Thompson Grunwald, Nyala
pianist and researcher @ Sarah Parker Remond Centre at University College London
Nyala Thompson Grunwald is a Franco-Trinbagonian pianist and researcher. She has conducted projects dedicated to steel pan musicianship and is particularly interested in humanism(s), creativity and resistance/resilience in the Caribbean and in Caribbean diasporas. This paper is adapted from her dissertation ‘Ways of Being: The Pan Jumbie in Creolisation’, undertaken with the Sarah Parker Remond Centre at University College London.
Geographical location :
Research Area and Interest : humanism(s), creativity and resistance/resilience in the Caribbean and in Caribbean diasporas
- Summary: In Caribbean lore, there is a figure that roams, moves as though in some timeless choreography. This figure promises resistance: the Moko Jumbie. Forever on the road in Carnival celebrations, the Moko Jumbie embodies Afrodiasporic, indigenous, Caribbean-diasporic, Creole… stories. This paper discusses what pannists (steel pan players) call the Pan Jumbie, imagined from the Moko Jumbie. The steel pan artform has multidimensional historical and cultural trajectories, moving from the devastation of the Plantation systems, through the ‘limbo imaginary’ of colonised peoples in the Caribbean, through the complex cohabitation of communities simultaneously diasporic and indigenous-in-making... This ambiguity, of inheriting diaspora yet becoming indigenous and so originating diaspora, of ‘new natives in a new world’, is crucial to the shaping of Caribbean spaces, communities and cultures. Here, I choose the figure of the Jumbie in the Carnival setting to explore these questions: of moving between diasporic and indigenous consciousness in our creative expressions, thus challenging monolithic sovereignty in the Caribbean archipelago.