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Bocas Open, ‘Tory Jump Out

The sixth Bocas NGC Literary Festival enters its ninth day and windup weekend today, with the main attraction, 2015 Man Booker Prizewinner Marlon James, taking the Old Fire Station stage tomorrow at 2pm to talk about his magnificent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, and post-Prize life. Tomorrow’s a big day, from 10am, with sitting Chief Justice Ivor Archie sitting down with marijuana activist Nazma Muller,

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I See Red People

The Guggenheim Museum in New York will soon exhibit what might be the work of art of our, and all, time: an 18-carat solid gold toilet – not just an “installation” in the sense of an artistic work in a gallery, but also an actual installation: the functional golden toilet will be plumbed into the museum’s sewerage system and visitors will not just look at, but sit on it: people will be able to say they literally shat all over a work of art at the Guggenheim. Read more
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From Hummingbird to Dying Swan

In 1990, Judy Raymond, considering Minshall’s King of Carnival, Saga Boy (I think it was), wrote: I knew it was art because it made the hair on my body stand on end. A generation later, mas man Peter Minshall, declining to politely fade into the background, allowing the lesser lights their lime, set the 2016 Carnival ablaze with his king, “The Dying Swan: Ras Najinsky in Drag as Pavlova”.


Quite in St Philip, Barbados, watching footage shot on a cellphone video camera, every hair on my body stood to attention and shivered in salute. And I wished I could have been in the Savannah, to see it with my own eyes – and to hear the collective gasp; not since 1980’s Midnight Robber has a mas blown me to firetruck away like this.
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The Thin White Prophet

DAVID BOWIE was why I wanted to dye my hair at age 15. Those, as Lou Reed sang, were different times and Bob Dylan & Makandal Daaga would have been-frustrated at how slowly they were-a-changin’ in Trinidad. In 1973, despite the 1970 Riots/Revolution/Pick Your Prejudice, a black person boldfaced enough to sport an afro could be gleefully mocked in public.

DAVID BOWIE was why I wanted to dye my hair at age 15. Those, as Lou Reed sang, were different times and Bob Dylan & Makandal Daaga would have been frustrated at how slowly they were-a-changin’ in Trinidad. In 1973, despite the 1970 Riots/Revolution/Pick Your Prejudice, a black person boldfaced enough to sport an afro could be gleefully mocked in public. In form four, in January, almost three full years after Black “Power”, I saw a large group of black people follow a young black couple dressed in dashiki and kinte cloth from St Mary's College to Woodford Square, taunting and jeering at the couple all the way. “Go back to Africa!” a man shouted. ”Them from America!” shouted another. “No African would dress so!”

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Look at My Crossbreeds

The Book of Kenrick Part XVII


In 2011, I was called by my Uncle Godfrey - God the Uncle - to sum up the Bible in the voice of Kenrick, the kind of tess who derides religion as superstitious bunk but fasts for Ramadan and gives up drinking for Lent every year “for the discipline”. I chose the King James as the most widely accepted version of the Word of God (even if it was actually agreed upon by British civil servants working for a probably homosexual monarch 1611 years after God first troubled Himself to speak, with all the divine inaccuracies those circumstances might imply).

These Kenrick columns are not an aspersion on the Bible but a celebration of our own voice, as any sinner worth his pillar of salt ought readily to discern. Last day, Jacob, son of Isaac, was looking for wife in Haran after he lost Isaac’s blessing to his brother, Esau. Jacob fell asleep on a stone and dreamt of a ladder to the heavens that Adrian Lyne later made into an unsettling, spookily atmospheric film starring Tim Robbins and Danny Aiello.

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