Hackney Carnival at Home returns this year, in a summer-long community engagement programme. This will be followed by an online gala event filmed at the Hackney Empire in September, and then a Virtual Carnival weekend of live-streamed fun.
Although Hackney Carnival 2021 is an online-only event for the second year running, some creative innovations have been introduced that will allow people to enjoy the spirit of carnival in an interactive way. The Hackney Carnival team – Pax Nindi, Deborah Mullins, Manuela Benini and Marva Antoine – are giving residents the opportunity to participate in a range of online and at-home activities hosted by Hackney’s carnival groups.
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Residents can get involved in two ways. The Hackney Soca Challenge is a chance to show off your dance moves or to express yourself by writing lyrics to a soca song. The challenge is based on a specially made soca track, Tamba Carnival. You can take part in the challenge by submitting a film of your dance moves or audio of your singing along to the track.
To hear Tamba Carnival and for full details of how to enter, visit lovehackney.uk/soca-challenge – you will discover that Tamba Carnival is not your typical soca tune, as it features a variety of musical influences and styles, including Latin percussion, soca vocals from Martinique-born Scrappy, and Zimbabwean lyrics by carnival producer Pax Nindi.
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And there’s another way to express your love for Hackney Carnival. Pick up a free Carnival Craft Kit from one of Hackney’s libraries (available from mid-August) and make your own carnival flag to display outside your home. Each kit comes with full instructions and is suitable for beginners. Share pictures of your flags on the Hackney Carnival Instagram account for all to see.