At first glance, the reason for cancelling Crop Over and the National Independence Festival of the Creative Arts (NIFCA) in Barbados for 2020 seemed measured. COVID is in the air… literally. Still, I wonder if we have thoroughly considered how to repackage some of these events mindful of the guidelines of hygiene, social distancing and risk of infection (among others) that have been set.
Archiving and collecting our creations at this moment is crucial. NIFCA nurtures our spirit of community and national identity. Crop Over acknowledges our Emancipation, educates us and our audiences about Harvest Home and this modern reinvention, and celebrates what it means to be Barbadian. Hence, can we have an integrated inclusive discussion about this? Is our creative economy reduced to party culture or physical “bums-in-seats”?
Can our creative expression and identity survive beyond merely providing revenue for service providers: catering, transportation, production, venue owners etc.? How do we enable and respect our creatives in this difficult time?
Especially now, outlets for creativity and resilience are useful as Barbadians adapt and redefine themselves. Several of us creatives are embracing the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines as we work in this temporary, unstable environment. Indeed, creating in this time/space can make us become fitter and stronger for all time. Our plethora of creative images, platforms and videos on social media reinforces this notion.
While our festivals may become healthier, innovative, smaller and less expensive in this next period, rethinking of what a CROP OVER CORRECT 2020 (the online edition) and NIFCA Programme could look like may still deserve cooperative discussion.
Here are some initial thoughts:
Crop Over Correct 2020
Thanksgiving Service – Online or rebroadcast footage from previous events.
Cavalcade All Stars – the best of Calvacades from the past or replay past years.
Crop Over in the City – footage from previous years.
Heritage Tours – recap, review, introduce a virtual tour.
The Best of the Gospel Concert series.
Junior Calypso Monarch Online – online submissions, tracks, recordings, judging, broadcast.
Opening Gala and Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes – review of last year’s event.
Visual Arts Online Festival and Virtual Tour.
Craft Works Online.
Read-IN! Online – repeat broadcasts.
Soca Royale Online – online submissions, online tracks, online recording, online judging, online broadcast.
Pan Fusion, Speighstown Sizzlin’, Pan Pun De Sand – rebroadcast from 2019.
Evening of Folk – rebroadcast events from previous years.
Emancipation Day Online.
Bridgetown Market Virtual Tour– broadcast highlights from previous years.
Foreday Morning ZOOM – online parties. Bands can engage in online activities to keep their members engaged.
The Best of Grand Kadooment.
Awards Ceremony Online
Performing Arts Online: Individuals offer online submissions, either for direct adjudication or for comment and resubmission.
Culinary Arts: follow COVID guidelines, a virtual tour of the products and winners can be set up.
Visual Arts and Photography Virtual Exhibition.
Literary Arts Gala – edited and broadcasted.
Certainly, these innovations may form part for our future post-COVID reality, our new normal.
Culture Clinic is a weekly column crafted by Dr. John Hunte. Photography by Adrian Richards.