Yuh Mus Cross D Stage Fuh Mas…Is Ah Part Ah We Ting

20 10 2008

Ah vex…….and ah only getting more frikken vex everytime ah tink dat fuh d past 3 years dese dotish bureaucrats who seem tuh fuhget dey culture while playing d ass wit d Savannah stage.  All dis time gone by and still no solid explanation of wat going on wit d Stage.  It is really ah damn shame dat us, the real stakeholders of Carnival are being deprived of the stage.  Ah try tuh stay optimistic bout d whole street ting eh, but tings r just not d same.  Today ah was giving meh friend a little description of how it was crossing d stage.  I started out playing mas wit Poison so we was getting up day when it getting dark.  Ah was tell she how we would be rounding the bend up by d General Hospital and d trucks would start break off to d right and masqueraders to d left.  Then we would be coralled by the security like a bunch of mad bulls wit hoofs stomping on d ground and steam coming out we nose.  Oh d good ole days.   But say wat, we eh nobody.  Dem run tings and tings ah run we.

Ah was breezing tru ah forum http://www.islandmix.com/backchat/f6/trinidad-s-priceless-calypso-collection-heading-barbadian-ownership-176319/ d odder day and ah found ah interesting discussion dat was initially about T&T possibly losing a most prized Calypso collection tuh Barbados because d T&T Government doh want tuh do d right ting and buy it.  So out of this discussion spawned the following dialogue:


AJB: “funny dat u mention Japan……..ah couldaswear dat I read or heard somewhere that they have a steel pan factory while Trini doesnt……….and it would be a great idea to have a “Hard Rock Cafe” theme Restaurant/Bar/Lounge displaying the culture……..but if I understood Ananci correctly Trinidadians (and other caribbean islands I believe) are very Americanized and support and are more interested in outside music until Carnival rolls around…….he also touched on the people of the government who dont give a rats ass about the culture…….case in point…..the Savannah stage which is backbone of Mas Carnival Monday and Tuesday and what makes Carnival different from other islands have been unused for 2 years and there seems to be zero plans to make it part of that new “Carnival Center” they building………..Colonialism is a hell of a thing yes.”


Ananci_7:  “AJB, Japan DOES have a pan factory an furthermore there are a couple European countries that have booming pan industries and orchestras, clinics etc while here we still debating whether to put pan in school

As for that Carnival Centre that is being built in the Savannah, that is yet another example of the neo-colonial attitude where the government simply plonk down this big macco project without ANY consultation with the people for whomit’s supposedly being built. No masman or panman, no kaisonian or soca artiste, nobody in the drama and creative arts community were ever consulted as to how they felt it should be designed, what was to be put in it or anything like that. It’s the old colonial attitude where the authority hears you say what you want and then TELLS you what you want and then gives you what HE decides to give you.After that yuh cyar complain (but didn’t YOU ask for a Carnival centre? What yuh complaining about now?)

PS, don’t vex about the stage. I an all find it shoulda go and so did many masmen; Peter Minshall has been saying for years that the Mas had outgrown the stage. The thing is that Trinidad Mas had originially been street parades and theatre; the advent of the stage had to do with the middle-class re-involvement (after they boycotted for years after Emancipation) and their attempts to Europeanise the mas by putting it on a stage and thhus disconnected from the crowd (before, the Mas, in true African fashion, involved the onlookers, they were as much a part of it as they were witnesses to it).

The damn problem was that Trinidad Mas, which was political street theatre, lost the theatrical element and became this damn bikini sh!t with no theme! This is what happens when one chooses not to known one’s history.”


This was the exchange between these forumites.  As active participants in Carnival it is important to know the history of Carnival.  Carnival was about theater on the street.  It evolved into what we see today and the stage became a prominent component of Carnival.  To me and many others it represented the beginning and end of the season.  Once I crossed the stage I often reflected on surviving the entire season going at full throttle.  I also reflected on doing it AGAIN next year and being at the base of the stage all over again.  It was the finish line of the longest marathon in the world.  Now we have NOTHING. 


For me Carnival is not a way of life but it is a part of my life.  As I reflect on life in T&T I cannot help but angry that the blatant tyranny the government exercise in shuttin the stage down without explanation of its future, is the same way they govern the country.  Billions of dollars being squandered without explanation or real accountabilty while crime spirals out of control.  Im not going to get on my political soap box but it is important for people to see the connection and understand why we might never see 1 of the things that made T&T Carnival special.