Born out of rebellion, suppression and repression. Misunderstood cultural dynamics where one has to assert oneself to be recognised and celebrated. Born of the idea of a woman of vision, Claudia Jones. Also charted on the slave plantations where the sound of the drum came from a deep feeling of pain. For a long time the drum and dance and jubilation has facilitated an emotional and physical release.
It is the oasis in the desert. The juju in the chaos of time where all things collide culturally significantly and humanly. A time to take off the mask, and don the shorts, the colours and the paint. We go to the pan and the bass and we let it go. It is a shame that it is only for 2 days that we get to jump pan. To see the pageantry, watch our people let go of the stupid identity masked by career, money, peerage privilege. So it is about that point of reference that we recognise we are one lane. Defined by the sound of vibration we use it to heal ourselves, to expand, to explore and get ready for the next chapter.
As an equaliser, the question of the weekend is how much can you throw down to celebrate being human rather than being a fool?
It is no coincidence that Notting Hill Carnival is the biggest carnival festival in the world. While there are many other local and traditional carnivals in terms of international numbers this is the largest and most international. A space where culture is absolutely obscured, diminished, ridiculed to a point where it has no reference or value. All we have is a carnival to remind people of all the reverberations of all the contributions that this culture has made to sustain a community.
We get to see people without the mask and it is a beautiful, more humane rather than repressed energy.
If we could carnival every week, the world would be a better place.