#FBF wow. My sis dragged this out of the vault! I think this is about 20 years ago or more. Best mass art experiment ever. The entire band was types of ‘rats’. Mommy and I played in Bureaucrats along with maybe 200 others. Big rat ear head pieces and Minshall let us have our fun, glorying in whipping and waving these 8ft long rat tails all over the Port of Spain streets all day. Then when we got to the Grand Stand stage, that colossus of collective performance art, and the mas camp team held up our section while they unfurled these red plastic nets. They proceeded to lift them up to head height and instruct the masqueraders to pass the net back. Then they said, ‘play yuh mas!’ And let us take the stage as we were trying to pass the red tape over head. Of course we ran for the stage. Of course we dance, wine, we good carry on. Of course we got tangled, our rat ears catching in the nets, our hands and heads seeming to struggle to come up from under the sea of red tape, our bodies seeming to struggle forward even as the folks behind us seemed to drag us back. The experience was one of the most exciting and collaborative that I’ve ever had in my life. Thanks for the reminder, Annie
"I really believe that applying poetry, or language in general, to trauma is the ultimate act of reclaiming. Naming something gives you a sort of ownership over it (hey, colonialism did it all the time, haha), so choosing words that identify your experience makes it less of this looming unknown that has you at its mercy. It makes everything less ‘something that happened to me’ and more ‘experience/story that belongs to me,’ you know?"