On Tuesday 24th April, Trinidad & Tobago illustrated book press, Robert & Christopher Publishers and photographer Maria Nunes, will launch their new book, In a World of Their Own: Carnival Dreamers & Makers, Photographs by Maria Nunes. The launch event, which is part of the 2018 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, will take place at Big Black Box, 33 Murray Street, Woodbrook, from 7.00pm.
Over the past decade, photographer Maria Nunes has been documenting the people who fight to uphold an ethos of Carnival in which creating and performing while paying homage to tradition is central. In a World of Their Own features 300 of Nunes’ stunning and sensitively made colour and black and white photographs of these dreamers and makers, from her unique perspective inside Trinidad Carnival. Through her lens, we travel through time and space in Carnival, from the preparation beforehand, to the last rays of light at dusk on Carnival Tuesday. We enter yards and living rooms as traditions are passed on and skills are honed, we see ideas develop and costumes come to life. We visit Belmont, the Savannah, East Port of Spain and South Quay; Paramin, Perseverance Village, Arima, Moruga, Mayaro, Debe and San Fernando. We take to stages, gayelles and streets, through the unfolding days of Carnival, revelling in all of the beauty, darkness, light, and colour of transcendental performances.
Edited by Melanie Archer and Mariel Brown, In a World of Their Own is 216 pages andfeatures a lyrical essay by Shivanee Ramlochan, who contributes ideas of document, archive and memory. In a World of Their Own also features excerpts of interviews conducted with makers pictured in the book, who give further, invaluable insight: Adrian Young, Alan Vaughan, Anderson Patrick, Darlington ‘Boysie’ Henry, Desmond Noel, Etienne Charles, Kemoi Harper, Lionel Jagessar Senior, Narcenio ‘Señor’ Gomez, Narrie Approo, Ronald Alfred, Shynel Brizan, Steffano Marcano, Stephanie Kanhai, Tekel ‘Salti’ Sylvan, Tracey Sankar-Charleau, and Wendell Manwarren.
Nunes states, “With this book, I hope to offer an alternative perspective to the repeated – and often unfounded – narrative that Carnival traditions are dying and are mainly the concern of an older generation. To be sure, there is an ongoing struggle to keep some traditions going, but to mindlessly cut and paste that clichéd mantra is to miss the reality that so many Carnival artists today are a younger generation bringing new energy to the Carnival space and actively taking the mantle of responsibility for cultural vibrancy from their elders. Their work is the marriage of new ideas and tradition and their creativity is a real-time response within Carnival as a whole. They need our active support and encouragement.”
In a World of Their Own: Carnival Dreamers & Makers, Photographs by Maria Nunes, was made possible through the generosity of Republic Bank Limited, as part of its Power to Make a Difference programme. Considerable support was also given by The Massy Foundation; the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; Bermudez Group; and Monlo Music Ltd.
The launch is free and open to the public, and Nunes will be present to sign copies of the book, which will be on sale for TT$300. Cash, cheque, and credit card will be accepted. The books will also be sold at the Robert & Christopher table at the NALIS, Port of Spain, during the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Bocas (April 27th, 28th, and 29th).