For the second year in a row, the streets of St John’s, which would have normally been swarmed by revellers in their vibrant costumes, remained empty as the Covid-19 pandemic restricted annual carnival celebrations.
However, fashion, costume and event décor designer, Kevon Moitt is seeking to keep the spirit of the festival alive with the release of a documentary dubbed ‘Own It – Our Festival; My Passion’.
The Digicel-sponsored presentation includes interviews with Director of Culture, Khan Cordice, designer and cultural icon , Heather Doram and other carnival insiders and influencers as it focuses on the many facets of the summer festival.
The young designer explained that the project, which was released on Play Go and Youtube on Monday, serves as a way to preserve the country’s culture.
“I find that we don’t have much documentation in regards to Carnival, culture, designers and designing processes, so I thought that being in the industry and having so much involvement in it that I needed to start that documentation process,” Moitt said.
He mentioned that many people are still unaware of the significance of the summer festival and all that goes into making the events – from pan to pageantry – successful.
“Not having Carnival for two years, there are some people who are not even aware of certain things that happen during Carnival. It’s not their fault because it is not put out for them to see. At the point when I would have started playing pan, I would have been one of the youngest members in some of the pan groups that I would have played with, and if I wasn’t put into that space or exposed to that space, I wouldn’t have known about it. So, if we don’t put it out there or if we don’t have anything showing this is what our cultural elements are whether educationally or even just to have it there, then the younger generation coming up won’t know anything about it,” he added.
Moitt, who has designed gowns for carnival queen contestants, both locally and abroad, is encouraging other young people to take charge of their craft and keep the spirit and traditions of carnival alive.
“Being a creative is not the most financially stable job, but I would encourage any young creative — not even just the young creatives but artistes in general — to just do what you love. If we don’t keep ourselves relevant, if we don’t keep doing what we love then we are going to lose it and, at the end of the day, there will be no one to blame but us because it’s our thing.
“That’s why the documentary’s name is ‘Own It’ because it we basically need to own our craft,” Moitt said.
While the event has taken a major toll on him financially, the designer is hopeful that the country will continue to return to some form of normalcy in the near future.