J’Ouvert is a pre-carnival bash originating in the Caribbean and traditionally held before the daytime festivities.
It takes place in Brooklyn, NYC, on Labor Day, when it precedes the West Indian Day Parade, the culmination of a weekend of celebrations of Caribbean culture and heritage in New York City.
It kicks off in the early morning, surges at daybreak, peaks few hours after sunrise. Tapping into life’s primal energy, it aligns with it and tunes in with nature’s cosmic rhythm, a form of untold devotion, life poetry that Africans globally have intrinsically lived by for centuries: one in harmony, wherever we’re established, with all that surrounds us. All connected, without even realising.
Perpetuating ancestral memories that adapted, transposed, morphed; traditions passed along when no one was watching, that no one was acknowledging. A gathering of hundreds of humans channeling Spirits, costumed as the interpretation of Their earthly incarnations, and commanding beat, wind, body ornament of pigment and paint, rhythm, anointment, desire; glorifying body, sense, instinct.
Dwelling into centuries of experience, endless migrations and far too many transitions, hybridising and characterising history, turning rejection into domination, that is J’Ouvert: asserting ourselves as the ultimate catalysts that we do remain, drawing into the Source, incarnating, sharing and spreading infinite wisdom, love and care.
Photography by Asia Lecureuil