Leeds city centre was turned into a sea of colour as Leeds West Indian Carnival took over New Briggate. (Photo: Steve Riding)
Celebrating the rich history of the Caribbean and the inclusive culture of Carnival, the
Carnival Legacy: Pop-up Street Performance saw New Briggate “ come alive with the vibrant colours and joy of Carnival”.
The city centre came alive with an explosion of dance, music, costumes and storytelling as part of
East Street Arts’ Hidden Histories of New Briggate Project.
Our photographer Steve Riding was there to capture the event in the below pictures:
In collaboration with East Street Arts, Leeds West Indian Carnival made a spectacular return to Leeds city centre (Photo: Steve Riding) New Briggate – a former parade route – came alive with the vibrant colours and joy of Carnival, as part of East Street Arts’ Hidden Histories of New Briggate Project (Photo: Steve Riding) Carnival Legacy: Pop-up Street Performance celebrates the rich Caribbean history and inclusive culture of Carnival (Photo: Steve Riding) The project – supported by Leeds City Council and Historic England through the New Briggate High Street Heritage Action Zone regeneration programme – is about bringing people together, through art, to explore the culture and heritage of our historic high streets (Photo: Steve Riding) Following in the footsteps of the iconic August bank holiday extravaganza, Leeds West Indian Carnival troupes put on pop-up performances throughout the day (Photo: Steve Riding) With steel-pan, soca and calypso, there was an explosion of music, dance, colourful costumes, and storytelling. (Photo: Steve Riding) There was also carnival-themed Take Away Art giveaways including whistles, flags, bandanas and postcards (Photo: Steve Riding) Khadijah Ibrahiim, Artist and Artistic Director for Carnival Legacy pop-up event, said: “Leeds West Indian Carnival attracts thousands of people to Chapeltown to share in the celebration of emancipation, our local community, our identity, and our culture." (Photo: Steve Riding) "In its early days, the Carnival parade route was much longer and wound its way down into town and through New Briggate. We’re delighted to be working with East Street Arts to bring it back to New Briggate for this one-off special event.” (Photo: Steve Riding) Helen Moore, East Street Arts’ engagement lead, said: “New Briggate has a truly fascinating past but in one of its more vibrant incarnations, it played host to part of the parade route for the spectacular Leeds West Indian Carnival. As part of our Hidden Histories of New Briggate project, we felt it was important to honour this and make sure that this thrilling creative heritage is not forgotten." (Photo: Steve Riding) The Carnival Legacy: Pop-up Street Performance event was set to complement an upcoming series of Carnival-themed East Street Arts projects taking place this year, in collaboration with Leeds West Indian Carnival (Photo: Steve Riding) In October, a brand-new Carnival-inspired mural by artist and costume designer Rhain Kempadoo-Millar will be unveiled in Chapeltown (Photo: Steve Riding) In December, artist and fashion designer Yaku Stapleton will present an exhibition of clothing reimagined for the communities in Leeds today, which takes inspiration from untold tales of Leeds’ history of lothing, textiles and tailoring from New Briggate to carnival, and beyond. (Photo: Steve Riding) The event took place between midday and 4pm (Photo: Steve Riding) Leeds West Indian Carnival (LWIC) is the oldest authentic Caribbean Carnival in Europe. It was the first to incorporate all three essential elements that define Caribbean Carnival: the spectacle of a street parade, the music of kaiso, calypso, soca accompanied by steel pan and a masquerade of colourful costumes LWIC was founded in 1967 by three Caribbean men living in Leeds as a remedy for their community’s collective homesickness and need for connection to their cultural identity. (Photo: Steve Riding) Carnival, a vision championed by co-founder and Chair, Arthur France: “Carnival is steeped in a history and culture that goes far beyond the costume spectacle …Rooted in slavery, born from Emancipation, and championed by Caribbean communities, it is a journey of resilience, struggles and triumphs that has universal appeal.” (Photo: Steve Riding)