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Sunday, 20 February 2011

UWI’s Jouvay Ayiti inspired by earthquake in Haiti

There are no costumes on display at the launch of Jouvay Ayiti, a J’Ouvert band presented by the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA). Instead, guests were told they would be making their own mas. Emcee Marvin George explained that Jouvay Ayiti was more than just a mud band; it was an attempt to have participants engage ideas about Haiti, and through the creative process, arrive at new understandings.
He told the guests at the St Augustine venue, who had braved heavy rains on the night of February 10 to support the venture, that the idea for Jouvay Ayiti was inspired by the earthquake that devastated the island in 2010. He said more than 50 Haitian students had been adopted into the St Augustine campus community, following the disaster. George said Haiti was important to the heritage of the region and calledthe island “the Mudder of civilisation,” making a pun on the J'Ouvert theme.
A Guyanese traditional masquerade, made of recycled materials,
portraying Fowl Cock, at the launch of Jouvay Ayiti.
This year’s Old Yard event, (formerly Viey la Cou),
 on February 27 from noon,
also at the DCFA, will feature elements of Guyanese Carnival.
 Photos: Gillian Moore
He said in keeping with T&T and Haitian Carnival traditions, all costumes should make a personal statement and be crafted from recycled, found and natural materials. He also cautioned that J’Ouvert mud should complement, not mar, the designs. Guests were treated to several cultural presentations, including performances by singers Baby Pink and Amrika Matroo and sailor mas. Haitian Rara dancers also performed.
They will be featured in the upcoming theatrical production, Here is my Ass Now Try to Whip It, opening on March 25 at UWI's Learning Resource Centre. A traditional Guyanese Fowl Cock, fashioned from bamboo and chicken feed bags, also made an appearance. George noted that this year’s Old Yard event (formerly Viey la Cou), to be staged at the DCFA on February 27 from 12 noon, would highlight Guyanese traditional Carnival traditions.

For further information on Jouvay Ayiti,
contact Marissa Brooks at 663-2222 or

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