Leeds West Indian Carnival is marking its 50th anniversary in 2017 with a spectacular series of milestone events to celebrate its golden anniversary, including a new exhibition which captures the 50-year history of Europe’s longest running Caribbean carnival parade, in photo, film, audio and costume.
The exhibition, 50 Years of Leeds West Indian Carnival, is part of Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage, a programme of events supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of just under £100,000, to showcase the history, heritage and hidden stories behind the Leeds West Indian Carnival, and made possible by National Lottery players. Staged in partnership with The Tetley in Leeds and curated by London based artist, Sonya Dyer, the exhibition reflects two journeys at the heart of the story of Leeds West Indian Carnival: the journey of carnival from its West African roots to Leeds via the Caribbean, and the journey of Leeds Carnival from humble beginnings to a highlight in Leeds’s cultural calendar. It will feature a replica of The Sun Goddess, the very first Leeds Carnival Queen costume, which has been recreated by Leeds designer, Hughbon Condor. It will also include Carnival artefacts donated by members of the public following a community call out for memorabilia.
The exhibition at The Tetley runs until October 29, 2017 and will be complemented by a series of pop-up satellite exhibitions and displays in community and city centre locations as well as an online archive of footage, historical photo galleries and interviews with pioneers on the Carnival’s website.