Posted by: ivetteromero | November 15, 2015

Diwali in Old San Juan


The South Asia Cultural Outreach group will host Diwali in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, November 20, 2015, at 6:00pm in UTC-04, Cuartel de Ballajá (Calle Norzagaray, Calle Morovis).

The Facebook community “South Asia Cultural Outreach” requests confirmation (hosts, how many guests coming, with numbers and contributing dishes). “All welcome, but please confirm.”

See FB page at

imagesAccording to Reuters, the University of Puerto Rico is unlikely to make the $11.3 million debt payment due on December 1, “the latest manifestation of economic peril gripping the U.S. territory.”

S&P expects with “virtual certainty” that the university will fail to make the payment, which would mark the first time a U.S. public university rated by S&P defaulted on a payment, said Bianca Gaytan, a director at the ratings agency. “We’re in uncharted territory,” she said.

A University of Puerto Rico spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

If the university fails to make the payment, its credit rating will drop from its current CC rating with a negative outlook to D, which would signal to the market that it had failed to meet a financial obligation.

From 1986 to 2014, just two rated U.S. private universities have defaulted – Bradford College in 2000 and Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2014, Gaytan said. That could be just the start of defaults for the university, which also has a principal payment of $19.97 million due on June 1 along with another $11.3 million interest payment.

The university’s economic struggles are tied closely to the struggles of the commonwealth as a whole. Moody’s Investor Services said on Wednesday that Puerto Rico is likely to default on at least some of its $355 million in debt payments on Dec. 1 due to liquidity pressures.

The university receives 68 percent of its revenues from the Commonwealth, a much higher percentage than what most public U.S. universities on the mainland receive.

“As the Commonwealth goes, so goes the fiscal health of the university,” Gaytan said.

Natalie Cohen, a director at Wells Fargo Securities, said the university should capitalize on the increase in the number of Spanish speaking people in the U.S. mainland looking for a quality education.

Those students would pay more in tuition, helping to improve the university’s financial position, she said.

“A strong education system is key to economic development and there are many creative ideas that could reinforce their programs,” including endowments and special types of scholarships, she said.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Diane Craft)

For original article, see

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.34.04 AM

An article by Shenequa Golding for

In the dimly lit Apollo Theater, his copper skin glowed.

Dressed in a gray suit, white button down shirt and black tie, Harold George Belafonte Jr personified a life of service and courage at the ten year anniversary for the Gathering For Justice, Justice Ball. Having circled the sun for more than eight decades, Belafonte’s resume of achievements–being the first solo artist to sell a million copies of his 1956 album Calypso–and his Rolodex of friends and mentors– Martin Luther King Jr, James Baldwin and singer, actor, athlete and activist Paul Robeson–make our network of Twitter followers look like amateurs.

“I am truly blessed. In a few short months I will be 90,” he said holding onto his cane. “It has been a life that has been filled with all sorts of incredible moments, but perhaps the greatest was that I not only had the opportunity to meet Paul Robeson, but to be embraced and encouraged by him.”

The 89-year-old activist, along with political and public affairs strategist Alida Garcia and The Central Park Five were all on hand Monday night (November 9) to receive awards for their bravery and resilience, which coincidentally was also the 93rd birthday of actress Dorothy Dandridge, who starred opposite Belafonte in the films Bright Road,Island In The Sun and 1954’s Carmen.

The 102-year-old venue underwent a glamorous transformation for the night’s ball. Round banquet tables with gold chairs and black table cloth covered the Apollo floor, and while attendees, dressed in their floor-length gowns and suits ate and drank wine, statistics surrounding America’s prison system flooded a projector behind them.

In April 2005, after a meeting with Nelson Mandela, Belafonte saw video footage online of a 5-year-old girl being handcuffed and arrested by three St. Petersburg police officers. Enraged, Belafonte organized a three-day retreat in Atlanta with the who’s who of the movement to devise a plan and create an assignment to end the injustice, and while many were willing and passionate, Belafonte noticed his longtime friends didn’t have the energy to fight anymore.

“They were already in the battle, but I got the feeling they weren’t ready to go another round,” he said.

It was then he focused his energy on the youth and founded the Gathering for Justice. Under his leadership and the tutelage of executive director Carmen Perez, the organization has committed itself to seeking justice for black and brown men and women effected by police brutality.

A group of men who know all too well about being victims of the police and the justice system are the Central Park Five. In 1989, Raymond Santana Jr., Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray and Kharey Wise were tried and convicted of the brutal rape and beating of a 28-year-old investment banker who went jogging in Central Park. The boys, who were just 14 and 15 years old at the time, were tried, convicted and served between six and 13 years in prison. Their convictions were later overturned when a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Santana, Richardson and Salaam received their honor from two members of the Jersey Four, who in 1998 were shot in a van by a state trooper on the New Jersey turnpike, igniting one of the nation’s largest racial profiling cases.

“I’m always humbled to be in front of folks, because back in 1989 and 1990, most people believed the lies being thrown at us,” Salaam said.

Due to their wrongful convictions, The Central Park Five, dubbed by the press as the “Wolf Pack” were awarded $40 million in 2014. The men involved in the shooting on the New Jersey turnpike received $13 million.

“There’s a price to be paid when you stand up against tyranny, when you stand up against oppression, when you stand up against greed, and that price to be paid can sometimes be cruel,” Belafonte said.

With stellar performances from students, singer V Boseman, rappers Immortal Technique and Mysonne “The General” Linnen, the nights greatest tribute came from longtime friend, fellow activist and Academy-Award winner Sidney Poitier who congratulated Belafonte via a video message.

“Happy 10th anniversary, mighty friend.”

Indeed. Mr. Belafonte. Cheers!

For the original report go to


Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General, attended the College of The Bahamas School of English Studies (Anatol Rodgers Memorial Lecture Series) special presentation featuring Erna Brodber, Jamaican writer, scholar, and activist.  Ms. Brodber spoke on “Hands Across the African Diaspora: The Case of the Church of God and Saints of Christ,” at the auditorium of the Harry C. Moore Library, November 5.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 15, 2015

Haiti-Culture: D-3, 12th Edition of the Theater Festival Quatre Chemins


Only 3 days before the launch of the 12th edition of the Theatre Festival Quatre Chemins, which will take place in Port-au-Prince from 16 to 28 November, Haiti Libre reports.

This year the festival will be held one week earlier than in previous years where it ended in early December. FOKAL, faithful partner of this great cultural event in the country, will host several performances and events of the festival.

“Alongside the Haitian artists, one appreciate the presence of fifteen international artists, and not the least, from South Africa, DRC, Senegal, Spain, the Netherlands, the Switzerland, France, Belgium, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico… from morning until late at night, Port-au-Prince will host theatrical creations, performances, installations, video creations, dozens of hours of workshops, workshops, etc… The festival is a place where art is nothing, free, available to everywhere, offered to all comers, to hurry workers, bystanders, schoolchildren, street children…” said Guy Regis Jr, Artistic Director of festival, in the first festival newsletter.

After Syto Cavé in 2014, the festival will feature actress, director and storyteller Paula Clermont Péan.

The international guest of the 12th edition of the festival: the Urban Scenographies, project led by the artist, set designer and teacher (at the High School for the Arts Rhin / Strasbourg), Jean Christophe Lanquetin and François Duconseille.

Alongside workshops and meetings with guest artists, the public can enjoy several artistic projects, including those of : François Duconseille, Beatriz Munoz Santiago, Sello Pesa, Nathania Periclès, Androa Mindre Kolo, Jean Christophe Lanquetin, Judith Hofland, Anahita Hekmat, Catherine Boskowitz, Maksaens Denis, Steven Cohen etc…

Download the festival program :

For the original report go to


This article by Hans Morgenstern appeared in The Miami New Times.

If you live in Miami, no doubt you’ve noticed the effect of the Castro regime from just 90 miles away. Going on more than 50 years in power, the Castro dictatorship weighs particularly heavy on the generation that remembers the revolution as it happened. Return to Ithaca, a movie that presents Cuba through the eyes of the generation that came of age with Fidel Castro’s revolution, was shot on the island by the Oscar-nominated French director Laurent Cantet and is based on a chapter of La Novela de Mi Vida (My Life’s Novel), by one of Cuba’s most famous living authors, Leonardo Padura.

The film follows five self-proclaimed “old farts” reminiscing about their friendship on a big terrace overlooking Havana’s Malecón. But it’s far from sentimental. The central tension involves Amadeo (Néstor Jiménez), a man who wants to move back to Cuba after living in Spain for 16 years. He left a writing career in Cuba to do menial labor so he could send money home to his cancer-stricken wife. He never could fit in with the Spanish way of life and always yearned to go back home. 

Return to Ithaca balances a very intimate story of lifelong friendship with a clear statement of making due in an anti-capitalist/anti-democratic society. It’s a kind of film you would never expect coming out of the island nation. Someone in Cuba must have been worried about its message, because last December, it was pulled from the lineup of the 37th Havana Film Festival. Speaking via Skype from Paris, Cantet does not shy away from calling that cancellation censorship. “It was very deceptive for me,” the director says. “We were expecting to show this film to the Cuban audience. It was a big part of the reason I wanted to make the film.”

Though the film was suddenly dropped from the Havana Film Festival, the following April, Return to Ithaca had its Cuba premiere after all, during the XVIII French Film Festival in Havana. To call the screening anything less than epic would be misrepresentation. “I think it was the most incredible screening I ever had,” Cantet says. “It was in the cinematheque: 1,300 seats full, twice, with people waiting on the streets because they couldn’t enter, and during the film — usually I don’t stay in the screening of my films, but this time I wanted to stay — it was so incredible to hear the reactions.

“People would understand the situation before the actors would say something. They would laugh sometimes when I couldn’t imagine they would laugh. They clapped many times, and at the end of the film, we had a sort of long Q&A on the pavement outside of the cinematheque. Nobody wanted to leave, and people would come out of the screening with red eyes because they cried and were very happy to have seen the film. It was really very, very moving. Most of them recognized their own stories in the film, their own feelings.”

Like any film that can survive censorship in Cuba and speak so profoundly to the Cuban people, it cannot be overtly political. Cantet says he wanted the film to be seen as a personal story among friends. He is proud of the degree to which Cuban audiences personally related to his film. “What was interesting also is that they didn’t consider the film anti-Cuban, like I’m sure some people would like to see it,” he notes. “They really believed the film was balanced.”

Now Cantet, alongside Padura and actor Fernando Hechavarria, will bring Return to Ithaca to Miami for its U.S. premiere. It has yet to even play a U.S.-based film festival. He says of Miami: “I think it’s the best place in the States. Once more, I think it’s important that a Cuban audience sees the film even if they are not living in Cuba anymore, and I think it can give a pretty good image of the country today even if it’s already sort of a period film, because the situation has changed a lot since the shooting. We shot before the reopening of the relation between the States and Cuba. It’s already history.”

Return to Ithaca 

Opens exclusively at Coral Gables Art Cinema this Friday, November 13. On opening night, Laurent Cantet, Leonardo Padura, and Fernando Hechavarria will attend the premiere, with a catered reception from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit On Saturday, November 14, at 1 p.m., there will be a director’s masterclass featuring Cantet and moderated by local Borscht filmmaker and Sundance alum Jonathan David Kane at Coral Gables Art Cinema. For details about the class, visit the Miami Film Development Project website,

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 15, 2015

Tula, The Revolt Once Again at “The Movies”


A little more than two years after its premiere, the film ‘Tula the Revolt’ will appear on the big screen once again, the Curacao Chronicle reports. In cooperation with movie theater ‘The Movies Curaçao” producers Dolph Stapele, Jeroen Leinders and Ronald Nije decided to release the film in theatres a second time. As the tickets were frequently sold out during its first release in 2013 due to popular demand, many people didn’t have the opportunity to see this epic story. To make it more accessible this time around for a bigger audience, the film will have Papiamentu subtitles, made possible by FundArte Foundation.

Tula, the Revolt is an English spoken film that tells the story about the biggest slave revolt on Curaçao, which took place in 1795. The slave, Tula, rebelled against his Dutch oppressor resulting in a direct confrontation. Unfortunately, Tula’s actions did not immediately lead to the abolition of slavery. It would take nearly 70 years for The Netherlands, as one of last countries in the world, to put an end to this chapter in history.

The film was awarded several prizes and nominations at American, African and English film festivals. Currently, the film is being released in several countries. The DVD will soon be released in Curaçao with Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento subtitles along with bonus material that includes behind the scenes footage taken during the production of the film.

Producers will announce shortly through the ‘Tula the Revolt’ Facebook page where the DVD is obtainable.

‘Tula, the Revolt’ can be seen at ‘The Movies Curaçao’ starting November 19, 2015.

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 15, 2015

Angola Honors Cuba for Key Support in Colonial Independence


Cuba’s Fidel Castro deployed 36,000 troops to defend Angola from U.S. and Apartheid South Africa invasions.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos recognized and thanked Cuba on Thursday for its important support in achieving national independence 40 years ago, TeleSur reports.

Commemorating four decades of independence from colonial powers, dos Santos invited a Cuban delegation to honor the historical events that led Fidel Castro to deploy 36,000 troops to defend Angola from U.S. and Apartheid South Africa military invasions.

While Angola won its independence from Portugal on January 15, 1975, inner political conflicts escalated between the leftist People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

Seeking to control the political situation in its favor, the U.S. had set up a covert CIA operation to support the FLNA and UNITA with US$30 million, arms and military advisers. Apartheid South Africa supported the CIA operation by carrying out invasions, incursions and sabotages against Marxist forces within Angola.

In 1987 the MPLA, with Cuban support, finally defeated the South Africans at the village Cuito Cuanavale after a six month battle.

Dos Santos said during the commemoration that “all of the sacrifice was worth it” for Angolan self-determination.

“This simple tribute we also dedicate it to all the Cuban internationalists, who together with Angolans combatants fought to defend the sovereignty of the motherland of (then Angolan president) Neto,” said Salvador Valdes Mesa, the head of the delegation and vice president of the State Council.

Cuba has continued to assist Angola with teaching methods like “Yes, I can,” which has allowed more than a million Angolans to learn to read and write, as well as medical and exchange programs.

For the original report go to


This article by Mary Malone appeared in

The Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival is not just about the music — it is also about showcasing the community.

Steven Remington, festival executive director, said the festival theme for 2016, “Jazz Pathways to Discovery,” refers to the stakeholders of the festival and how the community comes together to create a valuable experience for the students and band directors.

“There’s this opportunity for the students when they come here to discover more than just something about themselves, which is to say their creativity and their hard work is rewarded with these wonderful performances, but they also learn something about their peers, the other students,” Remington said.

The 49th annual Jazz Fest kicks off Feb. 24 with performances from the All-Star Quartet and UI’s Lionel Hampton School of Music Jazz Band I, directed by music professor Vern Sielert.

The All-Star Quartet is also the house rhythm section for the festival, deployed to play with other artists throughout the week. Josh Nelson is an award winning pianist known for performing with many well-known jazz musicians like Natalie Cole. Katie Thiroux will be on base for the All Stars, but is also a semifinalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition.

For the opening festival performance, Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa will play with the All Star Quartet. Remington said Berroa was the last drummer to play with Dizzy Gillespie’s band and is a well-known Argo-Cuban drummer.

“(Berroa) kind of pioneered the whole salsa sound when it was sort of being invented in New York back in the ’40s and ’50s,” Remington said.

Berroa will also perform with Jazz Band I, along with vocalist Dee Daniels, who Remington said has returned to the jazz festival about 20 times.

The festival will continue Thursday night featuring the Justin Kauflin Trio, followed by Berroa with his own quartet and then Daniels with her quartet.

Remington said Kauflin started playing the violin at 4 years old before beginning to play jazz piano in his teens.

Kauflin recently filmed a documentary called “Keep on keepin’ On,” a movie that details his relationship with legendary trumpeter Clark Terry. The film will also be shown during the week, followed by a Q&A session with Kauflin.

Friday night will feature the Monty Alexander Trio followed by Tower of Power.

Remington said Tower of Power is known for having the tightest horn section of any popular band in the last 40 years. He said they play 200 dates a year and are one of the hardest working bands, with hits like “What is Hip,” and “You’re Still a Young Man.”

Alexander, a well-known jazz pianist, has performed with legendary artists, such as Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra.

“He is a remarkable musician who really embodies the Afro-Caribbean styles like reggae and jazz,” Remington said.

On the final night, the Lionel Hampton Big Band will open with special guests Warren Wolf, known for his work with the San Francisco Jazz Collective, and Barbara Morrison, a blues and jazz singer with “incredible depth and sass,”
Remington said.

“She’s the real deal,” he said. “Some people have superpowers, and she is one of them.”

The festival will commence with a performance by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, famously known for the song, “Zoot Suit Riot.” The band plays a variety of music, but Remington said it has strong roots in jazz and swing.

“I think it is a great lineup,” Remington said. “It encompasses bands who have had top 40 hits, which you don’t get a lot of at a jazz festival.”

For the original report go to

Posted by: lisaparavisini | November 14, 2015

6 New Books Emphasise the Continued Importance of Frantz Fanon


An article from Books Live.

Psychiatrist, philosopher and revolutionary Frantz Fanon (1925 – 1961) is one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century. Born on the island of Martinique, he lived in France, Algeria, Tunisia, and numerous places in between, before dying of cancer in the United States.

If you’ve read Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), The Wretched of the Earth(1961), and Toward the African Revolution (1964), get stuck into these secondary sources to round out your knowledge of the man and his work.

A Jacana Pocket History: Frantz Fanon: Towards a Revolutionary Humanism by Christopher J Lee

Christopher J Lee, a research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) with a PhD in African history from Stanford University, is the editor of Making a World after Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives (2010), which was recently shortlisted for the 2015 Africa-Asia Book Prize, and the author of Unreasonable Histories: Nativism, Multiracial Lives, and the Genealogical Imagination in British Africa (2014).

In this biography, he seeks to demythologise Fanon by situating his life and ideas within a broad historical context. The book combines a range of secondary literature with first-hand readings of Fanon’s work, and argues for the complexity of Fanon’s work. More about the book

Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolo by Nigel Gibson

Nigel Gibson is a leading Fanon scholar. Born in London, he was an active militant in the UK Miners’ Strike in the mid-1980s, and also collaborated with South African exiles from the Black Consciousness Movement, developing some influential academic work on the movement. In 2009, he received the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Prize for Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination. Edward Said said of the book: “Caricatured as a mindless apostle of violence, Fanon emerges in Nigel Gibson’s rigorous and subtle analysis as a major humanistic thinker about injustice, a serious critic of nationalism and, for the first time, as an impressively profound philosopher of modern post-colonial politics and culture.”

Fanonian Practices in South Africa: From Steve Biko to Abahlali baseMjondolois a sophisticated attempt to examine post-apartheid South Africa through the emancipatory lens of Fanon’s revolutionary humanism. More about the book

What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to his Life and Thought by Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon is Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs; European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy atUniversité Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France; and Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor at Rhodes University, South Africa.

What Fanon Said received high praise from none other than Ngugi wa Thiong’o: “In the hands of Lewis Gordon, What Fanon Said becomes what Frantz Fanon says to us today. The book brings alive the revolutionary thought and practice of Fanon into the continuing struggles for structural economic, political, social and psychic transformations of our world. The struggle against anti-black racism is an integral part of it and Gordon’s Fanon is the many-sided thinker who saw it all and gave it words of fire.” More about the book

Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey

David Macey, who was born in Sunderland in the UK, the son of a miner who went down the pit aged 14. He translated over 20 books from the French, and was the author of Lacan in Contexts (1988), the acclaimed The Lives of Michel Foucault. He died in 2011.

Frantz Fanon: A Biography is a comprehensive and eloquent account of Fanon’s personal, intellectual and political life, considered by many to be the definitive biography. It is a reflection on the politics and society of France and Algeria, and the intricacies of Fanon’s anti-imperialism and of postcolonial thought. First published in 1998, this edition is updated with new historical material.

Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades by Peter Hudis

Peter Hudis is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Oakton Community College. With Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades, he challenges the prevailing belief that Fanon’s contributions to modern thought can be wholly defined by an advocacy of violence.

Hudis presents Fanon’s work as an integrated whole, showing that its nuances can only be appreciated in light of his efforts to fuse philosophical theory and practice.

The author quotes Fanon from his first book, Black Skin, White Masks: “I’m not the bearer of absolute truths”, and argues that rather than develop a grand theory that resolved the contradictions of race and class, Fanon theorised from the vantage point of his lived experience.

Voices of Liberation: Frantz Fanon by Leo Zeilig and Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France

Part of the HSRC Press Voices of Liberation, this book contains a foreword written by Fanon’s daughter, Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, explaining what she believes to be the continued importance of her father’s writings and politics. Fanon-Mendes-France is the president of the Frantz-Fanon Foundation.

The book includes a view of Fanon’s life, the period he lived in and a selection of his work; also interviews with those who fought with him in the struggle against French colonialism in Algeria and Tunisia. More about the book

For the original report go to

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,891 other followers

%d bloggers like this: