1. Cultural Diasporas defined
2. Ways in which Caribbean’s have disseminated their
3. Two (2) case studies are used
(i) Case study of Canada’s Caribana Festival
(ii) Case study of Notting Hill Carnival in London
4. Why Caribbean’s leave their homeland?
5. Challenges faced by Caribbean’s in the Diaspora
6. Relationship with members of the host society
7. Common Theories associated with the study of
What, finally, unsettles about international migration is that it
internalizes the nation- state and globalizes identity.
Fluidity, not fixity, characterizes the migrant, contemporary
nomads and cultural gypsies.
And few, if any, people are more global and more migratory than
those from the Caribbean.
For them, the nation is ‘unbound’ (Basch et al. 1994) and the city,
‘boundless’ (Chamoiseau, 1997).
• From the start, the Caribbean was global, linking as it did Europe and
the Americas, Africa and Asia.
• It was diasporic, both the resting place and the launch pad for
• Caribbean culture itself is global and continues to forge a unique
syncretic cultural form which continues to adapt, transform and
incorporate the local with the global.
(Benitez- Rojo, 1996).
1. One feature of Caribbean migration is it’s historical longevity and
impermanence. (Conway, 1988) calls it ‘circularity’ where generations of
migrants maintain informal contacts with ‘home’.
• The revolution in transportation and communication
has eased their way for many migrants to retain
their links ‘back- home’ (Chamberlain, 1997).
Caribbean’s have disseminated their
culture worldwide in such ways:
3. The culture of the Caribbean continues its ‘globalizing mission’ in the form of
its migrants; who ‘traffic’ the culture of the Caribbean by absorbing, changing
and indigenizing it
( Basch et al. 1994).
• (Craig, 1992) referred to the
‘indigenization’ of Diasporic
communities where cultural
practices are transmitted
creating a new ‘syncretic’
Caribbean culture abroad.
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL, LONDON
• Caribbean migration has permitted a peculiar ‘global favour’ permitting
Caribbean retentions in the new creole cultures of the migrant destination
as well transporting new elements back home.
WEST MALL, TRINDAD
• 4. The experience of migration has developed a consciousness of the Caribbean
and an awareness of its unique position and placement (Craig, 1992).
HISTORY OF THE CARIBANA FESTIVAL
Caribana began as the
dream of ten
backgrounds but with a
common West Indian
heritage. They called
their organisation the
THE EVOLUTION OF CANADA’S CARIBANA FESTIVAL
On July 28, 1967 it was
formally incorporated as
the Caribbean Committee
for Cultural Advancement,
but later changed to the
(January 15, 1969).
The Evolution of Canada’s CaribanaThe Evolution of Canada’s Caribana
Begun in 1967 as the Caribbean community's
contribution to Canada's centennial celebrations,
Caribana has become a major annual summer
event in Toronto attracting some one million
people. Inspired primarily by Trinidad's annual pre-
Lenten Carnival, this two-week festival of the arts
reflects the diverse expressive traditions of the
Caribbean, bringing together a wide range of
indigenous songs and instrumental music, dances,
masquerade and oral traditions, and also featuring
various foods and folkways of the region. In the
latter 1980s participation by groups from Central
and South America, Africa, the Bahamas, Haiti, and
Canada has added a dimension of multiculturalism
to the festival that is uniquely Canadian.
The Musical Component Of CaribanaThe Musical Component Of Caribana
Zuk ( St Lucia)
CARIBANA FESTIVAL: DISSEMINATING ‘WE’ CULTURE
Festival events include:
Calypso 'tents' (shows)
‘Mas' (masquerade) Competitions
A Junior Carnival
‘Pan Blockos' or ‘Blockoramas' (steelband street parties)
‘Talk tents' (shows featuring story tellers, comedians, and others expert in the oral traditions)
A series of moonlight cruises on Lake Ontario, and a Caribana picnic on Toronto Island.
CARIBANA FESTIVAL: A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Their dream was the
construction of a
Caribbean culture and
a statement of
belonging to their
adopted land, Canada.
The Diasporic Caribbean Carnivals
• Hybrid Carnivals:
– The Jonkonnu masks of Jamaica and the Bahamas,
– The first Diasporic Carnival occurred in Harlem, New York in the
1920s (Nurse, 1999). Now referred to as Labour Day. Since
– The major overseas Caribbean carnivals are Notting Hill and
Caribana. They became institutionalized during the mid to late
1960s at the peak in Caribbean migration
The Diasporic Caribbean Carnivals
• The emergence of the carnivals can be related to the rise of Black Power
• The carnivals had been developed to promote cultural identity and
socio-political integration within the Caribbean Diasporic community
as well as with the host society.
ORIGINS OF LONDON’S NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
The Notting Hill Carnival is an
annual event that since 1966 has
taken place on the streets
of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of
Kensington and Chelsea, London,
UK, each August over three days
(the August bank holiday Monday
and the two days beforehand). It
is led by members of the West
First held in 1964 as an offshoot
of the Trinidad Carnival, the
Notting Hill Carnival has
remained true to its Caribbean
roots, bringing a spirit of diversity
ORIGINS OF LONDON’S notting hill carnival
• The roots of the Notting Hill Carnival that took shape in the mid-1960s
come from two separate but connected strands.
• A "Caribbean Carnival" was held on 30 January 1959 in St Pancras Town
Hall as a response to the depressing state of race relations at the time;
the UK's first widespread racial attacks (the Notting HILL race riots)
had occurred the previous year.
• The 1959 event, held indoors and televised by the BBC, was organised
by Trinidadian Claudia Jones (often described as "the mother of the
Notting Hill Carnival") in her capacity as editor of Britain's first black
newspaper The West Indian Gazette, and directed by Edric Connor;
showcasing elements of a Caribbean carnival cabaret style.
• The other important strand was the "hippie" London Free School-inspired festival in
Notting Hill that became the first organised outside event in August 1966.
• Among the early bands to participate were Ebony Steelband and Metronomes
• "Notting Hill Carnival became a major festival in 1975 when it was organised by a
young teacher called Leslie Palmer.“ The carnival was also popularised by live radio
broadcasts by Alex Pascall on his daily Black Londonersprogramme for BBC Radio
• When the Notting Hill Carnival first started, around 500 people
attended the Caribbean festival. Today it attracts hundreds of
thousands to London, and continues to grow in popularity. You
can expect to see some 50,000 performers more than 30 sound
systems. More than 1 million people attend over the Carnival
• Sunday at The Notting Hill Carnival is Family Day. It kicks off with J’Ouvert,
a fun opening with dance, drummers and steel bands from 6am until
9am; before the children’s day parade gets under way. It's also the day
costume prizes are awarded.
• Bank Holiday Monday sees the main parade. In the evening, the floats
leave the streets in procession and people continue the festivities at the
many Notting Hill Carnival after-parties.
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL: ITS IMPACT ON FUTURE GENERATIONS
• Experts identified the following external developments that they considered
important for the future of the Notting Hill Carnival:
• a. Increased house prices and gentrification in Notting Hill
• b. Increase in security, health and safety issues
• c. Political change which led to decreased funding
• d. Change in London’s ethnic make-up
• e. Differentiation of attendee groups
• f. Legal restrictions concerning noise, pollution, etc.
• g. Changing identity of London as a world city
• h. Notting Hill Carnival’s location
• i. Political developments affecting residents and businesses
• j. Emerging new generation of ‘makers’ and producers
1. THEY LEFT IN SEARCH OF WORK
• The first wave of migrants occurred post – world war which coincided with
Britain’s labour shortage and the reconstruction programmes it had
created (Peach, 1968). Between 1948-1973 approximately 550,000 people
arrived in Britain (Peach, 1991).
2. IN SEARCH OF HIGHER STANDARDS OF LIVING
• Caribbean governments recognize foreign exchange earnings sent through
remittances and through the spending power of returnees to visit home
,as of economic and political importance (Chamberlain & Goulbourne).
Why Caribbeans leave their homeland?
1. Violent riots in Notting Hill in 1958 caused the Immigration Act of 1962 and 1965 to
close the door on further immigration.
2. (Banton, 1967) spoke about the practice of racial prejudice and discrimination
3. (Rex & Tomlinson, 1979) spoke of the
impact of teasing on West Indians
where explanations for
attributed to their social, cultural
and historical attributes.
CHALLENGES FACED BY CARIBBEAN’S IN THE DIASPORA:
1. Lord Jenkins in 1968 stated that assimilation was not desirable and instead
Britain should recognize ‘cultural diversity’ and encourage ‘mutual
2. The Swann Report of 1985 sought to enshrine ‘multi-culturalism’ in the
education system in order to create a ‘socially cohesive’ society.
Relationship with members of the host society:
London & Partners Brixton Market,
3. Kasinitz (1992) refers to the ‘creolization’ of Caribbean communities abroad
and the sense of global identity and perspective that Caribbean’s transmit
about themselves e.g. with language, food, clothing etc.
‘Creolization’ means more than just mixture; it involves the creation of new cultures.
Roger Abraham referred to it as "culture with an attitude"(2002).
What is transnationalism?
• “The concept of transnationalism was introduced into
academic discourse in the early nineties when social
anthropologists noted that a new kind of migrant population
was emerging, composed of those whose networks, activities
and patterns of life encompass both their host and home
(Glick Schiller, Basch & Blanc-Szanton, 1992).
• Glick Schiller et al. (1992: 1) defined transnationalism
as ‘the process by which immigrants build social
fields that link together their country of origin and
their country of settlement’.
• Transnationalism creates a greater degree of connection
between individuals, communities and societies across
borders, bringing about changes in the social, cultural,
economic and political landscapes of societies of origin
(International Organization of Migration, 2010)
• Trans-migrants develop and maintain familial,
economic, social, organizational, religious, or
political relations that span national borders.
• They take actions, make decisions, feel concerns and
develop identities within social networks that
connect them to two or more societies at the same
(Glick Schiller et al., 1992: 2)
ECONOMIC TRANSNATIONAL ACTIVITIES
• Examples of economic transnational activities include
monetary remittances, migrant entrepreneurship or
the collective transfer of resources or products to the
local community (Country of origin).
• Portes (2003) argues, transnational economic ties are
of great importance for the development of the
countries of origin. For instance, monetary
remittances and migrant investments play an
important role in generating welfare for the families
left behind in the country of origin.
POLITICAL TRANSNATIONAL ACTIVITIES
• Political activities include participation in electoral
activities, political affiliations or political mobilization
in the country of settlement
(Al-Ali, Black & Koser, 2001)
SOCIAL TRANSNATIONAL ACTIVIES
• Examples of transnational activities include visiting and
maintaining contacts with family and friends in the country
of origin, joining organizations in the country of residence or
the country of origin, participation in cultural activities,
watching home country television, etc.
(Al-Ali 2001 & Jayaweera & Choudbury, 2008)
OTHER MIGRATION THEORIES
• Ravenstein- Laws of Migration
• Lee - Push-Pull factors
• Gravity Model
• Intervening Opportunity Model
• Chain Migration
• Cohen, Robin (1998) “The Caribbean Case,” in Caribbean Migration: Globalised Identities, ed.
Chamberlain Mary. London: Routledge.
• Al-Ali, N., Black, R. & Koser, K. (2001). Refugees and transnationalism: the experience of Bosnians
and Eritreans in Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 27(4), pp. 615-634.
• Glick Schiller, N., Basch, L. & Blanc-Szanton, C. (1992). Toward a transnational perspective on
migration: race, class, ethnicity, and nationalism reconsidered. New York: New York Academy
• Jayaweera, H., & Choudhury, T. (2008). Immigration, faith and cohesion: Evidence from local
areas with significant Muslim populations. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Oxford: Centre on
Migration, Policy and Society
SYNCRETISM:uncritical acceptance of conflicting or divergent beliefs or principles.
SYNCRETISM:the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.
“HYBRIDITY” can be understood as the ongoing condition of all human cultures, which contain no zones of purity because they undergo continuous processes oftransculturation (two-way borrowing and lending between cultures),” (RenatoRosaldo , 1995).
Assimilation:- the process in which one group takes on the cultural and other traits of a larger group