Assistant Director of Culture, Edison “Eddie” Dames (also known as “Fast Eddie”) arrived at our studio clothed fully in black. He cuts a striking figure… tall and lean with a well-coiffed grizzled beard that hangs halfway down his chest in true “Gandalfian” style (for those who are familiar with “Lord of The Rings”). His long salt-and-pepper hair was neatly drawn back into a discreet ponytail. We had not met before and he greeted us warmly with smiling eyes.
A Junkanoo veteran for over thirty years, Mr. Dames is more than aware of the deeply rooted historical, societal and cultural effects of Junkanoo on Bahamians.
“One of the most powerful forces that we have found to be effective enough to draw persons together and have society interwoven toward one magnificent cause is the call of Junkanoo,” Mr. Dames has said.
Through youth oriented events and activities he strives to encourage Bahamian youth to embrace their culture.
In our studio, he sat stoically on a wooden stool as we captured his visage, prominently featuring his iconic beard.
Afterwards we chatted awhile about the Bahamian Project and showed him some of the other portraits we had photographed. Pleased with our efforts, he agreed that our project was valuable and important in its goal to preserve the legacy of the Bahamas through our people.
Documentary photos by Lisa Wells of Eddie Dames in our studio at Popopstudios. These are not the final images.