Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 11, 2014

African Diaspora archaeology and heritage in St Kitts and Nevis

Gonzalez Tennant in Nevis

A post by Peter Jordens.

Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 2014) of the Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage contains two articles on the Caribbean:

Stone Artifacts and Glass Tools from Enslaved African Contexts on St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula

Todd M. Ahlman (Texas State University), Bobby R. Braly and Gerald F. Schroedl (University of Tennessee)

pp. 1-25

Abstract: St. Kitts, the first permanent English colony in the Caribbean, was dominated by sugar monoculture. During the island’s mid-eighteenth-century financial and political heights, the southeast peninsula was home to several sugar and cotton plantations. Recent excavations have recovered considerable data relating to the enslaved Africans who worked these plantations, including an assemblage of stone and glass tools. The stone tools, made from local chert, are dominated by cores, bifacial flakes, and utilized flakes, some of which are strike-a-lights or fire flints. The glass tools are primarily unifacial scrapers manufactured from bottle glass. Although enslaved African sites rarely contain more than a few of these artifacts, comparisons with sites in the USA and Caribbean suggest that chert and glass tool use among enslaved Africans was a widespread phenomenon rather than an isolated occurrence.

The “Color” of Heritage: Decolonizing Collaborative Archaeology in the Caribbean

Edward González-Tennant (Monmouth University)

pp. 26-50

Abstract: This article explores the intersection of postcolonial theory and archaeology as it relates to the process of collaboratively investigating Afro-Caribbean heritage. Decolonizing archaeology involves asking uncomfortable questions regarding fundamental aspects of archaeological practice. The author examines the possibility that historical archaeologists sometimes miss collaborative projects due to a site’s assumed racial classification. The grouping of sites around the perceived ancestry of its inhabitants may restrict the ability of archaeologists to craft collaborative projects with various publics in postcolonial locations like the Caribbean. Recent research on Nevis provides a case study demonstrating how groups develop deep affinities for locations and how these affinities may cut across lines of color. The author’s goal is not to critique other approaches, but to challenge his own practice of archaeology by reflexively constructing a cosmopolitan past, one which reflects increased agency for groups feeling connected to a site regardless of any externally-defined racial affiliation.

For more information, go to http://www.maneyonline.com/toc/jaf/3/1.

Photo: Edward González-Tennant (kneeling) and his team at an archaeological site in Nevis

Photo credit: http://www.gonzaleztennant.net

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 11, 2014

New Book: Patricia Cumper’s “Inner Yardie: three plays”

inner-yardieAward-winning playwright and radio dramatist Patricia Cumper MBE launched her anthology Inner Yardie: three plays (published by Peepal Tree Press, 2014) earlier this evening.

Patricia Cumper is a former Artistic Director and CEO of Talawa Theatre Company, the UK’s largest Black British Theatre Company. In 2013 Patricia established StrongBack Productions with composer Dominique Le Gendre. StrongBack Productions builds on the artistic directors’ shared passion for telling stories, entertaining audiences and celebrating Britain’s diverse culture.  Rooted in the synergies of Caribbean culture and music and with a strong understanding of the role of culture in post-colonial societies, StrongBack embraces the complex and vibrant reality of diverse Britain, and draws inspiration from the communities around the world that contribute to the day to day life of the nation. Cumper is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and was awarded an MBE for services to Black British Theatre in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.

Description: The three classic Caribbean plays collected in Inner Yardie have been performed to great acclaim and are now available to readers. Playwright Patricia Cumper reveals that the motivation for each of the plays was anger. The Rapist, which ran for six months in Jamaica, involves a rapist who insinuates himself into the trust of the main character, Sharon Williams, but the fury inside the play is as concerned with the repressive dynamics of a respectable middle-class family as it is to do with a specific act of misogynist violence. With lines that challenge the audience to laughter, and then to question why they are laughing, The Rapist remains a powerful piece of theater about gender in the Caribbean.

The impetus for the ambitious and effective attempt to take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Benny’s Song was no less to do with fury-with the political violence that was sweeping up and destroying the lives of so many young people in Jamaica in the 1980s. In the nation-language of the streets and in lyric verse, Benny’s Song adapts the narrative of star-crossed love in Shakespeare’s play to the tragic mix of ideology, communal loyalties, criminality, and the tempting erotics of violence in the ghettos of Kingston.

The third play, The Key Game, is set in a run-down psychiatric hospital in Jamaica, though one of the characters, Dappo, is sure his madness resulted from his time in Britain. Though none of the inmates have any love for the institution, all are in a state of panic when their nurse, Norman, tells them that the government is demolishing the hospital and that they are to be released into the community. But this is not really a play about care in the community. What Dappo, Gonzalez, and Shakespeare must confront are issues of a far more existential kind, their fear of freedom, and their damaged sense of themselves as men in relationship to women.

For full article, see http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/inner-yardie-three-plays/

Description from http://www.booktopia.com.au/inner-yardie-patricia-cumper/prod9781845232320.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 11, 2014

Bolt Donates Sports Gear to Alpha Boys’ School

BOLT2_w304Through his Usain Bolt Foundation, sprinter Usain Bolt donated footwear, football gear and T-shirts to students at the Alpha Boys’ School in Kingston.  

Bolt spoke to students about discipline and values after making the donation, the school administration said. “The benefit of being successful on the track means I can be of help to those in need off the track,” the legendary sprinter said at the handing over of the gear.

Meanwhile the school administration thanked Bolt for the donation saying that the Puma running shoes will be a valuable item to Alpha students who “increasingly participate and come out on top in their age groups, in running events in the Kingston Metropolitan Area”.  “The donation is extremely timely in light of the upcoming activities being staged next week, April 16, for Alpha’s Sports Day,” the school, known for its achievements in music, said in a release Thursday.

For original article, see http://m.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/news/Bolt-donates-sports-gear-to-Alpha-Boys–School

joanne_hillhouse_photo_2011_by_emile_hill_1_004296401ff300

A British Council event features Caribbean writers Joanne C. Hillhouse (Antigua) and Ivory Kelly (Belize) with Scottish/Gaelic writer Martin MacIntyre in “The Untold Story: By Our Own Tongues” on Friday, April 11, 2014. The British Council Literature Team published an interview with Joanne C. Hillhouse, in anticipation of the event. Here, she speaks about Antigua, inspirations and languages. Here are a few excerpts; you can find the full interview in the link below:

Why did you become a writer, and what inspires you?  It’s not so much a why did I become as a how could I not… I’ve always been the girl with her head in a book and, when not in a book, whose vision turned inward to the stories in her head…soaking up the world around her, processing everything that happens to her through the ‘pen’…I don’t feel like I had a choice about being a writer and I don’t feel like I’d want to be anything else …not when I have this freedom on the page to interpret and imagine my world.[. . .] Everything I write is rooted in being a child of Ottos, Antigua…yet so much of what I write these days, and I just picked up on this, is about how much it’s all changing, and trying to figure out what those changes mean. So, there’s that uncertainty again. [. . .]

You write in English but dialogues are often written in Caribbean creole. How important is this for your work?  I write it as I hear it. In fact, one of the pieces I’ve been working on on and off has a very non-standard narrative voice. That will probably make it unpublishable …but like I said I don’t think about that too much when I’m writing as I don’t want to be restricted.

Thankfully, so far I haven’t been.

I think the dialogue in most of my work as written is important if I want the reader to hear it, to truly hear the character’s voice. The acceptance and the use of our mother tongue is still a struggle in the Caribbean where we’ve been colonized into this idea where it’s nothing more than bad English. Thankfully that way of thinking is changing, albeit slowly…but for me it’s never been a case of bad English, not when you’re talking about a language with a vocabulary and rules and history all its own, born out of a fusion of cultures, like so much else that makes us Caribbean.

I love when a non Caribbean reader hears it so well they forget they don’t know it and when a Caribbean reader hears it and it feels like home to them. Two reader reviews come to mind – this from a non Caribbean reader: “Even though the dialect wasn’t something I was used to at the end of the book I felt that I could go to Antigua and carry on a conversation with the best of them.” – and this from a Caribbean reader: “This book took me back home to Antigua and was very real to me. I enjoyed the use of language as the author placed her characters. In many ways the choice to use the island’s language is a statement about claiming one’s own identity.” More than that though, it matters to me to get the characters’ voices right, since so much of what I write is from character.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that writers face today?  The challenges are as they’ve always been: time, money, space, more time, access, opportunity; though perhaps a little more so if you’re a black woman writer from a small island in the Caribbean sea…the biggest challenge then, in the face of insurmountable odds – including a rapidly transforming publishing landscape – is not losing hope, holding on to that thing some might call persistence and others might call obstinacy.

For full article, see http://literature.britishcouncil.org/news/2014/april/commonwealth-voices-joanne-c-hillhouse

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 10, 2014

Chronixx Takes “Dread and Terrible” To Europe

chronixx-dread-terrible-ep

Chronixx is getting rave reviews on his “Dread and Terrible” Tour of Europe. The “Dread and Terrible” project is a compilation of 7 tracks and 3 dub versions produced by various producers. The Dread & Terrible world tour started in Amsterdam on March 27, 2014.

The 21 year old Jamaican singer wore many hats for the “Dread and Terrible” project; he wrote and composed all the tracks and mixed some of the tracks himself. According to his website, Chronixx has been integral in every aspect of putting this project together from the creation of the artwork to all the visuals.

According to Irie FM, Chronixx and the Zincfence Redemption Band along with Kelissa and Dre Island are on the tour. They will also be in Barcelona and then in Portugal on the weekend for two shows.

In the video in the link below, Chronixx gives Music News some feedback, live from France.

http://www.iriefm.net/news/music/chronixx-takes-dread-and-terrible-europe

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 10, 2014

Explosive Found Near Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico

Culebra think

And some people still wonder why Viequenses were/are so adamant about getting the U.S. to conduct a thorough clean-up of the island. . .  

Police in Puerto Rico say an underwater military explosive has been found near a popular beach in the island of Culebra.

Capt. Rafael Romero told the newspaper El Nuevo Día on Thursday that the explosive was found about 40 feet (12 meters) from a well-known campground in Flamenco Beach. The finding comes just days before hundreds of tourists and Puerto Ricans visit the tiny island for Holy Week. Romero said the U.S. military will detonate the explosive in upcoming days and that the beach will be temporarily evacuated.

The U.S. Navy once used Culebra for military activity and later moved operations to the nearby island of Vieques.

For short article, in English, see http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/10/explosive-puerto-rico/7566773/

For original article, in Spanish, see http://www.metro.pr/locales/alertan-a-turistas-sobre-explosivos-en-culebra/pGXndd!lzyTCFEFP8Ss/

Posted by: ivetteromero | April 10, 2014

Low-cost Dominican Surgeries Spark Warnings

cdc-warning-article

This article focuses on the recent attention the Dominican Republic has drawn after the death of a New Yorker who died of a massive pulmonary embolism while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction. The U.S. has issued an alert regarding medical tourism, especially to those who plan to seek cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Beverly Brignoni was a young New Yorker seeking a less expensive way to enhance her appearance and she did what many other people are now doing: travel to the Dominican Republic for cosmetic surgery. It went horribly wrong. The 28-year-old died Feb. 20 from what the doctor told her family was a massive pulmonary embolism while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction at a clinic in the Dominican capital recommended by friends. Family members have serious questions about her death and want local authorities to investigate.

[. . .] Brignoni’s death is unusual, but it is not isolated. Concerns about the booming cosmetic surgery business in the Dominican Republic are enough of an issue that the State Department has posted a warning on its page for travel to that country, noting that in several cases U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued an alert March 7 after health authorities in the United States reported that at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections over the previous 12 months following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.

[. . .] The Dominican Republic, like countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand, has promoted itself as a destination for medical tourism, so-called because people will often tack on a few days at a resort after undergoing surgery. The main allure is much lower costs along with the promise that conditions will be on par with what a patient would encounter at home.

In 2013, there were more than 1,000 cosmetic procedures performed in the Dominican Republic, 60 percent of them on foreigners, according to the country’s Plastic Surgery Society. [. . . ]The number of people pursuing treatment in the Dominican Republic doesn’t seem to have been affected by negative reports, including a previous CDC warning about a cluster of 12 infections in 2003-04.

In one recent case, the Dominican government in February closed a widely advertised clinic known as “Efecto Brush,” for operating without a license. Prosecutors opened a criminal case after at least six women accused the clinic of fraud and negligence. The director, Franklin Polanco, is free while awaiting trial. He denies wrongdoing.

There was also the case of Dr. Hector Cabral. New York prosecutors accused him of conducting examinations of women in health spas and beauty parlors in that state in 2006-09 without a license, then operating on them in the Dominican Republic, leaving some disfigured. Cabral pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized practice of medicine in October 2011 and returned to the Dominican Republic, where he still practices.

In 2009, Dominican authorities charged Dr. Johan Tapia Bueno with illegally practicing plastic surgery at his apartment after several women, including a local television personality, accused him of malpractice that left them with infections. Awaiting trial, he has pleaded innocent to charges that include fraud.

For full article, see http://www.freep.com/article/20140331/FEATURES08/303310054/dominican-plastic-surgery-warning

Low-cost Dominican Surgeries Spark Warnings

This article focuses on the recent attention the Dominican Republic has drawn after the death of a New Yorker who died of a massive pulmonary embolism while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction. The U.S. has issued an alert regarding medical tourism, especially to those who plan to seek cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Beverly Brignoni was a young New Yorker seeking a less expensive way to enhance her appearance and she did what many other people are now doing: travel to the Dominican Republic for cosmetic surgery. It went horribly wrong. The 28-year-old died Feb. 20 from what the doctor told her family was a massive pulmonary embolism while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction at a clinic in the Dominican capital recommended by friends. Family members have serious questions about her death and want local authorities to investigate.

[. . .] Brignoni’s death is unusual, but it is not isolated. Concerns about the booming cosmetic surgery business in the Dominican Republic are enough of an issue that the State Department has posted a warning on its page for travel to that country, noting that in several cases U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued an alert March 7 after health authorities in the United States reported that at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections over the previous 12 months following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.

[. . .] The Dominican Republic, like countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand, has promoted itself as a destination for medical tourism, so-called because people will often tack on a few days at a resort after undergoing surgery. The main allure is much lower costs along with the promise that conditions will be on par with what a patient would encounter at home.

In 2013, there were more than 1,000 cosmetic procedures performed in the Dominican Republic, 60 percent of them on foreigners, according to the country’s Plastic Surgery Society. [. . . ]The number of people pursuing treatment in the Dominican Republic doesn’t seem to have been affected by negative reports, including a previous CDC warning about a cluster of 12 infections in 2003-04.

In one recent case, the Dominican government in February closed a widely advertised clinic known as “Efecto Brush,” for operating without a license. Prosecutors opened a criminal case after at least six women accused the clinic of fraud and negligence. The director, Franklin Polanco, is free while awaiting trial. He denies wrongdoing.

There was also the case of Dr. Hector Cabral. New York prosecutors accused him of conducting examinations of women in health spas and beauty parlors in that state in 2006-09 without a license, then operating on them in the Dominican Republic, leaving some disfigured. Cabral pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized practice of medicine in October 2011 and returned to the Dominican Republic, where he still practices.

In 2009, Dominican authorities charged Dr. Johan Tapia Bueno with illegally practicing plastic surgery at his apartment after several women, including a local television personality, accused him of malpractice that left them with infections. Awaiting trial, he has pleaded innocent to charges that include fraud.

For full article, see http://www.freep.com/article/20140331/FEATURES08/303310054/dominican-plastic-surgery-warning

Image above from http://vanitymiami.com/plastic-surgery-blog/cdc-warning-plastic-surgery-dominican-republic/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 10, 2014

ANR Robinson’s Autobiography flies off shelves

robinson

WITHIN hours after if was announced that Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, the only person to hold this country’s three highest offices had passed away, the written account of his life started to fly off bookshelves, Joel Julien reports in this article for Trinidad’s Express.
Robinson, this country’s former head of state, head of government and chairman of the Tobago House of Assembly, passed away at St Clair Medical Centre around 6 a.m. yesterday.
Robinson, 87, had been ailing for several months.
By midday yesterday, Robinson’s autobiography, In the Midst of It, which was published by Hansib Publications, began to sell out in bookstores.
In the Midst of It was returned to the area set aside for best-sellers at the Henry Street branch of Nigel R Khan Bookseller yesterday.
Speaking to the Express by phone yesterday, Khan said the organisation tracked an increase in the sale of the books since the announcement of Robinson’s passing.
“Because our software is so robust we know what begins to sell, so immediately at our Trincity Mall and Westmall stores it flagged them stating that these titles started to sell all of a sudden, and I am talking about this morning,” Khan said.
Khan said at the Trincity Mall branch, nine copies were sold yesterday morning, while five were sold at Westmall, four in Tobago and three at Gulf City.
“You would usually see a tip-up of the title because people want to get to know who this man was. I would expect to see our sales in these titles fly off the shelves. It will fly off the shelf,” Khan said.
Khan said the bookstore will be restocked to deal with the expected increase in demand.
“We will automatically now uplift the stock. The stores, we will load them up with extras,” he said.
Khan said In the Midst of It is currently number ten on the “acceleration of a title” list on the bookstore’s database.
“It (In the Midst of It) is behind the faster sellers, behind Naparima Girls’ (High School Cookbook), Fifty Shades of Grey, and then in its category it is number one now,” Khan said.
Khan described Robinson, whom he met once at Pigeon Point in Tobago, as a “national treasure”.
“I see it (Robinson’s passing) as a great loss, a loss of integrity, values, that throwback to the good old guards who kept the right. Remember he said ‘moral and spiritual values’ once, remember he said ‘attack with full force’ and he was in there (inside the Parliament). Whenever you see him, that is what you would think,” Khan said.
On its website, Hansib Publications has an abridged foreword by David Kreiger of In the Midst of It, which states:
“Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson rose from humble origins on a small island in the Caribbean to become a national, regional and international leader.
“His life story has been truly inspirational. It is a story that contains the magic and poetry of what life can and should be. Nonetheless, it has not been an easy life. Certainly, ANR Robinson has faced his share of challenges, including some that have been life-threatening, but he has lived with solid principles rooted in justice for all and deep faith in humanity. This has served him well.”

For the original report go to http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Autobiography-flies-off-shelves-254663041.html

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 10, 2014

One-Day Symposium on Phyllis Allfrey’s Love for an Island

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 12.27.14 AM

Posted by: lisaparavisini | April 10, 2014

2014 Met Life Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition

voces vol2

Online submissions now being accepted for FULL LENGTH LATINO STAGE PLAYS  (In Spanish or English or both!)

Guidelines: repertorio.org/opportunities 

Time stamped Deadline:  Sunday, June 1, 2014.  (Time stamped)

MISSION:Since 2000 MetLife Foundation and Repertorio Español joined forces to establish The MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition to discover –our voices –the best Latino plays and bring them to the attention to the American theatre community. These original works relate to Latino culture, history and life in the United States while at the same time reflecting the universality of the human condition.  In 2013 we received a record breaking number of scripts proving once again this outreach effort is important and so very necessary. It has been our privilege to promote and develop new plays, encourage bright new talent by providing this forum. We have produced over 100 readings to date and many plays that have placed within the competition over the years have gone on to have subsequent workshop and full productions at regional theatres across the country!

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