Fete Finder Feature: Soka Tribe
Soka Tribe is a gateway community to the carnival culture via performances, dance classes, education programming, and trips. We are a community of people who love the Carnival culture and music of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Generating an expressive and emotive carnival-like experience, the Tribe enables individuals to let go of their inhibition, move freely and motivate others to join a movement for a cause. While most people are familiar with the pageantry of carnival, few know of its origins, which are rooted in the liberation, joy, and labor of the enslaved. Soka Tribe offers the connection to carnival via fitness classes, a performance troupe, and educational programming and an annual trip to Trinidad.
Shermica “Sokanista” Farquhar is a Brooklyn-born Trinidadian dancer and choreographer, trained in ballet, modern, jazz, West African, salsa, and hip-hop. Shermica came of age watching her loved ones and countrymen pour themselves into creating this mass celebration of artistry, movement, and liberation. When she moved to Washington, D.C. in 2014, she realized that this kind of community and collective joy were integral to her sense of wellbeing.
She started the Soka Tribe, to combine her love for Caribbean carnival culture and dedication to building community. As an artist, Shermica’s work is an invitation to unlock the viewer’s own zest for life, and to bond with others via a vibrant culture that has struck a chord all over the world.
Shermica is a two time DC Commission on Arts and Humanities Sister City Grantee and founder of the Return to the Reason Festival, in Accra, Ghana, and Washington, DC. Shermica also serves as a Commissioner on the Mayor Advisory Commission on Caribbean Community Affairs.