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SWICA Carnival

Date joined: 28/04/13

About

We make carnival happen! SWICA Carnival are Wales' leading Carnival Arts experts – feathered flamboyance and sequined splendour on the move! Carnival is a powerful mix of making, movement and music which benefits individuals and communities alike. SWICA Carnival’s unique approach is both intercultural and intergenerational and always innovative family friendly fun. We are a not for profit voluntary organisation with our own board of management. We organise the annual Cardiff Carnival which will take place on Saturday 9th August 2014. Our flagship performance group the Carnival Crew perform regularly throughout Wales. We can offer a tailor made range of performances and workshops. Thanks to our current funders for their support:

 

The Early Days

“When I set up SWICA in 1990, one key aim was to inject new forms of celebration into modern Welsh culture – acting as ‘multi-cultural magpies’ where necessary – seeking to fill the void in our national soul. So welcome to the wonderful world of Carnival Arts – an extraordinary design-led fusion of making, music and movement.” Steve Fletcher – SWICA Development Officer, 1990

 

Carnival can be:

·         the art of transformation,

·         mass jollification,

·         outsider art,

·         taking back the street,

·         kinetic sculptures,

·         multi-disciplinary,

·         time based art,

·         celebratory,

·         participatory,

·         democratic,

·         multicultural,

·         intercultural,

·         art as social comment,

·         organised chaos (as opposed to chaotically organised)

 

SWICA Carnival began in 1990 as South Wales Intercultural Community Arts or simply SWICA: its origins lie in the community development work undertaken by Steve Fletcher as part of Theatr Taliesin Wales’ trilogy of Indo-Celtic community plays based in Grangetown, Cardiff 1986 – 1989.

 

SWICA’s first ever workshops introduced carnival arts and samba percussion at community venues across Cardiff in April 1990: from these roots sprang Cardiff Carnival and Samba Galez, Wales’ original Latin percussion community group.

 

Cardiff Carnival began in 1990 as the Cardiff MAS Carnival: MAS (a shortening of ‘masquerade’) is the word given to the hi-energy populist form of carnival characterised by outlandish design and imaginative creativity and which originated in the Caribbean.

 

Trinidad’s world-beating king of MAS-makers, Peter Minshall was very much a guru figure in the early SWICA MAS-making days: Minshall’s flamboyant visions are made solid through his imagination combined with feats of innovatory light-engineering: kinetic sculpture for the soul.

 

Cardiff Carnival Themes 1990 - 2014:

1990 TRADITIONAL TRINIDAD SAILOR MAS

1991 BUTETOWN MAS: WALES AND THE WORLD

1992 COLUMBUS: 500 YEARS OF RESISTANCE

1993 NIGHT MAS

1994 FREEDOM BLUES

1995 AUTO-GEDDON

1996 THE WELL OF WISDOM

1997 ECO MAS

1998 EXODUS

1999 CARNIVAL CYMRU

2000 THE GATHERING

2001 FEAST OF FOOLS

2002 CITY*ZEN*SHIP

2003 TRADING PLACES

2004 SPIRIT OF MOTHER EARTH

2005 DOCKS: WALES WINDOW ON THE WORLD

2006 FESTIVAL MANIA

2007 RHYTHMS OF RESISTANCE

2008 BEHIND THE MASK

2009 HERE BE DRAGONS

2010 COSMIC CELTS

2011 MAGICK

2012 Wide range of themed sections

2013 Wide range of themed sections

2014 Wide range of themed sections

 

Cardiff Carnival Camps 1990 - 2014:

1990: Insole Court, Llandaff
1991: Fitzalan High School, Leckwith 
1992 – 1993: Ninian Park Primary School, Grangetown
1994 – 1997: Cathays Community Centre, Cathays
1998 – 1999: Butetown Youth Pavilion, Butetown
2000 – 2001: Chapter Arts Centre, Canton
2002 – 2009: Butetown Youth Pavilion, Butetown 
2010 – 2013: Channel View Leisure Centre, Grangetown
2014: Fitzalan High School, Leckwith

 

Whilst Cardiff Carnival is the highlight of SWICA Carnival’s calendar, we work throughout the year on participatory and celebratory projects big and small, in schools and community centres, inspiring and helping local communities to celebrate themselves.

 

SWICA Carnival organises other major parades including the National St David’s Day Parade in Cardiff, Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, Carnival No. 6 at Festival No. 6, Christmas Parades in the Valleys and more.

 

Cardiff Carnival’s 25 years in stories and pictures: 1990 – 2014.

 

About The Project

SWICA Carnival has been awarded an “Our Heritage” project grant from Heritage Lottery Fund Wales to capture the history of Cardiff Carnival: a quarter century of flamboyant carnival creations transforming the capital’s streets with a riot of colour, dance and music.

 

Our aim is to gather a host of carnival memories, stories and images from past participants and audience members and to create a permanent digital archive for future generations.

 

SWICA Carnival has become Wales’ leading Carnival Arts organisation since its inception in 1990 and SWICA Carnival’s annual Cardiff Carnival will celebrate its 25th anniversary on 9th August 2014.

Cardiff Carnival has grown from humble beginnings to become Wales’ biggest and brightest street parade: free to participate and open to all.

 

Cardiff Carnival’s 25th Anniversary marks the ideal time to capture the memories of its many community participants – as well as the recollections of the large family audiences who have enjoyed the finale parade year on year.

The Carnival Cardiff Carnival 25th Anniversary Project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund Wales and is all about collecting, capturing, preserving and sharing the heritage of Cardiff Carnival.

 

Cardiff Carnival’s history is as yet unrecorded, our project seeks to record for posterity the memories and stories of the build up to and the finale parades of the annual Cardiff Carnival 1990 – 2014.

 

Cardiff is a cosmopolitan city. Cardiff Carnival’s open access track record means that its history uniquely celebrates the diversity of the city and the many past participants from all walks of life.

This project will record the humble beginnings of the first ever Cardiff Carnival in August 1990 and relate - through participant’s stories - how Cardiff Carnival has changed, evolved and grown over the years to become Wales’ biggest and brightest annual carnival workshop experience with culminating finale parade.

 

The project will encourage members of the community and participants past and present to engage with their memories and retell their stories fuelled by their passion for carnival – whether making, participating or spectating.

 

This is an opportunity to show how people from all parts of Cardiff have come together over 25 years to celebrate the capital’s diversity through collective creativity and spectacular parades and performances.

 

This project involves oral history training, volunteer story collectors, numerous story givers, digital archiving and the most flamboyant creative heritage-based exhibition at the Cardiff Story Museum imaginable: a celebration of 25 years of Cardiff Carnival.

 

A permanent digital archive will be launched with a six week exhibition at the Cardiff Story in spring 2015.

 

Help us shine a light upon the hidden history of Cardiff Carnival 1990 – 2014 so that its achievements will be better interpreted and explained, identified and recorded and saved in perpetuity.

 

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Website: http://www.swicacarnival.co.uk

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St David's Day Parade 1991

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