In this episode David and Mark chat about the challenges of photographing Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street party.

Notting Hill Carnival sees over a million people descend on west London over the course of 2 days to celebrate West Indian communities and culture in the UK. There’s an amazing array of floats, costumes and Caribbean music, from calypso, dancehall to soca, reggae and dub. This video of last year’s carnival might give you a feel for the atmosphere at the event.

Magnum photographer Alex Majoli spent time capturing the crowds, performers, and characters behind this year’s Notting Hill Carnival – you can find Majoli’s photos on the Magnum site.

Documentary photographer Andy Hall has photographed Carnival on many occasions and you can find his latest work on his website and a selection from over the years in a Guardian feature from 2017.

Notting Hill Carnival archive footage

For a bit of background on the Notting Hill Carnival and the West Indian community, there are some cracking archive films around:

Music at Carnival

For more on the music at Carnival, check out:

Cropover in Barbados

David also briefly talks about being asked to document a carnival in the Caribbean – Grand Kadooment, part of the Cropover celebrations in Barbados. You can see some highlights from Grand Kadooment in this video.

There’s also a British news take on Trinidad Carnival in 1957.

Forthcoming talk on migration from the Caribbean

On a related note, next month there’s an evening of talks and photos exploring the long history of migration to Britain from the Caribbean. It takes place at the Woolwich Centre Library, London, on 2 October – the event is free but you need to book.


As always, we try to put the photos we discuss on <a href=””>our Pinterest page for this episode</a>.

Podcast music credit: Extraordinaire by <a href=””>DJ Quads</a>.