BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Wednesday 23rd December 2020) – Director of the Alliance Française de St.Kitts-Nevis Marine Moncaut is of the view that a new programme called Cross Cultural Carnival Dialogue 2020 feature-facilitated through Zoom online technology- can help to bring the featured French-speaking and English-speaking islands together so as to promote their celebrative cultures and foster new relations in regard to carnival festivities.
In an interview with the media house, she highlighted the reasoning behind the weekly programme aired live every Wednesday in December 2020 (5:30PM) which began on the 2nd.
That first episode featured three carnival Chairpersons/presidents namely St.Kitts-Nevis National Carnival (Sugar Mas) Chairperson- Shannon Hawley; Président de l’Office du carnaval de la Guadeloupe- Willy Abare and Chef de Projet chargé de la promotion du Carnaval à Fort de France, Martinique – Yvon Lamorandière. ‘Calypso and Contemporary Variations’ and ‘Traditional Troupes’ are two of the topics covered on the show, and come Wednesday 30th December ‘Musicians in Carnival’ will be discussed.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that we have been going virtual on a lot of aspects at our centre, we thought that it would be a good opportunity for us to organize some events during the carnival, taking the opportunity that virtual platforms are allowing us to meet people from Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Maarten and skipping the borders of language and also of the distance. We wanted to take an opportunity to focus on the tradition of carnival …to look at the roots of it and to see what the variations are. So each Wednesday we’re going to have a focus on a different topic,” the Alliance Française Director said.
According to her: “Our islands, when we don’t have much dialogue, we don’t have much opportunities to discuss our different aspects that we could have in common that could be different too; it’s just to have a first discussion. It will be a good opportunity for St.Kitts and Nevis to promote its own carnival towards the French-speaking market and vice versa so maybe some Martiniquais, Guadeloupean can be interested to come here being introduced to different forms of the carnival here and vice versa the Kittitians and Nevisian might be more interested to discover the carnivals in Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Maarten as well.”
Asked who should listen to the programme, Moncaut had this to say: “Anyone who is interested in culture, diversity and discovering different forms of carnival within the region. There is a common point on all of the islands but we might not be much aware of some other carnivals especially links between English-speaking islands and French-speaking islands where the interactions are a bit less…”
Touching on the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, she expressed that this period has been looking “a lot about who we are, and what is our strengths and our weaknesses and to look a bit more locally as well, what are our forces locally but it can also be done regionally to be working on the carnival identity. To me, what is interesting is that the Alliance Française has the opportunity to have all of the actors here to be kind of framing what is the identity of the carnival here towards the French islands and the French islands be framing the same thing. There is a very important identity process that goes through it to know who we are, what are our practices…”
She pointed out that using such a virtual platform provides an opportunity “to break some borders that are real like distance and language because the Zoom has the possibility of language interpretation services. So when one French speaker would be speaking, take the interpret service to interpret in English, we would have translators who will be speaking to you in English…so it’s like a professional meeting.”
Following an hour session of speeches, viewers can participate in the question and answer segment which is aimed at creating dialogue.
For more details interested persons can visit the Alliance Française social media Facebook page at www.facebook.com/afstkittsnevis or contact 1-869-667-9019.