Gateway to Culture
No, it’s not the actual portal to The City but the convincing replica welcomes the people of Trinidad and Tobago and visitors, as the two-island republic hosts the 14th edition of the Caribbean Festival of Arts – CARIFESTA, which opened in Port of Spain this evening.
The baton of staging the region’s cultural Olympics was passed from Barbados in 2017 to Trinidad and Tobago which is hosting the event for the fourth time.
Other icons of the Caribbean’s built heritage, including Guyana’s Stabroek Market, and Suriname’s timber Parliament Buildings are reproduced into ‘streets of the Caribbean’ in the main showcase and marketplace of arts, crafts, activities and performances – the Grand Market – at the sprawling Queen’s Park Savannah.
Earlier, delegates from CARICOM’s 15 member states and 5 associate member nations, staged a street parade around the famed Savannah with colours, national costumes and elements of culture. Energetic dancers and fluttering flags were part of a carnival of colour that flowed into the Savannah’s stage which six months earlier was the scene for Trinidad Carnival.
Under the theme, ‘Connect, Share and Invest’, CARIFESTA XIV will showcase theatre, film, dance, music, visual arts, literary arts, and a symposium. Village, youth and community festivals are to be staged throughout the country.
The cultural biennial runs until August 25th.