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A virtual community conversation moderated by Maxine Hamilton-Alexander. This chat engages guest,  Gail Yvette Davis and Michael Manswell about the satirical but staple characters, Baby Doll and Dame Lorraine from the Trinidad Carnival lexicon. It is a talk that will oscillate contextually around a woman’s capacity, capabilities, and power; how her audacity, ingenuity, and reputation are received. 

Baby Doll and Dame Lorraine, who appeared in the early-19th century Trinidad masquerade, survived and continues.  The relevance to this conversation speaks to contemporaneous concerns about the intersection of power and sex, specificity to the black female. 

Carnival festivities, now ensconced in New York, were birthed inside the Caribbean immigrant community. Davis and Manswell will talk with Alexander on the particulars of these characters. The aim is to illuminate issues of gender and black female power giving a deeper underpinning on women in Carnival transcending the immediate.

This virtual installment aims to capture and release some of the relevance of carnival culture presence in New York and the intrinsic, instrumental and institutional it imparts. The talk will link back to African and European masquerade traditions stretching out the historical and artistic staying power of two female-inspired figures.

Under The Carnival Microscope welcomes questions and comments from the audience (shut-in masqueraders; culture lovers).

Michael Manswell is a dancer, singer, choreographer, teaching artist, adjunct professor, and artistic director of Something Positive Inc,.  He has staged productions on stage and in the streets that involve portrayals of traditional Caribbean carnival masquerade characters. Manswell emphasizes how the characters Baby Doll, and Dame Lorraine remain ever fresh, through their capacity to transcend the immediate.

Gail Yvette Davis is an economist who has been dabbling in the arts for decades. This long-time masquerader is a self-described lover of any and everything Carnival. She recalls her first Carnival in Nice, France and her surprise at the orderly, almost military style marching up the avenue. Although struck by how different this European carnival was from what she had experienced in the Caribbean, Davis was able to see commonalities, notably in the female parodies.

Maxine Hamilton-Alexander is a Visual Artist, Caribbean-American and Jamaican immigrant residing in Brooklyn, New York.  Lived experiences include 15 plus years of experience of content writing, programs/events/project development and facilitating, independently. Provides consultation for local creative professionals; assist with grant narratives and programs design. Passionate about The Arts, Culture & Humanities. Specialty - Caribbean Arts & Cultures.

  • Expert  Project and Program Development
  • Events Design
  • Grassroots Community Engagement Facilitator
  • Caribbean-American Cultural Ambassador
  • Cultural Transaction Broker
  • Mentor
  • Volunteer
  • Paints
  • Mother

Please register for this free Zoom event. Registered audience members will receive a Zoom link prior to the event.

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