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Contents

No. 146 July/August 2017

42

64 EMBARK

IMMERSE

ARRIVE

19 Datebook

42 closeup

64 Escape

Events around the Caribbean in July and August, from the Caribbean Premier League to Carifesta XIII in Barbados

The charms of “August holidays” by the beach, a new film from T&T goes international, and Grenada’s Spicemas keeps the spirit of the Jab Jab alive

From his jaunty fedora to his bespoke suits, Trinidadian Etienne Charles looks like a jazzman — and he has the musical chops to back it up. A phenomenal talent with the trumpet, he’s also earned a reputation as a composer with a gift for merging traditional Caribbean genres with jazz, Nigel Campbell reports

32 The game

50 Own Words

26 Word of Mouth

As the 2017 Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament opens, Garry Steckles reports on some interesting moves by star players

34 Bookshelf, playlist, and screenshots This month’s reading, listening, and film-watching picks, to keep you culturally up-to-date

38 Cookup

The truth about superfoods Nutritionists dismiss the ”superfood” trend, promoting obscure ingredients as dietary wonders. Nonetheless, there are Caribbean plants packed with nutrients which ought to be better known. Franka Philip learns about a few of them 10

A head for jazz and a creole soul

WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM

“The poems must have decided on me” Poet Shivanee Ramlochan on her debut book Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, and why she’s so powerfully drawn to difficult subjects — as told to Nicholas Laughlin

52 Backstory

It starts with the drum As the Antigua Dance Academy celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, it can boast of keeping traditional Afro-Caribbean dance and music alive, writes Joanne C. Hillhouse

60 showcase

Hadriana’s wedding An excerpt from the classic Haitian novel Hadriana in All My Dreams, by René Depestre, newly translated

Land we love Jamaica’s beaches are as famous as its reggae and dancehall. But turn from the coast into the lush, hilly interior and you discover why the island’s name means “land of wood and water.” And there’s no better way to experience that wild beauty than to hike up Blue Mountain Peak, as Nazma Muller did

80 neighbourhood

Santiago de cuba Cuba’s onetime capital, sheltered by the Sierra Maestra, is a living history museum and a cultural epicentre, especially during the July Carnival

84 Destination

Clockwise Barbados You can explore your way entirely around the island of Barbados in a single day, enjoying extraordinary beaches, historic architecture, and landscapes varying from gently rolling to dramatically rugged — as in our “clockwise” itinerary

96 layover

Paramaribo, Suriname Newcomers to Suriname’s capital are often surprised by its cosmopolitan charms — which you can enjoy on even a brief visit


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

ENGAGE 98 Green

The energy of the future Year-round sunshine, endless breezes, gushing rivers: most Caribbean countries have ample natural resources to harness renewable energy. So why is the region so dependent on fossil fuels? Erline Andrews investigates

100 Inspire

Standing up for rights In the field of Caribbean human rights law, few have done more on behalf of the vulnerable than Guyanese Arif Bulkan. Raymond Ramcharitar learns about his work in indigenous and LGBT rights

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!

102On this day

Twisting Rhodes It’s an irony of history that the legacy of arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes includes the education of many Caribbean intellectuals — like Jamaican Rex Nettleford, who arrived in Oxford sixty years ago, writes James Ferguson

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

110 Onboard entertainment Keep yourself entertained in the air!

112 parting shot Martinique’s Bibliothèque Schoelcher is a storehouse of history in more ways than one

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 Trinidadian jazz musician and composer Etienne Charles Photo Maria Nunes

This issue’s contributors include: Erline Andrews (“The energy of the future”, page 98) is an award-winning journalist with almost two decades of experience in the field. Her work has appeared in publications in Trinidad and Tobago and the US, including the Chicago Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor magazine. Nigel Campbell (“A head for jazz and a creole soul”, page 42) is an entertainment writer, reviewer, and music businessman based in Trinidad and Tobago, focused on expanding the appeal of island music globally. He also publishes Jazz in the Islands magazine, www.jazz.tt. Andre Donawa (“Clockwise Barbados”, page 84) is a photographer and musician based in Barbados. He recently published his first book of photos, Edge of Bim. He’s also recorded five albums, mostly in the funk jazz genre. See more of his images at andredonawaphotography.com. Joanne C. Hillhouse (“It starts with the drum”, page 52) freelances from Antigua and Barbuda. She’s published five books: The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, and Burt Award finalist Musical Youth. Visit her at jhohadli.wordpress.com. Nazma Muller (“To the most high”, page 74) is a Trinidad-born, Jamaica-obsessed writer who has worked in newsrooms in T&T, Jamaica, and the UK. Born in the UK, Garry Steckles (“Don’t stop the cricket”, page 32) is a widely travelled journalist and editor, now based in St Kitts. He is the author of a biography of Bob Marley, and a longtime Caribbean Beat contributor.

WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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It is our pleasure to welcome you and your families on board. The July/August vacation period is a special time for families to enjoy much-needed relaxation, and with nineteen Caribbean Airlines destinations to choose from, there is something for everyone. With warm weather in the USA and Canada, and endless sunshine throughout the Caribbean, summer is a time for fun and adventures. Our teams have planned carefully to ensure that you and your families have a memorable experience when travelling with us over the vacation period. For the fourth consecutive year, Caribbean Airlines is thrilled to be the Official Airline sponsor for the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) Series. In the coming months, we will connect cricket fans and teams throughout the Caribbean and North America to enjoy the excitement of this premier cricket league. In addition to CPL cricket, there are plenty other activities throughout the Caribbean Airlines network. For the revellers among us, you can experience Carnival in July and August from as far north as Toronto, where Caribana celebrations start on 11 July and culminate in the street parade on 5 August, and if you want to feel the energy of the Caribbean further south, you can fly with us to enjoy Carnivals throughout the region: • • • • •

Vincy Mas, St Vincent and the Grenadines: 11 July St Lucia: 18 and 19 July Crop Over, Barbados: 7 August Antigua and Barbuda: 8 August Spicemas, Grenada: 14 and 15 August

And for those of you looking for a different experience, there is: • Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica in July • Tobago Heritage Festival: 14 July to 1 August • a range of music festivals and other events in bustling New York City You can get to all these destinations and more, as Caribbean Airlines offers multiple daily services out of our North American gateways in Toronto and New York, and is also the regionally based air carrier with the most coverage of south Florida, with services out of Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami to the Caribbean. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone, and Caribbean Airlines is happy to help you spread your wings and explore, with our affordable, value-added travel options. As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, we offer 14

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courtesy CPL T20 Ltd 2017

A MESSAGE From THE CARIBBEAN AIRLINES TEAM

our “Going Beyond For You” campaign. In “Going Beyond”, we deliver added value, as along with our retail partners, our customers enjoy special discounts and exclusive offers. Encourage your family and friends to travel with us to make full use of these exciting promotions. Caribbean Airlines also offers Cargo services to over one hundred countries worldwide, at very competitive rates. Our extensive route structure and dedicated freighters can easily move perishables and live cargo to your desired destination. We also have a small package service, JETPAK, which caters for parcels of less than fifty pounds. Remember when travelling: Demand Value. Choose Caribbean. Please visit our website at www.caribbean-airlines. com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @iflycaribbean Thank you for choosing Caribbean Airlines — we are grateful for your business and look forward to serving you throughout our network. Yours in service, The Employees of Caribbean Airlines


KARLIE KLOSS

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datebook

courtesy CPL T20 Ltd 2017

Your guide to Caribbean events in July and August, from Carifesta in Barbados to the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas

Don’t miss . . . Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 Tournament 4 August to 9 September Venues across the Caribbean and Florida cplt20.com

How to get there? Caribbean Airlines is an official sponsor of CPL 2017, operating flights to most of the venue countries

There’s regular cricket, and then there’s CPL T20. This August and September, the best West Indies cricketers are joining forces with their international counterparts and cranking up the action at the regional tournament. Five teams — the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Barbados Tridents, Trinbago Knight Riders, and St Lucia Stars — will battle to defeat reigning champions the Jamaica Tallawahs. Celebrating its fourth year, CPL promises riveting on-field play and the usual accompaniment of exuberant dance moves in the stands. Some even consider it second best to Carnival! WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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datebook

If you’re in . . . New York City

Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados

Jerk Festival NY

Emancipation Day

Carifesta XIII

23 July Roy Wilkins Park, Queens jerkfestivalny.com

1 August Venues around T&T

17 to 27 August Venues around the island carifesta.net

Other kinds of food are available, and if you’re going hardcore, here are some tips to help you survive. Start with small servings of spicier dishes and savour them slowly so you don’t overwhelm your taste buds. If you need relief, grab a milkshake, ice cream, chocolate, or something sweet. And don’t stop there: go back to another food station and let your senses lead as you eventually move up the spiciness scale. Be advised, plain water isn’t going to save you. Now, go forth and conquer!

edison boodoosingh

Before the dew dries on the grass, a drum call and tribute to the ancestors commence Emancipation Day at All Stars Pan Yard in downtown Port of Spain. “Freedom Morning Come”, a re-enactment of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, follows at the old Treasury Building.

Afterwards, the footsteps of the procession continue to trail through the city, stopping at historically significant sites including Hell Yard, the site of the Kambulé riots of 1881. The final destination is the Mecca of the Emancipation festivities: the Lidj Yasu Omawale Emancipation Village at the Queen’s Park Savannah, for a full day of activities. Each year, many thousands across the Caribbean participate in events commemorating the anniversary of the end of slavery in the British West Indies. Heroes and elders are honoured, and generations of African descendents are uplifted. In T&T, the annual commemoration begins with the observance of African Liberation Day (25 May) and runs until August. Awesome entertainment from Africa and its diaspora usually features alongside local acts. But Emancipation is not simply an entertaining festival — it is a living link to those who paved the way.

Just days after Barbados’s signature Crop Over festival, the island is hosting the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta) for the second time in its history. Approximately twentythree Caribbean and Latin American delegations will marvel in the spirit of the nations through expressions of visual art, music, food, literature, folklore, theatre, and dance. Now in its forty-fifth year, Carifesta continues to be instrumental in fostering the Caribbean’s pride in its capabilities and identities. And this year, Carifesta is reaching new levels in taking creativity to the market. The traditional Grand Market is being expanded with the introduction of a “mega mall”

photosounds/shutterstock.com

Altin Osmanaj/shutterstock.com

Ever felt that in order to get authentic Jamaican jerk, you’d have to hop on a plane to Kingston? Maybe the “Jamaican jerk” in your country isn’t quite right? Rest assured, you will get jerk and so much more at New York’s seventh annual Jerk Festival. The age-old method of cooking spicy cuts of meat attracts over twenty thousand people from all walks of life to celebrate with sizzling entertainment, fashion shows, cultural presentations, and competitions. Winners receive cash prizes and the coveted Dutch Pot Trophy for the Jerk Cook-Off champion — not to mention at least one year’s worth of bragging rights. Check out the kid zone and arts and craft village, too.

featuring a wide assortment of the region’s products and attracting retail buyers of creative goods, services, and experiences. The marketplace also includes a music and film hub — and of course it’ll be packed with live performances. Symposiums and two super concerts are also on the programme. “Our artistes have given us this chance, and it is now ours to collectively grab with both hands,” says Barbados culture minister Stephen Lashley. Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss

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@eldoradorums

eldorado_rum

@eldoradorums


datebook

Jump into July

Taste of Sint Maarten Pack-Shot/shutterstock.com

Topper’s Restaurant and Bar, Sint Maarten Calling all foodies: scrumptious cuisine is being served up in one location by thirty-eight restaurants, with loads of entertainment for the family [2]

Cultural Festival of Fort-de-France Various venues around Martinique The hilly French isle rounds up local and foreign chefs, performers, and artists to showcase their talents [4-24]

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Montserrat facebook.com/Montserrat-Calabash-Festival Boat tours, concerts, and fashion shows stem from an item traditionally used to make household wares, musical instruments, and fashion accessories [16-23]

Commonwealth Youth Games Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, Nassau bahamas2017cyg.org Back in the Caribbean after fifty years, the largest-ever edition of the Youth Games introduces judo, beach soccer, and beach volleyball to the sporting action. Athletes from over seventy nations will vie for medals [19-23]

photosounds/shutterstock.com

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Mango Festival Antigua Twenty-five elite varieties of one of nature’s most succulent, refreshing, and delicious fruits star in this culinary festival [30 & 31]

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Already August Summer Festival Anguilla In the midst of the Carnival atmosphere and pageantry, take a breather at the boat races on the high seas [3-13]

San Antonio, Toledo District, Belize Dance to the sound of homemade harps and violins, and scale the greasy pole as rituals and stories of the relationship between the Mayan people and their land are re-enacted [1]

Nikolay Litov/shutterstock.com

Deer Dance Festival

Chocolate Heritage Month St Lucia Taste inventive “choc-tails,� bask in chocolateinfused spa treatments, and experience behindthe-scenes tours in chocolate production [1-31]

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Trinidad and Tobago The annual speedboat race between the sister isles is not for people who take their time! Get the best vantage point for the action [19]

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courtesy carib beer

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

Suzanne Bhagan remembes the lazy charms of “August holidays” in Mayaro

M

ayaro Beach: a swathe of brown sand that stretches eleven miles along Trinidad’s southeastern coast. When I was in primary school, Mayaro was specifically reserved for the languid July-August holidays. My family would pile into my father’s Toyota Corolla, the black rexine seats sticking to the backs of our legs. We would drive past Manzanilla and through the Cocal, under the shade of numerous coconut trees bending towards the Atlantic Ocean. I loved how the light filtering through the coconut leaves would dance across my closed eyelids. To get to the sleepy fishing village, we had to cross the old wooden bridge over the Ortoire River. Just before we got there, my parents would start talking about children thrown into the black water below. As the Corolla trundled across the bridge, I would start praying, shutting my eyes tight, hoping the wooden planks would not give way. School holidays spent at Mayaro meant paddling in brackish streams that emptied into the ocean, or in freshwater pools teeming with tiny, translucent fish. The sea breeze felt sticky and tasted salty. Sometimes the skies were blue. It also meant digging for chip-chip or pacro, tiny molluscs that Trinis boil then douse in a cocktail sauce of ketchup, salt, garlic, chadon beni, and chillies. While digging for these morsels, we would often encounter sea cockroaches. The more we

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sarita rampersad

Long days by the beach

dug, the more they scurried away from our fingers and deep into the wet sand. On mornings, we would watch the fishermen pull in their nets from the rough seas. Sunlight dappled the ripples on their sinewy backs as they pulled the heavy nets to shore. After they sorted through the catch, a few dead fish would remain strewn on the beach, attracting beady-eyed vultures who roosted in the nearby coconut trees. When the fishermen left the scene, these birds would swoop down in a flash of black, peck at the dead fish eyes, and squabble over spilled fish guts. After watching the fishermen, we would enter the clear, cold sea. We could see straight to the sandy bottom where chip-chip and bone-white sand dollars quickly burrowed to avoid our prying eyes.  At night, we would go for long walks, strolling under a pitch-black sky. Crabs would leave their holes and scuttle across the damp sand. Without flashlights, we would step gingerly, for fear of falling into tiny streams washing out to sea. The waves glittered and purred, beckoning us to plunge into the warm, dark water under the milky moonlight.  As I got older, the Mayaro beach house became a refuge against the world. Inside, we drank, swilling beer, vodka, and rum into the early morning hours, laughing loudly as we listened to soca, chutney, and dancehall music. When the self-appointed DJ started playing drowsy ballads from the 1980s, it turned into karaoke. But early mornings at Mayaro retained their charm. Around 5 am, the sea would rumble as the sky gradually lightened to a soft blue. Dawn would break, a gentle washing of light, a slight gilding of the white, foam-crested waves. The sea would feel cold and clean. The sand would be washed clear of debris. It would be smooth, save for scattered, pearlescent chip-chip or translucent man-o’-war jellyfish. The waves would softly roar, pulling a stray branch into the sea or pushing a coconut further along the beach. It was a time of day when anything seemed possible.


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

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Declare Agricultural Items


courtesy the cutlass

word of mouth

Cutting through barriers As the T&T feature film The Cutlass prepares for its international release, Caroline Taylor talks to the filmmakers about the challenges of Caribbean cinema

I

f making films in countries with established industries is gruelling, imagine trying to make them in the Caribbean — where, more often than not, the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Still, auteurs eager to tell Caribbean stories on screen soldier on, often getting boosts from regional festivals like the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), where stronger local features reliably sell out — as was the case with Trinidadian film The Cutlass. Based on a harrowing true story of a young Trinidadian woman fighting for survival after being kidnapped, The Cutlass delivered audiences compelling performances and stunning cinematography in an impressive feature debut for screenwriter Teneille Newallo and director Darisha Beresford (who both, with editor Drew Umland, served as executive

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producers). It ultimately copped the 2016 TTFF’s Best Trinidad and Tobago Feature Film and People’s Choice awards — after also winning the Best Film in Development award at the 2012 Festival. It was nothing less than a labour of love for Newallo, who — having lost her best friend to violence — wanted to find a way to empower women through film. “When I first heard this story, directly from the mouth of the victim, only days after it occurred, I was blown away by her courage and modesty. Most people that knew her and knew of what she went through never really got the details or understanding of what she truly experienced,” she explains. “I wanted everyone to understand.” Beresford was similarly passionate about the film’s power to raise pressing local issues — the lack of support for victims of abuse or those suffering

from mental illness, and the connections between poverty and violence. Their commitment to the story buoyed the three producers through years of script development, fundraising, and finally making the film in the remote forested mountains of Trinidad — on a tight budget and production timeline. And once it had finally made its regional premiere, could the film’s local success translate internationally? The producers have signed with Los Angeles-based Leomark Studios, and The Cutlass had its international market premiere at the Marché du Film (the business counterpart of the Cannes Film Festival) last May, as part of Leomark’s new market line-up. “Many buyers and distributors that have seen our film are impressed, but they are not exactly sure what to do with it . . . yet,” says Umland. The biggest question for this and other Caribbean films appears to be who the market is, and whether the films will translate — sometimes, literally. “We have been told by some that our dialects are challenging, and then by others that the dialects are attractive,” says Newallo, “so I think there is still a bit of reservation about whether or not the world is ready for Caribbean film.” Wild Eye Releasing has bought the (non-theatrical) North American distribution rights to The Cutlass, and Leomark will distribute around the rest of the world. But the producers have retained the theatrical distribution rights to the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States, managing cinematic releases in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and other Caribbean territories this August, followed by Miami and Toronto and other select North American cities. Once successful, it’s a business and distribution model they hope other Caribbean films can successfully emulate. “There is no real market yet for Caribbean film, [which] means that Caribbean filmmakers today have the opportunity to consciously create our own market,” says Newallo. The three producers are confident regional filmmakers can carve out a niche in the international marketplace. “As long as the stories are universal and the target audience can emotionally connect with the characters,” adds Beresford, “there is no reason why Caribbean films can’t be showcased internationally.”


joshua yetman

word of mouth

When T Jabs rule The spirit of the Jab Jab, with its roots in Grenada’s history, makes Spicemas unique. Laura Dowrich explains

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he scene from atop the Guinness truck was a sight to behold. Thousands of people adorned with glowing bracelets, neon necklaces, flashing hats, and glow sticks, waving their hands in unison from left to right, creating a sea of twinkling lights and revealing a beauty to Grenada’s Carnival that only added to its uniqueness. Known as Spicemas, Grenada’s Carnival (falling on 14 and 15 August this year) has long held the traditional Jab Jab figure as its visual representation. Grenada is, after all, considered the Jab Jab capital of the world, and in recent years has successfully exported the Jab Jab culture through its music and marketing. But on this Carnival Monday night, in the heart of St George’s, the capital, along the wharf in an area known as the Carenage, the oil of the dutty mas gave way to lights. One of the island’s best-kept secrets, this Monday Nite Mas was perhaps the largest gathering of the entire Carnival, with bands assigned to corporate entities with deep enough pockets to cater to the thousands. In 2016, the rules changed, allowing individuals to stage their own bands alongside the corporate heavies. Earlier that morning, along the same route, throngs of men and women gathered for J’Ouvert celebrations. As in Trinidad’s Carnival, J’Ouvert in Grenada signals the official start of the festivities — but unlike its southern neighbour, where masqueraders in old costumes, mud, cocoa, and blue


devil paint create a kaleidoscope of colour on the streets, Grenada’s J’Ouvert is the sole domain of the Jab Jabs. Masqueraders proudly daub their bodies with black oil, faces stoic as they engage in their annual ritual, ignoring curious tourists who flit in and out of their groupings, cameras and phones recording everything. With a French patois name meaning “devil,” the Jab Jab or Jab Molassie originated on sugar plantations during the era of slavery. One story says the Jab Jab portrays the spirit of a slave who fell into a vat of molasses and comes back every year to torment his master. Another suggests that in the days of slavery, whenever fire broke out on an estate, enslaved labourers were immediately mustered and marched to the spot. Horns and shells were blown to collect them and the gangs were followed by the drivers cracking their whips. Whatever the origins, after Emancipation the formerly enslaved commemorated their experiences by taking the Jab Jab to the streets, wearing horns and chains and blowing the conch shell. Today Grenadians maintain the tradition, parading with snakes, pig entrails, pig heads, and buckets of slimy worms, all in an attempt to intimidate as they personify the devil. J’Ouvert goes on all day, and gives way to pretty mas in St George’s on Carnival Tuesday, but Jab Jab mas continues in other areas of the island over the full two days. In St David, where I visited last year, scores of people from nearby villages trekked by foot to line the streets to see the Jabs on Carnival Tuesday. The soundtrack to the festivities, as in other islands, is soca. But in Grenada there is a distinct Jab Jab sound that has been created to boost the Jab Jab culture. Tallpree is perhaps the most famous proponent of Jab Jab music, since he released his mega hit “Old Woman Alone” in 1999. In the last ten years, artistes such as Lava Man, Mr Killa, and Shortpree have also taken up the mantle to make Jab Jab music global. It’s been described as a distinctly percussive sound with a three-beat repeated refrain. The lyrics often talk about the pride Grenadians feel in their historic tradition and the practice that goes into being a “wicked Jab.” Like other Carnivals in the region, Grenada’s boasts its share of competitions. There’s a highly anticipated and fiercely contested soca monarch competition, a calypso competition, steelband Panorama, Band of the Year, and a Queen pageant, among others. Then there are the fetes. Tallpree’s Preeday is one of the most anticipated, along with the “white” parties, White in Moonlight and Pure White, and a number of imports from Trinidad. The fetes feature performances from a slew of Grenadian acts and top regional soca stars. Like its famous spices, Grenada’s Spicemas has something for everyone to enjoy — and, coming latest in the regional “summer” Carnival schedule, it ensures you close off your fun with a bang. n

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

August 1 August 3-6 August 13 August 17 - 18 August 18 - 21 Auguts 20 - 22 August 26 Sept 1 - 30

Emancipation Day, National Park Bartica Regatta, Bartica Region 7 Lake Mainstay Regatta, Essequibo CPL Cricket, National Stadium Berbice Expo & Trade Fair, Berbice CPL Cricket, National Stadium Naya Zamana, G\Town Indigenous Month, Countrywide

Sept 16 Oct 19 Oct 29 Nov 12 Nov 17-26 Nov 21-26 Nov 25-26 Dec 31

Nereid’s Yacht Rally, Essequibo River Diwali Motorcade, Georgetown Rockstone Fish Festival, Rockstone Motor Racing Championships, Timehri Guyana Restaurant Week, Georgetown South Rupununi Safari, Rupununi Rupununi Expo, Lethem Horse Racing, Rising Sun Turf, Berbice

For more information on Grenada Spicemas, visit www.spicemasgrenada.com WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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THE GAME

Don’t stop the cricket “The biggest party in sport” — that’s right, the Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament — is back, and Garry Steckles has been keeping up with the headline players’ surprise moves Photography by Mark Nolan IDI/IDI via Getty Images

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ix highly competitive teams, non-stop bacchanal, and some of the biggest names in world cricket are heading our way again, as the Caribbean poises to host the fifth edition of “the biggest party in sport.” The occasion, of course, is the annual campaign of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, one of the venerable game’s most eagerly anticipated Twenty20 tournaments, and one of the most positive and popular additions to the region’s sporting calendar in recent decades. And as usual we can expect the unexpected from the CPL, with a number of its star players making surprise moves to rival teams, and two new names on the rosters from a part of the world not widely associated with top-class league cricket — Afghanistan. This year’s CPL

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will be launched later than usual, too, with the thirty-four-match tournament starting on 4 August in St Lucia and the final scheduled for 9 September. There’ll be the usual blend of day and night games, and the St Lucia opener will lead into two double-headers in Central Broward Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, on the weekend of 5 and 6 August, as the CPL continues its quest to sell its unique brand of party-hearty cricket to an American audience. Looking ahead to the 2017 campaign, CPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe says, “Last year was the tournament’s biggest, with a global TV and online audience of almost 150 million and in the region of 250,000 fans attending our games. We are determined to enhance the fan participation across each venue, ensuring an even

better experience for the many thousands of fans who will descend on each of our seven host countries.” He adds: “Once more, we have the best talent in world cricket across our six teams, and there have been a lot of eye-catching transfers.” There have indeed, and none of the big-name player shuffles has made bigger headlines than the move of Chris Gayle, who holds just about every batting record in Twenty20 cricket, to the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Gayle, the biggest single box-office attraction in cricket, led his home island’s Jamaica Tallawahs in the first four CPL campaigns, winning the championship title in two of them. Another eye-catcher is the acquisition of last year’s ICC World T20 batting hero Marlon Samuels by the St Lucia Stars, while the Tallawahs moved to fill the gap left by Gayle’s departure with the signing of prolific Windies opening batsman Lendl Simmonds and the retention of the Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara. For the first time ever, there will be an Afghanistan presence in the Hero CPL: all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was snapped up by the Patriots at the player draft, while googly specialist Rashid Khan was signed up by the Guyana Amazon Warriors. In addition to the high-profile acquisition of New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, coupled with the return of Dwayne Smith from the Amazon Warriors, the Barbados Tridents have retained Pakistan’s Shaoib Malik and South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell as they bid to regain the title they won in 2014. The Amazon Warriors have been one of the most consistent sides since the tournament’s inception in 2013, and that is reflected in the retention of a number of stalwarts, including New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, in-form Australian


Jamaican Marlon Samuels joins the St Lucia Stars for CPL 2017

batsman Chris Lynn, and Pakistan’s always dangerous paceman Sohail Tanvir. In addition to the big-hitting Gayle, the ambitious Patriots’ string of Caribbean talent includes legspinner Samuel Badree, batsmen Jonathan Carter and Kieran Powell, and promising fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, for what will be the 2016 World T20-winning coach Phil Simmons’s first season in charge of the team.

As usual, we can expect the unexpected fom the CPL, with star players making moves to rival teams The St Lucia Stars will once again be led by the charismatic Darren Sammy and they will welcome back South African batsman David Miller and Australian all-rounder Shane Watson. Recently re-named and under new ownership, the Stars will also feature Sri Lanka’s great Lasith Malinga, the speed ace with the round-arm “slingshot” action. The 2015 champions Trinbago Knight Riders have opted to retain all but three of last year’s squad, and will once more be led by Dwayne Bravo. The Knight Riders will look to the guile of Sunil Narine, while Darren Bravo will be part of a batting line-up that includes big-hitting New Zealanders Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro and South Africa’s run machine Hashim Amla. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Bookshelf River Dancer, by Ian McDonald (Hansib Publications, 112 pp, ISBN 9781910553268) “I have the feeling jaguars are nearby,” declares one of the poems in River Dancer. The line is powerful not because it is delivered on the edge of a narrative cutlass, but with the watchful quiet of decades of observing life move, both slow and teeming. Claiming Antigua, Trinidad, and Guyana in his Caribbean passport, Ian McDonald’s poems show the long span of a life braided into others — a beloved, beautiful wife steadfast in her attentions; a host of fast friends, now either deceased or demented; “boys in a football game / boisterous and golden in the setting sun.” Expect no abstruse flourishes in the verse, no ornate literary calisthenics to showcase proof of talent. The work proves itself, steadily and with careful, clean-polished imageries held up to reflect the self-lit brightness of thousands of night orchids at the edge of the Essequibo. In every visual dispatch, McDonald takes the reader by the hand, firm but gentle,

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and leads her through eighty years of journeys: some indistinct, yellowing with the sweet efflorescence of age, some as vivid as if the poet’s youth were still firmly clutched in his grasp. It is the lodestone of gratitude that eases these poems into the minds of those who read them. In this way, the poems become as friends, neither dead nor demented: alive and present, listening to the heartbeats of hummingbirds; awaiting a new book of Walcott’s in the post; ascending El Tucuche amid “huge crapauds hopping in the muddy pools / wild orchids leaping in the branches / a rotten stump of tree pouring out / red bajack ants in angry hunting streams / everything seemed good and memorable.” The goodness of that memory is the inner illumination of River Dancer, a book deeply concerned with what lies beyond the next turn in the oxbow lake.

Cannibal, by Safiya Sinclair (University of Nebraska Press, 126 pp, ISBN 9780803290631)

Curfew Chronicles, by Jennifer Rahim (Peepal Tree Press, 208 pp, ISBN 9781845233624)

These poems announce themselves in cauldrons, coastlines, and calamities. Winner of the 2017 OCM Bocas Poetry Prize and the 2017 Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Cannibal comes not with faint praise, but on rapturous report — and with galvanising reason. Taking the maligned colonial subject of Caliban, Sinclair pirouettes his possibilities in our literary vaults, affording him his own language, and the power to curse, cavort, and carry on in it. The narrator of “Home” reflects the restless certainty of voyage contained at the core of Cannibal: “I’d open my ear for sugar cane / and long stalks of gungo peas / to climb in. I’d swim the sea / still lapsing in a soldered frame, / the sea that again and again / calls out my name.” When these poems arrive on your doorstep, be unsurprised if they claim the blood of a glorious and certain homecoming.

In an ideal world, a state of emergency might bring the armistice it intends. In Trinidad and Tobago in 2011, the official state of emergency that lasted four months uncovered more crises than comforts. Jennifer Rahim’s Curfew Chronicles draws together politicians in low places with streetwise scholars, bringing accounts of the extraordinary and the everyday together in prose that presents us to ourselves: as incandescent, dramatic residents of the 868. This novel in episodic chapters reveals that the nation’s metaphoric state of emergency didn’t begin in 2011; its roots remain sunk in something far more insidious: “The real disease, brother, is when a people lose sight of who they are. They think is a race, a faith, a flag, a surname, a title, a bank account, a law, even a hurt that make them who they are. A person, even a people, could fall into that trap.”

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Side by Side We Stand, by Nathalie Taghaboni (Commess University, 384 pp, ISBN 9780692694015) In novels that trace their percussion lines to the riffs of steelpan, and soak themselves deep in local-distillery rum, Nathalie Taghaboni makes Caribbean romance writing come alive. Side by Side We Stand is the Trinidad-born author’s third and final installment in The Savanoy Series, which chronicles the grand stage revels of a T&T Carnival masmaking family. Banishing the supposition that romances cannot deal in piercing loss, Taghaboni visits immeasurable grief on her characters, prompting deeper catharses through the healing of a full-body immersion in the mas. We are not here only to dance, this novel and its predecessors Across From Lapeyrouse and Santimanitay say: but while we are here, love, levity, and the las’ lap of every Carnival Tuesday will sustain us.

Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought: Genealogies, Theories, Enactments, edited by Gabrielle Jamela Hosein and Lisa Outar (Palgrave Macmillan, 349 pp, ISBN 9781137570796) What have the lives of Indian women in the Caribbean brought forth, and what transformative seeds do they continue to sow? To answer this question among several, editors Gabrielle Hosein and Lisa Outar train their attentions not only on curating the canon of scholarship on Indo-Caribbean feminisms, but on throwing the gates — real or imagined — wide open. This anthology meanders wilfully away from insularity: some of its most promising engagements tackle the shapeshifting power of Nicki Minaj, the erotic and emotional lives of same-sex-loving Indo-Trinidadian women, the direct devastations of indentureship. With an entire section of this academic text devoted to the experiences of dougla women — those of mixed African and Indian ancestry — the editors of Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought have pointed their rudders forwards: away from the affirmations of the subcontinent, and deeper into the Caribbean’s own expressive, tenacious heart. Reviews by Shivanee Ramlochan, Bookshelf editor

Tickets: $150 available from parish offices & choir members 7901751

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friday 7th july, 7.30pm

all saints' anglican church, Port of spain, 627 7004

saturday 8th july, 7.00pm

Our Lady of Guadalupe, paramin, 629 2193

sunday 9th july, 5.00pm

www.marionetteschorale.com The Abbey Church, Mt. St. Benedict, 662 8792

Bambú GIFT SHOP

Rare & exotic arts and crafts made in the Caribbean Lovely Caribbean wear, collectibles, accessories and much more...

#199 Milford Road, Crown Point, Tobago Tel. 868-639-8133 • Email: mariela0767@hotmail.com WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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playlist

Shades of Life Marvin Dolly (self-released) New York–based Trinidadian guitarist Marvin Dolly surprises on this debut album, Shades of Life, with a quiet contemplation of trio-playing featuring just guitar, bass, and trumpet. In an intimate setting devoid of the thump of the drum, the soloists each have room to speak clearly and emotively in this conversation among acoustic instruments. Dolly, along with J.S. Williams on trumpet and John Gray on double bass, mainly, cruises through this set of subdued jazz tunes that harken back to the cool jazz ambience of 1950s West Coast America, contrasting with the bebop bombast of New York of the same era. The music, thankfully, does not wallow in the excess of a similar-sounding ambient lounge or minimalist new-age aesthetic. Dolly’s guitar finds its full voice on the tracks “Calypsonian Dream” and “Short Letters to Mother”, solo and duet guitar pieces, respectively, that make a solid opening gambit for a Caribbean instrumentalist’s voice in the diaspora.

Sabiduría/Wisdom Eddie Palmieri (Ropeadope Records) The Caribbean is a transnation of expanded and connected diasporas. Puerto Rican heritage extends beyond its island space to include its famous diaspora citizens. Bronx-born Eddie Palmieri is a legendary Latin jazz pianist, who at the age of eighty may have delivered one of the most sonically and musically endearing albums in his career. Not that he “finally got the formula right,” but with those years of experience as a bandleader, composer, and arranger, and the “wisdom” — sabiduría in Spanish — that comes with that experience, Palmieri can pull together some of the finest talent, young and old, in jazz and salsa/Latin music to successfully and pleasingly blend the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of his Puerto Rican island “home” with the harmonically complex sounds of mainland jazz and bebop. The album also extends the fusion to include bossa nova on “Samba Do Suenho” and Cuban son on “Coast to Coast”.

Single Spotlight Climb Queen Ifrica (VP Records) Jamaican singer and social activist Queen Ifrica has finally released a follow-up to her last full-length album, made in 2009. A compilation of some singles released in the interim and more than a dozen brand-new songs, this seventeen-track album is worth the wait. On Climb, we the listeners are blessed with the fervent messages of the Queen of the past, as she identifies with and illustrates the lives and times of the marginalised, hard-pressed and world-weary average Jamaicans “inna de yard.” “These songs come to me as I am watching the world,” she says. “I see myself as a social worker that uses music as my tool, because music is the greatest weapon to impact societal change, to help young people to understand themselves more.” With music that covers a number of reggae sub-genres — ska, lovers rock and dancehall, among others — the focus on the lyric is made easier here.

Jump in da Line [DJ Buddha Remix] Sammi Starr (Sony Entertainment US Latin) Bahamian Junkanoo Carnival is described as a collection of events, parades, and concerts that pull from every aspect of Bahamian culture; an amalgam of native and regional Carnival celebrations. The music inspired by the celebration is a catch-all of festive rhythms that one can’t help but dance to. Sammi Starr, born Sammie Poitier, has made a remix of his Junkanoo Carnival hit of a couple years ago with Latin Grammy winner DJ Buddha, this time to act as a sonic accompaniment for a new tourism campaign. The result is an automatic invitation to jam. “I’m on my feet ’cause I can’t sit down / Don’t worry ’bout the heat cause tonight it’s going down / Popping bottles, raising cups, jump in da line and take over the dance floor.” Pop sensibilities and tempos in this remix have replaced the modern rake-and-scrape Junkanoo rhythms of the original for a hoped-for crossover to the world. Reviews by Nigel A. Campbell

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SCREENSHOTS

Sharing Stella Directed by Kiki Álvarez, 2016, 87 minutes Back in December 2014, when Barack Obama and Raúl Castro announced the resumption of normal relations between the United States and Cuba, it was anyone’s guess what the practical implications of that decision would be for the communist island. Would Cubanos start mixing their rum with Coca-Cola? Not yet, though with Vin Diesel racing a hot rod through Havana’s streets in the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, times are changing. Kiki Álvarez’s Sharing Stella, a Cuban film, attempts to make some sense of the crossroads at which the country finds itself. Head of the fiction filmmaking department at Cuba’s International Film and Television School, Álvarez has a particular concern for the status of his nation’s young people, as seen in his earlier indie-inflected dramas Giraffes and Venice. Set in Havana during that momentous month of

Death by a Thousand Cuts Directed by Juan Mejira Botero and Jake Kheel, 2016, 74 minutes Recent years have seen an increasing number of films about the relationship between Haiti and its neighbour the Dominican Republic — specifically, about the treatment of Haitians and people of Haitian descent in the DR. One can now add Death by a Thousand Cuts to that number. This US documentary approaches its subject via the issue of deforestation through illegal charcoal burning by Haitians in the DR, which turned fatal in 2012 with the machete murder of a Dominican park ranger. The filmmakers methodically investigate the crime, revealing through observation and interviews a network of corruption and exploitation (human and environmental). The film might have been better served, however, by a deeper understanding of Haitian history, and the factors that have led to the destruction of virtually all of the country’s forests. For more information, visit deathbyathousandcutsfilm.com

December 2014, Sharing Stella follows a film director — named Kiki Álvarez, and played by Álvarez himself — as he seeks to cast the part of Stella, who he sees as a metaphor for contemporary Cuba, in a stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Several young actors, women and men, including some who have starred in Álvarez’s previous films, and who all appear here as themselves, are considered. As they speak with the director and among themselves, the actors talk candidly about their lives, their hopes, and their desires. News and radio coverage of Obama and Castro provide a counterpointing background commentary. It gives nothing away to say that at the end the casting remains undecided, the play unperformed. To call Sharing Stella fiction feels inadequate; but it’s plainly no documentary. Selfreflexive and digressive, playful and contingent, it’s best seen as an essay, a modest, open-ended inquiry. It’s also as appropriate and laudable a response as any other to these uncertain times in Cuba’s history. For more information, visit habanerofilmsales.com

A Caribbean Dream Directed by Shakirah Bourne, 2017, 82 minutes In her previous features as a writer or director — the two Payday comedies and the Alison Hinds-starring suspense thriller Two Smart — Shakirah Bourne established herself as a purveyor of cheap-and-cheerful cinematic entertainment. So it comes as little surprise that in deciding on a Shakespeare adaptation for her next film, she should choose not merely a comedy but A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with its “weak and idle theme,” its young lovers and fairies. A Caribbean Dream is Bourne’s most assured work to date. Colourfully mounted, and set within what looks like the grounds of an old plantation, the film breezily mixes Barbadian English with the Bard’s, and substitutes the story of the Barbados-exiled King Ja Ja of Nigeria for the play within the play, The Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe. Where the film may be said to be most noteworthy, however, is in its casting, with all the couples pointedly interracial ones. For more information, visit caribbeanfilmproductions. com Reviews by Jonathan Ali WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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cookup

The truth about SUPERFOODS The “superfood” trend, promoting exotic foodstuffs as dietary essentials, has long gone mainstream, even though most nutritionists dismiss the term. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t Caribbean food plants high in beneficial nutrients which ought to be better known. Franka Philip learns more

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here was a time about a decade ago when you couldn’t escape from headlines like “Superfoods everyone should live by”, “Top ten superfoods for better health”, “The superfoods that can turn around your life”. Somehow, the world had gone “superfood” mad. We were told by supposed health gurus that we were doomed if we didn’t eat beans, blueberries, soy, walnuts, and yogurt, and drink lots of green tea. The lists grew to include more and more exotic things, like açaí berries and chia seeds. But if you speak to dieticians and nutrition experts, you find most of them don’t like the term “superfood,” and some outright dismiss it. “It’s highly exaggerated”, says Francis Morean, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading authorities on indigenous plants and herbs. “Having a balanced diet is more important than all this superfood stuff.” A superfood is supposed to be one that provides superior benefits both in health and taste. Like other experts, Morean thinks the term is a marketing cliché. “I think it is something that shows the frivolity of the American market. They always need something new, and you know what gets popular in the US usually also gets popular here.”

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Often dismissed as a weed, purslane is rich in vitamin E

If you speak to dieticians and nutrition experts, you find most of them don’t like the term “superfood,” and some outright dismiss it you went, people were like hawks for noni,” he adds with a laugh. He recalls going to a conference in St Croix where he met a woman who had basically converted her home into a factory for noni products. “She had everything — even cigarettes made from the noni leaf.” Morean believes that the huge marketing drive that made noni so popular was a precursor to the superfoods era. Now, in the wake of the long-dead noni craze, the trees are ignored and fruit rot in their shade.

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The noni craze, which lasted for about two years at the turn of the century, illustrates this fickleness. Noni (Morinda citrifolia) is a small, green, prickly fruit that smells bad and tastes bitter, but somehow it became known as a panacea for a range of ailments. I remember visiting friends and seeing these ugly fruit soaking in water in large jugs. People swore by the cleansing properties of the water. On television and in magazines, there was a swathe of advertorials extolling the virtues of the smelly little fruit. “The noni craze was quite amazing” Morean says. “It’s widely available throughout the Caribbean and known by many names. People used to be afraid to go near it because of the smell. But in 1999 you couldn’t find a ripe noni tree anywhere in the Caribbean — everywhere

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n the Caribbean, a common plant, fruit, or vegetable often graduates to “superfood” status when people realise it’s being heavily touted internationally as a remedy for damaging lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. Today’s superfood du jour is moringa (Moringa oleifera). It’s not native to the Caribbean, but was brought here from India in the nineteenth century. It’s sometimes called “the miracle tree,” and is said to alleviate diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, cardiac disorders, and kidney disease, among other ailments. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, all parts of the moringa tree are beneficial. The leaves are rich in protein, vitamins A, B, C, and minerals. In Trinidad, the fruit — known as saijan or drumsticks (because of the long and pointy shape) — are cooked and eaten. I first saw saijan for sale at a market in south Trinidad, and when I asked my Indian friend Natasha about it, she said her grandmother used to chop it up and cook it in curries. Interestingly, for all its benefits, I’ve never heard anyone make claims about its taste. In fact, the powder derived WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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PHAKAWADEE TOWIYANON/shutterstock.com

from ground moringa leaves is bitter, but that is usually masked by other ingredients when it’s added to smoothies and juices. Morean dislikes the term superfoods, but he does say that in the case of moringa most of the touted benefits are indeed real. But when it comes to other local foods that have a similarly large number of health benefits, Morean says many of these are not widely known. One of those plants is pursley, or nuniya bhaji. It is a variety of purslane (Portulaca oleracea), and is known for being rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. It grows wild and is often dismissed as a weed. The website Mother Earth News describes purslane as “somewhat crunchy [with] a slight lemony taste. Some people liken it to watercress or spinach, and it can substitute for spinach in many recipes. Young, raw leaves and stems are tender and are good in salads and sandwiches. They can also be lightly steamed or stir-fried. Purslane’s high level of pectin (known to

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Almost every part of the moringa tree can be consumed

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Soursop, popular in ice cream, is also high in fibre

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Given the explosion in lifestyle diseases, it makes sense for the Caribbean food industry to work more closely with those exploring our local food plants to give chefs and consumers greater choice

lower cholesterol) thickens soups and stews.” Morean says it is particularly beneficial to women. “I tell women it is a plant they should use more regularly because it can slow down the development of fibroids,” he explains. Morean is keen to stress that many of the Caribbean foods now regarded as superfoods have been a part of our lives for many years — but now, because of scientific research, their importance is being recognised. Look at the soursop or guanabana fruit (Annona muricata), which is most commonly consumed in ice cream and punches. It is now being used for treating cancer and tumours in South America. “Soursop is something I always recommend to people,” says Morean. “It’s high in fibre, which helps remove waste without purging, and it plays a great part in a balanced diet.” In the Caribbean, there’s a growing interest in wild indigenous plants. And it seems we’re on the right track, because a similar movement is taking place in Kenya, where scientists are exploring wild plants eaten by local communities and believed to have health benefits, such as potent antioxidant qualities. “These plants are thought of as poor people’s food,” says Morean, “but [by doing this work] what we’re doing is giving new life to plants that have always been here.” It will take some effort, but given the explosion in lifestyle diseases, it makes sense for the Caribbean food industry to work more closely with those exploring our local food plants to give chefs and consumers greater choice. “We need to revisit our traditional food styles,” Morean says. “I guess we’re waiting for a foreigner to come and tell us that our stuff is great.” n


Maria Nunes

Immerse

Closeup 42 A head for jazz and a creole soul

Backstory 52 It starts with the drum

Own Words 50 “The poems must have decided on me”

Showcase 60 Hadriana’s wedding

Jazz musician Etienne Charles


closeup

For generations, musicians with Caribbean roots have contributed their rhythms and melodies to international jazz. But few have done it with the confidence and style of Etienne Charles. At the age of thirty-three he’s already recognised as a phenomenal talent — not just as a musician, but as a composer with a gift for reinventing traditional forms. Nigel A. Campbell explains Photography by Maria Nunes 42

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here’s a photograph floating around the Internet from about a year ago, of a dapper Etienne Charles, Trinidadian jazz trumpeter, warming up with soca superstar Machel Montano before performing a short impromptu set at the White House. President Obama could not attend the event — his loss — where the recognition of Caribbean people and their contributions to the United States reached an apotheosis. Charles and Montano embody the high pinnacle of Trinidad and Tobago’s music success in the US — and both belong to a new wave of Caribbean musicians who have honed their craft within an environment of learning and high standards. The trumpet’s evolution and positioning as the symbol of jazz has a heritage marked by iconic figures throughout its history. Icons like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis represent a linear history. They also represent a shift from the working-class unschooled genius to the middle-class educated musician, who have paid their dues by apprenticeship. Charles, in this pantheon in the Caribbean context, represents the modern incarnation of the jazz musician taking his craft and skill to the world. In the Caribbean, jazz does not have as high a profile as reggae, dancehall, calypso, or soca. Despite the region’s reputation for the once ubiquitous “jazz festival” — writer B.C. Pires noted back in 1993 that there were “more than thirty jazz festivals every year in the Caribbean, and most Caribbean people have never been to one” — these islands have not offered up many global stars in the modern jazz industry. Still, the most prolific modern recording artist in the Caribbean is Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander, with over fifty albums released around

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the world. It’s also noteworthy that Caribbean music and musicians figure prominently in the genesis of jazz music in America. Charles carries on the tradition of regional jazz musicians who have fused their native cultural influences, rhythms, and melodies with aspects of jazz harmony and improvisation to create something new.

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azz biographies love to dwell on the environment of upbringing of their subjects. Our cultural heroes have often been lauded for rising up and overcoming their hardscrabble ghetto existence. The Independence generation, certainly in Trinidad and Tobago, heard that education was key to the future: “you carry the future of Trinidad and Tobago in your school bags,” said Prime Minister Eric Williams in 1962. A middle-class lifestyle and existence were the goals of nation-builders. But our ongoing fascination with innate talent sometimes obviates intelligent endeavour. Etienne Charles was born “early in the morning” in July 1983 into a middle-class family in Port of Spain, who later moved to a well-to-do neighbourhood in the west of the island. He excelled academically, sequentially graduating from the high school Fatima College, then with undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Florida State University (FSU) and the Juilliard School in New York City — epitomising the intelligence and excellence needed by Caribbean people to compete in the modern global creative industries. The attitude was there, as was the bespoke wardrobe. The stingy-brim fedora on Charles’s head, like the porkpie hat of Lester Young or the Sinatra fedora in the 1950s, acts as a crown, a signpost, and symbol of differing superiority, a trademark.


Charles is jazz with a West Indian accent. To reiterate the axiom about education and a successful future is redundant, but worth reinforcing as we celebrate excellence, and as Caribbean people look for exemplars outside the shady world of island politics and the brute-force theatre of sports. Currently, Charles serves as associate professor of jazz trumpet at highly ranked Michigan State University (MSU), where he just completed his eighth year, and where he was awarded tenure in 2016. “I’ve definitely taken to academia,” he says, “and teaching is one of the most crucial professions in our society, with respect to inspiring as well as leading students through their exploration of idioms, styles, and techniques. It’s also something I find great joy in doing.” Charles is obviously well respected at MSU — he was awarded the 2016 Teacher-Student Award, which recognises some of the best teachers at the university. In the words of James Forger, dean of the College of Music, Charles is “one of the brightest minds in jazz performance and artistic creativity today.” All this academic brilliance works in tandem with the other side of Etienne Charles. He is a professional musician whose profile has grown from its commercial beginnings as a teenager arranging horns for tropical rockers Orange Sky on their album Of Birds and Bees in 2002, through his debut album Culture Shock in 2006 and subsequent five albums, to his work as an arranger on two Grammy-nominated albums by René Marie, I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt and Sound of Red.

Redon, Lloyd ‘Bre’ Foster, Tony Woodroffe at the Brass Institute, Major Edouard Wade, who started me on trumpet lessons, Errol Ince, Kerry Roebuck, and Francis Pau at the National Youth Orchestra of T&T, percussionist Ernesto Garcia — those were my main mentors when I was growing up with a keen interest.” All these “heroes” figured in Charles’s intellectual engagement with the traditions of jazz in his undergraduate years, as he was always aware of the responsibility to be true to his Caribbean roots.

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harles was confidently stepping out of his Caribbean comfort zone at twenty-three years old, just four years removed from his Trinidad existence, to explore both commercially and artistically the possibilities of jazz with his unique West Indian accent. The milestones were beginning to accumulate: he was already a National Trumpet Competition winner, and he had performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival as part of the FSU Jazz Combo in 2005. As he was graduating from Florida State University in 2006, he was charting a career as a recording artist with the help of his teacher and mentor, renowned jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, widely known as one of the pre-eminent American jazz pianists of his generation. The resulting album, aptly titled Culture Shock, transcribed the musical diary of a newly minted artist and music immigrant in his New World of the United States. Jeremy Taylor, reviewing the album in Caribbean Beat, wrote that “Charles’s

Etienne Charles represents the modern incarnation of the jazz musician taking his craft and skill to the world Opposite page Etienne Charles with parang legend Clarita Rivas at her home in St Joseph, Trinidad Left With young members of the Speechettes Tobago speech band

Recently, he’s been working as composer and arranger for modern jazz singers Somi and Joanna Pascale. “I enjoy writing and arranging for singers,” he says, “as there’s more to tap into for the arrangement: lyrical content, the tone of the vocalist’s instrument, phrasing, style, etc. It’s one of my secret passions. I’m a student of local and foreign arrangers Frankie Francis, Rupert Nurse, Earl Rodney, Johnny Mandel, Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle, Frank Foster, Oliver Nelson, Leston Paul, Pelham Goddard, Art DeCoteau.” Calypso, jazz, and soca are all genres that feed his learning, and so inform his music. This spirit of subliminal mentorship and apprenticeship was present from the beginnings of Charles’s recording career. The important Caribbean connections were not lost on him. “I had a bunch of heroes coming up, basically anyone who was playing music and took time to show me a line or tune. The Phase II Pan Groove crew, ‘Boogsie’, Annise ‘Halfers’ Hadeed, Dougie

Caribbean roots show mainly in the opening and closing tracks . . . [and the] five central tracks wander rewardingly through blues and gospel and swing.” An audacious yet tentative debut, and a lesson learned; he needed more. There was no time to rest on his laurels. “You carry the future of Trinidad and Tobago in your school bags.” The awe of learning in the capital of music, the Big Apple, beckoned. Charles enrolled in the Juilliard School in New York in the fall of 2006. “I think what might have been overwhelming to me when I got to Juilliard was the level of seriousness around me,” he recalls. “I’d never been in a place where everyone was not just talented, but so devoted to complete mastery of their craft.” An attitude adjustment and a maturing in the world marked his graduation from Juilliard. An old Caribbean saying suggests that “common sense invent before book sense.” Charles, in America, recognised conveniently that the music business is a grand hustle. WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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Field recording in Arouca, Trinidad, with kalinda drummers Desmond Noel, his son Peter, and his grandson in January 2016, during research for Carnival: The Sound of a People

The hard-luck stories of chicanery and deceit suffered by musicians, a significant number being black and immigrant, are numerous and tragic — Bob Marley’s estate losing their case against Universal Music Group in 2010 over ownership of copyrights for his 1970s hit albums stands as a hallmark of exploitation — and Charles would not number in that league. “Know the business, study it, get a mentor who knows the business,” is how he describes his modus operandi. “Own your work, copyright your work, own the publishing, and own the masters. These were the words told to me by my mentors Ralph MacDonald and Marcus Roberts. Read contracts inside out and call a lawyer if you need. I have my lawyer on speed dial. Know that sacrifices must be made and investments must be made. What takes time normally costs money, and vice versa. Rome wasn’t built in a day, a talent isn’t honed in a week, and a brand isn’t built in a year. Be patient, humble, and persistent. Consistency beats intensity, always.” The creative process hardened by his years of collaboration and study at university resulted in a string of heralded albums from 2009 going forward, highlighting an evolved understanding of the place of the West Indian in the world. Charles befriended and was inspired by pioneering Trinidadian artist, dancer, and choreographer Geoffrey Holder and his larger-than-life oeuvre — “he proved before most others that we have something great in our

islands” — so much so that Charles would not wince at the notion of tackling Caribbean music with an ear towards intellectual yet accessible enlightenment. He organised his compositions and successive album productions around increasingly complex themes that unravel with maturing clarity. “I’ve been focusing on writing within themes, as that’s how we shape the direction of our albums . . . I enjoy writing in this style because it allows me the process of research followed by synthesis and analysis, and subsequently composition. It gets me deep into the subject and out comes a longer piece. It also works well for thematic concert presentations.” Folklore (2009) — described as “using the thematic structure of a suite of original compositions all based upon the mythologies and mythological characters of Charles’s Trinidadian/Afro-Caribbean heritage” — gives musical validation to the douen, la diablesse, soucouyant, and other characters in the lore of Caribbean slave narrative. Kaiso (2011) reinterprets the songs of three legends of recorded calypso, the Roaring Lion, the Mighty Sparrow, and Lord Kitchener, as a testament to the idea that calypso music and the chantuelle’s canon are ripe for reinterpretation by jazz musicians worldwide. Thom Jurek of AllMusic wrote that Kaiso “examined calypso . . . through the lens of twenty-first-century post-bop. The end result expanded the reach of both musics without watering down either.”

“Know the business, study it, get a mentor who knows the business . . .”

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These two have been described as his “Trinidad” albums, because on his next project he widened his vision. The chart-topping Creole Soul (2013) bristled with a kind of energy that comes from realising that one has gone beyond the usual expectations of a Caribbean existence. Haitian kongo, mascaron, and bomba, and Martiniquan belair rhythms are explored in the context of a wider pan-Caribbean jazz. Covers of Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low” and Dawn Penn’s dancehall classic “You Don’t Love Me (No No No)” may suggest a fawning for popular uptake, but as Ben Ratliff of the New York Times put it, the music on Creole Soul is also “intellectually sound, going deeper into Mr Charles’s basic interest, which is the affinities between Caribbean music and music from the American South, New Orleans jazz in particular. It doesn’t feel too academic or too grasping, overscripted or shallow. He’s got it about as right as he can.” Critics were seeing parallels between Charles’s work and writer V.S. Naipaul’s early oeuvre. After Naipaul’s four “Trinidad” novels, he began to travel much like Charles did for Creole Soul, and again for his highly rated San José Suite in 2016. The possibilities for high accolades were obvious and forthcoming. Charles was invited to perform at high-calibre jazz festivals in the US (such as Newport, Monterey, and Atlanta) and internationally. He released the popular Creole Christmas album in 2015, transforming holiday classics and local favourites into a new creole jazz form.

Works Grant, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Charles was able to explore the broader traditions of creole cultural persistence in San José Suite. This ambitious work, based on research trips to three different New World places named San José — in California, Costa Rica, and St Joseph, Trinidad — dares to magnify the idea of the wider Americas as a crucible for the continuing assimilation and transformation of disparate musical influences. Taking in the stories and ideas of Native American heritage and the later African interlude, it presents the modern listener with an intelligent yet accessible understanding of who we are in the Americas. More recently, the forthcoming Carnival suite — debuted live in Trinidad in 2017 and to be released on disc in 2018 — is the result of the award of a 2015 Guggenheim fellowship, which allowed Charles to research and explore the music of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnivalesque processions, the Canboulay and J’Ouvert and other elements, to locate the musical response of Afro-Caribbean people to the circumstances of slavery, colonialism, and freedom. Allied with this Carnival suite project was a new venture for re-introducing live brass band music on the road for Trinidad’s 2017 Carnival: We the People. “I have been studying this calypso/ soca music for almost fifteen years steadily,” Charles says. “We the People was also a way to push the reset button with respect to how Carnival had been taken over by the pretty mas, and

“Live music is a crucial element of real Carnival,” says Charles. “Those who know, know!”

Calypso superstar David Rudder performing with Charles as We the People takes to the road for Carnival 2017

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ut Etienne Charles the successful working musician and recording artist still has to balance his career with Etienne Charles the professor at MSU. “All in all, both teaching and scholarship are very important at MSU,” he explains. “So in addition to my teaching responsibilities in the College of Music, there’s also a significant research/composition/performance/ grant-writing mandate to my appointment at the university.” That research and composition have yielded his most significant works to date, the aforementioned San José Suite and the forthcoming Carnival: The Sound of a People. With the support of the Chamber Music America New Jazz

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how most brass bands had been taken out of the equation. The fact remains that live music is a crucial element of real Carnival. Those who know, know! If we want our cultural and artistic aesthetics to survive and be passed on from generation to generation, they must not be viewed as ancient, outdated, or too expensive,” he goes on. “The ‘modern vs traditional’ debate must be addressed.” Intelligent, shrewd, and influential are words to describe our greatest creative artists. Add to that list young, proud, and successful — and add Etienne Charles’s name to the growing pantheon. n


Own words

“The poems must have decided on me”

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y mother is an English literature teacher, and when I was growing up books were more my friends than human friends were. There was always an abundance of books, including books I probably shouldn’t have read at the time. I remember at seven or eight getting hold of the unabridged Canterbury Tales. It never occurred to me that I shouldn’t be reading it, or that I shouldn’t have been looking at the Kama Sutra a couple years later. That’s the kind of person my mother is — open-minded and thankfully tolerant of the person I have become. It started then, when I was young and precocious and too curious about way too many things for my own good. Writing started helplessly and instinctively, like a rash. It didn’t seem like a big leap to think that I could try to do some of what I saw happening in books. I filled countless school copybooks with stories and illustrations. I still have them, and they’re full of florid and sexually suggestive fan-fiction. I never, ever let anyone read them. They were confessional and exploratory and a whole private world of daring and intrigue and experimentation. So there was the secret writing I was doing, fiendishly and happily, but there was also the public perception by my schoolmates and educators, based on the essays I had to write for Common Entrance first of all, and then through all my English classes, that I was someone who might one day be taken seriously as a writer. But I don’t think I ever saw the streams crossing between writing in my private life and the school-sanctioned writing that I was committing. The writers who did the most for me in poetic terms in my youth were not poets. Like Arundhati Roy, whose novel The God of Small Things I read when I was twelve — and then read and reread. The very first poet who sparked

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Trinidadian Shivanee Ramlochan, Caribbean Beat’s book reviewer, poet, and now author of the debut book Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, on writing about what’s most terrifying, her discomfort with genealogy, and “suffering well” — as told to Nicholas Laughlin Photography by Marlon James

something similar was Federico García Lorca, when I was studying Spanish and French in form six. I had a clear sense that there were things that could be said in Spanish and French, and by the same logic in anyone’s native tongue, that could never be approximated in any other language, perhaps especially English. Lorca’s poems I would transcribe by hand in Spanish — I wanted my hand to ache with it. I thought, here was somebody whose work was full of desperation and melancholy and ugly, excessive, nasty emotions, and I could not read anything else.

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n 2010, when I was twenty-three, I did the Cropper Foundation’s residential writing workshop with Merle Hodge and Funso Aiyejina. Oddly enough, I was accepted for the workshop on the strength of my short fiction — which, seven years later, seems alien to me. I met writers who have remained creatively and personally important to me, like Danielle BoodooFortuné and Andre Bagoo and Alake Pilgrim and Colin Robinson. I thought if I was in community with them, the idea of seeing my work in print might not be such a far stretch. I always say the poems must have decided on


“Poems are probably the place where I tell the most truth for any given and sustained stretch of time”

me. I wasn’t actively writing them in 2010, but perhaps a couple years later — certainly seriously from 2012, 2013, and since then poems have dominated the way I think about making evident things I might not otherwise ever say about myself, and what surrounds me, and what won’t let me sleep. I think I am writing a poem actively for sometimes weeks and sometimes months and sometimes longer before committing anything to paper — which amounts to walking around with it, living with it, living with what it is trying to contain or not contain. It then becomes, at some point, usually a wildly inconvenient one, the thing that I have to do above all else. Clarity, honesty, and truth are things I’m almost obsessed with, and I think that is because poems are probably the place where I tell the most truth for any given and sustained stretch of time. What are the things in the poem that would otherwise absolutely never be said? Whatever those are become mandatory. The tattoo on my forearm is a line from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It’s in Latin, but in translation it says, Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you. I’ve always been very concerned with suffering well, which I hope has become less colour-by-numbers angsty over the years and taken on a definite work ethic and discipline. I write principally from pain and dislocation and loss — mine, and then pain that does not belong to me. And I’ve found that the

best way to be on speaking terms with all of that awfulness is to just get really cosy with it — treat it like an old friend, because that’s what it is. Over time, when you work hard and listen closely, and smile through the suffering — sometimes you get a halfway decent poem. For so long I’d been concerned with where these poems — which were so strange and so savage and so lacking in any apology for what they are — would find a home. I don’t often talk about mangoes and mermaids and men in straw hats, things that are typically seen as reductive images of the Caribbean. Only, they aren’t to me. I think every image has the power to be transformational — it’s all about how it’s wrestled into a body on the page. All the same, since my work lacks so many traditional elements, I was prepared to do the hard and lonely work of finding a home for the poems that was further away than I imagined. The Indo-Caribbean community, I’ve often felt, is a place I don’t belong, for many reasons. I think people will claim you whether or not you want to be claimed. But I do think there are things I care about writing that have more than a toe in spaces like that, and I have to accept that some of the work will move and some will draw intense censure — it’s down to what you read on which night in front of which people. I don’t feel responsible, but I feel that poems will carry that kind of responsibility. Ultimately I might not get to decide. I think it’s more liberating than anything else. Now, people who I had no idea were paying attention to the work are soliciting poems. That makes me make work useful to me, because it fights my procrastination. Ironically, the first place I feel compelled to go is into that troubling and perplexing and labyrinthine vat of Indianness. I’m scared about that, because I’ve never done concerted and specific work about my genealogy. But I figure it if makes me nauseous, there’s probably a good poem in there. I’m always most interested in any version of the question, what am I most scared to write about? I try to answer it as honestly as I can every single time, and I often discover it’s something I did not know about myself, which is thrilling. I think that’s the direction I need to run to. n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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BACKSTORY

It starts with the drum Photography courtesy Zahra Airall

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Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2017, the Antigua Dance Academy is a powerhouse of Afro-Caribbean dance and music. Founded by Veronica Yearwood, and with a cast of passionate alumni, the ADA keeps traditional culture alive — and clears the way for new generations of talent. Joanne C. Hillhouse finds out more


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he Antigua Dance Academy is the kind of company that brings a full musical theatre production to the streets of St John’s — “disturbing St John’s City because we can,” as founder Veronica Yearwood once said. It’s also connected and confident enough to recruit visiting dancers — Nevis’s Rhythmz Dance Theatre and Trinidad’s Shashamane — to recreate, respectively, plantation fieldwork and African stick fighting as a part of an overall production, with next to no rehearsal time. It’s the kind of company that under moonlight, drizzle rain, and uncertainty, still manages to put on a showcase marked by the kind of professional, exuberant, and culturally-relevant execution they’ve become known for — whether at home in Antigua and Barbuda, at Carifesta, the

regional arts showcase, or in the United States and Europe, which the ADA typically tours during the summer. ADA is Antigua and Barbuda’s premier dance company, marking its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2017. The open-air scripted musical theatre I mentioned above — an extrapolation of the life and martyrdom of rebel leader and national hero King Court — happened in 2008, during the third installment of the biennial Out of the Drum Afro-Caribbean folk dance and drumming festival. Antiguan and Barbudan artist and former Culture Director Heather Doram says that ADA, as a preserver of “the African influences on Antiguan and Caribbean dance forms . . . has really played a huge role in the preservation of our culture through dance.” WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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That’s not by accident. As Nneka Hull-James, ADA media liaison — a mid-twenties veterinarian who started dancing with ADA at age five — explains, “When we do a performance, we do it because we have an understanding of where the particular style of dance comes from.” And for founder Veronica Yearwood, everything the ADA has done and continues to do, leading up to the yearlong celebration of the company’s milestone quarter-century anniversary, has meaning. Of Afro-Caribbean dance, she says, “I think because

Veronica Yearwood’s mission is to continue elevating Afro-Caribbean dance so that those who experience it understand not only the joy, but the substance we grow in this, we think it’s less than it is.” Her mission is to continue elevating the artform so that those who experience it understand not only the joy, but the substance. In fact, it was this search for meaningful engagement with dance that led Yearwood to start her own company in 1991. Kai Davis, Ms Antigua Universe 2003, a principal dancer with ADA until 2004, was there from the beginning, when it was still called the Little Dancers School of Dance. “I 54

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can remember when we first started out,” Davis says, “and it used to be just a few of us in a little building performing for our parents.” The ADA has bounced around quite a bit: a dedicated home is a future fundraising goal. But this infrastructural deficit has not been used as a crutch. “We’re known to be a group that’s going to bring it professionally and keep it cultural,” Davis says.

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eronica Yearwood was already an adult when she accompanied her big sister to a dance class in 1981. She took to it, but what she couldn’t take was the “bad discipline and erratic behaviour” even at the level of the since-stalled National Dance Theatre. “When I came back from studying, I was not satisfied,” Yearwood explains. Her journey wouldn’t have happened without her mother Mignon Yearwood, the lady they all call “gran-gran,” who died in the past year. “She was the one that said to me, go for it,” Yearwood recalls. Over time, Yearwood — also trained and employed in the field of hydrology — took up opportunities to study with some of the best in AfroCaribbean dance, like Danny Hinds of Barbados, Guadeloupe’s Jacqueline Thôle, and Emelda Griffith of Trinidad. “I positioned myself so I could learn from them,” she says. And she continues to pass on everything she has learned. That includes an appreciation for the meaning behind every toe point and hip shake — from congo belé to grand belé — and every move the ADA has made as a group.


Antigua Dance Academy founder Veronica Yearwood

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“When we started our folk dance festival, all of what we had witnessed was now in our hands, it was a tremendous responsibility,” Kai Davis says. Out of the Drum has called to Antigua the diaspora of Afro-Caribbean folk dance — and not just from the English-speaking part of the region, or even, strictly speaking, the Caribbean. Canada’s Collective of Black Artists, Guadeloupe’s Kamojaka, Haiti’s Tchaka Danse, 56

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Jamaica’s Dance Works of Edna Manley College, Montserrat’s Hybred Masqueraders, Raices Culturales out of Puerto Rico, St Croix’s Caribbean Dance Company, and Tobago’s Culture Shop have all performed at Out of the Drum. Sistah Mafalda Thomas, artistic director of the Philadelphiabased Afro-Caribbean drum and dance group Kuumba Performers, recalls participating in the festival. “It was such an enlightening and unforgettable experience to behold such a diverse group of dancers and drummers from the African diaspora. I give big props to the ADA for hosting such an event — I’m forever grateful.” When it was launched in 2004, Out of the Drum was also, to Yearwood’s mind, an opportunity for her dancers to build skills around all areas of producing a performing arts festival. This is consistent with


Yearwood’s penchant for pushing at boundaries. Francine Carbey, the company’s resident drama tutor and artistic director for some fourteen years and counting, initially came to the ADA as wardrobe mistress. Samantha Zachariah, an ADA member since 2010, wrote her first play after joining. “It was [my] first time really doing something like that and seeing it come alive,” she says. Drummer Jahlarni Nanton, a member since age three, now seventeen, says, “I was a very standoffish person. I would sit in the corner and don’t talk to nobody, but it just uplifted me to be the person that I am now” — the kind of person emboldened to enter the national junior calypso competition. This is a running theme, the more ADA dancers you speak to: Nailah Liverpool talks of how the ADA built her confidence; Guyana native Shonette Sobers,

who joined as an adult three years ago after being drawn to the drumming one evening in the city, spoke of how it helped her find herself — “how to listen, how to be a family.” Several ADA members have gone on to greater things: such as former principal dancer and regional soca star Tizzy, who Hull-James remembers looking up to (“so tall, so elegant, dancing so beautifully”); another Ms Antigua Universe, Stephanie Winter; and Abi McCoy, who this season graduates summa cum laude with a BFA in musical theatre from Westminster College of the Arts at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. “ADA allowed me to explore all aspects of performance, from costuming to ticket handling,” says McCoy. “However, Antigua Dance Academy is more than just dance, playing drums, WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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and performing — it’s about finding out who you are and where you come from. It has gifted me with appreciation for what my ancestors have endured.” Soyica Straker is an elder drummer with ADA, and his daughter Meserete Ozundo, whom he brought to ADA as a child, is the current principal dancer. Straker says part of ADA’s legacy has been as a feeder to the many groups that have since sprouted, even the ones that claim to be self-taught. And Straker and Yearwood have taught workshops not only throughout the Caribbean but Stateside as well — Straker reflected on one workshop in New York where their unique style of drumming “had them going.” Yearwood’s esteem among her peers is well-earned: “I’ve worked with them — they understand the work we do.” Off the dance floor, they’ve sought to encourage engagement around Afro-folk traditions, including hosting the first Caribbean Arts Encounter meeting. So there’s lots to celebrate for the little company that did — which, as senior dancer and Chicago native Zinnijah Guadalupe puts it, has “more of a sense of community and more of a priority for the community” than any other dance group of which she’s been a part. Anniversary year activities, which launched in November 2016, include workshops (in folk song, drumming, dance, health, head-tieing, and makeup for the stage), a Creole

dress tea party, their annual production (in July), a Tobago tour (in August), and Out of the Drum (in November). “We at ADA pride ourselves on being the true storytellers of Antiguan culture — through dance, through music and through our attire,” McCoy says. It’s important, Jahlarni Nanton adds, because the drum “is our heartbeat,” and like so many cultural elements, this and other folk traditions “are dying away now.” One of Yearwood’s future projects is to tangibly document in book or video form the research that has gone into her productions, including the variations in dance and rhythm across the Caribbean. Mostly, though, she wants to see her dancers, drummers, and other actors, seventyfive strong at this writing, continue to “spread their wings . . . you’ve come, you learn, you’ve blossomed — go out there.” But they need a home. “If we had more money, there’s so much I could do,” says Yearwood, who has had the opportunities to leave, but opted to stay in Antigua and build. “It continues,” she says. “I didn’t start for it to come to an end when I stop. The legacy should be the continuance of Antigua Dance Academy.” n

“We at ADA pride ourselves on being the true storytellers of Antiguan culture,” says dancer Abi McCoy

Find the Antigua Dance Academy online at www.facebook.com/antiguadanceacademy

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SHOWCASE

Hadriana’s wedding An excerpt from the classic Haitian novel Hadriana in All My Dreams, by René Depestre — newly translated into English by Kaiama L. Glover Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

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died on the night of the most beautiful day of my life: I died on the night of my marriage in the St Philippe and St Jacques Church. Everyone thought I had been struck down by the sacramental Yes that burst out of me. It was said I had been swept away by the fire of my consent, overcome by the depth of its power and truth — that I had been done in by my own bridal passion. Truth be told, my false death had begun half an hour before I cried out in the church. Before the bridal party departed to head to the church, I was already completely ready to leave. I took a final look at myself in the sitting room mirror. Let’s go, Hadriana! said a voice inside me. It was excessively hot, and at the base of the stairs, amidst the affectionate chattering of my bridesmaids, I mentioned how thirsty I was. “I’d love a glass of ice water.”

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Mélissa Kraft immediately volunteered to go get me one, but I did not give her the chance. In my full bridal regalia, I charged towards the pantry — speeding through the manor as I had always done. I was faster than my friends. Had someone anticipated my last-minute thirst? A pitcher of lemonade awaited me on the oak dresser, plain as day. I poured myself a tumbler-full, then a second, then a third, drinking each glass to the very last drop until my thirst was entirely quenched. In the heat of that nuptial oven, the cool lemonade was intoxicating. For days, making the most banal gestures had felt as exhilarating as the wedding itself. The emotions of every moment thrilled me. As I emerged onto Orleans Street, a joyful din arose from the town square. “Long live the bride! Long live Nana!” It was truly that general state of jubilation that people in Jacmel had been talking about for the past several days: confetti, garlands, and orange blossoms rained down on my path, mixed with hand-clapping and shouts of adulation. Young girls were crying tears of joy! Some part of me also felt like crying. But laughter blocked its path through my eyes, my mouth, the rapture of my skin . . . I moved forwards — sunlit, ecstatic on the gallant arm of my devoted father. On Church Street, on the Sorels’ balcony, a little boy cried out: “Here’s a kiss for you, Nana!” I wanted to send one right back to him. But it was too late: I was dying. Just a moment prior, a terrifying unease had started to come over me. A sharp tingling had begun coursing through me, as if I were being pricked with needles from head to toe. I couldn’t breathe. I was suffocating under my veil. My father, though right by my side, noticed nothing. Standing proudly in his tuxedo, he helped me respond to the cheering crowd. No one noticed the state I was in. On the square just in front of the church, I saw my fiancé Hector on the arm of Mam Diani,


my friend Patrick’s mother. And Hector saw me for the first time in my bridal gown; the idea that he would soon be able to take it off me was completely blinding him. He could not see that the hands of death had been the first to slip under my dress, rustling with dreams.

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ith my first steps inside the church, I thought my legs would give out before I could make it to the altar. The sounds, the colours, the lights, the smells — they made a jumble of confused impressions on my muddled senses. I could not make out the difference between the sound of the organ and the flicker of a candle, between my own name and the green banners, between the smell of the incense and the bitter flavour that was burning my taste buds. I moved forwards, groping as I went, through a sort of effervescent tar. I found myself kneeling in front of a wide well: I pulled myself together and concentrated what life I had left on my sense of hearing. I felt as if I were swimming desperately in viscous, bituminous water towards the most fantastic object in the world: my fiancé, Hector Danoze, just to my right, his flesh turned shapeless and phosphorescent. He had become nothing more than three giant letters that spelled out YES. My frantic swimming sought only to reach that goal as it first came close, then moved away, liquefied into a stream of lava that enveloped Hector, the priests, the altar, the hymns, the decorations, the attendees, the sky beyond the apse. This empyreumatic sound-light-body, on one of its backward surges, suddenly threw itself at me. It lodged itself in my genitals. And my genitals came together as a final sigh that began climbing up through my body like the rising mercury of a barometer. I felt its upward movement in my guts, then in my digestive tract. It left a strange emptiness in its wake. It stopped for a few moments at my heart, which was barely beating. Was

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the sigh of my sex going to take its place? I felt it rise up through my throat. It nearly choked me before finally settling its burning weight on my tongue. With the four lips of my true mouth, I screamed the ultimate Yes of life to my Hector and to the world! “Hadriana Siloé is dead!” the voice of Dr Sorapal rang out above my lifeless body. I heard a tumult of overturned chairs and benches, a racket in Creole, a clamouring whirlwind of panic. In the midst of all this, I could make out Lolita Philisbourg’s sensual, dramatic soprano. It seemed as if people were ripping fabric

Immediately, the Carnival began on the town square. I noticed that I could smile — laugh, even — from within my misfortune. I had my first giggling fit of the night — people were doing Carnival dances all around me; drums and vaksin were going wild. I felt as if the man carrying me was also dancing. My stiffened limbs were incapable of joining him. As soon as whoever it was had crossed the manor’s doorstep, my sense of smell immediately came back to me: it was the smell of the waxed floor of my childhood. The man placed me carefully on one of the sitting room rugs.

It was said I had been swept away by the fire of my consent, done in by my own bridal passion all over the church. Something fell down just next to me, and then someone cried out: “Hector is dead too!” It seemed he had followed me to the grave. The voice of Father Naélo snapped me out of this first dream within my dream: “Hadriana Siloé has been taken from us at the moment of her marriage. The scandal has occurred in the house of the Father!” Someone’s arms lifted me off the church floor. Whose could they be? I would have recognised immediately those of my father, Hector, or Patrick. The man had trouble pushing through the crowd of attendees. My dangling feet knocked into people as we passed. A hand grabbed my right foot. It held on for a long time. I felt the cool evening air despite the death mask that had been welded onto my face. The bells chimed with their full force, the backdrop to the cheers and hand-clapping, just as before. Whoever was holding me began to run. Several others ran alongside us noisily. Of all my senses, only my hearing still functioned. A woman’s voice cried out: “Long live the happy couple!”

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here was a furious commotion a l l a ro u n d m e, p u n c t u a t e d i n t e r m i t t e n t ly by s o b s a n d exclamations. I could hear the sadness and surprise in my girlfriends’ bitter utterances — admiration and anger in those of my male friends. At one point, I felt someone leaning over me. A hand took hold of my wrist; another moved what must have been a stethoscope to different spots on my chest. The people attached to these hands exchanged a few words. From their voices, I understood they were Dr Sorapal and Dr Braget. Once again, I wanted to laugh. Young Dr Braget, ever since his return from Paris, would say to me every

time we met: “When are the Siloés going to switch family doctors? I’d so love to watch over the health of their daughter.” And now, his hand in my blouse, he was feeling my breasts. Would he realise that they were still full of life? My optimism did not last long. He placed something on my mouth. “Negative,” he murmured to his older colleague. “She has no pulse,” said Dr Sorapal. “Her breasts are still warm. Splendid, fresh fruits! It’s like they’re still alive!” “A dying star continues to shine, my friend! Check her eyes.” Dr Braget parted my eyelids. I saw him, but the fervent gaze in his catlike brown eyes, misty with tears, could not see me back! “No ocular reflex,” he said. “All that remains is to prepare the burial license. It’s official: stiff limbs, no respiratory or ocular reflex, no pulse, diminishing core temperature. Heart attack.” “Son of a bitch!” exclaimed Dr Braget. “Damned myocardial infarction!” They cursed death instead of deepening their exam. I focused on my sense of sight: perhaps there would be a glimmer, the flicker of an eyelid. As he ran his fingers through my hair, Dr Braget’s face was suffused with tears. Dr Sorapal kept chewing on his lower lip. “The saddest night of my long life,” he said. “It’s my Waterloo,” said the other one, the Don Juan. n

Originally published in 1988, Hadriana dans tous mes rêves is considered a classic of modern Haitian literature. Set in Jacmel on Haiti’s south coast in the 1930s, the novel tells the magical story of the beautiful Hadriana Siloé, who seems to die on her wedding day — the victim of a supernatural plot. The story is an extended love letter to author René Depestre’s hometown, its creole culture, its architecture, and its annual Carnival. Visitors to Jacmel can trace the exact route of the narrative through the streets of the town, and next to the crumbling, stately mansion Depestre depicted as Hadiana’s manor, a public staircase is decorated with a mosaic spelling out the opening lines of the novel. Hadriana in All My Dreams, copyright 1988 by Editions Gallimard and René Depestre, English translation copyright 2017 by Kaiama L. Glover, used with permission of Akashic Books (akashicbooks.com)

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andre donawa

ARRIVE

Escape 64 Land we love

Destination 84 Clockwise Barbados

Neighbourhood 80 Santiago de Cuba

Layover 96 Paramaribo, Suriname

Jetty at Brownes Beach, Barbados, on the outskirts of Bridgetown


ESCAPE

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For many visitors, Jamaica means the famous beaches and resorts of the north coast, or Kingston’s hot reggae and dancehall scene. But head inland, into the island’s lush landscape, and you quickly realise why the name “Jamaica” means “land of wood and water.” Waterfalls and rivers, forests and hills — this is a country as beautiful as rugged. And for some of the island’s most breathtaking views? Head for the heights of the Blue Mountains, like Nazma Muller


In the hills above Ocho Rios, the Blue Hole — also sometimes called Secret Falls — are a turquoise oasis set among a profusion of trees and flowers

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In St Elizabeth Parish, between the villages of Middle Quarters and Lacovia, Bamboo Avenue stretches for two and a half miles through a natural green tunnel

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The Black River, Jamaica’s second-longest, runs from the limestone hills of the Cockpit Country to the mangrove forests of the Lower Morass before emptying into the Caribbean Sea


In the hills of St Ann Parish, the farming community of Nine MIle is perhaps best known as the birth- and burial place of Bob Marley

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Up close, the Blue Mountains of western Jamaica are lush and green — but from a distance, their mists and hazes lend the hills the indigo shades that give the range its name

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To the most high

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he flames licked the logs in the fireplace, and I drew my chair closer, huddling deeper in my sweaters. A window was open, and the cold wind seeped in. Outside, a steady rain was falling, and the mist wrapped itself around the hills behind Whitfield Hall. I was spending the night at the eighteenth-century guesthouse so I could start the hike to Blue Mountain Peak at the delightful hour Whitfield Hall, an historic coffee estate, is also the of four the next morning. trailhead for the hike to For twenty years I had dreamed of ascending Blue Mountain Peak the peak again. I first made the hike in 1998, and survived the seven miles to suffer the agony of the feet (I’d worn construction boots). For days after, I couldn’t walk I doubted I had either the physical or mental strength to make — my toes, calves, and thighs bawled fi mercy, and I couldn’t it up Jacob’s Ladder, the first most formidable stretch of calfsleep for the pain. But that ascent to the heavens has always clenching steepness. It was a Sunday morning when we drove up from Kingston stayed with me: the memory of the astonishing light among the fern-draped trees at seven thousand feet, the mist rolling in to Whitfield Hall. Along the way, we passed ladies on their way on all sides to cloak the mountaintops, and the heart-stopping home from church, calmly climbing the steep slopes in their heels. “A nuh no fenky fenky ooman like down a Kingston,” my panoramic views of these endless woody mammoths. For me, these mountains have always been the most mystical guide, Carey pointed out. “Serious ooman dat.” To be sure, to live in these rugged mountains, like the part of the most mesmerising place on the planet. So when the hundred thousand acres of the Blue and John Crow Mountains Maroons did, one needs a certain mettle. But just as the air, soil, National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in and altitude combine to bring out the finest qualities in the coffee 2015, I thought it only fitting and long overdue. In taking its place grown here, so it is with the people. The challenge of living in alongside other sites like the Egyptian pyramids, Timbuktu, these mountains requires a resilience and determination that Viñales Valley in Cuba, and the Great Wall of China, the park is few of us have. Of course, I had forgotten how cold it could get up here. After now recognised globally for its invaluable natural and cultural resources, including 1,300 species of flowering plant, two a simple yet tasty dinner of rice and peas and veggies served up hundred bird species, and the legacy of the legendary Maroons. by Everton, the resident chef and man of business at Whitfield I arrived in Jamaica for what seemed like mission impossible. Hall, I girded my loins to face the eighteenth-century (heaterI was toting a tabanca (that uniquely Trinidadian word for less) shower. I am certain I set a Guinness World Record for the heartbreak), feeling sorry for myself, and in full moping mode. In quickest shower ever. The kerosene lamp cast a warm glow in the short, totally unprepared for trudging up the sides of mountains. cosy room as I dove beneath the covers and promptly fell asleep.


The trail to the summit of Blue Mountain Peak ascends through cloud forest

see the lights of Kingston twinkling far below. By the time I reached the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder, I was sweating. But when we stopped to take a break, the cold set in again. I tried to control my breathing, but the steepness of this first part of the hike was daunting, and all I could do was stop and rest every few minutes.

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arely half an hour in, and I was contemplating turning back. It seemed impossible. What was I thinking of, at the age of forty-three, with no preparation whatsoever? But the thought of conceding defeat bugged me. That, and Carey. “Yuh nuh do yoga, Rasta?” he teased. “Come, man, do some belly breathing.” Hmmph, I thought, I can’t let down the side now. And so I continued to climb, as the sky slowly lightened. The trail was now a narrow track running along the side of the mountain, trees on either side. The birds were waking, and as the sun rose slowly we could hear the various tweets and calls ringing out. “I’m going to try to make it to Portland Gap,” I told Carey and Ryan. “Cho, man,” Carey replied. “We nah turn back. Me and Ryan a mek bivouac and carry you. Nobody haffi know.” “I will know, Rasta. Me must do it myself.” At Portland Gap, the halfway point, the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust were refurbishing some cabins. Many hikers prefer to overnight here before ascending the peak. In the trees above the cabins, a woodpecker appeared. Then a hummingbird. Morning had broken and the inhabitants of the mountain were waking up.

At 2 am, I was awakened by the sounds of the other guests — a group of seven from Canada, Israel, Germany, and England — getting ready to take off. They were hoping to reach the peak in time to see the sunrise. I drifted off again, hoping that the predicted rain would fall and save me from certain failure. But at 3.30 am, when my body clock woke me, there was no rain. I could hear Carey moving around in the next room. Damn it, I thought, the game is on. Reluctantly, I pulled on my sneakers. Outside, it was freezing and pitch-black. Above, the stars were out in all their glory, blazing bright in a totally clear sky. Soon we heard the roar of a motorbike coming up the road. Ranger Ryan Love parked at Whitfield Hall and joined us on the trail. In no time, we were climbing a steep slope, and I could 76

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BRAWTA “I visited Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios, which I bought from Brawta Living. It works. I took my family. It gave us a chance to enjoy some of our countriy’s amenities at an affordable price. It was an awesome experience. Thank you!” —Simma Hotgal The above was taken directly from the reviews on our Facebook page. We now invite you to join our Brawta family and save up to eighty per cent on top attractions in Jamaica.

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nicholas lauglin

Near the summit, a semiruined shelter is surrounded by hydrangea bushes

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J ama i c a Montego Bay

Blue Hole

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Cockpit Country Nine Mile Bamboo Kingston Avenue Black River

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Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay from destinations across the Caribbean and North America

As we passed four thousand feet, the air became thinner, and

an

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I decided to soldier on, see how far I could go. As we passed four thousand feet, the air became thinner, the lichens and moss became more abundant, and the views became even more spectacular. It was all I could do to keep on breathing — and putting one foot in front the other. A crested quail dove waddled along the trail ahead of me, searching for breakfast. Then another, and another. In the trees, hummingbirds abounded. And still, I kept on going. Then suddenly, up ahead, it appeared. The most wonderful

the views became even more spectacular sight in the world: the most famous graffiti-covered, brokendown shelter in the world. I had made it to the Peak. Somehow I had found the strength, way down deep inside, beneath the self-doubt, to conquer the mountain. Perhaps it was the spirit of the Maroons that motivated me, or the countless ordinary Jamaicans who face the day-to-day uphill struggles to survive with a smile and an irieness that is infectious. Whatever it was, I give thanks. Who knows, perhaps one day, twenty years from now, I will climb the Peak again. n

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NEIGHBOURHOOD

Santiago de Cuba On a bay sheltered by the peaks of the Sierra Maestra, Santiago — Cuba’s “second city” — is a storehouse of history and a musical epicentre, especially during Carnival in July

History Founded in July 1515 by Spanish conquistador Diego de Velázquez, Santiago de Cuba — named for St James, the patron saint of Spain — was the capital of the island for most of the sixteenth century, until it was replaced by Havana. A favourite target of English and French pirates and privateers, Santiago was the first port in Cuba to receive enslaved Africans, and later on was a destination for French settlers fleeing nearby Saint-Domingue during the Haitian Revolution. The resulting social and ethnic diversity has made the city a cultural hotbed, especially for music and dance. In the twentieth century, Santiago was best known as the place where the Cuban Revolution began in 1953, with the famous attack on the Moncada Barracks — and where, on 1 January, 1959, Fidel Castro proclaimed the Revolution’s victory from the balcony of the city hall.

The heart of Santiago de Cuba is the paved Parque Céspedes — more of a plaza than a park. Around it are the cathedral, the house of Diego de Velázquez — sometimes said to be the oldest surviving residential house in the Americas — and other historic buildings. From here, the city sprawls into the Sierra Maestra foothills, with streets and alleys often ascending steeply. The city centre still contains numerous colonial-era buildings with ornate columns and balconies. To the southwest, commanding the entrance of the bay, the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is a seventeenth-century fort designed to protect Santiago from pirate raids. Built over a period of six decades, the Castillo is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best surviving examples of Spanish military architecture in the Americas. 80

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Santiago is famous throughout Cuba for its Carnival. Originally, there were two separate Carnivals in the city each year: a pre-Lenten festival observed mostly by the upper classes, and a second celebration around the feast of St James in July, coinciding with the end of the sugar cane and coffee harvest, and therefore popular with the largely Afro-Cuban estate labourers. The “winter” Carnival died out in the early twentieth century, while the more energetic and egalitarian “summer” Carnival thrived. Conga provides the traditional soundtrack for the festival of parades and processions, floats and dancers and bonfires.

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Carnival city

Co-ordinates 20º N 75.8º W Sea level Matyas Rehak/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

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Santiago de Cuba

A touch of Egypt

Remembering Martí

Bacardi rum is no longer made in Cuba, but the family legacy — and the connection to Santiago — is preserved in the Emilio Bacardí Moreau Museum. Founded in 1899 by the head of the rum dynasty, and housed in a white neoclassical building like a giant slice of wedding cake, the museum includes exhibits devoted to the history of Cuba and the architecture of Santiago de Cuba, plus an excellent collection of colonial-era Cuban paintings and sculptures. But its most famous exhibit may be the Egyptian mummy in the archaeology gallery — a favourite of schoolchildren, and many adult visitors as well.

Santiago’s Santa Ifigenia Cemetery is the final resting place of numerous Cuban heroes, including Fidel Castro, but its patriotic centrepiece is the mausoleum of José Martí (1853–1895) — poet, essayist, political philosopher, and revolutionary, killed during the Cuban War of Independence against the Spanish empire. Built in the form of a tower, Martí’s mausoleum is ringed by six monumental sculptures of women, representing the provinces of Cuba at the time of his death. “Do not bury me in darkness,” Martí once wrote, “I will die facing the sun” — and indeed the structure is designed so that a beam of sunlight illuminates the poet’s statue inside.

Caribbean Airlines operates daily flights to Miami and Kingston, Jamaica, with connections on other airlines to Havana and Santiago WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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A D V E R T O R I A L

Please, have fun!

Introducing the all-new It’s a bold evolution of the Swift’s DNA. Completely new styling, a performanceenhancing lightweight chassis and advanced safety technologies.

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t’s a bold evolution of the Swift’s DNA. Completely new styling, a performance-enhancing lightweight chassis, and advanced safety technologies. Swift Chief Engineer Masao Kobori says, “We set out to create a car that makes people go ‘WOW!’ the instant they see it, the instant they get inside, and the instant they step on the accelerator.” Top Gear summed it up as “Another great product from Suzuki, the Swift is a cracking and likeable supermini.” Introducing the new Suzuki Swift! With more than 5.4 million sold, the new Suzuki Swift continues to exude an overwhelming sense of presence. From the outside, the new Swift is more muscular and emotive with a well-grounded look that is wider and aggressive and a body that is shorter and lower. The


We set out to

create a car that makes people go ‘WOW!’

blacked-out A pillars create the appearance of a “floating roof” and the LED signature illumination used in the headlamps and rear-combination lamps scream hightech sophistication. With the entire range weighing less than a tonne and even as little as 840 kg, the new Swift provides a dynamic driving experience that is safe, stable, and exciting. The new Swift rests on Suzuki’s newgeneration lightweight, rigid “HEARTECT” platform, which delivers enhanced vehicle performance and collision safety. Newly designed lightweight suspension helps to retain the Swift’s characteristic directresponse steering while providing a supple and comfortable ride. Reinvigorated power units ensure lively performance without sacrificing Suzuki’s customary excellent fuel economy. The new Swift comes equipped with the 1.2-litre, 16-valve engine. Get inside, and the bold evolution of the Swift’s DNA continues. The instrument panel has sporty white accents and satin chrome is used throughout the cockpit in conjunction with a black tonal base to create a stunning high-contrast interior space. Interior room has been improved with more vertical and lateral headroom for passengers seated in the rear and increased lateral room for passengers in the front. An amazing 265 litres of luggage space allows for expanded storage capacity without sacrificing any exterior styling. Sporty, high-quality, advanced, and just simply easy to own, the love affair Caribbean people have had with the Suzuki Swift looks set to continue with the introduction of this latest model set to go on sale in our region in June 2017.

Contact your local Suzuki dealer today to arrange a test drive! More information can be found at www.suzukicaribbean.com.


Destination

Clockwise Barbados Twenty-one miles long and fourteen wide, Barbados is small enough to explore from end to end in a single day — while making room for different landscapes, historic architecture, and (of course) incredible beaches. Here’s a round-the-island itinerary that shows off the best of Bim 84

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Just outside Oistins, Miami Beach shows why the sandy shores of Barbados’s south coast are so popular with bathers: warm turquoise water, gentle waves breaking on white sand, and a skyline of pine trees swaying in the breeze

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The bold red clocktower overlooking the Garrison Savannah, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, is both a historic site and a landmark

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Just north of Bridgetown, where Barbados’s “Platinum Coast” begins, Batts Rock Beach is renowned for its clear, shallow water — while mischievous green monkeys play in the trees above the high-water line

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At the northern tip of the island, St Lucy Parish can feel like a long way from the resorts of the west coast. The historic parish church, a whitewashed Georgian structure dating from 1837, sits atop a hill near the village of Fairfield


Most people think of Barbados as a flat island, but that’s not true of the northeast, where limestone hills rise abruptly from the Atlantic coast. From the summit of Chalky Mount, the view of the island spreads wide like a map

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The east coast around the village of Bathsheba is wild and windswept — from here, there’s nothing between Barbados and Africa but the vast Atlantic

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Eighteenth-century Codrington College — a theological school now associated with the University of the West Indies — looks like a fragment of Oxbridge transplanted to St John Parish, set among stately palm trees


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Furnished with tropical pops of colour, our rooms are outfitted with kitchenettes and private balconies with enviable views of the turquoise Caribbean sea, pool, and lush gardens. Nestled between nightlife and restaurants, Rostrevor is exceptional value and exceeds your expectations! Email: reservations@rostrevorbarbados.com Website: rostrevorbarbados.com Telephone: (246) 628 9298

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St Lucy Parish Church Chalky Mount Bathsheba

BARBADOS Codrington College

Batts Rock Beach

E T A R B f o E CEthLe Best AN E B B I R CA ULTURE C

ifferent re of the d t one time. u lt u c e th nce and a er, experie e location This summ e Caribbean, in on of th countries

Garrison Savannah Miami Beach

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AUG 17-27, 2017 Asserting Our Culture, Celebrating OurSelves

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LAYOVER

On the western bank of the Suriname River, with an old Dutch fort at its heart, Paramaribo surprises many first-time visitors with its friendly, sophisticated vibe. The relatively compact historic centre is easy to explore on foot and full of unexpected pleasures — perfect for exploring in a free afternoon or weekend break

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Is there anything more Caribbean than a trip to the beach? When Surinamese are ready for a swim, they don’t head to the sea — rather, they turn inland to Colakreek, a freshwater bathing spot with waterslides and camping facilities. The name comes from the naturally dark-tinted water, which does indeed look like Coca-Cola — perfectly clean, but stained by the tannins from forest leaves. As the day ends and the sun dips below the horizon, Paramaribo’s most atmospheric spot just might be the Waterkant, the terrace running along the riverfront. Take a friend, buy a djogo (litre-size bottle) of Parbo beer, find a bench, and enjoy the spectacle of dusk settling over the river.

Onafhankelijksplein — that mouthful is Dutch for Independence Square — is the biggest green space in the centre of the city, but a stone’s throw from its manicured turf you’ll find the Palmentuin, a small park planted entirely with towering palm trees. It’s a tranquil, vertical green space that gives a hint of the vast forests in Suriname’s interior.

Caribbean Airlines operates regular flights to Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Suriname from Port of Spain, Trinidad, with connections to other destinations across the Caribbean and North America

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gilbert jacott

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Suriname’s ethnic diversity means Paramaribo is a culinary cornucopia. By all means try its Creole, Chinese, Indian, Brazilian, and other restaurants — and don’t miss the chance for a lavish Javanese meal. There are warungs — traditional restaurants — scattered across the city, but head for the northern neighbourhood of Blauwgrond, where numerous family-run warungs offer dishes like gado-gado and satay in unpretentious surroundings.

nicholas laughlin

nicholas laughlin

If Paramaribo is one of the Caribbean’s prettiest cities, that’s thanks to its traditional architecture, recognised by UNESCO and relatively well-preserved in the streets and squares closest to the river. Built of wood (on brick platforms), with balconies and classical columns, these heritage buildings are almost uniformly painted white with dark green trim.

gilbert jacott

Even the briefest stay in Suriname’s capital reveals its unexpectedly cosmopolitan charms. Here’s how to make the most of Paramaribo when time is tight


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ENGAGE

Green 98 The energy of

future

the

Inspire 100 Standing up for

rights

On This Day 102 Twisting Rhodes

Year-round sunshine makes the Caribbean ideal for harnessing solar energy


Green Wind turbines on the coast of Aruba contribute to a goal of one hundred per cent renewable energy by 2020

The

ENERGY

of the future

Across the Caribbean, most islands are still dependent on fossil fuels for their energy needs. But the movement towards renewable energy — solar, wind, and hydro — is real, and some countries are moving faster than others, thanks to abundant natural resources. Erline Andrews investigates Photography by iStock.com/hairballusa

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elson Island — a tiny fragment of land less than one mile off the northwest coast of Trinidad — is a focal point of the island’s history. Indian immigrants, arriving as indentured labourers between 1866 and 1917, were processed at the island before being taken to the mainland. Today, Nelson Island, a heritage site, has another important role. It uses Trinidad and Tobago’s biggest off-grid solar-power system: fifteen kilowatts of

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solar energy power four buildings and external lights around the island. The system is about to get an upgrade, and the company SM Solar Wind Energy Systems has been recruited to do the job. It’s the company’s first major project since the business was founded seven years ago, which is an indication of how limited solar energy use remains in T&T, despite assurances from governments over the years that more will be done to move the country away from oil and gas and towards environment-friendly renewable energy.

The Caribbean region is seen as a good place to develop renewable energy, because of the abundance of options available here and because of the success of its neighbours in Latin America. Costa Rica powered its electricity grid for months last year and the year before solely on renewable energy. “If I was in it for the money, I would have given up a long time ago,” says SM managing director Ignacio Smith, a project manager who explains that he founded the company after reading about the environment situation in T&T. “I got really scared. We had already overshot our biocapacity by one hundred per cent.” Smith says he started SM because he wanted to “ignite change.” Since then, some promising steps have been taken towards renewable energy use in the private and public sectors. The privately owned Savannah East building opened recently in Port of Spain. It’s the first certified green building in T&T, and uses the largest solar-power system in the country. The Canada-based firm that designed it is also helping the National Insurance Board get green certification for its new headquarters. The state has also spearheaded projects here and there, like the installation of


solar-powered security lights at thirteen community centres and solar-power projects at twenty-one secondary schools. In 2011, the government put in place a package of fiscal incentives to boost renewable energy businesses, including import duty exemptions on the equipment and parts to produce solar water heaters, the removal of VAT on solar water heaters, solar PV panels, and wind turbines, and a 150 per cent tax allowance for companies that hire renewable energy service providers. And the government pledged in 2015 that ten per cent of the country’s electricity would be generated from renewable energy by 2021, but momentum seems to have stalled. Legislative and regulatory changes still have to be made to facilitate the integration of renewable energy into the national electricity grid, and a national energy policy is yet to be completed. According to a 2015 report from the United States Department of Energy, none of the energy generated in T&T’s electricity grid came from renewable sources.

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&T, which produces oil and gas and therefore doesn’t face the problems associated with high fuel prices that plague other countries in the region, is still too wedded to the use of fossil fuel energy, says Smith. “The reason is, you have very big industrial groups pushing for that agenda,” he explains. “At the end

summarises renewable energy developments in the rest of the Caribbean: • Aruba has set a goal of one hundred per cent renewable energy by 2020. The island got 15.4 per cent of its energy from renewable sources in 2015. • Guadeloupe generates more than seventeen per cent of its electricity from a wide variety of renewable sources: wind, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, and solar. • Belize has set a goal of ninety-five per cent renewable energy by 2030. In 2015, sixty-five per cent of the energy generated in Belize came from renewable sources, mainly hydropower and biomass. • Five more territories the department surveyed had renewable energy numbers of between ten and twenty per cent: the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Curaçao, the US Virgin Islands, and San Andrés and Providencia (a department of Colombia in the western Caribbean Sea). And three had numbers above twenty per cent: St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and Bonaire. But in eleven other countries or territories the department surveyed — Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and Puerto Rico — renewable energy generation was at zero or close to it. The department

“The Caribbean is so fortunate. It has all these resources that most countries would die for. And it’s sitting there shining on you every day” of the day, it is really about the private sector’s agenda. It is not about the people of Trinidad and Tobago.” But elsewhere in the region, the outlook for renewable energy is rosier. Last year, Jamaica generated more than ten per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, including wind, hydropower, and solar, according to the Jamaica Information Service. The country has pledged to reach thirty per cent renewable energy generation by 2030. A US Department of Energy survey

describes most of the countries and territories in the region as “almost entirely” or “highly dependent on imported fossil fuels, leaving [them] vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations that directly impact the cost of electricity.” “From a commercial perspective we don’t see it really snowballing yet,” says Ralph Birkhoff, a Canadian project developer and consultant currently based in Anguilla, of renewable energy. “It’s unfor tunate that gover nments aren’t moving faster and accelerating

their conversion into renewable energy,” he adds. “There’s a lot of interested technology firms and providers, and there’s a lot of private investment capital available, primarily from the US, UK, and Canada, and potentially from sources in Asia as well.” The 2015 Caricom report Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy outlined some of the reasons for the slow pace. “Many member states have taken the lead in setting targets, creating responsible agencies, and developing domestic policy mechanisms to support an increase in renewable energy and energy efficiency . . . Despite these important steps, however, sustainable energy development across the region continues to be limited by policy and data gaps, administrative ineffectiveness, and often inefficient and uncoordinated implementation efforts.” Observers believe the lagging countries will get their act together for one simple reason: they have no choice. David Cooke, a clean-energy consultant who writes a regular column for the Jamaica Observer, believes the move to renewable energy is inevitable and will happen one way or the other. “Solar PV is now the lowest-cost option in over sixty countries,” he says. “Very rapidly it’s going to be more than half of the world where solar PV is going to be lowest cost. Wind is just marginally behind but not as widely available,” he adds. “They’re beating out coal, natural gas, and anything else. You have large swaths of the world rapidly developing renewables.” And people are demanding the cheaper option. “They are chomping at the bit,” Cooke says of Jamaicans. “The man in his little two-bedroom house is wanting it badly. They’re sending me emails: ‘How can I do this? How can I do that?’” Meanwhile, conditions remain favorable in the region for renewable energy. “They’re sitting on a goldmine,” says Birkhoff of Caribbean countries. “We have sun. We have wind. We have geothermal. We have oceans that create energy. “The Caribbean is so fortunate. It has all these resources that most countries would die for,” he continues. “And it’s sitting there shining on you every day, and we still are not moving quick enough to harness these resources.” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM

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INSPIRE

Attorney and activist Arif Bulkan first wanted to be a fiction writer, but his “accidental” career in law has made him a quiet, passionate defender of some of the Caribbean’s most vulnerable. Raymond Ramcharitar learns about Bulkan’s career as an advocate for indigenous rights and his involvement in two landmark LGBT rights cases Photography courtesy Arif Bulkan

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n a recent book, the US anthropologist David McDermott Hughes accused Trinidadians and Tobagonians of having a blind spot for the defining issue of our time: climate change. This came as a surprise to many, as the number of activists and causes in Trinidad and Tobago and the region is very high. From children’s rights to women’s issues, to reproductive health and crime and poverty reduction, activists and activism abound. But climate change is not the only lacuna in the activism

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Standing up for rights landscape. Two critical areas, till very recently, were virtually unheard of: LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights, and indigenous people’s rights. One man who has been working quietly on both for decades in both T&T and Guyana was recently recognised. Dr Christopher Arif Bulkan, an advocate attorney and University of the West Indies academic, is the most recent Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence laureate in Public and Civic Contributions for his work on both

indigenous people’s and LGBT rights. He now lives and works in Trinidad, where he’s based at UWI, St Augustine, but has also lived and worked in Guyana and Barbados over the past two decades. In the pursuit of Amerindian rights, Bulkan has been a major contributor in educating the indigenous population of Guyana — who make up more than ten per cent of the country’s total population — and was the lead local consultant hired by the government of Guyana to revise the Amerindian Act in 2002. His


doctoral thesis was on the issue, and has since become a textbook, The Survival of Indigenous Rights in Guyana. Bulkan has also, in recent times, and in collaboration with colleagues at the University of the West Indies, launched two potentially paradigm-altering cases in the courts of Belize and Guyana on LGBT rights.

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rif Bulkan grew up in Guyana during the Burnham era. “This was a menacing period,” he recalls, “where amid economic hardship, free speech was stifled, political rallies routinely broken up by paid thugs, and opponents of the regime were harassed, bullied, and pursued with the full force of the law.” The natural environment made a tremendous impression on Bulkan and his family. His sister Janette, an anthropologist, is an ardent activist who campaigns for the preservation of Guyana’s rainforests. Even his brothers, whom Bulkan describes as businessmen, are vocal in their condemnation of political corruption, and have paid a price for it. His own path to his present position was not a straight one, despite his gift for activism and combining law practice with social conscience. “This may sound like I always wanted a career in law,” says Bulkan, “but in truth that happened by accident. For as long as I remember, what I really wanted to do was write fiction.” His activism grew as his education grew. He began university in Guyana, won a scholarship to UWI, another to University College London, and yet another to Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. When he returned to Guyana in 1990, after his UWI education, he became involved in political activism. Then on returning from the UK and Canada, he worked as an attorney, magistrate, and in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as lecturing part time at the University of Guyana. During one of these sojourns, in 2002, he was hired by the government of Guyana to work on the revision of the Amerindian Act.

Annette Arjoon-Martins, one of the co-founders of the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society, credits him with being an inspiration to her personally, and of enormous help in educating indigenous populations with regard to their rights. “I have known Arif all my life,” she says. “He has always been an inspiration. When I started my career as a conservationist, he was a young lawyer. He was very gracious, assisting us as we needed, always pro bono. When I established the GMTS in 2000, he was one of the first people I went to.” He’s done the same for other groups. Joel Simpson, founder of the Guyana Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), remembers Bulkan’s

(the decriminalisation of same-sex acts). But, as they were about to file, he says, the Guyana case of cross-dressers being arrested under vagrancy laws came to public attention. “These laws are always selectively applied to the poorest of the poor,” he says. “Always those least able to navigate the legal system, and they end up pleading guilty.” Similar cases against cross-dressers were also initiated in Trinidad and Tobago in recent years. The Belize case established the unconstitutionality (in Belize) of the criminalisation of sexual intimacy between consenting adults of the same sex. The Guyana case, which challenged the archaic Guyanese law about “the wearing of female attire” by men in public, and the inverse

Bulkan’s path to his present position was not a straight one, despite his gift for activism and combining law practice with social conscience presence and participation in the initial meetings which led to its formation when Simpson was a student at the University of Guyana in 2001, and Bulkan was a lecturer. This area of endeavour, which has occupied Bulkan for the last decade, he pursues in conjunction with his UWI colleagues Tracy Robinson and Douglas Mendes, and the organisation they cofounded, the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP). Outside of activism and teaching, though, Bulkan also works hands-on as an advocate. He is the lead attorney in one of the two cases initiated by U-RAP, both of which could change the landscape of LGBT rights in the Caribbean: Caleb Orozco vs the Attorney General in Belize, and McEwan, Clarke, Fraser, Persaud, and SASOD vs the Attorney General in Guyana. Bulkan and his team planned to initiate legal action in Belize, since its legislative environment was conducive to the kind of litigation pursued

for women, is still being determined via the appeals process. LGBT rights are a contentious area in the Caribbean, but it may be more noise than substance. “The debates on this tend to be hijacked by the very vocal, but we have no sense they are the majority,” Bulkan says. “Polls done by Caribbean Development Research Services of Barbados have shown a shift in sentiment on the issue. Younger people are more tolerant — though this is a word I don’t like.” Bulkan’s UWI colleague Dr Sharon Le Gall describes him as one of those rare people who is both a teacher and a scholar. Apart from his book on indigenous people’s rights, he has co-authored another on constitutional law. “I think Arif’s major contribution is still to be felt,” said Le Gall. “This is work with his students, of whom he demands the highest standards. The effects of his work as a teacher and exemplar will be realised far in the future.” n WWW.CARIBBEAN-AIRLINES.COM 101


on this day

Twisting Rhodes Sixty years ago, a brilliant young Jamaican named Rex Nettleford arrived at Oxford University. His studies there propelled him to a career at the pinnacle of Caribbean academia — and were underwritten by a Rhodes Scholarship. James Ferguson considers this unlikely and highly complicated legacy of the imperialist Cecil Rhodes Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

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t grieves me to say this about my alma mater, but Oxford University has a long tradition of accepting money from bad people. Both the university and individual colleges have rarely shown significant scruples in welcoming donations from an unsavoury array of slave owners, arms dealers, and human rights violators who have been happy to offer bequests — perhaps to salve their consciences (unlikely) or to show off their philanthropic credentials for posterity (more likely). The controversial figure of Cecil Rhodes (1853–1902) is prominent among Oxford’s dubious donors, his £3 million–plus bequest in 1902 having funded a new building in his former college, Oriel, initiated the Rhodes Trust — of which more later — and created Rhodes House, a library and headquarters for the trust. Rhodes is a pervasive presence at Oriel and in Oxford generally, with buildings, portraits, a fellowship, an annual dinner, and an infamous statue commemorating him. “No one has more memorials in Oxford than Cecil Rhodes,” remarks Richard Symonds in Oxford and Empire. The problem is that Rhodes, even by the standards of his age, was a virulent racist and white supremacist. The sickly vicar’s son from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire was to become a multi-millionaire diamond trader and founder of the De Beers gem empire. He also became prime minister of South Africa’s Cape Colony and was instrumental in

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the formation of Rhodesia (named with characteristic modesty), today’s Zimbabwe. He is widely credited with the advent of apartheid and many of the other economic and social ills that have blighted southern Africa. He was in no doubt as to the virtues of imperialism, and his notion of empire was based on race. “I contend that we are the first race in the world,” he wrote in his will, “and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.” As for the black majority in South Africa, they were “a subject race” whose land could be stolen with impunity and who were not “civilised” enough to vote. The Oxford of 1902 clearly had no objection to such opinions, even if Rhodes was despised by many liberals and by the growing African black nationalist movement — and so it remained for over a century, his bequest added to by other philanthropists. But in 2015 something happened. Inspired by students at Cape Town University, who had campaigned for the removal of a statue of Rhodes on the university’s campus, a group of Oxford students demanded that Oriel College remove the Rhodes statue overlooking the High Street (on the building he had paid for). The demand turned into a social media cause célèbre, branded Rhodes Must Fall, with supporters talking of “decolonising education” and opponents arguing that such historical re-trials were pointless acts of political correctness. As Peter Scott argued in the UK Guardian newspaper: “If we are to begin a cull of not very nice people, there will be a lot of empty statue plinths.” Oriel, it was reported, was worried that other donors would withdraw funding if the statue was removed. In the end, compromise prevailed; the college agreed to provide “context” that would help explain “historical complexity.” To the protestors’ dismay, Rhodes stayed where he was. It did not escape the attention of the British tabloid press that some of the main anti-Rhodes activists were Rhodes Scholars — that is, beneficiaries of grants from the Rhodes Trust designed to allow them to study at Oxford. The implicit charge was one of hypocrisy and ingratitude. But however they reconciled their status with their beliefs, this system of international scholarships was (and is) arguably the most significant aspect of Rhodes’s legacy. Intended to encourage leadership qualities among what he termed “young colonists,” the scheme aimed to bring “the whole uncivilised world under British rule” by allowing students from the Empire (now the Commonwealth) and the United States to pursue a second degree or research. As of 2016, precisely 7,776 individuals had benefited from a Rhodes Scholarship. Some are famous, such as Bill Clinton, Kris Kristofferson (both from the United States) and Malcolm Turnbull (Australia), and there are thousands more high-achievers in every field. The programme is nowadays heavily skewed in favour of the US (thirty-two out of eighty-three annual scholarships in 2013, with only one to Pakistan and ten to southern Africa). The Commonwealth Caribbean, receives one, and Jamaica one.

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hich brings me to the anniversary in question. It was sixty years ago that Ralston Milton (“Rex”) Nettleford, one of Jamaica’s most eminent cultural luminaries, arrived at Oriel College as a Rhodes Scholar to begin a three-year MPhil in political science. There he was taught by, among others, Isaiah Berlin, perhaps Britain’s greatest twentieth-century political theorist. Oxford would enhance Nettleford’s already conspicuous intellectual gifts (he already had a first-class degree from the University of the West Indies) and propel him into an outstanding academic career as a historian and social commentator, writing about Rastafari, the politics of twentieth-century Jamaica, and much else besides. What interested him was the importance of African identity in the diaspora, especially Jamaica, and he saw Africanness, as exemplified by the folk religion of Pocomania, as intrinsic to Jamaican culture. Mirror, Mirror (1970) analysed Jamaicans’ complex relationship with their African heritage and the temptations of abandoning it in the face of mainstream western influences. A committed educationalist, Nettleford grew up in relatively humble conditions in Trelawny Parish, but made the most of his schooling to reach university and then Oxford. He would return to UWI and remain there for the rest of his career, until his death in 2010. It is, of course, a pleasing irony that Rex Nettleford, who advocated a reconnection with African traditions and cultural values, should have benefited from the largesse of a man who openly professed to despise such values. At Oxford, he not only delved further into political science, but he also enjoyed a lively artistic scene, working with Dudley Moore and others on theatrical and musical productions. Dance was his great love, and he was an accomplished dancer, choreographer, and producer, co-founding Jamaica’s National Dance Theatre Company, which incorporated African folk music into a fusion that he termed “the rhythm of Africa and the melody of Europe.” Nettleford retained his affection for Oxford, and in a further gratifying irony the Rhodes Trust tastefully marked its centenary in 2004 by creating a Rex Nettleford Fellowship in Cultural Studies. One suspects that Rhodes himself would not have approved. In Pamela Roberts’s book Black Oxford, which looks at African and Caribbean Rhodes Scholars, there is a reproduced cutting from the Oxford Mail of 14 February, 1958, which describes how postgraduate Rex Nettleford gave lessons in “Afro-Caribbean dancing” to members of the Oxford University Ballet Club. Charmingly diplomatic, he is quoted as saying, “Now, I don’t agree with the myth that the English haven’t got rhythm in them. The English have as much rhythm as anyone else — a little inhibited, that’s all.” How true. And how his generosity of spirit stands in stark contrast to the arrogance of the man who unwittingly helped him — and many others — in their chosen careers. n

Oxford would enhance Nettleford’s already conspicuous intellectual gifts and propel him into an outstanding academic career as a historian and social commentator

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puzzles

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Spot the Difference answers Pirate’s hat is repositioned; “K” symbol on pirate’s hat is larger; pirate’s earrings are removed; pirate’s gold tooth is replaced; pirate’s scarf is repositioned; pirate’s vest is removed; coconut tree is repositioned; flagpole is taller; pirate’s sword is longer; sand castle is wider; fish icon on sign is repositioned; colour of sand shovel is changed; fish’s right fin is moved; fish’s expression is different.

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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

Orlando

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

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) Baggage: + 407 825 3482

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

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

St Vincent and the Grenadines Airport: Argyle International Reservations & information: + 800 744 2225 Ticketing: Argyle International Airport (during flight check-in ONLY)

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

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

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

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

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 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 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


737 onboard Entertainment — JULY/AUGUST Northbound

Southbound

J ULY

© 2017 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Beauty and the Beast

Gifted

When an independent young woman called Belle is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle, she learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior.

Frank is raising his niece, Mary, a brilliant child prodigy. His plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled by the attentions of his mother.

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans • director: Bill Condon • musical, fantasy • PG • 129 minutes

Chris Evans, Lindsay Duncan, Mckenna Grace • director: Marc Webb • drama • PG-13 • 101 minutes

Northbound

Southbound

A UGU S T

Born in China

The Boss Baby

The stories of three animal families in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. Witness some of the most intimate moments captured on film.

Seven-year-old Tim discovers that his new baby brother — “Boss Baby” — is actually a spy on a secret undercover mission.

John Krasinski • director: Lu Chuan • documentary • G • 79 minutes

Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel • director: Tom McGrath • comedy, animation • PG • 97 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


parting shot

A Library For All Overlooking the Place de la Savane, the ornate Bibliothèque Schoelcher is Fort-de-France’s main public library, and a monument to the nineteenth-century French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher, who left his personal collection of books to Martinique on condition that it was open to everyone — including the formerly enslaved whose freedom he had campaigned to secure. Photography by Pack-Shot/Shutterstock.com

112 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


A big thank you to our 16,000,000 clients & 80,000 employees for making us #1 again. 2016 2013 GLOBAL

RETAIL

B ANK OF THE YEAR

GLOBAL

RETAIL

B ANK OF THE YEAR

2014 GLOBAL

RETAIL

B ANK OF THE YEAR

RBC Royal Bank named Global Retail Bank of the Year We are incredibly honoured to be named Global Retail Bank of the Year again and the only bank IN THE WORLD to capture this top honour three times. This award is about our employees. Their dedication. Their passion. Their commitment to help our clients thrive and our communities prosper. lt's also about our clients who put their trust in us. It's All About You.

RBC® Royal Bank was awarded 2013, 2014, 2016 Global Retail Bank of the Year by Retail Banker International. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada.

Caribbean Beat — July/August 2017 (#146)  

A calendar of events; music, film, and book reviews; travel features; people profiles, and much more.

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