Last week, the Spotlight Gallery at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center in the city’s North Side opened the art exhibit “Mujeres!” The run of “Mujeres!” [“women” in Spanish] is timed with the annual observation of Women’s History Month in March. The show runs through May 1 at the Pine Camp Arts and Community Center at 4901 Old Brook Road, Richmond, Virginia.

The exhibit is co-sponsored by the city of Richmond and the Hispanic Women in the Arts organization. “The show celebrates women as well as the diversity in the city,” said Shaunn Casselle, the show’s curator. The participating artists are women of Hispanic descent who live in Richmond. They come from such countries as Colombia, Uruguay, Cuba and Mexico. Their works include paintings, textile art and sculpture.

For details, call (804) 646-6722 or visit www.richmondvirginiaparks.blogspot.com.



New risk models show a potentially large earthquake in Caribbean subduction zones would be capable of generating catastrophic tsunamis, Antillean.org reports.

Four years after the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku Earthquake in Japan, catastrophe risk management firm RMS has released a global tsunami risk study that identified twenty subduction zones around the world – some of which are in the Caribbean region – with the capability of generating magnitude 9.0 earthquakes – even in zones considered to be dormant or inactive.

A subduction zone is the boundary between two of Earth’s tectonic plates. An earthquake occurs when the Earth’s tectonic plates push away from, pull towards or grind against each other, releasing energy and causing vibratory movements.
The after effects of an earthquake include, among others, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, fires, injuries and fatalities, falling buildings and other structures.

In a quote, Chief Research Officer at RMS Dr. Robert Muir-Wood said that while the Puerto Rico Trench, among others, is dormant, RMS analyses revealed that they were capable of generating tsunami waves similar in scale to those produced along the Japan Trench in 2011, bringing with them unprecedented devastation.

“Future mega-tsunamis should no longer be considered black swan events, as we now know where these events can occur. While these events have very low occurrence rates, communities and businesses on the coastlines at frontline risk of these events should assess the risk accordingly”, he said.

The study determined that if a tsunami occurred on the dormant Puerto Rico Trench, it would not only cause flooding along the northern and western coast lines of Puerto Rico, but also generate nine meter waves around the neighbouring islands of the Dominican Republic and the U.S and British Virgin Islands.

Generally, earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or below are considered ‘micro-earthquakes’ as they are not usually felt in the area in which it occurs. Those earthquakes measuring 4.5 or more tend to be strong enough to be noticed.

Earthquakes in the Caribbean: The most recently devastating earthquake to occur in the Caribbean happened in Haiti in 2010. The death toll for the 7.0 magnitude earthquake was estimated between 230,000 to 316, 000. 300,000 persons injured and a further 1.5 million displaced. While Haiti’s structural and economic circumstances differ greatly to that of many other Caribbean islands, there is no foreseeing the strength of, or consequences, following a potential earthquake in any other part of the region.

Historically, there have only been five years on record in which devastating earthquakes occurred in the region.

In 1692, 90% of Port Royal, Jamaica was obliterated by an earthquake, killing over 2,000 people. Over a century later, in 1843, an estimated 8.0 – 8.5 magnitude tremor occurred in the Eastern Caribbean, causing damage in islands from St. Maarten to Dominica. An 8.1 M earthquake in 1946 in the Dominican Republic generated a tsunami resulting in 75 deaths and leaving 20,000 people homeless. Aftershocks from this event were still being felt in 1947 and 1948.

In 1974, a 7.5 M earthquake occurred between St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago. And between the months of April to July in 1997, the southern islands of the Caribbean were affected by a series of earthquakes which affected an estimated 200 people and caused damages costing approximately USD$3 million.

During the latter months of 2014 and early into the current year, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Unit recorded several, frequent smaller tremors in and around the Southern Caribbean, prompting seismologists to caution Caribbean residents to prepare for a major earthquake sooner, rather than later.

For the original report go to http://www.antillean.org/caribbean-risks-catastrophic-tsunami-246/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | March 29, 2015

Dr. Roy Bryce Laporte’s Memorial Issue of Wadabagei

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 11.50.24 PM

The online issue of Wadabagei honoring Roy Simon Bryce Laporte is out, just in time for his memorial tribute today at Medgar Evers College.

You can access the issue through this link:


My thanks to Aubrey Bonett for bringing this information to my attention.

March 30 2015 
Scholarly Tribute and Citation of the Work of  
Dr. Bryce La Porte 
By The Caribbean Research Center of the School of Liberal Arts 
of Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, 
The Wadabagei Board of Directors
The Charles Innis Library ,  1650 Bedford Avenue,
7 to 10 p.m.

Memorial Tribute


Dr. Roy Simon Bryce-Laporte 


Wadabagei Editorial Board

Caribbean Research Center

under the auspices of

Dr Rudolph F. Crew

President, Medgar Evers College, CUNY


Monday, March 30, 2015 

 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

The Charles Innis Memorial Library


 School of Liberal Arts & Education

1650 Bedford Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11225

Posted by: lisaparavisini | March 29, 2015

On Random Acts of Violence: Theater Review


This review by Sarah Deshaies of Random, staged in Montreal, appeared in CultMontreal.com.

24 alarm clocks. 32 lights. 55 minutes. One performer, 12 characters. I couldn’t help but mentally tabulate Random as the show began.

The first half of debbie tucker green’s creation follows a day in the life of a British family in tick-tock fashion. The talented Lucinda Davis, who plays all four members of the family and the people they encounter, does a time check as the characters awaken and go about their day. The minutes tick upward until tragedy strikes, and time evaporates.

Brit playwright and screenwriter tucker green composes stories about contemporary violence and its aftermath in stripped-down but intimate settings. This 2008 play, her seventh, was loosely inspired by a rash of deadly stabbings of young teens in public London around that time.

The characters at the centre of this play are part of a Caribbean-British family living in an urban area. It’s a normal day: the teen son struggles to get out the door on time, his big sister prepares for work and thinks about her boyfriend. Mother burns the porridge, while father settles into his day.

The many characters of Random give Davis a chance to flex her muscles in this Black Theatre Workshop/Imago Theatre production. During a Friday night talkback, she said that repetition was key to nailing down the myriad characters and quick pacing.

Yes, rehearsal is important, but so is the talent to incarnate the many voices, accents and physicalities. As one critic for The Guardian wrote of the 2008 London production, the show hinges on the solo performer. This production flies with Davis as the lead.

Davis said that when she began working with director Micheline Chevrier, developing the voices of her characters — the Caribbean patois and British accents — came first, followed by movement. (Of note: Davis is remarkably spry for someone who has recently suffered a broken ankle.)

tucker green pokes fun at daily life, while also elevating it into the ethereal; Davis slows down when the mother beautifully clears away bowls of burned cereal. The big sister plugs away at work while observing the absurd intricacies of her office mates’ work politics.

The design follows the lead of previous incarnations of Random — minimal but effective.  Pierre-Étienne Locas’s set allows us to build the story in our minds, while Martin Sirois’s lighting subtly moves the story along.

Despite its depiction of the tragic death of a young black man, Random is not issue-based, at least not according to tucker green. As a black Brit, she was writing about a black British family. Davis has subscribed to this, saying that she is simply telling the story of a family struck by violence.

But as the simplicity and quick pace of the play forces the audience to pay close attention, Random also allows you to ascribe any issue — race, violence, politics, youth — onto its bones for further consideration. ■

Random continues at the MAI (3680 Jeanne-Mance) April 1–4, 8 p.m., $28.50/$23.50 for students & seniors

For the original report go to http://cultmontreal.com/2015/03/random-review/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | March 29, 2015

Martiniquans make local flower show a regional affair


This article by Michelle Loubon appeared in trinidad’s Express.

Strolling through Trinidad Country Club in Maraval, Reema Carmona, wife of President Anthony Carmona, described the floral banquet as “stunning”. There were some eye-catching blooms, orchids, anthuriums and floral arrangements, which Carmona labelled as “absolutely gorgeous”, at Saturday’s premiere of the Horticultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago (HSTT) Flower Show.

Among those present were HSTT president Paul Duval, first vice-president Loraine Mahabal, secretary Francica Lord, treasurer Janice Barnes and assistant treasurer Mario Young.

They were joined by Mayor of Trois-Ilets, Martinique, Armaud Rene-Corcul, and his 15-member contingent; HSTT floral designers Simone Taylor and Enid Lashley and award-winning horticulturist Joan Wilson.

Rene-Corcul was in Trinidad to promote the Martiniquan Flower Festival, which is scheduled for June 15-21.
The theme for HSTT’s 2015 event is “Pleasures of the Garden”.

Carmona was given a grand tour of the display, which was concentrated in the ballroom.

She slipped past a dizzying array of sections including Bonsai, Thailand (Joan Wilson), complete with brollies; beautiful blooms in East of Eden; and Forestry Division and Ministry of Food Production’s indigenous and exotic fruits and vegetables.
Carmona also posed for photographs beside a chaconia sprouting from a vase and greenery from the Office of the President’s display.

Along the way, Carmona was given quick lessons on the medicinal and ornamental value of plants and flowers.
David Maharaj, of the Ministry of Food Production, proudly displayed nature’s bounty, including Palmyra palms, Sapucaya nuts, sygen, chalta, screw pine, fish poison tree and T&T’s world-famous cocoa.

Carmona made her way outdoors to the vendors, where Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT) president Dhano Sookoo presented her with an umbrella and portugals.

Mrs Carmona stopped to chat with the zookeepers and beekeepers. Before exiting, Lord pinned a corsage on her and she was presented with a floral bouquet.

Asked to share her sentiments on the Martiniquan contingent, Carmona said: “We have a wide array of flowers. I will be supporting it (Martiniquan Flower Festival). It is an opportunity to put the Caribbean on the globe. We have very exotic flowers. We have to think and be aware about the environmental awareness.”

She also thanked the HSTT for their hospitality and urged them to continue their “positive work”.

Giving an overview of the event, Duval said: “It cost about $150,000…we have 30 kiosks. We used the ballroom to have one display…this year we separated the display from the vendors. We expect about 10,000 people. We have put a lot of emphasis on the floral market…we have an exciting assortment of flowers and foliage. I want to thank Taylor for putting it all together. I want to thank the mayor (Rene-Corcul) and the team who are here.”

Through a translator, Rene-Corcul said: “We are here to promote the Martiniquan Flower Festival. It will be held where Empress Josephine, wife of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, was born. Before, we went to St Vincent to garner support. We are inviting many Caribbean countries to participate. We have met with Association of Caribbean States (ACS). It is the biggest flower festival in the Caribbean on several hectares.”

The HSTT Flower Show continued yesterday at Trinidad Country Club.

For the original report go to http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Martiniquans-make-local-flower-show-a-regional-affair-297955591.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | March 29, 2015

Arturo Tappin and Jazz Artists on the Greens


Peter Ray Blood writes about how exhilarating and special last week’s Jazz Artists on the Greens (JAOTG) was, in particular the performance by Arturo Tappin. Calling this year’s concert an extremely entertaining and enjoyable experience—a concert that has consistently been called one of the best “authentic jazz” productions in the land— Blood reminds us that the 14th edition of Jazz Artistes on the Greens will take place around March 12, 2016. As usual, the event takes place at The Greens at Farm Road St Joseph in Trinidad and Tobago. Here are excerpts of his review:

Comments overheard throughout the evening gave testimony to the high quality of performances, especially that of Arturo Tappin’s aggregation. A female patron summed up Tappin’s performance succinctly when she said: “Arturo Tappin is the Machel Montano of Caribbean jazz.”

Despite the inclement weather at the show’s start, a heated repertoire by the Princes Town Musical Ensemble warmly opened proceedings. This relatively unknown act kept many patrons rooted under umbrellas to their seats as its young musicians, drawn from the H Maharaj School of Music, competently performed a variety of musical genres.

[. . .] They were followed by Clifford Charles’s group. With Charles on guitar, the group comprised Allan Nelson (trumpet); Malcolm Boyce (saxophone); Stephen Villafana (trombone); Ron Clarke (keyboards); Sean Friday (bass); Jerome Charles (drums); and Jason “Fridge” Seecharan and Anastasia Richardson (vocals).

Charles’s ensemble played some lively music, including its original Strollin, Seecharan’s wonderful treatment of Let’s Stay Together and What You Won’t Do For Love, guitar instrumentals of Love Never Felt So Good, Happiest Man Alive, Epic, Call My name and Dance With You. During a merge of the latter two, Clifford invited female patrons on stage to sing the songs’ refrains.

The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra was up next, fielding Cody Wright on bass, drummer Chaisaray Schenick and Scales on double seconds. Theirs was an eclectic set with each musician copulating with the other in some unique musical shapes and shades. [. . .]

I thought that Production One should not have slotted Tappin to perform before final act Kay Alleyne as his music and performance was the night’s most dynamic and infectious. For his performance, Tappin brought his Barbadian music compatriots Andre Daniel (keyboards); Jermone Waithe (guitar); Kirk Layne (bass); Melvin Alick (drums); Kweku Jelani (trumpet); and Matthew Squires (trombone) to play with him and did they work up a storm.

Jelani and Squires, just 20 and 21, respectively, played with the competence of much older and experienced musicians. They had been mentored by Tappin for the past two years. Also efficient was 21-year-old Waithe, who was doing his first gig outside of Barbados.

Tappin can be defined as “the mother lode” of Caribbean jazz. He and his band played a plethora of popular music, mixing Be Bop with pop, with R&B, with reggae, with straight ahead jazz, and with soca. Opening with Earth Wind & Fire’s In the Stone they gradually increased the intensity of their set with covers of Jay Z, Rihanna, Usher, Maroon 5, Eddie Harris, Stylistics, Bruno Mars, John Legend and Michael Jackson. With patrons, mostly women literally jammed against the stage dancing with gay abandon, Arturo unleashed a sizzling soca set of covers from Fadda Fox, Lead Pipe & Saddis, Olatunji, Benjai and Machel Montano. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2015-03-27/tappin-steals-jazz-show

Posted by: ivetteromero | March 29, 2015

Birder Finds Panama Packed With Species, But No Harpy Eagles


There are more species of birds in Panama than all of North America. NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Ray Brown, host of the radio program Talkin’ Birds, who just returned from the country. Brown speaks about various bird species and explains that he did not expect to see the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja, see above), which is critically endangered in Panama. Here are excerpts of the transcript; listen to full story in the link below:

SIMON: Ray, I’ve been to Panama. It’s a very narrow country. How do they fit in so many birds?

BROWN: Well, fortunately they have a lot of forests there, lots of rain forests. So there are big national parks that offer lots of room for lots of birds. In fact, I think about as many species there in Panama as in all of North America, some 900-plus.

SIMON: What are some of the highlights?

BROWN: Well, you know there’s a book that I read years ago called “Life above the Jungle Floor.” This happened to be in Costa Rica, but it was a similar environment. One of the birds that they were seeking and finally found was called the great potoo. I know that sounds like a creature of mystery or maybe one of Johnny Carson’s characters on the old “Tonight Show,” but we finally saw this third.

[. . .] Well, you know, they actually are related to the whippoorwill and these birds are sometimes called goat suckers based on the fact that farmers would see these birds with their – they have large gaping mouths. They’d see them around their barns and they would put two-and-two together and get five, and assume they were sucking milk from their goats. They actually eat insects and bats.

SIMON: But you didn’t, I’m told, see the harpy eagle, which is Panama’s national bird, right?

BROWN: It is, yeah. We didn’t really expect to see it. It’s a bird that not many people see. It’s a very secretive bird in the deep forest, even though it is a gigantic bird. It’s the biggest and most powerful raptor in all of the Americas. In fact, the females can weigh as much as 20 pounds. You can picture that like a Thanksgiving turkey, I guess. The males are only about half that size, but enormous birds. But, unfortunately a lot of habitat destruction has reduced their numbers even more. So they’re described as nearly threatened in much of South America, and in Panama, critically endangered. That name by the way, the Latin name Harpia harpyja, comes from Greek and Roman mythology. Harpies were wind spirits with the body of a bird and the face of a woman.

[. . .] SIMON: Ray Brown is the host of Talkin’ Birds. You can listen to his show from Panama at http://www.talkinbirds.com/.

For full story, see http://www.npr.org/2015/03/28/395966269/birder-finds-panama-packed-with-species-but-no-harpy-eagles

gaboThe International Book Fair of Bogota (aka FILBO), will honor legendary Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez and his Macondo (described in One Hundred Years of Solitude), by recreating the fictitious town in a three thousand square meter space. There will be exhibitions, academic lectures, and multimedia creations related to Macondo and García Márquez’s work. FILBO runs from April 21 to May 4, 2015.

The greatest literary event of this Andean country, will render tribute to Gabo next April, when is commemorated one year from the Nobel Prize Winner’s death. Storyteller and journalist, the Literature Nobel Prize in 1982, Gabo created a universe described in One Hundred Years of Solitude, will have a new opportunity on earth told reporters the organizers of the feast of letters.

[. . .] Music and other traditions of the Colombian Caribbean, linked to the life of the novelist, will give glitter to the Corterías grounds, [which] will welcome pavilions of almost all participating countries of the region [. . .].

Born in Aracataca, a little village located 80 kilometers from the Caribbean coast, Gabo died last April 17 in Mexico, victim of cancer. Curators and followers of his work participate in the conception of the space dedicated to recreate Macondo, [. . .] a metaphor of some Latin American towns.

[. . .] Among the labyrinths covered by texts, visitors will be able to remember the work of the intellectual whose legacy boasts such novels as Love in Times of Cholera, Of Love and Other Demons and Chronicle of an Announced Death.

For original article, see http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3659261&Itemid=1

Posted by: ivetteromero | March 29, 2015

Bocas Lit Fest breaking new ground


Shereen Ali reviews the Bocas Lit Fest—which takes place from April 29 to May 3—highlighting the festival’s achievements:

Scholars, dreamers, readers, writers, and anyone who loves a good story are looking forward to the start of this year’s five-day NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port-of-Spain, from April 29—May 3. This year, the festival breaks new ground with its Storytelling Caravan for children, which will tell stories every Saturday in April throughout the country to children aged six to 13 years. [. . .]

Festival achievements

For a relatively new festival, the Bocas Lit Fest has already chalked up some notable achievements, chief of which is the spread of festival events to other parts of T&T. So far, since it began, eight festivals have been held: four in Port-of-Spain, one in South and Central, and two in Tobago. These festivals have included 300 different events, including readings, discussions, performances, film screenings, book launches and poetry slams.

The Bocas Lit Fest has also held events outside of our borders, helping to bring our writers to the world: it hosted three events in New York, one in Miami, and one in St Lucia for a major Commonwealth literature conference.

The festival has helped emerging writers develop their skills through workshops and masterclasses, a valuable learning tool which continues this year with workshops in speculative fiction, preparing manuscripts for publication, literary translation, poetry, and a workshop on how to start a magazine in six weeks, among other sessions. Pre-registration is required for the workshops (places can be booked on the festival website), and there are modest fees involved: $60 for short workshops, and $100 for all-day workshops. All other events at the festival are free and open to the public.

Perhaps the best part of the Bocas Lit Fest for both new and established writers is the exposure and opportunities that can come from participation. So far, the festival has showcased 20 emerging writers, four of whom have gone on to publish books, and three of whom are included in a new anthology: Coming Up Hot: Best New Poets in the Caribbean.

A major achievement of Bocas Lit Fest is that some writers have actually gained agents and book deals as a result of connections made during the festival. The festival has so far brought at least 20 international publishing professionals and literary festival directors to T&T, enabling such deals. Writers have also received invitations to read and perform internationally through the festival, say festival organisers.

Quite apart from helping writers, the Bocas Lit Fest has also been active in education. Using the three winning 2014 Burt Award books, festival staff have worked with dozens of secondary school teachers on ways of teaching literature that help develop a love for it. And using the spoken word medium, the festival has harnessed the performance poets of the 2Cents Movement to engage with more than 50,000 students in at least 70 secondary schools in the past two years in the Courts Bocas spoken word tour.  Also in education, the festival has published three illustrated children’s storytelling books, and helped facilitate the publication of many children’s stories in local media.

2015 Bocas Prize shortlist out on April 1

Highlights of this year’s festival include the announcement of the winner of the prestigious 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, a major regional award recognising Caribbean writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

[. . .] The first winner of the OCM Bocas prize, in 2011, was St Lucian Nobel laureate Derek Walcott for his poetry collection White Egrets.

[. . .] All events (unless otherwise stated) take place at the National Library and Old Fire Station in downtown Port-of-Spain. A full downloadable schedule is on the festival’s Web site.

Website: www.bocaslitfest.com

Email: info@bocaslitfest.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bocaslitfest 

Tel: (868) 222-7099 for general festival inquiries; (868) 625-8328 for workshop bookings; (868) 712-6227 for children’s festival information.​

For full article, see http://www.guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2015-03-27/bocas-lit-fest-breaking-new-ground

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