CARNIVAL!

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Words by Billie Jenkins Photography courtesy of Rice ‘n’ Peas Publishing

There’s something about Notting Hill Carnival. The largest street party outside Rio is an event that strikes joy, anticipation and sometimes anxiety into the hearts of many a Londoner. Whether the crowds thrill you or fill you with fear, the vibrancy of the music, the dress and the food cannot be argued. A burst of colour and sound, the community spirit of carnival is a wonderful thing. Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival, a new photobook by Rice ’n’ Peas publishing, captures the energy and the vitality of the event at its roots. Before the helicopters and crowd control and complicated set of travel adjustments, Notting Hill Carnival was first and foremost a community event. Initially a celebration of culture organised by human rights campaigner Claudia Jones in 1959, this evolved into the carnival we know and love today. The book features beautiful images taken in the first year and the early 60’s, as the party began to take shape, as well as interviews with everyone from organisers, performers and famous attendees.

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