Carnival Mas-Piece

How much of Carnival is about space and city-making?

Once a year, thousands of people turn the city streets into places for play, music, cultural and artisitic expression. When that happens, Carnival breaks the dominant state of our streets and city spaces by democratically producing social spaces through collective action. 

Tropical Isles is a London based carnival youth group which works with over one hundred members aged 13 to 25. The charity’s aims are to assist young people in building life skills, confidence and supporting wellbeing. And, at the centre of their activities is the year-round preparation to compete as registered Mas-band at Notting Hill Carnival, Hackney Carnival and Bielefeld Carnival.

This collaboration and live-build project brought together architecture students and the Tropical Isles community to work, co-design and build a bespoke Carnival Mas-piece to parade and participate in the transformation of London’s streets at:
Notting Hill Carnival 2019: 3rd prize traditional category
Hackney Carnival 2019: 1st prize - Carnival band of the year
Hackney Lights-up Festive Event - 2019


Carsten Jungfer - Aboard and UEL
Fernanda Palmieri - Aboard and UEL
Winifred Kawonda - Tropical Isles
Marva Antoine - Tropical Isles

Annabel Maguire and Bethan Smith - Lune studio

Tropical Isles team: 
Sydney Hawthorne, Stephanie Antoine, Morgan Baker, Stephon Barker, Kaidy-Shae Marcel, Claudia Covatariu.

UEL team:
Daryl Ignacio, Eugene Yu Jin Soh, Halima Ali, Tashan Auguste

Status: complete (2019)

Support: UEL Engage

UEL Public Engagement Award 2021: Runner up

Download: Project report

That’s Winnie and Us!