ONDON, England — Caribbean Footsteps, a new television series, will take a look at the history of Caribbean culture and people across Europe through the eyes of prominent sportspeople, musicians, actors and artists.
Each episode will feature a new city to discover the colourful, vibrant and fun world of Caribbean people through the spectacle of carnival, fashion, sports and the arts, whilst a resident chef also looks at Caribbean cuisine by visiting some of Europe’s finest Caribbean restaurants.
According to the series’ producer, St Lucia-born Sherween Oldham, the UK riots of 2011 were difficult for many to comprehend and, whilst the troubles had begun out of protest in London’s afro- Caribbean community of Tottenham, that chaos soon spread to include youths of all racial backgrounds.
“At that time, I’d been looking for my first major film project to undertake, and the idea for Caribbean Footsteps originated. We’d wished to create a programme that was a positive reflection of what the Caribbean community is truly about; not only could the programme act as an antidote to the beleaguered West Indian stereotype, but it hoped to inspire a new generation of Caribbean youth,” she said.
Caribbean Footsteps’ aim is to merge history with a fun and vibrant mix of carnival, music, culture and cuisine with the interviews of prominent celebrities. The show’s presenters, Trinidadian born Hasan DeFour and British Bajan Jordine Bartlett help to bring an element of humour into that mix.
The show’s presentation style hopes to target the wider global community helping its viewers to gain a greater understanding of the diversity of Caribbean culture.
Caribbean Footsteps was produced and filmed by a small crew and on a limited budget that represents only 1 – 5 % of the budgets for larger US and UK commissioned television programming. Caribbean Footsteps’ aim is to provide an additional platform for Caribbean centred programming. The UK itself presently has no dedicated Caribbean channel, whilst the Caribbean’s main television product is saturated by US and UK mainstream programming.
“Therefore our future goal is simple – to one day make programming that rivals and challenges that balance,” Oldham said.
Caribbean Footsteps – feature segments:
Episode1 – London
London has one of the largest concentrations of West Indians in the world, with representations from every Caribbean island. This Episode takes a brief look at some of those residents, and enjoys a glimpse at two of its biggest celebrations.
Episode 2 – Paris
Paris is home to West Indians from the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Cayenne. This episode takes a brief look at French history and some of Paris’ most celebrated Caribbean residents.
Episode 3 – Saint Lucians in London
The episode concentrates on Saint Lucian residents in the UK, and also their contribution to the UK’s arts and culture scene.
Episode 4 and 5 – The Netherlands
The Netherlands has around 500,000 Caribbean residents from Surinam, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. These two episodes focus on the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, speaking with some of their residents and taking a brief look at Dutch history. During the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam was perhaps the wealthiest city in the world.
Episode 6 – Birmingham and Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations
A focus on the UK’s Jamaican residents as part of Jamaica’s 50’ Anniversary celebrations. This episode focuses on the city of Birmingham with many of its residents of Jamaican decent.
Episode 7 – Caribbean Women
A focus on the work, lives and careers of Caribbean women living and working in the UK. This episode concentrates on issues such as women in business and women’s health.
Episode 8 – The final episode
A celebration of Caribbean achievements in the London 2012 Olympics and how the Caribbean is promoted within the UK.