Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 17, 2014

For First Time Ever, Panama Joins Oscar Race, with ‘Invasion’

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Panama has joined the foreign language Oscar race for the first time ever with, moreover, an acclaimed film which, as the U.S. considers sending ground troops to Iraq, takes a questioning stance on the efficacy – plus humanity – of American armed intervention in foreign lands, John Hopewell of The Chicago Tribune reports.

Panama’s first Oscar submission for the Academy Awards foreign-language category, Abner Benaim‘s theatrical docu feature “Invasion,” was the biggest hit among Central American movies at April’s 3rd Panama Int’l. Film Festival.

History is normally told by its victors, but not in the revisionist “Invasion.” Winner of the Mastercard Central America and Caribbean Audience Award and the Best Documentary Audience Award at PIFF, docu-feature “Invasion” narrates the U.S. 1989 invasion to oust General Manuel Noriega from the point-of-view of ordinary Panamanians, including people nearly killed in its bombing, members of its makeshift military defense, journalists, historians and ordinary but often articulate Panamanian citizens.

“Invasion” delivers telling anecdotes – including details of the incompetence and slaughter of women and children by the invaders, or U.S. airborne units parachuting onto a Panamanian beach, sinking to their knees and having to be helped out of its mud by their supposed enemy, the Panama Defence Forces. It also captures the complexities of the past: Many Panamanians wanted Noriega out but opposed an invasion.

“Invasion” also examines what appears to be near collective amnesia about exactly what happened. One example: Benaim receives no conclusive answer to such a simple question as how many Panamanians died in the invasion, a statistic which could embarrass the U.S. whose government presented the operation at the time as a swift, clinical exercise in modern warfare.

Having transfixed Panamanians at its PIFF world premiere, “Invasion” will be released in Panama Sept.18 in what Benaim described as “every cinema in the country.”

The first official Oscar entry from Panama, whose GDP growth of an estimated 7% is among the biggest in Latin America, is another sign of the country playing fast catch-up in terns of state film support for cinema. It now boasts a Panama Film Commission, production subsides of up to $700,000 per movie, 15% rebates on a foreign shoot’s local spend, a Panama Festival which rapidly emerging as the highest-profile in Central America, and a Meets Latin American Co-production Forum that in its first edition attracted a good spread in international industry attendance including a bevy of Hollywood industry players such as talent agents William Choi at Management 360, UTA’s Charlie Ferraro and Keya Khayatian, Participant Media’s Erik Andreasen, Zero Gravity’s Tai Duncan, and “The Departed” producer Roy Lee. The first Platino Ibero-American Film Awards took place in Panama City during the Panama Festival.

For the original report go to http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-201409170823reedbusivarietyn1201307524-20140917-story.html

Olive-Senior

Tanya Batson-Savage writes about the forthcoming 5th Biennial lecture from the National Library of Jamaica: Olive Senior’s “Colon Man a Come.” Senior, whose latest book is Dying to Better Themselves: West Indies and the building of the Panama Canal, will deliver the lecture twice, in Kingston and St. Andrew. The Kingston lecture will take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014, at the Institute of Jamaica Lecture Hall at 2:00pm; the Montego Bay event will take place on Sunday, October 1, at the Western Jamaica Campus at 5:30pm. Batson-Savage explains:

For many of us, knowledge of West Indian participation in the building of the Panama Canal barely goes beyond the lyrics of the folksong ‘Colon Man a Come’. But of course, the experience went far beyond cracks about dangling brass chains and the inability to read clocks, representing an important element of Caribbean history. So, with the centenary of its opening fast approaching, The National Library of Jamaica, the Institute of Jamaica and University of the West Indies Mona (Western Jamaica Campus) are collaborating to present Colon Man the Panama Experience a lecture by historian and writer Olive Senior.

Dying to Better Themselves, joins Senior’s iconic historical texts including the A-Z of Jamaican Heritage and The Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage. Senior’s works of fiction and poetry include Summer LightningGardening in the TropicsArrival of the Snake Woman, Talking TreesDiscerner of HeartsDancing Lessons and Over the Roofs of Our World.

[For more on the book, see previous post New Book—“Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the building of the Panama Canal”.]

For more information, see http://www.susumba.com/books/news/colon-man-come-olive-senior-gives-lecture-panama-canal

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 17, 2014

Holy Chocolate: On Agro-Industrial Speculation in Cuba

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This article by Yenisel Rodríguez Pérez appeared in Havana Times.

Drinking hot chocolate in Cuba is almost a privilege, an exotic experience, an act denoting social prestige. Few Cubans would believe that, for the longest time, hot chocolate was one of the most popular breakfasts in the country. Once the companion of people’s morning toast, it has become a true culinary luxury.

So what happened?

Just about everything, particularly over the last 24 years.

For instance, when the price of cocoa butter skyrockets in the international market, local state investors, blinded by their thirst for hard currency, deprive the confectionary industry of the raw materials it needs. This way, the production of chocolate bars and other sweets aimed at the domestic market decreases considerably.

In other cocoa-producing Caribbean countries, this problem is solved using alternative oils, like coconut or palm oils. For Cuban decision-makers, however, the profits generated by cocoa butter are enough and no additional time or effort is devoted to the matter.

Cocoa production suffices to supply the domestic market, and the prices offered producers are low enough so as to allow them to set a retail price that is affordable for the population. Low production levels persist, however, as a result of misguided macro-economic policies.

Here’s where the issue of speculation comes in.

The price of chocolate manufactured domestically is well above the economically rational, which is why chocolate is advertised as a luxury item, under the formula of “after the feast comes the reckoning.”

Perhaps without being entirely aware of it, decision-makers use and strengthen the high prestige this product enjoys in the Cuban collective imaginary in order to speculate with people’s money and demand, selling it as though it were an imported item that belonged to the family of socially prestigious and glamorous articles.

Suffice it to mention the well-known Casa del chocolate (“Chocolate House”) cafeterias, baroque culinary cathedrals designed for the veneration of the dark elixir.

The other face of the coin is Cuba’s Chocolatin, instant chocolate whose production is subsidized by the State, born back in the days of messianic speeches. Its dubious quality varies with the highs and lows of Cuba’s social policies, consolidating the exotic and sacred reputation of chocolate sold in hard currency. Who, after all, would ask their government to subsidize the production of caviar and French wine?

And so, we are left like our Aztec brothers. They were deprived of Mexican maize, when they were the civilization that produced it most widely, and we must pay for a Cuban product as though it were imported.

As the popular song says, “drink your chocolate and pay up what you owe.”

For the original report go to

For the original report go to http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=106215

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This article by Dennis Lillee appeared in Sportkeeda.com. Follow the link below for the original report.

“Look at the eyes, the concentration. Trying to scare the batsman! I reckon this one will be straight at the jaws, as well. Oh, it’s a good bouncer that just missed his nose. That was a fine aggressive nasty delivery.”

Listening to this sort of commentary in a West Indian game is a rare phenomena these days. Those were the days of 70s and 80s. Currently, in the longer format, I don’t see the flair in their arsenal, but I wish to see them revive. On the joyous occasion of their 500th Test, let me take some pride in sharing how the Caribbean boys became invincible.

During the 1960s and 70s, blacks were not regarded as equals. That was the time, the heat was on for them to stand up and deliver for their respect. Cricket was an instrument of colonialism for the whites and was very much seen in imparting English aristocratic values to the blacks. In West Indies, cricket is something that flows in the blood. They play cricket for the value of the game. Their history has been a long and painful struggle against the forces that denied and depressed them. And it was only through the same cricket, they could win their long lost respect – which meant freedom to them –  back.

But there was a big catch to it. Initially, there were sparks and flashes of individual geniuses, but it never resulted in West Indian victories. It was like a bunch of locals playing it for fun and frolic. You could read “Calypso boys collapse again” very frequently with every country they toured.

Their team had no backbone .They desperately needed someone who could hold the people together; someone who could bond them and inspire them for the common goal of being victorious. Just when they needed a composed figure, Clive Lloyd debuted in 1966. He made the gang into a team by giving direction. He was a great thinker, and everybody respected him as a leader. He wanted to have a different team with a different thinking. He made them understand that they are strong people and they are here to win”.

The fateful Australian tour of 1975

In 1975, the young and inexperienced Windies side travelled to Australia to face the champions on their own soil. During that era in Test cricket, a set of fast bowlers (fast as in really fast people who bowled at 90-95 miles an hour and that extra dimension decided whether you get hurt or not) were used as a parameter to distinguish between a good side and a great side. Wait, let me tell you that Australia were the number one ranked team, all thanks to Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee: two names that were ruthless enough to scare any goddamn batsman. They were truly intimidating. Their ideologies were simple: “Once you have the capability to hurt someone with a bullet in your hand, the person facing you isn’t thinking of hitting the ball, he is thinking of self preservation.”

During the game, all you could hear was Lillee-Lillee-kill-kill-kill! Out there, it was a war. There were injuries, broken fingers and crushed jaws everywhere. It was a humiliating sight, like a military assault on the West Indian cricket. That was a nasty series with a lot of confrontations both on and off the field. Australians played like seasoned campaigners, and they literally screwed the Caribbean bolts. Test cricket wasn’t a gentleman’s game anymore; there were chants of “you black c***s! Go back to your trees” after the scoreline (Australia 5 – Windies 1) was displayed.

Once they came back, they realised everything was at stake. Windies cricket was at the crossroads. Their own people had turned hostile; that sort of environment could either make you or break you, and they didn’t have a choice. They didn’t want any crumbs; they wanted the loaf. They knew that there was no going back, and it was cricket that had to pave the way for their better future.

Llyod stood strong and said ‘never again’! If we also can find some good fast bowlers who are just as quick as they are or even quicker, that’s it. He went into the Caribbean, looking for genuine spearheads that could fit into his plan: “One people! One nation! One destiny!” was his motto.

Geographically speaking, Caribbean islands are the countries/islands that are surrounded by the Caribbean sea. Some of the well-known islands are Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica and Trinidad. All have different governments, different attitudes towards different things, but everyone is united by a common banner that is the West Indian cricket. Their cricket speaks for all the different accents and forces out there.

Initially his two major findings were Michael Holding and Andy Roberts

“When you look at Michael Holding carrying a ball in his hand, what you are looking at is an African individual with African rhythm born to just bowl. Michael with that stride would put that fear into any batsman.” These were his exact words on Holding. He was a young man who just knew how to bowl quick and knock the timber out. He was popularly called as whispering death, because of the way he used to run while bowling. It resembled the way how a cobra takes it stride calmly, hypnotises its prey and them hunts him down.

Andy Roberts: One of the hard noses! A warrior who took his fast bowling more seriously than anything and bowled fearlessly without a smile. “Never show any emotions so that nobody knows what to expect” was his mantra. He had two different bouncers. The first one was the one that could be hooked for a boundary effortlessly, while the second one was with the same action but thrown with a greater force. It aimed straight at the batsman’s face with the sole motive of inducing a great deal of pain to him. He was the original lead of the pace attack. The Hitman!

Not long after that the Indians toured the Caribbean Islands. Lloyd was eager to banish their humiliation and wanted to show that they had a character to win. West Indians made India buckle and wounded. Gavaskar surrendered that match as a sign of protest. The killer instinct floored the Indians as the battered Indies hit back mercilessly.

Aggression meant passion for them, and they bowled belligerently to kill! They were on a mission. A mission in which they believed in the fact that they were as good as anyone (referring to Australia and England).They instilled fear in every batsman’s heart. They wanted to prove the world what these bunch of black guys were capable of. They were playing to make their people proud.

In 1976, they toured England to beat their former masters.

“You brought the game to us and we are better than you”: every guy in the team wanted to demonstrate it to the Englishmen. Losing a battle or a territory was acceptable to the whites but not a Test match at the hands of the blacks. The then England captain Tony Greig made a statement saying “make them grovel” just before the commencement of the series, and that acted as a catalyst in igniting the Caribbean spirits exponentially.

Llyod responded with a vengeance saying, “Guys need not say much. Our man on the television has just said it all. We know what to do now.” Everyone took that seriously, very very seriously. That comment alone was enough to set the tone for the series.”Focus to demolish” became the Caribbean motto. The bowlers turned the heat on and made the whites beg for mercy. That by far was the hottest English summer ever. Nobody wanted Greig to get caught or be trapped leg before; they just wanted to knock his timbers out of the grooves, and they did it with absolute perfection. That’s one thing I’ve learnt personally, as well, from them: “Forgive but never forget!”

Scoreline read Eng 0 – Windies 3

Through cricket, it was a message to the white world to abort this racism by defeating it on the field of play.

The 1977-1978 Kerry Packers’ World Series Cricket sharpened their skills. They were a much more lethal and professional team by then. The other two finds for Llyod were Joel Garner and Colin Croft.

Joel Garner: The big bird, 6′ 8”, who debuted in 1977, was someone who either aimed at a batsman’s toes or neck. Garner relied more on accuracy than on lightning pace and was termed brutal as a result of his ability to bounce batsmen out.

Colin Croft (The smiling assassin):  ”Croft goes for the throat” chants were viral when he used to bowl. His action was the most complicated part about his life. The prancing run was straight, but the batsman saw only his head bobbing behind the umpire until he veered out wide of the crease just prior to delivery, leaning back and slanting the ball awkwardly in to the right-hander. He was a menace to the batsman fraternity. He would knock you down and would simply laugh at you for hours. You do not get to see such raw characters these days.

The quartet broke the mph limit. All 4 could bowl at stupendous pace and were rightly called as terrorists, dangerous or even murderers. They were on top of their game. All of them. After defeating England, they had traversed a long journey: from being called as the third world citizens to the pioneers of the game.

Let’s talk about the most significant part in their cricket history. They decided to tour Australia in 1979. With every passing day, they were made to relive 1975. Everywhere they were made to watch the highlights of the massacre that took West Indian cricket for a toss, 4 years back.  “We must beat Australia at all costs. It doesn’t matter how we do it, but we need to do it. Ugly, nice, psychologically, physically: any adverb that comes to your mind put it” – Colin Croft

The Aussies were the masters of sledging back then, too. Once Lillee signalled Viv Richards that he was going to blow off his f**ing head on the next ball, and he literally meant that. To the contrary, the West Indians were ready to take them on this time. Viv, in particular, was very clear. “I don’t want any helmets or any sort of protection. The only way I smell defeat is if I’m knocked down and that won’t happen. Bring it on!”: these were his exact words during one of the games in that series.

The same Australians who were so aggressive while bowling were crying when the Caribbean quartet came onto bowl. The harder they bowled, the harder they fell! Game after game, they kept on building the pressure and slowly hammered them into the ground.

Australia 0 – Windies 2

Wow, that indeed was special for West Indies. They had become the best team in the world, and their joy was beyond any words. The world saw the emergence of a whole new breed of people and culture. Even the term whitewash was renamed as blackwash after that. Black was the new brave.

Cheers to their spirit. Now, plug-in to Bob Marley’s “Get up, stand up!” and feel their glory!

For the original report go to http://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/great-west-indian-cricket-team-tale-conquer-world

Playa Republica-Dominicana

In the Dominican Republic, the Vida Azul foundation unveiled a modern Web application to report the results of conferences held throughout the country in real time, aimed at spurring citizens’ participation in beach and coast cleanups and invite them to conduct them year round.

Vida Azul managing director said Porfirio Báez said the announcement marks World Coasts Cleanup Day, and notes that the application will report the conditions of the beaches nationwide 24-7. “This application developed for Apple and Android platforms will let us select the beaches to work on, upload photos of the condition, record the type and amount of trash, and also see the results of the efforts made to create a nationwide tally.”

Vida Azul president Oscar Oviedo urged all citizens to be aware of the importance of caring for and protecting the environment. “The fact that the beaches are a very valuable resource for our country is why we’ve placed this new tool at society’s disposal, which seeks to impact actions in various parts of the country regardless of the date.”

Throughout its seven years of work to clean the coasts Vida Azul has had the support from companies and organizations including Propagas, Propagas Foundation, AFP Siembra and ARS Palic, recruiting more than 80,000 volunteers to clean more than 120 beaches and rivers across the Dominican Republic.

For full article, see http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/tourism/2014/9/17/52752/Vida-Azuls-new-Web-tool-aims-to-spur-coastal-cleanup-year-round

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 17, 2014

Ceremony honors African ancestors who resisted enslavement

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Afrocentricity International held their Third Annual Tudituvuluka Ceremony recently. The yearly tradition draws members and others from the community to honor their African ancestors who resisted slavery and colonization. The spiritual ceremony was held at the MKA Institute, 5535 Germantown Ave. on Sept. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m., Arlene Edmonds reports for The Philadelphia Tribune.
Participants were encouraged to wear African attire or all-white. Many also brought with them musical instruments, including African drums, original poetry, and any other artifact that reflect their heritage or aesthetics. The ceremony is cross-generational so many entire families are often in attendance.
“This is an event that honors our ancestors from the Caribbean, South America, North America, Philadelphia, the South and even Europe and Asia,” said Molefi Kete Asante, who co-founded Afrocentricity International along with Ama Mazama.
“The word tudituvuluka means resistance,” Mazama said. “This event is to honor our ancestors who were enslaved and who resisted the systems, defeated systems and sometimes were victorious. We know that we would not be here if it had not been for them.”
Consequently, the event organizers insisted that this was really about spiritual celebration. They said that this recognizes that though the ancestors may not be with us physically they reverberate with their descendants.
Since this was a sacred ceremony Mazama told those who wanted to attend to either wear African garb or something white. “If you have all white African garb that would be even better,” Mazama said in inviting attendees before the event.
Why white? In many African indigenous faiths white is the default color that lay persons wear to sacred ceremonies. Some believe that this is the color of purity or modesty. Therefore, it is often the color word for initiation and ordination ceremonies.
“We recognize that African men, women and children resisted and fought (enslavement),” Mazama said. “They fought so we can be here. We can’t take this for granted and we appreciate our ancestors.”
Mazama also pointed out that Afrocentricity International held its first Tudituvuluka ceremony in 2011. This was the year the organization was founded simultaneously with the MKA Institute, an intellectual think tank. Though the two organizations have the same founders and maintains the same address, they are two distinct groups, according to Mazama.
“They are two organizations were born together by the same people,” Mazama said. “Sometimes the organizations work together.” The two groups hosted the 100th celebration of the Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League last Aug. 17. The event drew a standing room only crowd to the MKA Institute.
Afrocentricity International is a comprehensive Pan-African organizations created to educate and support the worldwide network economic, cultural, spiritual, and educational advancement of African people. Their members come from around the globe and represent the entire African diaspora.
Each year they hold an international convention at a different location in the world. The Philadelphia chapter and the group’s national headquarters are based at the MKA Institute in Germantown.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 17, 2014

Caracas Film Festival will Boost Local Filmmaking

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The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, affirmed Tuesday during his radio program that the First Caracas International Film Festival has been “very successful” and that it opens up new opportunities for local filmmakers.

He said the festival “is just the beginning of something which will become a very powerful movement of Venezuelan filmmakers with the total support of the Venezuelan state, through the Ministry of Culture.”

Caracas mayor, Jorge Rodriguez, highlighted the importance of these kinds of events in Venezuela, which allow the population to get involved in cultural activities.

Rodriguez recalled that the Caracas Theater Festival, which took place last March, increased the public´s interest in plays and in performing in them. Since then, 13 theaters have been restored by the government.

The First Caracas International Film Festival, which started on September 12, will end on September 21. Eighty-one movies from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC in Spanish) are being screened.

About the festival . . .

More than 480 films from 18 countries of Latin America were registered into five categories to paticipate in the First International Film Festival of Caracas, that will begin on next September 12.

Sponsored by the Caracas city hall of the municipality Libertador and the Villa del Cine, an institution that promotes the national production, 53 feature films aspire to enter the contest.

In a press conference today, the Head of Government of the Capital District, Jacqueline Faria, also highlighted the presentation of 122 documentaries, 196 short films, 76 short documentaries and 35 animation films.

A selection committee will evaluate the proposals that integrate the event, whose list will be released on July 4, she said.

Most of the Latin American countries attended the call in mid-May, with Argentina at the top, which presented 117 films, followed by Venezuela with 113, Brazil with 94, Mexico with 77, Colombia with 22 and Cuba with 13, among those with greater participation, she explained.

A group of 10 movie theaters in the capital, some of them restored, will be the venues of the festival, that will be celebrated until September 21.

For the official, the celebration of the festival joins the varied cultural projects that are taking place in the capital for the enjoyment of all Venezuelans.

We lacked cinema, after a successful Festival of Theater we needed a space for the seventh art, to learn about our reality and Latin America, she stressed.

For the original report go to

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Caracas-Film-Festival-will-Boost-Local-Filmmaking-20140917-0045.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | September 17, 2014

Brooklyn Book Festival: “Ready to Burst” with Frankétienne

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Haiti Cultural Exchange—in collaboration with Archipelago Books, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Book Festival—present Brooklyn Book Festival: “Ready to Burst” with Frankétienne. The presentation will take place on Friday, September 19, 2014, from 7:00 until 9:00pm. Light refreshments will be served. The event takes place at the Five Myles Gallery, 558 St. Johns Place Brooklyn, New York.

Prolific Haitian poet, novelist, visual artist, playwright, and musician Frankétienne is joined by writer Madison Smartt Bell and translator Kaiama L. Glover for a discussion of Ready to Burst, Frankétienne’s sensitive critique of the Duvalier regime originally published in 1968 and appearing in English for the first time ever in a powerful translation by Kaiama L. Glover.

Considered by many to be the ‘father of Haitian letters,’ Frankétienne writes in both French and Haitian Creole, and often juggles the two. His paintings have been exhibited internationally. An outspoken challenger of political oppression, Frankétienne was a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009 and, in 2010, was named a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Ready to Burst follows the lives of two young men and their individual attempts to make sense of the deeply troubled society surrounding them. An informed critique of the “brain drain” prompted by the Duvalier dictatorship, Ready to Burst is, in Frankétienne’s words, a portrait of “the extreme bitterness of doom in the face of the blind machinery of power.”

[Admission: Free. $10 suggested donation.]

**Books will be available for sale at the event.

More Information: http://haiticulturalx.org/program-05

Also see http://archipelagobooks.org/book/ready-to-burst/

Posted by: ivetteromero | September 17, 2014

Port-au-Prince Jazz Fest Goes to Little Haiti Cultural Center

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This article focuses on the Port-au-Prince Jazz Fest and its iteration at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Florida this weekend. Organized by Milena Sandler Widmaier and Joel Widmaier, the Miami event kicks off this weekend with a fundraiser on Friday, September 19, from 6:00-9:00pm. On Saturday, September 20, there will be a workshop on Creole Jazz from 10:00am to 12:00 noon; the first concert will take place that evening at 6:00pm ($40). All events are taking place at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami.  

The concert features the United International Jazz Band, with Felipe Lamoglia playing tenor sax; singer Beatriz Malnic from Brazil; pianist Michael Horta and bass player Don Wilner from the United States; and Haitian jazz stars, saxophonist Jowee Omicil, guitarist Chardavoine, drummer Harvel Nakundi, and Joel Widmaier on percussions and vocals. A free concert will follow at 8:00pm in the cultural center’s courtyard with the Haitian roots fusion band Boukan Ginen and guitarist Chardavoine.

The festival includes the exhibit “An’n Ale” (Let’s Go), which pays tribute to Toto Bissainthe [see below], an actress, singer, composer and author. It will be on view until September 29.

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See more details below:

Lamoglia, who was born in Cuba and lives in Miami, is among dozens of musicians from around the globe who have traveled to Haiti in recent years to participate in the country’s premier jazz showcase, the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival. The annual festival takes place every January, and now after eight editions, is coming to Miami. “The idea is for us to showcase the festival to the Haitian diaspora and to any Haiti lovers out there,” said Milena Sandler Widmaier, who with her musician husband Joel Widmaier, are the festival organizers. The couple say the goal is to eventually showcase the festival in several U.S. cities in hopes of introducing both Haitians and non-Haitians to another side of the country’s rhythms. They also want to grow the popularity of the festival, which last year attracted about 12,000 people after it opened in Port-au-Prince with Cameroon-born soul singer Sandra Nkaké.

[. . .] Born in 1934, Bissainthe died in 1984 of liver cancer. She is a pioneer of Haiti’s modern Rasin music genre and is known for mixing traditional Haitian roots rhythms with modern lyrics to tell the story of Haitians’ struggle. She is also Sandler Widmaier’s mother.

Visitors will be able to learn about Bissainthe’s life through 18 video testimonies, 30 photos and excerpts of interviews by the late singer and actress who was born in 1934 and died of liver cancer in 1984. “She really had something that she brought not just musically but as an actress,” Sandler Widmaier said. “This is a way to keep alive her memory. She really made a difference and the young generation know nothing about her. It’s important for young people to know what she achieved.” [. . .]

For full article, see http://m.miami.com/port-au-prince-jazz-fest-comes-little-haiti-cultural-center-article

Posted by: ivetteromero | September 17, 2014

‘Are We the Future of Puerto Rico? Or Are We Not?’

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A  video published by the Facebook page of Por el amor en el caserío [For the love of the housing project] shows 13-year-old David Santiago Román, a resident of the Luis Llorens Torres housing project [shown above] in San Juan, Puerto Rico, giving the island’s current governor, Alejandro García Padilla, some advice about how to make life in U.S. territory better for children. The video—which has gone viral, with 22,000 shares and 8,000 likes 6 days after it was posted—is in Spanish. I have taken the liberty of modifying the translation supplied by the Latino Rebels blog. See video and original post in the link below:

My name is David Santiago Román. I am 13 years old. I live in the Luis Llorens Torres projects. I have a brief opinion for my friend, the Governor of Puerto Rico. Why not invest more money in sports and the arts? Right now, I am bored. What does boredom cause? Evil. Violence. Robbing. So many bad things. And this is not something that I want to happen in Puerto Rico. Imagine, from the time one is very little, if you were taught how to value good things, we wouldn’t have time to value bad things. That’s how we can grow up as decent men and women. It would be great if you spent more on sports, the arts and theater! Imagine that. That’s my humble opinion and I hope you take it to heart. We the future of Puerto Rico. Or are we not?

For full post and video, see http://www.latinorebels.com/2014/09/15/teenage-boy-to-gov-garcia-padilla-in-viral-video-are-we-the-future-of-puerto-rico-or-are-we-not/

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