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Notting Hill Carnival

In the mid 1950s the growing Caribbean community living in the Notting Hill area of London were subject to a series of racial attacks. In response to this they organised a street party based on Caribbean tradition. From this small event has grown the second largest street party in the world (the largest being the Rio Carnival). In the late 70s and 80s it gained a reputation for violence and riots but in recent years it has been (comparatively) calm.

In 1995 over a million and half people jammed the narrow streets to watch the carnival procession and dance to giant outdoor sound systems. The streets are full of the sound of steel bands, giant sound systems and the smell of Caribbean cuisine. The costumes can take all year to make and their is fierce competition for the best floats. That year there were few arrests but a couple of shooting incidents on the last evening.

As a local resident I am proud of the carnival. I have been going to it since the early 1980s and I believe that it is one of the things that makes London such a great and diverse city to live in.

I was there to photograph the carnival (on numerous ocasions) for the London Evening Standard

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