Carnival... beyond the glitz of the parade 
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m

Carnival... beyond the glitz of the parade

 

Carnival... beyond the glitz of the parade celebrate photography as an artform, whilst contributing to the documentation of the cultural heritage of the black African diaspora intertwined with the European.

The photographs are two-dimensional marker of the social presence and value of Carnival, which has a strong historical legacy and evolved over the centuries, from the African village and West Indian plantation to the streets of the UK.

 

The coming together of the African masquerade and Catholic Church’s beliefs around abstinence for lent, created the perfect storm of post lent celebrations of carnival. These images draw on ancestral African traditions with a particular focus on music, dance, adornment and sexuality.

The work also plays an important part in celebrating the black presence and migration from the Caribbean and Africa to the United Kingdom.

Forbes presents these photographs as a celebration, but also as a response to the lack of visual representation of black people in the wider society. This lack has a two-pronged effect; the wider society believes the limits in representation are a true reflection of the subjects and black people believe these limits are true, thereby creating their own glass ceiling to their existence and achievements.

These photographs are a two-dimensional marker of the presence of man, they mark these people existed for the fraction of second in the real world juxtaposed, as defined by the image. They also mark a turning point in the capturing of images of young people, with Social Media and digital technology influencing the representation of black people in the 21st Century. YouTube, Instagram, news outlets and Facebook etc all contributing to a form of democracy of image making. Black people are to some degree in control of the images disseminated, thereby offering differing one of surveillance to one of ephemeral fame. To be excluded from the photographs is to be excluded.

The display and adornment of the body is an important feature of these images, which has existed through time.

Forbes has captured these images from, a perspective of a participant, which in many ways he was, as he would not be able to capture the images, if he was not there to see and document what was in front of him. As, an image maker Forbes was very close to the central participants of the images, whilst capturing them in relation to a wider narrative of their environment, and to do this in the way he has, requires a wide-angle lens on his camera. The wide-angle lens forces Forbes to get close to the subjects, a zoom lens would not get the same images, which highlights his relationship to the subjects. Forbes wants to honour the subjects with a truth of their presence and existence, he values them by making the work.

Although the relationship to post lent celebrations no longer exists in the UK, people come to carnival to have a good time, within the limited time frame of the events, which includes dancing, drinking, smoking and other forms of vices. It is this pursuit of fun Forbes captures in the images.

The term ‘black British’ is a relative new lexicon in the English language but is a fixed identity for an increasing number of the British population, which should be embraced and celebrated – thereby allowing ownership and a commitment to a shared future, which these images attest to.

Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
Photography mounted on MDF or Dibond 1.50m x 1.00m
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Images & Text © 2020 Michael Forbes - All rights reserved.