Junkanoo: From the Shack to the Street

From the very first time I experienced the rhythm and vibrance of a Junkanoo Parade in 2012 I became instantly hooked on this Bahamian culture and tradition. Afterwards I wanted understand the tradition better. I found there to be lacking information and media coverage on Jukanoo, especially compared to other carnivalesque tradtions in New Orleans, Rio De Janeiro, or Trinidad. Being a professional photographer and visual artist, I tend to use an Image Search as much as a regular text search. I found that the existing photographic library on Junkanoo was lacking a certain authenticity and feel. What I saw didn’t truly evoke the wild rush out of sound, emotion, and color that Junkanoo means. That’s what I am trying to capture in my photographs. I am also striving to capture Junkanoo as a cultural phenomenon in a braoder social context, beyond the culminating parade at the end of it all. There is so much more to the story that goes on behind the scenes and unnoticed.  That’s where this project began and continues today. – Erik Kruthoff