Anja Christoffersen learned early on that you can never judge a book by its cover. Born with a congenital disability that deformed her digestive, skeletal, reproductive, circulatory, urinary and respiratory systems; she had her first surgery at five hours old. Despite a grim diagnosis, from the outside you would be unable to tell she was any different. You would never have known that at birth, the medical fraternity warned that she would never live a normal life. Once Anja grew to an age where she could understand her medical differences, she made the decision that she did not want an ordinary life anyway - she wanted an extraordinary one. As soon as Anja realised happiness is a choice, she made the decision she would be happy despite her circumstances. From surgical theatres to chasing her dreams led her to a career as an international fashion model. Join Anja as she walks the catwalks of Australia and Europe with her hidden medical condition, overcomes challenges and discovers how to keep smiling no matter what.
A symbol of Trinidadian culture, the steelband has made an extraordinary transformation since its origins-from junk metal to steel orchestra, and from disparaged underclass pastime to Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument. Now, Shannon Dudley gives the first discerning look at the musical thinking that ignited this transformation, and the way it articulates with Afro-Trinidadian tradition, carnival, colonial authority, and nationalist politics. Music from behind the Bridge tells the story of the steelband from the point of view of musicians who overcame disadvantages of poverty and prejudice with their extraordinary ambition. Literally referring to the poor neighborhoods nestled in the hills bordering Port of Spain to the East, "Behind the Bridge" is also a metaphor for conditions of social disadvantage and cultural resistance that shaped the steelband movement in the various Afro-Trinidadian communities where it first took root. The book further explores the implications of the steelband's "nationalization" in post-independence Trinidad and Tobago, and contemporary steelband musicians' preoccupation with the formally adjudicated annual Panorama competition. In discussing the intersection of musical thinking, festivity, and politics, this book connects important questions about the history of the steelband to general questions about the relation between popular culture and nationalism.