Originaly researched and compiled by Pax Nindi
The story of St. Pauls Afrikan Caribbean Carnival is one of a community’s success; from its small beginnings in the late sixties to the present day. The whole event now takes over the neighbourhood of St. Pauls in Bristol and involves schools, community groups and host professional performers. Until recently St Pauls has had a large Afrikan Caribbean population demonstrated by the strong community spirit shown in this annual carnival.
The involvement of a new Board and engagement of an Artistic Director after reorganisation in 2006 has improved the artistic quality, management and relations with the media, funders and sponsors. That has been instrumental in the increase in attendance to this event from the 40,000 audiences it attracted in the past to 60,000 in 2007 and over 65,000 in 2008 despite the bad weather and reaching 100,000 in 2011.
St Pauls The Area
St Pauls is an inner suburb of Bristol, England, situated just north east of the city centre and west of the M32. In the early 18th century it was laid out as one of Bristol’s first suburbs. Its turbulent history has been marked by rapid growth. The area was damaged during World War II followed by large immigration after the war which left the area a bit neglected.
St Pauls Architecture
Many of the buildings in St Pauls are Georgian with Portland Square, and St Pauls Church as particularly fine examples of Georgian architecture in the area. Both were designed by Daniel Hague although the original St Pauls Church was to be designed by James Allen in a Greek style. Work was started on the church in 1789 and completed in 1794. In 2005 the church was converted into its present form as the home of Circomedia a local circus school.
St Pauls Carnival Today
The Carnival has run continuously since 1968, with a break in 2002 and 2006 when the Board was restructured and more recently 2012. It has grown to become nationally recognised and now attracts over 100,000 people each year. The carnival involves over a thousand participants including sound systems, children from the local primary schools, artists, local sports events, circus, visiting groups, parents and officials, which makes it a vibrant carnival event.
Run as a not-for-profit organisation and became a registered charity in 2010, which oversees the planning, and delivery of this loved carnival it is a glittering pageant of costumes, cultures and floats, each reflecting powerful cultural traditions from around the world. Alongside the famous street parade there are a host of sound systems playing different styles of music, live stages featuring local and international artists, spoken word corner co-ordinated by local poets, stalls offering a taste of foods from different continents, a creative environment for families located in St. Agnes Park and pre carnival events including Mas camps where local people can gather to create their own costumes.
Reference from Wikipedia and speaking with local people.
Pax Nindi June 2008
updated October 2012
STORY BEHIND THE CARNIVAL LOGO
A deep and rich story, heavily rooted in independence, revolution and cultural identity, the Carnivals logo conveys its story as each element has meaning attached to it.
The symbolism of the colours is key:
Red is a memorial to the blood-shed.
Yellow stands for the wealth of treasured heritage.
Green represents the earth, without which human life could not exist.
The blue egg represents rebirth and continuous growth.
Heart shaped face represents cultural identity, love & respect.
The African shaped head piece honours the enslaved.