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November/December 2016

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Contents 52

72

EMBARK

IMMERSE

ARRIVE

23 Datebook

52 closeup

72 destination

She’s a musical legend: the first woman to win T&T’s Calypso Monarch title, beloved by generations of Caribbean listeners. Now her latest album is winning her fans across Europe, and taking her sixty-year career in an unexpected new direction. Joshua Surtees profiles the inimitable Calypso Rose

Six Barbadians from diverse backgrounds talk to Nailah Folami Imoja about their lives and work, what they love best about their home island, and their biggest hopes for the future, as Barbados marks fifty years of Independence

Events around the Caribbean in November and December, from the Bahamas International Film Festival to a celebration of ballet in Cuba

30 Word of Mouth The Gimistory festival tells tales around Cayman, Caribbean writers headline at the Miami Book Fair, soca star Machel Montano makes his bigscreen debut — and paranging till it hurts in Trinidad

38 The look Grenadian designer Ana Granada creates cool looks for hot weather

40 Great outdoors Is Trinidadian Dexter Webb tough enough for the New York Marathon?

42 Bookshelf, playlist, and screenshots This month’s reading, listening, and film-watching picks

48 Cookup

Ambassador of spices Her culinary flair has made Yvette LaCrette “the Caribbean’s go-tochef” in New York City, her home base. As Melissa Noel learns, Chef LaCrette is an always eager ambassador for the Spice Island 14

No. 142 November/December 2016

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Ever-blooming rose

59 backstory

Nordic routes In the distant latitudes of Scandinavia, three artists with Caribbean roots are making hardhitting works that ask difficult questions about history and power. Nicole Smythe-Johnson talks to Jeannette Ehlers, Michelle Eistrup, and Sasha Huber

66 own words

“You need conscious lyrics” Leroy Sibbles of the Heptones on growing up in Trench Town, the golden days of Jamaica’s Studio One, and what’s missing from today’s music — as told to Garry Steckles

68 showcase

Woman business Two friends in a bar, and a problem to solve. New fiction by Barbara Jenkins

My Barbados

94 neighbourhood

Brooklyn, New York The unofficial Caribbean capital of North America was once an independent city, and it still feels that way. With so many museums, parks, restaurants, and neighbourhoods to explore, who needs Manhattan?

96 RounD Trip

An alphabet of beaches How many amazing beaches are there in the Caribbean? Far, far too many to list. But here’s a start: a beach for every letter of the alphabet, from Anse La Roche in Carriacou to Zion Hill in Jamaica

104 layover

Georgetown, Guyana On a business trip to Guyana’s capital with a few hours to spare? A free day to explore? Our quick guide to getting the most out of Georgetown when time is tight


CaribbeanBeat An MEP publication ISSN 1680–6158

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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 Editorial assistant Shelly-Ann Inniss

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

106 Green

’Tis the season to buy local Christmas is about goodwill, family, friends — and presents. But showering your loved ones with gifts doesn’t have to mean brand-name imports. Nazma Muller suggests some sustainable and very covetable Caribbean-made holiday presents

Follow us:

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www.twitter.com/meppublishers

108the deal

back to the land Using the latest in technology and marketing, a new generation of Caribbean “farmer-preneurs” are changing the way we think about agriculture. Erline Andrews investigates

110 On this day

Who’s your granny? When a squadron of battle-hardened guerrillas landed on Cuba’s coast sixty years ago, launching the revolution that would change their country forever, the boat that delivered them was named for someone’s grandmother. James Ferguson explains

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

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

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

120 parting shot Feel Nassau’s Junkanoo rush

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

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Cover Tobago-born musical legend Calypso Rose Photo Richard Holder, courtesy Stonetree Records/ Maturity

November/December 2016

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This issue’s contributors include: Tracy Assing (“Parang till it hurts”, page 34) 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. Nailah Folami Imoja (née Charmaine Gill) (“My Barbados”, page 72) is an award-winning Barbadian/British writer and educator whose favourite aspect of Barbados is its people. Within the next fifty years, she hopes to be living in a Barbados run solely on renewable energy. Her novellas include Colourblind, To Protect & Serve, and Fantasy Fulfilled, and are available via www.smashwords.com. Barbara Jenkins (“Woman business”, page 68) is a Trinidadian writer and former teacher, winner of the 2013 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize. Her debut book of short stories, Sic Transit Wagon, won the fiction category of the 2014 Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Awards. She is currently completing a novel called De Rightest Place. Melissa Noel (“Ambassador of spices”, page 48) is a Guyanese-American multimedia journalist based in New York City. She covers culture, race, health, and the Caribbean diaspora in the US, and her work is featured on network news stations, digital platforms, and in magazines across the US and the Caribbean. Nicole Smythe-Johnson (“Nordic routes”, page 59) is a writer and independent curator, living in Kingston, Jamaica. She has written for ARC, Miami Rail, Flash Art, Jamaica Journal, and a number of other publications. See more of her work at www.nicolesmythejohnson.com. Joshua Surtees (“Ever-blooming Rose”, page 52) is a British writer with Jamaican roots. He is based in London, Paris, and Port of Spain, and writes for international publications including the UK Guardian and VICE.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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A MESSAGE From THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINES TEAM

Connecting people . . . realising dreams Season’s greetings from our family to yours, and thank you for choosing Caribbean Airlines. With your continued loyalty and support, 2016 has been a significant year of transformation for us. Our strategic direction is firmly centred around the themes “We Care, We Connect, We Create, and We are the Caribbean.” Also, we now have a clearly defined mission and vision, which has the Caribbean Airlines teams energised. Our mission, “Connecting people, realising dreams,” is timeless, and speaks to why we do what we do. Our vision is “to achieve sustained profitability by becoming the preferred airline serving the Caribbean.” Our mission and vision will guide all that we do, as we execute our customer service strategy to deliver consistently awesome experiences across all channels. In 2016, you have benefitted from several initiatives, including: • the upgrade of our reservations, ticketing, and departure check-in system to Amadeus. • the Happiest Ultimate Moments (HUM) Campaign, which offered you added value when you travelled in the months of June, September, and October. • the introduction of a concierge service at Piarco International Airport, Trinidad. • the merger of Caribbean Miles and the 7th Heaven Rewards loyalty programmes and the migration of these systems to Amadeus. This project will be completed by the end of January 2017. • The new Frequent Flyer system provides the following benefits: • One-step reward redemption via the Caribbean Miles Service Centre, where booking, reward redemption, and acceptance of payment may be completed in one transaction. • Triggered email notification of the expiration date of miles, changes to your account status, and any change to your tier status. • Monthly electronic statements. • The re-launch of our mobile application, which allows you to: • Book flights. • Add or update frequent flyer information. • Add or update contact details. • Add seats and meal preferences and a list of other features, all from the palm of your hand, using an Android or IOS smartphone device.

• •

the improvement of the Airport Ticket office in Tobago. the transformation of the Caribbean Airlines website.

In addition to these transformation programmes, 2017 promises to offer you even more, as we are currently engaged in a complete network review which may result in our flying to more exciting destinations for you to explore. We continue to work diligently on the Caribbean Airlines Cargo product, which offers service to 250 countries worldwide, at very competitive rates. In this season of increased shopping activity, our comprehensive route structure and dedicated freighter can easily move your goods and live cargo to your desired destination. We also have a small package service, JETPAK, which caters for packages of less than 50 pounds. Our Cargo product strategy is aligned with market demand and our customers’ priorities. Please visit our Cargo page for more details: www.caribbean-airlines.com/cargo. In the coming months, there will be more positive changes at Caribbean Airlines, all centred on providing you with an enhanced travel experience. Thank you for your continued support! Please check our website, www.caribbean-airlines.com, for more information, and become a fan by liking us on Facebook. Have a safe and joyous Christmas, and may 2017 bring you and your families all the positive things you desire. The Management and Employees of Caribbean Airlines


datebook Your guide to Caribbean events in November and December, from Pirates Week in the Cayman Islands to a ballet festival in Cuba

barbados tourism marketing inc

Enjoying the spectacle at the Barbados 50th Anniversary of Independence launch parade

Don’t miss . . . Barbados Golden Jubilee 30 November Artistry, pageantry, sheer celebratory fun — all of these are on the programme as Barbados celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of Independence in 2016. Throughout the year, iconic commemorative events have been unfolding on the island and wherever a Bajan diaspora can be found. The Golden Jubilee climaxes this month with events including the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), a museum exhibition, the Prime Minister’s Dinner and Ball, an Independence Day Parade, a Mega Concert, and the grand reveal of a 50th Anniversary of Independence Monument.

How to get there? Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados from destinations in the Caribbean and North America

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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datebook

If you’re in . . . SINT MAARTEN

TORONTO

THE BAHAMAS

Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival

Christmas Market

Junkanoo

16 November to 26 December The Distillery Historic District torontochristmasmarket.com

Downtown Nassau 26 December and 1 January

will be judged by reputable rum and beer panels from the Ministry of Rum, the International Rum Council, and other expert bodies. This boutique-style festival was previously held in Barbados and Grenada also. Hosted in an intimate, outdoor setting, it offers sumptuous culinary demonstrations of cooking with rum and beer, and is dominated by a series of spirited events, including chocolate-, rum-, and beer-pairing seminars (inclusive of tasting). Cocktails, anyone? The Caribbean is the best place to learn the art of rum mixology. Each day, talented bartenders will create an assortment of exotic rum cocktails in front of a live audience at the Rum Cocktail Wars — an absolute crowd favourite. And there’s free access to sample over a hundred different rums and beers. 24

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Unique craftsmen, artisans, and vendors are all here, but this isn’t just a typical market. It’s a street festival aimed at celebrating the romance and tradition of Christmas, with carolling, dancing, Christmas plays, and other performances to awaken your inner child. There’s even mistletoe for that special moment. Ranked in the top ten holiday markets in the world, the Toronto Christmas Market beckons in festivities, culture — and architecture. The Distillery District is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America, lending your Yuletide some back-intimes flavour.

Cavalcade of Lights 26 November Nathan Phillips Square Toronto Christmas becomes official with the lighting of a sixty-foot tree. Usually a white spruce, selected a full year in advance, it takes about two weeks to be completely decorated. Sparkling with over half a million lights, and accessorised with seven hundred individual ornaments, this tree has been a tradition for fortyseven years. A spectacular fireworks show, live music, and a skating party will complete the night.

“Who are we? De Valley!” shout the Valley Boys. Other groups call to each other as well in friendly rivalry — faithful Saxons, Congos, Fancy Dancers, and others, as the parade “rushes” along the Nassau Junkanoo route. The atmosphere at the traditional year-end masquerade is unforgettable. Starting at approximately midnight on Boxing Day, the streets vibrate to various

Erkki & Hanna/shutterstock.com

courtesy caribbean rum & beer festival

Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of — you know what. Fancy a tour of the Caribbean? You can do it with rum at the sixth annual Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival, back in Sint Maarten this year. No need to be an alcohol drinker to enjoy it: there’s also plenty of entertainment, especially during the blind tasting competitions. The “best in class” rum and beer tasters

courtesy toronto christmas market

Kim Sha Beach, Simpson Bay 3 to 5 November rumandbeerfestival.com

beats and rhythms of drums, cowbells, whistles, and wind instruments. The instrumental style of music and structured choreography are unlike any other Caribbean masquerade festival. And the special choreography of each group keeps the onlookers entertained and moving. Thousands parade the streets in extravagantly decorated costumes made from crêpe paper and cardboard. Vibrant floats are also a huge attraction in the energetic parade. The “rush” is contagious, and it all happens again in the early hours of New Year’s Day a week later.

Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss


datebook

Nonstop November

Interpaso Rancho Villa Floralina, Aruba ocaruba.com Paso fino horses take centre stage in an exciting celebration of equestrian traditions [4 to 6 November]

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courtesy organizacion caballista arubano

International Ballet Festival Great Theatre, Havana, Cuba festivalballethabana.cult.cu Cuba’s biennial ballet festival draws global showstoppers of the classical dance style, from the American Ballet Theatre to the London Royal Ballet and the Scala de Milan [1 to 5 November]

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Pirates Week Festival Venues around the Cayman Islands piratesweekfestival.com Celebrate the pirate legends and cultural heritage of the islands with mock “invasions,� street dances, underwater treasure hunts, a landing pageant, and more [10 to 20 November]

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john de la bastide/shutterstock.com

courtesy pirates week festival

NGC Bocas Lit Fest South San Fernando Hill, Trinidad bocaslitfest.com Readers and writers from Trinidad and Tobago and around the world assemble for readings, discussions, workshops, and an energetic spokenword poetry showcase [12 and 13 November]

Moods of Pan Festival Dean William Lake Cultural Centre, Antigua Mesmerising beats of the steel pan fuse the young, old, and the in-between, from countries far and wide [26 to 27 November]

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Escape the ordinary. Discover Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

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datebook

December drama

Christmas with the Marionettes Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain, Trinidad The spirit of love, peace, and thanksgiving will prevail with heart-warming performances by T&T’s celebrated Marionettes Chorale [8 to 11 December]

butch & allan limchoy, courtesy the marrionettes chorale

Bahamas International Film Festival Nassau bintlfilmfest.com Film lovers, filmmakers, and A-list celebrities such as Lee Daniels and Sean Connery celebrate the art of cinema in the Bahamian capital [5 to11 December]

St Nicholas Day Aruba, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curaçao Shoes will be filled with candy and treats when St Nicholas (or Sinterklaas) and his zwarte pieten (helpers) pay their annual visit, arriving by white horse or by boat [5 and 6 December]

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New Year’s Eve Foxy’s Beach Bar, Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands There are thousands of New Year’s Eve parties across the Caribbean, but this one is legendary. Dance the night away, and watch the eruption of fireworks at the midnight hour. Ten, nine, eight, seven . . .

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Carriacou Parang Festival Venues around Carriacou Swing to unique parang melodies, play Parang Money Bingo, and cheer and dance with the bands on competition night [16 to 18 December]

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

Get the story Ray Funk explains how an annual storytelling festival captures the imaginations of Caymanians

courtesy cayman national cultural foundation

Trading tales at the Gimistory festival

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t the end of November each year, throughout the Cayman Islands, locals and tourists in the know flock to parks, public beaches, and schoolyards to get the story. Or, rather, for Gimistory, the premier storytelling festival in the Caribbean. Since 1999, the Cayman Cultural Foundation has presented this week-long series of free events across the islands. Running from 26 November to 3 December this year, the 2016 Gimistory programme will feature Guyanese storytelling elder Ken Corsbie and theatre legend Claudette “Cookie” Allens from the Bahamas, as well as extempo champ Black Sage from Trinidad and traditional calypso presenter David Bereaux and friends.

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From one end of the big island, Grand Cayman, to the other, and in the Sister Island, Cayman Brac, Gimistory offers high-calibre storytelling through speech and music (usually folk, calypso, and country), with free fish and fritters on the side. While it was created with Caymanians in mind, it’s also become an important event in the Cayman tourism calendar. During the day, performers visit local schools, where students are delighted to get a chance to hear various stories and interact with the tellers. Nightly shows are presented on beaches and other public spots, so locals are encouraged to come out. The last night of the festival is traditionally held at Smith Cove, and has come to be designated as Duppie Story Night, with an emphasis on ghost stories from all over the world. From the beginning, Henry Muttoo, foundation director and Gimistory creator, was very clear that he did not want it to be an indoor affair, held in the CCF’s first-class Harquail Theatre. He wanted the shows to be for the whole family: kid-friendly events that would reach a wide audience. Muttoo remembered the early street theatre efforts he was involved in, growing up in Guyana, when he and his friends would do short skits on dories (horseand donkey-drawn carts) under street lamps. He wanted Gimistory to be similarly accessible to everyone. So the task was to find beaches and schoolyards where stages could be quickly set up to reach audiences that might not come into town. In 2004, just eight weeks after Hurricane Ivan devastated Cayman, Gimistory still went on, and drew record audiences. More than at other times, the need to lift people’s spirits was imperative, and Gimistory gave proof that Caymanian life was returning to normal. The festival highlights a variety of international styles, while offering a chance for local Caymanian tellers to perform. Over the years, workshops have been held in connection with Gimistory to help local tellers improve their craft, and the festival has led to regular radio broadcasts of local storytelling. Gimistory is just one of the annual events presented by the Cayman Cultural Foundation, which was set up to develop, preserve, and celebrate the arts and culture of the Cayman Islands. But it’s definitely the one with the best stories.


word of mouth

hannah zoe davidson

Writers at the crossroads Trinidadian-Canadian writer André Alexis

T

hat the city with North America’s biggest literary festival is also home to one of the continent’s biggest Caribbean diaspora populations may be simply a coincidence. But it means that over the three decades since the Miami Book Fair started in 1984, Caribbean writers and readers have always been on the festival stage and in the audience. And this year, Caribbean writing will be moving decidedly into the spotlight, with the launch of a new programme stream called Read Caribbean: a series of reading and discussion panels featuring Caribbean writers of all genres and styles and even languages. Perhaps you can thank the “Marlon James effect,” as some literati have dubbed a newly resurgent international interest in Caribbean literature, following on the Jamaican author’s Man Booker Prize win last year. And James is indeed a Miami Book Fair favourite and regular. He’ll be back in 2016, still riding high on the success of his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. But he’s far from alone. And to ramp up their Caribbean programming, the Miami Book Fair has enlisted the help of a few literary organisations working with the region’s authors at grassroots level: the Miamibased Haitian cultural group Sosyete Koukouy, Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Lit Fest, and Read Jamaica, a collaborative of

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Nixon Nelson previews the 2016 Miami Book Fair, where Caribbean writers will join North America’s biggest celebration of books and literature

independent publishers based in Kingston. Recommendations from the three partners — supplemented by the MBF’s already strong links with Maimi-based Caribbean writers — have fed a rich programme of Caribbean-related events for 2016 audiences to look forward to. “Miami has emerged as the unofficial crossroads of the Caribbean,” says MBF director of programmes Lissette Mendez. And writers will be arriving from all directions for a week of literature, 13 to 20 November. From Toronto, for instance — another major Caribbean diaspora city — will come two writers whose books have been major prizewinners of the past year. Trinidadian André Alexis, whose novel Fifteen Dogs won both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize, will be joined by Jamaican Olive Senior, whose short story collection The Pain Tree won her the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize. Senior will read alongside Trinidadian writers Rhoda Bharath (The Ten Days Executive) and Sharon Millar (The Whale House and Other Stories), on a panel investigating the enduring place of short stories in Caribbean writing. The poets will be on hand also. A panel on “new directions in Caribbean poetry” will bring together GuyaneseA mer ica n R ajiv Mohabir, Ha it ia nAmerican Danielle Legros Georges, and

Trinidadian Shivanee Ramlochan, for readings pushing boundaries of form and subject. Jamaican poets Ishion Hutchinson, Tanya Shirley, and Safiya Sinclair will also feature elsewhere. Other panels will look at aspects of Caribbean history, religion, cultural cross-fertilisation, and even “the politics of pleasure.” Haitian and Cuban writers will have a specially strong presence — no surprise, given Miami’s population demographics — with readings and discussions in Spanish and Kwéyol. The Caribbean presence extends to the children’s festival too, where two past winners of CODE’s Burt Award for Caribbean Literature — a regional award for writers of Young Adult fiction, administered by the Bocas Lit Fest — will share their work: Ad-Ziko Simba Gegele of Jamaica and Imam Baksh of Guyana. Of course, Miami Book Fair veterans know it isn’t just about the readings, brilliant as those can be. There’s also the vast outdoor fair, with dozens upon dozens of publishers’ and booksellers’ stalls lining the streets around the Miami Dade College campus. If there’s one thing writers love more than friendly faces in the audience, it’s friendly buyers of their books. The MBF is just a month before Christmas: what better chance to do all your gift-buying for book-loving family and friends? n


H E L P P R OT E C T T H E F O O D S U P P LY A N D N AT U R A L B E AU T Y O F T H E C A R I B B E A N

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James Hackett

word of mouth

Parang T until it hurts For a young Tracy Assing, the night she was finally allowed to play the tock-tocks in the family parang band was a triumph. But next morning . . . 34

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he tock-tocks are not complicated. They are a pair of smooth, short, thick dowels made of ebony or rosewood. Known also as the claves or clapsticks, we call them tock-tocks because that’s what they sound like when struck together. They are a staple of every Trinidadian parang ensemble, holding the beat for the traditional Christmas-time music. I was eight years old the Boxing Day I was finally allowed to handle them. All of the instruments we used in the family parang pick-up band had a special air about them. They would always be handled with great care. As children, we were never allowed to touch instruments like the cuatro and the mandolin. We were relegated to backup singing and lively three-step dancing. But my cousins and I felt we were old enough to play more meaningful roles in the family’s ever-evolving band. We were old enough to stay up late. We knew all the songs. We promised not to consume any of the endlessly flowing alcohol.

The adults offered a choice of two instruments to a group of six desperate pre-teen musicians. The options: the tock-tocks or the chac-chac rattles. My great uncle Sonny made chac-chacs, and this was his own special pair. The tock-tocks were oiled regularly and slept in a special box. The good news was the chac-chacs were a pair that could be split in two. That meant three would play for sure. We settled on a rotation. I was on the first rotation to shake one chac-chac, and the second to get my hands on the tock-tocks, which would be a solo gig. I was more excited about getting my hands on the tock-tocks. I couldn’t mess it up. All I had to do was keep time, striking those pieces of wood together. Hurray hurrah! After paranging at the homes of my neighbouring great-aunts at the foot of the hill where we lived, a dozen of us (with instruments in tow) crowded into my cousin’s old car, which was designed to seat five. The guy playing the box-base sat in the trunk with his instrument and shared space with my uncle and his cuatro. We rode to the top of the hill in this configuration. It was about eleven at night when we left home. We had the houses of a dozen more family members to cover, but all were within walking distance. Alegria! Alegria! There was something unnatural about holding only one half of the pair of chacchacs, and it threw my three-step out of time, but no one complained. Whenever it was my turn with the tock-tocks, I played with concentration, with vigour, a wide smile plastered across my face. I had no trouble keeping time until we played at the last house around three o’clock that morning. When I woke up a few hours later, I realised my forearms ached and my fingers were in agony. I couldn’t make a fist. If I didn’t keep my fingers splayed out, like I was about to grab someone to frighten them, they hurt. My grandmother massaged my hands with some rosemary and coconut oil, but they didn’t really recover for another day and a half. I’d played for hours, grasping the tock-tocks too firmly, and the sound had vibrated through to my bones, traumatising my thin fingers. I decided I would get my hands on a tambourine in time for next year. n


word of mouth

Soca on screen

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ou can get lost in music. This is how I feel especially when I hear soca — and not just any soca song, but a Machel Montano track. Over the years, Machel has evolved from the talented young boy we met many moons ago to world-class artiste: Mr Fete, Minister of the Road, Monk Monte, and most recently proprietor of Monk Pictures and budding actor. This man really does it like a boss. He marries lyrics of fun, love, unity, Carnival, social issues, and celebration with melodies that command you to move. With hits like “Big Truck” (1999), “It’s Carnival” (his 2001 collaboration with fellow Trinidadian Destra Garcia), “Dance With You” (2005), “One More Time” (2007), and “So High” (2011), Machel’s music makes me feel happy, free, and energised. I was fortunate enough to see Machel perform live in Barbados at Cohobblopot a few years ago, and since then I’ve been long ing for a not her up - close experience. Anxious and ecstatic — like masqueraders straining against the security line, awaiting their chance to cross the Carnival stage — is how I felt waiting for the release of Machel’s debut film. As fate would have it, I ended up in a Trinidadian cinema watching a movie that promised to cure my tabanca. It left me feeling . . . Bazodee. The largest screen in the multiplex cinema was reserved for Bazodee. Some

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jermaine cruikshank, courtesy machel montano

Shelly-Ann Inniss, confirmed Machel Montano fan, says the soca star’s screen debut left her dancing in her seat people had to resort to sitting in the “breakneck” section at the very front, straining their necks upward to view the screen. The anticipation was building, the mood was light and chipper, and when the lights dimmed, there was merriment on and off the screen. Audience participation is inescapable in Caribbean cinemas. People suddenly become cheerleaders, backup singers, and dancers. Animated directors appear too. “Why she dancing stiff so? Girl, move yuh waist!” Of course, the music is all Machel. It’s nothing close to his high-energy, dynamic, surprise-filled live concert performances. Instead, the cinema audience got an intimate performance fuelled by crazy love, attitude, and rhythm. The vociferous guardian angels in the audience softly danced and sang along in their seats. The plot is a classic love triangle. IndoTrinidadian Anita Ponchouri (played by Natalie Perera) meets singer Lee de Leon (Montano) at the airport, as she waits to collect her wealthy Londoner fiancé Bharat Kumar and his family. Sparks immediately fly, and Anita becomes Lee’s muse. By chance, Lee performs at Anita’s engagement party, strumming his treasured ukulele, and the pair become close friends. Set during Carnival season, the atmosphere of desire, deceit, party, and excitement propels the movie, leaving Anita in a quandary. She must choose between the possibility of love

with a struggling musician of another race, and her obligation to marry into a wealthy family, thereby saving her own in-debt relatives. It sounds kind of serious — but it’s hysterically funny. I’m not a film critic, but I’d categorise Bazodee as a musical romance comedy with Bollywood and soca underpinnings. A s u su a l, Machel ma kes s weet memories, with vibes that cyah done, especially when he wines on an Indian gyal. I was a bit disenchanted that more of T&T didn’t make it to the screen. I don’t recall anyone eating doubles, a true travesty, in my opinion. And I’m still searching a map of Trinidad to find Pigeon Point, since the film leads us to believe that Tobago is actually in its bigger sister isle. Apart from these quibbles, if you’re a soca lover — Bazodee reach! As the lights came up in the cinema and the credits rolled, there was applause and everyone wore a grin. Even the crumpled-up popcorn bags were smiling. People danced, clapped, and sang along as they made their way to the exit. Bazodee is the first project from Machel’s newly formed Monk Pictures, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Not many filmmakers can boast about moviegoers singing and chipping out of a cinema like they were following a music truck down the avenue on Carnival Tuesday evening. Pump yuh flag, Machel! n


the look

Cool looks for hot weather Grenadian Ana Granada turns breathable tech fabrics into cool activewear silhouettes Photography by Orlando Romain, courtesy Ana Granada

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Selected pieces from Ana Granada’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection Desertine

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na Granada: a treasure hidden on the small island of Grenada. After moving back home from New York, the designer found the dry seasons unbelievably hot, and created a collection of swimwear and activewear with breathable and wearable tech fabrics for the edgy island girl. Her latest collection, Desertine, plays on an obsession with minimalist silhouettes and consists of neutrals that can be mixed with any item of clothing with ease. The versatility and functionality go a long way — after all, “a girl’s got to look good and breathe at the same time, right?” Ana Granada makes comfort and ease even more alluring. Alia Michèle Orane atyle.aliamichele.com

For more information, visit anagranada.com

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great outdoors

The New York Marathon — the world’s largest, by number of competitors — has a course that passes through the city’s five boroughs

Running addiction Photograph by Mitchell Funk/PC/Getty Images

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remember riding the ferry with other runners to Staten Island, one person saying, “Man, starting a marathon with a ferry ride — how cool is that?” Living in New York, you take a lot for granted, so it was refreshing to see the city through other peoples’ eyes. Runners from more than a hundred countries had descended on the city in the days leading up to the marathon. In my start corral, two European runners had come over as part of a tour group. They were veterans who spoke casually about their race strategy. “Have you run New York before?” one asked me.

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When Trinidadian Dexter Webb decided to run the New York Marathon as a fortieth-birthday challenge, he knew it would be tough — but he didn’t guess it would also be addictive

“Nah, this is my first time, my first marathon,” I replied. “Just try and enjoy it. Don’t worry about your time or anything — just enjoy the experience.” This was advice I had heard before, but I was grateful for the banter to calm my nerves. How do you enjoy your first marathon? Eighteen weeks of training hadn’t erased all my selfdoubt. Standing at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with its muscular bluish-grey beams, I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could run. My strategy was to try and run a steady pace. I had completed


my training dutifully, running weekly mileages I didn’t even know I was capable of. I told myself I was ready. It couldn’t be that hard, right? The start cannon boomed, and soon I was making my way over the bridge, caught up in the surge of runners invading Brooklyn, the wind howling as police helicopters hovered on either side. “This is epic!” someone yelled, his declaration perfectly capturing the moment. The early miles went pretty much to plan. I kept on pace through Brooklyn, where family and friends staked out spots to cheer. In past years, I’d come out on Marathon Sunday and watched the runners go by. I would vow to do the marathon the next year. Then I’d go home and forget all about it. Now I was among the mass of runners people were urging on with witty signs, cowbells, horns, whistles, and outstretched palms. I left Brooklyn and got to Queens, passing the halfway point — thirteen miles down, thirteen to go. I got to the dreaded Queensboro Bridge with its long, steep incline. My legs started to burn, but I ignored the pain and kept pushing. After three quarters of a mile, the bridge began to descend into Manhattan, and my legs were thankful for the respite. We came off the bridge to deafening cheers from a thick crowd on First Avenue. Up ahead, all I could see was a sea of bobbing heads and lots of ground to cover before reaching the Bronx. Sixteen miles, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen — I welcomed each mile marker like a distant lover. I had read and heard that the marathon really starts at twenty miles. That if you run a disciplined race, your training should take you to that point fairly comfortably. I would become the latest case study for this theory. Because, as if on cue, my right hamstring started to twitch ominously at about the twenty-mile mark. Shortly after, just as I was coming up on the twenty-one-mile marker in the Bronx, I pulled up. As I came to a halt in pain and runners streamed past, I panicked. Could I make it to the finish? Was this the end of my race? At some point during my confusion I must have gone past a mental point of no return, when I said to myself, “You’re going to finish this race, even if you have to crawl to the finish line.” As I was limping along, just about to leave the Bronx and get on to Fifth Avenue, I thought about heroic athletic performances I had seen over the years, about football players I admired, players who competed as if they would rather die of exhaustion than let the team down.

Now a sub-four-hour finish was in doubt. But that was the least of my worries. I wanted, needed to finish. Pride was at stake. Nobody wants to be the person who doesn’t finish, and I wasn’t going to be that guy. Then things went from bad to worse. With my hamstring cramp subsiding to the point where I could get into a slow jog, my quads started to tighten and my legs got heavy. As I started to mount a long incline on Fifth Avenue leading up to Central Park, I simply stalled and was forced to walk. “You’re almost there, Trini! Finish strong!” people shouted, acknowledging the name I had printed on the front of my t-shirt. At first I welcomed these words of encouragement. But after a while they sounded like taunts. Almost there? Finish strong? Do these people have any idea the amount of pain I’m in? Every mile felt like ten. I kept looking for the finish line, but all I could see were bobbing heads and more ground to cover. The course turned into Central Park, where I had done some training runs. The familiar terrain helped temper my anxiety. But I was hurting badly. Now, it wasn’t about getting to the next mile marker, just the next hundred metres. I would pick an object — a tree, a sign up ahead — and make getting to it my next goal. Struggling, I passed the twenty-five-mile marker. “One more mile to go, Trini!” the crowd yelled. Earlier in the race, I would have turned and flashed a peace sign or given a thumbsup. Now I didn’t have the energy to acknowledge anyone. All my strength was focused on getting to the finish. “You got this, Trini!” Suddenly, I could hear the announcer saying people’s names as they crossed the finish. The sign for the finish line came into view. Struggling to maintain a half-decent pace, I eased across the line barely feeling my legs. I stopped my watch and within seconds my phone, which I had run with to document the occasion, started vibrating. Congratulatory texts were coming in. I barely had time to read any of them before someone placed a medal around my neck, another handed me a warming blanket, someone else handed me a recovery bag with energy bars, water, a sports drink. It was all a blur. Sitting at home that evening, with the adrenaline in retreat, it started to sink in. The ordeal of the last five miles a few hours earlier was a distant memory. I was happy and at peace. I had surprised myself by running sub-eight-minute miles for twenty of the twenty-six miles, and finishing in three hours, forty-four minutes. If you had told me two years earlier that that was possible, I would’ve laughed. I had run the marathon as a fortieth birthday challenge. One and done — that’s what I’d told myself, family, and friends. Now I was sizing up other courses: Chicago, London, Berlin. Why not Boston? All of a sudden, everything seemed possible. I had heard that running a marathon could be addictive. I would become the latest case study for this theory, too. n

Almost there? Finish strong? Do these people have any idea the amount of pain I’m in? Every mile felt like ten

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y team were tuned in on Facebook and the marathon app, tracking my movements through the five boroughs. A month before the race, my graduating class from Woodbrook Secondary School back in Trinidad had rallied around the run as a twenty-fifth anniversary school fundraiser. More than TT$10,000 in pledges had been made. A classmate had even pledged a $500 bonus if I finished under four hours, stoking the competitor in me.

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Bookshelf Bridges of Trinidad and Tobago, by Danielle Delon (Cassique Publications, 142 pp, ISBN 9789769541528) Rickety, nail-rusted planks thrown over a precarious culvert, or steel-anchored structures arching gracefully over merging traffic: it’s easy to overlook a bridge’s timeless functions. Historian Danielle Delon uses Bridges of Trinidad and Tobago not only to praise the functionality of these ancient linkages, but to examine the very beauty in their local beginnings. In a series of interlinked rambles that span the length and breadth of the republic, Delon investigates overpasses and walkways from Moruga to Matelot, reaching into the sleepiest of hamlets to unearth the origin stories of T&T’s oldest bridges. Fusing anecdotal and chronological histories, Bridges is a walking or driving tour in seeing past the architectural commonplace. From Delon’s vantage point, the Caroni Bridge is far more than an incidental link between North and South; it conjures “remnants of the closed sugar factory

Chan, by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe Books, 80 pp, ISBN 9781780372839) The poems in this second collection from Hannah Lowe spin on a card table of conjecture and clever gamble. They broaden the scope of Chick, Lowe’s debut book of poems, which focused on the poet’s Chinese-Jamaican emigrant father. In Chan, games of chance aren’t solely reserved for the gambling halls: each figure within, whether migrant or musician, takes leaps of faith. One movement of the book chronicles the maritime longings of the SS Ormonde’s passengers, bound for Liverpool from Jamaica in 1947. The uncertainty of this sea voyage is mirrored by the relentless caprice of Jamaican alto saxophonist Joe Harriott’s life, which marks another movement of Chan. Heady plumes of clove-scented smoke waft over these poems, which Lowe makes rich with remembrance and regret. Gamblers, good folk, and almost anyone who’s rolled an emotional pair of dice will recognise some of the chanteys sung in Chan. 42

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. . . rusting machinery . . . a windmill generated pump.” The bridge itself has acquired a decades-old character, one that “stood sentinel as funeral pyres burnt and heard the call of soulful songs from the east, a new music which was to be absorbed by the land.” Delon deploys the same wistful poetic reminiscence in her approach to Grande Riviere’s “Big Bridge,” which “still basks in rustic seclusion,” the origins of its construction rooted in an almost supernatural soil. Whether your wayfaring has a practical, purposeful bent, or whether you cling to trails of fancy wherever you roam, Bridges presents a stopping point for every traveller. In these vignettes, the narration is colourful, the viewpoints tested through textbook and tall tales alike, and the destinations as never-ending as the rivers over which these bridges live their pronged, platformed lives.

Bermudan Folk Remedies, by Kuni Frith-Black (Island Press, 144 pp, ISBN 9781927750421) Sweetened by Bermudan h o n e y, a n i n f u s i o n o f lemongrass, apple mint, and fresh ginger-root tea could be the balm for your workday blues. Even if you’re wary of garden-harvested healing for the rattles, wheezes, and hiccoughs of your everyday life, Bermudan Folk Remedies is far more than a plant primer. Kuni Frith-Black’s passion — not only for the roots, shoots, and vines of Bermuda, but for the history and cultural repository laced into each stem and seed — makes this compendium an archival joy. Flanked by glowing tributes to Bermudan conservationists and natural historians, the alphabetic database of plants herein includes both scientific assessments and spirited word-of-mouth from hardy septuagenarians. In this way, Bermudan Folk Remedies is a time-honoured, lemongrass-layered love note to the world from real Bermudans themselves, one that soothes aches and channels yesteryears in every compress, carafe, and curative cup.


Providential, by Colin Channer (Peepal Tree Press/Akashic Books, 96 pp, ISBN 9781845232481) In movements punctuated by chevron stripes, Jamaica-born, US-based Colin Channer uses his first book of poems to tread water in the hostility of the protective services. Herein are pepper-tongued anti-odes to a cruel cop father-figure, offset by softer exhortations to a young son whose tenderheartedness wells convincingly in vulnerable verses. Longlisted for the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize, Providential tugs the militia into the mainstream, sparing no scrutiny of either aggressive truncheon-wielders or their intended civilian flock. These poems contend shrewdly with the rule of law, darting both playfully and seriously into the grey spaces where officials both uphold and dismantle their rightful offices. “Watch me as I walk through screens of ganja blissment, hiding anger, sudden drops, hot feelings and dog mess,” the speaker of “Porter’s Prayer” invokes, summoning a panorama shot through with sirens and other sounds of alarm. Fear stalks everyone, police and pursued, and Channer’s poems arrest us to that truth in syncopated, shocking fevers.

The Protector’s Pledge, by Danielle Y.C. McClean (CreateSpace, 223 pp, ISBN 9781502958457) In The Protector’s Pledge, thirdplace winner of the 2016 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, the sylvan pathways within the sleepy enclave of Alcavere are Trinidadian forestroutes in all but name. Trinidadborn, US-based McClean brings us remote village life and melds it to the hoof beat, serpent hiss, and jumbie bird screeching of folkloric goings-on. To JV, the intrepid schoolboy explorer who contends with the thickets of the Oscuros Forest, the woods’ secrets are by turns frightful and frolicsome. JV’s quest to preserve what’s most precious to the village of Alcavere, and to himself, takes him deeper into Oscuros’ threatening, tantalising maw. McClean plots his journey with all the daring and page-turning intrigue of a hair-raising romp, embellishing the chase with plants, place names, and portents that all signal to a proudly positioned island home. Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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playlist

Dis 1. 4. Raf Andy Narell (Listen 2 Records) As if driving home the point that the pendulum of commercial influence for steel pan appears to be moving away from Trinidad was not enough, now comes a new release by American steel pan musician Andy Narell boasting not one but two CDs of refined exploitation of the sound and ambience of the steel pan in the context of a jazz quartet, and as musical partner with piano. Dis 1. 4. Raf, a tribute to the late Caribbean jazz pioneer Raf Robertson, is another rung in the ladder of success of Narell. With his cohort of players from Cuba and Guadeloupe, Narell weaves a new path for the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago to tread, encompassing influences beyond the archipelago. On the second CD, a duet, he juxtaposes the enhanced idea of modern percussive and rhythmic sounds from the New World — the steel pan — and the Old World — the piano — to subdued and subtle brilliance.

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The Robin Imamshah Files Various Artists (Cree Records) By the 1970s, the arc of influence in Caribbean music was veering heavily towards the United States, with its pop and R&B developments making inroads globally in islands and countries that wanted to dance. Young people were making grooves which, at the time, were local in their influence, but global in their vision. The commerce did not always reflect their desire. Now, forty years later, Cree Records out of Germany is repackaging this island music for the world. This limited edition of popular Trinidadian producer Robin Imamshah’s output in the latter part of the 1970s — five hundred copies of a vinyl compilation of six songs on three 45-rpm records — reveals what those young musicians were aiming at. American soul, funk, rock, calypso, and the nascent soca were all absorbed to define a new direction in music, a “Trinidad Boogie,” if you will. Imamshah’s sure-handed grasp of musical trends of that time results in a half dozen gems that still can move feet.


Single Spotlight Moving On Jason “Fridge” Seecharan Smooth-voiced Trinidadian crooner Jason “Fridge” Seecharan stepped out of the popular R&B vocal quartet H2O Flo some years ago to make a name for himself. His debut full-length album is aptly titled Moving On, as it signals a strengthening of the idea that he has left the others behind and is finding a voice that works effectively among the myriad island pop singers crooning to the ladies. Reggae has its share, but Seecharan has an almost falsetto sound that belies his nickname — “Fridge” is imposing in person — and he puts that voice to good use on these eleven songs, which include a catchy Christmas song that could become a Caribbean standard if well marketed. The tracks feature smooth jazz, modern reggae, Indo-Caribbean fusion, and pop-soca, and make the case that popular music in the Caribbean continues to find the new groove, with high production values that work well. Its gets better every year.

All Night Long Rochelle (Ultra Records) Suriname and other Dutchspeaking territories in the Caribbean have given the world a slew of talented singers and musicians who continue to enthral. These artists also retain the DNA of Caribbean-ness in their sound as they make it “out there.” Rochelle Perts — her father is from Suriname — won the Dutch version of the TV show X Factor in 2011, and it shows. This girl can sing! In 2016 she returns with a new single, “All Night Long”, echoing the growing trend in pop music that is finally embracing the rhythms of modern Caribbean dance music. Dancehall and soca are two modern beats you feel and hear subliminally in the twang of her patois in this mid-tempo groove song. Rochelle suggests slyly — “Spark my firestone / We dance in the danger zone / Come feel how my river flows” — that she’s ready to go all night long. Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell

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SCREENSHOTS

Santa & Andrés Directed by Carlos Lechuga, 2016, 105 minutes Over fifty years since Cuba’s communist revolution took place, most of its citizens have no direct knowledge of the event. A generation of adults only know of life on the island since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a period of hardship that also saw a tightening of the United States’ blockade. No heady memories of working towards the great utopia for these young people; instead, they inherited curdled dreams from disillusioned parents. Carlos Lechuga, one of this cohort, is a writer and director working independently of his country’s acclaimed state-run cinema industry. His debut feature, Molasses, marked him as an ascending talent. Santa & Andrés cements his place as probably the best young filmmaker at work in his country, if not its most controversial. In 1983, Andrés (Eduardo Martínez) is a middleaged gay writer living alone. Once imprisoned as a

Memories of a Penitent Heart Directed by Cecilia Aldarondo, 2016, 75 minutes In 1986, Cecilia Aldarondo met her uncle Miguel Dieppa, an actor and playwright, for the first and only time. Six months later, he was dead, from what his Puerto Rican family claimed was cancer. Yet the facts surrounding Dieppa’s brief life never added up, and thirty years on, his now-adult niece set out to uncover the truth. Interlacing old film footage and photographs, as well as contemporary interviews, this excellent documentary is the result. Aldarondo paints a movingly complex portrait of a gay man with AIDS who, like the identity-conflicted island of his birth, lived a contradictory, contested double life — he was Miguel to his conservative Roman Catholic family, Michael to his friends in the bohemian New York City through which he blazed. Contradictory, too, is religion’s ability to cause strife while also offering consolation — a truth that, as with much else in this engaging and tender film, Aldarondo illuminates with sympathy and skill.

counterrevolutionary — echoes here of the late Reinaldo Arenas, author of the bestselling memoir Before Night Falls — he claims to have put down his pen, and now makes sweets for a living. When an international conference happens nearby, however, the state takes no chances, sending Santa (Lola Amores), a zealous young party worker — who guards a traumatic secret — to watch over Andrés and keep him from causing trouble. From this premise Lechuga slowly builds a passionately human drama with steadfastly political dimensions. He has an eye for seriocomic detail: Santa ostentatiously walks with her own chair to Andrés’s unpainted concrete home, while Andres carries a handful of newsprint when he goes to his outhouse. Lechuga also has a fine sense of how a system, in the name of bringing uplift to all, can cruelly and violently make individuals compromise their basic humanity. Given Cuba’s recent economic and social reforms, and the opening up of relations with the US, Santa & Andrés is an undoubtedly inconvenient film. It is also no less necessary, and no less brilliant.

The Cutlass Directed by Darisha Beresford, 2016, 97 minutes Trinidadian social reality and the Hollywood-style psychological thriller make for uneasy bedfellows in this two-hander inspired by true events. Joanna (Alison Bel Kwani), a young woman spending a weekend at the beach with friends, is kidnapped by Albert (Arnold Goindhan), who wields the sharp-edged implement of the film’s title. Albert holds Joanna hostage in the forest while negotiating a ransom with her ailing father, Jake (Kirk Baltz), and the conventions of genre are then dutifully followed, down to a reassuring family embrace. The trouble with The Cutlass is that it is, literally and figuratively, almost entirely black and white. Joanna is white, wealthy, and without flaw. Albert is (in a word) black, also poor and evil, and presented outside of any humanising social context. An act of violence near the movie’s end is problematic on several levels. This is a sadly complacent, even naïve film, whatever its provenance. Reviews by Jonathan Ali

For information about upcoming screenings, visit the films’ Facebook pages 46

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Worth Flying For JANUARY

FEBRUARY

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

NATIONAL STEELBAND PANORAMA SEMI FINALS

www.ttmarathon.com

www.pantrinbago.co.tt

January 29, 2017 • 5:00am - 1:00pm

February 12, 2017

CARNIVAL MONDAY AND TUESDAY February 27 & 28, 2017

MARCH

www.ncctt.org

PHAGWA CELEBRATION

APRIL

www.ttitoa.com

TOBAGO JAZZ EXPERIENCE

March 13, 2017

April 22 - 30, 2017

www.tobagojazzexperience.com

Two Islands, Two Unique Experiences Islands of Trinidad and Tobago

@gotrinbago

@gotrinbago


cookup

Ambassador of spices From her base in New York City, Grenadian Yvette LaCrette has become “the Caribbean’s go-to-chef,” cooking up the flavours of the islands for celebrities and diplomats. As Melissa Noel learns, Grenada “remains on her heart,” and LaCrette never turns down a request to serve as culinary ambassador for the Spice Island Photography by Damion C. Jacob, DCJ photography

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n a Friday evening, as the sun sets over Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, the kitchen at the Flamboyant Hotel’s beachside restaurant is just starting to buzz. Tonight, the menu created by special request includes chicken battered with Carib beer, baked ribs made with barbecue tamarind sauce, callaloo rice, and breadfruit pie. Even the fish cakes and calypso shrimp appetizers were distinctly requested — because celebrity chef Yvette Michelle LaCrette is home. Near the oven you can almost taste the freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg she is mixing to create her signature dessert: bread pudding with a crème anglaise sauce. Several dignitaries, including the Grenada Tourism Authority’s CEO and an advisor to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asked for it by name. “I was called even before I left New York City, to ensure it was on the menu,” LaCrette says with a smile. LaCrette was handpicked to cater a private dinner party hosted by the Grenada Tourism Authority — a role she feels grateful for. “Each time I’m asked to do something for Grenada, I feel honoured,” she says. Amid a demanding schedule as personal chef to international supermodel Naomi Campbell and being at the helm of LaCrette’s Catering Company in New York — where she cooks for everyone from church groups and celebrities to UN ambassadors — whenever home calls, she answers. “If I’m going to represent Grenada and the wider

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Caribbean, I have to give it one hundred per cent,” she says.

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arlier that day, as we walk downtown towards the spice market in Grenada’s capital, St George’s, everyone knows who LaCrette is, and she stops to speak with each person along the way. “I don’t believe in passing anyone straight, especially all those who knew me when I was just Mich from River Road,” she says. “Mich, yah reach home, look the star girl is home,” yells one man. “Why yah didn’t tell me you were coming. What’s the big event this time, Michelle?” asks Margaret Roberts, a spice market vendor who has known LaCrette since childhood. LaCrette laughs. “Everyone at home calls me Mich or Michelle, my middle name,” she says, before responding to Roberts. “I just come in to cook for the ministers, and I had to come to the market for my spices,” she tells the vendor. When LaCrette cooks, she uses only spices from Grenada, because “After all, this is the Spice Island,” she explains, referencing the island’s nickname. “The spices remain in her mind, and Grenada remains on her heart,” Margaret Roberts says. “She has never forgotten her roots.” In addition to catering many high-profile events in Grenada, LaCrette has represented the island for several years at the Taste of the Caribbean event in Montreal, at the New York Times Travel Show, and as a competitor for Chef of the Year during the annual Caribbean Week New York programme. And beyond Grenada, many other Caribbean countries — including St Lucia, Guyana, and St Vincent and the Grenadines — regularly seek her out to represent the flavours of the region at United Nations events. More broadly, since 2005 LaCrette has been the top choice of the Office for Commonwealth Permanent Missions to the United Nations to prepare meals for ambassadors representing fiftythree nations. It’s why she’s often referred to as “the Caribbean’s go-to chef.” “That’s a title she earned,” says Michael Mitchell, who headed the Commonwealth Office to the United Nations for fourteen years. “One of the remarkable things, I think, about Michelle is that some of the same qualities that a good diplomat or a good ambassador has, she possesses. They are passion, persuasiveness, and perspective.”


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Chef LaCrette in her natural environment, the kitchen

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aCrette’s desire to cook and represent Grenada started at an early age, after years of watching and assisting her maternal grandmother — one of Grenada’s most sought-after cooks in the 1970s and 80s — prepare meals for the island’s national netball, cricket, and basketball teams, as well as high-profile social gatherings. “When I went to spend weekends with her, she always had a wedding or some huge event,” LaCrette remembers. “I would decorate cakes with her . . . She made the best deviled eggs. I learned to make my deviled eggs, cheese straws, patties, and so much more by age twelve or thirteen.” After moving to the United States in her late teens, LaCrette enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, to take her passion for cooking beyond Caribbean cuisine. “I already knew how to make West Indian food. I wanted to learn

LaCrette’s desire to cook and represent Grenada started at an early age, after years of watching and assisting her maternal grandmother. “When I went to spend weekends with her, she always had a wedding or some huge event” 50

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how to cook different cuisines. I wanted to do Italian food as well as I did West Indian food. It was about technique.” LaCrette went on to work at several restau ra nts across New York Cit y, including Italian eatery La Madre, Latin fusion restaurant Tamboril — where she was executive chef — and popular Jamaican restaurant Negril Village, where she was chef de cuisine. So “the Caribbean’s go-to chef” can skilfully prepare just about any dish, from sada roti to sushi, pasta to paella. She has pleased the palates of countless celebrities, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, and of course supermodel Naomi Campbell, whom she has worked for now for over fifteen years. “She can cook anything,” says Campbell, “and what she can’t cook, she wants to learn how. She speaks through her food. All of my friends, whenever they’re coming over, ask, ‘Is Yvette going to cook?’ No matter who it is — Mick Jagger, Kate [Moss] or Kate’s daughter, it doesn’t matter — they all love her food. And they all want more!” Campbell, who is of Jamaican heritage, wanted not only a chef who could cook authentic Caribbean meals, but someone who reminded her of family — whom she could feel comfortable having in her home. She found the perfect match with LaCrette. “Yvette is like family to me,” Campbell says. “She looks after me, and watches out for me — she helps me in many areas of my life. That’s why I am so grateful for her friendship and company.” LaCrette also has great gratitude for Campbell, noting that the many opportunities she’s had to visit and cook with chefs in Italy, Turkey, and Greece, among other countries, are thanks to working with her. “I know personally that I would not have gone to those parts of the world if it wasn’t for Naomi.” So what could be next for a chef who seems to have done it all already? Chef LaCrette wants to give back to Grenada, by opening a family entertainment complex. After that, she hopes to fulfil her longtime ambition of having a TV cooking show on the Food Network or on a travel channel, to allow her to showcase the culture of the Caribbean through food. “I really believe that cooking is a gift. We all get gifts, and cooking is mine,” she says. “I combine and infuse everything I do with Caribbean flavour. Now I want to share it with even more people around the world. ” n


courtesy jeannette ehlers

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52 Ever-blooming Rose 59 Nordic routes Closeup

Backstory

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Showcase

Still from Whip It Good, a video performance work by Trinidadian-Danish artist Jeannette Ehlers


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Ever-blooming Calypso Rose is a legend, plain and simple, with generations of fans at home in Trinidad and Tobago and across the Caribbean. But nearly forty years after she made history by winning T&T’s Calypso Monarch competition, her extraordinary talent and personality are winning fans on the other side of the Atlantic. Joshua Surtees learns how the beloved calypsonian from Bethel, Tobago, became the musical sensation of 2016 in France — and what it means for her career

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n a grey, drizzly night in Rouen, a packed concert tent is rocking to a calypso beat. It’s an odd juxtaposition. Rouen — a part-gothic, part-medieval, somewhat spooky French city, two hours from Paris in the Normandy countryside — was captured by the Vikings in the ninth century, saw Joan of Arc burned at the stake in 1431, and was destroyed by the Nazis in 1940. But none of these historic unpleasantries are uppermost in Calypso Rose’s mind, as the brassy, mesmeric, Caribbean sound of her band chases the city’s ghosts away into the chilly evening. She fixes her audience with a mischievous grin, pulls back the sides of her long, gold-trimmed, green satin jacket, and gyrates her waistline. At the height of a painful summer for France, Rose seems determined to bring joy into the lives of the locals. And it works. From the moment the first notes ring out until the midnight curfew brings the show to an end, thousands of people — young children, cool hipsters, middle-aged music-lovers, and elderly grandparents — have been warmed up by the African-tinged rhythms of her new album, Far From Home.

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For seventy-six-year-old Calypso Rose — born Linda McArtha Sandy-Lewis in the village of Bethel in Tobago in 1940 — the new album and the astonishing success it has brought her in France and across Europe represents a renaissance in what has been a remarkable sixty-year career. She began writing songs at the age of fifteen, performing them in calypso tents during the Carnival season in Port of Spain, and became the first woman to win the Calypso Monarch title, after years of male dominance. Far From Home is expected to go platinum in France by the end of 2016, and Rose has toured the country extensively this past year, picking up new fans along the way. She has performed to tens of thousands at some of Europe’s biggest festivals, made regular appearances on national television, held the number one slots in the charts of France’s biggest music retail chain and its most popular radio station, and become the first Trinidad and Tobago recording artist ever to have a gold album. Her manager Jean Michel Gibert, the mastermind behind the three-year project that went into making the record and releasing it with an intense marketing campaign, feels Rose is embarking on a whole new phase of her career. “She’s really in demand in Europe,” says Gibert. “The festival shows at Roskilde [in Denmark], Esperanzah [in Belgium], and Solidays [in Paris] were huge, huge crowds. You can see the reaction of the crowds singing her name for five, ten minutes after the show. What is happening is hopefully similar to what happened with Cesária Évora, Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz, or Buena Vista Social Club,” he adds. All of the artists he namechecks emerged from countries usually ignored by the USdominated music industry, and went on to become global stars. “We’ve got the green light for that kind of success,” Gibert says. “It’s a lot of work for her, and we hope of course that her


courtesy rituals music

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health remains good and we will try to protect her a lot. It’s very exciting that she’s in demand. She’s an extraordinary human being, and very adaptable to what is happening to her. She surprises me all the time.”

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ar From Home was recorded in Belize by producer Ivan Duran in 2013. The songs on it were co-written by Duran, Rose, and Trinidadian musician Drew Gonsalves, whose band Kobo Town is based in Toronto. After the recording sessions were finished, Gibert introduced Rose to the internationally acclaimed French musician Manu Chao, who was so taken with the vibe and energy of the album, as well as the septuagenarian calypsonian who created it, that he agreed to mix the album in Spain.

“Jean Michel knew Manu Chao,” Rose tells me in the offices of her record label, Because Music, in Paris’s ninth arrondissement, close to the buzzing North African community around the Barbès-Rochechouart metro station, and the striptease clubs of Pigalle. An independent label, Because Music has cuttingedge contemporary acts like Major Lazer and Erol Alkan on its roster, as well as legendary artists like JJ Cale, Baaba Maal, and Amadou & Mariam. “Manu Chao is on the same label, and he sells millions and millions of records. Jean Michel brought Manu Chao to Trinidad last year for Carnival to meet with me,” Rose continues, “and we spoke for about three hours. All we were speaking about was music, music, music, music. “He plays the cuatro and the guitar, he’s down to earth, he doesn’t let anybody know that he’s highly up there [as a recording artist] and I admire him for that,” she says. “He put some fantastic touches and vocals on virtually all the songs.” The touch of Chao’s global fusion sound is evident in the highlife, salsa, and flamenco-style guitar parts and subtle chants of the backing vocals he added to the album at the mixing stage. But the groundwork to the polished final product was laid down in Central America, in producer Duran’s Stonetree Records studio, in the Belizean town of Benque Viejo del Carmen, close to the border with Guatemala. “There’s a definite theme going through the whole album, and we were aware that this had to be the album for her,” Duran says, mindful of the fact that it’s rare for an artist to get her first international breakthrough record at the age of seventy-six. 54

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“I grew up listening to Rose” he says. “Here in Belize, she’s like a hero. I always saw her as a superstar. When I had the chance to work with her, I didn’t have to think twice, it was a pretty big deal for me. But even though I knew her songs, I didn’t have a Calypso Rose album in my collection — there was something missing. So I wanted to make the Calypso Rose album that everyone will remember. Not for one or two hits, but for a body of work that will immortalise her career.” As Duran talks more about the cultural importance of Rose’s success in Europe, it becomes apparent just how much thought, energy, and passion the Belizean has invested in helping her achieve what she has worked hard for, for so many years. “When we started working on this project with Drew, we had to dissect

what are the key elements in Rose’s trajectory — what made her special, what she represents for the Caribbean, and this long trajectory of doing calypso and then more electronic soca in the 1970s and 80s. We tried to pick all these different elements and include them in the album,” Duran explains. “But you can have a great album and still not make an impact. What has happened in France is nothing short of historic for Caribbean music. Not to take anything away from Sean Paul or Shaggy, but anybody can have a hit — this is a genuine interest in an artist and, by extension, the region. This is bigger than music, this is a cultural connection, a discovery of something that people didn’t know existed. You have to go back to guys like Bob Marley or Jimmy Cliff to find people that awakened that interest in Caribbean culture.”

“I grew up listening to Rose,” says producer Ivan Duran. “Here in Belize, she’s like a hero. I always saw her as a superstar. When I had the chance to work with her, I didn’t have to think twice”


A Rose with a crown Rose’s irresistible charm is half of the reason she’s been taken to the hearts of a younger generation of European fans, some of whom probably don’t even know what calypso music is. Rose speaks barely any French, except what she says she learned from her great-grandmother, who arrived in Tobago from Guinea in West Africa: “un, deux, trois, quatre.” But although there is a language barrier, there is clearly something in her personality that breaks down walls. It’s an essential quality to have, because even though the album’s lyrics deal with serious content, befitting calypso’s role as a form of social commentary, the majority of her French audience are simply hearing party tunes and uplifting melodies. The opening track on the album, “Abatina”, is about domestic violence and the perils of marrying for money. “I Am African” and “Far From Home” explore the identity conflict of being in touch with your African roots while feeling homesick for the Caribbean, while “No Madame” — originally written in the 1970s — deals with the mistreatment of poorly paid domestic servants.

Frans Schellekens/REDFERNS/GETTY IMAGES

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espite the language barrier and the fact that Trinidadian artists have scarcely broken the surface in Europe — calypso as a genre has long been forgotten since its heyday in the 1950s — Rose was definitely the surprise hit of summer 2016. Driving through Paris one Saturday afternoon in May, the two Trinidadians in the back of my car suddenly cried out, “Calypso Rose!” causing me to almost swerve into an oncoming Citroën. They had seen her instantly recognisable face on an advertising hoarding, and were baffled. They made me drive around the block, back to the same spot, so they could take in the meaning of it. “Is she playing a concert?” they wondered. When they found out she was in fact in the middle of a tour, with another tour scheduled for September and October, their excitement was uncontainable. But back home in Trinidad and Tobago, news of Rose’s success took months to filter through. To raise the profile of the project, Gibert recruited Jillionaire (Trinidadian DJ Christopher Leacock of Major Lazer) to produce an EDM remix of “I Am African”, and asked soca superstar Machel Montano to record guest vocals on the single “Leave Me Alone”. A North American tour is on the cards for 2017, and of course next Carnival will involve some special performances. Has Rose’s European success surprised her? “They made ten thousand of those posters,” she says, laughing. “The music I’ve put out there for the public, they love it. People email me saying things like, ‘Mama Rose, I want you to be my grandmother.’ That is so powerful.” Speaking about her age is almost unavoidable, given that she’s had one of the longest careers in the music business. How does she cope with the relentless promotional schedule? She gives me an example of the work it requires. “We went from Paris to Strasbourg, then from Strasbourg to Berlin. Worked Berlin that same night. Then we flew, made two stops to change planes, and got in to Brest. I had two hours’ rest, then hit the venue and performed to forty-five thousand people. The taxi from the hotel took so long to pick us up that I had to get on stage at five-thirty and we only got to the venue at five-fifteen.

When the young McArtha Sandy-Lewis began her musical career at the end of the 1950s — singing first as Crusoe Kid and later as Calypso Rose — calypso was still men’s business. The Andrews Sisters may have had a hit in North America with their version of “Rum and Coca-Cola”, but back in Trinidad and Tobago, the calypso tents and the Carnival stage were dominated by male singers whose boastful machismo was an essential part of the performance. There was every reason for Rose to lose heart. Instead, she persevered, slowly winning the respect of audiences and then her peers, over a decade and a half. Her 1966 song “Fire in Me Wire” was a runaway hit, and from 1972 to 1976 she won the Calypso Queen title five times in a row. But 1977 brought an even bigger breakthrough, and the song was “Tempo” — an indisputable hit with the masses during the Carnival season, winning Rose her first Road March title, the first time the accolade was won by a woman. The following year, she went one better: not only repeating her Road March win, with “Come Leh We Jam”, but dominating the stage at the Calypso King competition, the most prestigious arena for calypsonians. As Rose was crowned on Dimanche Gras night at the Queen’s Park Savannah, it was obvious the competition had changed forever — for one thing, the winner would henceforth be known as the Calypso Monarch. She chose not to defend the title, but she’d already broken through the barrier. History was made.

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NurPhoto/GETTY IMAGES

A gruelling schedule of live performances across Europe in the summer of 2016 helped drive Calypso Rose’s newfound success

I had to hustle, hustle, and get changed. Normally before I go onstage I have to hold the hands of the musicians and give God thanks — give some prayers before hitting the stage. It was hectic. I was supposed to go back to New York in July, but more jobs keep coming in.” She knows how to keep her energy up, though. “Anything that’s from the sea,” she says enthusiastically. “Fish, sea moss. A lot of people ’fraid the sea. I doh ’fraid the sea, I love the sea. My father had two boats, he was a fisherman. And every evening after school we had to go to Mount Irvine Bay to take down the bake for him. My mama had to make the bake for him because they were out all night fishing, they would go out in the evening and come back in the morning. So we had to run from school,

Rose’s irresistible charm is half of the reason she’s been taken to the hearts of a younger generation of European fans, some of whom probably don’t even know what calypso music is 56

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pick up the things, and take them down to the bay: sugar, lemon juice to drink. The sea gives you energy.” She has no complaints about her work commitments or travel demands. The only thing she doesn’t like about being away from her beloved Tobago, or from New York, the city which has been her home base since 1983, is how difficult it is to find ingredients to cook with. “I like to cook my own food,” she says. “Here in Paris, I can’t get my provisions to cook, I can’t get my piece of pork to stew, I can’t get my split peas to make soup — the yellow ones are good for the brain.” She talks about her encounters with Lord Kitchener, the legendary Aldwyn Roberts, in his Calypso Revue tent in the 1960s, revealing that in her youth she had a speech defect and she avoided talking in Kitchener’s presence, as her nervousness at the great calypsonian’s proximity rendered her virtually speechless. It’s touching to hear this confession. A big part of her humour and persona is built around the kind of bravado that calypso masters are schooled in, though it is always completely obvious that her real personality is kind, caring, and extremely generous. As Ivan Duran puts it, “She’s such a beautiful person. Even if she doesn’t know you, you become family almost immediately. Every time I speak to her she says hi to my mom, hi to my wife and the children. That’s why everybody wants her to succeed. Everything she does, she transmits love, so it’s hard not to fall in love with her.” n


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gyrating bodies. The darkness of the night gracefully gives way to the amazing array of Caribbean colour — from cardboard decorated with crêpe paper and cloth to theatrical thematic designs, magically and majestically displayed by Junkanoos moving in one accord. The deliberate choreography of the Junkanoos moves to deeply evocative, soul-stirring Bahamian rhythms. Now the Bahamian national dance is on show, that familiar movement that it seems only Bahamians can actually perfect. Those of you who know this dance know what I’m talking about. Now on the streets the world sees that Junkanoo is not just a spectator sport. It is interaction. As Edu Culture CEO Arlene NashFerguson states: “Junkanoo compresses the celebration of family and the national ritual of inversion into the same holiday, thus increasing tension.” But for now, there is no tension — the streets are alive, like the hills in The Sound of Music. Kalik, kalik, ga likking, galik . . . The rival groups vie for the number-one spot, to reign supreme over the Christmas season. Who will emerge triumphant? The Valley Boys? The Saxons? Colours? One Family? Well, one sure way to find out is to be in The Bahama Islands for the coming Christmas season. Since many of our islands are host to widely subscribed Junkanoo celebrations, just choose an island — come join us, feel the music “in ya belly,” liberate your soul, lose yourself in the lyrical “junk junk Junkanoo” — or “junk junk junk anew” (another twist to the origin of our very own Junkanoo, attributable to the National Junkanoo Committee, 1988: creating something “anew” from “junk!”). Next issue we shall go into the “Junkanoo Shack” and see how so many talented and creative Bahamians proudly protect our heritage — those who studiously, for months on end, work to produce the spectacular festival that will be ours forever!

Photo courtesy Peter Ramsay (BIS)

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t is said that an African tribal chief, with a very un-African name (John Canoe) caused the indigenous festival of The Bahamas, Junkanoo, to be named after him. It is also a widely held belief that there is another origin for our famous festival, with the “gens inconnus” from the French, loosely translated as unknown or masked people. Whether you choose to believe one story over the other becomes irrelevant in the dark, wee hours of the morning on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day all over The Bahamas, when all that occupies the minds of the revellers and spectators alike is the masterfully minted musical sound emanating from the unlikely fusion of cowbells, goatskin drums, horns,

Written by Elaine Monica Davis

For further information, please visit bahamas.com PM Christie in Junkanoo costume as a Chinese Emperor, doing the famous “Christie Shuffle”!

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Nordic routes The high latitudes of Scandinavia seem a long way from the Caribbean tropics. But three artists with ancestral connections to Trinidad, Jamaica, and Haiti are provoking the Nordic art world with their hard-hitting works looking at history and politics. Nicole Smythe-Johnson talks to Jeannette Ehlers and Michelle Eistrup of Denmark and Sasha Huber of Finland

Above right Still from Rentyhorn: The Intervention (2008; video, 4.30 mins), by Sasha Huber

Courtesy Sasha Huber and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki

BACKSTORY

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ast year, I visited Scandinavia for the first time. I was there for a curatorial residency at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, just outside Oslo in Norway. Coming from Kingston, Jamaica, and even having lived in Britain and visited France, Oslo seemed another world: the architecture, language, landscape, but also the homogeneity (relative to the Caribbean, anyway), the seamless order, the ubiquitous design, the oil wealth, the social safety net. As I walked around the remarkably clean city streets, I wondered how it was possible that a place like Jamaica exists contemporaneously with a place like Norway. I was there for only a month, but even with my life in Jamaica just a few weeks away, my experiences there and here seemed incommensurable. From Norway, Jamaica could only be a dream, and here in Jamaica, Norway is only a dream place. While I was there, just after the peak of the “European migrant crisis” in the summer of 2015, Slovenian scholar Slavoj Žižek published an essay in the London Review of Books with the title “The Non-Existence of Norway”. The essay had its problems, but the title resonated. Even from my flat overlooking the Oslofjord, I was having trouble making Norway exist. And like Žižek, everyone in Europe seemed to be wondering how much longer it could exist like this. Otherworldly as Scandinavia may seem, there are many ways in which the region is linked to our very own Caribbean, by history but also by people. The three artists I profile in the following pages explore (and embody) those surprising ties from three different perspectives. In so doing, they gesture towards other ways Scandinavia might exist. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Jeannette Ehlers Denmark/Trinidad • born 1973 When you think of colonialism, Scandinavia is not an immediate association. Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, maybe Germany — but Denmark and Sweden? In fact, Sweden had several colonies throughout Africa and the Caribbean between the seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, including Guadeloupe (from 1813 to 1814) and, briefly, Tobago (in 1733). There were also the Danish West Indies, which became the US Virgin Islands in 1917. The Danes even colonised Norway for almost three centuries (1524 to 1814). You’d be surprised. These scarcely known histories are a major preoccupation of Jeanette Ehlers’s ar tistic practice. “Modern Denmark was built on money from the transatlantic slave trade, just like so many other nations,” she says. “There’s a huge colonial

Images courtesy Jeannette Ehlers Above Still from Black Bullets (2012; video, 4.33 mins) Right Still from How Do You Talk About Three Hundred Years in Four Minutes (2014; video, 4 mins)

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amnesia in Scandinavia, though, which has a great impact on the mentality here . . . My work is a reaction to that.” Ehlers was born and raised in Denmark by a Danish mother and Trinidadian father. Though she would not visit Trinidad until she was a teenager, Ehlers always sought ways to unearth and articulate her Caribbean ancestry, and explore the complexities of being black in a white society. After bouts with gymnastics, dance, music, and painting, she finally found her medium at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts: the moving image. This doesn’t mean those earlier experiments with medium don’t continue: Ehlers just mediates it all via film. In How Do You Talk About Three Hundred Years in Four Minutes (2014), for instance, music becomes a medium for communicating the incommunicable. Whip It Good (2014) is based on a live performance that Ehlers first presented in 2013 at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse in Berlin, commissioned by Art Labour Archives. The piece was later recreated for video at the Vestindisk Pakhus (“West Indian Warehouse”) in Copenhagen, where, in earlier times, rum, sugar, and coffee from the Antilles were stored. The historic location now houses the Royal Cast Collection, over two thousand plaster casts of neoclassical European sculpture collected by renowned art historian and archeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768). The collection is an excellent illustration of the European art historical canon, especially because Winckelmann is one of the founders of the modern discipline of art history. He literally wrote the book — History of Ancient Art, 1764 — on the periodisation of art into a linear history. The museum’s website notes the irony of the collection’s location: “It is a strange coincidence to have white man’s white art on display at the warehouse where the goods (rum and sugar) produced by black slaves once were stored.” Whip It Good takes off from there. Amid the white plaster casts, dressed in white head tie and clothing, her skin literally whitewashed, Ehlers viciously whips a white canvas, leaving black lines behind. The links between Denmark and transatlantic slavery that the West Indian Warehouse indexes surge to the surface as you watch the film. The repetitive crack of the whip and the steady build-up of black slashes on the canvas add poignancy to Ehlers’s unpleasantly familiar vocabulary of movement.


Black Bullets (2012) is another favourite. Here Ehlers addresses the Caribbean more directly, with a hypnotically beautiful ode to the Haitian Revolution. Filmed in Haiti at the Citadelle Laferrière — built by Henri Christophe, one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution — the film commemorates the spirit of rebellion that the Citadelle has come to represent. As black schoolchildren drift across a black and white cloudscape, they slowly collapse into their own ref lections, marching ever forward but disappearing, shrinking into nothingness with every step. It seems a perfect metaphor for the revolutionary zeal that made Haiti the first independent black nation in the Western hemisphere. Marching forward, but to where? For Haiti, independence

would become a noose that had one of the world’s poorest nations paying reparations to former colonial masters for centuries. The Caribbean’s first major narrative of anti-colonial triumph has also been its biggest cautionary tale. For her next major work, Ehlers is exploring yet another medium, sculpture. She’s returning to the West Indian Warehouse, this time to commemorate the centennial of the sale of the former Danish Virgin Islands to the United States of America. Ehlers plans to create a seven-metretall statue of “Queen Mary,” a.k.a. Mary Thomas, one of the leaders of the Fireburn Rebellion on St Croix in 1878. The piece is to accompany a huge bronze version of Michelangelo’s David, which currently sits on the Copenhagen waterfront, in front of the Vestindisk Pakhus.

From Ehlers’s Whip It Good performance (2014). Photograph by Nikolaj Recke

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Michelle Eistrup Denmark/Jamaica • born 1969 Born in Denmark, Michelle Eistrup lived in France as a young child, moved to her mother’s Jamaica when she was seven, then to the east coast of the United States at eighteen, before settling back in Copenhagen. She has visited Barbados and Trinidad on several occasions, spent months at a time in Benin, and travelled to Senegal and Kenya. Working in photography, collage, video, and installation, Eistrup explores the history, legacies, and denial of colonialism, particularly in Denmark. In her dream-like films, spaces — and cultures and histories along with them — are seamlessly stitched together by “portals of soundscapes” and other filmic technologies. In Pitch Moulded Animability (2013) for example, Senegal morphs into Trinidad, the urban into the rural, and the peripheral (within Danish culture) becomes the central (within the film and Eistrup’s broader practice). An aesthetic of layering, characteristic of memory and dreams, is a recurring device in Eistrup’s films. In Too Long Are Our Memories, deer

Images courtesy Michelle Eistrup Above Detail of This Particular Masquerade 2 (2013, lambda print, 600 x 24.1 cm) Right Installation view of Too Long Are Our Memories + Borders, a collabration between Michelle Eistrup and James Muriuki (2010; video, 9 mins) Opposite page Still from Too Long Are Our Memories + Borders

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in a snowy forest, black hands picking coffee, black bodies dancing atop train cars, giraffes, splashing surf, and voiceover from another time — “lots of land, except that there are Africans there . . .” — fade and slide in and out of each other. The point is not to tell a story, but to hint at how complex, how muddled and interconnected the story is. It is not enough to speak only about Eistrup’s artwork when discussing her artistic practice, however. Though she is an artist first and foremost, a significant part of her work is “as a curator and enabler in a wider cultural context,” she says, “bridging multiple worlds that include the creative industries, museum practice and policy, education, writing, and academic research.” Not surprisingly, Eistrup layers again: this time, the curatorial elements of her work with her artistic and personal interest in West African and Caribbean syncretic spirituality. “Thinking about it,” she says, “my position [as curator-enabler] is very much similar to that of a Yoruba deity from West Africa called Elegba, whose role as the trickster in Ifa cosmology also includes mediation between the gods. As the centre of communication, Elegba is the only deity who speaks every language.” This side of her practice is best embodied in her Bridging Art and Text (BAT) project. “After a few years of making art, I naturally felt the need for creative dialogue across many disciplines, in order to expanded my thinking and practice,” Eistrup explains. “And so BAT was actually a solution I created to address the problem of creative and cultural isolation here in Denmark. It not only served to bring international perspectives here, but also addressed my concern with the lack of critical writing on the work of artists living in Europe and Scandinavia whose work deals with African diaspora identity and the politics of its representation.” BAT, a partnership with Annemari Clausen, is a seminar platform centred on intercultural dialogue. It was initiated to inspire Scandinavian art and cultural institutions to be more culturally inclusive and expansive, via engagement in an international dialogue around identity and representation. The first seminar in 2012 brought international artists, curators, and writers such as Ery Camara (Senegalese artist and curator), Carlos Moore (Cuban ethnologist and political scientist), Christopher Cozier (Trinidadian artist and curator), and Yoyo Gonthier (Nigerien-French artist) together at the Karen Blixen Museum in Denmark. The location of the gathering was


significant, since the museum commemorates the life and work of Blixen, a Danish writer who lived in Kenya for sixteen years and wrote about her experiences in Out of Africa. Eistrup explains the seminar series’ aims: “We wanted to challenge the mechanisms that have erased generations of intercultural artists, writers, and musicians from institutional memory and from art history. By creating an interdisciplinary platform that bridges visual arts with scholarly and creative texts, we are also developing a space where artists can be intellectually and spiritually nourished.” Though it may be tempting to view the two strains of Eistrup’s practice as discrete, there is considerable overlap. Where in Too Long Are Memories (2010) Eistrup layers the snowy forests of (presumably) Denmark with Kenyan coffee fields, so with BAT she brings perspectives from across the world to engage within and with Danish culture. “Denmark suffers from isolationism and limited exposure to alternative and diverse perspectives and voices,” she says. “Therefore it is very hard to establish a debate where Danish culture is not the main focus of discussion. Slavery, colonialism, institutional racism, social exclusion, cultural intolerance — these are subjects people find it hard to confront here, in part because of

“Slavery, colonialism, institutional racism, social exclusion, cultural intolerance — these are subjects people find it hard to confront in Denmark, in part because of lack of knowledge” lack of knowledge and visibility of the history, but I think also because these subjects can evoke uncomfortable feelings of guilt or shame. It’s very un-Danish to probe sensitive feelings like this in public space, and to then ask people to question their own accountability.” The next steps for Eistrup include a BAT publication, co-edited with Clausen and the Karen Blixen Museum. The text will serve as a document of the 2012 seminar and subsequent interactions. Most recently, she exhibited This Particular Masquerade, Unmasked, and Amnesia (a sound work) in the group show Nordic Delights. The exhibition opened at Oslo Kunstforening in Norway last April, and will go on to travel to galleries in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Sasha Huber Finland/Haiti • born 1975 Sasha Huber was born in Zurich to a Haitian mother and Swiss father. Her parents met in New York City, where her mother’s family had migrated in the 1960s. Today, she lives in Helsinki, Finland, with her husband and son. Huber’s family includes members from ten countries, and she visited New York regularly and Haiti less often throughout her childhood. However, she did not visit Haiti as an adult until 2011 for the second Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince — mostly because her mother and other family were so against her returning to their ancestral home, due to safety concerns. “Interestingly, I’m the only one from my generation in my family abroad that wants to return to Haiti,” she says. Huber visited Haiti again in January 2016, for a month-long workshop series at the Centre D’Art in Port-au-Prince. That visit was especially significant, since Huber’s mentor and grandfather Georges Remponeau cofounded the Centre D’Art in 1944.

Images courtesy Sasha Huber Above Still from Remedies Haiti, a collaboration between Huber and Petri Saarikko (2016; video, 28 mins) Right Still from Karakia: The Resetting Ceremony (2015; video, 5.20 mins)

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According to Huber, her frustration with being forbidden to visit Haiti was the starting point of her art practice. “I made the first staple-gun portrait series, called Shooting Back — Reflection of Haitian Roots, which criticises some individuals who contributed to the historical and social conditions in Haiti, from the fifteenth century up to the twentieth century, and who made it what it is today — the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. I depicted the conqueror Christopher Columbus, and the former Haitian dictators François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier and Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier. The compressed-air staple gun as a tool is capable of producing visually arresting works that also function like a symbolic weapon, offering the potential to renegotiate unequal power dynamics.” The staple gun is not her only medium, however. Huber’s website describes her practice best: “Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice that encompasses video, photography, collaborations with researchers, and performancebased interventions.” Huber’s contribution to the long-term project Demounting Agassiz, for example, includes staple work, video, perfomance, and more researchbased elements. The project is a transatlantic collaboration initiated by Swiss historian and political activist Hans Fässler. It aims to unearth and redress the little-known history and cultural legacy of Swiss-born naturalist and glaciologist Louis Agassiz (1807–1873). Agassiz was an influential proponent of scientific racism who advocated for segregation and “racial hygiene.” Today, there are over sixty places all over the world and elsewhere in our Solar System (on the Moon and Mars) that bear Agassiz’s name. A major focus of the Demounting Agassiz campaign is getting these place names changed. Among them is the Agassizhorn mountain peak in the Swiss Alps. The campaign proposes to rename the peak Rentyhorn, in tribute to Renty: an enslaved person from the Congo whom Agassiz photographed in 1850, and whom Huber considers “emblematic of other silent and unnamed victims of racism.” An actual renaming has yet to take place, but in 2008 Huber performed the first of several “transformative interventions,” embarking on an expedition to the top of the mountain and placing an engraved plaque of Renty in the snow there. Huber is also involved in similar work with a Maori community in the South Island of New


Shooting Back: Christopher Columbus (2004; metal staples on abandoned wood, 80 x 115 cm)

Zealand, where residents hope to rename the Agassiz Glacier and Agassiz Range. Her Remedies series is another place where Huber’s multimedia and research-based approach to ar t-mak ing is ev ident. T he project is a collaboration with Huber’s professional and life partner, the Finnish artist Petri Saarikko, which collects folk remedies and presents them in text, video, and performance. Remedies began in Sweden during the pair’s 2010–2011 residency at Botkyrka Konsthall. In this first video work, Huskurer Remedies, the contributions were generally natural healing techniques and folk wisdom applicable to a range of circumstances, from disease to “spiritual misfortune.” Huber and Saarikko perform the contributions in a sort of instructional video,

cataloguing solutions both absurd and profound. Over the next three iterations in New Zealand (Remedies New Zealand, 2015), Australia (Remedies Australia, 2015), and Haiti (Remedies Haiti, 2016), the series evolved significantly to include a text accompanying the Remedies New Zealand video that gives some context to Maori Rongoāmedicine and describes the project’s process. The videos also evolved with the inclusion of “gestural, sung, slam, and spoken collaborative forms” that are rehearsed and performed collectively. Remedies Haiti, for example, took the form of a one-time performance at the Centre D’Art in January 2016. The performance was documented and edited into a twenty-eight-minute video that premiered in June 2016 at Savvy Contemporary in Berlin. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Own words

I

was born in Trench Town, Kingston. Actually I was born on 13th Street or 12th Street . . . It’s a long time now, y’know. I always remember that I never went hungry. Even though I grew up in Trench Town I always had three options for food: I could get dinner from my mother, then go to my grandmother, and then go to my great-grandmother, and there was always food for me.  T here was a n older ma n ca lled Huntley in Trench Town who gave me the introduction to my guitar playing. He was a dreadlocks who was living close to where I lived, so it’s a person I saw every day. He was a real good man, a Rastaman, and he used to play the guitar, so when I was about sixteen and bought my first guitar, I went to him for instruction and

“You need conscious lyrics” Leroy Sibbles, Jamaican reggae legend, on growing up in Trench Town, working with famed producer Coxsone Dodd, and the missing element of consciousness in today’s music — as told to Garry Steckles Photograph by David Corio/Redferns/Getty Images 66

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he showed me what he could. As for singing, my grandparents were revivalists, they had an African kind of thing going, y’know, and I grew up around a lot of that. And then my mom, now, we used to sing together on Sundays a lot. My f irst recording was “Gunmen Coming to Town”. I don’t remember my first live performance, but the one that sticks out in my mind is the 1986 concert at Madison Square Garden [in New York City] with Bunny Wailer. I formed the Heptones, with Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn, in 1965. We went right to [Clement] “Coxsone” Dodd, and we were accepted — we never had a problem being accepted. I worked for Coxsone at Studio One in the mid 60s and early 70s. Studio One is important to me. I was just a kid in the ghetto at the time — Coxsone was the one with control, and he put it out there. Put it on the market. We had no saying, and when we worked he wasn’t there. He would come in at night and review what we had done. I dunno how Coxsone get so much credit. Most of Coxsone’s credit is because he is the Studio One owner, y’know, executive producer, that is what Coxsone was. Coxsone was never at no session. Coxsone could not play a note and no instrument. He knew nothing about music. Physically, he may have had a good ear, yeah, a good hearing. He loved music and he had the chance to build a studio and give the people with the talent time to go perform for Coxsone. All these recordings were controlled by the king man — Jackie Mittoo. He play organ, arranged it and all that. After Jackie Mittoo left, no one could run the studio but me. Studio One turned out the most hits of any Jamaican studio, and I contributed with my bass lines, arrangements, and A&R duties, picking great talent. Recording at Lee Perry’s Black Ark studio was my weirdest experience.


“The people nowadays right now, they have their eyes on the buck, y’know. But reggae is still going”

Strange place, strange people, strange sound. Pure craziness. It was when Lee Perry was heading totally out there, y’know. Yeah man, it was when he put on this astronaut suit, man.

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y album Leroy Sibbles Reggae Hit Bass Lines is dedicated to all the hardworking musicians who dedicated their talent, time, and passion to create the original classic reggae tracks that still provide the foundation for reggae music today. Despite the original and continued success of this “foundation”

music, most of these musicians still remain relatively unknown and uncompensated for their efforts. I had the pleasure to personally work with many of these musicians during the 60s and early 70s, and I feel blessed for the opportunity to have created many of the classic reggae hit riddims with them. What is happening today? Well, I guess it’s just trendy, y’know, it’s kids and youth killing dem time, y’know. Yeah man, it’s a lot of wasted time, because there is no consciousness, really, and that is necessary for the continuation of

the true living. To maintain your natural and true guideline, you need conscious lyrics. The people nowadays right now, they have their eyes on the buck, y’know. Yeah man, they are really too keen on the buck, the fast buck. And they wanna find out the lyrics, the gal lyrics a sell, if you see what I’m saying. But reggae is still going, just not the same as when it started. New artists I like include Junior Gong, Chronixx, Morgan Heritage, and Tarrus Riley, to name some. I love all good music — any genre. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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showcase

An excerpt from De Rightest Place, a new novelin-progress by Barbara Jenkins

Woman business

Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

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arly, early December, Fritzie get a call from Sandy asking her to find somewhere for her to stay as she coming for Christmas. Fritzie ask why she not staying by KarlLee as usual, and Sandy say she want to surprise him. That is what Fritzie relate to Amber soft-soft, because they sitting in the neighbourhood pub De Rightest Place and KarlLee there too, with Sunity, his latest squeeze. The Sangre Chiquito Serenaders blasting out “Anda Parandero” on the radio, but Fritzie and Amber know the deejay could cut in any minute, and people will hear their business if they talk at normal volume. T hey look over at K a rlLee a nd Sunity. The two of them stick together like Velcro. KarlLee, who use to sport a t h i n n i ng Joh n L en non pony t a i l, now shave his head clean-clean, like Beckham. Fritzie say is a sure indication of what middle-age men up to when they shaving head but growing beard. Amber laugh and say is a pity he can’t do better than that pitiful lil Fu Manchu that sprouting. Fritzie size up KarlLee again. His problem, not mine. Mine now is what to do about Sandy. They sit silent for a while, sipping Carib and pondering the situation. Manwoman business always complicated, as both of them know full well. Fritzie, is how long yuh know Sandy? Four, five years? And she with KarlLee whole time? Well, she come with her husband first

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time. To study Carnival, they say. Yes, is true. People does come here from foreign university to study Carnival. But last few years she coming back by herself. And not just for Carnival, neither. Five years is a long time to be in a relationship with somebody at long distance, Amber thinking. Even if yuh coming and going regular. What could be the reason, especially if yuh leaving husband to come and stay by a next man. So what she does come for? Fritzie give her a “I-can’t-believe-youasking-that-question” look. It have to have a better reason. Well, she think KarlLee is a genius. That if he was living foreign, he would be recognise and be a millionaire long time. Fuh painting them slogan and picture on people wall? Like you doesn’t watch cable? People in foreign does pay real money for other people to cover big-big building in cloth. They say is contemporary art. Then the artist take off the cloth. He gone to cover a bridge in a next place. But first he dropping in the bank with the cheque. That call for more reflection. Amber make sign to Bostic for two more Carib. The first ice-cold sips wake them back up to the chilling reality of Sandy coming, unannounced. Amber pick up the conversation. She know bout Sunity? You think KarlLee tell her he have a next woman? The man know where his bread butter. Even if he getting jam elsewhere. The two women look at one another and laugh, like they imagining the jam sessions between KarlLee, fiftysomething roué, and prim-prim Miss

Sunity, thirty-something schoolteacher. Fritzie point her lips towards the couple. I find she putting up with him long. Could be she in love? Fritzie look at Amber and curl her lips with all the cynical knowledge of her years of man experience Amber, life is not a TV soap. Love? Nah, she looking for excitements. Slumming in the ghetto with a artist. KarlLee is a old hard-back man. He not going to be able to keep up. When he burn out, he will get fed up with her clinging. Wait and see. Amber look at the two lovers, factoring in the new insight. So what yuh going to do? Dunno. I can’t ask around here about a room to rent for a friend because people going to ask boldface, who. I can’t lie but I can’t say is for Sandy, because her name will leave my mouth one minute and next minute KarlLee will know. Amber know that only too well. She herself is the mistress of identifying when a piece of information so hot you have to pass it on quick-quick to the next person before it burn your tongue. You eh think KarlLee should know? He go have to make some adjustments before she reach. Sandy want to surprise him. Amber think on that. Sandy saying surprise, but maybe red-handed is what she have in mind. Maybe she suspeck something going on? They does Skype almost every day. You eh think she see how he change hairstyle, growing beard, dressing like he young? Fritzie look appraisingly at Amber. You mean she might be suspect he have a next woman?


Sa me t hing happen in Bold and Beautiful. And how they sort it out? She suspeck. She visit unknown to him and ketch he with the woman. Fritzie considering this option. Let life follow art? But these are real people, not actors who can walk away from screen disaster and go back to a different life. I can’t let that happen. Is them business, not your own. But I am involve. Just tell she it have nowhere to rent. She could stay at the Hilton. It will be like watching a car crash in slow motion. Amber drain the last few drops of her beer. She stand up. Look girl, I going to work now. Fritzie continue to stare at her bottle. Amber know she disappointed, but she can’t take on Fritzie’s anxiety. Let them sort it out. Them is big people. Should handle they own stories.

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o comfort in what Amber say. Fritzie agree that Sandy have husband in Baltimore or Philadelphia or wherever, and really shouldn’t be claiming exclusive rights to KarlLee, but on the other hand, is Sandy who does big him up, make him feel good about himself, encourage him to get artistic exposure. KarlLee and Sunity laugh out loud, drow ning out the Sangre Chiquito Serenaders, who move on to “Alegria, Alegria”. Everybody having a good time. It nice when that happen. She move back her thoughts to her dilemma. Who know what Sandy and her husband does be doing back home in the States, eh? Is true they is two old people, old like KarlLee, although age don’t seem to slow down that old goat. But you know, Sandy really have no right to expect man here to be celibate when it have so many hot, hungry young women around tempting them. She look across at Sunity, who stick up tight-tight under KarlLee armpit. Young,

sexy, fun. Giving KarlLee a little April to his September. Can’t begrudge him that. And, furthermore, KarlLee is from here. Local woman should get first preference. Not that she like Miss Sunity, eh, but she can’t identify with foreign women who feel they could just walk in and throw money around and pick up who they want and furthermore expect local women, like herself, to be on their side, helping them, when they want to cause botheration. Who to choose to be loyal to? Sandy, a woman like herself, who supporting a man in his work but is a rich foreigner, or KarlLee, a man, ketch-arse, and happy to be supported by a woman, but he from here self. But there is another choice. Like Amber say, let them sort out their own thing. If she do that, she will get the blame from both of them. Oh god, like she can’t win no how. How she find herself in this comesse? Indira, seeing her friend sitting by herself, comes over. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Penny for your thoughts. Fritzie voice fall to a whisper. Sandy coming. When? Any day now. Oh, my gods! And she don’t want KarlLee to know. They go up to the apartment and Indira hear about Fritzie dilemma. I wouldn’t want to be in your position. It’s not going to be nice for you when the mark buss. Both sides could blame you. So what to do? You could do as Amber says and let them deal with they own problems. You don’t have no other suggestion? Indira sees her friend’s forehead is as furrowed as a canefield in June. Instead of weeping and wailing we could work out some scenarios. Fritzie steups, a short fed-up steups. What I want is a way of avoiding those scenarios altogether. As far as I can see, the problem is Sunity. If she wasn’t in the picture, we wouldn’t have this problem. If there was some way of getting rid of Sunity? Kinda drastic, you don’t think? Fritzie bark a harsh laugh. Well, in a less permanent way. W hen is school closing for Christmas? Next Friday. Sunity has family in Canada, yes? A sister in Ottawa. The one who always inviting her for Christmas. This could be the year? Indira pick the newspaper and flip through to the travel section. Check out this, Fritzie. Fritzie read out: Caribbean Airlines: Dreaming of a White Christmas? Special fares to Toronto for travel between 15th and 29th December. Offer ends 6th December. Visit our website. What’s the date today? Fourth . . . Hmm, two more days . . . Indira gone over to the CD rack, pull out, push back, then pull out a Bing Crosby album, White Christmas. Bring the papers, Fritzie. We’re going downstairs. Play along, OK?

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ownstairs, Indira kill the volume on the radio, put in the CD and is Bing singing, I’m dreaming of a white

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Christmas, just like the ones I used to know . . . Indira dueting with Bing. Fritzie say loud-loud, White Christmas. That is something I always want to see. Indira! You ever see a White Christmas? Indira answer. Solo and I spent a year in Frankfurt. You can’t believe White Christmas unless you actually experience one. Pure magic. It’s like all the angels in heaven came down to cover the world with their wings. KarlLee say, I spend years in London and I see plenty Rainy Christmas, Sleety Christmas, Fogg y Chr istmas, Coldno-arse Christmas, but never White Christmas. Bostic say, All I ever see is Red and

Five years is a long time to be in a relationship with somebody at long distance, Amber thinking. Even if yuh coming and going regular Green Christmas. Sunity say, her voice wistful, My sister always bothering me to come up for Christmas but I always leave thinking about it until school close. By then the airlines booked up and all they have is executive class at top dollar. Where your sister living? Fritzie ask. Ottawa, Sunity say. Indira say, last night TV show snow deep-deep in Eastern Canada already . . . At this juncture, Bing burst through with Sleigh bells ring . . . in the lane snow is glistening . . . walking in a winter wonderland. Indira look up from her newspaper. Would you believe this? Fritzie, look! She hand the paper to Fritzie who read aloud, slowly, as if she seeing it for the first time: Caribbean Airlines: Dreaming of a White Christmas? Special fares to Toronto . . . Sunity rush over to Fritzie and read aloud: . . . for travel between 15th and 29th

December. Offer ends 6th December . . . Sunity whip out her phone, go to the website, click and click and she say, oh gosh, only two seats left. What to do? All you, help me out, what to do? KarlLee say, you sure it w ill be convenient for your sister? Indira and Fritzie want to slap him, but exercise self-restraint. Indira say, only one way to find out. Contact her. Phoning now, say Sunity, as she scrolling, finding the number. A loud squeal. Jassodra, is me. Quick question, is OK for me to come up for Christmas? Sometime between — she looks at the ad — fifteenth and twenty-ninth. Gosh, just imagine, I only now see this ad, is like Fate taking a hand. Yes. We still the same size. Everything. Boots, coat, gloves, hat. I will book now. Gosh, only hope those seats not gone already. Mwah, mwah . . . see you soon . . . bye. She pull out this card, that card from her wallet, and in just twenty minutes after Bing’s first warble — I’m dreaming — Sunity pay for her ticket to Toronto and onward to Ottawa. It’s done. Fifteenth to twenty-ninth. You leaving me for a whole two weeks? KarlLee objecting. Over Christmas? What I going to do with myself? Indira come over and put an arm around his shoulder. What you usually do for Christmas, KarlLee? I come here for a Ger man-style Christmas Eve dinner, then Trinidad-style Christmas Day breakfast, then later on English-style Christmas dinner complete with crackers and plum pudding. Indira, he says, taking her hand and kissing it, I am remiss. Forgive me. Thank you for all the years of making my Christmas happy. So, you’re not going to be neglected when I’m gone? You go and visit your sister. Folks, we better be going now. A lot for us to . . . ahem . . . discuss before Sunity leave. Fritzie go over to give Indira a highfive. Yippee! Girl, you is class. Bostic say, what was that about? Woman business, say Indira. n


chris anderson

ARRIVE

72 My Barbados 94 Brooklyn, New York Destination

Neighbourhood

96 An alphabet of beaches 104 Georgetown, Guyana

Y is for Yarra Bay on Trinidad’s north coast — part of our alphabet of Caribbean beaches

Round Trip

Layover


Destination

My Barbados Who better to introduce a country than its own people, those who live and work and create and imagine there? As Barbados celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of Independence, Nailah Folami Imoja talks to six Bajans of diverse backgrounds about their lives and achievements, what they love about their home island, and their hopes for the future

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Magical light Risée Chaderton-Charles’s Barbados is closely connected to her passion for photography. “I love Farley Hill,” she says, “because it has some of the most amazing mahogany forests, with deep green ground cover. The light is spectacular, and I love shooting brides out there. Also St Lawrence Gap, because of the bright colours and buildings. The sun in the early morning and late afternoon sweeps across the brickwork, creating magical light.” The photographer, teacher, and social media activist recalls fondly: “I photographed an amazing bride at Farley Hill. She had a guitar. I turned her into a fairy!” She shares similar memories of the more urban locale: “I once took a bride and groom to St Lawrence Gap, and they played in the street, hula-hooped with a small child who passed by, and kissed in the glow of a perfect sunset. It remains one of my favourite photoshoots. A close second has to be the session with a local rally navigator and his stunning bride. We were in St Lawrence Gap, they had an antique car, and the light was gorgeous against the brickwork and the buildings.” You can see the stunning result of the latter shoot on www.eyerisee.com, the website of Eye One Visuals, a flourishing full-service company specialising in wedding, portrait, and fashion photography. Chaderton-Charles is owner and lead photographer of the outfit, as well as mother of two, wife, and part-time college lecturer. (“I adore teaching my students! Really, I have the best students,” she says enthusiastically.) The young woman, whose natural flair electrifies any space she enters, seems as comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind it. She admits, however, that she’s “most likely to be found sitting on the ground in random places, taking photographs of people.” Fascinated with photography since school days, Chaderton74

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Risée Chaderton-Charles at one of her favourite spots on Barbados’s south coast, and (above left) in the woods at Farley Hill National Park

Charles now boasts almost twenty years’ experience in the field, having worked on magazines, commercial projects, and TV shows, including Caribbean’s Next Top Model. She has travelled widely, throughout the Caribbean, the United States, Britain, Austria, and Italy. Still, she remains a Caribbean girl at heart, as evidenced by her art and her social media activism. “I love creating images,” she says. “My artistic focus is often on challenging the traditional representation of Afro-Caribbean women in the media, and my work reflects the truth of my Caribbean heritage and of whom I’ve become as a Caribbean woman,” says the self-described “unapologetic Kadooment reveller.” Of her activities on social media, she says, “I try my best to be a voice for people who may not have either the courage or the ability to speak up against discrimination and systemic oppression.” For Barbados’s future, she wishes “a better education system


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“Farley Hill has some of the most amazing mahogany forests, with deep green ground cover. The light is spectacular” that includes courses in colonialism as a modern entity, not simply in a historical context. Discussion of the role Barbados has played in the creation of global systems of oppression, as well as critical thinking skills, need to be taught in all secondary schools.” She adds, “I look forward to open discussions of difficult topics among my countrymen — discussions that are free from personal attacks and focus instead upon issues. I also look forward to freedom for all Barbadians to be who they are. Our treatment of our LGBT citizens is an embarrassment. We

have a strain of odd religious bigotry that I would like to see vanish.” To demonstrate her point, she notes: “I love to watch kids at Easter. You will see Muslim kids flying kites — not because it is a Christian tradition but because it is a Bajan tradition. We are all Bajans, and it disturbs me that we fail to remember that when it matters most.” She adds, seriously: “We need to do better because we are better.” WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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John Roett takes in the sunset in his favourite place: the seashore Opposite page The South Point lighthouse, Barbados’s oldest

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Facing the sea

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For internationally acclaimed keyboardist John Roett, the ocean figures deeply in his love of Barbados. “Cattlewash and Carlisle Bay are my two favourite places on the island,” he declares, after some thought. “At Cattlewash, when I look out to sea, the sheer majesty and power of the waves that have relentlessly pounded their assault on the shore for hundreds of years, remind me of how resilient we have been as a small nation — a people who will never be beaten into submission. “On an early morning, I can walk the beach for miles and be the only person in sight — looking for shells, or digging my feet into the sand to make it squeak. I know of no other beach in the world where the sand does that,” he says with a smile. “That beach fills me with a deep sense of calm and peacefulness. There, turbulence and tranquillity exist together, and I become who I truly am.” The much-travelled musician — who has toured with many acts, including international recording star Maxi Priest, for whom he was musical director during his world tour in the early 1990s — adds, “Carlisle Bay has got to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. “As a young boy I lived in the sea there, and would spend 10:45 AM

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“The beach at Cattlewash fills me with a deep sense of calm and peacefulness. There, turbulence and tranquillity exist together” all day either swimming out to where the yachts were anchored, to play ‘catcher’ with friends, or climbing into a tractor inner tube with a couple of fellas and floating aimlessly around the bay. There is no childhood like a West Indian childhood.” One of the most prolific jingle writers in the Caribbean (with clients including international brands Hershey, KFC, 7-Up, and Schweppes), John describes another favourite aspect of the island. “I love the way we speak. As a musician, I understand that speech is a rhythm, and each island has its own tempo, style, and inflection. Our speech also reflects our personality as a people. We shorten words, ignore tenses, and chop up phrases to be more economical as we express ourselves. Our “sayings” are actually life lessons handed down from our ancestors. However, the most Bajan form of expression will be found in a response to having asked for directions.” He says with a laugh: “Without a doubt, you’ll be more lost than you were at the beginning.” An award-winning musician, John is highly respected for his many contributions to the local and regional musicscape. As

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a high-profile session musician, he has played keyboards for a who’s-who of Caribbean entertainers, including Dennis Brown, David Rudder, Machel Montano, Black Stalin, Arturo Tappin, Nicholas Brancker, Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood, Red Plastic Bag, Gabby, Biggie Irie, TC, and Natahlee — to name but a few. Apart from music, he admits to a great passion for helping others. “Especially children and those truly in need. Those fighting for survival. People have asked me why I do this, and the only answer I have is, ‘because I can.’” Of the future, John hopes that “we reach a stage where classism and racial prejudice no longer exist. These traits are not inherent in children, but are taught by parents, both white and black. These ‘teachings’ need to end, or we will never achieve the incredible potential we possess.” He leaves us to ponder some words of wisdom. “I am a musician, and have been all my life — though I was once a computer programmer. Why am I a musician? Because to ignore the gifts we are given is a cardinal sin. It’s OK to not ‘fit in’ with much of society, as long as you fit in with yourself.”


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Animal Flower Cave near Barbados’s northern tip looks over cliffs and crashing waves

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Fatima Patel enjoys the peace and quiet of Turner’s Hall Woods Below Archer’s Bay on the wavebattered coast of St Lucy Parish

The “aha!” moment “My two favourite places? Not easy to choose, but I think Turner’s Hall Woods, because that’s as close to the original vegetation and state of Barbados as you can get, before the colonists cleared everything. And because it’s so peaceful and shady.” And the second? “The stretch of coastline between Little Bay and North Point! Because students often get that ‘aha!’ 80

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moment when we do field trips there and they observe things they’ve learned about in class: the arches, the cliffs, the wavecut platforms.” Fatima Patel, teacher, geologist, and lover of the arts (and of all things blue), once wanted to be an astronaut and an astronomer. “I was so impressed by the sheer scale of space. I remember when I located the Andromeda Galaxy for the first time. I was awestruck by the idea of seeing the furthest object visible to the human eye. Two and a half million light years away! Mind blown.” As she grew older, her gaze “turned earthwards,” however. “Our planet is, after all, so much more accessible,” she says with a laugh. “I became fascinated with it — with its majestic landforms, particularly those formed and carved by water. I find them awe-inspiring and humbling at the same time.” Her keen interest, she explains, was fuelled by the documentaries of Jacques Cousteau and David Attenborough, which she watched voraciously as a child. First-generation Indo-Barbadian (born to migrant parents, and the only girl of five children), Patel always wanted to teach geography. This desire lead her to Jamaica, where she earned a BSc in geography and geology at the University of the West Indies.


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Bathsheba, on Barbados’s east coast

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During a work stint in Jamaica (“I did consultancy work in environmental assessment”), that island became her second home. Patel, who has been teaching at Queen’s College in Barbados since 2003, admits that, despite bouts of disillusionment with the education system, “My fascination with geography and having a captive audience to listen to me talk about it keeps me going. That and, of course, the students — these wonderful young people who give us so much hope for the future.” And it is with the students in mind that Fatima says, “I hope in the future we take these young people, our future, more seriously. I’d like the next fifty years to bring more

inclusion of children and young people who are marginalised today because our education system ignores them. “We have lots of intelligent, thinking children whose potential is not fulfilled, who are labelled ‘dumpsy’ from young, just because our education system caters to just one way of learning. I want to see primary schools being fully inclusive, where every child is assured of being able to learn at their pace. “Children with different learning abilities, as well as those with learning disabilities, are left out. I want all children to have access to quality education,” Patel says, “regardless of how they see the world, regardless of how their brains work, regardless of how they read or write.”

“I became fascinated with our planet — with its majestic landforms, particularly those carved by water”

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Creative spaces For twenty-three-year-old Luci Hammans, no matter where she may roam, Barbados will always be home. Having recently returned from five years of studies at the Birmingham School of Acting in Britain, Hammans finds herself even more aware of her island home and her place in it. The poet, performer, teacher, and arts coordinator plans to use her newly earned qualifications in applied theatre along with her stage experience to benefit the community. To this end, the young woman — who, judging from her quirky personal style (she meets me wearing an Indianinspired dashiki with cycling shorts and shiny purple Doc Marten boots), clearly dances to her own drummer — spearheads Beatfreeks Barbados (BFB), a non-profit organisation aimed at facilitating training, developmental, and professional opportunities for young creatives. “As the younger sister to Beatfreeks Ltd, which is based in the UK, Beatfreeks Barbados takes the principles of the Beatfreeks movement and places them in a Bajan context,” Hammans says. “We’re an agency, creating spaces and places for creative Bajan youth to best develop and showcase their talents. It’s about their empowerment and their professional development.” Poetry Lime, the first BFB product, is a spoken-word poetry open mic session staged the last Saturday of every 84

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Luci Hammans on the pier at Speightstown, on the west coast of Barbados, where she grew up

month at the Barbados Community College Performing Arts Centre. The free event offers young people a chance to be heard, and audiences a chance to hear them. Of Barbados, Hammans says her favourite places are on the east coast: “The Sleeping Giant — because of all the stories that literally leap from those rocks.” The stunning rock formation, named for obvious reasons, dominates the scenery along the northerly stretch of the Ermy Bourne Highway in St Andrew. “My second favourite place is Speightstown, by the pier, because that’s where I grew up.” Hammans goes on to share a memory which obviously resonates as one of her fondest. The recollection, about ten years old now, features swimming off the pier one moonlit night after she and a group of friends rather impulsively jumped into the water.

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Chosen by the stage “My two favourite places in Barbados are Temple Yard and the stage,” says actor Nala, who dropped his surname many lifetimes ago. “Temple Yard because as a young man I found it a vibrant, creative, familial space. Very welcoming. I felt protected there. The Rastas in Temple Yard encouraged me to start selling my hand-painted shirts. That’s when I discovered I was good at selling things,” he says with a laugh. “Also, because there’s a confidence about our Afro-Caribbean identity that has always been a part of Temple Yard. I still lime there often.” 86

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Theatre practitioner Nala at Temple Yard, a familiar place from his earlier years

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“We had so much fun. We only got out of the water because we noticed this huge shadow beneath us. We knew about this big stingray that was known to frequent the waters in that area, so when we saw that . . . Getting out was not as easy as getting in. Getting out was definitely a team effort,” she recalls with a laugh. With Barbados celebrating fifty years of Independence, it’s natural to reflect on the past and to examine the road forward. “In fifty years,” Hammans says, “I’d like to see Barbados benefiting from the investments we put into our artistry and young people forty-five years ago.”

“In terms of the stage, it’s where I spend much of my artistic time. I don’t think I chose theatre. It’s more a case of this being the only thing I’ve been interested in enough to find the discipline to do it.” Since Nala began acting professionally “rather than as a hobby” in 1995, his career has seen him perform in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Anguilla, as well as Senegal and Switzerland. “I’m very proud of the Swiss gig,” he says. “I had to perform in three languages, two of which I don’t speak — French and Spanish. And I had three days to prepare. It was very stressful, but good fun.” “I remember recognising at some point that what I loved could be a profession,” says Nala of his connection to the arts. “I am


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A quiet lookout at North Point

“I’d like to see us make better use of our natural resources. We grow the best cotton on the planet, were the first to create rum, have the best mutton” an artist — a multi-genre artist. In terms of what I do, how I make my living, there’s nothing more to me than art — whether it be performance, visual arts, or my writing.” Nala is also involved in film production, having trained as a boom operator and sound man. He adds with a grin, “I’m also a self-declared social commentator.” Enter The $2 Philosopher, Nala’s popular stand-up comedy alter ego, and host of The Philosopher’s Corner, a season of comedy staged annually between January and March at The Cove in St Lawrence Gap. “The Philosopher is really just me on steroids,” Nala admits with a chuckle. “He’s a cynic, but, just beneath the surface, truly an idealist. We, as a people, could be doing far better if we would just try harder. My act is a response to that — a cynical response to the nonsense.” And the next fifty years? “I would like to see Barbados take our creative and cultural output seriously,” Nala says, “because that’s where our identity lies. Once we have a clearer idea of 88

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that, we will have a focused, more proactive interaction with the world.” He adds, “I’d like to see us make better use of our natural resources. We grow the best cotton on the planet, were the first to create rum, have the best mutton. Given our historical position, we should be much further ahead in these areas.” He pauses. “I’d also like to see all Cabinet ministers take a ten per cent cut in salaries. I would like to see this happen right now, because it would give me more hope for our political future in fifty years,” he says, face deadpan. For all The Philosopher’s cynicism, Nala is certain of one thing. “I would never settle anywhere else. I’ve thought of leaving, because Barbados can be an art-hostile environment, but I want to see art develop here, and I don’t see how that can happen if we keep running away. I want to see and be a part of the ‘fifty years from now’ I mentioned earlier.”


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Love for the land For hotelier, eco-farmer, and filmmaker Mahmood Patel, the east coast of the island is a favourite aspect of Barbados. “This is my spot,” he says indicating the summit of a slope on his large tract of land in St Joseph. The site affords a magnificent view of the lush foliage of the eastern parish, its fields and hills, and the foaming, rolling surf crashing onto sandy shores way off in the distance. “Sometimes I come here to think or just relax.” His land in St Joseph is the site of an interesting project in eco-farming. Patel is integrating food crops into the natural landscape of the area, which is mostly forest. He is also contouring the hilly landscape to decelerate erosion and make more efficient use of natural irrigation. “As a boy, I would come to this area with my father,” he says. “I always loved the peaceful beauty here, so some of my love is connected to my memories of the place and the people. I saw how hard people worked in agriculture, and it’s important to me that I continue that heritage — to re-establish and maintain the old crops once grown here, like cocoa, coffee, and pineapples. I’m going 90

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Tiny chattel houses are Barbados’s most characteristic form of folk architecture

back in history, resurrecting the past.” While some of his stock is bought from local nurseries, some of it comes from the natural habitat. “We find many of the plants growing wild in gullies. And we transplant them here,” he explains. As well as the aforementioned crops, the Fruit Forest, as Mahmood calls his two-and-a-half-year-old pet project, is home to lime, orange, golden apple, banana, bay, coconut, mango, avocado, and Jamaican ackee trees, as well as ginger, strawberries, and much more. The former owner of a plant nursery and landscaping business, Patel is no stranger to the land, and sees the Fruit Forest as a return to his personal roots and an investment in his future as well as that of Barbados, as it adds value to another business: Ocean Spray Beach Apartments. “My vision is that hotel guests will eat the food we grow and rely less on imports. Right now, guests are served banana, ginger, and star anise jam. The chocolate we make is infused with natural ingredients from the forest — we’re playing with flavours here. We serve dark chocolate truffles with ginger and

with bay leaf. I’m being forward-thinking here, adding value to what we produce. For me, it is all about establishing the symbiosis between the hotel and the forest.” Also known throughout the Caribbean and elsewhere for his film-making, Patel is taking a hiatus from the movie world, allowing his creativity and sense of design to have free play on his land. “Eventually, this will be a nature park as well,” he says. “I want to venture into agro-tourism so people will be able to come here and hike the nature trail down into the forest and back, and gain a better understanding of the connections between the food we grow and what appears on their plates. Tourism and agriculture should have a much firmer handshake.” Mahmood’s other favourite spots: the wonderfully picturesque Harrismith Beach in St Philip, with its wind-hewn cliffs and the interesting ruins nearby. Also an abandoned free village in St Lucy called Near Date Tree Hill, “because that village, the minimalist way those people lived, is evidence of human resourcefulness, and that impresses me. The idea of leaving a small carbon footprint appeals to me a lot. Unfortunately, we’ve lost that connection to reality, the reality of living with nature.”

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A classic Barbados landscape of gently rolling green hills

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NEIGHBOURHOOD

Brooklyn, New York North America’s Caribbean “capital” was once an independent city, and much of the time it still behaves that way

Streetscape The topography of Brooklyn’s seventy-one square miles varies from the towers of Downtown to the elegant brownstone terraces of Park Slope and Prospect Heights to the Coney Island waterfront. Atlantic Avenue, running east to west, and Flatbush Avenue, running south-east to north-west, are major thoroughfares crossing the borough. They meet at the Barclays Centre, a sports and entertainment venue which sits right at the borders of the Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, and Park Slope neighbourhoods. Closer to Downtown, Brooklyn Heights sits on a bluff overlooking the East River and the Manhattan shore, and the small DUMBO neighbourhood — it’s an acronym: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass — is a former industrial zone now made trendy by art galleries and high-tech startups.

Crossing the bridge

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The borough’s most famous landmark of all may be the Brooklyn Bridge, crossing the East River to Manhattan. An engineering marvel in its day, its double-arched stone towers are icons of the city, and you can see them up close from the pedestrian walkway, which starts in downtown Brooklyn and ends near NYC’s City Hall. The views are spectacular, and if you start your walk from the Manhattan side, you can end by exploring Brooklyn Bridge Park, which runs for over a mile along the waterfront, through what was once industrial dockland.

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Co-ordinates

Outdoors

40.6º N 58.0º W Sea level

Brooklyn isn’t just streets of brownstone houses and apartment towers. The borough is scattered with green spaces, from small neighbourhood playgrounds to magnificent parks. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead is most famous for creating Central Park in Manhattan, but Brooklynites will tell you that was just practice for his true masterpiece: Brooklyn’s very own Prospect Park. Opened to the public in 1867, Prospect Park is a 585-acre roughly triangular oasis, boasting Brooklyn’s only lake — man-made. The park’s Long Meadow, a gently rolling lawn, half a mile long and fringed by trees, is one of New York City’s most glorious strolls. Immediately adjoining Prospect Park is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden — famous for its avenues of cherry trees, which blossom every spring, as well as its Japanese garden, complete with vermillion torii, and a Shakespeare garden with dozens of flowers and herbs mentioned in the plays and poems of the Bard. But homesick Caribbean Brooklynites head for the greenhouses, especially in the winter. Whatever the weather outside, the tropical greenhouse is always warm, humid, and lush, and the rich scent of the vegetation takes you right back to an island rainforest.

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Long Island

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Museum, gift of Mrs Carll H de Silver

Brooklyn is an English version of a Dutch name, Breuckelen, once a small town on the southwestern shore of Long Island. When the English took over the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1664 — renaming it New York — this was a landscape of small villages and farms dotted among hills. The 1776 Battle of Brooklyn was the first major military incident of the American War of Revolution. During the nineteenth century, spurred by the urban growth of Manhattan across the East River, Brooklyn grew into a major city, with its own city hall, public library, museums, and monuments. In 1898, Brooklyn was consolidated into the city of New York, losing its independent status — opponents of the move called it the “Great Mistake” — but the now borough has never lost its distinctive identity. The 1960s brought an influx of migrants from the Caribbean, and neighbourhoods like Crown Heights and Flatbush soon became known for their Caribbean vibe. Over the past decade and a half, rising property prices in Manhattan have driven a wave of gentrification through many of Brooklyn’s neighbourhoods, bringing new (and generally younger and wealthier) residents, trendy shops and restaurants — and anxieties about changes to long-established communities.

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History

Art New York is the global art capital of the twenty-first century, and its museums — the Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, the Guggenheim — are world-famous. Visitors throng the major Manhattan museums, but what many of them don’t know is that the city’s second-largest art museum is right here in Brooklyn, on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue. It even has its own subway stop — that’s more than you can say for the Met. What treasures does the Brooklyn Museum have on its walls and in its galleries? Major collections of Ancient Egyptian and African art, among the world’s biggest. A stellar collection of art by women, in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Centre for Feminist Art. Plus old masters, Renaissance paintings, contemporary work by Brooklyn artists, and a few works that will be familiar to Caribbean eyes — like this late-eighteenth-century painting by Agostino Brunias (at left), depicting Free Women of Colour with Their Children in Dominica.

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ROUND TRIP

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An alphabet of beaches

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B is for The Baths, Virgin Gorda

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Some Caribbean islands boast of having a different beach for every day of the year. That may be an exaggeration — but across the region, you can certainly find a memorable beach for every letter of the alphabet. Here are our twenty-six picks, from A to Z

Anse La Roche, Carriacou To get to this secluded bay at the foot of the High North Range, you’ll need to hike through the woods or hire a boat. The blissful seclusion is worth it

The Baths, Virgin Gorda Gigantic granite boulders form caves, pools, and tunnels at one of the Caribbean’s most spectacular natural sites

Crane Beach, Barbados Pink sand, sheltering cliffs, and a perfect sunset vantage-point, with one of Barbados’s oldest and poshest resorts in the background

Doctor’s Cave Beach, Jamaica On the doorstep of Montego Bay, this hugely popular beach was once lauded for the healing properties of its warm waters

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Eagle Beach, Aruba Arubans claim it’s the best white sand beach in the Caribbean. It’s also home to nesting turtles, and picturesque trees gnarled by the constant sea winds

Gouverneur Beach, St Barthélemy Champagne, anyone? This remote hideaway offers privacy and the opportunity to sunbathe among the rich and famous

La Feuillère, Marie-Galante It’s like paradise, visitors say: a mile of white sand, a reef-sheltered lagoon, and a strip of waterfront restaurants in nearby Capesterre — plus the island’s best kite-surfing

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Half Moon Bay, Antigua Near Antigua’s south-eastern tip, Half Moon’s “sugar crystal” sands are protected by a fringing reef, perfect for snorkelling

Above C is for Crane Beach, Barbados Right E is for Eagle Beach, Aruba


Île Royale, French Guiana Like nearby Devil’s Island, this was once a prison colony, now run as a laidback resort, where visitors can swim in artificial rock pools, sheltered from the strong Atlantic currents

Johnny Cay, San Andres Just off the north-east coast of San Andres, Johnny Cay is a tiny island that’s all beach, complete with coconut trees, food vendors, and live music

King’s Bay, Tobago Never crowded, King’s Bay is the answer for those who want a quiet beach that’s not hard to access. Surrounded by lush green hills, with a nearby waterfall and natural freshwater pool

Low Bay, Barbuda

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Do you like long walks on the beach? Low Bay stretches for eight blissful miles, and for most of the way you’ll have the Champagne-coloured sand to yourself

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Morne Rouge Bay, Grenada

Orient Bay, Saint-Martin

Nearby Grand Anse may be more famous, but Morne Rouge offers the same white sand and pristine water with less of a crowd

There should be at least one beach on this list where you can go au naturel. There’s two miles of powdery white sand, amazing snorkelling — and the famous clothing-optional area, where you can work on a seamless tan

No Name Beach, Klein Bonaire It’s been called one of the world’s perfect beaches, on a tiny, uninhabited island off Bonaire. You won’t believe the brilliant turquoise water, even when you see it

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Playa Pilar, Cayo Guillermo Off Cuba’s north coast, the Jardines del Rey are a string of picture-perfect white sand cays — none more popular than Cayo Guillermo, with the famous white sand dunes of Playa Pilar

Above J is for Johnny Cay, San Andres Right O is for Orient Bay, Saint-Martin


Queen’s Beach, Great Harbour Cay Once a favourite of movie stars, Great Harbour Cay, forty miles north of Nassau, has a population of under four hundred — and this tranquil thrteen-mile stretch of sand, lined by pine trees

Les Salines, Martinique Martinique’s best beach? Les Salines is a leading candidate, with its sheltered swimming, broad expanse of sand, view south to St Lucia — and utterly delicious coconut ice cream from beachside vendors

Turtle Beach, St Kitts Sometimes the crowds get it right. St Lucia’s most popular beach happens to have perfect, sheltered water, an amazing view across to Pigeon Island, and proximity to some of the island’s best restaurants

Access is via an unpaved road, which adds to the air of seclusion. The reef that protects the beach from the open Atlantic also makes for fantastic snorkelling

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Reduit Beach, St Lucia

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courtesy discover dominica authority

Uvero Alto, Dominican Republic

Xanadu Beach, Grand Bahama

The least crowded beach of the DR’s ultra-popular Punta Cana resort area has both sheltered spots for swimming and reliable breaks for surfers

Just outside bustling Freeport, Xanadu was once a Hollywood playground. When you feel the white sand between your toes and see the luminous blue water, you’ll understand why

Villa Bay, St Vincent Probably the most popular beach on St Vincent’s south coast, Villa is lined with hotels and looks across to the Young Island resort — but still manages a quiet, unpretentious vibe on weekdays

Wavine Cyrique Beach, Dominica It takes a tough but exhilarating hike — yes, ropes are involved — to get to this small beach with its strip of black volcanic sand and thrilling waterfall dropping from the cliff above

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Yarra Bay, Trinidad The bays of Trinidad’s north coast are tucked between the Northern Range and the open Caribbean Sea — which means swimming can be tricky, but Yarra also boasts a small river where you can enjoy a bracing freshwater soak

Zion Hill Beach, Jamaica A treasure of the Portland coast, Zion Hill Beach is untouched by hotels or houses — it’s just sea, sand, trees, a rocky point, and you, taking it all in n

W is for Wavine Cyrique Beach, Dominica


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LAYOVER

As headquarters for Caricom, Georgetown is already on regional diplomats’ travel maps, and with Guyana’s still-untapped offshore oilfields turning investors’ heads, increasing numbers of business travellers will likely soon be joining them. Once known as the Caribbean’s Garden City for its profuse flora, Dutch-engineered canals, and elegant architecture, Georgetown today has a more raffish charm, rough around the edges, but still animated by an old-time hospitality.

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Beyond the heavily populated coastal strip, Guyana’s vast interior is a land of mountains and forests, savannas and vast rivers — and to explore it, you need to take your time. But at least one of these spectacles is just a daytrip away from Georgetown by plane: Kaieteur Falls. Most tour companies in the city can arrange an excursion, and most also include a stop at Orinduik on the border with Brazil.

Now and then you need to stretch your legs. Georgetown is a relatively walkable city, though the midday sun can be scorching. Try a stroll along the Sea Wall just before sunset. Parents with children, elderly couples, and joggers of all ages enjoy the Atlantic breeze and the views of ocean to the north and the city spread out to the south.

Sooner or later you grow weary of the hotel bar, however friendly the bartender. Sheriff Street is famous for its raucous nightlife, but a more laidback option is Night Cap, an elegant restaurant in the lush grounds of the former Russian embassy, where you can sip an El Dorado on the rocks in the comfort of a thatch-roofed lounge and eavesdrop on local gossip.

courtesy night cap

amanda richards

Shh! Don’t let a Trinidadian hear you say this, but Guyanese roti may be the best in the Caribbean. Decide for yourself: Shanta’s Roti Shop on Camp Street, a lunchtime mainstay for nearby office workers, offers handkerchief-light puris bursting with dhal, and almost every kind of curried vegetable you can imagine. Boulanger = eggplant, bora = a kind of very long string bean, what Trinis call bodi.

nicholas laughlin

nicholas laughlin

Georgetown’s traditional wooden architecture is a marvel, though in a hot, humid climate it demands constant restoration. For a close-up look, a tranquil retreat, and a history lesson all at once, visit St George’s Cathedral, with its soaring vaults of local wood and numerous memorials. There’s a donation box for your spare change: help keep this architectural treasure in good repair.

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On a business trip to Guyana’s capital with a day to spare or an afternoon to explore? Our guide to exploring Georgetown when time is tight


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106 ’Tis the season to 108 Back to the land buy local Green

The Deal

110 Who’s your granny? On This Day

A replica of the historic boat Granma, on display at Cuba’s Parque Nacional Desembarco del Granma

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GREEN

’Tis the season to buy local Christmas is the season of good cheer — and gift-giving. Nazma Muller compiles a guide to sustainable Caribbean-made holiday presents that are good for the environment, and will still delight your friends and families too

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s more people become eco-conscious and embrace green living, the Caribbean’s entrepreneurs have been finding new fans for all-natural, indigenous products that are sustainable and eco-friendly. The healthconscious and organic-minded love the seemingly boundless benefits of our many fruits, vegetables, herbs, and trees. So, this Christmas, instead of risking parking rage at the shopping malls to jostle with thousands of other harried shoppers for brand-name gifts (and a whole heap of ripoffs) in plastic packaging, why not buy something memorable and planet-friendly from one of the Caribbean’s many talented artists, craftsmen, and creative cooks? At UpMarket, a monthly fair in Port of Spain, you can find some of Trinidad and Tobago’s most innovative and unusual craft, art, and food: recycled glass bead bracelets and chains made by Turtle Warrior from bottles found on a turtle nesting beach, artisanal chocolate made from the finest Trinitario beans, leather handbags, handmade soaps and lotions with natural ingredients such as buttermilk, cocoa butter, kaolin clay, vanilla beans, and coconut oil. Judy Bain weaves unique Carnival characters into iconic dolls from wicker. Artist Trevor St George creates mirrors, paintings, and installations from recycled materials, while Phillip Arthur’s wooden kitchen utensils and trays are nostalgic and useful presents that will stir memories of the Caribbean when curries and stews are bubbled in lands far away. Sepia Studio offers breathtaking glimpses of the island using the fine art giclée printing technique.

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Fancy a spot of tea for mum? TeaSpoTT sells organic loose-leaf teas and steepware. But this is no ordinary tea. The blends come with names like Chocolate Ginger Bourbon, Paradise, and Red Velvet. Their exquisitely wrapped gift baskets also include tea in f lavours such as French vanilla bean and piña colada, with complementary scented soy candles from Garden of Grace (mint chocolate crème, Cara Café, and fruit bowl) and a mug. Inspired by traditional Caribbean cooking, Modern Equator founder Denise Carew has created food products that are both delicious and nutritious, using the humble sorrel, Hibiscus sabdariffa. Carew has taken this perennial herb native to West Africa — which is usually boiled and made into a sweet drink, especially at Christmas time — and created a margarita, a jam, and a sweet-sour-and-spicy sauce with this antioxidant wonder. The sweetest gift, though, is honey: one hundred per cent pure honey from Eco-Buzz, who pride themselves on the fact that they take their bees to feed on moriche palms. Meanwhile, in south Trinidad, the IRIE Village South Stylee Market is a monthly handicraft market held at the Skiffle Bunch panyard on Coffee Street, San Fernando. Here, on the last Saturday of each month, you can find fresh honey from Bede Rajahram, enchanting crochet hats from Twine Worx, designer leather bags and wallets handcrafted by Eguana Leathercraft, cinnamon breakaway breads by Hazel-Ann Ambrose, all-natural soaps and wines by Earth Food, even upcycled benches and grow boxes from Gyasi Williams.

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ver in Jamaica, meanwhile, Man A Yaad is a collection of aromatherapy products made just for men. The Jamaican term “man ’a yaad” refers to one who is seen as strong and confident — “a him run tings.” This bath and body collection would be perfect for the man who also enjoys being pampered. Made with real essential oils, the collection includes bath gel, massage and body oil, and lotions, with fragrances including energising mint eucalyptus, musk lime, cedar wood, patchouli and


Instead of risking parking rage at the shopping malls to jostle with thousands of other harried shoppers, why not buy something planet-friendly from one of the Caribbean’s many talented artists, craftsmen, and creative cooks?

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here are dozens more sustainable gift ideas in other parts of the Caribbean. Another favourite: Rupununi Organics, based in Guyana, who boast that they sell fair-trade, one-hundred-per-cent organic ecofriendly beauty products handmade by Amerindian communities in the Amazon. Their soaps are an alternative means of livelihood for the indigenous communities, who set the retail price, and some — like those made by the Patamona tribe — use a secret recipe more than seven thousand years old that includes the oil of the crabwood tree. And for Caribbean art lovers, a painting or wall hanging from a Haitian artist is the pièce de résistance of their collection. Now you don’t need to fly all the way to Port-au-Prince to buy one. Viva Terra’s website offers stunningly crafted recycled metal art pieces, as well as woven rush rugs and artisan-made iron stands for your plants. Even your pickiest friend or relative will be impressed — both by the craftsmanship and by the chance to support local artisans and their families. n

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lime, mango banana, and citrus ginger. Recycled, eco-friendly products from Gutzmore Concepts include tote bags, notepads, and wooden toys. Earth Elements Jamaica offers natural hair and skin products that use peppermint oil, shea butter, sandalwood, lemongrass, neem, castor oil, and coconut. Ettenio, which began as a kitchen experiment with rosemary, nettle, thyme, and peppermint, is a luxurious range of healthy and safe products for the hair, skin, and body. Both nourishing and therapeutic, the products are formulated from a blend of the finest and most potent raw and organic plant extracts, botanicals, essential oils, and fragrances — such as rosemary, aloe, Jamaican black castor oil, and shea butter. Umium coconut chocolate spread is giving Nutella a run for its money — at least in Jamaica. High in antioxidants, low in sugar, the blend of coconut and dark

chocolate is perfect on bread or biscuits for breakfast, or as a snack for vegans. Also gluten-free, Umium can be used by children with allergies and restricted diets. Caribbean Dreams draw on the therapeutic powers of the region’s legendary folk remedies in their line of teas: moringa, which Fidel Castro swears by, is mixed with mint; soursop, reported to have anti-cancer properties, is blended with honey; cerasee, which has been used for centuries in Jamaica for hypertension, diabetes, and abdominal pains; and noni, whose fruit juice is used for an alphabet of ailments — from arthritis and AIDS to senility and drug addiction.

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THE DEAL

Agriculture is an essential industry — how else do we feed ourselves? — but traditionally has been considered back-breaking, thankless, old-fashioned work. That’s starting to change, Erline Andrews reports, as a new generation of young Caribbean “farmer-preneurs” adopt the latest technological advances in one of humankind’s oldest activities Photograph by Muph/Shutterstock.com 108 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

Back to the land

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ou probably won’t find someone more enthusiastic about farming than Rionda Godet. In a recent interview, Godet — a Bahamian attorney who’s a former broadcaster and beauty queen — sounded ready for her promotional video close-up: “I want to be a part of an advocacy programme that encourages every home to have a small garden,” she said. “Food that is grown by hand is healthier, it tastes better, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment.” Godet has been on TV, radio, and in print talking up what she calls “farmer-preneurship.” She’s part of a growing alternative agriculture movement in the Caribbean, whose adherents focus on organic produce and environmentally sustainable farming methods, often converting what they grow into unique food products. Godet has run Ridge Farms since 2009. It started after an order of tomatoes was left on her hands when a sale fell through. She made them into sauces, which were a hit. She went on to make pepper sauces and jellies. One of her products, the Zango Nana Blue Blaze pepper jelly, was


highlighted in the Wall Street Journal column “Bits & Bites” in 2012: “Packed with blueberries and a dose of bananas, it started out sweet, tangy, and a tad tart, then blazed a wonderfully wicked trail of fire on the back of the tongue.” Godet sells her products at farmers markets in the Bahamas, an increasingly popular phenomenon in the Caribbean, and to hotels. Although her legal practice is still her main source of income, she makes a small profit from Ridge Farms, growing the goat peppers for her sauces in a thirtyfive-by-twenty-five-foot greenhouse made out of plywood and micro-mesh. When she first started, Godet used hydroponics, a soilless method of agriculture, but three years ago she started adding soil to the blend of pro mix and peat moss she’d been using. She continues to use drip irrigation, which saves water, and neem oil, a natural pesticide. “I love greenhouse farming,” says Godet. “It’s not your traditional farming that requires acres and acres of land.”

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ydroponics and greenhouses are forms of protected agriculture, defined as “modification of the natural environment to achieve optimal growth.” Across the region, the Caribbean Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Export Development Agency, and other national and regional bodies are encouraging protected agriculture through training and funding. The most popular produce from protected agriculture, according to CARDI, are sweet peppers, tomatoes, pak choi, lettuce, cucumbers, and shadon beni (or cilantro), with some farmers exploring cauliflower, beans, carailli (bitter melon), chives, and hot pepper. “It’s an idea that’s growing,” says Godet of greenhouse farming in the Bahamas. “Within the last two years there has been a very strong drive towards food sustainability.” Dr Wayne Ganpat, dean of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture at the University of the West Indies St Augustine campus, believes the drive is necessary. “Climate change is going to force us to change the face of agriculture and the practice of agriculture in the Caribbean,” says Ganpat, who wrote a book about the effects of climate change on the region,

published two years ago. Among the predicted effects of changing weather patterns, says Ganpat, are periods of drought, higher temperatures, and more pests and diseases. “Protected agriculture is one of the ways to manage the internal environment for crops to grow better,” he says. “You’re going to see smaller farmers doing protected agriculture in smaller parcels of land. The productivity is much more under a protected system. You’re going to see a lot more people getting into that.” Entrepreneurs and corporations will try farming because it will no longer be about “slaving under the hot sun,” says

he says. “If you don’t do it at an individual level, people have to get together and probably do it in terms of cooperatives or groups.” Yaphene, a company in St Kitts, is a sterling example of value-adding. The small farm, run by Anastasha Elliot and her mother and siblings, produces a panoply of products from organically grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. That includes sauces, salad dressings, and wines, as well as shampoos, conditioners, and perfumes. It’s the family’s main source of income, and a long way from what Elliot thought she would do, growing up in an environ-

“Value addition” is another challenge for the modern farmer. “If you bring your product in a form that is ready for the consumer to cook, you get more money for your product,” says UWI scientist Wayne Ganpat Ganpat, describing the factory-like conditions of grow rooms in China and Japan, with crops growing under LED lights, which make it no longer necessary to rely on natural sunlight. “The human resource in agriculture is changing. A lot more young people are going into agriculture. It’s become a little more technological,” Ganpat explains. “A lot more institutions are putting out graduates. They’re going to be the future producers. The age profile and education profile of the typical farmer is going to change.” “Value addition” is another challenge for the modern farmer, adds Ganpat. To be competitive, farmers have to package their goods in ways that lengthen their shelf life and are more convenient for consumers. For Caribbean agricultural entrepreneurs, jams and jellies are the most popular ways to do this, but Ganpat would like to see them do more. UWI, for instance, is experimenting with different kinds of flours, including some made from bananas and breadfruit. “If you bring your product in a form that is ready for the consumer to cook, you get more money for your product,”

ment where farming was “not thought of as a viable career.” Elliot decided to build on the family’s background in farming, dating back to her great-grandmother and the fertile land on which they lived. “You’re using up the food and you’re getting the health benefits,” she says of what Yaphene does. “I wanted to offer something sustainable, something that would benefit our customers over the long haul.” She hopes to get funding to build a greenhouse, which would be better for the farm’s orchids. Like Godet, Elliot’s combination of creativity and conscientiousness represents the future of farming. “Yesterday’s farming required acres and acres of land. Today’s farming does not,” Godet explains. “Yesterday’s farming required specialists. Today’s farming does not. Yesterday’s farming required volumes and volumes of produce to make it a worthwhile venture. Today’s farming doesn’t. You only need enough to sustain your home and maybe a small market of people. “Everyone can be a farmer,” she added. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 109


on this day

Who’s your granny? Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

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n the 1950s and 60s, when Marxism was still fashionable, communist newspapers had suitably stirring names: Pravda (“Truth”) in the Soviet Union, L’Humanité in France, L’Unità in Italy. Idealism and determination were evident in Il Liberatore (Tunisia) and Avante! (Portugal), while perhaps there was also some wishful thinking in Venezuela’s El Popular. All these titles projected conviction and optimism to their readers and the wider world. So one wonders what went through the minds of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party when they launched their daily paper in October 1965. The name they chose was Granma. Granma? Why would bearded, battle-hardened revolutionaries like Fidel Castro name their paper after an elderly female relative? Why not Granny, or Nan? There is, of course, a logical reason, and one that dates back sixty years — to November 1956. At that time, Castro and a number of his supporters were in Mexico, exiled by the unpleasant Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. One attempt to overthrow the Batista regime had ended in failure in 1953, and Castro was determined to launch another armed uprising, this time through a surprise landing on the coast of Cuba. All that was needed was a seaworthy vessel that would carry the small guerrilla band from the Mexican port of Tuxpan across the Gulf of Mexico to a landing site on the south coast. Once the insurgents arrived, forces on the island hostile to Batista would rise up and the revolution would commence — that, at least, was the plan. Castro’s 26th of July Movement (the date of his previous abortive revolt) had tried to acquire various suitable modes of transport, including a high-speed naval rescue boat and even an amphibious American flying boat. But money was short, despite the best fundraising efforts by former President Carlos Prío Socarrás, who had not forgiven Batista for ousting him in a coup in 1952. Eventually, though, $15,000 was raised among the exile Cuban community in Florida.

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Sixty years ago, a squadron of battle-hardened guerrillas landed on Cuba’s south-east coast, launching the revolution that would soon grip the world’s imagination. And the heroically leaky boat that got them there? It was named for someone’s grandmother. James Ferguson remembers the story of Granma This sum seemingly passed into the hands of a shadowy Mexican intermediary and alleged arms dealer, who purchased a sixty-foot cabin cruiser from an American doctor, who was apparently fond of his grandmother. What was more worrying, however, was that Granma, built in 1943, could accommodate no more than twelve crew and passengers, whereas Castro’s band numbered eighty-two. It had faulty gears, no radio communication, and its tank could not hold enough fuel to make the crossing (more than two thousand gallons of diesel had to be stashed on deck). Nonetheless, amid growing fears of surveillance by the FBI and Mexican and Cuban intelligence, the project took shape. According to Thomas M. Leonard in his biography of Fidel Castro, “The poorly conditioned Granma underwent an extensive, but necessary, overhaul in order to be seaworthy for its sail to Cuba. Tuxpan appeared a good choice as a point of departure. The coastal town was too small to warrant a customs or immigration officer.” As rumours of an impending raid by the Mexican authorities intensified, the guerrillas decided to cut short their military training and set sail. Unfortunately the weather was appalling, and at the end of the hurricane season in a deluge of rain Granma edged quietly and discreetly out of Tuxpan at 2 am on 26 November. On board — and in considerable discomfort — were Fidel and his brother Raúl Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos, and one Ernesto “Che” Guevara, an Argentine doctor and motorbike enthusiast who had espoused the cause of revolution in Cuba. So crowded was the vessel, which also carried supplies and weaponry, that the eighty-two men were forced to take turns standing and sitting — and none could lie down. As the boat pitched and tossed in the stormy sea, some of the fighters had to bail out water from the leaking vessel. Food supplies ran low, though most were too seasick to care. Once or twice it seemed as if Granma might capsize, and one of the group fell overboard but was pulled back onto the deck.


Finally, against the odds, on 2 December they reached the swampy and inhospitable Playa Las Coloradas on Cuba’s south-east tip, where Granma promptly ran aground. They were soon spotted and fired upon, and the planned meeting with comrades and vehicles was rapidly abandoned as they scrambled ashore. Little did they know, moreover, that the planned insurrection that was meant to coincide with their landing had already been crushed. Regrouping, they headed inland with Batista’s forces in hot pursuit. It was to be another ordeal, as Che Guevara recalled: We reached solid ground, lost, stumbling along like so many shadows or ghosts marching in response to some obscure psychic impulse. We had been through seven days of constant hunger and sickness during the sea crossing, topped by three still more terrible days on land. Exactly ten days after our departure from Mexico, during the early morning hours of December 5, following a night-long march interrupted by fainting and frequent rest periods, we reached a spot paradoxically known as Alegría de Pío (Rejoicing of the Pious). Of the original eighty-two combatants, only twelve survived to make it to the relative safety of the Sierra Maestra Mountains, from where the guerrilla campaign was eventually to gather strength.

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e now know that this unlikeliest of campaigns culminated in Batista’s flight on 1 January, 1959, and Castro’s triumphant entry into Havana a week later. As for Granma, she had been pulled free of the sandbank

and was soon on her way to Havana’s harbour, where Norberto Collado Abreu, an ex-navy officer who had captained the trip from Tuxpan and had been captured and jailed soon after the landing, was put in charge of conserving the boat. It duly became an object of revolutionary veneration, and in 1976 was added to the miscellaneous military hardware on display at the Museo de la Revolución, where it sits today in a glass annex. Most TripAdvisor reviews are complimentary. So it was that the victorious revolutionary leadership named their newspaper after a second-hand and slightly leaky cabin cruiser. But it didn’t stop there. The area of Oriente province where the boat ran aground was renamed Provincia de Granma in 1976. On 2 December, a replica of the yacht is sometimes wheeled around Havana in the annual military parades commemorating the landing. Granma is ubiquitous and iconic in Cuba, and even beyond — with stamps, t-shirts, and even a clock bearing the boat’s image. One can only wonder what the American doctor’s favourite granny would make of it all. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 111


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SPOT THE DIFFERENCE by Gregory St Bernard There are 12 differences between these two pictures. How many can you spot?

Spot the Difference answers Colour of Christmas ornaments/coconuts is changed; fish conductor’s fin and baton are repositioned; candy cane in purple fish’s fin is smaller; purple fish’s eyes are closed; purple fish’s tail fin is repositioned; sign is repositioned; “S” in “shells” is reversed; green fish’s shell is smaller; sunshades are added to green fish; colours on blue fish are swapped; fin on blue fish’s back is longer; yellow fish’s eye is open.

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81% (2016 year-to-date: 11 October)


Caribbean Airlines CARIBBEAN Trinidad Head Office Airport: Piarco International Reservations & information: + 868 625 7200 (local) Ticket offices: Nicholas Towers, Independence Square, Port of Spain; Golden Grove Road, Piarco; Carlton Centre, San Fernando Baggage: + 868 669 3000 Ext 7513/4

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/ Across the World

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(during flight check-in ONLY – Mon/Fri 10:30 am – 1.30 pm Tue/Thur 12.30 pm – 3.30 pm) Baggage: + 407 825 3482

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St Lucia Airport: George F L Charles Reservations & information: 1 800 744 2225 Ticket office: George F.L. Charles Airport Ticket office hours: 10 am – 4 pm Baggage contact number: 1 758 452 2789 or 1 758 451 7269

Tobago Airport: ANR Robinson International Reservations & information: + 868 660 7200 (local) Ticket office: ANR Robinson International Airport Baggage: + 639 0595 / 631 8023 Flight information: + 868 669 3000

NORTH AMERICA Fort Lauderdale Airport: Hollywood Fort Lauderdale International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: Terminal 4 – departures level (during flight check-in ONLY – 7 am to 6 pm) Baggage: + 954 359 4487

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Suriname Airport: Johan Adolf Pengel International Reservations & information: + 597 52 0034/0035 (local); 1 868 625 6200 (Trinidad) Baggage: + 597 325 437


737 onboard Entertainment — November/december Northbound

Southbound

N o vember

Star Trek Beyond

The Legend of Tarzan

Stranded on a hostile planet, Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew must battle a deadly alien race while trying to find an escape.

Having left the jungle for a gentrified life, the man once known as Tarzan is invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament.

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Idris Elba • director: Justin Lin • sci-fi, adventure • PG-13 • 122 minutes

Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz • director: David Yates • action, adventure • PG-13 • 110 minutes

Northbound

Southbound

D E C E M B E R

The Santa Clause

Miracle on 34th Street

When Santa accidentally falls off the roof of divorced father Scott Calvin, the hapless dad is in for the adventure of a lifetime.

A little girl who has been raised not to believe in fantasy, fairy tales, and Santa Claus meets a department-store Santa who claims he’s the real Kris Kringle.

Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson • director: John Pasquin • comedy, family • PG • 97 minutes

Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Mara Wilson • director: Les Mayfield • family • PG • 114 minutes

Audio Channels Channel 5 • The Hits

Channel 7 • Concert Hall

Channel 9 • Irie Vibes

Channel 11 • Parang

Channel 6 • Soft Hits

Channel 8 • East Indian Fusion

Channel 10 • Jazz Sessions

Channel 12 • Steelband Jamboree


For more information, visit us at Caribbean-airlines.com/cargo or call us at: Miami 305 526 6880 Kingston 924 8848 / 924 8750 / 945 6451 Port of Spain 669 3000 ext 2665 / 2663


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ROUTE MAP

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e

a

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ECUADOR

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u

g Xin

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zon

Ama


parting shot

The rush is on Every 26 December, in the pre-dawn hours, the streets of downtown Nassau come alive with colour, motion, and music, as troupes of Junkanoo revellers start their traditional “rush.� The Bahamian masquerade involves intricately choreographed performances to the beat of goombay drums, the chime of cowbells, and the blare of bugles. Then the celebration happens all over again on 1 January, welcoming in the New Year. Photography by Jo Crebbin / Shutterstock.com

120 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


Caribbean Beat — November/December 2016 (#142)  

• Events in November & December • Word of mouth: the Gimistory festival in Cayman, the Miami Book Fair, soca star Machel Montano's big-scree...

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