There is a constant noise in the echoing the cavern that is the inside of the Callaoo Company Headquarters in Chagaramas; abandoned warehouse, now a centre of creative energy.
But now, that energy is at an exhausted ebb, bearing little resemblance to the activity of the last weeks. There is none of the chaos of thirty artists of varying disciplines working on the mas Indeed it is a mas, one the likes of which much of the world never seen and the rest has only glimpsed. It is Minshal, it is Trinidad.
It is a mas which has been more than just a few months in the making. a mas which has passed countless hands since before work began on “Song Of The Earth” at the begginning of the year. Hands adding sequins here, or reinforcing a piece of fiberglass there, or being attached to a bigger mas somewhere else before being pulled apart once more either to pass more hands or to be put in storage. After all, the mas as do some of it’s makers, has quite a journey ahead of it, over more than a thousand miles…..to Atlanta.
It is both young and old who contribute to what is as yet to be probably Trinidad’s biggest Carnival showcase ever. It is but one peek, one vision of the carnival, one perspective, but it is one which will be seen by billions ofver the globe.
And what many do not know, but should in fact, be proud of is that at the camp more that half of those who have kept production going are under thirty years of age. It is young people starting with Callaloo Production Manager, Dominique Inniss who have held down the fort while older heads like Minshall himself, Allison Brown and Wendell Manwarren pave the way in Olympia-Land.
It is they and ‘d Crew’ under the guidance of people like Cecilia Salazar, who undertook the rigour and tedium of construction, who brought the Minshall vision to life and bring Atlanta to it’s feet……….. But the work is not yet over. There are still days to count before MAnwarren and Brown together with Minshall’s 25 foot King and Queen of the Games are ready for the Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Games in Atlanta.
There are still days to count before that moment when surrounded by 24 “Attendants to Their Royal Hignesses”, that the spirit of both Peter Minshall and Trinidad and Tobago, make it’s breathtaking entrance to draw an awe so much greater that that of Barcelona ’92. Trinidad will be quiet, Atlanta will be alive.