The story behind our most talked about instagram post...

April 04, 2019

Mariella, Shadow of Consciousness
Photo by: Jillian Fournillier

Mariella, Shadow of Consciousness
Queen of Carnival 2019

A few days after Carnival, I was idly scrolling through facebook and my friend Shaunie shared this stunning image. I immediately shared, then saved the photo and posted to @CarnivalKicks Facebook and Instagram to share with you gals.

My reaction to share was so quick, it was only after I saw just how much it resonated with my fierce female tribe did I pause to think more about the photo, and our attraction to it. 

If you follow us on instagram you know we post ALOT of carnival pics, so what made this photo rise to the top of our engagement list? What made it the rise to the ranks of the top 5 of our most liked photos? Two things: first, it happened to be International Women's Day when I posted it and this screams womanhood! And second, just look at it! It's culture and caring and motherhood, and mulit-tasking, and courage and love all wrapped up in a beautifully composed photo.

So I wanted to get the behind the scenes story to share with you ladies, in case, just like me, you wanted to know more!

About the photographer:
This photo was snapped by Jillian Fournillier, a wonderful young lady who I had the pleasure of chatting with. I didn't intend to take up so much of her time when we spoke, but she is so down to earth and such a beautiful soul we went on for a bit.

Jillian is an amateur photographer, she enjoys snapping random images that strike her, she admits that several of her photos have gained some serious popularity and have been shared on the circuit, but none quite as much as this one.

Jillian was with the band Moko Sõmõkow and said she happened to be following along with the King and Queen of the band most of the day. The young man in the photo is just 1 year old, Prince Sylvan was sporting noise cancelling headphones and was happily pushed around in his pram by Jillian as they accompanied his mommy and daddy through the streets of Port-Of-Spain. 

The moment:
Prince was getting antsy and Jillian gave him some juice, but being a mom herself she realized he might be hungry. As the pace slowed in front of Lapeyrouse Cemetary, with no music trucks and no bands passing, Jillian handed little Prince up to his mommy for some bonding time.

I asked Jillian if she knew at the time that the photo would strike such a chord with people. She said she never really gave the fact that he was nursing much thought since it's such a normal thing to her. But it was such a sweet moment that she definitely thought to snap that pic.

About the Mommy:
Shynel Brizan, Trinidad Carnival Queen 2019.
Portrayal: Mariella, Shadow of Consciousness
Band: Moko Sõmõkow (Mini Band of the Year, 2019)
Designer: Alan Vaughan
Photo: Shaun Rambaran

Moko Sõmõkow-Mariella Shadow of Consciousness - Trinidad Carnival Queen 2019Equally as sweet and charming was Shynel Brizan who I called to get her blessing to share her photo and her story.

Shynel has portrayed Individual Queen costumes before, but 2019 was the first time she advanced to the finals and copped the title of Queen. What's more is that her husband,Tekel 'Salti' Sylvan also advanced and placed 2nd in the King competition (we'll show his photo at the end).

She shared with me how little Prince at just 1 year old has already started training at  Moko Sõmõkow and has already started balancing on his own stilts, and taking his first trepidatious steps towards his stilt walking mommy and daddy. Talk about #familygoals! 

There's so much left to share about this story, how Shynel received an email from the chairman of the breastfeeding association of Trinidad and Tobago asking if she and her husband would lead their Annual Breastfeeding Walk around the Queens Park Savannah on Saturday 27th July 2019 to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) - which they accepted; how the talented Alan Vaughan that designed this winning team based his work on the novel "Palace of the Peacock" by Guyanese author Wilson Harris; that the moko jumbie (stilt walking school) and Jillian's 9 year old daughter was featured in a moving documentary Lifted, by Miquel Galofré - (already winning awards) that tells the story of the over 7,000 Venezuelan refugees that seek haven in Trinidad & Tobago; that the United Nations will give back to Moko  Sõmõkow for their part to play in the documentary.

Wow! There's definitely a story behind each photo. I'm grateful to my Tribe that liked, commented, and shared the photo, because without your enthusiasm I might not have thought to dig a little deeper and learn a whole more!

2nd Place: 'The Peacock becomes the Windows of the Universe' Tekel 'Salti' Sylvan

2nd Place: 'The Peacock becomes the Windows of the Universe'
Tekel 'Salti' Sylvan of the moko jumbie band, Moko Somõkõw, designed by Alan Vaughan. Trinidad Carnival 2019
Photo: Shaun Rambaran

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