ZERO FIVE FIFTY: Synopsis
As we approach the 5oth year of this landmark on the British cultural landscape called the Notting hill carnival, and 5 years of the Addicted section partaking in this socio/ cultural titan of a celebration with Cocoyea, Addicted celebrates the past and present through the metallic lens of the future, in ZERO FIVE FIFTY.
‘Five years of Addicted Fifty years of Notting hill Carnival’
Zero Five Fifty the theme and Storyline is inspired by the Afro futurism movement.
“literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements ofscience fiction,historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realismwith non-Westerncosmologies in order to critique not only the present-daydilemmas of people of color, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examinethe historical events of the past”
The year is 2114 AD and a group of time travellers in search of the perfect multicultural society travel back through time to experience first-hand what Notting Hill Carnival was like in its historic 50th year of existence.
The Afrotek time machine transports the group to the heart of the festival in the legendary ADDICTED MAS section whose energy and symbolic golden lotus costume epitomised all achievement and enlightenment, the utopian existence the travellers were in search of...
The future starts now.
ZERO FIVE FIFTY: The Golden Lotus.
Design and inspiration
Because the lotus flower grows in murky muddy water, surfaces to bloom during the day, only to return to the murky depths of mud at night, cultures across the globe have identified the lotus with many aspects of life.
In ancient Egypt it was associated with the sun, beauty, resurrection, and rebirth. In Buddhism it is a symbol of purity in mind speech and body, in Hinduism, beauty and spiritual awakening. It is on this premise that the designer S.A Armstrong saw inspiration in not only the petals of the lotus flower but also its life cycle.
It was 50 years ago out of the dark racially explosive period of the late 1950’s the Trinidad and Tobago's carnival culture made its first appearance in London. By 1965 Mrs Rhaune Laslett O’Brian (1919 2002) a community activist and Trinidadian musician Mr Russ Henderson MBE started a street parade that became known as the Notting Hill Carnival.
Like the lotus the carnival grew out of the impoverished streets of post WW2 West London and the social murk of racism and social ostracising to blossom like the lotus flower into London’s most popular social symbol of creativity, beauty and multiculturalism.
The costumes are made up of three colours.
Gold: the 50th anniversary is called the golden anniversary or golden jubilee and in recognition and of this milestone year the costumes main colour is gold.
Silver: the hints of silver in the costumes symbolise not only the 5 years of the Addicted presence in Notting hill but also the chrome of the steel pan the instrument that literally paved the way with music for Europe's biggest Caribbean carnival to take place.
Purple/Violet: is thought to be the highest chakra in the human body and symbolises creativity beauty and inspiration, the very building blocks of our carnival, it is also considered to be the colour of royalty, nobility and power.
Zero Five Fifty will be on the road with the band Cocoyea on bank holiday Monday August 25th 2014.