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ADVERTORIAL

Celebrating our storytellers, writers, poets, dramatists at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest e are a nation of storytellers. There are stories in our songs: our calypso, soca, and chutney. There are stories in our mas, our drama, and our dance. We engage in word-play outside eateries and on street corners, and in chance meetings at the marketplace. The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) recognises, elevates, and celebrates the innate skills of our storytellers, writers, poets, and dramatists, through its ongoing title sponsorship of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. NGC Bocas gives a voice to local — and even regional — authors, writers, spoken-word artists, and more. It is eagerly anticipated by an increasingly global audience. The Festival’s standards of excellence are applied to workshops, panel discussions, book readings, and signings, as well as poetry slam competitions and film screenings. The children are specially catered for, through the Children’s Storytelling Caravan, which reaches out to communities, and where children can create their own stories which are then compiled and published as a Bocas Lit Fest production.

This festival has commemorated writers such as Tiphanie Yanique, winner of the Felix Dennis Prize for Best Collection; Marlon James, winner of the Man Booker Prize; Andre Alexis, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize; and Vahni Capideo, awarded the Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection in 2016. NGC Bocas Lit Fest has further expanded their reach through partnerships with organisations to host CODE’s Burt Awards for writers of young adult books. NGC’s President, Mr Mark Loquan The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is a vital element of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme, through which NGC supports local development through youth development in sport and education; the preservation and promotion of arts and culture; environmental protection and preservation; commuPanel Discussion at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest nity development and enhancement. NGC takes pride in local and regional authors, storytellers, and poets who have added to the international literacy landscape, recording and preserving our Caribbean-ness for generations NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest to come.

The 2017 NGC Bocas Lit Fest runs from 26 to 30 April. For more information, visit www.bocaslitfest.com


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Contents 17

68

EMBARK

ARRIVE

80 Layover

17 Datebook

68 Offtrack

As one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations, Barbados is also a major hub for international flights to the region. Our guide to exploring the island when time is tight

Events around the Caribbean in March and April, from a river race in Belize to St Patrick’s Day in St Croix — plus a drum festival, kite-flying, and cricket

Pakaraima bound

Whether you experience it on stage or from the audience, Trinidad and Tobago’s national spoken word poetry slam is full of thrills

The spectacular Pakaraima Mountains, near Guyana’s border with Brazil and Venezuela, are a landscape of dramatic table-top mountains, rolling valleys, and remote villages. It’s not an easy part of the world for outsiders to visit. But the annual Pakaraima Mountain Safari attracts visitors hungry for adventure — like Neil Marks

26 The look

78 neighbourhood

24 Word of Mouth

Trinidadian swimwear designer Chandra Maharaj makes a seamlessly elegant transition to Carnival Monday wear

28 Bookshelf, playlist, and screenshots This month’s reading, listening, and film-watching picks, in our books, music, and film columns

Port Elizabeth, Bequia The capital of the second-largest of the Grenadine Islands is a haven for yachties — but also for artists and foodies

Bridgetown, Barbados

ENGAGE 82 inspire

Inner-city art For middle-class Jamaicans and tourists alike, downtown Kingston, with its deprived communities, can seem off-limits. So when a group of young artists began a public mural project in the Fleet Street area, it wasn’t just about beautifying the neighbourhood, writes Tanya Batson-Savage. It was really about opening opportunities for local residents

IMMERSE

34 Cookup

38 caribbean beat turns 25

From Jamaican goat to Trini doubles, curry is one of the definitive flavours of the Caribbean. There are hundreds of curry blends around the world — what are the Caribbean’s best, and how are they evolving? Franka Philip finds out

As Caribbean Beat marks its twenty-fifth anniversary, we look back at our coverage of Caribbean people, arts, and culture since 1992. Lots has changed — in the magazine, in our region, in the wider world — in the past quarter-century. What hasn’t changed is our mission to share the stories of the Caribbean’s best and brightest, from a Caribbean perspective, for a Caribbean audience. You can see it in the covers of the 144 issues we’ve published over the years — and the stories behind those images

A compendium of curry

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No. 144 March/April 2017

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

The beat goes on


CaribbeanBeat An MEP publication

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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

84 Green

Progress report In the pages of Caribbean Beat, over the past twenty-five years, we’ve often reported on environmental stories. So what’s the real state of progress across the region, when it comes to protecting our natural resources? Nazma Muller investigates

86On this day

Calypso with a conscience A beloved musical icon since the 1950s, Harry Belafonte has an equally long reputation as a political activist. And the parallel themes of his public life, entertainment and activism, both have their roots in Belafonte’s childhood in Jamaica. James Ferguson finds out more

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

Read and save issues of Caribbean Beat on your smartphone, tablet, computer, and favourite digital devices!

88 puzzles Our crossword and other brainteasers, to keep your mind busy during your flight

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

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 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1680–6158. 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

96 parting shot A mosaic of greens and blues seen from high above, Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon is a natural gem, home to mangrove forests and seabird colonies 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 Martiniquan filmmaker Euzhan Palcy, twenty-five years after she appeared on the cover of the first Caribbean Beat Photo ©Yannick Coupannec/ Leemage

This issue’s contributors include: Jamaican Tanya Batson-Savage (“Inner-city art”, page 82) is the publisher and editor-in-chief of independent publishing house Blue Moon Publishing and the online arts and culture magazine Susumba.com. She is the author of Pumpkin Belly and Other Stories and the play Woman Tongue. Laura Dowrich (“The beat goes on”, page 38) is the content manager for Looptt.com, a news website and app based in Trinidad and Tobago. Debbie Jacob (“The beat goes on”, page 38) is a journalist, author of eight books, and longtime Caribbean Beat contributor. She is also the head librarian at the International School of Port of Spain, Trinidad. Neil Marks (“Pakaraima bound”, page 68) is a Guyanese freelance journalist and stringer for Reuters. He has specialised in environmental reporting for many years, and recently won the Prince Albert II of Monaco/UNCA Award for Climate Change reporting. Ariana Herbert (“Grand slam”, page 26) is a past finalist of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam. She upholds storytelling and the exploration of alternative narratives concerning identity, gender, and disability. Nazma Muller (“Progress report”, page 84) is a Trinidad-born, Jamaica-obsessed writer who has worked in newsrooms in T&T, Jamaica, and the UK. Judy Raymond (“The beat goes on”, page 38) is a freelance writer and former editor of Caribbean Beat, who has written extensively about books, arts, and politics. Her latest book, The Colour of Shadows, is a study of the conditions and images of Caribbean slavery.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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2017 is an auspicious year for both Caribbean Airlines and Media and Editorial Projects Limited (MEP), the publishers of Caribbean Beat magazine. Caribbean Airlines is celebrating 10 years of serving the region, and this issue marks 25 years of the magazine’s existence. The first Caribbean Beat was published in 1992, under the former national carrier BWIA. When Caribbean Airlines began operations in 2007, we were fortunate to have Caribbean Beat as a partner for the new company. Caribbean Airlines is an authentic Caribbean brand, and Caribbean Beat is key to our positioning as THE authority on all things Caribbean. The magazine has consistently got behind the usual Caribbean stories of sun, sand, and sea, and featured real Caribbean experiences and people, celebrating genuine Caribbean accomplishment and aspiration in sport, art, music, literature, history, cuisine, lifestyle, science and innovation, adventure, festivals, and other events. In addition to celebrating these milestones, Caribbean Airlines remains focussed on enhancing the customer experience. To this end, we recently launched our new cuttingedge website www.caribbean-airlines.com, which reflects our continued commitment to delivering a unique, compelling and memorable travel experience. The new website, designed by MBLM, includes: • a responsive design, which can be viewed with ease on any size/resolution screen • an inviting user interface with content structure that is much easier to navigate • access to multiple products and services and the best deals for you, when you book online • exciting destination guides with locally produced content and imagery of popular Caribbean attractions The vibrant design is friendly and authentic, inviting customers to experience the warmth and pride of the region and what it means to be Caribbean. January and February were busy months, and March and April promise to continue this trend. Our convenient flight schedule makes it easy for you to get to and from the many events taking place, and we are happy that you choose to fly Caribbean Airlines. In February, at the request of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, we operated charter services into the new Argyle International Airport. Look out for more exciting developments as we extend our network to include new destinations. We invite you to fly with us to Guyana’s Rupununi Rodeo, which is held each year over the Easter weekend (this year, 15 to 17 April). The rodeo is the most popular inland sporting festival in the country. Meanwhile, April is jazz month in Tobago, with the Tobago Jazz Experience taking place from 22 12

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Nicholas Laughlin

A MESSAGE From THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINES TEAM

Guyana’s Rupununi Rodeo

to 30 April, and Antigua will host the 50th epic sailing week from 29 April to 5 May. Beyond the Caribbean region, our North American destinations are bustling. In New York, the Tribeca Film Festival, carded for 19 to 30 April, continues to shine the spotlight on the latest films from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers. In Miami, the Carnaval on the Mile which takes place on 4 and 5 March will feature a wide array of local artists. The Calle Ocho Festival in Miami is celebrating its 40th anniversary in grand style. Calle Ocho is the largest street festival in Miami, and features the sounds of merengue, reggeaton, bachata, balada, hip-hop, rap, and jazz. And in Toronto you can let your taste buds lead the way through the Toronto Food and Drink Market from 31 March to 2 April. Thank you for choosing Caribbean Airlines — we value your business and look forward to serving you throughout our network. Please visit our website, www.caribbean-airlines.com, become a fan by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caribbeanairlines, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @iflycaribbean. Yours in service, The Employees of Caribbean Airlines


Benefits of Flying Caribbean

1st Bag FREE 2nd Bag only US$35 Free is always good! Get your first piece of checked baggage FREE and pay only US$35 for second bag. You also get one carry-on baggage plus one personal item on all Caribbean Airlines flights.

Pre-Order your Special Economy Meals Pre-order your special meals up to 24 hours prior to flight’s scheduled departure time by calling our Call Centre. We cater to specific dietary needs such as vegetarian and diabetic.

Complimentary Meals

60+ has its Rewards

Enjoy a complimentary Meal of authentic Caribbean cuisine exclusively crafted by our Sky Chefs on select flights.

Your senior years just got 10% better. Persons 60 years and over who are booked in semi flexible or flexible fares are eligible for a discount of 10%*

Earn Frequent Flyer Miles

Baby on Board

Earn miles and added benefits when you become a frequent flyer in our Caribbean Miles Loyalty Programme. Unlock a world of benefits when you become a member.

Infants get a FREE bag too! If a seat has been purchased for an infant (child under 2 years) the infant is allowed the same baggage allowances as an adult, plus a forward facing car seat that must adhere to aviation required standards.

Discounts for Children Because we care about the future! Children 2-11years old who are booked in semi flexible or flexible fare levels are eligible for a discount of 10%*.

Discounts for Tertiary Students You’ve earned it. Students between the ages 17- 40 attending tertiary level institutions are eligible for 10%* discount. Simply present your student identification or an official letter from the University at any Caribbean Airlines ticket office.

Discounts for Groups of10 or more Traveling in a group? Then you and your group can enjoy a special group discount*. *Conditions apply. Learn More


datebook

Warren le platte

Your guide to Caribbean events in March and April, from a river race in Belize to jazz in Tobago

Don’t miss . . . Phagwah (Holi) 12 and 13 March Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname Known as Holi in India and Phagwah in parts of the Caribbean, the Hindu spring festival of colours and sharing love brings joy, happiness, unity (even if just for a while), and thanksgiving. Some even refer to it as the Hindu New Year. Although a religious event, it’s completely allinclusive. No one is spared from the friendly throwing of brightly coloured gulal powder, spraying of deep purple abeer dye with homemade water guns, or the goodnatured rivalry. At a fast pace and high pitch, folk songs

called chowtals are sung to the accompaniment of the dholak and the majeera, both percussion instruments. You won’t be able to resist dancing. Phagwah is deep in religious significance with symbols of purification and the promotion of good health. Spread the love.

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

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datebook

If you’re in . . . BARBADOS

GRAND CAYMAN

La Ruta Maya River Challenge

Sandy Lane Gold Cup

Kaibo Kitefest

4 March Garrison Savannah

17 April Kaibo Beach

In other islands, Carnival may have finished, but its atmosphere is still alive in Barbados at the most prestigious horseracing event in the eastern Caribbean. Thirty-six years ago, in its debut year, people climbed onto roofs near the historic Garrison Savannah to get a vantage point for the pre-Gold Cup entertainment and the race itself. The weight of the spectators caused one of the roofs to collapse, sending people helterskelter. The Gold Cup isn’t just for racelovers — it’s traditional to have pomp and pageantry, and loads of family entertainment. There are activities preceding the race day, too. These include polo matches, celebrity golf tournaments and dinners, a Broadway show, and a street parade. Some of

The beautiful kites above Kaibo dive, swirl, and soar like birds. As flighty and carefree as they may seem, some of the kites are actually performing a good deed. Not just bringing families together or making children smile: the entry fee for Grand Cayman’s annual kite competition goes directly to the

3 to 6 March larutamaya.bz

paddling 175 miles from San Ignacio, Cayo District, to downtown Belize City. It’s the longest canoe race in Central America, and there can be no substitutions. Translated, La Ruta Maya means “the Maya Trail,” and it recalls the journey of ancient Maya travellers who paddled to the sea to trade with cities up the coast of Belize. As a tribute to these ancestors, the river challenge has been going steady for nineteen years. There’s rapid pace on the river, and in villages along the route, fairs, markets, and local music bands entertain the onlookers. The adventure mellows during three-night stops at the Banana Bank Lodge, Double Head Cabbage, and Old River Tavern. And on the last day, which coincides with National Heroes and Benefactors Day (previously called Baron Bliss Day), the canoes flow into the celebratory fanfare in Belize City.

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MAT/shutterstock.com

jcariddi photography

If you think the Olympics are a challenge, consider this arduous four-day river race, where only the fittest survive. With participants coming from around the world, approximately one hundred teams of three cut along the Belize Old River,

the world’s leading investors enter their horses for the race, drawn to the prestige of winning the coveted title. All this excitement leads to the main event: one race spanning nine furlongs (1,800 metres), and filled with cream-of-the-crop jockeys and horses. Maybe for race time you could become a member of the Barbados Turf Club’s Grand Stand Posse? “And they’re off!”

Gelpi/shutterstock.com

BELIZE

Acts of Random Kindness charity, an organisation that assists people throughout the Cayman community. Now in its eighth year, the competition includes categories like most creative and original kite, best kite flyer with the steadiest kite, oldest kite flyer, youngest kite flyer, best dressed (matching kite and costume), and most environmentally friendly kite. You’re free to build your kites beforehand, and if you need assistance you can head over to a kite-making workshop. Kite tricks and demos by kiteboarders are also in the mix, while live music floats on the wind. The event usually runs from 1 to 5 pm, with an exciting array of attractive prizes distributed at a ceremony beginning promptly at 4. Kite flying is one of the Caribbean’s cherished Easter traditions, and on Kaibo Beach it’s free for all (unless you enter the competition).

Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss


datebook

Marvellous March Moonsplash Festival The Dune Preserve, Anguilla Spend the weekend dancing in the sand to the hits of top reggae artists under the full moon and stars [9 to 12 March]

England cricket tour of the West Indies

mbbirdy/istock.com

Antigua, St Kitts, and Barbados Cheer for the Windies and bask in the liveliness of the stands on the home grounds of cricket stars Curtly Ambrose and Sir Garfield Sobers, during this ODI series [3 to 9 March]

International Drum Festival Venues around Cuba fiestadeltambor.cult.cu Cubans and foreigners dance and play to Havana rhythms in masterclasses, workshops, and competitions [7 to 12 March]

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EscapePlay. the Work. ordinary. Discover Do both. Hyatt Regency It’sTrinidad. good not to be home.

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St Patrick’s Day Parade

courtesy st croix st patrick’s day parade

©Gail Johnson

Christiansted, St Croix Mobs of green can be seen for miles jamming alongside beautiful floats at this Caribbean-Irish party. Watch out for the beads! [18 March]

Plein Air Curaçao Festival Venues around Curaçao Local and international artists of various levels capture the splendour of the “Hidden Treasure,” including underwater and air painting [9 to 18 March]

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datebook

Adventures in April

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta Falmouth Harbour, Antigua Graceful classic ketches, schooners, and yawls create a spectacle on the seas and vie for the prizes [19 to 25 April]

Panama International Film Festival Venues across Panama City Celebrate the passion, diversity, and flavour of cinema in this free week-long programme of screenings, workshops, and masterclasses [30 Mar to 5 Apr]

Tobago Jazz Experience

christine yurick

Tobago Phenomenal performances by local and prominent international icons will chase your worries and stress away with a Caribbean flair [22 to 30 April]

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Inspired Products presents Unique steelpan fridge magnets

Website: www.steelpansite.com Tel: 909-464-0101 (USA) Corporate orders with custom stickers welcome. 22

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hayley madden for the poetry society

Vertical Blue Free Diving International Competition

Writer Vahni Capildeo

Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, the Bahamas Every continent will be represented as divers plunge to win the title of world’s deepest male and female diver [30 April]

NGC Bocas Lit Fest

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Port of Spain, Trinidad Avid readers, performers, and writers celebrate words, stories, and ideas in the heart of T&T’s capital [26 to 30 April]

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word of mouth Dispatches from our correspondents around the Caribbean and further afield Seth Sylvester, 2016 champion of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam

Grand slam courtesy the 2 cents movement

Ariana Herbert on experiencing T&T’s national spoken word poetry slam — on stage and in the audience

I

n the latter quarter of my brief existence, I’ve often found myself in strange and surprising situations. But perhaps the best of these remains mistakenly auditioning for the largest spoken word competition in the Caribbean. Quite entirely through orchestrated actions of the universe — or perhaps because my brother got me there by telling me it was just an open mic — in 2014 I found myself in the semi-finals for what was then called the Verses Bocas Poetry Slam, and a year later in the finals. Now called the First Citizens National Poetry Slam, and nationally established as one of Trinidad and Tobago’s biggest poetry platforms, the competition is the closing event of the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, coordinated by the literary festival and its partners the 2 Cents Movement. (This year the slam finals happen on Sunday 30 April, at the National Academy for Performing Arts in Port of Spain.) Competing for a TT$20,000 grand prize among thirteen other participants in front of internationally renowned judges is not an opportunity that arises easily — nor one that any of us poets treats lightly. It is a respected space that demands we challenge our craft and commit to excellence. Onstage, there is something truly magical about that hushed darkness before the spotlight bathes you, feeling a performance pour out of your body, and knowing you have but a few minutes to invite an audience of over a thousand people to share part of you. In the Caribbean spoken word arena, this

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experience is unparalleled. And for those in the audience? The real beauty is being submerged in a live story and feeling the words sing around you, surging throughout your body. Whether you feel refreshed or stung, an excellent piece insists a change upon you. Last year’s slam finals saw fourteen artists judged by T&T performance legends Paul Keens-Douglas and Wendell Manwarren, alongside Circle of Poets president Nicholas Sosa, Boston University professor Laurence Breiner, and Barbadian writer Nailah Folami Imoja. The event was graced with guest performances by T&T’s Minister of Tourism, Shamfa Cudjoe, alongside Shineque Saunders, champion of the Courts Bocas Speak Out Intercol 2016 — T&T’s national schools spoken word competition. With topics that ranged from the sombre to the hilarious, the participants that night commanded the stage. There came quiet singed by blistering lines of social critique, raucous times of delight in brilliantly ridiculous snippets, and an aftermath of respect for the sheer cunning of the poets. Seth Sylvester, the 2016 winner, delved into a personal narrative that clutched the audience and then released them to a standing ovation. There is something undeniably human about connecting to someone else’s experience, and Seth’s performance to this day affects me. My favourite part is always when someone else goes, I thought it was only me . . . n


the look

Thank God it’s Monday From swimwear to Carnival Monday wear, Trinidadian Chandra Maharaj’s designs combine classic lines with comfort Photography by Ikenna Douglas

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Pieces from the “Goddess” Monday wear Carnival collection come with cool removable jewellery

T

he saying “less is more” perfectly describes Trinidadian Chandra Maharaj’s creations. She’s been designing for as long as she can remember, but her path became clear when she redirected her master’s degree from international business to fashion. Inspired by anything that moves her joyous soul, her well-known swimwear line includes classic yet sexy pieces made with sublime fabrics that are vibrant in colour and print. Her latest Carnival Monday wear collection incorporating removable jewellery is her best yet, and something she plans to expand in the future. And her swimwear isn’t the only thing making waves — her fitness gear is just as fabulous and, of course, incredibly comfy. Alia Michèle Orane www.aliamichele.com

For more information: visit www.chandramaharajdesigns. com or email info@chandramaharajdesigns.com WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Bookshelf Canouan Suite and Other Pieces, by Philip Nanton (Papillote Press, 75 pp, ISBN 9780993108679) Paintings can sometimes speak words; poems will occasionally offer vistas. These aren’t contradictions, but conclusions that St Vincent-born, Barbados-based Philip Nanton’s new hybrid art-verse book, Canouan Suite and Other Pieces, attempts to make plain. Nanton offers poems — some rollicking, others contemplative — alongside visual pieces from artists who are either Caribbean, or closely affiliated with Caribbean spaces. These poems immerse themselves playfully and poignantly in cricket, neo-colonisation, and the bewildering, bodacious beauty of Barbados itself. What strikes the reader reassuringly is how firmly in the local soil these poems are grown. In “Night Cricket at Carlton Club, Barbados”, “bats are twirled; leather hits wood; runs, like souls, are sometimes saved. People erupt from their seats, shout, sit down, mutter. Glove knocks glove.” Nanton compels his audience with images plucked straight from the greenery, chaos, and market-stalls of Caribbean living, whether he turns his attention to a topsy-turvy police station or a troupe of outlandishly named minibuses. In “Canouan Suite”, for which the book is named, the poet trains a sharply critical eye on the clutches of foreign investment in a small-island community. A chorus of voices populates the poem, from the bone-weary hotel worker to the cavalier, dispassionate outsider who calls the island “a pocket-handkerchief of a place.” The poem is a powerful admonition that lets its own characters speak; it highlights Nanton’s lyrical virtuosity without dampening his message. Canouan Suite and Other Pieces warns against the real dangers in calling any place, Caribbean or otherwise, a “paradise.” Despite this grave counsel, the book opens itself to wonder at every turn, proving that when easy labels are discarded, the deepest cistern of an island’s heart spills over.

The Yard, by Aliyyah Eniath (Speaking Tiger Books, 272 pp, ISBN 9789385755088) If the closeness of one nuclear family stirs up confusion in the domestic cauldron of everyday living, how much worse is it when your neighbours on all sides are your blood relations, too? In Aliyyah Eniath’s fiction debut, the intricacies and entanglements of “compound life” — many families in one unsegregated dwelling expanse — are scrutinised through the crosshairs of love, duty, and religious devotion. Orphaned Behrooz and privileged Maya form a bond reminiscent of literature’s finest and most thwarted of beloveds. The Yard lifts a veil on Indo-Muslim Trinidad: its customs, ceremonies, and concerns are sensitively penned and elegantly conveyed. Written with the joviality of a comedy of errors, yet underpinned by wry commentary on society’s need for speculation, this first novel shines with promise.

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The Taxidermist’s Cut, by Rajiv Mohabir (Four Way Books, 112 pp, ISBN 9781935536727) In one of the poems of this first collection, a speaker confesses: “I admit failure to a friend: I have never spelled love with another in the tangle of my own limbs.” Rajiv Mohabir, who traces his immediate ancestry to Guyana, writes with boundless appetite about the new New World of Indo-Caribbean identities. These poems do not claim fearlessness: they siphon audacious admissions and erotic offerings from the very maw of fear itself. Contending with anti-queer, anti-immigrant, antibrown judgements, they explode into bhajans and bass rhymes of verse. The speakers in them are often restless, distanced from their natal beginnings and curious about their shifting postal addresses. It is this curiosity, this desire to claim names from the erasure and indemnity of East Indian indentureship in the West Indies, which gives this extraordinary debut its wings.


Michael Manley: The Biography, by Godfrey Smith (Ian Randle Publishers, 458 pp, ISBN 9789766379223) Statesman par excellence; passionate public official and private man; egalitarian trade unionist; prolific author; all-around dynamo: twenty years after his death, Michael Manley remains one of the most compelling figures in Caribbean political life, past or present. In this new biography, Godfrey Smith takes a sequential, probing approach to documenting Manley’s life as Jamaican prime minister and policy maker. What sets Smith’s consummately readable biography apart is its undaunted willingness to tell the full truth of one remarkable man’s orbit. Everything from a string of marriages to pioneering economic reform is weighted, addressed, and assessed as valuable material for the reader’s reflection. Many accounts of Manley position him beyond the reach of everyday Jamaicans: this unassumingly titled book brings a humanising light to its often-inscrutable subject, stripping the titan of any one, easy signification.

A Handbook of Trinidad Cookery 1907, edited by Danielle Delon (Cassique Publications, 156 pp, ISBN 9789769541559) Mrs Ross’s Spanish Custard and Miss Doyle’s Callaloo: these sound like your auntie’s timehonoured, jealously guarded family recipes, but they’re actually two of the culinary contributions in A Handbook of Trinidad Cookery 1907. Danielle Delon has dusted off the original 1907 compilation of this kitchen handbook, and faithfully repurposed it for any contemporary chef with an interest in Caribbean cuisine. The book is illuminatory not only as a cookery guide, but as a historic passport to the conventions of French Creole and British immigrant householders, who adapted their palates to the particular mélange of verdure, wild game, and seasonings available at the time. Even its outdated recipes offer clues to the way Trinidad’s kitchens, and by extension Trinidad’s domestic spheres, once operated: every concoction and confection within these pages is worth its weight in sugar and spice. Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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playlist

Bright Eyes Victor Provost (Paquito Records) Virgin Island steelpan jazz virtuoso Victor Provost sets an optimistic tone with his second album, Bright Eyes, capturing the influence of the Caribbean more so than on his debut album two years ago. Bebop swagger gives way to a progressive jazz world fusion while still maintaining a deft touch that allows the tenor pan to ring true. On the eleven tunes on this album, Provost runs through a gamut of styles and select composers, to give the steelpan a context outside its calypso base. The obligatory homage to calypso legend Lord Kitchener is included — “Pan in Harmony” — but this album reflects Provost’s recent apprenticeship with Cuban saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and his wider exploration of improvised tropical music. Mazurka, baião, calypso, and funky Afro-Cuban jazz all have a presence here. Guest soloists — including the aforementioned D’Rivera, alongside Etienne Charles and Ron Blake, to name a few — flavour this Caribbean jazz gumbo which swings with enough intensity to keep your attention.

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Elemental Ruth Osman (self-released) Trinidad-based Guyanese singer-songwriter Ruth Osman is a poet disguised as a songbird. Not so much a poet in the Dylanesque Nobel Prize echelon, but from the milieu of Caribbean poets who use metaphor and emotional narrative to imbue a sense of order into our scattered lives. The bookend opening and closing interludes of this ten-song album showcase her talent as poet who moves beyond mere lyricism. “Someone must, on bended knee / Mourn the death of a star and sing another into being.” The intervening eight songs showcase a singer who holds a tune with an elastic multi-octave voice that echoes a girlish timbre in contrast to the adult themes. Elemental, Osman’s second album, succeeds in its simple setting, where her debut wallowed in vapid excess, hiding the richness of her voice that makes her lyrics ring. With cover songs by Marley, Jobim, and Andre Tanker, this album also focuses Osman’s neo-folk Caribbean aesthetic accurately towards accomplishment and elation.


Single Spotlight No One Tano & Kalpee (self-released) Right off the bat, on their new single “No One”, Trinidadian producer Michael Montano and singer Christian Kalpee introduce an earworm that has been a hallmark of much popular hit music in 2016: the flutelike squiggle called the “dolphin.” EDM superproducers Skrillex and Diplo created this motif in the song “Where Are Ü Now”, where singer Justin Bieber’s “vocals are pinched into a dolphin call” at that song’s drop, using various distortion and equalisation effects. Tano & Kalpee have recreated this riff to maximum effect, making this laidback dance groove a choice between a regretful post-breakup song that successfully reflects a tropical house genre definition, or a lame imitation of a played-out hook. The former seems apt in this case, as Kalpee’s voice gives favour to a lyric and melody which signal a confident approach to hit songwriting and production that has global appeal. Our Caribbean reputation as dance music adventurers sustains here.

Fete You R City (Precision Productions) Brothers Timothy and Theron Thomas (R City) of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands are working with Trinidadian producer Kasey Phillips (Precision Productions) on a number of songs that point to a new direction in island music, where the modern R&B influences are subtle enough not to obscure the Caribbean musical accent, but still distinctive. The opening synth chord progression signals a pulse that will make couples get closer on the dance floor, while the vocals overlaid hint at something provocative: “I just want to fete you / From night ’til a morning / I know that you want it.” Once the song gets grooving its zouk-flavoured backbeat and soca phrasing, the double entendre becomes clear. “Fete You” is a sexy demand for something more than a party. This is hedonism with a capital “F.” It’s also a catchy tune that works by supplying a wider Caribbean palette for soca to evolve. Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell

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SCREENSHOTS

Site of Sites Directed by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada, 2016, 61 minutes

A pair of coconut trees frames a beach at sunrise, waves lapping against the sand. This is no clichéd Caribbean image, however: a wide, rutted ditch running into the sea points to disruptive human activity, which is reinforced by the piece of industrial equipment sitting off to the right. A man walks into the shot, up to the machine and switches it on. A puff of black smoke belches out, and the thrumming of the engine disturbs the dawn. So opens Site of Sites, the new documentary by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada of the Dominican Republic. It furthers the direct approach to the non-fiction form that was so effectively on display in the duo’s debut, You and Me, a portrait of the relationship between a maid and her mistress. Site of Sites continues to probe themes explored in You and Me — race, power, economics — but on a broader scale, even as it

Green & Yellow Directed by Miquel Galofré, 2016, 19 minutes For a decade now, Barcelona-born, Trinidada n d - To b a g o – b a s e d filmmaker Miquel Galofré has been making acclaimed documentaries in the Caribbean. Whether they’re about prisoners creating music (Songs of Redemption) or atrisk children discovering the transformative power of art (Art Connect), Galofré’s films are characterised by their boundless empathy for the marginalised lives they celebrate, as well as their unforced optimism. His latest film, Green & Yellow, is a work of disarming and devastating simplicity. Shot on the streets of Port of Spain, it contains the interwoven, direct-tocamera testimonies of two homeless men, Sheldon “Sketch” Aberdeen and Shawn “Yankee” Brown, both crack cocaine users. There is no music score, and the cinematography is in stark black and white — until the closing moments, when the colours of the film’s title saturate the screen. The running time of Green & Yellow is just under twenty minutes; its power will remain with you for much longer than that. For more information, visit trinidadandtobagorocks. com 32

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maintains that film’s equanimity and empathy. Site of Sites is set almost entirely within the confines of an upscale housing development somewhere in the DR. Precisely framed static shots — the camera never moves — showing the (invariably) black people employed as gardeners, domestics, and labourers, are interspersed with scenes showing the (invariably) white people who employ them relaxing in swimming pools, playing golf, and having barbecues. Conversation is largely desultory; people are simply living their lives. The cumulative result is a sobering rendering of black and white, poverty and wealth, work and play, a social dynamic little altered since it came into being centuries ago. (And, the film suggests, with little chance of being altered.) Site of Sites is exemplary of what can be done with little more than a camera in one’s hand and an idea in one’s head: politically committed and formally rigorous filmmaking of a very high order. For more information, visit faulafilms.com

I Am a Politician Directed by Javier Colón Ríos, 2016, 90 minutes Some explanatory text at the beginning of I Am a Politician declares this satire to be “almost a work of fiction” — which, given what follows, makes it a depressing reminder that we now live in the time of President Trump. Javier Colón Ríos’s follow-up to I Am a Director, his comic debut, I Am a Politician tracks the follies of Carlos (Carlos Marchand), an ex-convict seeking to become governor of Puerto Rico. Colón Ríos’s satire is light, sometimes even slight. Not all his gags work: for example, a joke involving Carlos “coming out” to his mother as a member of a political party different from hers feels forced. And some nuances may be lost on those not conversant with Puerto Rico’s unique political system. That said, the story of a boorish narcissist, opportunistically hopping from one political party to another, is one with which most people can no doubt identify. For more information, visit facebook.com/ yosoyunpolitico Reviews by Jonathan Ali


cookup

A compendium of

curry

It’s one of the outstanding flavours of the Caribbean, enjoyed in everything from Jamaican curry goat to Trinidadian doubles. But where can you find the region’s best curries, and how is the cuisine changing? Franka Philip finds out Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

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ne of my most mind-blowing food experiences ever was years ago at an Indian restaurant in Southall, West London. It was the first time I tried Indian food in Britain, and I wasn’t prepared for the depth of flavour the chefs at Madhu’s served up that Saturday afternoon. The korma and jalfrezi were far more complex than Trinidad curry — the taste defined by the Turban or Chief curry powder used religiously at home. Some of the flavours I had that afternoon took a bit of getting used to, but after that, I was game for trying more of the great spread of curries available in the UK. Most Indo-Caribbean people can trace their origins to the Subcontinent’s northern region of Uttar Pradesh. Indians started arriving in the Caribbean in the mid nineteenth century as replacement labour for enslaved Africans after Emancipation. However, because of the strictures of indentureship and the unavailability of some spices and herbs, Indo-Caribbean cuisine retained some traditional elements while also, over time, evolving into a style of its own.

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“There are hundreds of curries all around the world,” says scientist and curry gourmand Brian Singh. “Our curries tend to be heavy on turmeric and garam masala.” In other cultures, curries incorporate ingredients like coconut milk, lemongrass, and different chillies. Singh points to Malaysia, where curries typically use tamarind and shrimp paste. A Trinidadian based in Vanuatu, in the Pacific, Singh does have many plaudits for the curries of the Caribbean. “Jamaican goat curry is brilliant,” he says. “They use a lot of warm spices which go well with the gaminess of the goat.” Around the world, Jamaican goat curry, like jerk chicken, has become synonymous with Caribbean cuisine. In the UK, for example, festivals like Notting Hill Carnival are also a showcase for Caribbean food. It’s not unusual for revellers and spectators to eat thousands of plates of the sumptuous delicacies at food stalls along the parade route. The toughest parts of the goat are used for this recipe: they are seasoned and left overnight to marinate, then cooked low and slow to achieve a fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Well-travelled


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Trinidadian journalist Wesley Gibbings also gives Jamaican goat curry the thumbs up. “They prepare a luscious dish that is hardly uniform across the island, but all equally delicious. Contrary to some belief, the Jamaicans have a heavy hand with the spices and pepper, so don’t fool yourself into believing that extra spicy is anything near our light version of pepper.” Gibbings believes that, as far as the rest of the Caribbean goes, you’re likely to get the best curry in Trinidad, Guyana, and Suriname. “I can’t think of another place where I have had a curry duck and paratha that match Trini style the way the Surinamese prepare it. It is just the right mix of spice and the earthy flavour that makes curry stand apart from other ways of preparing meat and vegetable dishes.” Gibbings is less impressed with curry in other parts of the Caribbean. “The Eastern Caribbean islands do not yet understand the concept of curry,” he says, “except where Trinis or Guyanese have set up shop. In Antigua you get a good balance between the two styles, but in St Lucia, except for the guy who set up shop near Rodney Bay recently, we may conclude that the idea of what constitutes a good curry meal is a rather vague one. “In Sint Maarten,” Gibbings adds, “the Guyanese there have made sure you enjoy fairly authentic stuff, but don’t hold your breath in Barbados, where there is an arguably equal share of Trini and Guyanese influences. Perhaps the good stuff is in the homes of such expats.”

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nd what is the future for Caribbean curry? Both Singh and Gibbings believe that there’s a lot of potential, especially with the growth of street food as a big attraction for foodies everywhere. Trinidad’s doubles — a delicacy made with curried chickpeas and two flatbreads called barras — is already practically a national dish. There

have been several recent experiments with doubles, like gourmet versions where different kinds of meat are added. There’s also been an attempt to combine Chinese and Indian elements in a delicacy called “chubbles.” Rather than barras, Chinese pancakes are used. Beyond the novelty factor, “chubbles” was a short-lived experiment, as the creators never quite got the flavour balance right. Singh feels the “chubbles” experiment is a natural progression, “an expression of our cosmopolitanism.” Gibbings meanwhile has a few tips for chefs about how to take curry forward. “I would say the added coconut of Tobagonian fare is the right way to go, and cooks should ease up a bit

Because of the unavailability of some spices and herbs, Indo-Caribbean cuisine retained some traditional elements while also evolving into a style of its own on the chadon beni” — a herb similar to coriander or cilantro, widely used in Trinidadian cooking — “and other green seasoning. I think the overuse of pepper has its fans, but I am not one, since I just love to have the curry taste mixed in with lightly seasoned goat or duck linger for some time after I have swallowed the last mouthful.” And Singh believes chefs must become more innovative. “We have to take the basic tenets of the cuisine, build, and innovate. We don’t have that much high-end curry in the region, and with a bit of passion, a lot can be achieved. Maybe chefs could try using different condiments,” Singh suggests. “In India, chefs use pickles to get a balance of hot, sour, sweet, and salty. Like a good symphony, curry is a beautiful mixture of flavours.” n

Surinamese curried chicken Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, cut in small pieces 5 cloves garlic, chopped ½ onion, sliced 1 tomato or 1 tsp tomato paste 3 tsp curry or masala powder 2 bouillon cubes black pepper salt 1 tbs parsley or celery, finely chopped 1 fresh pepper (optional) 3 tbs oil 1 cup water

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Rinse the chicken and drain. Heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Stir frequently, adding the tomato, bouillon cubes, curry powder, and fresh pepper. Mix thoroughly until tomato is almost dissolved. Add the chicken and turn over to cover with curry mix. Add some black pepper and salt if necessary. Lower temperature and cover the pan, cooking the chicken for about 10 minutes before turning it over. The chicken should produce its own liquid. If not, add 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. When the meat is done (30 to 45 minutes), turn off the heat and sprinkle the parsley or celery on the chicken. Curried chicken is served with roti, vegetables, and curried potatoes. You can also eat it with steamed rice. From multiculticooking.com


Bettmann / getty images

Immerse

Euzhan Palcy in 1992 — an alternate photo from the shoot that produced our first cover, twenty-five years ago


For twenty-five years, Caribbean Beat has celebrated the best and brightest of Caribbean culture and people — as you can see in the panorama of our 144 covers, and the stories behind them

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n early 1992, passengers boarding BWIA planes across the Caribbean, South and North America, and Europe found something new in their seat-pockets: a magazine by the name of Caribbean Beat, with the watchful face of a Martiniquan filmmaker on the cover. As those early readers turned the magazine’s pages, they discovered a profile of director Euzhan Palcy, a memoir by Trinidad-born broadcaster Trevor McDonald, and previews of the Caribbean’s yearlong Carnival calendar and the upcoming Carifesta arts festival. They found articles on Tobago Sailing Week and a fashion portfolio by some leading Caribbean designers, alongside a thoughtful essay on the state of West Indies cricket and a business report on trade liberalisation across the region. So the key ingredients were all there at the very beginning: Caribbean arts and culture, travel and current affairs, explored from a Caribbean perspective, with a Caribbean audience in mind. Twenty-five years later, so many things have changed. Caribbean Beat’s airline partner, for example: we’re now the official inflight magazine of Caribbean Airlines, celebrating its own tenth anniversary in 2017. The masthead design is different. Originally published quarterly, the magazine has appeared bimonthly since late 1995. Nowadays, our editorial and production process is completely digital: it’s been many years since a writer filed copy via fax, or a photographer turned up with a case of film slides. And the Caribbean region has changed too, in countless ways — social, cultural, political. But some things haven’t changed much at all. Caribbean Beat is still published from the same small office space in Port of Spain — we prefer to think of it as cosy, rather than cramped — and by a tiny editorial team. (Most of the current editorial staff were schoolchildren back in 1992.) Some of the writers, photographers, and illustrators whose work appeared in our first issues a quarter-century ago are still regular contributors, alongside dozens of others in the bank of talent we’ve built up over the years. And the contents of the magazine, the words and images that fill our pages, still hold to Caribbean’s Beat’s original brief: to explore and portray the Caribbean as it really is, rich in complexities and contradictions, and to celebrate the best and most brilliant of our people and our culture. Caribbean Beat has never been a typical inflight magazine — and that’s to the credit of Caribbean Airlines (and BWIA before them). Of course, we’ve covered Caribbean travel from the very beginning, including the beaches, resorts, and festivals that the region is best known for. But we know the Caribbean is much more than that: it’s our writers and artists, our scientists and inventors, our sportsmen and -women, philanthropists and thinkers. The Caribbean is coconut trees and deckchairs, of course, but it’s also skyscrapers and high-tech concert halls, universities and

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cricket grounds. It’s Jamaica’s lushly forested Cockpit Country and the “blue holes” of Andros in the Bahamas, the stark desertscape of the arid ABC islands and the vast savannahs of Guyana. It’s ruined Mayan pyramids in the jungle of Belize and the Hindu Temple in the Sea in Trinidad. Like the airline that connects the far-flung peoples of the Caribbean region, with our many languages and ethnicities, Caribbean Beat brings together in its pages the diversity of elements that makes our part of the world so fascinating and bewildering. The energy, creativity, and diversity of the Caribbean, formed in the crucible of our history, make us unique. Looking back over the past twenty-five years, we realise how aptly those qualities are represented in the 144 covers we’ve published — as you can see for yourself in the following pages. Here are landscapes familiar and unexpected, the colour and spectacle of festivals, flora, and fauna, the work of artists, the gestures of performance, and above all the faces of Caribbean people, famous or not, reflecting our sheer variousness. So we’ve taken the opportunity of this milestone to revisit the stories behind some of those cover images. Why did we choose those images back then, and what’s happened to their subjects in the intervening years?

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or this telling panorama, and for Caribbean Beat’s huge (and we think valuable) archive of stories and images, we thank the hundreds of writers, photographers, and artists we’ve worked with over the years. The life of a magazine, behind the scenes, is replete with small thrills, the occasional crisis, and an unending series of deadlines. Generations of editorial, sales, and production staff have known that the magazine is only as good as its next issue — and have worked with dedication and imagination to earn Caribbean Beat its reputation as one of the region’s best-informed, best-written, and best-looking magazines. (For the latter, we owe special thanks to Russell Halfhide, Beat’s designer from 1992 to 2007, who gave the magazine its elegant, approachable style at the very beginning.) We’re grateful for Caribbean Airlines’ consistent support, and their belief in the value of a magazine that looks beyond the stereotypes to the real heart of our people and culture. And, of course, we also owe thanks to you, our readers — for your encouragement, suggestions, and even your criticism, which have helped shape our sense of the magazine’s mission. We hope you share our pride in reaching this anniversary — which we commemorate, above all, by simply doing the thing we’ve done for the past quarter-century: imagining what’s possible for the next issue, and the ones after that, and then racing after the deadlines. Nicholas Laughlin, Editor


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The very first Caribbean Beat cover featured not a palm-fringed shore, nor a dazzling Carnival costume, nor a colourful tropical bird — those were all still to come — but a portrait of the filmmaker Euzhan Palcy. That cover was a declaration that the new magazine would pay serious attention to the Caribbean’s arts and culture, and our region’s extraordinary creative and intellectual talent. Writing in our 75th issue, back in September/October 2005, Caribbean Beat’s founding editor Jeremy Taylor explained why this photo of Palcy “set the agenda”:

1 • Martiniquan film director Euzhan Palcy Spring 1992 Photo by Ph. Giraud/Sygma

I still have a soft spot for the very first cover we published, back in January 1992. Looking back at it now, it’s hard to see why. The tones are grey, the subject is stiff and formal, and there’s a dated feel to the image. The photo is not even by a Caribbean photographer (in 1992 we could not afford to commission a cover image, and had to make do with a studio PR photo). Since 1992, many of our covers have been more colourful, more appealing, more popular. There have been beaches and boats, beautiful people, landscapes and seascapes, sports heroes, singers, musicians, Carnival people, striking graphics and paintings. I like them all, and feel proud of many of them. Yet that very first cover somehow managed to announce what Caribbean Beat was going to be all about. Hardly anyone recognised Palcy. Few people had seen her brilliant movie Rue Cases Nègres (Sugar Cane Alley), though it’s a classic of the independent film world. Nobody associated her with the 1989 MGM release A Dry White Season, where she directed Donald Sutherland, Susan Sarandon, and Marlon Brando (who appeared free, because he liked what she was doing). Nobody knew this was a woman who had Robert Redford

Since then . . . When Euzhan Palcy appeared on the cover of our Spring 1992 issue, she was already, at the age of thirty-four, recognised as an icon of Caribbean filmmaking. Her 1983 debut, Rue Cases Nègres (adapted from Alfred Zobel’s novel), had earned her a César Award — the French equivalent of an Oscar — and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, plus a dozen other international awards. The screenplay — which she started while still a film student in Paris — had won the admiration of famed French director François Truffaut, and Aimé Césaire, the celebrated Martiniquan poet and mayor

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and François Truffaut as professional “godfathers.” Why (that cover asked) is Caribbean filmmaking not taken seriously? Why do we think of the Caribbean as a romantic backdrop for other people’s movies, not for making our own? We saw Euzhan Palcy as a formidable Caribbean woman who had broken through ethnic and gender stereotypes into a notoriously difficult industry and had produced some powerful work. She was interested in making Caribbean films, not perpetuating Caribbean stereotypes. It was exactly the sort of achievement that Caribbean Beat wanted to discover and celebrate. So that very first Caribbean Beat cover did not depict a wonderful golden beach, or a sunset, or a luxurious villa. It made the statement that the Caribbean is more than its beaches, more than rum punch and partying, wonderful and liberating though those pleasures are. The Caribbean is not just a romantic backdrop: it has successes and achievements of its own, world-class people in sport and science, music and business, writing and the visual arts. And we wanted our readers to know about them too.

of Fort-de-France, had helped secure the production budget. Rue Cases Nègres was a rare example of a film almost immediately recognised as a classic. Despite this early success, Palcy’s second project was six years in the making. The subject she’d set her heart on — an adaptation of South African writer André Brink’s anti-apartheid novel A Dry White Season — proved difficult to raise financial support for. Still, Palcy was determined to make a politically hard-hitting film. She even travelled to South Africa, pretending continued on page 42


Thierry van biesen

“I will never compromise in a way that distorts history,” says Euzhan Palcy

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courtesy euzhanpalcy.net

Still from Rue Cases Nègres

to be a musician, to research conditions in Soweto. It took some hard lobbying and an unshakeable faith in her creative vision, but she succeeded, securing the juggernaut MGM as producer. A Dry White Season made Palcy the first black woman filmmaker to be produced by a major Hollywood studio, and won another slew of awards, including an Oscar nomination for star Marlon Brando. The film’s success inevitably brought offers, from Hollywood and elsewhere, to work on more “commercial” projects. But Palcy’s sense of political commitment and her resolution to follow her own creative instincts led her, over the years, to turn down many such “opportunities.” “People think, Oh where is she?” Palcy said in a 2015 interview. “She did those movies and she disappeared.” In fact, she’s created a solid body of work that speaks to the range of her concerns, from the culture of her

5 • Greeting the sun Spring 1993 Photo by Steve Cohn 42

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6 • A blue horizon Summer 1993 Photo by Darrell Jones

native Martinique to questions of social justice around the world. The lighthearted Simeon (1992), set in Martinique and France, tells the tale of zouk music and its impact on the world. Palcy has also made a documentary about Césaire — hero of the Négritude movement, and her own mentor — and another about the young men and women of Martinique who fled the island to join the Free French army during the Second World War. The biographical Ruby Bridges (1998), produced by Disney, is a profile in courage from the US Civil Rights Movement: the story of a six-year-old girl who was the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans. It was followed by The Killing Yard (2001), about the infamous 1971 Attica prison riot and its effect on the struggle for prison rights in the United States. And Palcy’s magnum opus may be yet to come. For over twenty years, she’s been working on a feature film about Haitian revolutionary hero Toussaint L’Ouverture. More than two centuries after the Haitian revolution, Toussaint remains a figure both inspiring and deeply controversial, and Palcy is determined to tell his story her way. No surprise, then, that there’ve been setbacks and numerous delays. “I will never compromise in a way that distorts history or hurts my project,” she says. It’s an ethos her successors in the Caribbean film industry can learn from — as much as from her indelible films.

7 • Drop anchor Autumn 1993 Photo by Edmund Nägele

8 • Crystal plays pan Winter 1993/4 Photo by David Ross


2 • Ariane rocket lifts off from French Guiana Summer 1992 Photo courtesy Arianespace

A Caribbean rocket launch? Yes: since 1971 the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana, has been the major launching site for the European space agency, thanks to its location near the equator — where the earth’s spin gives an extra nudge to departing rockets, allowing them to carry a heavier payload.

3 • Trinidadian masman Peter Minshall Autumn 1992 Photo by Maria Espeus

4 • Fashion ensemble by Shirley de Cabral Winter 1992/3 Photo by Harold Prieto

David Rudder’s soulful portrait on the cover of our Spring 1994 issue introduced a profile by writer Debbie Jacob, who tackled the question of whether and how the popular Trinidadian singer would find an international “breakthrough.” Twenty-three years later, Jacob looks back at Rudder’s career in music:

9 • Trinidadian calypsonian David Rudder Spring 1994 Photo by Abigail Hadeed

When David Rudder graced the cover of Caribbean Beat in 1994, he’d already been a defining voice of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival for eight years. At that pivotal point of his musical career, calypso fans could look back on the bluesy, soulful soca singer from Charlie’s Roots who in 1986 became the first lead singer from a brass band to capture the national calypso monarch title with “The Hammer”, a tribute to the late, great pan arranger Rudolph Charles, and the “Bahia Girl” with her bouncy Baptist beat. In that moment, he had redefined the calypso stage in much the way the Mighty Sparrow did in

Rudder is a performer who carved an original place in calypso history the 1950s, making it a daring display of rich, lyrical social commentary with an upbeat, jazzed-up, soca beat. By 1994, Rudder had penned “Rally ’Round the West Indies”, which would become the theme song of the West Indies cricket team. He had songs featured in the Hollywood movie Wild Orchid. And the hits kept coming: “Haiti”, a lyrical lament for the Caribbean nation; “The Engine Room”, a tribute to the percussion side of a steelband; and “Calypso Music”, a joyful history of the

art form. By 1995, he had become bolder and more political by offering the album The Lyrics Man, with his distinct brand of calypso rap, including stinging political irony in “Another Day in Paradise”. By 1998, Rudder had climbed to the pinnacle of success with the album Beloved. Projecting a strong sense of history, Rudder crossed musical boundaries and injected a sense of spirituality into Carnival with “High Mas”, a collision of puns that stretched from the Roman Catholic church’s sacred liturgies to the profane street theatre of Carnival. The celebratory experience of Trinidad culture culminated in the title song “Beloved”, a nostalgic look at the island’s soul-filled sense of community. The following year, he addressed the growing ethnic rift perceived by many people in politics and society with a calypso reminding Carnival revellers of their ethnic roots, represented by the rivers that define their history: “The Ganges and the Nile”. Rudder’s career took a new direction when he married and moved to Canada in 2002. That experience would manifest itself the following year in “Trini to the Bone”, a celebration of those roots that ensure Rudder’s connection to Carnival and elevate him to the role of calypso ambassador. Distance has not eroded the legacy of his lasting voice: he’s destined to be remembered as a performer who carved an original place in calypso history. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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10 • Casting a net Summer 1994 Photo by Eleanor Chandler

11 • Purple honeycreeper Autumn 1994 Photo by Roger Neckles

12 • Trinidadian cricket legend Brian Lara Winter 1994/5 Photo by Shaun Botterill/Allsport

Back in the 1990s, it seems, a colourful outfit of batik or handpainted fabric was de rigueur for well-dressed Caribbean women. In our first four and a half years of publication, no fewer than five cover images featured subjects in batik attire.

1994 was the year Brian Lara was popularly anointed “Prince of Port of Spain,” as in the space of two months he broke two major cricket records — most runs scored in a single Test innings and most runs ever in a first-class match — and entered the realm of legend. Profiling Lara in our Winter 1994/5 issue — where he made the first of two Caribbean Beat cover appearances — B.C. Pires wrote: “The only real question . . . is how high and how far he can go.” Now, looking back more than two decades over one of the most illustrious sports careers of our times, Vaneisa Baksh explains what Lara meant for the game of cricket and his fans around the world:

13 • Actress Renée Castle Spring 1995 Photo by Sean Drakes

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14 • Trinidadian Bharata Natyam dancer Shwetha Verma Summer 1995 Photo by Sean Drakes

15 • Barbadian windsurfing champion Brian Talma Autumn 1995 Photo by D.W. Hollenbeck

16 • The Jolly Roger cruising off Barbados November/December 1995 Photo by Eleanor Chandler

17 • Catching some rays January/February 1996 Photo by Eleanor Chandler

20 • Jetty view July/August 1996 Photo by Roxan Kinas

21 • Batik, sari-style September/October 1996 Photo by Sonya Sanchez/Camera Art

22 • Courland Bay, Tobago November/December 1996 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

23 • Songs of the Earth on Victoria Avenue January/February 1997 Detail of painting by Brian Wong Won

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To be the holder of multiple world records — highest individual score in a Test (twice: 375 and 400), in first-class (501), runs in one Test over (28), and the only batsman in first class games to have scored one, two, three, four, and five centuries — is rightfully to be acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history. The impact of Brian Charles Lara’s personal achievements was amplified by the circumstances under which he accumulated them. From 1993, when he scored 277 and captured international attention, to his last West Indian appearance in 2007, he was part of a team on an unhappy trajectory towards cricket

18 • Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls March/April 1996 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

24 • Trinidadian Penny Chow, Miss Universe 1977 March/April 1997 Photo by Abigail Hadeed

ignominy. West Indies supporters were regularly crushed by the unrelenting losses, but Lara gave them — gave the world — something that sparkled beyond the gloom. On the field, he embodied greatness, and for West Indian societies, struggling with rampant mediocrity in leadership and politics that was manifest in weak economies, growing crime, and brazen corruption, he was a reminder of the magnificence that has periodically erupted in our history. Lara’s feats were celebrated worldwide, and West Indians were able to bask in that reflected glory. Bestowed with high honours — the Trinity Cross (as it was then known in Trinidad and

Tobago), the Order of the Caribbean Community, the Order of Australia — he had a remarkable career that was dogged by difficulty, not least of which was the ongoing adversarial relationship between players and the West Indies Cricket Board. He was named captain of the West Indies team three times, and despite his super status as a batsman, could never claim to be a winning captain like Clive Lloyd or Viv Richards. Instead, he presided over a team with wildly fluctuating fortunes, where victories were few and embarrassments were many, though individual performances were often brilliant. But, in his time, he became one of the first of the breed of wealthy cricketers

who brought business savvy to their dealings, and saw endorsements and sponsorships as a natural extension of their cricket incomes. That breed changed international cricket forever. In his retirement, apart from his event management business, he has become a global ambassador for cricket, travelling extensively, often alongside Sir Garry Sobers, who recently described him as “my dearest friend.” Lara, says Sobers, is doing very well. “Brian’s got his own agenda. He travels a lot and he does things all over the world. He does a lot for cricket. And he’s a nice boy.”

Heading into the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Trinidadian sprinter Ato Boldon seemed one of the Caribbean’s best hopes for a medal. A year before, he’d won the 100-metre bronze at the World Championships in Gothenburg — at just twenty-one, the youngest athlete ever to medal in the sprint event. And, indeed, he did take home two medals from Atlanta — bronze in both the 100and 200-metre races — though precious gold eluded him this time. That wasn’t the case the following year, when Boldon 19 • Trinidadian sprinter Ato Boldon won the 200-metre World Championship gold in Athens, May/June 1996 or in 1998, when he took the 100-metre gold at the Photo by Gary M. Prior/Allsport Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, setting a stillunbeaten Commonwealth Games record of 9.88 seconds. A serious hamstring injury took him out of the 1999 World Championships, but hopes were high, nonetheless, for further Olympic glory at the 2000 games in Sydney. There, Boldon won the silver in the 100 metres, beaten by US sprinter Maurice Greene (and with Barbadian Obadele Thompson in third place), and the 200-metre bronze. That was to be his final Olympic medal — after a car accident in 2002, Boldon never again ran under ten seconds in the 100 metres or under twenty seconds in the 200. But his Olympic silver and three bronzes still place him in rare company: only three other male athletes have ever won as many or more Olympic individual event sprint medals. And in his post-competition life Boldon has turned his knowledge of the game and on-camera charisma into a thriving career as a television commentator — most recently, Sports Illustrated named him 2016’s best TV analyst for his coverage of the Rio Olympics. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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When a dancing Machel Montano fronted the May/June 1997 Caribbean Beat — his first of four cover appearances — he was just twenty-two years old, but already more than a decade into a musical career that would soon see him dominate the soca genre and Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival. It’s no exaggeration to describe the past two decades of T&T music as the Age of Machel. Laura Dowrich explains why:

25 • Trinidad soca legend Machel Montano May/June 1997 Photo courtesy Delicious Vinyl

Every year, a week before masqueraders take to the streets of Trinidad for the reign of the Merry Monarch, thousands pack into Port of Spain’s Hasely Crawford Stadium for the biggest show in Carnival. The show is Machel Monday. The star: Machel Montano, five-time Soca Monarch, eight-time Road March champ, and the indisputable king of soca. Others have given themselves that title, based on their mainstream success, but none can boast a thirty-five-year career in the art form, practically the same number of albums, or a brand that dominates the Carnival scene — whether or not they are even present. Montano entered the calypso arena as a child, but came of age in 1997, with the game-changing release of his Heavy Duty album. The album and its debut single “Big Truck” catapulted the “Too Young to Soca” singer into the role of Carnival’s winerboy.

The lithe young man with a waist like butter has now evolved into a sage fortytwo-year-old That was the first year he appeared in Caribbean Beat, where writer Pat Ganase noted that the twenty-two-year-old was notorious for every kind of “wine.” Montano doesn’t wine that much these days. The lithe young man with a waist like butter has now evolved into a sage forty-twoyear-old who posts inspirational quotes daily on Instagram. But he still churns out hits to make people dance, think, celebrate, and debate. The key to Montano’s longevity and success has been his ability to change, adapt, and push the limits of his genre, while keeping his eye on his oft-repeated mission to make soca popular and take it to the four corners of the earth. He’s pursued this relentlessly, pushing boundaries, taking risks, and setting trends. He was the first to collaborate with Jamaican dancehall singers,

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opening the door for them to become staples on the soca scene. He was the first to marry house music with soca on 1995’s “Come Dig It”, later opening the floodgates to EDM soca with “AoA”. He sought international collaborations, teaming up with the likes of Pitbull, rappers Lil John and Wyclef Jean, among others, R&B group Boyz II Men, and South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to name just a few. He’s taken the music far: to Egypt, India, and South Africa, filming videos, meeting songwriters and producers, and looking for sounds to infuse with his. In 2007, he became the first soca artist to headline his own show at Madison Square Garden in New York, and he’s performed on stages at Radio City Music Hall, Coachella, and South by Southwest. To maintain his position atop the pack, Montano — now an elder in the music arena with his thirty-five years’ experience — surrounds himself with young talent: songwriters, producers, musicians, and singers who help to keep his sound fresh and trendy. But nowhere has his evolution been reflected more clearly than in his changing handles. In the early days, his band was known as Pranasonic, named after the Prana Lands area in Siparia, south Trinidad, where Montano grew up. That changed to Xtatik. Then, as he changed the way his band functioned, he assumed the HD persona to reflect his mission to transmit a clearer image of who he is and what he’s about. In 2014, HD made way for Monk Monte. MONK, he said, was an acronym for the Movement of New Knowledge. With the new name came a new role, that of actor. Montano starred in his own film, Bazodee, a Bollywood-style love story set in T&T. In 2016, Bazodee became the first T&T-made film to be distributed in the US, Canada, and across the Caribbean. He’s expected to follow that up in 2017 with a documentary called Machel Montano: The Journey of a Soca King. That journey is far from over. For the foreseeable future, Montano’s crown seems secure.


“I would hate to be a superstar,” said André Tanker to writer Judy Raymond, who profiled the beloved singer-composer in July/August 1997. Both his live performances and his recordings were relatively rare, but his death in 2003 — on Carnival Friday night — left a still-gaping absence in T&T’s music scene. Nearly twenty years after she interviewed him for Caribbean Beat, Raymond looks back at a musical talent that lives on in our cultural DNA:

26 • Trinidadian musician André Tanker July/August 1997 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

27 • Barbadian soca star Edwin Yearwood September/October 1997 Photo by Roxan Kinas

31 • Jamaica at the World Cup May/June 1998 Photo by Doug Pensinger/Allsport

André Tanker’s music might have been washed away in the torrent of soca that floods Trinidad at Carnival every year. But instead it’s outlasted almost all the local music produced since he died in 2003, at sixty-one. Tanker grew up in the middle-class Port of Spain neighbourhood of Woodbrook, home of the Invaders steelband, where he learned to play pan, and the Little Carib Theatre, where Beryl McBurnie was reviving folk dance and Orisha drummer Andrew Beddoe played for Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop. But Tanker didn’t appreciate them fully until Afro-Trinidadians reclaimed their heritage in the 1970 Black Power Movement. “It gave you a perspective on who you are, what motivates you, why you like what you like,” Tanker said, looking back in 1997. That was when he understood he was

28 • Parang season November/December 1997 Illustration by Christopher Cozier

entitled to draw on his entire birthright: calypso and reggae, jazz, blues, soul, Latin American music, African and Indian. “Children of a one great love,” he sang. Like many intuitive artists, he wasn’t easy to interview: low-key and laconic, he preferred his message to be conveyed by his music. Likewise, he was more composer than performer, though he played vibraphone and flute, and he sang his songs of love and the oneness of humankind, though his voice wasn’t his greatest asset. Walcott described Tanker’s work as “disciplined enough to be simple”; it was also rich enough to have enduring appeal. Even now, Trinis catch themselves humming “Wild Indian”, “Basement Party”, “Sayamanda”. His talent lay in blending traditions to make something that was at once fresh and familiar.

29 • Masks of Carnival January/February 1998 Photo by Sean Drakes

Previewing that year’s FIFA World Cup in our May/June 1998 issue, Georgia Popplewell concluded, “For the first time since 1974, Caribbean people will really have a team to root for.” She was referring to Haiti’s national team, which unexpectedly qualified for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany — and to the Reggae Boyz, the Jamaican national team, which made history in 1998 as the first football team from the Anglophone Caribbean ever to go to the sport’s most prestigious tournament.

30 • Kite season March/April 1998 Photo by Sean Drakes

“For a small country,” wrote Popplewell, “a national sports team is . . . a repository of civic dreams and aspirations.” Such was the case for Jamaica — even if the Reggae Boyz didn’t advance out of the finals’ first round. Five years later, it was Trinidad and Tobago’s chance. Beating Bahrain in a qualifying match, the Soca Warriors booked their tickets to the 2006 World Cup in Germany — and T&T became the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, a victory in its own right. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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32 • T&T’s Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 1998 July/August 1998 Photo by Ian Yee

33 • Lisa Steele in a costume from Peter Minshall’s Red September/October 1998 Photo by Sonya Sanchez-Arias

34 • Fishing boats at Grand Anse, Grenada November/December 1998 Photo by Mike Toy

When Alison Hinds appeared on the cover of our July/August 1999 issue, the “Bajan invasion” of Carnivals across the Caribbean was far advanced. Shelly-Ann Inniss explains how the island’s music scene has evolved over the past twenty years:

38 • Barbadian soca star Alison Hinds July/August 1999 Photo by Eric Young

42 • The Ramayana in Trinidad March/April 2000 Illustration by Shalini Seereeram 48

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The 1990s were arguably a high point for Barbadian music. The nightclub scene in Barbados was alive and well, and artistes were not afraid to experiment. This decade saw the rise of soca stars like Hinds alongside Rupee and Edwin Yearwood (who’d appeared on Caribbean Beat’s cover two years before); jazz/ reggae saxophonist Arturo Tappin; calypso powerhouse Anthony “Mighty Gabby” Carter; and local band Spice and Company, just to start. Creativity seemed to be at an all-time high and the Barbadian sound was one of the leading influences in

Caribbean music. Soca dominated the landscape and infiltrated foreign markets, allowing artistes to share their sound with global audiences. Rupee’s “Tempted to Touch” peaked at number 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and at 44 on the UK singles chart, and featured in the soundtrack of the Hollywood movie After the Sunset. Reggae, hip-hop, jazz, electronic dance music (EDM), and R&B also inspired the style of music performed and created by Barbadian musicians. By the mid 2000s, Barbados was producing

Some issues of Caribbean Beat disappear off the planes faster than others — and sometimes a gorgeous cover image is the reason. The vivid tones of Shalini Seereeram’s Ramayana illustration for our March/April 2000 issue made it a favourite with readers — and changed the artist’s career. “I had no idea it was to be on the cover,” Seereeram recalls. “It came at a turning point in my career. I was working in graphic design and preparing for my first art show. Receiving the news that my art was to be on Caribbean Beat’s cover was the push I needed to quit graphic design and focus on my art career.”

35 • Carnival spirit January/February 1999 Illustration by Russel Halfhide

international artistes from hybrid genres — Rihanna above all, but also Livvi Franc, Hal Linton, Shontelle, Teff Hinkson, Cover Drive, 2 Mile Hill, and others. Barbadians are proud of their successful musicians, and have created the glamorous Barbados Music Awards and other festivals to highlight, showcase, and honour the wealth of musical talent within the country. Relevance and longevity are always concerns in the industry, and often it’s a battle of legend versus newcomer. Mahalia Cummins, lead singer of the band 2 Mile Hill, says the music scene is once again resurging. “Where support was previously lacking, young and upcoming artistes are working with

43 • Sheikh Ibrahim Mosque, Caracas May/June 2000 Photo by Wyatt Gallery


36 • Phagwah celebrations March/April 1999 Photo by Sean Drakes

the more seasoned performers,” she explains. Hinds, our cover subject eighteen years ago, is one such artiste, and she’s always working behind the scenes collaborating with or mentoring younger talent. Most recently, she’s signed up to mentor the young people of the UNICEF Caribbean Junior Monarch Competition, which will launch officially in August this year. Soca is still a main staple in Barbadian music, meanwhile — and with names like Damian Marvay, Nikita, King Bubba, and Joaquin in the current mix, it’s not going to wind up anytime soon. Wining down — that’s a different matter.

37 • Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 1998 May/June 1999 Photo by Sean Drakes

39 • Jamaican fast bowler Courtney Walsh September/October 1999 Photo by Stu Forester/Allsport

The Caribbean adores its beauty queens. For a small country, any citizen who wins positive international acclaim is a hero. And our various Misses Universe and World over the decades have also proven to be a talented, enterprising bunch, going on to careers in politics, the arts, and philanthropy. Grenadian Jennifer Hosten (Miss World 1970) later became a diplomat. Jamaican Cindy Breakspeare (Miss World 1976) may be best remembered as Bob Marley’s muse and the mother of his son Damien, but she’s also a successful recording artist in her own right. Her countrywoman Lisa Hanna (Miss World 1993) served as a Cabinet minister. And among the Trinidadians, Janelle Commissiong (Miss Universe 1977) and Giselle Laronde (Miss World 1986) both become successful businesswomen. No wonder, then, that T&T’s Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 1998, managed to appear twice on Caribbean Beat’s cover, in July/August 1998 and again less than a year later, resplendent in Carnival costume. Her “reign” was just the beginning: a law student when she won her title, she was later admitted to the bar in her home country, honoured for her activism in HIV/AIDS awareness, recognised as a Red Cross Ambassador for Youth, published a well-received memoir, and now hosts the reality TV series Caribbean’s Top Model — all while maintaining her elegant but down-toearth presence on T&T’s social scene.

40 • New directions? November/December 1999 Illustration by Russel Halfhide

41 • Welcoming a new millennium January/February 2000 Illustration by Russel Halfhide

Boats were a favourite cover subject in the magazine’s earlier years — no fewer than nine in all, ranging from fancy yachts to humble pirogues. How do other categories compare in the rankings? Three covers have depicted botanical subjects, and three have featured children playing on beaches. Seashells? Two. Surf-, windsurf-, and kiteboards? Three. Rivers? Five. At the other end of the scale: sportsmen and -women? Eighteen. Musicians? Twenty-four. We aren’t called Caribbean Beat for nothing. 44 • Bougainvillea greeting July/August 2000 Photo by Sean Drakes

45 • Sailing off St Vincent September/October 2000 Photo by Chris Huxley WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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“If Trinidad has a soul, the place to hear it is in Mungal Patasar’s music.” Thus did writer Niala Maharaj begin her story on the renowned Trinidadian sitarist in our November/December 2000 issue. And her incisive profile was complemented by photographer Mark Lyndersay’s portrait of Patasar on the cover. A prolific contributor of both images and words to Caribbean Beat over the decades (with nine covers to his credit), Lyndersay recalls that photoshoot at Patasar’s house nearly seventeen years ago: Every photographer on assignment for a magazine wants the cover. It’s prime space and usually pays the best, but a portrait session can go off the rails if there isn’t a good, balanced 46 • Mungal Patasar on the sitar range of images for the publication’s designer November/December 2000 to work with. That means putting effort into Photo by Mark Lyndersay making every setup as compelling as possible, while thinking about how they play together to offer their own visual narrative in the final piece. Ideally, the photographs complement the words in a profile. Sometimes they tell a parallel but unrelated story. At worst, they exist in a different world from the words. The cover photo has work to do. It is a preview of the issue’s tone and content, a sales pitch to the potential reader, and an invitation to read the story it references. My first preference with a subject is almost always an environmental portrait. If it can happen effectively in the subject’s space, they begin with the advantage of home ground in the encounter. The Mungal Patasar session happened at his home. The musician lives in the countryside, and I imagined

47 • Carnival rainbow January/February 2001 Photo by Sean Drakes

51 • Seashells September/October 2001 Photo by Sean Drakes 50

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48 • Water lily March/April 2001 Photo by Sean Drakes

52 • Shake the maracas November/December 2001 Illustration by Tonia St Cyr

great possibilities. I photographed him in his living room with his family and, with time running out, in a nearby field seated with his sitar under a tree. But it was the portrait taken just a few inches from the front door of his home — a heavy, weathered slab of wood with just enough texture and muted tone to complement the musician and his well-used instrument — that ended up leading the issue. After some broad direction about posture, Mungal began to play. I wish I could say I was an appreciative audience, but I had one roll of 120 Fujichrome 50 allocated for this shot, twelve frames on the Hasselblad I was using, and I needed to bracket exposures.  Mungal just played on, doing his work while I did mine, a portrait more passionately given than taken. 

49 • Bob Marley May/June 2001 Photo by Adrian Boot

53 • Carnival time again January/February 2002 Photo by Sean Drakes

50th issue July/August 2001 Illustration by Russel Halfhide

Our twenty-odd Carnival cover subjects have included sequined pretty mas, calypso and soca stars, traditional characters like the blue devil and Dame Lorraine. Mas is one of the hardest subjects to capture in a single image: it’s chaotic, it’s unpredictable, it moves too fast.


Over two and a half decades, we’ve profiled dozens of our region’s best writers — novelists, poets, dramatists, biographers. We’ve run in-depth features on Nobel laureates and talented up-and-comers. Our first story on Jamaican Marlon James ran in 2006, 54 • Writer Oonya nine years before he won Kempadoo the Man Booker Prize; March/April 2002 we profiled Trinidadian Photo by Jim Rudin Vahni Capildeo, winner of the 2016 Forward Prize, back in 2004. But in twenty-five years, only one writer has appeared on the cover: Grenada-based Oonya Kempadoo, profiled in March/April 2002. Kempadoo had made an auspicious debut three years before, with her novel Buxton Spice, which set off a fabled “bidding war” among London publishers. Tide Running soon followed. And her third novel, All Decent Animals, was imminent, our 2002 article predicted. Except it was another decade before it actually appeared. Our readers got a preview in our May/June 2013 issue, when we published an excerpt from the long-awaited work.

55 • Jamaican reggae musician Beres Hammond May/June 2002 Photo by Tim Barrow

56 • Enjoying the holidays on an Antiguan beach July/August 2002 Photo by Sean Drakes

57 • Pan passion September/October 2002 Photo by Noel Norton

58 • Danse La Helene November/December 2002 Illustration by Martin Superville

MAY/JUNE 2003

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It’s one of the permanently contentious issues of public debate in the Caribbean: the state of West Indies cricket. Over the lifetime of Caribbean Beat, fans of the game have argued and agonised over the regional team, its players and administrators, and wondered if the West Indies will ever return to the form of its glory days in the 1970s and 80s. In our May/June 2003 issue, we took a stab at predicting what a future version of the West Indies team might look like. After talking to experts at the West Indies Cricket Board and regional cricket associations, we compiled our “next 11”: a lineup of exceptional young cricketers under seventeen years 61 • Waiting at the crease old, who seemed to have the talent and attitude. May/June 2003 Photo by Sean Drakes So how solid were our predictions? Of our eleven youngsters, one — Marcus Julien of Grenada — switched sports, to football. Most of the others went on to play for their national under-17 or under-19 teams. A handful — including Kavesh Kantasingh of T&T and Javal Hodge of St Kitts and Nevis — have played for their national senior teams. And two have represented the West Indies at the highest levels of the game. Trinidadian batsman Jason Mohammed made his first-class debut for T&T against Jamaica in 2006. And in December 2011 he played his first One Day International match for the West Indies, versus India. He subsequently represented both T&T Red Steel and the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premiere League T20 regional tournament. Meanwhile, Barbadian batsman Omar Phillips found himself batting for the West Indies in a 2009 Test match against Bangladesh. A contract strike by several members of the regional senior team saw seven young players selected for that Test series. Phillips came just six runs short of a debut century.

59 • Masquerader from Peter Minshall’s Picoplat January/February 2003 Photo by Sean Drakes MARCH/APRIL 2003

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60 • Guyanese woodpecker March/April 2003 Photo courtesy the Tourism and Hotel Association of Guyana 52

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62 • Dancehall musicians Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, and Buju Banton July/August 2003 Photo by Urbanimage.tv

63 • Detail of Salybia, by Trinidadian artist Lisa O’Connor September/October 2003 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

64 • Havana’s Calle San Ignacio November/December 2003 Photo by Sean Drakes

65 • Peter Minshall’s Hummingbird January/February 2004 Photo by Roy Boyke, courtesy the Callaloo Company

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74 • Indigenous Guyanese youngster July/August 2005 Photo by Roberta Parkin

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73 • St Lucia’s east coast May/June 2005 Photo by Mike Toy

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72 • Remembering cartoonist DEW, 1935–2004 March/April 2005 Illustration by Dunstan E. Williams

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69 • Special music issue September/October 2004 Illustration by Russel Halfhide

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68 • On the track to gold July/August 2004 Photo by Marlon Rouse

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In perhaps the most ambitious feature Caribbean Beat had yet published, we polled a panel of music experts and came up with a list of 250 great songs from the Caribbean — most of them from the pre-digital era, as suggested by the vinyl record on the cover.

75 • Brooklyn — the largest Caribbean city? September/October 2005 Photo by Sol McCants

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2006

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80 • Gingerbread fretwork in Sint Maarten July/August 2006 Photo by Donald Nausbaum 54

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81 • Celebrating Carifesta September/October 2006 Illustration by Marlon Griffith

82 • Farewell to BWIA November/December 2006 Illustration by MEP

83 • Welcome to Caribbean Airlines January/February 2007 Illustration courtesy Caribbean Airlines


66 • Brian Lara on the offensive March/April 2004 Photo by Getty Images

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2005

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70 • The Love Circle November/December 2004 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

76 • Holiday season in T&T November/December 2005 Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

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77 • T&T music stars January/February 2006 Image by Mark Lyndersay

71 • Carnival imp January/February 2005 Photo by Sean Drakes MAY/JUNE 2006

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67 • Trinidadian rock band The Orange Sky May/June 2004 Band photos by Alex Smailes

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It’s one of the most iconic Carnival photos of all time, perfect for the cover of our issue profiling thirteen designers from the golden age of mas: Peter Minshall’s 1974 costume From the Land of the Hummingbird, portrayed by Sherry-Ann Guy and captured on film by the late Roy Boyke. The most celebrated and controversial masman in T&T Carnival from the time of his debut in the mid 1970s, Minshall himself had appeared on the cover of our third issue, back in 1992. On two other occasions, photos of his creations made striking cover subjects: our September/ October 1998 issue featured a costume from his band Red, and a bird-garbed masquerader from Picoplat appeared on our January/February 2003 issue. Caribbean Beat’s most extensive take on Minshall’s career came in our May/June 2006 issue, when a profile by editor Nicholas Laughlin was accompanied by personal accounts from some of the artist’s closest colleagues and observers. In an irony of timing, 2006 also turned out to be the final year in which Minshall produced a full-scale Carnival band. But a handful of smaller subsequent mas collaborations have continued to astound and provoke his audience. Witness the drag-ballerina Dying Swan costume he designed for the Carnival Kings and Queens competition in 2016, which set off a firestorm of debate unlike anything since — well, since the last Minshall controversy. Genius remains restless.

78 • St George’s, Grenada March/April 2006 Photo by Modern Photo Studios

79 • Heading to the FIFA World Cup May/June 2006 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

85 • Model Jaunel McKenzie at Caribbean Fashion Week May/June 2007 Photo by Froylan Flowers

86 • Kayaking on the Lucie River, Suriname July/August 2007 Photo by Dean Van Ommeren

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At midnight on 1 January, 2007, BWIA — Caribbean Beat’s airline partner for fifteen years — ceased to exist, and Caribbean Airlines was born, welcomed by a cover featuring the colourful hummingbird from the new airline’s logo.

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84 • Beach cricket March/April 2007 Photo by Abigail Hadeed

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87 • Barbadian superstar Rihanna September/October 2007 Photo courtesy Roberto D’Este

“It always seemed glamorous,” said Rihanna early on in her career, “but it is real work.” Talent and luck have something to do with it, too. A nineteen-year-old relative newcomer when she appeared on the cover of the September/October 2007 Caribbean Beat, the Barbadian singer-songwriter was then two years into a stellar international career. A decade later, she’s indisputably the top selling digital artist of all time, winner of eight Grammy Awards, among numerous other honours — also a fashion icon, movie star, named one of 2012’s “100 most influential people in the world” by Time magazine, and an astute businessperson: in 2015 she created her own label, Westbury Road Entertainment. “Whenever I get the chance, I fly home to Barbados,” Rihanna said, interviewed in Caribbean Beat by writer Essiba Small. And her contributions to her home island go beyond the reflected blaze of her pop-star celebrity. In 2012, Rihanna made headlines when she donated US$1.75 million to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, in memory of her late grandmother — the namesake of Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which she founded to “improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts, and culture.” An unapologetic force to reckon with, the first-ever recipient of the American Music Awards Icon Award is now working on her ninth studio album.

88 • Trinidadian golfer Stephen Ames November/December 2007 Photo by Robert Taylor SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008

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98 • Fun at Trinidad’s Maracas Bay July/August 2009 Photo by Andrea de Silva

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99 • Trio shaman in Suriname September/October 2009 Photo by Andy Isaacson

Four young filmmakers on the cover of our September/ October 2010 issue led writer Jonathan Ali’s survey of contemporary Caribbean cinema. Seven years later, he gives us a progress report:

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105 • The New Caribbean Cinema collective September/October 2010 Photo courtesy Marlon James

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Back in 2010, three of the directors I highlighted had just made their debut features: Maria Govan (Rain)

100th issue November/December 2009 Cover design by Aisha Provoteaux

and Kareem Mortimer (Children of God) of the Bahamas, and Jamaica’s Storm Saulter (Better Mus’ Come). As I write this, Govan’s second effort, Play the Devil, is winning plaudits on the festival circuit; Mortimer’s third film, Cargo, is about to premiere; and Saulter is in post-production on his follow up, Sprinter.

101 • J’Ouvert devil January/February 2010 Photo by Andrea de Silva

Other talented filmmakers have joined in the act. The blessings of the digital revolution notwithstanding, making films in the Caribbean remains a challenging business. The biggest challenge, however, still is winning over hearts and minds to the idea that there’s more to cinema than the Hollywood formula.


89 • Trinidadians 3Canal January/February 2008 Photo by David Wears

90 • T&T’s women’s boxing team March/April 2008 Photo by Mariamma Kambon

91 • Guyana’s Iwokrama Canopy Walkway May/June 2008 Photo by Skye Hernandez

92 • Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell July/August 2008 Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

94 • The jewellery designs

95 • Carnival devil in

96 • Fast bowler

97 • Dominica river hike

of Emmaloochie November/December 2008 Photo courtesy Emmaloochie

downtown Port of Spain January/February 2009 Photo by Jeffrey Chock

March/April 2009 Illustration by Nikolai Noel

May/June 2009 Photo by Sean Drakes

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102 • Trinidadian chef

103 • Trinidad and Tobago

Ossie “Chinkey” Francis March/April 2010 Photo by Andrea de Silva

Fashion Week May/June 2010 Photo by Sean Drakes

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106 • Divali lights November/December 2010 Photo by Mark Lyndersay

107 • Red Indian mas January/February 2011 Photo by Edison Boodoosingh

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Arguably the Caribbean’s most famous icon, Bob Marley was the cover subject of our May/June 2001 issue, on the twentieth anniversary of his death. His legacy lives on through his music, familiar to fans around the world — and though his children and 104 • Ziggy Marley grandchildren, many of July/August 2010 Photo courtesy Wonder Knack whom inherited Marley’s musical genes. Like firstborn son David “Ziggy” Marley, who appeared on the cover of our July/August 2010 issue. Last year, Ziggy released his fifteenth album. There are also rumours of new albums in the works from both Damien and his brother Julian. Meanwhile, the rest of the family is involved in various Marley-branded projects, from fashion to cooking, graphic design to electronics, and of course running the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. There’s a line of Marley coffee — including beans grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and the highlands of Ethiopia — and eco-friendly footwear. Whatever else you can say of the Marley family, they understand the value of their family legacy. B104 cover.indd 1

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INFLIGHT MAGAZINE

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108 • Trinidadian-Canadian chef Roger Mooking March/April 2011 Photo by Geoff George

115 • Trinidadian Broadway star Heather Headley May/June 2012 Photo courtesy Heather Headley

JULY/AUGUST 2011

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109 • Tobago cocoa May/June 2011 Photo by Alex Smailes

116 • Grenadian Olympic champ Kirani James July/August 2012 Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

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110 • El Tucuche golden frog July/August 2011 Photo by Pierson Hill

Caribbean Beat’s special “Green Issue” featured a rare frog species on its cover — the only time an amphibian has served as cover model. Fauna cover subjects have also included one non-human mammal and four birds — can you spot them all?

Heading into the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the eyes of the world were on Usain Bolt — understandably, considering how the Jamaican sprinter had overwhelmed the competition in Beijing four years earlier. But astute observers — like writer Kwame Laurence, who wrote the cover story on Caribbean Olympic prospects for our July/August 2012 issue — had their eyes on other contenders as well. Like Grenada’s Kirani James, then just nineteen years old, who a year before at the World Championships had become the youngest ever 400-metre gold medalist. “He has all the expectations of Grenada resting on his shoulders,” wrote Laurence. And on 6 August, 2012, those expectations were fulfilled: thanks to James, Grenada’s firstever Olympic medal was gold. Five of the eight lanes in the final were occupied by Caribbean athletes, plus all three spots on the medal podium — with Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic in second place and Lalonde Gordon of T&T in third.

. . . All the expectations of Grenada resting on his shoulders 119 • Steffano Marcano, Carnival blue devil January/February 2013 Photo by Maria Nunes

121 • Jamaica’s No-Maddz May/June 2013 Photo by Marlon James

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James’s welcome back to Grenada — and his home village of Gouyave — was euphoric. And Grenadian readers of Caribbean Beat were delighted the magazine had the foresight to put him on the cover. How did we make the call? “I think it was a mixture of reasons,” remembers Judy Raymond, then editor. “We wanted to use a photo of someone promising but not too familiar, and from somewhere that didn’t already have a great Olympic track record. And we had a good pic of him.” The confidence of writer Kwame Laurence — one of the Caribbean’s most experienced sports journalists, specialising in track and field, and a longtime contributor to the magazine — about James’s promise also helped. Four years later, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, James was a favourite to repeat his win. Only one athlete — American Michael Johnson — had ever managed to defend an Olympic gold in the men’s 400 metres, in 1996 and 2000. But the


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011

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111 • Trinidad-born singer Nicki Minaj September/October 2011 Photo by D Project Records/ Young Money Entertainment

112 • Christmas dinner with T&T celebrities November/December 2011 Photo by Andrea De Silva

113 • Machel Montano costumed by Carnival band K2K January/February 2012 Photo by Marlon Rouse

114 • Trinidadian designer Anya Ayoung-Chee March/April 2012 Photo by Wyatt Gallery

117 • Detail of Disciple I, by Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson September/October 2012 Image courtesy Ebony G. Patterson

118 • Diwali parade in Guyana November/December 2012 Photo by Michael Lam

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achievement just barely escaped the Grenadian champion. James came second, to Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa — but still brought home Grenada’s second-ever Olympic medal, and singlehandedly gave his country the highest number of Olympic medals, per capita, at two successive Summer Games.

Just seventeen when she appeared on the cover of the March/April 2013 Caribbean Beat, slicing through a wave, Chelsea Tuach already had four years’ experience as a national and regional surfing champion. Starting 120 • Barbadian surfer at the age of ten, Tuach Chelsea Tuach is the youngest surfer to March/April 2013 represent Barbados in the Photo by Mark Harris watersport, and the most successful in competition. Ranked fourth in the world in 2015, she’s twice won the World Surf League (WSL) North American Junior Pro Championships. Tuach has flown the Barbadian flag in Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Fiji, Mexico, Spain, France, and Japan. “I set goals, seize opportunities, and with a lot of faith and support, I’ve managed to do it,” she says. She’s had moments of self-doubt and at times intimidation, going up against older competitors. But nothing has stopped her burning spirit of determination, especially backed with resounding support from her island.

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122 • Detail of Mokisi I, by Surinamese artist Marcel Pinas July/August 2013 Photo by William Tsang, courtesy of Readytex Art Gallery

125 • Nathaniel Charleau portrays a Dame Lorraine January/February 2014 Photo by Maria Nunes

127 • Cave diving in Andros, the Bahamas May/June 2014 Photo by Brian Kakuk

128 • Jamaican surfer Icah Wilmot July/August 2014 Photo by Marlon James 60

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123 • Lifeguard station on Miami Beach September/October 2013 Photo by Fotomak/Shutterstock.com

126 • Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin March/April 2014 Photo by Adrian Creary

What’s the exemplary colour of the Caribbean? Many would say blue, in all its hues: the colour of the sea that surrounds our islands. There’s something about that tropical marine blue that lifts the spirits: no wonder blue waters have appeared on no fewer than seventeen of our covers over the years.

129 • View of Petit Piton, St Lucia September/October 2014 Photo by Danielle Devaux

A sportsman in a football uniform — American football, not soccer — must have surprised readers who don’t associate the game with the Caribbean. But there’s more than a handful of players with Caribbean connections in the United 124 • Haitian-American football player Pierre Garçon States’ National Football November/December 2013 League, as writer Debbie Portrait by Jim Darling Jacob explained in the cover story of our November/December 2013 issue. She updates us on three of the players she profiled then: The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply to magazines. When “From island to end zone”, profiling NFL football players with Caribbean roots, hit the Internet, Caribbean Beat’s website got thousands of hits in the first hour — enough to crash the site temporarily. The Washington Redskins and its star wide receiver Pierre Garçon had tweeted the story, and it was read by legions of fans. Garçon spoke about his Haitian roots and his continuous ties with the Caribbean island — and his friendly smile lit up the cover photo. Garçon hasn’t skipped a beat since his Caribbean Beat profile. He finished his five-year, US$45-million contract with the Redskins and became a free agent. At thirtyone, he showed no signs of slowing down. He’s been a consistent play-maker for the Redskins throughout all the team’s travails with its numerous quarterbacks. Then when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti last year, Garçon’s team sent him to Haiti as an extension of his prolific community service work, and the NFL chose him to represent his team for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which pays homage to NFL players who engage in community service. Meanwhile, Jamaica-born Patrick Chung, also featured in the story, left the Philadelphia Eagles and returned to the New England Patriots to play for Bill Belichick, considered one of the most difficult and challenging coaches in the NFL. Chung soared, figuratively and literally, with high-flying tackles at the free safety position, which stunned opponents’ offenses. Belichick deemed Chung a crucial, versatile player who excelled at any defensive position where he was slotted. And Jamaica-born Trevardo Williams, a fourth-round draft pick and rookie for the Texas Texans, suffered an injury that prevented him from playing most of the season with the Texans. He made the rounds of the NFL, and landed eventually in the Canadian Football League (CFL), playing for the Toronto Argonauts.


ADVERTORIAL

Miami: what an experience! Go on a tour, taste exquisite dishes, relax, or work in the tropical beauty that is Miami.

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egin the adventure by taking part in the Black/African Diaspora Heritage Tour in Little Havana. Tour guide Corinna Moebius does an excellent job of telling the story of Cuba. Your passionate and energetic tour starts on Calle Ocho (Eighth Street), where you’ll see the Little Havana Domino Park, where domino and chess matches take place throughout the day. Authentic hand-rolled Cuban cigars, jewellery, clothing, and art are also there. While touring Miami, visit the Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum. Hear the fascinating story of how five black men trained in secrecy and were sworn in as the City of Miami’s first black police officers in 1944. You’ll enjoy KROMA’s photo gallery and artists’ studios in Coconut Grove. KROMA Gallery is filled with striking paintings and other works of art. Visit the Lyric Theater the first Friday of every month for “Lyric Live”, an interactive talent showcase. Miami’s rich, diverse cultural mix is reflected in the city’s delicious cuisine. For a variety of Caribbean cuisine, you can dine at Ortanique on the Mile, and munch on Cuban fare at El Cristo. Indulge in seafood at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., choose Zest Restaurant for global cuisine, or visit the Peacock Garden Café for a meal or snack. If you’ll be in Miami in October, take in the spectacular Miami Broward Carnival Parade and Concert. Each October, the sweet sound of calypso blares from the music trucks which parade in the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, followed by about fifty thousand revellers in colourful, seductive costumes. Drink and food stalls dot the fairgrounds, so you can keep your energy levels up all day and well into the night. As the sun sets, the crowd drifts towards the stage to hear the pulsating rhythms of Caribbean artistes, who perform their newly released music and crowd favourites as well. Got a place to stay? Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Miami Brickell Downtown and The Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront can accommodate you and make your stay unforgettable.

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Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell Downtown: www.hamptoninnmiamibrickell.com Brava by Brad Kilgore — The Arsht Centre: www.arshtcenter.org/Visit/BRAVAbyBradKilgore Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at Bayside Marketplace: www.bubbagump.com/locations/miami Miami-Broward Carnival: www.miamibrowardcarnival.com Dolphin Mall: www.ShopDolphinMall.com The Courtyard CADILLAC Miami Beach Oceanfront: www.hotelcadillacmiamibeach.com Ortanique on the Mile: www.ortaniquerestaurants.com Black/African Diaspora Heritage Tour of Little Havana: www.littlehavanaguide.com Historic Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum: www.historicalblackprecinct.org Overtown/Lyric Theatre: www.bahlt.org Zest Restaurant: www. zestmiami.com

The annual Miami Broward Carnival is pure excitement

KROMA Gallery: www.kromamiami.com Peacock Garden Café: www.jaguarhg.com/home-peacock Expressive artwork at KROMA Gallery


130 • Blue-and-yellow macaw November/December 2014 Photo by Tracy Starr/Shutterstock. com

136 • Street musician, Havana November/December 2015 Photo by Atlantide Phototravel/ Corbis

139 • Jaguar May/June 2016 Photo by Pete Oxford

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131 • Soca star Bunji Garlin January/February 2015 Photo by Jonathan Mannion

132 • Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls March/April 2015 Photo by Pete Oxford

A Cuban street musician — performing a trumpet solo, snazzily attired in brown suit and two-tone shoes — was the cover subject of our November/December 2015 issue. It was a favourite of Dionne Ligoure, head of corporate communications for Caribbean Airlines, and a longtime reader of the magazine. In fact, Ligoure keeps a copy of this cover on display in her office at the airline’s headquarters. “Cuba, for me, represents a part of the Caribbean that remains unspoilt,” Ligoure explains. “That photo transports you to another place and time. It does what music does: takes you on an imaginative journey. You can’t hear what the musician in the photo is playing, but you feel something.” And what does Caribbean Beat mean to her, and the airline? I’m tremendously proud of the magazine,” Ligoure says. “For the past twenty-five years, Caribbean Beat has featured, documented, archived, and highlighted the accomplishments of Caribbean icons throughout the region and our diaspora. “Caribbean Airlines is an authentic Caribbean brand. And Caribbean Beat is exactly that. It’s a natural, harmonious alliance. These two authentic elements are fused to represent the uniqueness of the Caribbean, in our ability to connect people. There’s a consistency and authenticity to that partnership.”

This pensive jaguar — one of South America’s most magnificent wild creatures — made an apt cover for our May/June 2016 issue, which commemorated Guyana’s fiftieth anniversary of Independence. Pete Oxford, worldrenowned wildlife photographer, remembers how he captured the image. “We were on a boat drifting down the river, when we spotted this top predator relaxing on the river bank under the thick jungle canopy. It was obvious that the animal had had no negative interaction with humans, as it was totally unafraid and allowed us to come extremely close. It was both a thrilling and a humbling experience.”

133 • On the coast of St John, US Virgin Islands May/June 2015 Photo by cdwheatley/istock.com

137 • Carnival blooming January/February 2016 Photo by Dwayne Watkins

140 • Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt July/August 2016 Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/ Getty Images


The brilliant orange paint and traditional design of this Barbadian chattel house door made an eye-catching cover for our September/October 2015 issue. It also made for a heart-warming experience for photographer Corrie Scott:

134 • Coral splendour July/August 2015 Photo by Rainer von Brandis/ istock.com

135 • Chattel house, Barbados September/October 2015 Photo by Corrie Scott

138 • Snorkelling in the Bahamas March/April 2016 Photo by Stephen Frink/Corbis

Sometimes it’s tough deciding among the options for a cover subject — and sometimes there’s no contest. That was exactly the case with our July/August issue last year, timed with the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “No contest” also describes how some of the world’s best sprinters must have felt, knowing they were up against Usain Bolt in the men’s 100- and 200-metre events. Born in rural Trelawny Parish, Jamaica, in 1986, Bolt is the fastest human being on record, and considered the greatest sprinter of all time. Where track and field are concerned, the past decade has indisputably been the Age of Bolt, and it’s hard to imagine another athlete so

dominating the sport in the near future. Few people could have predicted this unprecedented victory streak back in 2004, when Bolt — then just shy of his eighteenth birthday — appeared in the pages of Caribbean Beat for the first time. But it was already clear he was a major talent — writer Kwame Laurence called him one of the fastest men alive, previewing the Caribbean’s medal hopefuls in the Athens Olympics. Slowed by a leg injury, Bolt didn’t make it past the first round of heats. But he was just getting started. Four years later, this time previewing the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Laurence used the adjective “phenomenal” three times,

This freshly painted chattel door caught my eye as I was driving past, and I just had to stop and capture it. We have a history of finely crafted chattel houses in Barbados. More recently we started using bright colours rather than the traditional brown of past times — orange and green being a popular colour combination in Bim. Imagine my delight when my chattel house door ended up on the cover! On receiving the magazine, I kept it for a few days, then decided the people who live in the house should have it. Having never met them, I drove over and knocked. Lisa came to the door. And her mum. And her son. They were all delighted. I had already planned to “pay it forward,” so gave Lisa a percentage of what I earned for this photograph. Lisa emotionally told me that the money had come at just the right time. She hugged me. Gran hugged me, and Son told me I had to hug him too. So, hugs all round, all of us crying and laughing. I have now met three more wonderful Bajans in my island. Feels good. Feels right.

describing Bolt’s medal prospects. “Forgive the repetition,” he wrote. But it was an apt prediction. Not only did the twentyone-year-old win both the 100- and 200-metre races, setting new world records in both — a feat never before accomplished at the Olympics — but he did it with an almost inhuman nonchalance. (His third gold medal from Beijing, in the 4x100-metre relay, was sadly revoked earlier this year, when one of his teammates was retroactively disqualified for doping.) Heading to the 2012 London Olympics, Bolt was a clear favourite — both with the crowds, who loved his high-spirited antics, and to repeat his wins.

He didn’t disappoint. For Jamaicans, the timing of the achievement was especially significant, coming in the very month when the nation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of Independence. “I’m now a legend,” Bolt remarked, matter-of-factly. But the truly legendary feat was in Rio in August 2016. “This will surely be his last Olympic Games,” wrote Kwame Laurence, “and he’ll do everything in his power to ensure a golden farewell.” No athlete had ever won the 100-metre event at three consecutive Olympics, nor the 200 metres. To win them both — a “triple double” — would once have been unthinkable. But not, as it turned out, for Usain Bolt.

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November/December 2016

FREE

take-home copy

141 • Antiguan kiteboarding pioneer Andre Phillip September/October 2016 Photo by Roddy Grimes-Graeme

142 • Calypso Rose November/December 2016 Photo by Richard Holder, courtesy Stonetree Records

January/February 2017

FREE

take-home copy

143 • Young fancy sailor January/February 2017 Photo by Abigail Hadeed

The credits Jeremy Taylor, editor, publisher, consulting editor, 1992–2012 • Joanne Mendes, sales and admin, 1992–present • Russell Halfhide, designer, 1992–2007 • Geraldine Flower, sales, 1992–2011 • Simone Aché, sales, 1994–1998 • Reneé West, sales, 1994–1999 • Brendan de Caires, assistant editor, 1994–1998 • Kevon Webster, design and layout, 1995–present • Skye Hernandez, assistant editor and managing editor, 1997–2000 • Beverly Renwick, sales, 1997–2000 • Hazel Mansing, admin, 1998–present • Donna Benny, managing editor, 2000–2003 • Brigitte Bento-Espinet, assistant editor, 2000 • Stacy Lalbeharry, editorial assistant, 2000–2005 • Helen Shair-Singh, sales, 2000–2012 • Denise Chin, sales, 2001–2013, 2015–present • Tracy-Ann Gill, editorial assistant, 2001–2003 • Dylan Kerrigan, staff writer, 2002–2005 • Nicholas Laughlin, editor, 2003–2006, 2012–present • Tracy Assing, assistant editor, 2005–2008 • Sabrina Vailloo, editorial assistant, 2005–2007 • Laura Dowrich, assistant editor, 2006–2009 • Mirissa De Four, editorial assistant, 2006–2011 • Caroline Taylor, online editor, 2007–present • Judy Raymond, editor, 2007–2012 • Jacqui Smith, production, 2008–present • Aisha Provoteaux, design and layout, 2009–2010 • Samantha Rochard, sales, 2009 • Halcyon Salazar, general manager, 2011– present • Bridget van Dongen, design and layout, 2011–present • Marissa Rodriguez, admin assistant, 2012–2014 • Yuri Chin Choy, sales, 2012–present • Desiree Seebaran, assistant editor, 2013 • Karen Washington, sales, 2013–2015 • Cindy Lavia, editorial intern, 2014–2016 • Shelly-Ann Inniss, intern and editorial assistant, 2014–present

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Our oldest cover subject in twenty-five years? That would be Linda McArtha Sandy-Lewis, the indefatigable Calypso Rose, who was seventy-six when she fronted our November/December issue last year. And in this case, age isn’t just a number, or a bit of trivia — it’s evidence of the longevity of one of the most extraordinary careers in Caribbean music, dating back to the 1950s. When the Tobago-born calypsonian started her career as a teenager, calypso was still a macho genre. That she ascended to the heights of the artform is tribute to her skill as a singer and composer, her warmth and sincerity on stage, her wicked lyrics and playful performance style. Audiences adored her, but it wasn’t until 1978 — more than two decades into her career — that she won calypso’s highest honour. They had to literally rename the Calypso King title for her sake. The same energy, talent, and dedication that earned her that groundbreaking accolade are also responsible for the remarkable resurgence in popularity Rose has experienced in her eighth decade. Her latest album, Far from Home, was a surprise hit of summer 2016 in Europe, winning her thousands of new fans and a growing number of international awards, as she keeps to a touring schedule many younger musicians would envy. And her tune “Leave Me Alone” — featuring a guest appearance by Machel Montano — was yet another hit on the road at Carnival 2017.

A quarter-century’s worth of reading Caribbean Beat has always been free for Caribbean Airlines (and, before that, BWIA) passengers to take home — and many of you have done just that, collecting each issue as it appears on planes. A full set of all 144 magazines published to date takes up about two and a half feet of shelf space (and weighs almost a hundred pounds — yes, we checked). Readers hold on to them because many of the articles, profiles, and interviews are worth revisiting, even decades later. Researchers make reference to the magazine and teachers use it in classrooms. But if you haven’t been a Caribbean Beat reader and collector since 1992 — or if you don’t have two and a half feet of shelf space to spare — you can still access our rather vast archive via our website. The magazine first went online circa 1998. Back then, in the days when no one knew as yet what the World Wide Web would turn out to be, only a handful of articles from each issue were posted online, and some HTML hand-coding was involved. It’s a lot simpler these days. Not only can you read the full contents of each new issue online, you can also search all the way back to issue number one in a matter of seconds — if, say, your heart is set on finding every single reference to Machel Montano we’ve ever published. Now, the archive is a work in progress — we’re still digitising some of the earlier issues. Even so, there are close to 2,500 articles already available, which makes the Caribbean Beat website one of the most extensive free online archives of Caribbean culture. Even for our editorial staff, exploring this archive is always an adventure of discovery and re-discovery. Find it all at caribbean-beat.com.


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AdvertoriAl

The Bahamas Festival time in The Bahamas!

Written by Elaine Monica Davis

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ou’ve heard the saying: “It’s festival time again!” Yes, it’s a very common expression, as the Caribbean is replete with festivals of one kind or another — celebrating food, drink, culture, dance, and the list continues. But while festivals and Carnivals indeed dominate the Caribbean landscape every month of the year, the islands of The Bahamas alone have a smorgasbord of activities,

April 28 and 29 will be here before we know it, and people from all over the world are looking forward to the amazing time they will have in Grand Bahama, with the Carnival Kick Off scheduled for Taino Beach, Freeport. Local musical giants like Music Masters 2016 winner Fanshawn Taylor, 2015 winner Sammie Starr, together with Lady “E” and a host of other mega-talented Bahamian contenders, will again show-

The islands of The Bahamas have a smorgasbord of activities, every single beautiful, sun-splashed month of the calendar year every single beautiful, sun-splashed month of the calendar year. But more on that in another issue! Right now, looming on our spectacularly beautiful Bahamian horizon is Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2017! Yes, BJC 2017 is almost here. But keep calm and prepare to travel to The Bahamas — you still have time to be a part of this absolutely unique, unifying, and ultraspecial experience that only happens in The Bahamas.

case their creative, lyrical, and performing talent to the world. Who will emerge victorious in the semi-final competition on the night of 29 April? Who will go on to magical mastery the following week in Nassau, during the BJC extravaganza from 4 to 6 May? Taino Beach and Da Cultural Village will host artistic history once again and lift the eager and excited patrons to heights as never before. You cannot afford to miss the op-

portunity to be a part of this stunningly exhilarating array of cultural creativity, fabulous food, and romantic relaxation — and be in The Bahamas at the same time. So what are you waiting for? Get online: bahamasjunkanoocarnival.com or bahamas.com. In the Caribbean, we fly on Caribbean Airlines, direct from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Lynden Pindling International Airport, Nassau, on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. See you in The Bahamas!

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Offtrack 68 Pakaraima bound

Neighbourhood 78 Bequia, Port Elizabeth

Layover 80 Bridgetown, Barbados

Heading into Guyana’s Pakaraima Mountains

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Offtrack

Pakaraima bound Near Guyana’s border with Venezuela and Brazil, the Pakaraimas are a spectacular landscape of soaring tepui mountains and remote valleys. Few outsiders come here — except once a year, during the Eastertime Pakaraima Mountain Safari. Neil Marks has been there, done the adventure — and can tell you what to expect 68

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nikhil ramkarran

Rough dirt roads cross the sparsely populated landscape of the Pakaraimas

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ou don’t have to be a topographer to figure out that Guyana is unapologetically part of Amazonia. But, just in case you want to be stubborn and argue beyond impenetrable rainforests, jaguars, black caimans, and anacondas, the Pakaraima Mountains will answer any lingering doubts. (For the sake of free movement of people, trade, dancehall, and soca, however, we’ll keep our Caribbean identity too.) You may not have heard of the Pakaraimas before — but perhaps you’ve heard of Roraima? Functioning as a triple border between Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil, Mount Roraima, with a peak elevation of just over 9,200 feet, sticks out as the tallest in the family of table-top mountains of the western Guyana highlands known as the Pakaraimas. These mountains stretch some 250 miles across, measuring east to west, and the rivers that originate here plunge off immense cliffs to form some of the most spectacular waterfalls anywhere — including the famed Kaieteur, measuring 741 feet from top to bottom, among the world’s tallest single-drop waterfalls. Exploring the Pakaraimas offers the allure of unknown terrain, unfamiliar indigenous Amerindian culture, and the exhilarating feeling that comes with knowing that just under your feet are rocks hiding deposits of gold, diamonds, jasper, and other precious minerals. But it takes some amount of — well, balls, to attempt a journey across the tepui plateaus: one literal translation of Pakaraimas, a Patamona name, is “giant testicles.” These mountains were formed many millions of years ago, and are now mostly inhabited by the Patamona, one of Guyana’s nine remaining Amerindian nations. The name Patamona itself means “People of the Heavens” — and if you bother to check the elevation and temperature of some of the villages scattered among these mountains, you’d have to agree. At night, I swear it feels like below zero in some places. But for Guyanese, measuring in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit is just not done. It’s either “hot” or “cold,” and in the case of some of these villages, very cold. Once you take up a sleeping position, you beg your body to stay in place without moving, for fear that thousands of needle-size icicles will pierce through your skin. So travelling across the Pakaraimas is no easy feat, but the annual safari organised around Easter by Rainforest Tours in Georgetown offers a planned route and instructions on how to survive and enjoy what tour leader Frank Singh calls “an adventure of a lifetime.” The safari had its genesis at the turn of the last century, when the Patamona decided to cut roads to criss-cross their mountains and valleys. Of course, their intention was not to have curious visitors passing through their villages, but rather to find a way to trade their farm produce. The mountains offer fertile ground for agriculture, and the temperatures lend to the farming of crops that can’t grow on Guyana’s coastland. For example, a great potato and onion experiment was undertaken a few decades back, but most of it went to waste because of inadequate infrastructure to transport it to market in Georgetown. So, using manual labour, the Patamona created roads to connect villages stretching across two of Guyana’s interior regions, Eight and Nine, and for the most part made it easier for vehicles other than tractors and All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) to traverse the territory. The first Pakaraima safari was undertaken in 2003, with just about four vehicles of government officials eyeing the opening of the otherwise landlocked Pakaraimas. Soon, the safari grew in scale, and it’s now an annual feature of Guyana’s tourism calendar. These days, the convoy is made up of about twenty vehicles, including participation by overseas enthusiasts craving an adventure off the beaten track and an immersion into the customs of the indigenous Amerindians.

Exploring the Pakaraimas offers the allure of unknown terrain

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nikhil ramkarran

The Pakaraima safari route cuts through both dense forest and open savannah

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Day One: The first day of the safari opens at a fuel station in the heart of Georgetown, just an hour after midnight — the beginning of a gruelling leg of 350 miles. That includes a two-hour drive on paved roads and then a long, bumpy ride on laterite dirt roads through the rainforest. But thoughts of discomfort quickly fade, as you keep watch for wild animals, such as deer, scampering across the road. Bathrooms aren’t readily available, so any relief breaks have to be taken in the forest. And, of course, the forest has snakes. If that creeps you out, better hold it in until you reach the morning pit stop, where you can also have a hot breakfast at a little restaurant built around a timber operation. The convoy makes an Essequibo River landing at dawn, in time for the first ferry crossing. The actual ride across the 72

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river takes about fifteen minutes, and then you’re on your way through the million-hectare Iwokrama protected rainforest, home to some of the largest animals in South America — the jaguar and the harpy eagle. Jaguars are sometimes spotted strolling along the same road you’re driving on. Get your camera out, just in case. About four hours into daylight, you’ll reach the Oasis, a roadside lodge for travellers like you passing through the sprawling open savannahs. Next comes a four-hour stretch navigating a dirt path to Karasabai, the village where the actual safari begins. By then, you’ll be beyond tired — so set up camp early, cook, eat, and hit the sack. Camping space is usually on the grounds of government buildings such as the health centre or school. You also refuel before it gets dark, and you’re off to sleep.


The journey Georgetown to Karasabai: . . . to Tiperu: . . . to Rukumoto: . . . to Morabaiko: . . . to Yurong Paru: . . . to Monkey Mountain: . . . to Tuseneng: . . . to Paramakatoi: . . . to Kato: . . . to Kurukubaru: . . . to Ithabac: . . . to Orinduik Falls:

350 miles 21 miles 12 miles 12 miles 18 miles 18 miles 15 miles 15 miles 11 miles 12 miles 27 miles 18 miles

Monkey Mountain

Yurong Paru

From

Tuseneng

Geo rg et ow n

er Riv

Paramakatoi Kato

uibo

Kurukubaru Orinduik

q Esse

G u ya n a

Morabaiko Rukumoto Teperu

BRAZIL

Karasabai

Day Two:

What you need • four-wheel drive vehicle in good condition, preferably with winch and spare all-terrain tyres • patching equipment, tow rope, and tool kit • gasolene or diesel containers, preferably five-gallon size • fuel hose • fire extinguisher • tent or hammock for camping • battery-powered light • outdoor gas stove and fuel • cooking utensils • food supplies and bottled water • cutlass, file, and shovel • first aid kit

You wake up in the quiet village of Karasabai, named for a rock resembling a treasure chest. The story says the chest was magically transformed into stone by Macunaima, a legendary being of the Amerindians. Once you set off, about fifteen minutes outside Karasabai, you spot Beena Mountain, where you can find almost all of the herbs used by village elders in the initiation rites — the indigenous education system — to prepare a boy to take on life in the jungle. If you want to explore the mountain yourself, please ask the local village leaders, as it is taboo to visit on your own. Travelling across mostly open savannah, you reach the villages of Teperu and Rukumoto. Rukumoto literally means “the place of Ruku” — a multicoloured caterpillar, considered a delicacy in these parts. It has a nutty taste once boiled or smoked. They come out during the May/June rains, so you may not see any during the safari, but you can ask locals if they have any left over from last year. In the afternoon, you arrive at the village of Morabaiko, to spend the night. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Day Three: Departing Morabaiko, you emerge to incredible mountain vistas, as you enter the villages of Yurong Paru, and then cross the Echillibar River to get to Monkey Mountain, one of the larger Pakaraima communities — named for the seasonal migration of monkeys from the northwest to the Kanuku Mountains to the south. The people of Monkey Mountain are multilingual — they speak Patamona, Macushi, and Portuguese, as well as English. A nearby waterfall allows you to cool off after the hot and dusty drive. Locals search for the precious minerals found in the area and use them to trade for fish and meat with Brazilians in nearby border villages such as Mutum. East of Monkey Mountain is Taruka, a relatively new village, originally formed by Brazilian Amerindians f leeing harsh conditions in their country. During the great Rupununi uprising of the late 1960s, most of the villagers returned to Brazil.

michael lam

Day Four: Leaving Monkey Mountain, you come to rustcoloured Tuseneng, founded by Archibald Scipio, the son of an itinerant black balata bleeder and an Amerindian woman.

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Because of Scipio’s appearance, he wasn’t readily accepted by his community — so he moved to the area that is now Tuseneng. Gradually, others joined him and formed the village. Having been adopted by his mother’s side of the family, Scipio went through the full crucible of training for Amerindian boys. Eventually he became a piai man, or local doctor. Passing the Kawa River (which is dry most of the time, but can rise to chest-deep in the rainy season), you reach Bamboo Creek for a brief stop, and then arrive at Paramakatoi. At an elevation of 2,500 feet, PK — as it’s called for short — is named for a wild guava found in the area. Branches from the trees are used to make arrows. If you want a bit of historical intrigue, ask the villagers for Macaw Cave, where you can see an urn with ancestral skeletal remains. From PK, the safari leads straight to Kato. With its setting like a natural postcard, Kato was the location of that experiment in growing potatoes and onions. The waterfalls nearby are earmarked for a future hydro-power project that will give electricity to the village.


Chiung Falls near the village of Kato

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Day Five:

After overnighting at Kato, you depart for Kurukubaru — thought to be the most elevated village in Guyana. So you’ll understand why it has the nickname “Cold, Cold Baru.” As in all indigenous villages, be mindful of local customs. On my first visit, many years ago, when I took out my digital camera, the older folks literal ran. Best to ask permission for anything you want to do. The people of Kurukubaru, as across the Pakaraimas, are charming and shy. Ask a question and they may bow their heads, giggling. But when you walk off, you may hear them whispering in the Patamona tongue.

Past Kurukubaru, you’ll come to Kamana village, and if you have the time and are a history buff, you’ll want to ask about the trail where you can find battle implements (such as clubs with spikes) and skeletal remains, testifying to tribal wars of long ago. There are also rock formations that are said to represent the victories of various tribes. Finally, from Kamana you travel to the last stop: Orinduik Falls on the Ireng River, which forms the border here between Guyana and Brazil. The falls are named after a water weed which — if uprooted, dried, burned, and mixed with honey — forms a sort of chewing gum that’s prized for its euphoric properties. So I’m told — I’ve never tried it myself. You’d be crazy not to indulge in a refreshing bath at the falls — where the river flows over outcrops of jasper — before heading to the small airstrip to catch your flight back to Georgetown. Unless you’re heading back out overland, as you came. With just brief stops along the way, the return drive takes three days to get back to Georgetown. However you end your safari, before you leave, consider leaving a gift for your Patamona hosts — to reciprocate their kind hospitality. n

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown from Caribbean and North American destinations

miles of unspoilt rainforest | kayaking, paddling, canoeing | horseback riding | safari wildlife watching | birdwatching | sports fishing | community tourism | trekking

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Rupununi Music & Arts Festival, Georgetown Phagwah Festival, National Stadium Phagwah Celebration, National Holiday Country Horse Racing, Kennard Memorial Turf Linden Expo & Trade Fair, Linden Wedding Expo 2017, Georgetown ‘Clash of the Titans’ Show, National Stadium

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Easter Seawall Art Festival, Georgetown Pakaraima Mountain Safari, Pakaraima Mt. Region 5 Expo & Trade Fair, Berbice Bartica Easter Regatta, Bartica Rupununi Rodeo, Lethem Easter Monday, Countrywide Guyana Restaurant Week, Georgetown


wilfred dederer

NEIGHBOURHOOD

History

Port Elizabeth, Bequia

With its indigenous name meaning “island of the clouds,” Bequia was originally settled by Caribs, before coming under French colonial control. Ceded to Britain in 1763, along with the other Grenadines, St Vincent, and Grenada, Bequia was planted with sugarcane and arrowroot, while Admiralty Bay on the island’s west coast was considered the safest harbour in the southern British West Indies. Port Elizabeth, never large, nonetheless became an important centre for boatbuilding and ship repairs. In the 1960s and 70s, as the Grenadines were “discovered” by wealthy tourists, the economy of Bequia and its capital shifted from fishing and seafaring to tourism — helped by the gorgeous beaches and dive sites close offshore.

More village than town, the capital of Bequia — second-largest of the Grenadine Islands — is a haven for both yachties, beach-lovers, and artists alike

For many visitors, Bequia begins with arrival at the ferry terminal in Port Elizabeth. “Front Street,” as the main road along the waterfront is known, is the centre of activity: from the island’s administration building and post office to the vegetable market to historic St Mary’s Anglican church (at right), rebuilt after a hurricane in 1829. Residential neighbourhoods climb the steep surrounding hills. South of Port Elizabeth, the Belmont Walkway runs along the coast, lined by restaurants, bars, and small hotels, in the direction of Princess Margaret Beach, the island’s most famous swimming spot. Heading the other way, north, the coast road leads to the remains of Hamilton Fort, situated to command the entrance to the bay. 78

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wilfred dederer

Streetscape


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Found throughout the world’s oceans, but critically endangered in all its habitats, the hawksbill sea turtle finds a special refuge in Bequia, thanks to the efforts of the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. Founded by retired fisherman Orton “Brother” King, the Old Hegg sanctuary collects hawksbill hatchlings at the moment they emerge from their nests on Bequia’s beaches — at the time of their greatest vulnerability to predators. Normally, as few as one hawksbill hatchling in a thousand survives to breeding age. Reared in sheltered ponds until they grow to fourteen inches, Old Hegg’s young turtles get a headstart against those odds. And visitors’ donations keep the whole thing going.

wilfred dederer

Plans to hatch

Souvenir As you’d expect in a small island with a strong seafaring tradition, Bequia is home to numerous expert boatbuilders, as you can see at the island’s Boat Museum (above). And though a full-scale vessel isn’t a very practical gift to take home, Bequia’s woodworkers also create intricately detailed model boats, replicating all the details of a seaworthy craft at miniature scale, down to the sails and rigging. For examples, check Mauvin’s and the Sargeant Brothers’ model boat shops, near the vegetable market in Port Elizabeth. For such a small island, Bequia is also home to an unusually large and active community of artists, local and expat, working in media ranging from painting to textiles and ceramics, and often inspired by the lush landscape, history, and traditions of the island community. Many artists welcome studio visits, and the Oasis Gallery along the Belmont Walkway is a good place to get your bearings.

Co-ordinates 13.0º N 61.2º W Sea level

wilfred dederer

bEQUIA Port Elizabeth

Appetite From elegant French-inspired cuisine to hearty, zesty creole fare, Port Elizabeth and its surroundings have a more diverse dining scene than you might expect on an island of just six thousand inhabitants. Seafood is naturally the star attraction — especially lobster, in season, when you can enjoy it at the upscale Auberge de Grenadines or on a pizza at Mac’s. Frangipani is famous for its Thursday night barbecue — all you can eat, with live steelpan music. For a memorable meal in breathtaking surroundings, head out of town and up to Mount Pleasant, Bequia’s highest point, where The Old Fort hotel is centred around a historic French-built stone mansion, and dinner comes with a gentle breeze and view of the twinkling lights of the other Grenadines in the distance.

From March 2017, Caribbean Airlines operates direct flights to Argyle International Airport in St Vincent, with connections via ferry and other airlines to Bequia WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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LAYOVER

A major hub for international flights into the Caribbean, Barbados is also one of the region’s most developed tourist destinations. Our guide to exploring the island when time is tight

Let’s sidestep the contentious question of whether rum was actually invented in Barbados. The fact is, the fiery beverage has been distilled here for over 350 years — and if you’re looking for a crash course in rumology, you can get it in just fortyfive minutes at the Mount Gay Distillery on the Bridgetown waterfront. The tour includes a bit of history, a bit of science, and a bit of taste-testing.

The tides of history bring strange flotsam. Did you know the last descendant of the emperors of Byzantium, a gentleman by the name of Ferdinando Paleologus, ended his days in Barbados in 1678? You can see his tombstone in the graveyard of St John’s Parish Church, with its stunning views across the east coast — a short drive from the airport, but a long journey back through time.

LU LIN/shutterstock.com

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After a long spell on a plane, a bit of a stroll is never a bad thing. And one of Barbados’s most pleasant promenades is the south coast boardwalk, opened a few years ago and already an irreplaceable feature of the island’s landscape. Running from Accra Beach to the southern outskirts of Bridgetown, the boardwalk offers sea views and sea breezes, access to beaches, benches, and picnic areas.

courtesy mount gay distillery

When Bajans refer to “the Gap,” they don’t mean a brand of khaki trousers. They’re talking about St Lawrence Gap, a street on the south coast running along the shore, and one of Barbados’s nightlife hotspots. You’ll find it all here: high-end restaurants, dive bars, karaoke joints, an Irish pub, plus Italian, French, Mexican, and local cuisine. Just one night to spend on the town? The Gap is your one-stop shop.

Anneli Salo/wikimedia commons

Philip Willcocks/istock.com

Grantley Adams International Airport, located near Barbados’s southern tip, is a mere couple of miles from the heavily populated stretch of the south coast between Oistins and Bridgetown. Here you’ll find hotels, restaurants, and shops galore — but also two of the island’s most popular beaches, Accra and Dover. Even a few spare hours are enough to pop down for a swim.

Philip Willcocks/shutterstock.com

One of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations, Barbados is host to approximately 600,000 stayover visitors each year — more than twice the country’s permanent population — yet somehow manages to never feel overrun. And at just twenty-one miles by fourteen, the island is small enough to get the gist of on a brief trip. You can cover a lot of ground here in just half a day.


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ENGAGE

Inspire 82 Inner-city art

On This Day 86 Calypso with a

conscience

Green 84 Progress report

Cultural and political icon Harry Belafonte in the 1950s


INSPIRE

T

he shell of the old Toyota warehouse at 41 Fleet Street is a ghost from a bygone era. But concrete skeletons are nothing rare in downtown Kingston, even as the Jamaican capital shows signs of a revival. Buried in southside Kingston, a javelin’s throw away from the Rae Town neighbourhood, a few years ago Fleet Street was a part of Kingston outsiders were told to avoid. But today 41 Fleet Street attracts growing interest from Kingstonians and foreign visitors alike. That interest comes in the wake of Paint Jamaica, a project that transformed the abandoned warehouse into a creative mecca. Now, new life, energy, and interest have been brought back to the community, outlining the transformative power of art. The old warehouse, the Paint Jamaica flagship, bears uplifting murals with messages of hope and change. It is more than a beautiful space. Though roofless, which is a part of its charm, the Fleet Street warehouse has become a space for members of the community to stage events and hold meetings, and several musicians have made it a space to shoot music videos. Paint Jamaica is more a movement than a foundation, but its foundations are rock solid: using art to create and inspire change. While the idea took root after a meeting between its founder, French-Egyptian Marianna Farag, and Jamaican artist Matthew McCarthy, its collective vision is touted as the reason for its success. As it currently stands, Paint Jamaica is an undefined collective, which in part came to life via social media, particularly a Facebook page. Farag and McCarthy met during the 2013 New Roots exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica, where McCarthy’s striking graffiti-style art festooned the walls. Their conversation revealed a shared interest in art as a tool for transformation and change. Paint Jamaica epitomises the possibilities of a grassroots movement in the digital era. Along with the Facebook page, which facilitated discussions, the project used an online signup sheet for volunteers and raised most of its budget through crowdfunding. These funds were offset by in-kind donations from Jamaican companies. But ensuring that the project is steered by the needs of the community, rather than the desires of a corporate sponsor, was an important consideration.

Innercity art

When a group of young artists decided to start a public mural project in downtown Kingston, it wasn’t just about beautifying one of Jamaica’s most deprived neighbourhoods. It was also an experiment in creating opportunities for the local community, as Tanya Batson-Savage finds out Photography by Matthew Henry

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here’s a side to Jamaica that has been left out of the conversation, and this project allows them to be a part of the conversation again,” McCarthy says. That conversation has been critical to Paint Jamaica’s sustainability, and the fact that it remains an important part of the community two years after execution. McCarthy explains that the participating artists walked through the community for weeks prior to the actual painting, to ensure their ideas and interests were reflected in the space. It was a process they repeated before painting the murals now garnishing the walls of the Holy Family Primary School, also in the same community. “If you don’t speak to


we got there,” McCarthy explains. “What we’re doing is reviving Kingston to what it used to be.” As McCarthy points out, Paint Jamaica is not the first attempt to use street art for transformation in Kingston. He points to the work of Rosie Chung of Studio 174, and Alison Perkins, who conducted the Red Rubberband painting project through the Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) festival. Still, Paint Jamaica has easily been the most successful. “Not only do you paint something, but you also attract the attention of other people who wanted to do something,” McCarthy says. Indeed, the project would not have been successful without throngs of volunteers from the community and outside it. Working on the project also significantly boosted the skills of the individual artists in creating murals, as well as better understanding

A girl from the neighbourhood, posing here with her friend, discovers an uncanny resemblance in artist Matthew Henry’s mural

the people in the community, you don’t get the authentic story,” McCarthy says. Additionally, Paint Jamaica has benefitted from a democratic process among the artists. The group found themselves inspired by the 2011 Arab Spring and its germination via Facebook. So they too started a Facebook page, and invited other interested artists to share and participate. One key element is that interest in the Fleet Street project has leveraged opportunities for both the artists who have worked on the project and members of the community as well. One of these is Life Yard, an ital (i.e. vegetarian) cookshop that operates just across the street from the warehouse. Apart from benefitting from patronage by visitors to the mural, Life Yard has also been hired to cater events outside the neighbourhood. And members of the community are getting exposure and making connections and gaining opportunities previously closed off to them, because of the music videos and photo shoots taking place there. “There are a lot of artistic people in the community, and they’ve been practicing their craft long before

Paint Jamaica is more a movement than a foundation, but its foundations are rock solid: using art to create and inspire change

how to run art projects aimed at stimulating development. Yet, despite the project’s success, Paint Jamaica has been deliberately slow in proliferation across the island. “It was alluring to go everywhere, but it was also beautiful to stay there and watch the community grow,” McCarthy says. “Many people consider me a painter, but I personally consider myself a social engineer.” Interestingly, Paint Jamaica was born after the police had systematically removed murals of fallen “dons” from the walls of several communities throughout Kingston. McCarthy admits that the decision to pursue the project was a direct response to that. “We try to do things that will have an impact because they are a response to other things that are happening,” he says. “This project is a very diplomatic project. We don’t do anything because we think it should be done, we do it because we feel it must be done. The neglect was unreasonable. I don’t think any community should suffer from this kind of neglect.” For Paint Jamaica, its greatest impact will not simply be how it transforms one community, but rather how it inspires others to do the same. “I want to make sure that every artist feels the current of this project,” McCarthy says, “that they can do this too. We were just a set of average Joes on Facebook.” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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GREEN

Progress report Over the past twenty-five years, Caribbean Beat has frequently reported on environmental projects across the region. But what’s the real state of progress when it comes to protecting our natural resources, our coastlines and reefs, the air we breathe and water we drink? Nazma Muller talks to two experts about the lie of the land — and the way forward Photography by Gail Johnson/Shutterstock.com

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he Caribbean is treasured and revered globally as one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions, with more than twelve thousand marine species, ten per cent of the world’s coral reefs, and fifteen thousand plant species. But the last quarter century has seen significant damage to our natural environment, as a result of increased industrialisation and automation, the use of chemicals and toxins, and consumption of commodities like plastics, electronics, appliances, Styrofoam, meat, and packaging. Fortunately, the Caribbean has also made huge strides in raising awareness of the effects our human activities a r e h a v i ng o n o u r o nc e - pr i s t i ne

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waters, as well as our air, land, and wildlife. Across the region, more of our people are beginning to comprehend the true extent of the vulnerability of our coastlines and the mounting threats they face, particularly climate change. Ocean warming and acidification have contributed to a dramatic loss of coral reefs, which are invaluable habitats for fish and other marine life. “We are seeing so much contamination of our water, air pollution — and flooding is becoming more frequent because of natural disasters, so there is greater awareness by politicians and decisionmakers about environmental issues,” explains Christopher Corbin, programme officer for the Caribbean Environment Programme. CEP was established by the

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1981, within the framework of its Regional Seas Programme. “Up until more recently, a lot of the environmental issues were communicated in a scientific way,” Corbin adds. “It’s been all the things that the public should not do, and not necessarily providing them with alternatives. Gradually, we are seeing a lot more participatory planning, so we are moving in the right direction.” For the Caribbean private sector, engagement in environmental issues has not been driven by government policy and enforcement, says Corbin. Caribbean governments have lagged behind in implementing policies to protect the environment. Tourism has been a doubleedged sword for many of our territories, further burdening inadequate solid waste management and sanitation systems. “But they are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment,” Corbin says. “Hotels that want to attract a certain kind of visitor are moving to incorporate sustainable practices on their properties — for example, they will do what is necessary by international standards to be deemed ‘green.’ They are recognising the benefits of going green.” As our regional economists better comprehend the effects of environmental


Mangrove-lined seashore in Bonaire

accounting, we are seeing the private sector make an effort to incorporate practices such as reusing waste water and cutting down on packaging. It’s simply not in their interest to have a dirty beach, polluted waters, or dead reefs. But “the industrial land-based private sector still needs a lot more work,” Corbin says. Governments have a very important role to play — by offering certain incentives to undertake pollution prevention measures, such as retrofitting factories and implementing disincentives to waste production.

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hile it’s imperative to find economic opportunities for our people, in the face of limited resources, high debt ratios, and vulnerabilility to natural disasters, much can be done by focusing on the type of development agenda Caribbean countries subscribe to, Corbin believes. And, he says, our governments are beginning to articulate their interest in a “blue economy” and a “green economy.” “We are seeing a new kind of thinking,” he says. “What we need now are land use development plans that maximise what developed countries have already started to do — urban farms, clean energy, etc. We need to be more open and imaginative, but

we also need to have better enforcement of laws that protect the environment.” If policies aren’t enforced, Corbin says, it’s not going to work. For most countries in the region except oil- and gas-rich Trinidad and Tobago, the costs of continued use of fossil fuels are a major issue, Corbin says. “We have

adaptation projects, is a noteworthy advance. The Nature Conservancy itself has designed programmes to work with coastal communities facing climate-related risks. “At the Water’s Edge,” a collaborative project with the International Federation of the Red Cross, builds resilience in communities in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines by empowering people to assess the social, ecological, and economic risks of climate change, and make informed decisions about how to use their resources sustainably. The initiative provides decision-making tools and training for nature-based climate resilience strategies, such as coastal mangrove restoration. “It’s easy to take nature for granted, and all that it provides us in the Caribbean,” Blake says. “But when threats become apparent and natural disasters grow more prevalent, we quickly and sharply feel the loss of security in our natural environment that we may have once felt.” Her exper ience suggests that as people learn more they find their voice

Across the Caribbean, more of our people are beginning to comprehend the true extent of the vulnerability of our coastlines thermal, solar, and wind energy in use already in the Caribbean. There is a real opportunity for us to embrace alternative energy and move forward.” Considering the big-picture question of climate change, Donna Blake, the Nature Conser vancy’s Jamaica programme d irector, is hopef ul. “Gover nments and communities are taking action to proactively address the challenges of climate change,” she says. She points out that at the regional level the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Climate Change Centre, which focuses solely on climate change education and

and are able to be involved in solutions. They have the information to support, or question if needs be, decisions made by governments and the private sector, because they understand the long-term implications of changes to policy or business practices. “Moving forward, I believe people will have the knowledge to drive sufficient demand for cleaner energy, more efficient use of resources, and climate-adaptive policies regarding coasta l development, tour ism, a nd fishing. So in another twenty-five years, the human footprint across the Caribbean will take a far more sustainable shape.” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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on this day

Calypso with a

conscience Celebrating his ninetieth birthday this year, Harry Belafonte has built a stellar career around two themes that may at first appear at odds: popular entertainment and political activism. As James Ferguson explains, both aspects are rooted in Belafonte’s Jamaican background and his early years in Kingston Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

I

n 1956, the year in which Elvis Presley topped the US singles chart with “Heartbreak Hotel”, America’s bestselling album was neither by Presley nor by the likes of Little Richard or Chuck Berry — but by a rather more unlikely superstar. Harry Belafonte’s Calypso remained at number one for thirty-one consecutive weeks, and was the first LP in US history to sell more than a million copies. The improbability of its success lay not in the artist’s talents (the good-looking and suave Belafonte was a consummate crooner), but more in the fact that the album showcased aspects of what was then littleknown Caribbean popular culture — and that the performer was an American-born political militant close to Martin Luther King, Jr, and the communist sympathiser Paul Robeson. The two main themes of Belafonte’s long and distinguished career — entertainment and activism — may at first glance appear contradictory. Surely the superficiality of popular music and Broadway offers a bad fit with the seriousness of the struggle

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for civil rights and socialism? Not necessarily. Both sides of Belafonte’s life can be traced back to his early years in New York and Jamaica, and both are very much interrelated. Harold George Bellanfanti was born ninety years ago this month, on 1 March, 1927, in Harlem. His parents were both of Jamaican origin: his maternal grandparents were a black sharecropper from St Ann parish and a white woman of Scottish descent, while his father’s parents were a black Jamaican woman and, in Belafonte’s own words, “a white Dutch Jew who’d drifted over to the islands after chasing gold and diamonds,


with no luck at all, in the newly formed colonies of West Africa.” The family was thus a microcosm of the Caribbean melting pot formed by generations of migration and slavery, and the young Belafonte was brought up aware of all the nuances of colour to be found in the region. In her book Becoming Belafonte, Judith E. Smith describes the daily hardships of poverty and racism confronting young Harry and his parents, Millie and Harold, Sr, in 1930s New York. Work was precarious, accommodation often squalid, and after a younger brother, Dennis, was born, Harry’s father began to distance himself from the family. As illegal migrants, they lived in fear of deportation, and the name Bellanfanti was changed to Belafonte to throw immigration agents off the scent. Fearful for her older son in a climate of rising racial tension, Millie sent him to her mother in Jamaica for a year in 1934. Then in 1936, as the Depression intensified, Millie took her two sons back to Jamaica again, enrolling them in separate schools, where they would stay until 1940.

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his early experience was to prove life-changing. Far from the raucous street life of Harlem, Belafonte was subjected to the stifling conformity of British colonial society and its anachronistic education system. He was, writes Smith, forced to eat in the kitchen when guests came to dinner at his aunt’s house, considered too dark-skinned for polite society. To this ostracism was added his witnessing of woeful social conditions, the labour strikes in Kingston in 1938 (“a violent peasant uprising,” he said), and their inevitable repression.

Even as Harry Belafonte was introducing an often suspicious American public to a non-white world, he was subtly challenging any misconceptions about the Caribbean But if Belafonte’s sense of injustice was fuelled by these years, so too was his appreciation of the Caribbean’s diverse musical landscape. Kingston was alive with music, particularly mento, the gentle acoustic predecessor of ska that was loved by cruise ship tourists. There was also calypso from Trinidad, enormously popular in Jamaica, and full of acerbic political commentary. Belafonte had previously been fascinated by the swing music of Duke Ellington and New York’s vibrant black culture, and now he experienced at first hand the sounds of the Caribbean and South America. Returning to Harlem aged thirteen, Belafonte again faced poverty and prejudice. He dropped out of school, did menial jobs, and eventually enlisted in the navy. A chance encounter led him to watch a performance by the American Negro Theatre. Friendly with Bahamian Sidney Poitier, he studied acting at New York’s prestigious New School (where contemporaries included

Poitier, Walter Matthau, and Marlon Brando). This he paid for by singing in clubs. His first single, “Matilda”, was a hit calypso of 1953, in which he lamented: “Hey! Ma-til-da; Ma-til-da; Ma-tilda, she take me money and run a-Venezuela.” It was the million-selling album of three years later, however, that earned him the title of “King of Calypso” — a title with which he admitted he felt uneasy. The songs on the Calypso LP, he pointed out, “weren’t calypso at all — even though everybody seems to have hung that tag on them.” And he was an American, not a Trinidadian — the true prerequisite for calypso royalty. More particularly, his signature song, “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”, may have been thought of as a calypso, but in reality its roots lay in mento and, further back, as a traditional call-andresponse folk song performed by Jamaica’s banana workers as they loaded the cargo onto United Fruit boats. The song records the workers’ fatigue after a night’s work, their desire to go home, and their impatient wait for “Mister tally man” to record their work rate and pay: Work all night on a drink of rum Daylight come and me wan’ go home Stack banana till de mornin’ come Daylight come and me wan’ go home Far from repeating the clichés of the Caribbean idyll, the song evoked a gruelling and thankless job where the “deadly black tarantula” posed a real threat. In this sense, while spectacularly successful in commercial terms, it also introduced the listener to a world in which poverty and hard work coexisted. Nor did the 1957 film Island in the Sun, in which Belafonte appeared and sang the title song, present a sugar-coated version of the Caribbean. The film explores the political and racial tensions between the old colonial order and a newly powerful nationalist movement exemplified by Belafonte’s ambitious character, the politician David Boyeur. Again, the song is less about “paradise” than tough economic reality: I see woman on bended knee Cutting cane for her family I see man at the waterside Casting nets at the surging tide

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ven as Harry Belafonte was introducing an often suspicious American public to a non-white world, he was subtly challenging any misconceptions about the Caribbean. In a 2006 interview with the BBC, he remarked, “When I did the ‘Banana Boat Song’, for instance, that wasn’t just looking for a hit. What it did talk about was the working-class struggles of the people working on the plantations.” “Island in the Sun”, he added, “had content that talked about struggle.” As an activist whose anger shows no sign of abating (ask Donald Trump), Harry Belafonte reminds us that it is possible to mix politics with entertainment, and that popular culture can be a powerful ideological force. His extraordinary career, encompassing a wide spectrum of artistic performance, provides ample proof of the transformative power of both words and music. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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18 Appallingly [7] 20 Of a wedding [7] 21 It makes breathing difficult [6] 23 Unhealthily overweight [5] 25 The oldest Marley brother [5]

There are 8 differences between these two pictures. How many can you spot? by Gregory St Bernard

Spot the Difference answers

Mountain range is higher; treetops are lower; sunglasses are added; colour of t-shirt is changed from yellow to white; colour of glove is different; backpack is bigger; buckle on right backpack strap is higher; belt buckle is different; pants are shorter.

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87% (2017 year-to-date: 31 January)


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

Antigua Airport: VC Bird International Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225 (toll free) Ticketing: VC Bird International Airport Hours: Mon – Fri 8 am – 4 pm Baggage: + 268-480-5705 Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sun, or + 268 462 0528 Mon, Wed, Sat. Hours: Mon – Fri 4 am – 10 pm

Barbados Airport: Grantley Adams International Reservations & information: 1 246 429 5929 / 1 800 744 2225 (toll free) City Ticket Office: 1st Floor Norman Centre Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown, Barbados Ticket office hours: 6 am – 10 am & 11 am – 7 pm daily Flight Information: + 1 800 744 2225 Baggage: + 1 246 428 1650/1 or + 1 246 428 7101 ext. 4628

Grenada Airport: Maurice Bishop International Reservations & Information: 1 800 744 2225 (toll free) Ticketing: Maurice Bishop International Main Terminal Baggage: + 473 439 0681

Jamaica (Kingston) Airport: Norman Manley International Reservations & information: + 800 523 5585 (International); 1 888 359 2475 (Local) City Ticket Office: 128 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6 Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30 am – 5.30 pm, Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm Airport Ticket Office: Norman Manley Airport Counter #1 Hours: 3.30 am – 8 pm daily Baggage: + 876 924 8500

Jamaica (Montego Bay) Airport: Sangster International Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225 (toll free) Ticketing at check-in counter: 8.30 am – 6 pm daily Baggage: + 876 363 6433

/ Across the World

Nassau Airport: Lynden Pindling International Terminal: Concourse 2 Reservations & information: + 1 242 377 3300 (local) Airport Ticket Office: Terminal A-East Departure Hours: Flight days – Sat, Mon, Thurs 10 am – 4 pm Non-flight days – Tues, Wed, Fri 10 am – 4 pm Flight Information: + 1 242 377 3300 (local) Baggage: + 1 242 377 7035 Ext 255 9 am – 5 pm daily

St Maarten Airport: Princess Juliana International Reservations & information: + 1721 546 7660/7661 (local) Ticket office: PJIA Departure Concourse Baggage: + 1721 546 7660/3 Hours: Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm / Sat 9 am – 6 pm

Baggage: + 407 825 3482

New York Airport: John F Kennedy International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: Concourse B, Terminal 4, JFK International – open 24 hours (situated at departures, 4th floor) Baggage: + 718 360 8930

Toronto Airport: Lester B Pearson International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticket office: Terminal 3 Ticketing available daily at check-in counters 422 and 423. Available 3 hours prior to departure times Baggage: + 905 672 9991

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

SOUTH AMERICA Caracas Airport: Simón Bolívar International Reservations & information: + 58 212 3552880 Ticketing: Simón Bolívar International Level 2 – East Sector Hours: 7 am – 11 pm City Ticket Office: Sabana Grande Boulevard, Building “Galerias Bolivar”, 1st Floor, office 11-A, Caracas, Distrito Capital + 58 212 762 4389 / 762 0231 Baggage: + 58 424 1065937

Guyana Fort Lauderdale Airport: Hollywood Fort Lauderdale International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: Terminal 4 – departures level (during flight check-in ONLY – 7.30 am to 7 pm) Baggage: + 954 359 4487

Airport: Cheddi Jagan International Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225 (toll free) Ticket office: 91-92 Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown Baggage: + 011 592 261 2202

Suriname Miami Airport: Miami International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: South Terminal J – departures level (during flight check-in ONLY – 12 pm to 3.00 pm); Baggage: + 305 869 3795

Orlando Airport: Orlando International Reservations & information: + 800 920 4225 (toll free) Ticketing: Terminal A – departures level (during flight check-in ONLY – Mon/Fri 11:30 am – 2.15 pm)

Airport: Johan Adolf Pengel International Reservations & information: + 597 52 0034/0035 (local); 1 868 625 6200 (Trinidad) Ticket Office: Paramaribo Express, N.V. Wagenwegstraat 36, Paramaribo Baggage: + 597 325 437


For more information, visit us at caribbean-airlines.com/cargo


737 onboard Entertainment — MARCH/APRIL Northbound

Southbound

M A R CH

Doctor Strange

Mr Church

Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange follows surgeon Stephen Strange after an injury leads him to discover powerful magic in a far-off, mysterious place.

A unique friendship develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook — Henry Joseph Church.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton • director: Scott Derrickson • action, adventure • PG-13 • 115 minutes

Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson, Natascha McElhone • director: Bruce Beresford • drama • PG-13 • 104 minutes

Northbound

Southbound

A P R IL

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Moana

An orphaned boy named Pete embarks on an adventure with his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.

An adventurous teenager, with help from demigod Maui, sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and save her people.

Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler • director: David Yates • action, adventure • PG-13 • 128 minutes

Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House • directors: Ron Clements, John Musker • comedy, adventure • PG • 103 minutes

Audio Channels Channel 5 • The Hits

Channel 7 • Concert Hall

Channel 9 • Irie Vibes

Channel 11 • Kaiso Kaiso

Channel 6 • Soft Hits

Channel 8 • East Indian Fusion

Channel 10 • Jazz Sessions

Channel 12 • Steelband Jamboree


www.caribbeanairlinesdutyfree.com


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parting shot

Mangrove view Barbuda’s sixty-two square miles of coral limestone slope from low, gentle hills near the east coast to the mangrove wetlands of the Codrington Lagoon in the west. Protected as a national park, the lagoon is home to one of the world’s largest nesting colonies of frigate birds. Photography by André Phillip

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Partnering with

Caribbean Airlines and RBC sign new agreement continuing 10 year relationship January 12th, 2017 marked a significant milestone in the decade-long relationship between RBC Royal Bank Limited and Caribbean Airlines Limited when the extended agreement between the two entities was signed.

Caribbean Airlines is delighted to once again partner with RBC to deliver value to our customers. This partnership meets one of our key objectives of being customer focused, and improving the overall service offering to travelers.”

This agreement further highlights the partnership of two strong, well-established brands in the Caribbean: RBC which has operated in the Caribbean for more than 100 years and Caribbean Airlines which has been recognized for the sixth consecutive year as the “Caribbean’s Leading Airline” at the Annual World Travel Awards.

In addition to the existing rewards programme, the new RBC Caribbean Airlines credit card will offer both retail and business clients premium benefits such as travel insurance, concierge services and other reward earning opportunities that will allow clients to redeem faster.

Chief Executive Officer of RBC Financial Caribbean Limited, Rob Johnston, said: “The renewal of this great partnership is a significant one for RBC as it represents our commitment to our clients and to delivering improved products and services that cater to their evolving needs. We are proud of our relationship with Caribbean Airlines, another strong, regional brand which is committed to serving the people of both the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora.” Acting Chief Executive Officer of Caribbean Airlines, Captain Jagmohan Singh said: “As we celebrate our tenth anniversary in 2017,

® /™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.

Watch out for exciting changes to our RBC Caribbean Airlines credit card in 2017!

Up, up and away – Captain Jagmohan Singh, CAL CEO (Ag) left, shares a moment in the cockpit with RBC CEO - Mr. Rob Johnston.

An historical moment indeed – Captain Jagmohan Singh, CAL CEO (Ag) left renewed partnership. Looking on are the executive teams of both RBC and CAL. From right - Mr. Darryl White, RBC Managing Director (Trinidad & Tobago), Mr. Clayton Van Esch, Head, Products, Marketing & Channels, RBC Financial Caribbean , Mr. Sean Quong Sing, CAL V.P. Commercial (Ag) and Mrs. Alicia Cabrera, CAL Senior Marketing Manager.

The sky is the limit – A proud moment for the Executive teams of RBC and CAL as they celebrate this partnership.

Caribbean Beat — 25th anniversary issue (#144, March/April 2017)  

In this issue: • Events around the Caribbean in March & April • Trinidad & Tobago’s national spoken word poetry slam is full of thrills • Tr...

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