Place: North Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah.
Time: Panorama Semis 2016.
Despers were by far the best playing big band on the day. They did the Hill proud in a dark time. It was a finals type performance in sophistication and intensity. Mesmeric on a night when the small and medium size bands on the whole played better than the big bands who were mostly formulaic and dull. The band that for me sounded better than the rest- Angel Harps- did not even make it into the finals. That massive distance between myself and the culture judges and between our culture judges and the artistic truth seems to be widening….
Just some quick notes: The magical sight of Despers in the desolate Grey Friars lot on Frederick Street is a revelation that all Trinbagonians should witness. There is something RIGHT about it. You will feel a shock of recognition, and let me tell you what it is. Despers on Frederick Street represents one of the only representations of the ‘Indigenous’ on our main street in our capital city! And it feels good. Despers’ presence shows up just how much WE are not present in our public spaces and how much foreign content rules our imagination, civic life, and the things we consume. Despers in Grey Friars shows up how much we have alienated our phenomenal Legacy from the main stream of our life and how much we are ‘not about our Father’s business. It also intimates to me a vision of the power of the Creative Sector’s plan for the Grey Friar’s site. It is a vision we will have to battle the current owner who destroyed the Heritage buildings there for. The plans for the Grey Friar’s site is to have 2 buildings mirroring the Church and the Hall that were originally on the property. One building is going to be called ‘The Word’ and the other building ‘The Guild’.
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The Greens must be destroyed. I’m clear of it. This is despite the fact that I spent most of Sunday there—so I know of what I speak.
It was carnal. Completely. And I needed that—but that was all it ever was and ever will be. It was also empty, devoid of “Spirit”—people wandered around lost, posing, waiting for something to happen that never did. This is what happens when you detach a people from the ritual that sustains them. In the absence of culture, they need substances—alcohol and gimmicks—to bring them to something resembling liberation. The death of Carnival is in that impulse. This is the same culture that overtook European “carnivals” from the 1300s, resulting in their death. When Carnival becomes a drunken orgy, it can be competed against by any distraction. Nothing, however, can compete against ritual and belief. Our question then: how do we make those-who-we-have-lost believe again? Read the rest of this entry