From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

“Time to get outta line”: carnival time and the aesthetics of resistance in Trinidad and Tobago



This article is an investigation of the fluid concept of time that characterizes carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, and that is extended to all understanding of time on the twin islands. After an introduction to Trinidad Carnival and a brief history of its evolution over time, focusing on the importance of music and performance in the resistance to colonial power and the affirmation of a national identity in Trinidad and Tobago, the article will move on to the definition of three concepts of time that are extremely relevant to the reality of the country and its carnival, and to an analysis of the importance of festivity in Trinidad. This will allow us to understand the role that time and festivity have played in the performance of carnival rituals, and in the resistance fights for the independence of carnival, and for the independence of the country itself, which highly contributed to the shaping of Trinidad and Tobago’s national identity.


Carnival, time, carnivalesque, performance, resistance



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