St. Thomas ~ British Virgin Islands
Hollis Liverpool, alias Chalkdust (b. 1941, Chaguaramas) Trinidad and Tobago Dynamic musician and many-time winner of Trinidad's prestigious Calypso Monarch, Chalkdust is a master of calypso as a form of social satire. Disguising incisive critiques in humorous wordplay, he is a voice of the disadvantaged, expressing controversial issues in a context of deep inequality. His more than 300 songs include: ‘The Right History’, ‘You Can’t Judge Culture’, ‘Grandpa’s Back Pay’, ‘The Qualifications of a Politician’ and ‘To Hell with the Ministry’. Committed to developing the root traditions of this unique Afro-Caribbean language, his ‘Calypso in Hospital’ attacks recent commercialisation. Former director of the Ministry of Culture and of the Carnival Institute of Trinidad, Chalkdust is Assistant Professor of History at the University of the Virgin Islands. He lectures in the Caribbean and beyond. His publications include: Rituals of Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad & Tobago 1763-1962 (2001) and From the Horse’s Mouth: Stories of the History and Development of the Calypso from the 1920s to 1970s (2003). Chalkdust is honoured for his outstanding music and social critique, for his important contributions to the study and development of calypso, and for nurturing a space of freedom and expression that enables people to live together in tough conditions.