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A close-up of the Rose Bowl, City Campus

Power, Performance and Play - An International Conference on Caribbean Carnival Cultures


Leeds West Indian Carnival

About the Conference

19 – 21 May 2017
Leeds Beckett University


The Centre for Culture and the Arts at Leeds Beckett University, in partnership with Leeds West Indian Carnival, host this international conference on Caribbean Carnival Cultures.

The Conference is a celebration of Leeds West Indian Carnival’s 50th anniversary and the development of a Carnival Cultures research strand at the Centre for Culture and the Arts. It is extremely timely; despite the 50 years that British Caribbean communities have brought carnival, their major artistic creation, with its highly significant cultural history, into the public life of the UK, however there is little scholarship on this topic in cultural studies, in history, or in literary/drama studies.

The conference is shaping up to be an excellent event with a global scope involving academics, costume designers, musicians, filmmakers and founding members of the Caribbean Carnival in Leeds, UK. Plans also include a Civic Reception and welcome by the Lord Mayor of Leeds and an evening of reggae and soca at the Leeds West Indian Centre.

Contributions will take the form of papers, workshops and exhibitions. The conference will be dedicated to focusing on the following themes: 

  • The relationship between carnival and diasporic identities.
  • The cultural history of Caribbean carnival in the UK.
  • Carnival and the politics of emancipation and practices of resistance.
  • Transcultural relationships between UK and global Caribbean carnivals.
  • Carnival and the body.
  • Carnival as a site for conviviality, pleasure and social cohesion.
  • The commercialisation of carnival.

Conference Partners

Founded in 2013 the Centre for Culture & the Arts at Leeds Beckett University brings together researchers and practitioner from across our University as well as partners working within culture and the arts. More information

Leeds West Indian Carnival is Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade. What started in the 1960’s as one man’s remedy for West Indian homesickness is now the perfect blend of jaw-dropping costumes, infectious tropical rhythms, mouthwatering food and entertainment for everyone. More information

Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers for the conference will be:

Tony Hall, internationally renowned Trinidadian carnival playwright and director of Jouvay Institute and Lord Street Theatre Company.

Professor Milla Riggio, world-leading researcher of Trinidad carnival from Trinity College, Connecticut.

Michael la Rose, designer and leader of London’s People’s War Carnival Band and chair of the George Padmore Institute.

Registration

The following fees apply for the conference:

Non-salaried Carnival Artist & Practitioners: £30

Postgraduate Students: £90

Salaried Carnival Artists & Practitioners: £100

Tenured Academics: £110

Book now

Location and Timings

Please note the timings below are an approximate schedule, actual timings will be confirmed nearer the time of the conference:

Conference Day 1:  19 May 2017

Sagar Wright Lecture Theatre, Rose Bowl, 8:30 - 18:00 - venue details

Conference Day 2:  20 May 2017

Sagar Wright Lecture Theatre, Rose Bowl, 8:30 - 18:00 - venue details

Conference Day 3:  20 May 2017

To be confirmed

Photographs of the Leeds West Indian Carnival

1970 Leeds Carnival Queens at Mecca Ballroom © Photographed by PepperPhoto
1987 Arthur France playing mas as Dianne Abbott, the first black female Member of Parliament © Photographed by Max Farrar
1999 Mahalia France, a Carnival Queen, in the marquee at the West Indian Centre © Photographed by Max Farrar
2003 Hughbon Condor, Leeds’ most successful costume designer, and his Queen, Helena Hamlet © Photographed by Max Farrar
2016 Blue Devil mas, designed and performed by RJC Dance and Rhian Kempadoo Millar © Photographed by Max Farrar
2016 Leonard Carroll, Carnival King, & Charlene Clarke, Carnival Queen, at West Yorkshire Playhouse © Photographed by Max Farrar
2013 Members of the Harrison Bundey Troupe in the ‘Unstitch the Rich’ mas. Photographed by Max Farrar