Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Junkanoo Revival?

Blogworld � Posting, or not (a Junkanoo meditation) I really enjoyed reading Nicolette's Junkanoo critique, the right-on musical discussion, the sell-outs of the past, as well as the positive evolutions. She seems to be sensing the end of a period of decline for our beloved festival, and the beginning of a new Time when Junkanooers return to more authentic rythms and tempos and other positive evolutions Nicolette also plants a seed that I wish we'd all help to grow: the remembrance of the Junkanooer as the one who is making a rukkus down Bay Street, the place where government sits and where the moneymaking establishment resides, because he has something important to say to them, s/he is the voice of the people that is usually silenced but on this occasion cannot be silenced. They are the ones we instintually look to year after year TO SPEAK FOR US, to remind the rich and powerful that we the people are here, that we are watching them, that we know what is going on, that we know our collective power and right to challenge and to question, and to revolt nonviolently when need be. I believe we also look to them to act like the Sacred Clowns in Anne Cameron's book, The Daughters of Copper Woman. In that traditional Canadian Indian town in pre-invasion times every tribe had a Sacred Clown, whose job it was to show you the error of your ways. If you were rude, or a cheat, or some other kind of charlatan the Sacred Clown would appear on the doorstep one morning, and silently but relentlessly follow you around and mock your bad behavior until you shaped up. What if Junkanooers did that these days? To the crooked politicians and the hateful preachers and the thieving merchants and the child abusers and woman batterers? Followed them around licking cowbells day and night until they were changed? We could select one woman or man for this job every year, call them the Junkanoo Laureate, pass an ordinace so that we are compelled to tolerate their presence, make it an esteemed position... In the meantime, we can let the folks in the Bay Street festival know that we all love Junkanoo and need it to get a new voice now, and we all need to return to it because of the empowerment that it returns to us.
In hope,
with thanks to Nicolette,
and with New Year blessings to all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just a thought- do you think that ten or twelve years ago when the route for Junkanoo was changed i.e. to go along with traffic and not against it was the beginning of assimulation into main stream 'sell outism'. Let me explain - the origins of Junkanoo had its root in subversive rebellion - to go against the oppressor, against the tide- against traffic. It is an historical root of agitation, and should have remained this as a reminder that our people could go against the system even in 2007 - symbolically, it showed historical evolution of the Democratic process (literally) Do you think this was a mistake that this was done? We need to remember the historical root of our traditions - they matter and resistance is as part of this as all the new colourful trappings. Thank you

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