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Monday, 2 March 2015

Arts-in-Action makes Mas with the Environment 2015

“I can’t believe what my eyes just see,
A blanket of smog all over the city.
The humans are destroying our planet.
Forgetting that they have to live in it.
But Papa GD, what are we going to do?”
While adult masqueraders spent the 2015 Carnival singing and dancing to the music of Machel Montano’s Like Ah Boss, scores of primary school aged pupils were making and playing mas to Papa GD’s I Can’t Believe My Eyes. So who is Papa GD? He is Papa Green Definition; a 21st-century re-imagining of the Papa Bois folklore character, who in his capacity as “protector of the environment” was sent to ten primary schools across the East West corridor by Arts-in-Action, as part of a Carnival arts environmental awareness project titled Mas Movement for the Environment. 
A release from Arts-in-Action said in Mas Movement, which is funded by the German Embassy and produced by the Cropper Foundation, Arts-in-Action presents Papa GD and his masked ally Eco Girl, who battle the evil forces of Kaptain Korporate (KK), an industrialist who seeks to build a Fun Zone which allows children to do and have whatever they want, while polluting their environment. The characters embodied traditional Carnival forms for example, Pierrot Grenade and stick-fighting. The performance-workshop catered to pupils from Standards One to Three, and dealt with climate change issues through mas. It is the conflict between Papa GD and Kaptain K which stimulates the children’s participation and involvement in the conflict resolution process; they must choose to either destroy or preserve the environment.
The teachers of these schools were also engaged in AiA workshops. These focused on applied creative arts strategies that they can use in lesson planning with a climate change focus, while exploring how to create their own environmentally conscious mas presentations with their pupils. The most outstanding mas, would be awarded prizes for their environmentally themed portrayals.
The schools that took part were St Joseph Government Primary, Mt D’or Government Primary, Diego Martin Girls’ RC, St Joseph Girls’ RC, Rosary Boys’ RC, Nelson St Boys’ RC, Nelson St Girls’ RC, Arima Boys’ RC and Laventille Girls’ RC.
• For more information on Arts-in-Action’s programmes call 289-4AiA, or e-mail 

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