The Chair of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP), D Gisele Isaac, has expressed her thoughts on this year’s Carnival festivities, stating that there was too much focus on nudity and not enough on culture.
This sentiment has been echoed by several leaders in the Caribbean recently.
The revealing costumes worn during Carnival have sparked debates in countries such as Antigua and Barbuda.
Some argue that women should express their freedom by dressing as they please, while others believe that borderline nudity goes against traditional Carnival customs.
Isaac shared her views on Observer AM, criticizing the Festivals Department for organizing some events.
“I did not see carnival as carnival. I have heard so much about the lewdness that’s taking place on the streets, the nakedness that, unfortunately, my fellow black women have been indulging in. I wouldn’t say I like that kind of thing. Call me a prude, I don’t think I am a prude, but I think I have standards. I feel that carnival has been generated into a naked fest, and we have lost the essence of the culture and entertainment aspect of it,” she said
However, she did commend the organizers of a particular pageant and this year’s Panorama champions on World Steelpan Day.
Festivals Minister, Daryll Matthew, told Antigua.News in an interview recently that morality cannot be legislated and that the government cannot introduce any dress code during the carnival.
According to Mathew, the issue of nudity is pervasive throughout the Caribbean and the diaspora, and it isn’t easy to find a solution to address it.
His exact comments were, “It is difficult for me to find a solution to address it. As bad as it is, it is not unique to Antigua and Barbuda. It is pervasive throughout the Caribbean and also the diaspora. For some reason, women either get increased confidence or the costumes and attire get smaller. It is a commentary that we hear all the time but short of any concrete recommendations; I am not sure where we go with that”, he said.