Astro-Caribbean: Zak Ove

Nubian Return by Zak Ove (Source: Arc Magazine)

Since tomorrow I will be moderating the Astro-Caribbean panel, Midnight Robber Chronicles, which was inspired by Nalo Hopkinson’s speculative novel Midnight Robber, I thought I’d share an a British artist whose work centers on exploring the significance of Caribbean carnival.


According to Trinidadian/Irish- British artist Zak Ove, Caribbean carnival, especially those in Trinidad, started as a mockery of European colonialists, but then became a declaration of “we can be anything” and “not just what we’ve been duped” into believing we are by these colonialists. It became an investigation through transfigurement and costume into all kinds of mythologies and into a sense of Africanism that had been subdued and suppressed through slavery.

Tomorrow I will be exploring the influence of Caribbean carnival, masquerade, folklore and cultural heritage in the artwork of my four panelists. But for now, you can view some of the fantastical work from Ove below:

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Further Reading/Media:

Zak Ove: tackling slavery through Caribbean sculpture

Caribbean Beat’s “Stories of what-if”

“En Mas: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean”

En Mas Exhibition Book

Talking Caribbean—the rhetoric of Mas

Gerard Aching’s Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean

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