“Our Soul Turned Inside Out” is a documentary that examines traditional Carnival characters created in the 19th century crucible of slavery and emancipation.
The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is today generally perceived as beautiful bodies in bikinis, beads and feathers. Traditional mas is unnoticed or unappreciated, even on the brink of disappearance, because it cannot compete with conventional Carnival characters.
Produced by The Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, this film documents and celebrates some of Trinidad and Tobago’s Traditional Carnival Characters. The violent origins of characters such as ‘Jab Jab’ (Jab = Devil), ‘Jab Molassie’ (Molasses Devil) and Stick Fighters or ‘Neg Jade’ (Negue Jadin = Garden Negro or Field Slave) are explored. The film gives a brief history of how slavery and cultural influences shaped the characters into what they represent today, it presents never-before seen images of the brutal contests that used to take place, with whips and sticks.
The film also highlights the relationship between Trinidad and Tobago’s traditional characters and those of other Caribbean countries, for example, Carriacou and Haiti. The objective of this production is to educate and assist in the preservation and survival of traditional Carnival characters.
“Our Soul Turned Inside Out” reveals the characters themselves; who they really are, their contributions as cultural heroes and ambassadors, who with their own passion and sometimes little support, continue to carry on the traditions year after year, generation after generation. It offers a glimpse into hitherto unknown perspectives of their lives and the preparations they undergo before they transform into the characters they portray.
This event is hosted by Chapeltown Arts, Leeds Black Film Club, Remember Oluwale, Leeds DynaMix, Conversations in Black History and supported by Leeds Beckett University Centre for Culture and the Arts.
Our Soul Turned Inside Out (2015)
Directed by Mary-Ann Brailey, Written by Kim Johnson
Produced by the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago
64 minutes, Cert. 18
Film screening at 8pm. Discussion finishes at 10.30pm.Buy Tickets