Category Archives: Lifestyle

A/W14 Make-Up Trends: Beauty is Individuality

Leading the way with the seasonal trends for A/W14, MAC Cosmetics have taken it to a different level – makeup has become something of a beautiful paradox.   It’s about using the artistry of make up to achieve essentially un-cosmetic looks: “What looks effortless is actually very meticulous,” declares Romero Jennings.

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trends

Natural skin colour becomes the prominent feature, adding dimension with a subtle pearl sheen.   Concealers are used to cover only redness and spots.  Skin is well moisturized, and attention to detail is key.

“The new luxury is individuality,” states Gordon Espinet.  The brow is an accent, not a statement; mascara is lightly applied or non-existent, creating an effortless eye easily intensified using additional depth of colour or pigment; lips follow suit, mainly clean and natural with and occasional vibrant colour, blended rather than defined.

Off Colour

A palette of classic tones with a murkier edge become the new neutrals, blending seamlessly with skin tones and creating a mystical, impactful eye in transparent tones of grey contrast with a bright mouth.

Put this trend together with smart placement of colour on the face; apricot, terracotta and sage green appear alongside burgundies and orange.  Eyes are fresh, boldness is created with depth of colour; only the forehead and edge of nose are powdered, letting natural skin shine through.

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trend - Off Colour

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trend Off Colour Essentials
AW14 Trend: Off Colour – The Essentials

Streamlined

Simple, architectural lines drawn on the eyes are framed by a defined brow, creating a sultry, sexy look without the heaviness of mascara, keeping it edgy with a pop of pastels and vibrant primary colours.   “Beautiful punk….gorgeous but still street” says Lucia Pieroni; Terry Barber explains: “the idea of something contained against something organic is what keeps it feeling modern.”

A great look when you want to wear a little colour.  Liner becomes an ornament, while skin has minimal coverage, giving a look of softness with an air of confidence, combining classic and elegant with an element of toughness and worn-in glamour.

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trend: Streamlined

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trend Streamlined Essentials
AW14 Trends: Streamlined – The Essentials

On Reflection

Described by Lucia Pieroni as a “portrait of a woman: futuristic feel to the skin, metallic, balmy, doe-eye, eyeliner…..sexy but subtle.”  Exploring how shine brings a play on light when punctuated against matte, this look is about designed minimalism; thoughtful application provides a luxurious approach to shaping the face.

Eyes shimmer in neutral metallics through to a literal gloss with a clean lip; the tone on tone colour scheme is enhanced predominantly in gold with forays into copper, pewter and silver contrasting with glossy, gleaming skin.

MAC AW14 On Reflection looks

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trends On Reflection Essentials
AW14 Trends: On Reflection – The Essentials

Unprocessed

“Real” is the new “natural,” with a softer look that reveals a strong, self-assured, cool & relevant woman that doesn’t have to try too hard. It’s about working with the skin to create a minimalist – yet effective – fresh and beautiful look, with an appreciation for the natural structure & tones of the face.

Terry Barber describes the trend as: “classic French minimal chic”; washes of pinks and earthy tones on fresh skin harness an otherworldly, ethereal, undeniably feminine look that appears effortless, creating contour and light using gloss and strong shading.

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trend: Unprocessed

MAC Cosmetics AW14 Trends Unprocessed Essentials
AW14 Trends: Unprocessed – The Essentials

 

Get The Look: Click on the link below to download face charts for each AW14 trend created by M.A.C artists for fashion weeks in 2014.

FW14 Editorial Looks

M.A.C Cosmetics create the looks seen on the catwalks of over 650 fashion shows a year, taking these as inspiration for their seasonal trends and translating them into something wearable for everyday women.

M.A.C Cosmetics have 19 locations throughout the Caribbean including: Barbados, St Lucia, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe

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Carnival Fever! Mas Up The Beauty

Say the word Carnival and it conjures up a visual of stunning, colourful costumes with feathers and beads; outfits adorned in gems and jewels and beautiful women; rhythmic music, partying, liming, and dancing – something we in the Caribbean are well-versed in! Carnival is celebrated throughout the region and different islands call it by different names, and impart their own style.  Some are better known than others, and as the diaspora has spread through the globe, they have taken their festivals with them to the streets of New York, Toronto, London and LA.  The world has embraced Carnival Caribbean style!

“It’s said you haven’t played mas until you’ve experienced true carnival in Trinidad, jumped in Jamaica and wined in Barbados…”

In homage to carnival, we asked M.A.C Cosmetics to create some stunning makeup looks for a shoot with Zulu International, (one of Barbados’s most popular bands) to showcase the vibrant colours of the gorgeous headpieces that form part of their costumes for Kadooment 2014 – the culmination of Barbados’ CropOver (carnival) season, their stunning designs will cross the stage on Monday 4 August as they dance their way to Bridgetown with pulsing music and a premium experience that has garnered a loyal following.

Cinderella carnival makeup look by MAC
Cinderella
Makeup looks by MAC Cosmetics for Zulu International
Jasmine
MAC Cosmetics created looks for Zulu International carnival band, Barbados
Fairy
Carnival band Makeup looks by MAC Cosmetics
Mermaid
Red Riding Hood make up look by MAC Cosmetics for Zulu International
Red Riding Hood
Saadiya Nakhuda as the Wicked Witch for Caribbean Bazaar
Wicked Witch
Make up look for CropOver Barbados band Zulu
Snow White
Carnival make up looks with Zulu International costumes
Evil Queen

Zulu International has established itself in just two years as a band to watch out for (they sold out their entire 2014 band in 3 days!) and was chosen by none other than the Caribbean Queen herself, Rihanna, to be the band she jumped with in 2013.  Rumour has it she’ll be back again this year in a custom design!  Through the creative direction of their designer and co-producer, Lauren Austin, the costumes each year just keep getting more spectacular and her designs for 2014 are no exception.  Based around the theme ‘Once Upon a Time’, inspiration was drawn from well-known folk tales and fairy stories, creating a beautifully put together collection that takes characters from fables and brings them firmly into Zulu territory!

Makeup provided by M.A.C.  MUA: Sabrina Newsam.
Creative Direction: Caribbean Bazaar
Photography: Jaryd Niles-Morris.  Assistant: Ryan Austin
Models: Ashlee Haynes, Tamika Grant, Jena Barrow, Helena Shankar, Karma Warrington, Kanisha Taitt; Saadiyah Nakhuda/LOUD|87
Thanks to Zulu International: Ryan and Lauren Austin/Rondell Jones

Take a look at their band launch video and see the costumes in their entirety!

www.zuluinternational.com
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Summer Beauty Essentials

Summer 2014 is all about a fresh, healthy glow – bright, beautiful and moisturized skin creates a clean base for makeup with a decent SPF (30+) for added sun protection.

These are our favourite products we couldn’t do without this summer!

Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30

A really useful all-rounder of a moisturizer that brightens skin, evens out skin tone and protects against UV Rays while helping to prevent aging & discolouration caused by the sun.  As always, Neutrogena’s formulations are dermatologist-tested, non-greasy, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (which just means it won’t block your pores).

Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer SPF30

Available at chemists, Duty Free Caribbean, department stores and supermarkets/grocery stores.

MAC Prep & Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF

A fantastic product for lustrous summer skin, M.A.C have added three new bronze shades to their Prep & Prime BB collection which will work well for those Caribbean skin tones: Golden (muted golden tan-beige with shimmer), Refined Golden (golden with a soft pearl finish) and Amber (golden bronze with a fine gold pearl).  Each shade is available in cream (SPF 35) or a take-anywhere, easy-to-use solid cream compact (SPF 30) along with the perfect applicator, the  #191 square foundation brush.

MAC Prep Prime BB cream compact

Wear alone, with concealer or as a base for foundation – you get broad spectrum SPF protection, a formula that locks in moisture while enhancing your skin’s natural luminosity, blurring imperfections and evening skin tone.

Available at at M.A.C stores in the Caribbean

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Body Treatment

Already devotees of the original Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (a multi-use go-to beauty essential from way back in the day hailed by supermodels as a miracle product), we discovered the Intensive Moisturizing Body Treatment a few years ago and have been using it since.

Elizabeth Arden Eight 8 hour cream intensive body treatment

Elizabeth Arden cleverly capitalized on the cult status of the name, expanding the line and in the process creating the most divine body moisturizer that sinks into your skin leaving a non-greasy light sheen (as it’s name indicates, it keeps skin moisturized for up to 8 hours) and has a refreshing, lingering fragrance.  Best value is the mega size jar – sometimes it’s sold as a get 3 for the price of 2 (even more savings and a great idea for a gift!).

Available at Duty Free Caribbean stores and department stores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Luxe with Terra Nova

Visiting Jamaica is always a pleasure; in the last few years there has been a spate of renovations and upgrades to some of the established hotels in Kingston, making them ideal choices to for business travellers or visitors staying in the area; popular with locals for dining or partying, hotels such as Terra Nova have redeveloped with international standards and style, cleverly combining the history of the original with a modern chic aesthetic.

Terra Nova All Suite Hotel Kingston Jamaica

Once a stately home, the Terra Nova Hotel is a lush little spot in Kingston, Jamaica; there is a feeling of space, as foliage is used to separate different areas and walkways.  Nature creates ‘walls’ surrounding the conference rooms, pool, spa & gym, with sculptures with an equine theme (a rearing stallion!) in front of the hotel, with the backdrop of the blue mountains. Gardens and grounds Terra Nova Hotel Kingston Jamaica Art is clearly an important element of the hotel – stunning life-like masks by Nakazi Tafari adorn the walls, can be found buried in amongst the plants in the gardens and hanging, surrounded by vines. Caribbean art by Nakazzi in Jamaica Terra Nova is an all suite hotel that goes the next step with lovely touches – complimentary fruit plates, water, coffee & tea; each day a fresh bottle of water with a chocolate – the little things that make us feel good!  The showers were incredible – after a long day returning to our rooms was a welcome respite before venturing out again!  We loved the elegant decor and luxurious details. Design decor Terra Nova Kingston Jamaica One of our party had been assigned the Presidential Suite – upstairs from the lobby, it is fit for a king with it’s own terrace looking out over the grounds and private staircase downstairs; it has it’s own wet bar conveniently hidden behind screen doors and enough space to host our entire group…….the wine and a fruit bowl as a welcome gift was quickly opened and shared! Lobby at the Terra Nova Hotel, Jamaica The lobby’s cozy seating in rich colours with comfortable chairs, grand piano and what can only be described as sheer temptation at the patisserie – a gorgeous display of macaroons with other yummy delights was hard to ignore; it was the crossroads to a plethora of choices: two dining rooms and the hip Regency bar and lounge with the most spectacular wine wall display where those-in-the-know collect and connect.   The food was simply delicious; the breakfast buffet made us put on a few pounds while the dinner menu was full of lip-smacking choices that we could barely finish!

While walking off the food, we discovered two European fashion stores on the ground floor and outside the back entrance a classic casino/gaming lounge with all the one-armed bandits and gaming machines you could want.  On top of all that – the staff were always helpful and friendly, despite our many questions!

www.terranovajamaica.com

Celebrating the Wild Feminine Divine

Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné’s talent is rendered in gorgeous images and succulent words that capture both your heart and your head; the beautiful colours, flowing lines and inherent wildness of her artwork draw you in, while her poetry captures your soul from the moment you hear or read it; a searing honesty steeped in the divine feminine.

Caribbean art by Danielle Boodoo-Fortune
‘Zaboca Goddess’

Her inspiration comes from a very personal place; growing up in rural Trinidad – “it’s a huge part of who I am” – between her grandmothers (a blend of East Indian, Chinese, Carib & African descent), she learnt the meaning of feminine strength and where true power lies. Her creations make sense of her multi-cultural background and the many stories and narratives from her childhood shared by these “amazing women” in a beautiful and magical way; recurring elements throughout her work include her own map of symbols that come to her unconsciously.  “I usually don’t know what they represent or mean until after [the] pieces are created.”

Caribbean artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortune
‘In The Quiet’

The story of Persephone and the cycle of relationships is a consistent theme – “it’s a tale of a mother and daughter, sadness & loss, oneness and yet separateness, the complexity and difficulty of relationships between the two.  It comes back to the same place of memories.”  The branches or antlers denote sensitivity and understanding: “it’s important not to let go of your innate wildness, a freeness, a connection to your own needs & impulses.”  The cursive, flowing shapes have a seamless fluidity, connecting directly with the landscape and surroundings like roots.

10300665_651150358289029_330768927317382986_n Danielle sees her life unravelling as a journey of evolution through discovery.  “Poetry came first.  I started seriously in 2008. The art came 3 or 4 years later. Both happen on different frequencies, although I find painting easier.”  More recently, her paintings have featured snippets of her poetry, strings of words flowing around her subjects that create a new dimension to appreciate.  It’s the authenticity of her work that really enthralls; an homage to mother nature, a celebration of the wildness that resides deep inside.

Art by Caribbean artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortune
The Sisters

A published author, her poetry has been featured in several print publications and she has appeared at many of the literary festivals in the region, making new connections along the way.  “Each one is very different, and has their own vibe.”  A recent trip to the Bim Lit Fest in Barbados saw her participate in a workshop for 8-12 year olds, which she found particularly rewarding; she strongly believes in passing on her knowledge and experience to a younger generation, encouraging them to express themselves in a creative space.

Danielle Boodoo-Fortune at Bim Lit Fest 2014
Bim Lit Fest 2014

While the business of art via brick and mortar retail stores can be challenging, she has built an online presence that not only allows her to connect with other artists and designers outside of Trinidad – it has become the primary way she makes a living, selling a small range of products including limited edition original art, prints, bookmarks and a colouring book.  Together with her husband, a graphic artist, also run their own business – an art studio supplies store in Trinidad.  Currently in a transition period, her focus has turned to improving her body of work and creating larger pieces, a timely decision as in our view her style begs to be rendered on an oversized canvas.

Caribbean artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortune
Highlight of an older work

Particular about her use of media, Danielle prefers to create certain shapes on wood, for instance, as she feels the longer, straighter lines and deeper colours work better, whereas the curves and fluidity of watercolour are best on paper.   She’s also not a fan of traditional exhibitions, and would rather show her pieces in a relaxed environment, surrounded by nature.   “Art galleries can be too sterile.  It’s hard to connect with the pieces on a white wall.”

celebrating the wild feminine divine
Criatura

While confident in her artistry, Danielle acknowledges that it’s been hard to let go of feeling as though she has to constantly validate what she does.  “I am mapping my own journey.   It’s actually a simple change but so hard to implement because of the academic focus at school and how the school system beats [the creativity] out of you.  I’m figuring it out as I go along.”

Website: danielleboodoofortune.com

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5 a Day: Our Must-Do’s in Kingston, Jamaica

So you’ve arrived in Kingston, Jamaica.  We know the list of things to do are endless – so here are our recommendations for 5 essential must-do’s if you have a day free to explore:

1.  As you depart the airport building, our first recommendation is to hit the nut – the coconut, that is!  Cool down at Going Nuts.  Right outside the arrivals area, it’s a perfect way to refresh yourself after a flight.  Go au naturel – remove the straw and use the coconut as your glass!

Norman Manley Airport, Kingston

coconut vendor kingston jamaica
Get your fix at the airport – cool, fresh coconut water! Great jet lag fix!

2.  Grab a taxi and hit the road – 56 Hope Road to be precise!  The Bob Marley Museum is a mecca for any fan of Bob Marley and reggae music – where you can get a glimpse into the life of the legend.

Bob Marley Museum - Kingston, Jamaica
Bob Marley Museum – Kingston, Jamaica

A life-size statue of Bob stands in front of the house, next to stone lions; the house tour was fascinating, giving insight into the man himself and his rasta lifestyle, with iconic items on display (including the famous denim shirt he wore on tour framed on the wall), the bullet holes from the assassination attempt and a even a view into his bedroom.  We could have spent hours reading the press clippings that adorned the walls from floor to ceiling in one room but there was still so much to see!

Bob Marley Statue Jamaica
56 Hope Road

From the multitude of music awards won by both Bob and his family, to the studio in which much of his music was created, it was informative and interesting – the tour guide certainly knew her stuff. The official tour ended with a documentary showing in a small cinema which was a real treat.  There’s a lovely gift shop where you can get all Marley’d up, murals painted on walls around the grounds and a cafe serving Marley Coffee no less – as if one needed more encouragement to stop and linger for a while….

Murals Bob Marley Museum
Murals at the Bob Marley Museum

Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road, Kingston 6

Tel: +1 (876) 927 9152

3.   If you time it right (close to lunchtime!), head over to Scotchies for a taste of some quintessential Jamaican cuisine – Jerk Chicken and an ice cold Red Stripe.  Here’s a tip: if you get there early, like we did, you’re first in line when the crowds arrive.  This place is chipping with customers all day.  The amazing smells alone were worth the wait, as we watched the guys in the ‘jerk room’ cooking the chicken on massive BBQ pits with grills made of bamboo and covered with a piece of paling.  It’s also a popular place to stop through after a late night of partying!  FYI there’s also a location in Montego Bay & Ocho Rios.

Scotchies Jerk, Halfway Tree Road, Kingston

Scotchies and Devon House - explore Kingston in a day
Scotchies for Jerk & a Red Stripe; dessert at Devon House for I Scream!

4.  Onwards to the historic Devon House for dessert at the infamous I Scream – an almost overwhelming choice of 27 flavours of rich, creamy and delicious locally made ice cream, all made from fresh local ingredients.  Some of the more unique flavours included Coconut Cream, Devon Stout (not sure about that one), Rocky River and our favourite, Soursop.  A waffle cone comes packed to the brim with huge scoops of yumminess that we almost couldn’t finish.  Almost!

I Scream, Devon House, Hope Road, Kingston

5.  One of our favourite stores for a bit of retail therapy is Kerry manwomanhome – a unique boutique on South Avenue in Kingston that’s a haven for local fashionistas.  It looks deceptively small on the outside, but once you step in the door the space opens up to reveal room upon room with beautiful displays and floor to ceiling shelving showcasing a carefully curated selection of fashion, swimwear, jewellery, accessories, footwear, beautiful coffee table books, art, body products and gift items from both local and international brands.  Kerry manwomanhome store Kingston Jamaica

Retail Therapy at Kerry manwomanhome!

It’s a great place to find pieces by local Jamaican designers such as Lubica and Designs Bimi although the brands do change each season.  Owner Kerry-Ann Clarke is also a stylist for none other than Tessanne Chin and Yendi Phillips.  Tip: if you visit during opening hours and it seems closed – don’t worry – just ring the bell!

Kerry manwomanhome, 18 South Avenue, Kingston 10

Tel: +1 (876) 929 2096

 

 

Jamaica’s Calabash Goes Globalishus

Calabash Literary Festival Jamaica 2014 GlobalishusFrom auspicious beginnings, Jamaica’s Calabash Festival has become THE literary event to attend in the Caribbean, attracting some of the biggest names in literature from around the world and inspiring the development of regional literary festivals in islands such as Trinidad, Barbados and Dominica.  Caribbean Bazaar spoke with Calabash co-founder Justine Henzell to find out more about how the “greatest likkle festival” has earned it’s stellar reputation.

There is a tale, often repeated, of how the first Calabash Literary Festival in 2001 was heralded by the arrival of yellow butterflies as the event opened, then disappearing as soon as it was over, as if the spirits of writers gone before were sending their blessings.  A labour of love, Calabash has been built purely through the tireless work of volunteers and co-founders into a must-attend event for aspiring and published writers and authors where there are not only readings but seminars and workshops, all free to attend.

Co-founders of Calabash - Colin Channer, Kwame Dawes, Justine Henzell
Colin Channer, Kwame Dawes, Justine Henzell: Co-founders of Calabash Literary Festival

The idea for Calabash was sparked by the frustration felt by friends and authors Kwame Dawes and Colin Channer as they embarked on a disastrous book tour in the UK.  Recognising that there was a opportunity, their “crazy idea” was to stage their own literary festival in their homeland of Jamaica.  Realising they needed someone on the ground, Colin contacted his friend Justine Henzell, a freelance film producer with a predilection for crazy ideas and a family owned hotel called Jake’s.  So the journey began……

Held every year for the first decade, Calabash is now a two-day biennial event held on even years, welcoming authors, writers, poets and musicians to the beautiful surroundings of Jake’s Hotel at Treasure Beach, a tiny fishing village in the south of the island.  “It’s a heavy workload to put on an event like this every year.  Holding it every two years makes it easier on everyone” acknowledges Justine. It was a practical decision,  not just for the volunteers but also for sponsors and funding, which they have found to be the most challenging aspect.

“People thought we were crazy and insane – not only for developing a literary festival but also because of it’s location” Justine explains.  “We started with 300 people attending and are now getting 3,000.”

One of the attractions of Calabash, she explains, is that “it’s not a staid and stuffy event.”  The vibe is relaxed and casual, readings are framed with a gorgeous oceanfront backdrop; the stage is simply decorated with flowers and calabash gourds; the lectern is made from bamboo and uses rocks as paperweights.  There is a feeling of authenticity, of genuine appreciation for the work being shared – the ambiance is that of a friendly hangout, where everyone mingles together.  It goes without saying that reggae music is an integral part of the whole event, with performances from artists at the end of each day – Justine could not have conceived Calabash without it: “Music is a big part of it organically – every day ends with music” she says.

Calabash Literary Festival at Treasure Beach Jamaica
Images via http://www.susumba.com

“We aim to share a good balance of literati [at Calabash]” says Justine, revealing a line up that includes representatives from Asia, India, Kenya as well as the Caribbean.  For 2014, Salman Rushdie heads up a delicious roster of names including Jamaica Kincaid, Zadie Smith, Robert Antoni, Karen Lord, Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, Ngugi Wa Thiong’O, Mervyn Morris (Jamaica’s first Poet Laureate inaugurated this year) and K’wan Foye to name just a few of the nearly 30 invited to participate this year. calabash-2014-lineup

Indeed, previous participants wax lyrical about their experiences at Calabash. “I can’t tell you how many authors say to us it’s the most responsive/respectful audience they have ever had.  [The audience] are sitting there…..they are not silent…….they are responding to what is being read, they are not chatting amongst themselves.  Simultaneously responsive and respectful.”

When co-founder Colin Channer made a decision to resign from the board officially in 2012, many speculated on the reasons why.  Justine is unfazed by the so-called controversy: “Kwame and Colin are best friends, even when we launched….[the 2014 event] in Kingston, Kwame referred to the ghost of Colin Channer that was hovering with us.  Colin is not actively a member of Calabash but he is absolutely there ….if we need to bounce something off him, he is still there.  Colin was such a huge force and part of creating the festival….the festival is imbued with him.  It is hard to separate Colin from the festival.  The three of us worked very, very closely to make this happen.”

The benefits emerging from cultural events held throughout the Caribbean often go unstated – for Calabash, being located so far south in the parish of St Elizabeth has enhanced and generated not only international interest but has also encouraged internal tourism.  “It’s not a place you would pass by”, says Justine.  “You have to be going to Treasure Beach.”

The influence of Calabash on the literary culture in Jamaica and the Caribbean is undeniable.  “Local authors refer to B.C and A.C (Before Calabash and After Calabash).  It has exposed our writers to such wide, diverse styles and forms.  Many now published writers have emerged from our workshops, such as [award-winning Jamaican writers] Marlon James and Ishion Hutchinson.”  In order to keep the event fresh, the Committee, led by Kwame Dawes, are discerning about who is invited and seek to promote a diversity of voice and genre, with 2014 seeing the inclusion of sci-fi and fantasy fiction for the first time.  Participants are chosen not only for their brand appeal; other criteria include having a book in print within the last two years and ensuring a roster that includes emerging Caribbean writers alongside internationally acclaimed names.  Invitees can only attend once every three events.

From the start the Calabash team have been very particular about the organisation and timing during the event, having been described as a “drum & bass mentality with Swiss precision.”  Events start on time, which is sometimes lacking at Caribbean festivals and many would say that’s simply the Caribbean way.  Justine disagrees: “[you] can be…..vibesy and rootical and start on time and have a PA system. It is not at odds with our culture to be punctual.”   Having firmly established itself as a significant event on not only the literary calendar, but also as one of the major Caribbean cultural festivals, Calabash continues to raise the bar.  All costs related to the staging of the event are raised by sponsorship as well as direct support from Jake’s Hotel, which closes down for a week to host the participants and attending press.

“Most challenging – without question – is the money. Everything else is a joy. Raising money for the arts..[is difficult] when people don’t get it. 12 years later they now realise [the opportunity].  We have proven it can work.”

Unlike the US and Europe, voluntary support of the arts is not a culture in Jamaica or indeed the Caribbean as a whole.  “It’s another cultural thing that we are trying to champion.  We are committed to keeping the festival free – with voluntary support it can work.” Now a registered non-profit in the US, donations can be made directly through the Calabash website or via cheque to Calabash International.

In it’s 12th year, Calabash is going from strength to strength, and has built a legacy with tremendous impact on the Jamaican and Caribbean literary landscape.  “I am incredibly proud,” Justine shares, “Calabash is like my 3rd child.  No matter how challenging, I feel truly, truly blessed to spend a weekend in one of the most beautiful places – with 30 of the most interesting people in the world.”

Thanks to Justine Henzell for her time.

Images via Calabash Festival, Susumba