By Stephen Weir
Trinidad and Tobago’s 2020 Carnival is roaring down the track and Dr. Kim Johnson, author and film maker, has turned to social media to get his book about Pan on board! Last week on Facebook, postings began appearing about his IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign to reprint his seminal, Illustrated Story of Pan.
The book will not be available for Carnival, but the author is hoping that by the time people start taking to the streets of Port of Spain, he will know whether or not there will be a second printing of Pan history will be available to order.
Dr. Johnson is a Director at the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago. He works at the University of Trinidad and Tobago and manages “PAN We Are The World”. His short films about Pan and the Carnival Arts are shown at festivals around the world including Toronto’s Caribbean Tales Film Festival.
The original book was published in Trinidad and Tobago in 2011. The initial print run sold out almost immediately, and now used copies are selling on-line for two and three times the original (if you can find them).
Shivance Ramlochan, author of the Paper Based Blogger describes the book in glowing terms. “The Illustrated Story of Pan is a thing of spectacular beauty, the crown jewel in a Carnival music lover’s catalogue of visual literature. In this remarkable, necessary tome it is the photographs — from the rare, to the previously unseen, to the iconic — that guide the arc of the narrative, and never before have you been so eager to be led by images for the sake of art and cultural history.”
“Our IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign starts in just one week,” Johnson told the Caribbean Camera. “We can’t wait to get this book in production, printed and off to pan lovers.”
Johnson plans to print 1,500 copies of the second edition. He will only sell them online so he doesn’t have to store them at home. He also doesn’t want to take them to bookstores “then nag them to pay me for what they sold; it’s a nightmare in T&T.”
Printing and binding will begin no later than this April. The production of the books will take an additional 3-months. They will be shipped to the US, where the author will travel to sign and mail copies to supporters. “We plan to have all books and perks in your hands by the end of July, 2020.”
Although the book is very much T&T specific, Canadian pan aficionados are going on-line to lend their support for the project. Toronto’s Andre-Roger Dellevi wants all his pan friends to get behind the proposed reprint of The Illustrated Story Of Pan. “I do not think or believe any of you who do, will be disappointed,” he asserted.
“When people talk about Pan, it isn’t just about the instrument, it is about a whole way of life,” says Johnson. “This is more than an album, it is an invitation to join the family, and this is like a big family gathering!”
Kim Johnson has posted a video that he has made about his plans to reprint the book. It is easily found on YouTube and Facebook slugged : Support The Illustrated Story of Pan: Second Edition.