Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2014 Contents TODAY
5 pm: The Marionettes .
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Word, Sound and Colour y zy .
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Subjectivity, Ambivalence and the
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7 pm: Medulla Art Gallery
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7 pm: True Talk No Lie. B , 85
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10 am: Viscuña Bros' w .
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7 pm: Brothers In Music. B , 85
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7 pm: UWI Afrikan Society Ak :
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y 27. : 307-8340 468-5643.
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6 pm: Let There be Life,
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A scene from the Marionettes' staging of Les Mis,
now playing at Queen's Hall. C
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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 20, 2014
For Josette James, the ability to trans-
form herself into any super hero, comic
book or movie character she chooses is
but a cosplay away.
James love of cosplay began as a teenag-
er in 2004 during a particularly intense
addiction to the televised anime series
Samurai X. The show s main character
Himura Kenshin (Battousai: The Slasher),
a legendary assassin and powerful swords-
man, served as the inspiration for her first
Now in her 20s, James defines cosplay
as an art form.
"It is a form of self-expression and in
a literal sense is the act of dressing up. It
could be as a character from an anime,
from a video game, a comic strip, a movie
or any facet of pop culture. It is the art
of costuming as it relates to a specific
character, and in that way it is different
from Carnival (of today)."
From that early experience with the art
form of cosplay, James has continued to
craft and build additional and more com-
plex cosplay characters, for which she has
a substantial following on social media.
She has also networked among fellow local
and international cosplayers and collab-
orated over the years to support the com-
munity and serve its growing needs.
Today, a budding entrepreneur, she has
created a small empire, including her reg-
istered company Alias Entertainment, a
regionally published cosplay magazine of
the same name, and international business
alliances for the distribution of specialised
cosplay raw materials and costume making
equipment for the Caribbean.
On July 26 her company will host the
Alias Entertainment Expo (AEX/2014) at
the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, with
several activities happening all day long
from 9 am--midnight.
In the past, there have been many small-
er gatherings at which the local cosplay
community has shown off its craft and
AEX/2014 will be the largest cosplay-
related convention held in the Caribbean
The expo will feature the first Caribbean
Cosplay Championship and there has been
significant interest in the event both from
people within and external to the T&T
community. Over 30 cosplayers from all
across the region will be visiting to compete
for cash prizes.
The launch of the championship will
take the form of a street parade of cosplay
characters on July 25, starting at noon from
Napa, Port-of-Spain, down Frederick Street
to the Central Bank Auditorium.
At the end of the parade, Larry Hama,
writer and editor for Marvel comics and
one of the international guests attending
AEX/2014, will give a feature talk at the
Central Bank Auditorium, hosted by one
of the AEX sponsors, the US Embassy.
With the public nature of AEX and pro-
jected size of the convention, James has
some concerns. "The response for the
parade has been mixed within the cosplay
community. People are very excited by the
idea, but they are also scared.
"Cosplay has operated within Trinidad
for over ten years but people believe it to
be a niche sort of thing. To get national
exposure on this level is a bit imposing for
"However, those who have signed up
are very enthusiastic about it and some
people are making costumes specifically
for the parade. It s going to be an interesting
experience not only because it s the first
time this is happening, but also because
it will open the door to other opportunities
for cosplay to be seen in a more mainstream
AEX/2014 will also include demonstra-
tions of Kendo (a martial art), shodo (cal-
ligraphic art) and origami (the Japanese
art of paper folding), along with a full
length fashion show featuring an extensive
private collection of kimonos (Japanese
Cosplay-related workshops will also be
available including basic costume sewing,
wire bending, special effects makeup and
a visual storytelling workshop facilitated
There will also be a Worbla workshop
with Eve Beauregard, an internationally
recognised professional cosplayer and
model from Sydney, Australia, who has
mastered cosplays such as video game
character Lara Croft, and super villain Poi-
son Ivy from the Batman franchise.
Worbla is a thermoplastic made from
renewable natural materials and is popular
raw material in cosplay creation. Originally
meant to be used for industrial shoemaking,
the international cosplay community uses
it to make costume pieces such as fake
armour, replica weapons, small props, and
Alias Entertainment's Street Fighter Cosplay Group, based on the video game characters. C A A A
Largest cosplay event in
region opens Saturday
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