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Ewa Afrika presents the Folk Lure on June 2

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A model showcases African fashion at the launch of Ewa Afrika 24 at Emancipation House, Maraval on April 18.  - Venessa Mohammed
A model showcases African fashion at the launch of Ewa Afrika 24 at Emancipation House, Maraval on April 18. – Venessa Mohammed

The Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (ESCTT) launched its 2024 Pan-African Festival on Africa Day, May 25, at the Port of Spain City Hall.

According to a press release, this is the largest Pan-African festival outside the African continent.

To kick off the festivities in this final year of the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent, the Ewa Afrika fashion experience will take place at Queen’s Hall on June 2 from 5 p.m.

This year’s incarnation, Ewa Afrika 24…the Folk Lure, promises to be groundbreaking. Featuring designers all commemorating their Afrocentric indigenous style, it will be staged in the hall this year, as opposed to the usual open-air experience at the Garden Theatre, a release said.

Models will showcase the artisanal fashion of around twenty design houses, intertwined with great acts such as Charmaine Forde, Ataklan, Deon Baptiste, Conrad Parris, Abeo Jackson and Wasafoli TT.

A statement from ESCTT reads: “Ewa Afrika 24 gets yet another vision and expression for our afro fashion conscience.

“Last year we declared Sankofa style as our underlying theme, as we re-evaluated our past African style ethos, as we sought to identify a current Afro-Caribbean fashion ego and create a future New World African trademark forging. This year we are labeling our tribute to African style as ‘the folk lure’. At first hearing it sounds like folklore.

“That is intentional, because it brings out a certain mythological aspect inherent in our artistic expressions, embedded in our post-emancipation selfhood.”

Richard Young, Creative Director of Ewa Africa, said: “We have created a rich folkloric subculture that resonates beautifully with our African heritage, full of traditional references. And so our Afro-Caribbean fashion history is full of inspirations and influences…

“We are unashamedly claiming our idiosyncratic style template and adding another notch to the global totem pole of recognized trademarks.

“This Afro-Caribbean style owes much of its ethos to its dependence on our folk traditions… Its appeal to the people is a testament to our indigenous expressions manifesting organically.”

In keeping with this year’s ESCTT theme of ‘moving forward with our heads held high’, he said: ‘we look up and outwards, towards an Afro-futuristic Caribbean fashion identity steeped in the belief that ‘I am because we are’, which is rooted in the urge for our unique folk psyches.”

Executive Chairman of ESCTT Zakiyah Uzoma-Wadada was confident in the value of this initiative, proud of the national pride in its identity brand and the prestige of its regional status.

The prelude of creative entrepreneurs starts at 4 p.m., the presentation of the designer collections at 5 p.m. and the buyer’s gallery after the fair at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available from the Emancipation House, on Bergerac Road, Maraval, online at the Queen’s Hall website or at the Queen’s Hall box office.

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