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Thisbe – I fell in love with the power of carnival as an artform and mode of self-expression.

04/09/2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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One event on 20/09/2020 at 8:00 am

I have been going to Notting Hill Carnival since I moved to the UK from Brazil in 2003, aged 14, when my family temporarily lived in St Charles Square, right behind Ladbroke Grove. Although carnival is part of my culture I hadn’t experienced it before moving to London, and I never really thought of it as part of my life. I got involved with carnival arts when I joined Mandinga Arts as an administration intern in 2012, as an Art History graduate. I knew that I loved art, but wanted to be involved with a more democratic type and after running through the streets of Bridgewater in a stripy devil like costume and appalling the locals, I fell in love with the power of carnival as an artform and mode of self-expression. I met Ray at Mandinga’s Trustee meeting which we held at C.A.F.E, and was over the moon when a position as Centre and Administration Manager came up.

I had Ray’s Trini food for lunch on a daily basis to the sound of soca, learnt to feather, braid and bend wire, and met some wonderful people. I worked with Ray for two years (2015-2017) but was so in love with his unique approach to carnival and S.I.A’s sense of community spirit, that I  have been on the road with them ever since, introducing friends, partners and colleagues to Mas; some of whom are now regulars. There is no other feeling quite like standing at the top of Ladbroke Grove overlooking a sea of a million people, surrounded by S.I.A’s diverse, beautiful Mas Band. Even more special is to follow the whole process, seeing the costumes and ideas come to life at Mas Camp, and closing the circle with hectically packing them into the back of a van as the sun goes down on Monday of carnival.

#NHC2020 #NottingHillCarnival #carnivaldiversity


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


LONDON, SW9 8RU United Kingdom
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