Over this month, Caribbean countries celebrate their national carnivals, which combine floats and folk characters parades with troupes and traditional dance choreographies.
"Our carnivals are a masterpiece. They are the only celebration in our country where Indigenous and African cultural manifestations are combined and expressed as a form of resistance to the Spanish domination," said the Mayor’s Office of Barranquilla city, Colombia.
This city carnival, which will be held until Feb.21, will gather about 500,000 national and foreign visitors and comprise a competition of salsa, merengue, and urban genres orchestras.
In the Dominican Republic, carnivals are held from Feb. 27 to March 5, and each city will choose a Children’s Carnival Queen to encourage this artistic manifestation in children.
Performers in this country will disguise themselves as more than 30 symbolic characters, like the limping devil, a mischievous demon who filled the patience of the devil himself for what he sent him to earth.
As a Caribbean-born individual, Carnival represents a celebration of the emancipation of slaves. I thought I would virtually exhibit one of my oil paintings of a Barbados carnival — Kadooment; thus putting a little colour and movement in Black History Month #BHM2023 @Barbados pic.twitter.com/a1hxDlgxY7— W Andy Knight (@WAndyKnight1) February 11, 2023
In Trinidad and Tobago, some performers tapped into traditional art forms ahead of the carnival on Monday and Tuesday to encourage their communities to continue following COVID-19 health protocols as the country lifts restrictions on public gatherings.
Dressed in black with a flowing cape and an extravagantly oversized hat, performer Kurt Layne brings to life a traditional Carnival character, the Midnight Robber, which blends influences from film depictions of the American wild west with West African culture.
“Pow pow, I shot COVID-19 dead,” he declared, grabbing the attention of a group of kids with a small toy gun. “Join hands with me, each other do their part, and we will have a great carnival start!” he added.
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for the Caribbean Area Director Liliana Garavito Canon welcomed this initiative.
“Carnivals like the one held in Tobago are the ideal setting to reach a large number of people with positive messages, including that healthfulness and celebration can co-exist,” she stated.
#Brazil | Carnival as a space of resistance. pic.twitter.com/vC5IaSwFfC— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) January 7, 2020
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