Photograph by Nicholas Laughlin

Word of mouth (March/April 2015)

The politics behind Trinidad’s Good Friday bobolees, Guyana’s Rupununi Rodeo, and the wrongs and rights of Jamaica Carnival.

65 Gallus Street, recently restored by architect Laura Narayansingh. Photograph courtesy Laura Narayansingh

Trinidad & Tobago’s houses of history

A combination of neglect and commercial redevelopment has endangered Trinidad and Tobago’s unique architectural heritage for decades. But as Erline Andrews discovers, a handful of private individuals have bucked the trend, investing in restoration projects that give old buildings new life.

Members of the 2 Cents Movement and their associates. Top row, left to right: Kito Fortune, Ariel Wolffe, Akile Wallace, Stephanie Smith, Brandon O’Brien, Karina Rodriguez, Ariana Herbert, K.C. Martin, David Lennard. Bottom row: Crystal Skeete, Idrees S

Say it loud

A booming spoken-word movement has revitalised Trinidad and Tobago’s poetry scene with fresh ideas and hard-hitting lyrics from a new generation of poet-performers. Nazma Muller finds out what’s driving this surge of talent, and profiles eight popular new voices.

Rosalind Gabriel: the kiddies’ queen

Rosalind Gabriel: the kiddies’ queen

Many observers agree that in today’s Carnival the most memorable spectacles happen in “kiddies’ mas.” And bandleader Rosalind Gabriel has been at the forefront for over two decades. Nazma Muller meets the innovator with a taste for tradition.

Bunji Garlin: send dem riddim crazy

Bunji Garlin: send dem riddim crazy

The 2013 hit “Differentology” was his international breakthrough, but Trinidadian soca star Bunji Garlin is no overnight success. Laura Dowrich looks back at Bunji’s rise from the pavements of Arima to the world stage, while Mark Lyndersay offers a personal take on the twenty-year evolution of the artiste’s sound.

Market day

Market day

Across the Caribbean, the freshest produce, best bargains, and often the friendliest advice can still be found at traditional markets. Here are six worth exploring, ranging from Dominica to Curaçao to French Guiana.

Melanie Abrahams. Photograph by Linda Brownlee

Melanie Abrahams: “I like Jamaica, but I’m more Trini-minded”

Melanie Abrahams, London-based literary promoter, on her mixed Caribbean heritage, and using literature to negotiate identity — as told to Joshua Surtees.

Photograph by Maria Nunes

Arriba, Arriba!

In Trinidad, the traditional sound of Christmas is Spanish-inflected parang.

Enjoying a breezy day at Manzanilla Bay. Photograph by Aaron Richards

Eastern Shore: Trinidad’s dramatic east coast

Trinidad’s long east coast, stretching from Galera to Galeota, offers miles upon miles of sandy bays, picturesque villages, and vistas of coconut trees. And Helen Shair-Singh discovers you can explore it all in a day — pausing to take in the delights of scenery, conversation, browsing at local markets, and old-fashioned ice-cream.

Lord Superior (left) and the Mighty Sparrow (right), with Brigo and Conqueror, engaging in a picong battle during the 1960s. Courtesy ‘Calypso Dreams’, hand-coloured by Michael Horne

Forever young: “Glamour Boyz Again”

Calypsonian the Mighty Sparrow may be pushing eighty, but he’s still the “calypso king of the world” — as the new documentary The Glamour Boyz Again more than proves. Garry Steckles previews the film.

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