Vernelle A. A. NOEL
(The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA)
Keywords: Digital heritage, Trinidad Carnival, computer interaction, preservation, development
French planters introduced carnival to Trinidad in the 1780s. In 1834, newly emancipated slaves reinvented the celebration to create what is known today as the Trinidad Carnival. Through this carnival people express their freedom, their creativity, and their aesthetic sensibilities. One of the main elements of this carnival is the creation of “meticulously detailed construction and brilliant costuming.” The first methodical studies of the Trinidad Carnival took place in the 1950s, where scholars attempted to document existing and extinct figures in the carnival through text, photos, and drawings, to “serve as a basis for future documentation.” In 1985, another scholar called for the preservation and development of traditional figures through literature; photos; dolls; and museums. Despite this carnival’s rich design history, its spawning of more than 70 carnivals around the globe, and it being one of the “most copied major carnivals in the world,” there is currently no established system for preserving or exhibiting the history and development of design in this culturally-significant practice. Additionally, there is a current lack of comprehensive understanding of the activities, knowledge, and processes in design in the carnival. This project seeks to answer the question: How can we use new technologies in the preservation of cultural heritage, and comprehensive understanding of activities, knowledge, and processes in design in carnival? I present three pilot studies which illustrate three novel approaches – Interactive Data Visualization; Computer Interaction using the Kinect; and Virtual Reality using a camera and Unity 3D – to aid in the preservation, development, and comprehensive understanding of design in Trinidad Carnival, using new technologies.
Relevance conference | Relevance session:
Three novel approaches to aid in the preservation, development, and comprehensive understanding of design in the cultural practice of Trinidad Carnival, using new technologies.
The development of three novel approaches to preservation, and development of design in the non-western cultural practice of Trinidad Carnival, using new technologies.
CROWLEY, Daniel J. (1956): “The Traditional Masques of Carnival.” Caribbean Quarterly 4 (3/4): 194–223.
HILL, Errol (1985): “Traditional Figures In Carnival: Their Preservation, Development And Interpretation.” Caribbean Quarterly 31 (2): 14–34.