Flow tropical - Portada cuaderno de postales

Ediciones De a Poco presents a new project—Flow Tropical—by Dominican artist Maurice Sánchez. First, there will be a launch of the project, presenting a set of postcards with 10 images of Dominican popular paintings (see example below). This year Ediciones De a Poco will publish a book with a selection of images of popular painting that Sánchez has gathered through the years in the Dominican Republic.

Postal 01

Description (from Ediciones De a Poco press release): The first sample is a book of colorful postcards made with photographs by Maurice Sánchez, who has spent two decades taking photos of the walls of businesses throughout the Dominican territory. These photographic images draw attention to a wide array of compositions and perspectives: a lion drinking a bottle of Presidente beer, a huge eggplant is measured by a salami, and shoes float in an unidentified red substance. These are paintings that speak of both Dominican daily life and the boundless imagination displayed by the muralists.

Postal 3 10

David Puig, director of Ediciones De a Poco explains: “Tropical Flow is an editorial project dedicated to the popular paintings found in grocery stores, beauty salons, clothing and food shops. These ten postcards are simply an appetizer: the main course is a book that will be published later in 2014 with a wider selection of photographs by Maurice Sánchez. This publication will be a tribute to popular creativity and an approach to material culture as well as the national imaginary of the early second millennium.”

Maurice Sánchez is a visual artist and photographer. He has been part of the art collective Shampoo and Biscuit, with which he has participated in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art of Santo Domingo; the Polygraphic Triennial of San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Havana Museum of Art in Cuba; and the Brooklyn Museum, New York; among others. He has organized exhibitions such as Arte Urbano Sarmiento [Urban Art Sarmiento]; Tipicográfico, with Modafoca; and Gráfica Independiente Dominicana 2000-2010, with Rossy Ramos and Ángel Rosario. Presently, he is Creative Director of the agency Capital DBG.

The Tropical Flow postcards are available at the following outlets:

La Alpargatería – Salomé Ureña # 59 (open Tuesday to Sunday from 4pm to 11pm)
La Corre Bajita – Padre Billini # 265 (open Tuesday to Sunday from 4pm to 11pm)
Galería Bolos – Isabel la Catolica (open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm)

For more information, please contact: David Puig, Director of Ediciones De a Poco, at edicionesdeapoco@gmail.com

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 22, 2014

Bermuda: Global Campaign Launched for ‘Blue Halo’ Project


According to Sam Strangeways (The Royal Gazette) a global online activist network has launched a campaign to get the Bermuda Government to implement the “Blue Halo” proposal to turn the sea around the island into a protected environmental zone. Here are excerpts; see full article in the link below:

Avaaz.org says on its website: “Bermuda is on the verge of creating the biggest ocean sanctuary in the Atlantic but the government seems to be stalling.” [. . .]  The organisation, which claims to have had campaign victories all around the world, suggests that Blue Halo supporters write to Premier Craig Cannonier, copying in Sustainable Development director Charles Brown, to ask why the One Bermuda Alliance hasn’t acted on “this reserve that was promised in your election platform”. It suggests letter writers ask for the full results of the public consultation into the scheme to be released and explain how such a marine reserve would benefit tourism and jobs.

[. . .] The Bermuda Blue Halo scheme proposes turning much of the sea within a 200-mile radius of the Island — covering an area the size of the British Isles and encompassing about 180,000 square miles of ocean — into a “no take” zone, severely limiting all activity there.

Environmentalists, backed by the US non-profit organisation Pew Charitable Trusts, say it would preserve the ocean environment and protect the habitat and species within, as well as giving Bermuda the opportunity to lucratively market itself as an ecotourist destination.

But the idea has its opponents, including former Premier David Saul, who claims it would be economically detrimental to the Island as it would prevent mineral mining on the sea bed, and local fishermen, who have warned it could be a “noose” for the fishing industry. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20140422/NEWS/140429931

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 22, 2014

The Splendor of Cuba: 450 Years of Architecture and Interiors

Bruce Museum Lecture

On Monday, May 5, 2014, at 1:00pm, Dr. Michael Connors will present “The Splendor of Cuba: 450 Years of Architecture and Interiors,” a slide presentation and book signing. This event, sponsored by the Greenwich Antiques Society, will take place at the Bruce Museum, located at 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, Connecticut.

For more information, you may contact the Museum by phone at (203) 869-0376. Also visit https://brucemuseum.org/


The editors of The Black Scholar welcome essays for a special issue examining the complexity of black cultural politics and identity in the Dominican Republic. The deadline for abstracts is July 15, 2014, and for completed articles, December 1, 2014.

Description: This special issue seeks to analyze Dominican racial relations against the grain of the cross-disciplinary consensus, primarily U.S.-based, that focuses on Dominicans’ “negrophobia,” “anti-Haitianism,” and “self-hatred.” In this way, the issue inserts itself into a globally comparative Black Studies, including the articulations and disarticulations between blackness in the US, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

Aiming to include a cross-disciplinary group of writers, scholars, and activists from the Dominican Republic and Dominicanists from abroad, the issue invites essays on the following topics:

  • Methodologies of studying blackness and Africanness in the Dominican Republic
  • Archives/archaeologies of Dominican blackness
  • Imperialism, blackness, and U.S.-Dominican relations
  • Dominican Black transnationalisms: intra-Caribbean, inter-American, and African-Dominican
  • Critical histories of antihaitianismo, Haitian-Dominican cultural relations, and/or Haitian-Dominican solidarity
  • Race and blackness in Dominican popular cultural production
  • Political economy of blackness vis-à-vis the Dominican Republic
  • Racism, colorism, and white supremacy in Dominican social structures
  • Perceptions of Dominicans by U.S. Blacks, Caribbeans, and/or Africans
  • Dominican conceptualizations of diaspora: la diáspora in Dominican migration, African diaspora in a Dominican sense, diaspora in an Afro-Dominican sense

The issue anticipates that the suggested topics in the list above, or relevant topics not listed, will engage scholars in Black/Africana Studies, Caribbean & Latin American Studies, Psychology, Literary Studies, Theater & Performance Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, Media Studies, Ethnomusicology, and History. The issue will also feature poetry, art, and fiction by black- and Afro-affirming Dominican writers and artists, in English translation.

Abstracts should be submitted by July 15, 2014, and full articles will be expected by December 1, 2014 to special guest editors, Raj Chetty (chettyr@stjohns.edu) and Amaury Rodríguez (arodrig02@citymail.cuny.edu). Publication of the special issue is slated for late 2015. When preparing manuscripts, please follow The Black Scholar Submission Guidelines.

THE BLACK SCHOLAR is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal providing cogent articles that help the understanding of issues of social concern to black Americans and other peoples of African descent across the world. To provide full range for the development of black thought in a climate where fora are still limited, we emphasize writings by black authors. The journal was launched in 1969 with the premise that black authors, scholars, artists and activists could participate in dialogue within its pages, “uniting the academy and the street.” Its editors have been dedicated to finding and developing new talent and continuing to publish established authors. TBS is now a refereed journal published with Routledge. Nonetheless, it retains its policy of publishing non-academic organic intellectuals from a variety of vocations and avocations.

For more on the journal’s history and philosophy, please visit its website.

Image above from http://www.royalement-votre.com/scriptorium/codenoir.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 22, 2014

Dominican Republic Mourns Singer Sonia Silvestre


Last weekend we were focusing on the deaths of Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez and Puerto Rican singer Cheo Feliciano that I forgot to post this other sad news. Here is a follow-up to today’s previous post Dominican Singer Sonia Silvestre Dies at 61:

Dominican singer Sonia Silvestre died on Saturday at age 61. The singer had been hospitalized for a week after suffering a massive stroke and two heart attacks. Her husband, José Betancourt, communicated his family’s gratitude for the expressions of solidarity shown by the Dominican public towards the artist, who for years displayed one of the most acclaimed romantic and patriotic repertoires in the Dominican Republic.

Sonia Margarita Silvestre Ortiz was born on August 16, 1952, in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. Her parents were Estela Ortiz and Manuel Silvestre. The singer grew up in Hato Mayor, where her parents moved when she was a young girl.

Silvestre started singing publicly while still a teenager, when she met singer Cecilia García, who helped her by getting her started in the business of singing advertisement jingles. Silvestre made her official debut as a vocalist in May 1970 on the program “Gente,” produced Freddy Ginebra for Radio Televisión Dominicana; on the program, she sang the Castro Brothers’ song “Yo sin ti” [Me without you] accompanied by band leader Luis José Mella.

A turning point in her career came when composer Leonor Porcella de Brea chose Silvestre to interpret her song “¿Dónde podré gritarte que te quiero” [Where can I shout out that I love you?] at the IV Festival of Dominican Song, sponsored by AMUCABA (Association of Musicians, Singers and Dancers) in Santo Domingo in 1971. She won second place and later recorded her first LP entitled “Esta es Sonia Silvestre” [This is Sonia Silvestre] for artistic entrepreneur Bienvenido Rodríguez. In 1971 she was a finalist in the International Song Festival in Bogota, Colombia, and in 1972, the magazines Tele-3 and Farándula selected her as the most popular singer of the moment.

[Many thanks to Sophie Maríñez for bringing this item to our attention.]

For full articles (in Spanish), see http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2014/04/19/muere-cantante-sonia-silvestre and http://elnacional.com.do/restos-de-sonia-silvestre-seran-expuestos-y-enterrados-este-lunes/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 22, 2014

Over 100 writers in 2014 Bocas line-up


The action-packed programme of the 2014 NGC Bocas Lit Fest includes more than 100 writers, performers and speakers—the festival’s biggest line-up yet, Trinidad’s Express reports.
Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival begins this Wednesday and runs for five days, closing on Sunday. The schedule of readings, discussions, performances, workshops and film screenings follows a month of pre-festival events aro­und the country.
“We have so much in store this year that we’ve even added an extra day to the festival,” say the organisers. They continue: “The NGC Bocas Lit Fest has a special focus on Caribbean writers—which automatically makes us international, as our region is and has always been a global space.
“We’re proud to showcase some of our best writers from T&T, but we’re equally proud to feature extraordinary writers from across the whole Caribbean.”
The 2014 festival has a special focus on poetry. The “Festival Warmup” on Wednesday, a lunchtime session in the Old Fire Station in downtown Port of Spain, features UK-based Trinidadian poet and musician Anthony Joseph and British poet Malika Booker, whose roots are in Grenada and Guyana. They will perform their work alongside singer/songwriter Gillian Moor.
And one of the festival’s main highlights is a performance on Friday billed as The Living Word.
Described as “a celebration of the Caribbean’s poetry and performance traditions”, it also com­memorates the 60th birthyear of the late Jamaican dub poet Mikey Smith.
The free event, to be held at the backyard performance space Bohemia in Woodbrook, boasts a line-up of poets, including the iconic Linton Kwesi Johnson, fellow Jamaicans Lorna Goodison, Mervyn Morris and Kwame Dawes, Trinidadians Anthony Joseph, Vahni Capildeo, and Lauren K Alleyne, St Lucian newcomer Vladimir Lucien, and a guest performance by Freetown Collective.
Elsewhere in the programme, the eminent UK-based Guyanese poets John Agard and Grace Nichols will read from and discuss their work, as will the US-based Trinidadian poet Mervyn Taylor.
And on Saturday morning, an array of Guyanese writers will mark the centenary of AJ Seymour, the late poet and editor.
Trinida­dian Jennifer Rahim and Vincentian Philip Nanton will also launch new books of poems during the fes­tival.
At Bocas 2014’s grand conclusion on Sunday, T&T’s best spoken-word poets will contest the finals of the VERSES Bocas Poetry Slam.
The Thursday- and Friday-lunchtime open-mike sessions on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, will be the prelude.
The focus on poe­try doesn’t mean an absence of fiction wri­ters.
Canada-based Trinidadian novelist Neil Bissoondath will appear at a special event at the Naipaul House Museum, former home of his grandparents; and St Kitts-born Caryl Phillips, Belizean Zee Edgell and Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo—whose debut novel, We Need New Names, was recently shortlisted for the Booker Prizer—will also read from their works.
Robert Antoni, Bernardine Evaristo and Gerard Besson will all participate in a special event looking at how post-colonial writers are reinventing the historical novel, while Jamaican Esther Figueroa and Barbados-based Trinidadian Ingrid Persaud will discuss how fiction can tackle social issues.
Books of fiction making their debut at the festival include Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw’s Mrs B, and Vashti Bowlah’s short story collection, Under the Peepal Tree.
As usual, the festival also makes room for lively, serious discussion of pressing social issues. The programme includes a number of events addressing T&T’s widespread concern with crime and vio­lence.
An event called Bloody Friday will bring together Irish-Trinidadian novelist Amanda Smyth, Scottish crime writers Denise Mina and Allan Guthrie, and US editor Johnny Temple for a discussion on how writing of different genres can deal with social violence.
An innovative extempo debate featuring Short Pants and Black Sage will ask, “Are there more criminals in jail or in public office?” And the Bocas Debate on Saturday will bring together a high-level panel of opinion-makers for a frank discussion on “Breaking the Circle” of crime, chaired by UK High Commissioner Arthur Snell.
Several dozen other writers and speakers will complete the programme. And, as in previous years, the 2014 festival will include seve­ral events focused on budding and emer­ging writers.
A new festival event, called Who’s Next?, will present a line-up of eight emerging writers from T&T; and the Stand and Deliver open mic series will give prose and poetry writers a chance to present their work to an audience.
The festival’s film series will offer documentaries on major Caribbean authors such as Derek Walcott, VS Naipaul and Earl Lovelace; a survey of recent Indian writing in English; and a special showcase of the films made by British director Anthony Wall for the BBC’s Arena programme in the 1980s. These include docu­mentaries on Mikey Smith’s visit to London, Carifesta 1981 in Barbados, and the West Indian community of coastal Nicaragua, as well as the first feature-length documentary ever made on Bob Marley, originally released in 1986.
And on Sunday 28 April, a special programme of films and talks will pay tribute to William Shakespeare on the occasion of his 450th birthday, which falls during the festival.
Look out for adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, each introduced by NGC Bocas Lit Fest programme director Nicholas Laughlin, as well as a discussion on “Shakespeare, our contemporary”.
The festival is also the occasion for the announcement of the winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Lite­rature, a major regional award recognising Carib­bean writers of poe­try, fiction and nonfiction; the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize, supporting an emerging Caribbean writer in completing a book; and the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature for Young Adult readers.
Parallel to the main festival, the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest will include dozens of readings, performances, and workshops for young readers and wri­ters.
For more information on the 2014 NGC Bocas Lit Fest programme, a full list of participants and information on how to register for workshops, visit http://www.bocaslitfest.com.
For the original report go


Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 22, 2014

The Best Poetry Books of All Time


I love lists. They can run the gamut from enlightening to just plain irritating, but they never leave you indifferent. London’s Telegraph has just published a list of the 15 best poetry books of all times. It is no surprise that most of them are written in English—only three were foreign language texts (The Selected Poems of Li Po, Eugene Onegin, and The Divine Comedy)—or that none on their main list comes from anywhere bordering the Third World. But things get more interesting in their “Other Contenders” list, where we find Langston Hughes’ Montage of a Dream Deferred, Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, and Derek Walcott’s White Egrets. You can find the list at 15 best poetry books of all time – www.telegraph.co.uk

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 22, 2014

Dominican Singer Sonia Silvestre Dies at 61

Sonia Silvestre

Dominican singer Sonia Silvestre has died in Santo Domingo after having two strokes, her husband said. She was 61.

“We must sadly announce that our Sonia Silvestre has died,” said José Betancourt, the singer’s husband and father of their two children, Andrés and Heloise Estela Betancourt Silvestre,

Silvestre died on Saturday, Betancourt said.

A private memorial service will be held by the family on Sunday for the singer, who died at Hospital Plaza de la Salud.

The family plans to hold a public wake for Silvestre on Monday at a Santo Domingo funeral home, Betancourt said.

The singer had strokes on Wednesday night and Thursday morning while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Sonia Margarita Silvestre Ortiz, who was born on Aug. 16, 1952, in the eastern city of San Pedro de Macoris, participated in music competitions and scored big hits with “La tarde esta llorando,” “El arañazo” and “Donde podre gritarte que te quiero?”

In a statement today, Dominican President Danilo Medina mourned the passing of the singer, recalling her commitment to social causes and the loss her death represents for the nation’s arts community.


A post by Peter Jordens.

Colloquium: Memory, History and Power in Postcolonial Lands: The Haitian Experience – A Tribute to Michel-Rolph Trouillot

April 24-25, 2014, from 9 am to 7 pm

Room B 106 and Salle de la Coupole (Maison de l’étudiant)

Université Paris 8

2 rue de la Liberté, 93 526 Saint-Denis Cedex

The Club for Reflection of Haitians Scholars of Paris (CRUHP) is the initiator of this event that will pay tribute to the late Haitian anthropologist and historian Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1949-2012).

For two days, memories of post-slavery and postcolonial societies and power in Caribbean societies will be the subject of discussion and debate. Researchers, sociologists, teachers and historians will reflect and interact on the relationship between history and power in Haitian society and in the wider Caribbean, and the entanglement of these societies, marked by the colonial and slavery experience, in the colonial imaginary constitutive of modernity. According to the organizers, “There is indeed a postcolonial drama related to the question of power caught in the net of coloniality (Aníbal Quijano). And this is one of the ideas to be discussed in this colloquium. It will interrogate on what anthropological-political foundation these political societies and ‘imagined communities’ (Benedict Anderson) are based – while keeping in mind the experience of Haitian independence – to examine how it would be possible to deconstruct the colonial logic of power from which the capitalist world-system draws its enduring dynamics. This will at the same time help to better understand the cultural, economic, social and political background of memory dynamics and social demands in post-slavery societies.”

Papers to be presented include the following: ‘Policies versus urban memories, the example of Fort-de-France, Martinique’ by Sandrine Hilderal-Jurad; ‘Haiti: International assistance, NGOs and colonization’ by Djems Olivier; ‘Vagrancy in the Haitian colonial and postcolonial context: Social invalidation and becoming co-owner of the state’ by Francklin Benjamin; ‘Power struggles and foreign interference in the Dominican Republic’ by Dr. Luis Alfonso Escolano Gimenez; ‘Concerning an iconic conflict in Haiti’ by Carlo A. Celius; ‘Magic-religious political power in Haitian society’ by Edelyn Dorismond; and ‘Haitian Revolution and postcolonial studies’ by Adler Camilus.

The detailed program is available here: http://www.univ-paris8.fr/IMG/pdf_programme_2.pdf.

Participation in the Colloquium is free.

For more information contact the CRUHP coordinators at email cruhp2010@gmail.com, website http://cruhp.moonfruit.fr, tel. (+33) 06 9917 6372 or 06 3064 8762.

Source: http://www.e-karbe.com/expos-debats/histoire-et-pouvoir-en-terres-postcoloniales-lexperience-haitienne-abordee-lors-dun-colloque-international

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 21, 2014

‘Bouyan wara’: Guianese awara broth


A post by Peter Jordens.

‘Bouyan wara’, ‘bouillon d’awara’ or awara broth (or soup or stew) is the ultimate Guyanese specialty, the traditional dish for Easter in French Guiana. It is made from the orange-colored palm fruit called ‘awarra’ or ‘wara’ [Astrocaryum vulgare] which is common in tropical South America, especially along the coast. The juice extracted from this fruit constitutes the base of a very thick stock, cooked for a long duration and supplemented with a real jumble of ingredients, such as tropical vegetables, manioc, fish or prawns, smoked ham, salty meat, banana leaves, and spices. It is usually served with rice.

Jean-Marc Kromwel of the news site FranceGuyane.fr reports that because awara broth takes so long to make, the preparation of this traditional family dish is nowadays often outsourced.

It is impossible to escape the hustle and bustle of awara broth during Holy Week. First, because it is THE dish with which Guianese celebrate Easter. Second, because even if we were to forget, our neighbors, acquaintances and relatives make sure to remind us. “I sell awara broth at 15 euros per portion and it is well served. Do not forget to order,” said an email which I received last week. Offers of this nature increase each year. They meet a demand, as more and more people find that awara broth takes too long to make: three or four days if you want to get everything right, from collecting the awara until the final simmer.

This is the case for Micheline, from Macouria. For twenty years, she cooked the broth herself for her husband and her two children who in the meantime have given her six grandchildren. Three years ago, she decided to commission the preparation to an expert friend. “It became too much to do,” she says. “Especially as the size of the dish had to increase each year along with the appetite of my children, the boys in particular.”

This order costs a little more than one-hundred euros, for a family of ten people. Ten euros per portion, “because there are ten of us,” says Micheline. Otherwise, it is fifteen euros. Sometimes it is twenty euros or more per portion. “For some, it has become a business like ‘matoutou de crabes’ in the French Antilles,” laments Stanley, a native of Martinique, who has become a fan of awara broth. “But the most expensive versions are not always the best …”

Most Guianese will have their awara broth on Easter – no matter who has prepared it!

For the complete, original article (in French), go to http://www.franceguyane.fr/actualite/economie-consommation/bouillon-wara-on-va-livrer-195008.php.

A recipe (in English) for ‘bouyan wara’ can be found here: http://www.france.fr/en/gastronomy/bouillon-dawara.html.

There is a proverb that says “Si tu manges du bouillon d’Awara … en Guyane tu reviendras” [If you eat awara broth, you will return to Guiana].

There is an educational, ethnographic film called Awara Soup, produced by Marie Clémence Blanc-Paes and directed by César Paes. Made by Laterit Productions (France) in 1996 and 71 minutes long, it explores the extraordinary cultural diversity of one small town in French Guiana, with the cooking of awara soup as a starting point. The film is in the many languages spoken in Guiana: French, French Creole, Sranan Tongo, Portuguese, Hmong and Javanese, with English subtitles. See http://www.collectiveeye.org/products/awara-soup (includes trailer) or http://www.users.interport.net/n/e/newsreel/films/lebouill.htm.

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