Deconstructed: A Week of Afro-Caribbean Celebration

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By Nina Inman, Staff Writer

Last week, the Bryn Mawr African & Caribbean Students Organization (BACaSo), organized a week devoted to Afro-Caribbean culture. The finale? A culture show called “Deconstructed.”

BACaSO faced various challenges putting the show and week together. Farida Ilboudo (’18) explained that much of the Bryn Mawr student body seems uninterested in BACaSO’s events.

“Afro-Carib week started on Monday and today is Wednesday and nobody knows. We had a film screening and nobody showed up… We do so much and we have so much fun with each other but no one comes.”

From a campus that claims to be culturally understanding and accepting, this was disheartening to members of BACaSO, who work hard to organize the event every year. Regardless, Ilboudo said, “We don’t care if people show up. It’s the reality we live in. This is for us.”

“Deconstructed” displayed elements of Afro-Caribbean culture through fashion shows of dance and singing, modern and traditional clothing and a drumming performance. The show attempted to deconstruct Afro-Caribbean culture in order to illustrate and celebrate its complexities. At the same time, it worked to bring together students and community members from a variety of countries.

After election night, the culture show took on an additional role: unifying and encouraging the student body against a president-elect that many have accused of blatant bigotry. “The road ahead is long and unpredictable but we will continue to fight for what we deserve, break stereotypes and have equal opportunity,” BACaSO posted on their Facebook page.

The event further attempted to unify the audience by giving a presentation on Black Lives Matter and the oppression of some elements of Afro-Caribbean culture. The crowd joined hands to represent how they would stand together against violence and hate. This was followed by an energetic performance by Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

BACaSO was happy with the turnout and audience’s response to the show. Aisha Soumaoro (‘20), a fashion model, said, “A lot of people came out to support the culture show. The crowd was very energetic. It felt like a supportive environment.”

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