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Photographer's Note

Labroke Grove is the heart of the spectacular Notting Hill Carnival, held each August Bank Holiday since 1966. This holiday always falls on the last weekend of August with Sunday and Monday being the major carnival days. The festivities started as a local affair set up by the West Indian immigrants of the area and has become a full-blooded Caribbean carnival, attracting millions of people from all around the world. There are scores of massive sound systems, many spectacular floats and steel drum bands additionally, to keep you well fed, there are hundreds of stalls lining the streets of the area selling all sorts of food and drink including Caribbean specialities.

The five disciplines of Carnival are: Mas from (costume, Masquerade), Steelband, Calypso (political, social and satirical commentary, set to music), Soca (the traditional music of Carnival, a fusion of Soul and Calypso) and Static Sound Systems all play their part on the two days of Carnival-on-the-Road, creating what is the climax to a month of pre-Carnival activities such as dances, sound and soca jams, costume galas, steel band competitions, etc.

In recent years the Notting Hill Carnival has grown and grown, reflecting the multicultural nature of our society, with groups participating from Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Bulgaria, Russia, Brazil and many other places as well as from all parts of the Caribbean, Africa, Central and South America and the United Kingdom. Notting Hill Carnival operates an all inclusive policy encouraging artists to celebrate their cultural traditions through art, dance and music media with which they feel most comfortable.

In addition to the procession of costumes, soca and steel bands, which wend their way over a route of some three miles, the area plays host to 45 licensed Static Sound Systems, each playing their own selection of soca, reggae, jazz, soul, hip-hop and funk music, house, garage. This is the aspect of Carnival that appeals to the youths and is evolving at an unpredictable pace with innovative styles and forms of music.

There are hundreds of licensed street stalls selling exotic foods from all corners of the globe as well as arts and crafts. Carnival aims to celebrate the cultural heritage of its founders and at the same time be open enough to take on board evolving contemporary culture with its multiracial, multicultural trends.

(more info at http://www.mynottinghill.co.uk/nottinghilltv/community-carnival-about.htm)

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Additional Photos by Marcos Munoz (munki) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 0 N: 137] (1305)
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