August 15 marked ten years since the death of iconic artist Ian Ali, a man who made a pioneering contribution to Trinidad and Tobago’s local landscape through art and television.
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Carnival planning still in hit-or-miss mode
As the 2014 Carnival juggernaut gathers speed, a glance in the rear-view mirror shows that the journey through the season has been a bumpy one. There have been some high points. The semifinals in the Savannah of both the National Panorama semifinals finished surprisingly early. Though Pan Trinbago’s “Pan Splash” pool was a flop, overall the Greens made money: despite all the tutting and weeping from pan diehards, the fact is the event does attract a crowd, and pan’s governing body does benefit from it.
Last weekend’s Calypso Fiesta demonstrated convincingly that the art of calypso is not dead, and there are still up-and-coming mocking pretenders, armed with a rapier wit, who are keeping the art form alive—and that, despite the lamentations of calypso tent managers, there are audiences eager to hear them. Whether or not it will be a success when it rolls into the stadium remains to be seen, but enterprising bandleaders have taken the bull by the horns in setting up the Socadrome, in an effort to provide their masqueraders with an attractive alternative Big Stage on which to play themselves and thus cut down the congestion that mars Carnival Tuesday for thousands of revellers. Such a move has been discussed for decades, but it is noteworthy that the move to do something definitive was a private-sector initiative.