Carnival time is top of the agenda at conference in Leeds

The 1974 Leeds West Indian Carnival committee.
The 1974 Leeds West Indian Carnival committee.
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Experts from around the world are set to attend a conference marking 50 years of the Leeds West Indian Carnival.

Running from today until Sunday, the event – called Power, Performance and Play – has been billed as a “celebration of Caribbean carnival cultures”.

It is being hosted by the Centre for Culture and the Arts at Leeds Beckett University and will feature interactive workshops and research discussions as well as a keynote speech from the founder of the Leeds carnival, Arthur France.

The conference has been organised by Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, senior lecturer in the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Beckett.

Paying tribute to her work, co-organiser Max Farrar said: “One day she’s in a house in a low-income neighbourhood in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, interviewing a very old man lying in a homemade bed about his life as one of Trinidad’s most famous Midnight Robbers, the Trinidadian carnival’s revolutionary ‘bad man’ figure.

“A few days later she’s patrolling Port-of-Spain on carnival day in a cape and a hat, armed with a self-penned Midnight Robber speech.

“This is Dr Emily Zobel Marshall doing research for her paper which she will present at the conference.”

Founded in 1967, the Leeds West Indian Carnival is the oldest event of its kind in Europe.

It will take place as usual this year on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of August.

For further information about the conference, visit the news section of the website.