Posted by: ivetteromero | October 22, 2014

Art Exhibition: Prospect.3: Notes for Now (P.3)

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“Prospect.3: Notes for Now (P.3)” is an international contemporary art biennial. P.3 will feature the work of 58 artists selected by artistic director Franklin Sirmans in 18 venues located throughout New Orleans, Louisiana. Several Caribbean artists are represented in this show, including Ebony G. Patterson (Jamaica), Firelei Báez (Dominican Republic), Tavares Strachan (The Bahamas), Remy Jungerman (Suriname), Jean-Michel Basquiat (USA, of Haitian and Puerto Rican parents), and many other greats.

The exhibition will be on view from October 25, 2014, through January 25, 2015. An opening reception will take place at October 23 at Woldenburg Art Center, 5:00-7:00pm.

For more information, see http://www.prospectneworleans.org/

Posted by: ivetteromero | October 22, 2014

Is Cuba a Democracy? An American View

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Arnold August is a Montreal-based journalist, lecturer, and author of books such as Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections (Editorial José Martí, Havana, 1999) and his most recent publication Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion. The latter deals with Cuba and its neighbors: the United States, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. His new blog was designed to encourage debate on the content of this book. The following is an excerpt of his first post (with links to the full post and to a review by David Grantham published in the International Journal of Cuban Studies).

A book review was published in the International Journal of Cuban Studies (International Institute for the Study of Cuba), written by David Grantham of the United States. Grantham, after six years as a Commissioned Officer and Special Agent with the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, accepted a full-time appointment from the Department of History, PhD Program, at Texas Christian University. He is now an Adjunct Instructor and PhD Candidate in Modern Latin American History with supporting fields in Modern Middle East History and Modern U.S. Diplomacy at Texas Christian University. Given Grantham’s background in the United States Air Force, widely considered to say the least as a “conservative” institution as part of the U.S. official apparatus, what was his evaluation of the book? Did it help in further opening his eyes to democracy and the political process in Cuba?

At this time, in October 2014, the debate on normalizing U.S.–Cuba relations is erupting in American public opinion once again, perhaps more forcefully and widespread than ever since the 1959 Revolution.

As a public explanation for the U.S. vote, the government typically cites, as it did again in 2013, American “democratic ideals” as a measuring rod and the need for “political freedoms in Cuba.” In my view, the main issue here is the right of Cuba as a sovereign, independent nation to determine its own political and economic system and overall destiny. The U.S. has no right to dictate to Cuba the type of system that it should adopt.

However, let us debate the issue of what the nature of the Cuban political process is in reality and its own approach to democracy. An interesting basis for this discussion is the book review by the former Special Agent with the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, David Grantham.

For the full post and book review, visit http://democracycuba.com/Blog/cuba-democracy-american-view-2/

Photo from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/exiles-america-soften-stance-cuba-ties-n44121

Posted by: ivetteromero | October 22, 2014

John Holt to be buried in Jamaica

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Tex Gallimore, nephew of John Holt, says the singer will be buried in Jamaica. He told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that arrangements are being made for his uncle’s body to be flown home. Holt died Monday morning (England time) from cancer at age 69. Holt first found success as the lead singer of reggae group The Paragons.

[. . .] Gallimore, who was also Holt’s road manager, said his family is “coping, taking it one day at a time. The ‘doc’ made it clear there was no hope. For those two days although we were very upset, we had to be strong till the journey is over”.

Gallimore recounted the last days of the singer who was diagnosed with colon cancer in June. “He was at home and doing okay, getting treatment, coming back to himself. Until one day last week,” he said. Gallimore said Holt developed a fever and was taken to hospital where doctors said he had an infection which caused his temperature to rise. “He was in intensive care for a few days, and started to improve so much so that they moved him to the general ward. But on Friday, he started to go down badly,” Gallimore disclosed.

Born in the Kingston community of Greenwich Town, 1945, Holt has left a massive catalogue of hit songs such as Stick By Me, Stealing Stealing, Ali Baba, The Tide Is High, and If I Were A Carpenter. [. . .]

For full article, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jamaica-Burial-for-HOLT_17780127

Photo from http://www.passionweiss.com/2014/10/20/r-i-p-john-holt/

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Régine M. Roumain, executive director of Haiti Cultural Exchange, just announced a performance and conversation with Daniel Bernard Roumain, and music by DJ Jephté Guillaume on Friday, November 14, 2014, at 7:30pm (doors open at 6:00pm) at The Carlton Hotel, located on 88 Madison Avenue, New York, New York. (Admission: $35 in advance / $40 at the door.)

7:30pm – Conversation & Performance with Daniel Bernard Roumain

Daniel Bernard Roumain’s (DBR) acclaimed work as a composer and performer spans more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide.  “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artists gets” (New York Times), DBR is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations traverse the worlds of Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover and Lady Gaga. Known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic and urban music influences, DER takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium.

Listen to DBR’s infused sounds here!

9:00pm to Midnight – DJ Jephté Guillaume – Tet Kale Records / Spiritual Life Music

Jephté Guillaume was born in Haiti and moved to New York as a child, along with his family. Jephté’s signature sound combines acoustic grooves with fierce electronic drive, known around the world as the Tet Kale Sound.  His heavy rotations DJing internationally – with his original tracks, his classic remixes and the golden touch he has put on numerous artists- have made him an indelible presence worldwide.

See program at http://haiticulturalx.org/program-03

For more information see www.haiticulturalx.org

 

Posted by: lisaparavisini | October 22, 2014

The World’s Largest Underwater Sculpture Is Also An Artificial Reef

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This article by Claire Voon appeared in Forbes.

Resting on the ocean floor, towering nearly 17-feet-tall, kneels a young Bahamian girl supporting the ceiling of the water on her shoulders. “Ocean Atlas” is the most recent work by underwater sculpture artist Jason deCaires Taylor, installed earlier this month off the western coastline of New Providence in Nassau, Bahamas. The work alludes to Atlas, the Titan of Greek mythology whose eternal punishment of holding the world on his back has inspired artistic renditions for centuries. Created with a high-density, pH-neutral marine cement engineered to last for hundreds of years, “Ocean Atlas” also serves as an artificial reef to foster local marine life.

Weighing 60 tons, “Ocean Atlas” is the largest single sculpture to reside underwater, according to Taylor. A local student named Camilla served as the model for the colossal girl, who gazes serenely at her surroundings, her head resting sideways on one bent knee, further propped up by her arm. During low tide, her reflection appears on the underside of the sea’s surface, creating an illusion of a mirror for divers. To place her carefully in site, Taylor had to develop a technique that involved lowering and assembling the work in smaller sections.

“It was [created] using 3D scans and a layered mould,” Taylor wrote through email. “Once the individual sections were made, a series of interlocking keys ensured the pieces located themselves underwater. The challenge was to get each piece to not weigh more than 12 tons.” To aid marine navigation, he also affixed a solar light and flag to the sculpture’s apex.

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Commissioned by the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation in honor of its founder Sir Nicholas Nuttall, “Ocean Atlas” is part of an ongoing, environmentally friendly underwater sculpture garden that also includes works by local artists Willicey Tynes, Andret John, and Reefball. Its texture, designed to aid coral polyps to attach to its surface after spawning, encourages the colonization of reefs. Taylor intends for his work to draw tourists away from natural reef areas, which face environmental stresses from global warming, overfishing, and water pollution, among other threats.

“The aim was to show the vital role the local community and especially the younger generation have in conserving the islands’ natural resources,” Taylor wrote.

Previously, he has planted hundreds of underwater sculptures throughout the waters of the world that respond to environmental concerns and aim to relieve ocean stresses. His first and unprecedented underwater sculpture park was created in 2006, submerged off the coast of Grenada. Today, it features a ring of children holding hands, a man at work on his typewriter, and a still life of fruit. In 2009, he co-founded the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, home to over 500 of his sculptures, sprawled on the seabed off the coast of Cancun. “Ocean Atlas,” resting permanently in the waters of the Bahamas, represents a considerable increase in size from these previous works.

For the original report go to http://www.forbes.com/sites/clairevoon/2014/10/21/the-worlds-largest-underwater-sculpture-is-also-an-artificial-reef/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | October 22, 2014

Film festival hosts cinematic tribute to Geoffrey Holder

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The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) is pleased to host a screening of the award-winning documentary Carmen and Geoffrey, next Friday, 31 October, at its office at 199 Belmont Circular Road in Belmont.
A tribute to the actor and dancer Geoffrey Holder, who died earlier this month at the age of 84, the screening takes place in association with BelFest, a celebration of the arts in Belmont.
The film begins at 7.00pm, and doors open at 6.30pm. Admission is free and all are invited.
Released in 2005, Carmen and Geoffrey is an affectionate and moving portrait of two towering icons of the arts, Geoffrey Holder and his wife Carmen de Lavallade. From the time they met and wed in 1955 until Holder’s death earlier this month at the age of 84, the two were celebrated dancers, actors, choreographers and much, much more, together and individually.
Geoffrey Holder’s many achievements include memorable performances as Professor Shakespeare X in the film Dr Doolitte and Baron Samedi in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. He also won two Tony awards for direction and costume design of The Wiz, an all-black adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.
Carmen and Geoffrey was filmed over three years in the United States, France and Holder’s native Trinidad and Tobago. It combines archival footage with candid interviews to provide a remarkable glimpse into the lives of an extraordinary couple.
Winner of the prize for best feature-length film at the ttff/09, Carmen and Geoffrey is directed by Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob, and is 80 minutes in length.
About the trinidad+tobago film festival
Founded in 2006, the ttff is an annual celebration of films from and about Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its diaspora. The Festival also screens films curated from contemporary world cinema. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of the Caribbean film industry by hosting workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities. The Festival is presented by Flow, given leading sponsorship by bpTT and TTFC, and supporting sponsorship by RBC Royal Bank, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism and Embassy of the United States of America. For further information visit http://www.ttfilmfestival.com.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | October 22, 2014

Monica Puig wins WTA’s Rising Stars tournament

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Monica Puig did not come close to qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore but she still came away as one of the big winners at the season-ending event, Reuters reports.

Ranked 61st in the world, the 21-year-old Puig was never a contender to make the elite lineup reserved for the world’s top eight female players.

However, the Puerto Rican earned herself a trip to Singapore courtesy of her popularity and an innovative event that the WTA hopes will shine a light on the game’s next generation.

For the first time, the WTA ran a consolation event, called the Rising Stars, at the same venue as the Finals. Just four players were picked for the event, decided by fan votes, two from Asia-Pacific and two from the rest of the world.

The year-long competition to get selected was fierce but Puig campaigned hard and succeeded in garnering enough votes to book a spot, where she made the most of her chance.

She beat each of her three opponents — Zheng Saisai, Shelby Rogers and Zarina Diyas — during the round-robin phase then beat Zheng again, 6-4 6-3, in Tuesday’s final.

“When I found out that I was going to come here, I was just overwhelmed and so overjoyed that I have another chance to bring out my best tennis and compete as hard as I can,” Puig, who pocketed $20,000 with the victory, told reporters.

Puig may not have been a part of the main event but said winning the Rising Stars and seeing the big names up close had given her the confidence she could join them one day.

“You know, I feel like I’m almost there,” Puig added.

“This year has been a year of transition. I changed coaches twice, and now I feel like I’m finally in the situation where I need to be.

“I’m feeling more stable and was just trying to continue that consistency until the end of the year.”

For the original report go to http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/top-stories/Monica-Puig-wins-WTAs-Rising-Stars-tournament/articleshow/44900439.cms

Posted by: lisaparavisini | October 22, 2014

Puerto Rico wants Spanish royals to inaugurate giant Columbus statue

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The Puerto Rican promoting the assembly of a monumental statue of Columbus, as tall as New York’s Statue of Liberty and taller than any other in the Americas, wants Spain’s king and queen to inaugurate the monument in the spring of 2016, the Spanish news agency EFE reports.

Entrepreneur Jose Gonzalez Freire told Efe Tuesday in an interview that his goal is to take advantage of the Spanish royals’ possible visit to the Caribbean island for the 7th International Congress of the Spanish Language, also scheduled for the spring of 2016.

“We believe construction will be completed between late 2015 and early 2016, which gave us the idea that the king and queen could take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” said the entrepreneur, owner of the food company Pan American Grain, one of Puerto Rico’s largest concerns.

Completed in 1991, its Russian creator Zurab Tsereteli tried to install the mega-statue a year later in the United States, but local authorities denied him the necessary permits. The municipality of Cataño near the Puerto Rican capital accepted it, but due to a lack of funds and indifferent public support, an attempt was made to shift its venue to Mayaguez on the extreme western end of the island.

Gonzalez Freire finally took over and decided to install the 295-foot (90-meter), 600-ton (544,000-kilo) sculpture on his own land in the town of Arecibo on Puerto Rico’s Atlantic coast, beside one of his beautiful beaches.

When assembly began last April, the architect in charge of the project, Roberto Alcina, told Efe that the process is as complex as building a 30-story building.

The first 20 meters (66 feet) of the statue’s height is made of reinforced concrete sheathed in steel. To the figure’s total height of 90 meters (295 feet) must be added another 20 (66) for the knoll on which it stands, plus another meter (3 feet) for its pedestal.

For the promoter, the idea of erecting the statue of Columbus on Puerto Rican territory is a way of celebrating the discovery of the New World.

But for the almost 700 people who signed a campaign objecting to this project, all they want their compatrots on the island to do is “Say NO to the Columbus statue in Puerto Rico.”

Those leading the campaign contend that “for the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Columbus is a symbol of genocide” and is definitely not a hero.

For the original report go to http://www.laprensasa.com/309_america-in-english/2759522_puerto-rico-wants-spanish-royals-to-inaugurate-giant-columbus-statue.html

Posted by: lisaparavisini | October 22, 2014

Fashion icon mourned in Dominican homeland

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Designer Oscar de la Renta was mourned Tuesday in the Dominican Republic as a native son who brought glamour and prestige to a largely poor country better known for baseball and beaches than elegant evening wear, the Associated Press reports.
The death of the style icon Monday at his home in Connecticut came as Dominican designers, some mentored and inspired by de la Renta, gathered in the capital for their country’s Fashion Week, for which he provided advice over the years and where he showed off designs in 2010.
“In some way or another everyone who works in fashion, especially being Dominicans, identifies with him,” said Leonel Lirio, one of the country’s most prominent designers. “We all wanted to be him one day; we wanted to have the same style as him.”
To Lirio, de la Renta was an artistic inspiration, someone whose designs were both functional and beautiful. “To Oscar de la Renta, fashion wasn’t vanity, it was an intrinsic aspect of society, of the history of every nation,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932 and left the Caribbean country at age 18. At the time of his death, he maintained a home in the exclusive resort community of Punta Cana, where he played host to celebrities such as singer Julio Iglesias and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
He was known for contributing frequently to charity and providing assistance to the government, such as when he designed the uniforms for the National Police in 1999 at no cost.
In 2012, when he opened a new boutique in Punta Cana, he donated the proceeds of the initial sales to a school for low-income kids and he worked with Vice President Margarita Cedeno, the former first lady of the Dominican Republic, on a program that helped the poor gain job skills and income by designing dresses, some of which were on display this week.
Before his death, organizers of Fashion Week planned to petition the government to name a street for de la Renta. “It’s not just an homage; it’s an act of justice,” said Socrates McKinney, artistic director for the event.
The campaign seems likely to gain traction in the country where de la Renta enjoyed wide respect. President Danilo Medina declared that Wednesday would be an official day of mourning in the country for the designer and announcing that a government delegation, led by his wife, would attend the funeral in the U.S.
Medina said via Twitter that the designer has been “a great defender of the national interests” with his art and contributions to social programs.
“His departure leaves a hole that is impossible to fill,” Medina said. “Rest in peace, Oscar.”
Vice President Cedeno wore a gown designed by de la Renta as she spoke to reporters on Monday night, recalling his participating in various charitable efforts in the country over the years. “Today, we cry at your departure, but we honor your memory,” she said later on Twitter.

For the original report go to

http://www.bhpioneer.com/a_and_e/article_56ade800-4313-582d-a236-745904be463a.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | October 22, 2014

New Book: Jennifer Lopez to Publish Autobiography, “True Love”

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Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez was slated to publish her new book—True Love—this month, but recent articles say that it will be on the shelves on November 4, 2014. The autobiographical work, in which she reviews one of the key periods of her life, will be published by the Penguin Group’s Celebra division.

Description: In True Love, Lopez explores one of her life’s most defining periods—the transformative two-year journey of how, as an artist and a mother, she confronted her greatest challenges, identified her biggest fears, and ultimately emerged a stronger person than she’s ever been. This visually arresting publication is guided by both intimate and electrifying never-before-seen photographs. True Love is an honest and revealing personal diary with hard-won lessons and heartfelt recollections and an empowering story of self-reflection, rediscovery, and resilience.

Excerpts from Hispanically Speaking News: The book initially had been scheduled to go on sale on Oct. 28, but its release was postponed until the first week in November. “True Love” – which will hit the market at the same time in both Spanish and English editions – will be in the form of a personal diary and will include never-before-published photos.

“Writing ‘True Love’ has been a deeply cathartic, personal, and vulnerable experience. If it were not for the love and courage given to me by my children” this story would not have been possible, Lopez said.

The singer said that she had a lot of doubts about whether or not to publish the book, but finally she decided to do so because of the possibility it presented for her to connect emotionally with readers. If she could get to just one person, then writing the book would become one of the most satisfying efforts of her life, JLo said.

“True Love” focuses on the two-year period during which Lopez says she faced her “greatest challenges” as an artist and as a mother, identified her biggest fears and emerged as a stronger person, according to the publisher.

A percentage of the sales proceeds will go to The Lopez Family Foundation, which is focused on improving the health and well-being of women and children.

For full article, see http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com/latino-daily-news/details/jennifer-lopez-to-publish-first-book-autobiography-titled-true-love/31360/

Also see http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6092114/jennifer-lopez-to-release-her-first-book-true-love-in-october

For publishing information, see http://www.amazon.com/True-Love-Jennifer-Lopez/dp/0451468686

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