Sonia Boyce's two-screen video, Crop-Over, visually samples the many traditions, histories and cultural practices that inform this Barbadian festival, culminating with the carnivalesque parade known as Kadooment. Presenting a wide range of related performances, some real and some staged by the artist, Boyce constructs a pseudo-documentary, pseudo-pantomime collage of events that subtly reveals the multiple dimensions of this creolized spectacle, deliberately building up layers of interpretation and presentation that seek to identify, historicize and problematize these cultural icons. Unlike many of the pre-lenten carnivals in the region, Crop Over celebrates the end of the sugar cane season, and directly ties the subversive elements and inversions of traditional carnival to the sugar economy of the Caribbean, and its historical dependence on slavery. While traditional representations of Carnival by artists such as Belisario are marked, according to Stuart Hall, by what is not said, Boyce's Crop Over is motivated by what remains unexplained.
Allison Thompson; Sonia Boyce and Crop Over. Small Axe 1 July 2009; 13 (2): 148–163. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3697142
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