This year I chose to look at both the traditional Mud Mas and the historical (and banned) portrayal Pissinlit. Pissinlit was portrayed by men who dressed as women and made fun of their frailties such as menstruation. The costume also gives acknowledgement to Carrie the movie in which a teenage girl has telekinetic powers. Most recently our nation has also been rocked by the murder of a young woman and my portrayal ultimately looks at crimes against women.
The Portrayal itself is titled B L O O D M A S. The character begins with her foot showing the date in blood. She is wearing a simple slip and carrying a knife. The Performance begins with her bleeding from her calf and then down her arm and onto the knife that drips down her leg. Eventually blood is splattered onto her virginal shift, trickling down. She turns and the front of her night clothing is drenched in blood. Finally blood pours down her head. She begins to slash out again and again with the knife
I am asking with this body of work to include B L O O D M A S as part of the Jouvert experience. I ask that all victims of abuse and violence be given this voice. Yes, the costume may be scary to look at. Yes, it is in your face about crime and victimization. Yet, it is also strong, because it makes clear that you may want to kill the person but the spirit rises up and takes its power back.Her eyes are open and she is not defeated. She shall NOT be forgotten.
Jouvert can accommodate protest. It can handle controversy. It is not meant to be tamed in any way. The characters we laud have been played to scare, to remind and to make sense of things we cannot understand.My portrayal intends to be part of that pantheon.Thank you for reading.
Adele Todd is a graphic designer, artist and lecturer at The University of The West Indies. In her design career she has produced books and magazines, advertising and trademark design. As an artist she uses performance centred around experimental thread work and a technique she has coined dimensional embroidery.