IT HAS become Europe’s longest running Caribbean carnival parade after it was first staged half a century ago.
And to mark the 50-year landmark for the Leeds West Indian Carnival, a new exhibition is being held to highlight the event’s history.
The exhibition, called 50 Years of Leeds West Indian Carnival, is part of Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage, a programme of events supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of just under £100,000, to showcase the history, heritage and hidden stories behind the Leeds West Indian Carnival, and made possible by National Lottery players.
Staged in partnership with The Tetley venue in Leeds and curated by London-based artist, Sonya Dyer, the exhibition will also feature a replica of The Sun Goddess, the very first Leeds Carnival Queen costume, which has been recreated by Leeds designer, Hughbon Condor. The carnival’s founding member and chairman, Arthur France, said: “Carnival is steeped in a history and culture that goes far beyond the costume spectacle that we all love. Rooted in slavery, born from Emancipation, and championed by Caribbean communities, it is a journey of resilience, struggles and triumphs that has universal appeal.
“It is important that as well as celebrating 50 remarkable years we leave a legacy that shares the journey from our beginnings to being a central part of the landscape in Leeds and major cities across the UK.”
The exhibition at The Tetley is being staged from tomorrow until October 29. It will run alongside pop-up satellite exhibitions and displays in community and city centre locations as well as an online archive of footage, historical photo galleries and interviews with pioneers on the carnival’s website.