not come by the title of Canada’s first multicultural writer idly. In ’Membering, his 2016 OCM Bocas Prize–longlisted memoir, released in the year before his passing, Clarke’s reminiscences aren’t afraid to take the fondly stomped circuitous route to the page. Each corridor and avenue of revelation here is a minor delight or major curiosity: from Clarke’s 1955 arrival at the University of Toronto to his musical inspirations through Miles, Coltrane, Bird, Art Blakey, and Beethoven, the diversions and devastations of academic life, and his ceaseless work in the field of diversifying Canadian literature. No one could recount these decades of introspection, seemingly insurmountable challenge, heartbreak, and happiness better than Clarke himself. ’Membering puts the man, the creative visionary, and the writer front and centre, proving that beyond life what endures most richly is the legacy left by one of the Caribbean’s canonical best. Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

39


playlist

Metamorphosis Leon Foster Thomas (Ropeadope Records) Caribbean musicians are increasingly moving to the metropolitan commercial centres of the music business world to spread the rhythms and sounds created in these islands. Leon Foster Thomas, a Trinidadian steel pan virtuoso, is resident in Miami, and relying on that connection to a larger market to spread the sound of the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. Metaporphosis, Thomas’s third album, is his debut on important jazz label Ropeadope Records, and signals a critical and commercial blossoming beyond his early funky steel pan jazz beginnings into a standout quartet leader — a metamorphosis, if you will. These are ten tracks of progressive jazz fusion, highlighting the intelligent interplay between steel pan and other instruments, without losing the idea that Caribbean music can be improvised, and swing. World fusion is in effect. Haitian-born, New York-bred trumpeter Jean Caze and master Latin jazz percussionist Sammy Figueroa guest on the album.

Sirocco Jeff Narell Jeff Narell is the older brother of prolific steel pan recording artist Andy Narell. Together they were immersed into the world of the early steelbands — they participated in the Trinidad Music Festival on steel pans in 1966, as children — and have never looked back. Sirocco is Narell’s fourth album as a leader, and finds him investigating the confluence between African percussion instruments and the New World invention of the steel pan. More than a simple dialogue between sounds and rhythms, this album showcases the link that has been suggested by ethnomusicologists as part of the syncretism — the merging of different cultures — evident in Caribbean music. The tunes explore melodies and sonic influences from both ends of the Middle Passage that show the retention of the African sound. Talking drums, djembes, strings, and chants are interwoven with melodies from the Caribbean to make this a useful album that showcases the steel pan in a different and important light.

40

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Pollen Yoser Rodriguez (Lulaworld Records) Cuban bass player and singer Yoser Rodriguez debuts with an album that is a joy to listen to. Described by the record label as “a rich and winding fusion of Brazilian, African, Tr i n i d a d i a n , C u b a n , a n d American pop influences,” the mood of the album fluctuates between elation and what the Brazilians call saudade, a kind of melancholy and longing. Marketing blurbs aside, Rodriguez delivers ten tracks that pique interest and inspire the will to listen repeatedly. They’re sung mainly in Spanish, and we’re also told these songs “explore the immigrant experience in Canada, environmental issues, love and friendship.” Language is no barrier to great songwriting. Piano, strings, and Latin horns create the tropical ambience for the unembellished voice of Rodriguez to directly weave his messages. Solid musicianship that shines a light on the growing Cuban influence and presence in Toronto, where Rodriguez is based now, is another hallmark of this solid debut.

More Trumpet Kelly B & Hot Like Fire Caribbean sounds, melodies, and rhythms are all the rage among a new generation of music listeners trying to grab the new “feel good” sound that will keep people dancing, and hopefully buying music. In enclaves and towns along the east coast of the United States, musicians — both from the Caribbean diaspora and US natives — are getting their jam on, too. Trumpeter Kelly Bolduc, a Berklee College alumna, has a twentyfive-year love affair with reggae and soca, building her chops in Trinidad bands, and forming her own band Hot Like Fire in Massachusetts. More Trumpet is her solo fully instrumental album, and features what Kelly B calls a dozen “groove-based Caribbean tunes.” She’s been described as a “sexy chick playin’ a mean horn and singin’ too,” but this diminishes her talent and her technical skill on her instrument. The music can and will make you dance to an island beat — whether you’re here in the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world.


Single Spotlight Precious Metals Ron Reid (Mud Hut Music) Ron Reid is a Berklee College of Music associate professor, and as such the expectations for this, his third album, are high — more for the continuing exploration of Afro-Caribbean rhythms in the context of jazz in the Americas. Superb musicianship by a host of Berklee alumnae give this album a finish as assured as it is consummate. Reid plays bass and arranges all the music on the album, featuring jazz, samba, Afro-pop, and calypso rhythms, among others, and segues between lyrical playing and evocative compositions that suggest varied moods. This Precious Metals project finds collaboration between and continuity with music that reflects Afro-Caribbean heritage, regardless of legacy. Melodies and rhythms are not static but celebratory. A balance of originals and covers of calypso and steel pan classics gives the album a leg up on the competition, since these songs have a sonic quality that positions the steel pan — and Caribbean music, for that matter — on a higher plane.

Cigarettes Nailah Blackman Nailah Blackman is the granddaughter of soca “originator” Ras Shorty I — as with jazz, a single source is still debated — yet she has moved beyond her DNA to absorb pop influences that place this young singer among a crop of new talent looking to its future outside these islands of influence. Her new release, “Cigarettes” — lead single off a forthcoming album — tells the story as a first-person narrative of a personal encounter gone wrong in a unique way. It begins as a reminiscence of that exciting first date with a new love then dissolves into an anti-smoking campaign chant: “Smoke? No cigarettes in my room, no smoking!” A funky programmed kick drum over beautiful acoustic guitar rhythm makes you want to move. The rapid-fire lyrics sung by Blackman have a sound reminiscent of Gwen Stefani at her pop princess best. Poor guy, he didn’t know who he was up against. Love isn’t easy. Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

41


SCREENSHOTS

Play the Devil Directed by Maria Govan, 89 minutes “How did you come to be who you are?” a wealthy businessman asks a much younger man early on in Maria Govan’s Play the Devil. There’s an immediate reason for this personal inquiry — the businessman is trying to get the younger man to sleep with him — but the question has a deeper significance, pointing as it does to issues of identity and being that are at the heart of this beautifully crafted film, an absorbing and darkly disturbing study of sexuality and obsession that establishes Govan, from the Bahamas, as one of the foremost filmmakers at work in the region today. The young man, eighteen-year-old Gregory (an excellent Petrice Jones), lives with his devout housekeeper grandmother (Penelope Spencer) in Paramin, a Trinidadian mountain village known for its annual Carnival ritual of the jabs, in which men cover their bodies with blue paint, dress like demons, and parade the streets, breathing fire and demanding money of bystanders. Gregory is bright

Ayiti Mon Amour Directed by Guetty Felin, 82 minutes In her previous film, the poetic, personal documentary Broken Stones, Haitian-born Guetty Felin contemplated the 2010 earthquake that devastated her country. Ayiti Mon Amour, her ambitious new feature, sees the filmmaker return to the aftermath of that catastrophic event. This time Felin blends the factual mode of inquiry with fiction, neorealism with magic realism, to create a beguiling hybrid, a compelling cinematic experience featuring overlapping tales of love and loss, of search and survival. Ayiti Mon Amour takes French New Wave auteur Alain Resnais’s love-among-the-ruins classic Hiroshima Mon Amour as one of its sources of inspiration — a character even intersperses his Creole with Japanese. Yet Felin’s film is completely her own, the frames full of life and colour. This is a world where mermaids exist alongside fishermen leading hardscrabble, dignified lives, and a swim in the sea fills a person’s body with electric current, which is then used to charge mobile phones for free: an ingenious metaphor for Haitian resourcefulness and generosity.

For information about upcoming screenings, visit the films’ Facebook pages 42

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

and artistically inclined. His grandmother hopes he’ll win a scholarship to study medicine abroad. Adoring grandson that he is, Gregory doesn’t dream of disappointing her. When married construction magnate James Young (Gareth Jenkins) meets Gregory at a play, he immediately sets out to seduce him, indulging the sensitive teenager’s passion for photography. Gregory is neither blind nor unwilling, and Govan — who already has a feature under her belt — sagely refuses to reduce the conflict to that of the exploiter and the merely exploited. For James too is a victim, in a society where sex between men remains a crime, and shame and reproach can lead people to engage in dangerous, sometimes deadly behaviour. After a delicately handled scene in which Gregory and James make love, things takes a grim turn, and here the plotting becomes a bit diffuse. In a denouement that’s both foreshadowed and shocking, however, the dance of the blue devils is powerfully invoked, while the film’s final, wordless sequence approaches transcendence. Play the Devil is a landmark achievement in Caribbean cinema.

Before the Rooster Crows Directed by Arí Maniel Cruz, 97 minutes Thirteen-year-old Carmín is the definition of the problem teenager. She skips school, smokes, and lashes out at her grandmother, Gloria, with whom she lives in the picturesque rural region of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. Along comes Reubén, Carmín’s father. Handsome, suave, and out of prison after twelve years, Reubén’s sudden entry into the life of a girl on the verge of puberty who is desperate to be loved can only signal trouble, even tragedy. Before the Rooster Crows is Arí Maniel Cruz’s second feature film, a confident and clear-eyed coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of sexual permissiveness, unchecked machismo, and religious hypocrisy. Working from a solid script by Kisha Tikina Burgos, Maniel Cruz shoots effectively in hand-held, often uncomfortable close-up; he also displays laudable restraint in not allowing the (at times violent) action to descend into sudsy theatrics or cheap sentimentality. The director’s greatest achievement, however, is in the memorably roiling lead performance he elicits from Miranda Purcell, who leaves you convinced that despite everything she’s been through, the tenacious Carmín’s going to be alright. Reviews by Jonathan Ali


cookup

Dining like the ancestors With a growing concern about the origins of our food ingredients and “eating clean,” more and more people are curious about the diets of our ancestors. The earliest Caribbean peoples, our indigenous predecessors, had a far more varied diet than we realise, writes Tracy Assing — and a growing “new indigenous” movement is taking culinary cues from produce native to our ecosystems Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

W

e don’t know enough about the pre-Columbian history of the Caribbean. Many believe that our island chain — formed through tectonic plate action millions of years ago — was first inhabited by two tribes: the Arawaks and the Caribs. The Arawaks have often been characterised as “peace-loving farmers,” while the Caribs were believed to be “war-like cannibals.” These descriptions prevailed until archaeologists and anthropologists realised there were in fact as many as a dozen different tribes populating these isles.

44

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

They were capable of travelling between the islands and the mainland using canoes. They traded food, ceramics, and technology. W he r e t he c olon i s i ng E u r o p e a n s s aw impenetrable forests when they landed, indigenous peoples saw free-range farming and organic agriculture. As there are no large carnivorous animals in the Caribbean, humans needed to compete only against each other for food — and rarely did, as it was plentiful. This meant the weather had the greatest impact on diets, with some foods available seasonally, while during the rainy season fishing in the open sea might be difficult, because of cloudy waters. These early Caribbean peoples’ proximity to the South American mainland and their own indigenous ecology meant that pre-Columbian forests and rivers were teeming with even more life than we know to exist now. Even the sea that separates these islands was full of food. We all had one key, sought-after cooking ingredient easily available: salt, which could be collected from the sea. Preserving meat wasn’t a problem — vital in the tropical heat. Ginger, nutmeg, and roucou were easy to find. The honey and cocoa found in this region can intoxicate the connoisseur palette even today. Many of the herbs used to flavour food were also valued for their medicinal properties — the leaves and roots of plants were used extensively for medicine. The elements of this simple yet complex diet are still being studied. Diets were enriched by trade between the islands, among different tribes who specialised in different produce, or if some crops thrived in places others didn’t. The idea that pre-Columbian Caribbeans had a diet limited to cassava and fish is a myth. Their cuisine was more varied than we can imagine. Caribbean people today have even forgotten some of the staples consumed by our ancestors, like the guayiga or marunguey palm (the pulpy inside of its fleshy trunk was consumed just as often as cassava).


WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

45


Rodrigo Carneiro Moreira/shutterstock.com

The seeds of the roucou tree — also known as achiote — are used to make annatto, a mildly peppery seasoning and natural food colouring

I

grew up in the indigenous community of Arima, east Trinidad, where we still prepare basic traditional meals, though now on stovetops instead of open wood fires. We still ate a lot of food we generated on our own. Corn, cassava, peas, ground provisions, and herbs were grown in the garden. The river that flows alongside the house wasn’t as polluted as it is now, and there was still an abundance of freshwater fish and crayfish. My father, uncles, and young male cousins sometimes went hunting in anticipation of an important family gathering. They would often return with quenk (wild hog), lappe (paca), or deer, sometimes already smoked. The hunters would cook some of the meat in the forest, and rub salt, black pepper, roucou, and ginger into the rest, smoking it over an open wood fire — infusing the meat with flavours of lemongrass and bayleaf, the leaves of which would be applied directly to the fire beneath the meat. A simple grill would be constructed using young tree saplings. Among these saplings, cherry guava wood was favoured, but other wild guava saplings were just as useful, slowburning and full of flavour. This practice was passed on from generation to generation, and is still used today. Small tapia (mud and straw) ovens would be used for baking, or else the food was wrapped in leaves and placed on top of and covered with hot stones for the same purpose. A lot of work went into food preparation, too. Provisions like arrowroot, sweet potato, yam, taro, and moko and mataboro fig (both varieties of banana) were peeled and pounded to soften and break them down before they were boiled or roasted — or they were roasted whole. Poisonous juices had to be squeezed out of the cassava before it could be eaten. Corn was parched and ground between stones to make flour from the kernels. Few people are inclined to this kind of work today, but interest in the “Paleo

diet” has not waned. As the dangers of processed foods become clearer, and concerns grow about food security worldwide, more and more people are looking into diets based on the types of food thought to have been eaten by early humans. Gillian Goddard is an environmentalist and the founder of Sun Eaters Organics, known for its chocolate made from cocoa grown in Trinidad, and steadily increasing its portfolio to include plantain flour, breadfruit flour, and moko fig flour. She says the preservation of indigenous traditions is a pillar of her business model. Goddard is spearheading a “new indigenous” movement that has led to

The idea that preColumbian Caribbeans had a diet limited to cassava and fish is a myth. Their cuisine was more varied than we can imagine WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

47


Here’s Gillian Goddard’s advice on making mataboro fig pancakes. The mataboro is a red- or purpleskinned banana; if you can’t find it in your local market, you can substitute it with plantains. When choosing which fruit to use, pick a bunch that is full but not ripe. The fruit must be peeled and dried in the sun, then ground into flour. 

TairA/shutterstock.com

To make pancakes, muffins, or griddle cakes, use one cup of flour to one cup of liquid (coconut milk or other milks are suitable), and an egg. To optimise the recipe, add one teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and one tablespoon brown sugar. Flavour with nutmeg, vanilla, or cocoa powder. A bunch of mataboro fig, a variety of purple-skinned banana

As the dangers of processed foods become clearer, more and more people are looking into diets based on the types of food thought to have been eaten by early humans many tasty experiments in the kitchen. She thinks looking back is a good idea. “Now that we’re in 2016, and have had over four hundred years of mass movements of people, plants, and animals, it’s timely to engage with what I’m calling ‘the new indigenous,’ she says. “Colonisation separated us from locally produced materials — ‘reindigenising’ will bring us back to them. We now have breadfruit, yam, mangoes, and coffee — all ‘new’ crops — growing alongside cacao, bananas, and cassava from this hemisphere. The possibilities are immense for how these new ecosystem combinations can be used to make foods, textiles, craft materials, 48

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for ten minutes. Then cook over a medium to low heat until the pancake is cooked on both sides. Add more liquid for a more crêpe-like recipe, and less liquid for muffins or thicker pancakes.   Dress with ripe mammy cepote (Pouteria sapota), pawpaw, or avocado.

You can keep track of Goddard’s experiments via The New Indigenous Instagram page, @thenewindigenoustt

and more. Going backward is not a possibility,” Goddard explains, “and not desirable, in my opinion. But our movement forward has to shift away from imported raw materials as staples, to a system grounded in the use of local and regional input.”  In one afternoon at Goddard’s home-slash-lab in Maracas–St Joseph, we made breadfruit flour, ate bars of chocolate flavoured with tonka beans, and painted ourselves with the juice of the fruit of the juniper (or monkey apple) tree. The temporary tattoos faded over a week. “Before, I would bake with imported flour and fats as the backbone of my recipes,” says Goddard, “while using local seasonings or flavorings as the accessories. Now I prefer using all local materials as the base, and the imported inputs — spices, seasonings, etc — as enhancements. “We are trying to encourage others to follow suit,” she continues, “so we can create a mass movement using local raw materials for body decoration — jewellery, tattoos, dyes — as well as cuisine, costuming, and construction. No area of human endeavour need be untouched by this change. Not only is it good for the natural environment to make this shift, but it also means we can create unique products and livelihoods, which cannot be replicated or imitated elsewhere.” n


damian libert

immerse

50 No easy readings Closeup

56 “Artists, this space is 58 Memories from available� the verandah Own Words

Backstory

Alice Yard, a contemporary art space in Port of Spain, Trinidad, marks its tenth anniversary in September 2016


closeup

No easy readings Born in Trinidad, long based in Toronto, filmmaker, writer, and academic Richard Fung investigates his complicated, intersecting identities as a gay, Chinese-Trinidadian, Caribbean-diaspora Canadian. As Jonathan Ali writes, Fung’s multitudinous background gives him penetrating insights into cultural and political worlds that defy simple definitions Portrait by Mezart Daulet and film stills courtesy Richard Fung

M

y conversation with Richard Fung doesn’t begin with the most pleasant of topics. It’s only a few days after the horrific incident in Orlando, Florida, that saw forty-nine people gunned down at a gay nightclub, and Fung is telling me his thoughts on the matter. “One of the things that struck me,” he says via Skype from his home in Toronto, “was that the overwhelming majority of the victims of the Orlando shooting were Latino. And that racial aspect has been erased here, which for me is disturbing on a number of levels.” Fung — who’s affable, engaging, and has clearly thought long and deeply about every subject he touches on — then launches into a disquisition about queer identity and American politics, before coming to the question of the person who committed this most savage of acts. “In terms of the shooter himself, there’s so much information that suggests conflict,” he notes, “like the fact that he apparently at one point claimed allegiance to both Al Qaeda and Hezbollah — one is Shia, one is Sunni. All of these things don’t make for an easy reading.” No easy readings: Richard Fung could just as well be talking about his own, multitudinous self. Born in Trinidad, educated there and in Ireland and Canada, gay and of Chinese descent, Fung has spent his life both embodying and interrogating the complicated, complicating identity that the British-Jamaican multicultural theorist Stuart Hall declared to be archetypal of the postcolonial experience. He personified intersectionality long before the word existed. Fung is an academic and a writer, but he is best known as a filmmaker. He has directed many documentary and experimental works, exploring such issues as immigration, AIDS, homophobia,

50

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

51


and racism in Canada. He has also sought to elucidate his own family’s story through a series of films that, taken together, stand as an invaluable repository for the Chinese-Trinidadian experience. (He’s made a film about roti, too.) Writing of Fung in 2002, Cameron Bailey, the Barbadiandescended artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (and no less a Hallian archetype of the postcolonial experience himself) had this to say: “You can choose your Richard Fung. To the queer video crowd he’s the sly provocateur . . . To the postcolonial seminar heads he’s the taskmaster . . . And to a generation of young Asian artists all across North America, he’s Frida Kahlo. Richard Fung blazed the trail.” Now, with his most recent film, this year’s Re:Orientations, this trailblazer — recipient of the Bell Canada Award for Outstanding Achievement in Video Art, the Toronto Arts Award for Media Art, and, most recently, the Kessler Award from the City University of New York for “a substantive body of work that has had a significant influence on the field of LGBTQ Studies” — finds himself circling back to his beginnings as a filmmaker, as he revisits his first film, Orientations. Made in 1984 and built around the lives of several LGBT-identified Asian-Canadian individuals, Orientations was a groundbreaking documentary about a then liminal community and their struggles to make themselves visible. Thirty years on, Fung thought it was the right time to take the pulse of the community again. “Not only have LGBT rights

Stills from (clockwise from above) Uncomfortable: The Art of Christopher Cozier, Dal Puri Diaspora, Rex vs Singh, and Sea in the Blood

52

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Born in Trinidad, educated there and in Ireland and Canada, gay and of Chinese descent, Richard Fung personified intersectionality long before the word existed changed, but immigration has changed Toronto,” he says. “When I tell people that [back then] you’d go to a gay bar or gay event and see [only] one person of colour, they can’t understand that. The demographics of the city as well as the gay community have changed a lot.” He also wanted to give young LGBT people of colour in Canada a sense of the history of the movement, and also highlight the fact that — as the Orlando attack tragically showed — the lives of gay people in North America remain at risk, even in supposed bastions of tolerance like Toronto. “Queer people aren’t safe anywhere at this point,” he declares.

B

orn in Port of Spain in 1954, Richard Fung was the lagniappe in a family of eight children. His siblings grew up “behind a shop in Cedros,” in rural Trinidad; he was the


Fung’s latest film, Re:Orientations, revists the subjects of his 1984 debut

only one raised fully in an urban milieu. His father, who was Hakka Chinese, migrated to Trinidad in the 1920s, while his mother — a relation of the seminal Trinidad and Tobago artist Sybil Atteck — was third-generation Chinese from Canton. Fung was raised within an extended family that was ethnically mixed. Racism in the family was not alien, and as he entered his teenage years in the late 1960s, he felt the profound influence of Black Power. “I began to look at these racisms through the lens of Black Power,” Fung says, adding that he started to understand that while the country may have been independent, the society was still “heavily colonial.” From a Roman Catholic family, Fung attended the island’s foremost Catholic secondary school for boys, a further eyeopener. “I began to see the petty corruptions of race and class and how that played out in the school,” he says. “I became very alienated from that establishment kind of institution.” He also became critical of Mother Church herself, noting that while the priests were meant to have taken vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty, “I [wasn’t] seeing the poverty.” A “feminine child” who “always knew I was whatever ‘that thing’ was,” Fung remembers experiencing homophobia growing up in conservative, repressive Trinidad. After O-Levels he left for “equally repressive, equally Catholic” Ireland to finish secondary school, before moving to Canada for university. It was in Canada that a sympathetic and enlightened therapist reconciled Fung with the fact of his homosexuality, and

in 1975, at a Marxist study group, he met the man who was to become his partner in life, and who remains his partner to this day. (“Marxism and a psychiatrist — two unlikely roots into gay life,” Fung notes with a laugh.) Wanting to be an architect but unable to live up to the stereotype of Chinese prowess at mathematics, Fung entered the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University, where he is a professor in the Faculty of Art) and began studying industrial design. He gave it up after what he comically calls “the flowerpot assignment” and switched to what was then the photoelectric arts department. After graduation he worked at a community television station teaching people how to make videos — working with “ordinary people’s voices.” It was this on-the-ground experience that inspired Fung to want to become a filmmaker himself, and he returned to university to take a degree in film studies. In Ireland, Fung had seen a British film, The Ruling Class, in

Fung’s work includes archival material, repurposed footage, and even dramatic reconstruction, to create multi-layered, complex tales WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

53


which Peter O’Toole plays a feckless aristocrat who believes he’s Jesus Christ, which made a particular impression on him. He then saw Eric Rohmer’s masterpiece of suppressed sexuality, Claire’s Knee, “which made me really fall in love with film.” But it was in film school, when he encountered the work of people like pioneering Afro-British artist-filmmakers Isaac Julien and John Akomfrah, filmmakers for whom the beauty of the image could never be divorced from the meaning it was imbued with, that Fung found the intersection of aesthetics and politics within the medium where he felt most comfortable.

F

ung’s filmography, from Orientations all the way up to Re:Orientations, reflects this. His work includes archival material, repurposed footage, and even dramatic reconstruction — often with the filmmaker’s own incisive voiceover narration overlaying the visuals — to create multi-layered, complex tales that attempt to disturb the white, hetero-normative, historical status quo. In films such as Fighting Chance (the story of four AsianCanadian men at different stages of HIV infection) and Out of the Blue (about a young black Toronto man arrested in a case of “mistaken identity”), Fung probed marginalised, hyphenated Canadian lives, with eye-opening, often provocative results. The Way to My Father’s Village, meanwhile, in which Fung journeyed to his father’s birthplace in Guangdong, and Islands — in which he confronts the Second World War film Heaven Knows, Mr Allison, a Hollywood vehicle for Robert Mitchum, which was shot in Tobago and featured Chinese-Trinidadian men (among them one of Fung’s uncles) playing nameless, faceless Japanese soldiers — saw him consider the ChineseTrinidadian story through the lens of his own family’s various narratives. Even that documentary about roti, Dal Puri Diaspora, in which Fung retraces the Trinidadian dish dhalpuri back to its Indian origins, is more than a mere gastronomic quest. Fung had first visited India in the mid-1970s. He was reading V.S. Naipaul at

A Richard Fung filmography Re:Orientations (2016) Dal Puri Diaspora (2012) Rex vs Singh (2008) Jehad in Motion (2007) Uncomfortable: The Art of Christopher Cozier (2005) Islands (2002) Sea in the Blood (2000) School Fag (1998) Dirty Laundry (1996) Out of the Blue (1991) Steam Clean (1990) My Mother’s Place (1990) Fighting Chance (1990) Safe Place (1989) The Way to My Father’s Village (1988) Chinese Characters (1986) Orientations (1984)

54

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

the time and “looking for traces of Trinidad, what I knew as Trinidadian culture” — particularly, for this obvious foodie, in the cuisine — but never found them. Fung returned to India several times, and in 2009 became a visiting scholar at the Islamic University in New Delhi. It was at this point that one of his colleagues claimed to know of a dish from eastern Uttar Pradesh that appeared to have characteristics similar to those of dhalpuri, and thus Dal Puri Diaspora was born. Beginning with the filmmaker tucking into a roti at his neighbourhood Trinidadian restaurant on a snowy Toronto day, Dal Puri Diaspora follows Fung as he travels first from Canada to Trinidad and then from Trinidad to India in search of his culinary

Fung is aware that, as a Trinidadian who has not lived in Trinidad for many years, he is always re-confronting the place himself whenever he visits holy grail. Informed by Fung’s formidable intellect and relentless curiosity, the documentary expands along the way into a fascinating exploration of the consequences of migration and proto-globalisation that characterised the colonial experience. (And — spoiler alert — the search is a successful one: Fung does find the “mother” dhalpuri.) Now Fung is at work on yet another film in which he returns to his endlessly compelling origins. As yet unnamed, this new documentary is a portrait of his ninety-two-year-old mixed-race “outside” cousin, Nan, who has lived in the United States for several decades but was once famed artist Boscoe Holder’s dance partner, lived on the Orinoco River, and married five times. Though Nan’s story is remarkable, “there’s a way in which [it] encapsulates a lot of other families’ stories in Trinidad, negotiating questions of race, propriety, hypocrisy,” Fung says. “I’m also interested in her re-confronting Trinidad as a contemporary space.” Fung is aware that, as a Trinidadian who has not lived in Trinidad for many years, he too is always re-confronting the place himself whenever he visits — both on a personal level as well as in his work. “I have a certain humility about what I can say about contemporary Trinidad,” he says, pointing out that he sees himself now as a “diasporic Trinidadian.” That appellation is but one of several identities — including gay, Asian, Canadian, Torontonian — that he can readily claim, identities that have all gone indelibly into the making of the man and the filmmaker. And among all of these identities, Trinidadian is not necessarily the one Richard Fung feels he has to claim most, or even at all. “If I want to be Trinidadian,” he says at last, “I am free to be Trinidadian.” n


4

Receive FREE calls in the Netherlands, USA & the Caribbean

Roam Less

Keeping us in touch


Own words

“Artists, this space is available” Sean Leonard, Trinidadian architect and co-founder of the contemporary art space Alice Yard, on the influence of his great-grandmother’s generosity, and how the mas camp tradition has inspired his practice — as told to Stephen Stuempfle Photograph by Nadia Huggins

M

y great-grandmother Alice Gittens died shortly after I was born, so my information about her has come through the reports of others. Everyone seems to have the same complimentary things to say about her generosity. She would feed pretty much anybody who would call: “Ma Gitts, what’s happening?” Her house on Roberts Street [in Woodbrook, west Port of Spain] seemed to be like a station where people would invariably stop. She moved there in 1953, and died in 1963. After that, the house passed on to various other members of the family. I remember going there pretty early — maybe aged four or five. In the backyard was a shed under which we’d park our cars, do the laundry, make ice-cream. My cousins and I learned to ride bicycles here. And there was a huge mango tree, mango rose. I would live on mango chow. I knew I wanted to be an architect at an early age. My father is a quantity surveyor. The dining table would be littered with

56

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

drawings all the time, and I recognised that I could read them. My father would have us colour the walls in the drawings. Since I probably had an inherent design sensibility, I was able to conjure what I was reading in two dimensions as something in three-dimensional space. I could actually see the door. Since my father was in the field, I had the opportunity to interact with architects who were close to him. One of them was Hayden Franco, the father of one of my current business partners. I would draw and design away, even at the age of seven or eight, and Hayden would offer criticisms. I pretty much followed him around. Later, I worked for two years in an architectural practice as an intern. W h i le t here, I wa s encou raged to go and study at the Architectural Association’s School of Architecture in London. At that point, I didn’t know what a portfolio was. About a third of my portfolio contained images of my own Carnival costume designs. After arriving at the school, I couldn’t understand how they could possibly have accepted me.

But after being there for some years, I understood why. The inclusion of that kind of work had a lot to do with my being in the middle of Carnival all the time. I graduated in 1989, and I worked in architecture in Britain for two and a half years. I actually returned to Trinidad en route to a job offer in Zimbabwe. A childhood friend reminded me of a promise that I would design his house when he got married. So I thought I would return to Trinidad, do this project, and then go to Africa. I came, did the house, and never left.

W

hen I returned from Britain in 1991, I designed and produced a children’s Carnival band for about ten years. And I began to interact more with the artists’ fraternity in Trinidad. I was intrigued by what artists had to say about what they did, in a way that I couldn’t speak about what I did. I had a conversation with the artist Mario Lewis about the pattern of mas camps, as env ironments of intense production during the Carnival season, becoming very dormant for eight months of the year. How could these spaces be repurposed, refurbished in a way that meant that the energy of the mas camp could continue — not in the production of mas, but maybe in other things? I was also trying to find a way of linking my design of buildings with my making of mas. What the children’s mas did for me was develop the ability to make things very fast. Buildings take decades. I was struggling to find a way to bridge these two ways of operating. Then I realised: there’s the yard at the house on Roberts Street. Maybe


“I was intrigued by what artists had to say about what they did, in a way that I couldn’t speak about what I did”

this can happen in the yard. And lots of things happened at the same time. The Galvanize event [a six-week arts festival in late 2006] was in its formation. That was the catalyst for me to say, “Artists, this space is available — use it, and I will use it with you.” I also had a conversation with musician Sheldon Holder, the founder of 12 the Band. I walked with him into this space and said: “I think 12 needs a band room. Would you be comfortable using a space

like this?” He looked at me like that was a stupid question. “Of course!” That was the first buy-in to the idea, and I felt comfortable making other approaches. The next conversation was with the artist Christopher Cozier. I think we must have spent a couple of evenings here, just conjuring possibilities. Some of those conversations would happen through draw ings. Chr is and I, for about a year, shared a sketchbook. He would do something, and then I would

In 2006, architect Sean Leonard, artist and writer Christopher Cozier, and writer and editor Nicholas Laughlin founded Alice Yard, a multi-disciplinary arts space in the Woodbrook neighbourhood of Port of Spain. Each brought a unique set of experiences and perspectives to a collaboration that has now flourished for ten years. Here visual artists, musicians, writers, and others from Trinidad and abroad have engaged in a wide range of conversations and projects — an ongoing series of open-ended events. Their activities have drawn on modes of collaboration, experimentation, and conviviality that were characteristic of this family space for decades, and are fundamental to broader yard traditions in Trinidad.

do something. In the sketchbook was a reference to a little exhibition “box.” So the way the gallery box evolved was as a question: could something this size be attractive, usable? After Galvanize, [writer and editor] Nicholas Laughlin joined the conversation. I began to feel there was a kind of commitment to what was happening here. I suddenly began to relax. I had a kind of recognition that there was real support for Alice Yard. I had to let a lot of the infrastructural direction be guided by what the artists wanted. A situation would arise, a request would be made, paths would cross, and then we’d have another kind of energy in here. We wanted to see what was the range of creative disciplines that could be accommodated simultaneously, which is pretty much the way negotiations were forged in a traditional yard context in urban Trinidad. In this instance, it would be the work of creative individuals — whether it’s music, sculpture, dancing — hav ing a meeting, mounting an exhibition. I recognise that, through my profession, I’m able to bring something to the way the space evolved — its physical shaping. Very seldom am I guiding. More often than not, I’m responding — and if it’s not to the artists, it’s to things that Chris and Nicholas say: “Why not?” “Could we?” If the thing ever becomes weighty and not fun, then it means we should be doing something else. I hope the experiences of the last ten years begin to inform others, in seeing opportunity. We have the space — what do we do with it? That is really what the Yard is about. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

57


BACKSTORY

Memories from the verandah Long recognised as the first major female dub poet, Jamaican Jean “Binta” Breeze came of age at a time of political upheaval and cultural ferment. But her writing and performance have equally been informed by her experience of mental illness. David Katz hears the story of her journeys from rural Hanover to urban Kingston, across the Atlantic to London and back Photograph by Tehron Royes

J

ean “Binta” Breeze stifles a laugh as she ponders the genesis of her latest book, The Verandah Poems. “I got very ill in England,” she says, with a slight sigh. “As a matter of fact, I had two strokes and was in a coma for five days. So I decided to come and spend a year in Jamaica, to just get better. And when I came home, I spent all of my time sitting on the verandah, and I thought, why not write some verandah poems?” Released in March 2016 to mark the arrival of her sixtieth birthday, The Verandah Poems is Breeze’s eighth published book. The subtle work contained within its pages evokes the quiet and rustic nature of village life, with the verandah a space for conversation and contemplation, yet the trappings of modernity are never far. We can sense it in the absence of a daughter flown abroad, through debates on Scotland’s abortive independence drive, and in the terrible menace of the crack cocaine and go-go bars that blight the rural idyll. Bolstered by evocative colour portraits

58

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

by photographer Tehron Royes, the book is largely driven by personal memories, forming a strong contrast to Breeze’s early work, which was often more overtly political. Breeze reveals that she was born Jean Lumsden in the rural parish of Hanover, Jamaica, where her father was chief public health inspector, and her mother a midwife. She speaks to me by telephone from the same coastal village in which she was raised, where her parents introduced her to poetry at an early age, stimulating a longstanding affinity. “My mother taught me all the poems that I know by heart in my head. She was a great reciter of poetry, and she just recited them to me; she never learned who the authors were, so I never knew either. And every concert that there was in my village or my parish, they knew that I knew a lot of poems, so I was always asked to recite. When I was twelve, I was sent by the church for a speech competition, and I had to learn Kipling’s ‘If’. Then my father brought me Omar Khayyam, Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’.”


WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

59


60

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


After graduating from Rusea’s High School and marrying one of her former teachers, Breeze began writing poems through political activism, supporting the ruling People’s National Party during Michael Manley’s programme of democratic socialism. She subsequently found her true artistic voice as a student at the Jamaica School of Drama, becoming Jean “Binta” Breeze through a gradual process of transformation. “I taught in secondary schools in Hanover and Westmoreland for about five years, and I worked as a cultural development officer, organising all the dance, drama, and music for schools and community groups,” she explains. “It was then that I got the love for the drama, when I went to a drama workshop and met Dennis Scott, the then dean of the Jamaica School of Drama, and I decided I was going to study there. I married a Welshman called Breese at the age of eighteen, and when we divorced, I had already started doing the poetry, and I had changed the spelling to Breeze. Then Binta came into being in 1978, when my friends and I were choosing African names for ourselves.” Breeze reached Kingston at a particularly volatile time, when partisan violence was escalating. The new movement of dub poetry, in which politically relevant verse was set to reggae

rhythms, was also gathering steam in reaction to the internecine battles. “I was a village girl, in the middle of Kingston in the 70s, when gunshots were fired all around,” she says, with another smattering of laughter. “I used to sleep in a hammock under a tree at the drama school, and I thought they were cars backfiring, not gunshots. [Poets] Michael Smith and Oku Onuora were at the drama school, and Mutabaruka passed through. All the artists were gathering around that campus, and I had the chance to major in drama, do classes in dance, and follow up in classes at the School of Music. So I was well-trained.” Breeze received her first taste of international recognition after Mutabaruka arranged her debut recording, “Slip”, issued overseas on Heartbeat Records to widespread acclaim. “That’s the way I emerged as the first female dub poet,” she explains, noting that the release came during another transformative phase. “At the time, I was in the middle of a four-year stint in the hills. I joined a community of Rastafarians in the hills of Clarendon, who believed that the forward movement for Jamaica was that we should all be able to feed ourselves. So ‘Slip’ is a very Rasta-oriented poem, but later on, it developed into being more political, rather than just Rastafarian, when I

“My mother taught me all the poems that I know by heart in my head. She was a great reciter of poetry”

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

61


Breeze has been brave enough to be open about the schizophrenia she has suffered from for most of her adult life

wrote things like ‘Aid Travels With a Bomb’. Then I began to draw on my education, because I had a great idea of human economics around the world, and I got a sense of how my people were from my grandparents, who were peasant farmers, like most of the people in Hanover. I got to know just where we were in terms of the Third World and the developed world. I wrote ‘Aid Travels With a Bomb’ when Jamaica signed with the IMF, and I put it all together, what was happening to us politically on the island.”

B

ut personal upheaval came in tandem with the initial commendations. Breeze has been brave enough to be open about the schizophrenia she has suffered from for most of her adult life, dating its onset to her Clarendon sojourn. “I started having breakdowns when I left drama school and went to live in the hills as a Rastafarian. No one really knew what to do,” she says, “and finally my mother came to get me, because I had just had my second child, and my mother was incredible. Because I decided that I had to have a Rastafarian doctor, and there was only one in the country, Dr Fred Hickling, and I had to be put in a private hospital for him to see me. So my mother mortgaged her house to see me through that illness. I was stabilised, but then I kept on having attacks; every two or three years, I would have a breakdown.” Although Breeze has never let mental illness define her, the breakdowns came to influence her work, inspiring the

62

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

breakthrough poem “Ryddim Ravings”, also known as “The Mad Woman’s Poem”, about a woman who hears a radio in her head — rendered all the more impressive by Breeze’s dramatic, half-sung performances. “It was a strange poem,” she suggests, “because I was staying in Kingston with Rawle Gibbons, a Trinidadian playwright, and while he was sitting there writing, I heard a voice in my head say, ‘I’ll give you one,’ and I just wrote ‘The Mad Woman’s Poem’ from beginning to end. It was probably the first time my schizophrenia entered my writing.” Soon after, Breeze recorded a debut album, Ryddim Ravings, with a company called Technical Productions — but the material was licensed to the New York–based cassette label ROIR without her knowledge, leading her to largely absent herself from music matters. Then pioneering dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson invited her to travel to London in 1985, to perform at the International Book Fair of Radical, Black, and Third World Books, which led in turn to a two-year teaching position at Brixton College. Increasing demand then saw Breeze concentrate on performance poetry full-time. Breeze’s book Ryddim Ravings was published by Race Today in 1988, and Virago issued Spring Cleaning in 1992. She began a fruitful relationship with the British poetry publisher Bloodaxe in 1996, with the publication of On the Edge of an Island, while the album Tracks, recorded in Brixton with Dennis Bovell, was released on LKJ Records the following year. Bloodaxe has subsequently issued several other volumes, including The Arrival of Brighteye and the noteworthy 2011 collection Third World Girl, published shortly before Breeze was awarded an MBE for her services to literature in Britain. In contemplating The Verandah Poems and her current state of affairs, Breeze says that other personal changes have led to greater stability: finding the right medication was a big help, and living alone has also suited her, as noted in the opening and closing poems of the new book. “The medication was life-saving, and I decided that I’d had enough of the emotional stress that goes with relationships. So I’ve been living alone, and on this medication, and I’ve had no breakdowns in fourteen or fifteen years.” Breeze ends our interview by noting that she now divides her time between Jamaica and Britain through three-month intervals in each country, concentrating on her writing in the former and on live performance in the latter. And the prospect of reaching other places remains a source of continual inspiration. “I really look forward to getting to know more of the Caribbean in general.” n


Brent Winebrenner/lpi/getty images

ARRIVE

64 Antigua for adventure 70 Ponce, Puerto Rico Destination

Neighbourhood

The twin Pitons rise spectacularly from St Lucia’s lush south-western coast

72 Between the Pitons 80 Port of Spain, Trinidad Offtrack

Layover


Destination

Antigua for adventure Those 365 beaches, that fabulous rum punch — most visitors to Antigua have some hardcore relaxation in mind, and nothing more strenuous than deciding how to position a deckchair. But for adventure-lovers and thrillseekers, Antigua also offers a few options for getting the heart racing

Let the wind take you It’s probably the most daring of watersports, a cross between windsurfing, wakeboarding, and aerial acrobatics. Riding both the wind and the waves, kiteboarders use a large power kite to pull themselves across and occasionally above the open water, indulging a need for speed, a head for heights, and the skill of balance. Several companies — such as Kitesurf Antigua — offer lessons and rent equipment. Jabberwock Bay on the island’s north-eastern coast and Half Moon Bay in the south-east are both popular venues, with the Trade Winds blustering steadily off the Atlantic.

64

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


roddy grimes-graeme

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

65


Take a giant leap courtesy antigua rainforest company

You can explore Antigua’s lush interior forests on a sedate hike — or pretend you’re part bird, and take the Antigua Rainforest Company’s zipline challenge, zooming over the treetops, securely strapped into your harness. The array of thirteen ziplines — including the so-called “Screamer,” three hundred feet up in the air — also boasts rope bridges, an obstacle course, and something called the “Leap of Faith.” And yes, after you’ve been there and done that, you can buy the commemorative t-shirt, for bragging rights.

Bask with the rays

courtesy stingray city

Their very name has a tingle of danger and they look ominous, but stingrays have a docile and inquisitive nature that some describe as puppylike. You can experience it for yourself at Antigua’s Stingray City, where a population of Southern Rays inhabit a natural sandy pool surrounded by reefs — and like nothing better than to be fed by visiting humans. Trained guides keep a close eye on things, and will even help you set up a stingray selfie, to impress your friends back home.

66

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Go up a creek

roger lewis

Antigua’s coast isn’t all golden and pink coral sand. The island’s mangrove swamps and forests — for instance, in the North Sound Marine Park — are both a crucial part of the natural ecosystem and a buffer zone protecting the island from storms and waves. They’re also an intriguing landscape for exploration by kayak or even pedalboat, as in this tour organised by South Coast Horizons. Navigating through narrow channels and around tiny islets, a wealth of wildlife reveals itself among the mangrove branches and exposed roots: birds above, crustaceans at water level, fish and turtles below.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

67


Get off the road

courtesy freestyle tours

On an all-terrain vehicle or ATV, you can literally leave the beaten track in your dust. Antigua’s rolling landscape and traditional cross-island trails are the perfect setting for an ATV adventure, especially in the company of a guide who knows the country inside out, like those at Free Style Tours. The ride’s the main attraction, but along the way you’ll learn interesting tidbits about Antigua’s geology, flora, fauna, and history — plus take in a few amazing views to make it all the more memorable.

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua from Trinidad, Barbados, and Jamaica, with connections to other Caribbean and North American destinations 68

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


istock.com/gregobagel

NEIGHBOURHOOD

Ponce, Puerto Rico Puerto Rico’s “Pearl of the South,” the island’s second-largest city, is a cultural and architectural treasure — and home to some of the best ice cream you’ll ever try

Streetscape The municipality of Ponce sprawls from the southern coastal plain of Puerto Rico up to the heights of the Cordillera Central, but the city’s historic centre, two and a half miles inland from the Caribbean Sea, is the Plaza de las Delicias, with its shady trees and gushing Lions Fountain. Surrounding the plaza are Ponce’s City Hall, its wedding-cake cathedral, the Art Deco Teatro Fox Delicias, and other buildings showing off the diverse styles that make Ponce an architecture lover’s delight: from neoclassical to Art Nouveau to the distinctive vernacular Ponce Creole. The city’s protected historic zone falls within the six numbered central barrios: Primero to Sexto. The best views of Ponce are from the sky bridge of the Cruceta del Vigía, a cross-shaped monument, a hundred feet tall, on a hill just north of the city centre, once used as a defensive lookout. Longing for some sea air? The La Guancha Boardwalk in the Playa barrio offers numerous food and drink vendors, an observation tower, a marina, and Ponce’s main beach is close at hand.

Trivia felix lipov/shutterstock.com

Ponce isn’t just the city of museums — its several nicknames capture various other aspects of its history and geography: from la Perla del Sur (“the Pearl of the South”) to Ciudad de las Quenepas (“City of Genips”), thanks to its many trees bearing the small green fruit, and even Ciudad de los Leones (“City of Lions”), from the name of its founder.

70

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Ponce isn’t called “the City of Museums” for nothing. Its dozens of historical and cultural institutions rival the riches of San Juan and make Ponce a magnet for arts lovers. Heading the list is the Museo de Arte de Ponce, the largest art museum in the Caribbean, housed in a landmark building designed by the American modernist architect Edward Durrell Stone. Its treasures include everything from European Old Master paintings to one of the best Pre-Raphaelite collections in the world, to works by contemporary Latin American artists. The city’s history, meanwhile, is documented in the Museo Castillo Serrallés, the former mansion of a sugar baron, and the Hacienda Buena Vista, a historic coffee estate on Ponce’s outskirts. And the most immediately recognisable landmark is the Parque de Bombas, a former fire station, its ornate façade painted in red and black stripes. Now a fire-fighting museum, it is home to a collection of nineteenth-century artifacts as well as displays paying tribute to the brave firemen who saved the city from devastation in an 1899 conflagration that started in the gunpowder-laden city armoury.

Appetite Ice cream is as popular in Ponce as in any tropical city, and the lines are longest at the unassuminglooking King Cream parlour (also known as Los Chinos), a longtime mainstay serving gelato-style treats — the best in Puerto Rico, locals claim. Fans recommend the flavours derived from locally grown fruits like parcha (passionfruit) and guanabana (soursop), and the coconut ice cream is a must-try.

istock.com/gregobagel

Culture

History Several archaeological sites within the Ponce city limits preserve remains of the indigenous Taíno who once flourished here on Puerto Rico’s Caribbean coast. After the arrival of Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Léon in 1508, San Juan on the north coast became the main centre of colonial power. It was Ponce’s grandson Juan Ponce de León y Loayza who led the Spanish settlement of the region around Rio Portugués, which flows just east of the city’s modern centre. Recognised as a parish in 1692, Ponce grew slowly until the nineteenth century, when the revolutions in Haiti and Spanish South America triggered a wave of immigration. This new class of farmers and merchants set up agricultural estates, rum distilleries, banks and factories, and by the end of the nineteenth century Ponce was Puerto Rico’s leading city and economic capital, with a ruling class willing to lavish their money on monuments and mansions. But the 1898 invasion by the United States began a long period of decline, as the new colonial authorities centred administration and commerce in San Juan, and the Spanish American War cut Ponce’s traders off from their markets in Spain and Cuba. Ponce continued to be an important political base, and in recent decades its economy has improved, while the city’s historic and architectural heritage have attracted a growing number of tourists.

Co-ordinates 18.0º N 66.6º W 50 feet above sea level

Puerto rico

istock.com/gregobagel

Ponce

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten and V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua, with connections on other airlines to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

71


Alan Copson/Photographer’s Choice RF/getty images

Offtrack

72

Quiet Soufrière occupies a gentle valley near the towering Pitons

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Between the Pitons Rising spectacularly from the deep blue sea, the twin Pitons are symbols of St Lucia, and landmarks of the island’s lush, rugged south — far from the nightlife and resorts of Rodney Bay. For some visitors, Philip Sander writes, that isolation from the tourist bustle has a magnetic attraction

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

73


Angus Oborn/lpi/getty images

I istock.com/CatMiche

n an archipelago of achingly beautiful islands, these twin peaks — perfect sheer-sided cones, rising abruptly from the sea — may be the most stunning sight of all. Whether you approach by boat, into the mile-wide bay between these mountains, or by road, as the peaks suddenly come into view round a sharp bend, the Pitons take your breath away. It’s no wonder they’re the instantly recognisable symbols of St Lucia: what else could compete? Gros Piton, 2,530 feet high, and Petit Piton, a mere 2,438

74

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

feet, are volcanic spires: evidence of the geothermal forces that still shape the landscape of St Lucia. Towering above the southwestern coast, the Pitons are landmarks for sailors, a refuge for wildlife, and reminders of the lush and rugged wildness of their island. For visitors to St Lucia, the question is north vs south. North: the workaday bustle of Castries, the all-inclusive resorts and high-end shops around Rodney Bay, the weekly street party at Gros Islet, the luxury villas of Cap Estate. South: the old-time creole charm of Soufrière, fishing villages strung along the coast, cocoa estates in the hills, boutique hotels nestled in the rainforest. You might think on an island this small — not quite twenty-eight miles from tip to tip — you shouldn’t have to choose. But though Castries is only twelve miles from Soufrière, flying like a bird, it’s thirty-three miles by car, thanks to the continuous zigging and zagging and doubling-back of the road as it hugs the precipitous terrain. And it’s a slow thirty-three miles. You can’t speed around these curves — and why would you want to, and miss the astonishing views over valley and sea? Most visitors choose the north, and the proximity of nightlife, shopping, and deckchairs. But the knowing minority who appreciate the luxur y of landscape and the indulgence of tranquility feel the magnetic pull of St Lucia’s south — the country around the Pitons.


The French named Soufrière for the nearby sulphur springs, which they believed had therapeutic qualities. Modern-day visitors agree Opposite page above The stone tower of the Church of the Assumption dominates Soufrière’s main square Opposite page below Diamond Estate on the outskirts of Soufrière is home to St Lucia’s oldest botanical garden Right Soaking in the therapeutic waters at Diamond Gardens

istock.com/flavio vallenari

J

ust north of Petit Piton, the coastal town of Soufrière sits at the mouth of a gentle valley. Fishing boats painted in colourful stripes pull up along the shingled bay, and Soufrière, with a population of about eight thousand, manages to look both neat and ramshackle at the same time, both busy and laid back. The surrounding area is thick with history. This fertile volcanic soil was carved up into agricultural estates by early French colonists in the seventeenth century, run on the labour of enslaved Africans; Soufrière at one time was the de facto French capital of St Lucia. Much of the wooden creole architecture has disappeared over the decades in a series of fires — most recently, in October 2015 — but just enough survives to give the visitor a sense of Soufrière’s old townscape of steep-pitched roofs and fretworked eaves. The French named the town for the nearby sulphur springs — another sign of volcanic activity — which they believed had therapeutic qualities. Modern-day visitors agree. About two miles outside of Soufrière, the springs are the remains of a huge volcanic crater, once three miles across, which collapsed aeons ago. Locals like to call it “the world’s only drive-in volcano” — and, true enough, the action starts just feet away from the carpark. Rich in minerals — not just sulphur, whose smell is immediately recognisable, but iron and copper as well — the

spring water emerges in hissing plumes of steam, with a temperature of 170 degrees Celsius. Obviously, you won’t be swimming there, but a short way downstream, cooled by surface streams, the sulphurous waters form pools of mud reputed to rejuvenate the skin and cure various ailments. You can also “take the waters” at nearby Diamond Gardens, part of one of the oldest estates around Soufrière, established in 1713. The mineral springs here excited much interest in 1784, when the French governor of the time, the Baron de Laborie, had samples shipped to Paris to be analysed. The favourable report that came back persuaded the French government to build a series of mineral baths, for the therapeutic use of troops stationed in the island. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

75


Blaine Harrington III/ Corbis Documentary/getty images

The view from the summit of Gros Piton

76

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

77


Alan Copson/awl images/getty images

Anse Mamin, just north of Soufrière

istock.com/benjamin howell

In the “Brigand Wars” around the time of the French Revolution, the baths were destroyed, but the owners of Diamond Estate continued to bathe in the warm spring water, and in the 1980s the restored baths were opened to the public. Set among the lush foliage and blooms of St Lucia’s oldest botanical garden, the indoor baths and outdoor pools offer a relaxing soak, said to be especially good for rheumatism. Nearby Diamond Falls, a short stroll away, cascades nearly sixty feet down a rock face of ever-changing hue, stained by the minerals in the water — green, ochre, pink.

Towering above the southwestern coast, the Pitons are landmarks for sailors and reminders of the lush and rugged wildness of their island 78

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

W

ith your muscles and joints well primed by the mineral waters, you’re finally ready to tackle the Pitons themselves. Though a hundred feet higher, Gros Piton is the easer of the two, with a well-kept — though steep! — trail to the top, including rough steps cut into the rock. The climb begins in Fond Gens Libre, a village named for the “free people” — African Maroons escaped from the slave plantations — who found refuge here. A guide is essential. The climb can take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on your level of fitness and energy, and the reward at the top is the magnificent view of sky, sea, and surrounding mountains.


The handful of people who have also climbed Petit Piton say the view from that summit is even more spectacular — but the ascent is also a much more serious and occasionally risky proposition, including some honest-to-goodness rock climbing and ropes. Don’t even think of it if you don’t have a head for heights. Far, far below is the dark, deep water of Anse des Pitons, the bay nestled between the mountains. To get there by land, you must pass through the grounds of the luxury resort built along the sloping ridge connecting the peaks — by law, beaches in St Lucia must be accessible to the public. Down at the beach itself, the natural black volcanic sand is covered by imported white sand, infuriating local environmentalists, but this human intrusion ends at the water line, where the bay shelves rapidly into deep water. The sea here is rich in corals and other submarine life, protected by a national marine reserve. And even if you prefer to stay close to the surface, a swim here should be one of the most memorable of your life. On either side, the spectacular Pitons, like great pillars or horns; below you, pristine water, clear as glass. n

Castries

ST LUCIA

Soufrière

Sulphur Springs Petit Piton Gros Piton

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to George F.L. Charles Airport near Castries from Trinidad, with connections to other Caribbean and North American destinations

PE ESCA

RE EXPLO

Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia Tel: 758 451 4974 Fax: 758 451 4973 info@marigotbeachclub.com www.marigotbeachclub.com

REL A X

A special property featuring unique villas set in the tree-tops. With incredible views of the Pitons and the village of Soufrière, Crystals is the perfect one-of place for a one-ofkind vacation. www.stluciacrystals.com • stluciacrystals@gmail.com Tel: 758 285 1984

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

79


chris anderson

LAYOVER

On a business trip to T&T’s capital with an afternoon to spare? A day to relax after a week of meetings? Our guide to exploring the city when time is tight

Run out of reading matter? Paper Based, the city’s best bookshop, is a tiny jewelbox at the Hotel Normandie, crammed with new and classic books by Caribbean and international authors, plus art books, magazines, and CDs — and staffed by avid readers ready to make solid recommendations. paperbased.org Ready to escape from the city, sample some tropical leisure, preferably wearing your bathing-suit? The drive to Macqueripe Bay, west of Port of Spain, takes you though the green expanse of the Chaguaramas National Park, at the end of which is a perfect semi-circular bay, surrounded by forested cliffs. And it’s not the middle of nowhere: downtown Port of Spain is thirty minutes away, twenty with no traffic.

franka philip

80

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Looking to decompress over a drink or two, and tired of hotel cocktails? Ariapita Avenue in the west Port of Spain neighbourhood of Woodbrook has become the city’s main nightlife district, with bars and restaurants spilling over into nearby streets. It’s liveliest on Friday nights, but Thursday is quickly becoming the new Friday, and Wednesday’s not far behind.

tanya-marie williams

There’s live music almost every night of the week in Port of Spain, ranging from traditional calypso to jazz to local rock. The Kaiso Blues Café on Woodford Street — a self-described “underground club” — has a corps of regulars, both on stage and in the audience, an eclectic programme, and an easy backyard vibe. kaisoblues.com

kevin sammy

giselle de roché

After a few days of fancy meals at business dinners, you’ll need to sample Trinidad’s legendary street food. If nothing else, try a doubles or two for breakfast: the spicy “sandwich” of curried channa folded into fried dough, amply garnished, is as close to a national dish as it gets. Doubles vendors operate all around the city. Ask a local for suggestions — or ask two locals, and get caught in the crossfire of opinions.

cristi lucaci/shutterstock.com

Port of Spain knows how to keep business travellers busy, bouncing between boardrooms and hotel lobbies. And yes, the snarls of traffic in the city’s nineteenth-century street grid can gobble up your otherwise free time. For a spell of quiet and a breath of fresh air, head to the Queen’s Park Savannah, the city’s largest park. Around its 2.2-mile perimeter (a favoured jogging route) you’ll find historic buildings, trendy restaurants, parrots squawking overhead, and frequent benches offering people-watching opportunities.


Nancy Bauer/shutterstock.com

engage

82 Revolutionary medicine 84 Grow wild Discover

Green

86 Into the deep On This Day

How to attract monarch butterflies to your home garden? Plant milkweed

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

81


Discover

Revolutionary medicine Havana is a leading centre for immunological research and biotechnology innovation — and the rest of the world is starting to realise it. The CimaVax lung cancer vaccine, about to begin clinical trials in the US, may be just the beginning, reports Nazma Muller Photograph by Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

W

hen United States President Barack Obama landed on Cuban soil in March this year, the first sitting American leader to do so since 1959, he came with a shopping list — and it included a lot more than Havana Club rum and Che souvenirs. Near the top of the list was a lung cancer vaccine called CimaVax. Obama, a reformed cigarette smoker, had an understandably keen interest in a drug whose results have been so promising in preventing lung cancer tumours from growing that the US government was determined to bring it home. In 2013, mor e t ha n a hu nd r ed members of Congress urged the Treasury Department to allow CimaVax to be tested in the US, and in 2015 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Havana to finalise negotiations between Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Cuba’s Centre for Molecular Immunology, where CimaVax was invented, to begin clinical trials in the US. The vaccine could offer high-risk patients an additional eighteen years of life, keeping the deadliest type of

82

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

cancer cells from growing in lung tissue. By early June, just three months after Obama’s historic visit, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the government of Cuba had signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage cooperation on health matters. CimaVax, which is both a treatment and vaccine for lung cancer, has been free to the Cuban public since 2011. Amazingly, the vaccine costs the Cuban government only US$1 per dose to produce. And the drug appears to have no major side effects. “We think it may be an effective way to prevent cancer from developing or recurring, so that’s where a lot of our team’s excitement comes in,” says Dr Kelvin Lee, co-leader of the tumour immunology and immunotherapy programme at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, located in Buffalo, New York. “There’s good reason to believe that this vaccine may be effective in both treating and preventing several types of cancer, including not only lung but breast, colorectal, head-and-neck, prostate, and ovarian cancers, so the potential positive impact of this approach could be enormous.” CimaVax targets a particular protein

called epidermal growth factor, or EGF. EGF occurs naturally in the human body, and signals cells to grow and divide. It does this by attaching to a receptor protein on the cell surface. Some cancers make the body produce too much EGF, so the cells keep growing and dividing uncontrollably. The CimaVax vaccine is made up of two proteins, one of which is EGF. The vaccine works by stimulating the body’s immune response, encouraging it to make antibodies that recognise and bind to EGF. This stops the EGF attaching to the receptors on cancer cells — so there is no signal telling the cancer cells to grow and divide. For people who already have lung cancer, this response results in the body actually getting rid of the cancer cells. And for people who are currently healthy but at high risk for lung cancer — for example, someone in remission — the treatment acts as a vaccine to prevent future relapse. To be clear, CimaVax doesn’t cure cancer. It’s a therapeutic vaccine that works by targeting the tumour itself: specifically, going after the proteins that allow a tumour to keep growing. You can’t just take a shot of CimaVax and continue to smoke a pack a day. Five thousand people have been treated with CimaVax so far, including one thousand patients in Cuba. The latest Cuban study of 405 patients confirms earlier findings about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. It is possible that CimaVax could one day be a standard preventive vaccine given in childhood, like polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

T

he Centre for Molecular Immunology in Havana is the heart of Cuban biotechnology innovation. Devoted to basic research and product development, the centre has extensive


experience in the field of monoclonal antibodies. With 1,200 employees, mostly scientists and engineers, the centre’s main research objective is the development of new products for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and other diseases related to the immune system. The focus is on cancer immunotherapy, especially the development of molecular vaccines, including antibody engineering, cellular engineering, bio-informatics, and regulation of the immune response. “They are a very innovative group of scientists, and they have vaccines and drugs that we think could play a very significant role in our fight against cancer,” says Candace Johnson, CEO of Roswell Park. “We’re delighted to be working with them, and we hope very soon that we can start our trial on CimaVax — hopefully the first of many clinical trials to be done with some of these Cuban vaccine approaches.” How did tiny Cuba, with few resources, create a cancer vaccine that the US wants so badly? Ironically, it is precisely because

of the US trade embargo that Cuba has been forced for the last fifty years to innovate and make do with very little. Its biotech industry is one of the success stories of the Revolution. “They’ve had to do more with less,” muses Johnson. “So they’ve had to be even more innovative

for citizens, public education, housing, and nutrition, where the focus is on preventing diseases. The US and Cuba’s health MOU states that the two former Cold War enemies will now work together on global health issues, including dengue, zika, and the challenges of ageing. Cuba is home to one of the World Health Organisation’s collaborating centres on dengue. The island has had comparatively few indigenous zika cases, which they credit to their mosquitocontrol programmes developed from dealing with dengue. “Cuba has made significant contributions to health and science, as evidenced by their contribution to the ebola response in West Africa and becoming the f irst country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission,” said US Heath and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in a statement. “This new collaboration is a historic opportunity for two nations to build on each other’s knowledge and experience, and benefit biomedical research and public health at large.” n

How did tiny Cuba, with few resources, create a cancer vaccine that the US wants so badly? Its biotech industry is one of the success stories of the Revolution with how they approach things. For over forty years, they have had a preeminent immunology community.” Average life expectancy for Cubans is seventy-nine years, on par with the US. While many drugs and even anesthetics have been hard to come by over the years, Cuba has one of the best doctor-to-patient ratios in the world. More important, the government has invested in primary care

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

83


GREEN

Grow wild Encounters with wild fauna are among the thrills of nature. But you don’t have to wander deep into the forest to experience them. Even a small garden can be adapted to attract birds, butterflies, and other creatures, as Sharon Millar explains — and, in turn, wildlife can help keep your garden healthy Photograph by Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

84

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

T

he bee is completely absorbed. There are several of his compatriots circling, but he is the lucky suitor. I am fortunate to witness this display of tropical symbiosis. It is but one example of the daily interactions between plants and wildlife that reveal the presence of a highly sophisticated ecosystem. The bee in question is a member of the Euglossine family, and he has discovered the open throat of the epiphytic orchid Catasetum expansum, commonly known as the monkey throat. Found in the Amazon Basin of South America and also indigenous to Trinidad, the plant produces scented waxy male flowers that lure the bees. A powerful antenna is triggered when touched by the amorous attentions of the insect. The rest is the business of birds and bees. Once drenched in the pollen, the bee will go on to pollinate nearby female flowers. It is a dance that has been perfected by nature, and one that takes places almost continuously between plants and wildlife. And it isn’t necessary to trek to the heart of the rainforest to witness such little miracles of birds, bees, and plants in the tropics. A small urban garden can easily be transformed into a welcoming space for all manner of wildlife. Some of the most charming visitors to my garden are the hummingbirds. In Trinidad and Tobago, we are lucky to have eighteen hummingbird species, including a recently recorded newcomer, the Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina). All


A colourful Tufted Cocquette poised for a sip of vervine nectar

Plants to attract hummingbirds and butterflies Small shrubs and ground covers Justicia carnea (Jacobinia) Pachystachys lutea (yellow shrimp plant) Pentas, all colours Lantana camara (wild sage) Ixoras, all colours Stachytarpheta urifolia (vervine) Russelia equisetiformis (coral plant, firecracker plant) Calliandra (powderpuff) Tecomaria capensis (Cape honeysuckle) Cuphea ignea (cigar plant) Milkweed Episcia cupreata Cosmos bipinnatus

eighteen have been sighted in Trinidad, and seven in Tobago (including the very rare White-tailed Sabrewing). But the most common visitor to urban and rural gardens is the Copper-rumped Hummingbird. Don’t be fooled by his diminutive size and gorgeous coloring. He is an experienced combat specialist, ready to defend his territory. The best way to ensure he does not dominate the garden is to plant a variety of flowering plants suited to many species of hummingbird. You begin identifying a hummingbird by its bill. Size and shape will provide clues as to each species’ flower of choice. The match between bill shapes and the plants visited suggests a crucial symbiosis. Hummingbird bills are designed to gather nectar at the base of tubular-shaped flowers. A short, straight bill, such as that found on the Tufted Coquette, suggests the bird will feed from flowers where the nectar is easily accessible. Tufted Coquettes favour orange milkweed (Asclepias curasavica), vervine (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), and wild sage (Lantana camara), among others. But even among the birds with the shorter bills, there is considerable variety as to their favourite

It isn’t necessary to trek to the heart of the rainforest to witness such little miracles of birds, bees, and plants in the tropics watering holes. The Ruby-Topaz, another short-billed species, likes the blooms of large trees, such as the pink “powderpuff” flowers of the samaan tree (Samanea saman). It is also fond of the firecracker plant (Russellia equisetiformis). Compare this to the Little Hermit, who is tiny with a slightly decurved bill, but is a lover of small shrub flowers such as the yellow shrimp plant (Pachystachy lutea) and Costus. The larger Green Hermit, with his striking white central tail tips, is the heliconia lover, and is often found near the arresting red Heliconia bihai. A sure way to bring the Green Hermit to your garden is to plant a variety of gingers and heliconias. They are also very fond of red torch lilies (Etlingera elatior).

T

here are simple things you can do to attract wildlife to your garden. Minimise toxic chemical spraying, for instance. Neem-based insecticides are considerably less harmful

Heliconias, torch lilies, bananas Heliconia bihai Heliconia rostrata Etlingera elatior (red torch ginger) Musa ornata (purple banana) Trees Jacaranda mimosifolia Bauhinia (orchid tree) Callistemon (bottlebrush tree) Erythrina fusca (coral tree) Tabebuia rosea (pink poui) Samanea saman (samaan tree)

than mainstream products. The introduction of ladybugs to treat mealybug has been very effective. Opt for a first line of defense against common lawn pests (mole crickets, army worm, cinch bug) with a solid drenching of washing detergent and water. Encourage lizards (they eat mosquitoes, thrips, aphids, and other pests) and spiders (some hummingbirds use spider webs in the construction of their nests), and try to kill venomous snakes only (snakes can contribute to a healthy space by keeping rat populations under control). Introduce indigenous plants, as they have longstanding symbiotic relationships with native bats, bees, and butterflies. A single bat can pollinate a multitude of plants each night, while consuming hundreds of mosquitoes. To attract butterflies, milkweed is an excellent addition to the garden. Monarch butterflies lay exclusively on milkweed, and the plant will send out a siren call to any monarchs in the area. Variety in colour and height are important considerations as well. As in any standard landscaping guidelines, stagger heights with the larger, taller plants at the back of beds, medium shrubs in the middle, and ground covers at the front of beds. Larger trees provide epiphytic environments for bromeliads, orchids, and vines. And water is an important addition to any garden. Birds love water. Hummingbirds, in particular, will be at their most spectacular after a rain shower. A well-balanced garden will provide hours of quiet observation and contentment. Set up bird feeders from hanging trees and settle in for an afternoon show. A simple afternoon treat of overripe bananas will attract Silver-Beaked Tanagers, Palm Tanagers, Banaquits, and Yellow Orioles, to name a few. Hummingbird feeders are also certain to draw a crowd. I prefer the glass varieties. Mix a solution of one part white sugar to four parts boiled water. Keep your feeders scrupulously clean and change the mix every two to three days. The birds will come. Any garden is a dynamic space, with constant decomposition and regeneration. But most exciting is the organic development of a unique space created by your personal choice of plants and trees. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

85


on this day

Into the deep Fifty-five years ago, the passenger liner Bianca C caught fire in the harbour of St George’s, Grenada, with more than six hundred people on board. It could have been a great tragedy, but dozens of Grenadians leaped into action, staging a dramatic rescue. James Ferguson remembers the story Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

I

t’s fair to say the passenger liner MV Bianca C had its share of bad luck. It sank not once, but twice, and now lies in about 150 feet of water about a mile out from Grand Anse beach on Grenada’s south-west coast. Yet, despite this sad fate, and the loss of three lives in its second sinking, the story of the Bianca C represents something altogether more positive than a sorry shipwreck. Not only could the incident in question have been far worse — the vast majority of passengers and crew escaped unhurt — but it also highlighted the bravery and generosity of the people of Grenada. The Bianca C underwent several incarnations in its twentytwo-year existence, according to the website cruiselinehistory. com. Construction began in 1939 in the southern French shipyard of La Ciotat of a vessel intended to ply routes from Europe to East Asia on behalf of the Messageries Maritimes group. The outbreak of war halted construction, and the unfinished hull of what was named the Maréchal Pétain was towed to Port-de-

86

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Bouc to wait for an end to hostilities. The retreating Germans had other ideas, and in August 1944 they torpedoed the ship to create a blockade against Allied shipping. Two years later, the salvageable hull was raised and taken back to La Ciotat, where the ship was patched up and completed. It was renamed La Marseillaise (Pétain was now considered a traitor for his collaboration with the Nazis). After this inauspicious start, La Marseillaise was reborn as the Messageries Maritimes’s flagship, its sleek exterior matched by its Asian-themed veranda café and luxury cabins. But only eight years after its maiden voyage in August 1949, the situation in


French Indochina was deteriorating, and the shipping firm sold the vessel to the Panama-based Arosa Line, which rebranded it the Arosa Star. It was to be another false dawn. The Arosa Line went bust, and so the ship was purchased by the Italian Costa Line. A fourth name, Bianca C, was bestowed on it, in honour of the daughter of Costa’s managing director. An extensive refit ensued, before the liner started its regular service between Naples, Genoa, and La Guaira, Venezuela’s main port. The Bianca C also made stops at Caribbean ports on outward and return journeys, and the port of St George’s in Grenada was the final stop before the transatlantic crossing to Italy. The liner was thus a familiar sight in the island’s picturesque harbour, as it took on its last passengers and prepared for the open sea. But on 22 October, 1961, fifty-five years ago, something happened that was far from familiar.

I

t was early on a Sunday morning that residents of St George’s were abruptly woken by the plaintive wail of a foghorn. Members of the Grenada Yacht Club, up early for a dinghy racing competition, scanned the vessel across the harbour’s water and immediately noticed it was flying a distress flag. The ship was on fire, with 673 people aboard. Those on shore did not know that a massive explosion had ripped through the engine room just as Captain Francisco Crevaco was about to order the anchors raised. One crewmember was killed at once, two more fatally injured. The fire was uncontrollable and spreading rapidly. A s t he y r e a l i s e d t he extent of the danger, the local yachtsmen went into action, alerting the harbourmaster and radioing all nearby shipping. Alister Hughes, the legendary Grenadian journalist, described what happened next:

boat was filled, it hurried back to dry land, and then set out again. In all, the operation took about two hours. Throughout, explosions could be heard inside Bianca C, whose metal plates began to glow with the heat inside, while paint melted and peeled off the ship’s sides. Only when all others had been evacuated did Captain Crevaco and his officers abandon ship, but their access to the stern was blocked by flames. They eventually located a rope ladder towards the bow and escaped. On shore, the authorities had mobilised help of all sorts. The injured were taken to hospital, while volunteers drove the others in cars and taxis to a temporary camp set up by the government. When this was filled, passengers were invited to hotels and private homes, welcomed by the people of St George’s. Meanwhile, as news of the incident spread inland, farmers brought in supplies of fruit and vegetables for the camp, where volunteers staffed an improvised kitchen. Local traders and ordinary people donated food, clothing, and toiletries to the rescued passengers. The Bianca C, meanwhile, continued to smoulder, raising the risk of the ship sinking and blocking the harbour entrance. The authorities wanted to have the stricken vessel towed clear, and a British Navy frigate, the Londonderry, was summoned from Puerto R ico. After an inspection of the liner, tow cables were attached, and the frigate began to pull the Bianca C out to sea. The plan was to beach the ship on a reef, to await salvage, but events were to conspire against this. With a jammed rudder and buffeted by strong winds, the liner was listing dangerously. Suddenly the towing cable snapped. Alister Hughes wrote: “Before the Londonderry  could run another cable, Bianca C was seen to hesitate momentarily. Then amid shooting gusts of hissing steam, she slipped under the surface, stern-first, into some twenty fathoms of water. The time was noon, exactly.”

Members of the Grenada Yacht Club, up early for a dinghy racing competition, scanned the vessel across the harbour’s water and immediately noticed it was flying a distress flag signal

Rallied by Yacht Club personnel, a Dunkirk-type flotilla hastened to assist the stricken ship. Included were classy ocean-going yachts, smaller day-sailers, and rough-andready fishing boats of all sizes. There were power boats, sailing boats, tiny dinghies, and fifty-ton interisland trading schooners. Even rowing boats were there . . . By the time the first rescue craft got to Bianca C, the fire had spread and intensified. Rumbling explosions echoed from the bowels of the ship, hurling burning debris into the air. And thick, black smoke billowed from the forward end of the liner. By now the lives of passengers and crew were in jeopardy. As the ship’s lifeboats were lowered, so were rope ladders from the stern, allowing first women and children, and then men, to climb nervously down to the boats and to the Grenadian vessels waiting alongside. Terrified, the passengers were mostly in their nightwear, forced to abandon their possessions. As soon as a

W

ith the end of the ship came the realisation that the rescue of the crew and passengers had been almost miraculous. If the explosion had occurred out at sea, the outcome could have been very different. After another week as guests in Grenada, the 670 passengers and crew were picked up and transported safely to Italy. As a token of its gratitude to the island, the Costa Line presented Grenada with a life-size replica of the Christ of the Deep, the submerged Italian statue that is supposed to protect all mariners. It now stands proudly on the Carenage in St George’s, a powerful symbol of human solidarity. As for the unfortunate Bianca C, it is now one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated dive sites, the rusting wreck home to a plethora of tropical fish species and coral. Fifty-five years on, the “Titanic of the Caribbean” continues to exert a melancholic fascination. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

87


puzzles 1

2

3

4

5

CARIBBEAN CROSSWORD 10

by James Hackett There are 10 differences between these two pictures. How many can you spot?

Spot the Difference answers The colours of the woman’s blouse are different; one woman has a bindi on her forehead; deya flame is more detailed; the bangles have a different placement; the shawl details are different; the eyebrows are different; one woman has more details on her shoulder; one sari has a pattern; one woman has a mehendi pattern; the woman’s mouth is different.

88

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

8

11

12

13 14

15

18

16

17

19

20

21

23

24

22

25

26 27

28

29

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

7

9

Across 1 Shady porch [8] 5 Coast Guard mission [6] 10 Bit of monkey business [5] 11 Was bequeathed [9] 12 Chilly at the top of the world [6] 13 Magnificence [8] 15 Obscure knowledge [9] 17 Sudden increase [5] 18 “Gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em” [5] 20 Fatal strike [9] 23 Bony [8] 24 Tropical flower [6] 27 Affect harmfully [9] 28 Paid the penalty [5] 29 Appraise [6] 30 Split pea roti [8]

Down 1 Healthy shot [7] 2 Delhi money [5] 3 Do a voice-over, perhaps [7] 4 Hydrochloric or sulphuric? [4] 6 Saturday chores [7] 7 HQ for the bishop [9]

6

8 9 14 16 18 19

To throw one’s support behind [7] Shameless quack [9] Houses of feathers? [9] Who we are [9] Otherwise called manioc [7] Spanish range [7]

30

21 22 25 26

Why so cruel? [7] An older name than “Antigua” [7] Veda devotee [5] Ancient legend [4]


H U M M

WORD SEARCH

K FURNITURE GARDENING HUMMINGBIRD LUNGS NATURE PEPPERPOT PITON POETRY PONCE RACE RECITE SCUBA SINK SNORKEL SOUFRIERE WATER WHISKY WRECK YARD

N G B

R W D

I

I

A

E

E

C A

K

P

L

F Q C O R O

A

P

A

L

U H E

P

U

T O

L

N

T

F E

D E

U C

T

I

R C N E

E

A

A

R O B

E

F E M R Y

R S G

F

M R E W R B

U E

I

X

E

C C A

L

L

P

A

L

R B

K

A

C H U R Y

I

O D R B

I

N

T A

V

I

I

B

D

T

F

T O P

N C

I

T N A

L

T A

E

S

E

E

V

A G N R

N D W A

T E

R M A

E

L

N

I

W H

I

U K

N

I

S

C

L

I

T

N A

T U R E

R R E

C

I

T E

N O

T

E

S

K

I

Y

P

L

K

R O N S

Sudoku 6x6 - Puzzle 5 of 5 - Hard

1 6

5

3

6

2

1 6

3

1

1

4

5

8

7

4

9

1 3

3

4 2

2

3

8

8

C G A

Hard 6x6 mini sudoku puzzle

6 4

N R

Caribbean Beat Magazine

5

4

B

I

9

5

P

N

N E

P

Y

E

2

If the puzzle you want to do has already been filled in, just ask your flight attendant for a new copy of the magazine!

P O R A O U

C N A

Sudoku 9x9 - Puzzle 3 of 5 - Medium Medium 9x9 sudoku puzzle

Fill the empty square with numbers from 1 to 9 so that each row, each column, and each 3x3 box contains all of the numbers from 1 to 9. For the mini sudoku use numbers from 1 to 6.

S

T N E

Caribbean Beat Magazine

by www.sudoku-puzzle.net

R D S

R P

M E

Sudoku

I

6 5

7

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

www.sudoku-puzzle.net

ALICE YARD AMERINDIAN ANCIENT ARCHITECT ARTIST ATLANTIC BARBEQUE BEE BENCH BINTA BLUE BUTTERFLY CARIB CELL CIMAVAX CLARENDON DIASPORA FILMMAKER FLOWER

C E

I

2

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

Solutions Word Search Sudoku

Mini Sudoku

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

5

6

4

3

2

1

6

4

1

2

3

5

1 2 3 5 6 4

4 6 5 1 3 2

2 1 4 3 5 6

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

3 5 6 2 4 1

Sudoku 6x6 - Solution 5 of 5 - Hard

Caribbean Beat Magazine

3

4

7

2

5

8

2

1

4

6

9

5

1

7

8

9

6

3

9 6 1 8 3 7 4 5 2

8 5 6 7 2 3 9 1 4

2 3 4 5 9 1 8 6 7

1 9 7 4 8 6 2 3 5

7 1 2 3 5 8 6 4 9

Sudoku 9x9 - Solution 3 of 5 - Medium

Caribbean Beat Magazine

5 4 9 6 1 2 3 7 8

6 8 3 9 7 4 5 2 1

T

N O

T

A

N

I

W H

N

E

E

T O

F

O

I

P

L

D N

I U S

P R K

P R E

N B A

E W R

M R

R O A

P

A

P

K

C

L

E P

R

C

K

U M M

H

E

B E

F Q

E

T

Y

D W A

M E

L

L E

A N

U E

C I L B E N

R U T I N R U F I

C O H I

R W D I

E E C I

N G

K R K E T T B E

R O E N

C I

N A K I V

R O P N A B

N I S

R M A A V A X

E M R P

Caribbean Crossword

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

89

F A S I

A I E U

L I C E Y A R D

T C E T I H C R

D

C G E L L A B U C

E R S

N I N E D R A

S G

A G C

T O

P O R

S

N U L

N E C N

A O Y

P

A

A

29

R T S T Y L F R E T T U B

S E

D V

A

L

S

E

S

27

I

S

V

23

K

S

S

D H A

A E

S

R S R

L

E

E

30

T A

S

D E

R D S

C A

R

U

E

15

S O 16

N

I

E

C

P

C A

U

A

R A

V

10

E

2

C A

R

I 14

R A 3

D I

11

L

4

H

25

C

D

R E 6

S U R

H I

O

T E

R 5

A 22

A

A R

D

U R G E

N D E

A

A I

L O W

D

N H E

D

I

21

S

L

N E

T H B

G R A 9

I

U 17

I

D

O R C H

24

T 13

U R

T

C A

C

N D A

F

28

A

B

P

R E

N

20

T

C E

I

12

C

19

T E

Y 26

P

U

M

L

L

T

L

G

A

18 1

E

D

A S

7

N

C U E 8


82% (2016 year-to-date: 31 July)


737 onboard Entertainment — SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER Northbound + Eastbound

Southbound + Westbound

S E PT E M B E R

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War

High Strung

Discord over government regulations of their actions fractures the Avengers team and pits friend against friend.

Sparks fly between a classical dancer and a British street musician, when their lives suddenly become entangled.

Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson • directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo • action, adventure • PG-13 • 147 minutes

Keenan Kampa, Nicholas Galitzine, Jane Seymour • director: Michael Damian • drama, musical • PG • 96 minutes

Northbound + Eastbound

Southbound + Westbound

OCTO B E R

X-Men: Apocalypse

The Meddler

The X-Men stand united as the past is changed for a future benefiting the Mutant-kind. But out of the darkness returns the first mutant, Apocalypse.

A recent widow and eternal optimist moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be closer to her daughter and find her purpose.

Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy • director: Brian Singer • action, adventure • PG-13 • 136 minutes

Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons • director: Lorene Scafaria • drama, comedy • PG-13 • 104 minutes

Audio Channels Channel 5 • The Hits

Channel 7 • Concert Hall

Channel 9 • Irie Vibes

Channel 11 • Kaiso Kaiso

Channel 6 • Soft Hits

Channel 8 • East Indian Fusion

Channel 10 • Jazz Sessions

Channel 12 • Steelband Jamboree


L. Superior

CANADA

Ottawa

Augusta

ic h iga

n

L. Huron

L. M

Toronto Detroit

L.

Chicago

Halifax

Montreal

tario

ROUTE MAP

Boston

L. On

Hartford

e

Eri

Harrisburg Pittsburgh

Columbus

New York

Trenton Philadelphia

A t l a n t i c

Washington DC St Louis

O c e a n

Charleston

Richmond

USA Nashville

Raleigh Columbia

Atlanta

Montgomery

Jackson

Tallahassee

New Orleans

Orlando Fort Lauderdale Miami

G u l f

THE BAHAMAS

Nassau

o f M e x i c o

Havana TURKS & CAICOS

CUBA

Providenciales

G r e a t e r

Port- HAITI auPrince

Montego Bay JAMAICA

Belmopan

DOM. REP.

Santo Domingo

Kingston

BELIZE

GUATEMALA

A n t i l l e s

San Juan

PUERTO RICO

St Maarten Antigua

HONDURAS

Guatemala Tegucigalpa San Salvador

EL SALVADOR

C

a

r

i

b

b

e

a

n

S

e

a

St Lucia

NICARAGUA

L e s s e r

Managua

Grenada

Caracas

COSTA RICA

San Jose

ST VINCENT

A n t i l l e s

Panama

VENEZUELA

Tobago

Trinidad

V E N E Z U E L A

PANAMA

Georgetown Paramaribo

Bogota COLOMBIA

GUYANA GUYANA

C O L O M B I A

ECUADOR

Barbados

Quito

SURINAME

FRENCH GUIANA

Rio Negro

u

g Xin

Gulf of

R.

Rio

zon

Ama


parting shot

On a clear day . . . . . . maybe you can’t see forever, but you can certainly see both Saba (on the horizon at left) and St Eustatius from the vantage point of Brimstone Hill in north-west St Kitts. The three islands, separated by a couple dozen miles of sea, are all peaks of a submerged volcanic range at the very edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate, their sheer slopes rising abruptly from their coastlines. Photography by Digbydachshund/iStock.com

96

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Caribbean Beat — September/October 2016 (#141)  

Inside this issue: • Events around the Caribbean in September and October, from Indigenous Heritage Month in Guyana to Dominica’s World Creo...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you