A masquerader from Ronnie & Caro crosses the Queen’s Park Savannah on Carnival Tuesday.

For many Trinidadians, going through the first three months of 2021 without Carnival feels unreal, but CarniCon is providing all with an opportunity to experience carnivals around the world this week.

CarniCon’s CarniConversations run from February 4-6 and includes panel discussions and videos on global festivals.

Speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday, CarniConversations programme director Dr Emma Perot said the three-day virtual experience will allow stakeholders an opportunity to gain knowledge and insights so that when Carnival 2021 comes, it would be unlike others. Perot said it presents a meeting room for stakeholders to network with their global counterparts.

Thursday morning session provides an opportunity for participants to learn how other countries celebrate their carnivals and what makes them unique. Once that is over, the event enters into a series of four-panel discussions over two days.

Perot said the first panel discussion on Intellectual property, is an area of law that everyone can benefit from concerning protecting their creations.

The next panel discussion on economics will reflect on how carnivals contribute to an economy. Participants will learn about the New Orleans festival and the impact on its prosperity. The panel will also delve into a 2019 study on the economics of Carnival in Jamaica.

“Many people are suffering financially, and while of course, it is a devastating thing for the industry, it is an opportunity to reflect on what has been done and determine how we use this information to move forward,” said Perot.

There will also be a discussion on the design of costumes, how to use materials and the use of creativity to transform ideas from a sketch to a prototype to an actual road-ready piece.

Closing off the panel discussions will be a conversation on the future of concerts, fetes and festivals.

Perot said that with several virtual events taking place this year, there is now the opportunity to discuss how people will party in 2022.

“We are so accustomed to having these large-scale events, and in the words of Machel (Montano), I could definitely do with a good fete right now. But since we cannot do that right now, it is the right time now to think about how we are going to move forward.”

These topics will be tackled by a host of experts from T&T, Jamaica, Barbados, Brazil, the United Kingdom and New Orleans to name a few.

Representatives across the globe like Frederick Morton Jnr, the Founder of Tempo Networks and George Singh, organizer the International Chutney Soca Monarch competition are among the speakers.

CarniCon director Derrick Lewis expects the conversion to be so immersive that people may cry while discussing Carnival.

FedEx is sponsoring the free event, and it is open to everyone.

Visit www.carnicon.org for more information.