Medium Band of the Year winner K2K Alliance and Partners will present World Wars – In the Time of Salome come 2023. Its first Carnival was 2012.
Bandleaders Karen and Kathy Norman said the theme focuses on war in a time of peace.
Salome comes from the Hebrew word for peace –
shalom – and is also the name of a biblical figure.
The New Testament tells the story of Salome and her dance at the birthday celebration of her stepfather, Herod Antipas. Herod had John the Baptist – forerunner of Jesus Christ – beheaded at Salome’s request in return for her performance of a dance, Sometimes called the dance of the seven veils, it has inspired art, literature and music.
The band will take its masqueraders “through the journey of war and its aftermath” with six sections.
It recently shared news of next year’s presentation, but will host the reveal in September.
Even though the usual Carnival celebrations since 2020 were stymied by the covid19 pandemic, the Normans were always sketching. Some of the sketches for 2023 already existed and many of the band’s themes were crafted years in advance.
However, it was a discussion with their father, Kenneth Norman, which led to this particular one. Their father told them, “Covid is a silent war, baby; without a bomb, without a gun, without military force, this disease has wiped out thousands. Millions.”
The latest statistics say 6.5 million people globally have died of covid19.
Wars, in this sense, represent “the ambush or attack” the world experienced during the height of the pandemic, the twins said.
However, the theme could be interpreted in different ways.
“On a more generic level, world wars can represent the death, destruction and hardships brought about by harsh realities of war, for instance, World War I and II, or, most recently, the war in Ukraine.
“On a more social-political level, war can be viewed as the fight for rights, obligation, and purpose. This was seen in movements like Black Lives Matter, the fight against gender-based violence, and policies like Roe vs Wade, gay rights and same-sex marriages.
“On a personal level, war can also be the emotional tug-of-war we face day in and out,” the Normans said.
In each of these wars, victory is not shown by the power of the gun but through diplomacy, resilience and courage, they said.
“In the end, after the war, comes Salome.”
Many of the band's costumes use vibrant colours, although some darker tones are also used. The Normans said brighter tones were essential as the underlying message of the band is a positive one: peace will conquer each and very type of war.
"For instance, in the section The Poppy in a Field of Warpaint, the colours are red, orange, and yellow. The ombre of red is the effect of war, while the tones of orange and yellows symbolises the poppy and hope springing in a field.
"In terms of keeping a military theme, there are pants options with cargo pockets and jackets with large straps that allow some pieces in the collection to feel more fierce," the Normans said.
Particular materials were used with an emphasis on keeping positive energy in the band and collection. The agate stone was used to do this and was included in the design of its head- and neckpieces.
They said this was of particular importance as the agate is said to have healing properties and is also believed by some to transform negative energy into positive energy.
“The agate is a soothing and calming gemstone that heals inner anger, anxiety and helps in the strengthening of relationships. It is known to instil security and safety.”
They added that no two agates are identical, much like people. This also means no accessory in the 2023 collection is the same as the other, they said.
It was also paired with wood, to “keep the positive energy in the band.” For them, wood is a strong symbol of life, growth and strength.
“What you will also notice is that there is a rawness to the way that the accessories have been created. This, too, is intentional, as it represents the rawness of war.”
The headpieces “bridge the realm of the macabre and fantasy,” the Normans said. They described them as resembling costumes in the 2015 US movie Mad Max, Fury Road meets the 2006 Spanish fantasy/war film Pan’s Labyrinth.
The band will continue to build on its 365-day concept, which allows for parts of its costumes to be worn after Carnival. They range from formal to casual, which they said was in keeping with "the vision of the K2K brand to offer wardrobe pieces that can be used post-Carnival in casual or formal settings. The 365-day concept speaks to K2K’s efforts toward sustainability in fashion, whereby these are garments that facilitate multiple use.”
One section will not form part of the band on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Instead it is going to be a part of the brand’s bridal line, Kev-Absolu, and was inspired by the US TV show House of the Dragon, the prequel to Game of Thrones. The Normans did not wish to reveal which section as yet, and said more information would be given closer to the premiere.
The Normans said clients were excited about the prospects of Carnival 2023 and expected participation to be positive for the entire Carnival fraternity.
The band’s sections:
The Ambush and the Whispering of Fields Half-SownThe Wings of the Battering RamThe Warpath of CarnageThe Web of War and the Delicate Thread of DiplomacyThe Poppy in a Field of War Paint The Crowing of Shalom