Cuban ballet, Shaolin Monks, Wycliffe Jean to perform at Carifesta XI in Suriname


Jazz diva Denise Jannah, the IKO Foundation, Wycliffe Jean, the Cuban Tropicana Ballet, the Jamaican No-Maddz, the Haitian Bacoulou Dance Company and Shaolin Monks from China are part of a star-studded programme for Carifesta XI, which launches this Friday in Suriname and continues for ten days, as Shereen Ali reports in this article for Trinidad’s Newsday.

Fireworks will launch the opening ceremony on August 16. This year, 24 plus countries are taking part. The festival will happen in the capital, Paramaribo, as well as at community festivals in all ten districts in Suriname. 

Suriname is paying special attention to the visual arts during Carifesta XI, starting with the opening ceremony “Welcome to Suriname” and highlighting the exclusive woodcarving in the villages Pikin Slee and Nieuw Aurora in the Upper Suriname River area. This is according to Siegmien Staphorst, Coordinator of the Surinamese contingent. 

Trinidad is sending 100 people to Carifesta, covering literary and visual arts, fashion, craft, theatre and music. Among TT representatives are Kim Johnson, who will speak about non-fiction, oral history and the art of journalism; writer Barbara Jenkins; chutney singer Raymond Ramnarine; soca, jazz and calypso performers; and animation artists. 

The festival consists of several elements: the opening and closing ceremonies; a Grand Cultural Market — a colourful, vibrant Caribean market to include fashion, culinary and visual arts; performances of theatre, storytelling, music and dance; a film festival; a youth focus; community events; and a Folk Village to include indigenous and Maroon culture. 

Collaborative murals in public spaces will be painted, and daily artist talks will happen, to be broadcast by Suriname radio and TV. There will be a special evening event to honour Caribbean writers, at which prominent regional artists, politicians, writers and opinion-makers will read from the works of their favourite Caribbean writers, and will be interviewed about the impact these words have had on their lives. The food section of the festival will include a musical curry duck event, special cook-ups by different countries, and a Caribbean rum festival. There will also be a steelband battle between three countries at the festival. 

The theme for the festival this year is the role of our many cultures in dreaming, envisioning and realizing a future. Caribbean culture is very diverse. In the one country of Suriname, for instance, people come from the Netherlands, Africa, India, China and Indonesia. 

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community launched the first Carifesta in 1972 to celebrate Caribbean arts and culture, and encourage Caribbean unity. Since it began, ten Carifestas have happened in eight countries, the most recent being held in Guyana in 2008. 

This year, Chairman of the Host Country Management Committee (HCMC), Ivan Graanoogst, revealed Haiti would be the next Carifesta Host.

For the original report go to,182069.html

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