Posted by: ivetteromero | February 28, 2015

Sir Viv weighs in on Gayle double century

Sir Vivian Richards

The media is abuzz with Jamaica’s Chris Gayle’s performance in a win against Zimbabwe. The iconic, former West Indies captain Sir Vivian Richards said that the opener showed that he has “the stuff champions are made of.” Here are excerpts from the Jamaica Observer:

Former West Indies captain Sir Viv Richards says Chris Gayle‘s double century against Zimbabwe has “lifted the spirits” of the team and relieved pressure on young captain Jason Holder.

The Jamaican opener scored 215 against Zimbabwe on Tuesday – the first double-ton in World Cup history and only the fourth in one-day internationals.

West Indies have won convincingly against Pakistan and Zimbabwe after succumbing to a shocking defeat against Ireland in their opening match.

“It was a phenomenal innings. Especially the way West Indies batted against the so-called minnows [Ireland],” said Richards. “It’s the stuff champions are made of”.

Richards himself has compiled two of the most-highly regarded ODI innings, both against England- a match-winning 138 not out in the 1979 World Cup final; and a brutal then-world-record 189 not out at Old Trafford in 1984.

Richards admits that more consistency was needed for the team to progress to the final stages of the tournament. [. . .]

For original article, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Sir-Viv-weighs-in-on-Gayle-s-double-century_18476829

Photo above from http://www.guardian.co.tt/sport/2015-01-01/sir-viv-walsh-world-cup-columns

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 27, 2015

Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s

3f7ba50b-b666-47dc-8011-c3123400b379-2060x1385Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s, reviewed by Lucinda Everett for London’s Telegraph. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

”Beautiful and arresting”–This delightfully varied exhibition displays not only a strong sense of Black-British identity, but a relaxed and rightful sense of belonging.

The first image that greets visitors in this small but powerful exhibition is Armet Francis’s 1964 work, ‘Self-portrait in Mirror’. The young photographer – he was just 19 at the time – stands hunched intently over his camera in a room crowded with the trappings of daily life. Behind him, lounging among the clutter, a young white woman watches him. Francis is both photographer and friend (perhaps lover); talented professional and black teenager in a country still struggling with its racial politics; watcher and watched. It is the perfect opener for an exhibition exploring identity, representation, and how both can be altered and owned with the click of a camera’s shutter.

The photographs on display have been recently acquired by the V&A with the help of the Black Cultural Archives, as part of a drive to bolster the museum’s permanent collection of photographs either by black British photographers, or that represent black people living in Britain. Curated by Marta Weiss, they provide a delightfully varied mix of subject matter and form.

There are Raphael Albert’s reportage shots of black beauty pageants taken in the 60s and 70s – proudly echoing America’s ‘Black is Beautiful’ movement, while drawing unsettling attention to pageants’ objectifying roots. In one particularly striking image, a young woman stares defiantly into the camera, her breathtaking natural beauty offset by fingers full of gaudy rings. Neil Kenlock gives us an intimate glimpse into the homes and psyches of 1970s British-Caribbean families, as they pose with their possessions for portraits often sent home to relatives – jubilant proof of a successful emigration. And further into the exhibition, ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s crisp, detailed images showcase the sculptural magnificence of the hairstyles and headties worn by Nigerian women. All of the images are beautiful; all arresting. But there is something more.

Yinka Shonibare touches on this extra quality in one of a set of interviews visitors can listen to via headphones. (The full collection, which also includes the photographers’ subjects, can be heard at a simultaneous exhibition running at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton). Describing his Diary of a Victorian Dandy, a playful series based loosely on Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, in which Shonibare plays a debauched dandy, the photographer explains that he wanted to provide an alternative to the protest art some have come to expect from photographers of African origin – to show black people in a ‘leisurely environment’ rather than ‘fighting against an unfair system’.

And it is this ease that provides the exhibition’s magic. After years of struggle for Britain’s black communities (a struggle that, of course, continues for some), here is a set of images that displays not only a strong sense of Black-British identity, but a relaxed and rightful sense of belonging – to and within our cultural history.

Staying Power is at the V&A until 24 May 2015. vam.ac.uk 0800 912 6961

For the original report go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/photography/11416369/Staying-Power-Photographs-of-Black-British-Experience-1950s-1990s-VandA-review-beautiful-and-arresting.html

Photos at http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/feb/09/staying-power-photographs-of-black-british-experience-in-pictures

For additional information, see our earlier posts:

“Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s” at the V&A and The black experience: portraits of a community

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A compelling play which tells the story of dying bees, healing herbs and the human need for friendship is coming St George’s Theatre.

The Honey Man, which comes to Great Yarmouth at 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 10, is described as a funny and moving story of growing up and growing old.

The Honey Man is ageing West Indian recluse who shuns the modern world and contents himself with saving bees, nurturing plants and concocting herbal remedies in a derelict cottage somewhere on the edge of rural England.

Misty is the fiery, apparently self-‐centered, weed-smoking teenage daughter from hell. Rebelling against her aristocratic family heritage and preoccupied by her parents’ divorce, she Skypes and texts her way through her relationships, full of anger and anxiety as she contemplates an uncertain future.

One summer their lives collide leading to an unlikely friendship.

Critics at The Stage said it was a “beautifully crafted play that manages to weave aspects of the history of slavery, England’s Heritage and Black British Identity into an absorbing relationship between a dysfunctional teenager and an elderly Afro-Caribbean beekeeper”.

For tickets, priced £12 adults, £10 concessions and £5 children, call St George’s box office on 01493 331484.

For the original report go to http://www.edp24.co.uk/what-s-on/honey_bees_and_friendship_combine_in_powerful_new_play_coming_to_great_yarmouth_1_3973372

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 27, 2015

The Film Strip: Black Films You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Spies-of-Mississipi

*As part of Black History Month, The African Diaspora International Film Festival has a series of films being shown at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York through  March 1, Marie Moore reports for EurWeb.

The ADIFF points out that the series has an international spin that puts the notion of Black History month in the perspective of a quest to critically understand what the Black human experience has been and is in different parts of the world. The films are from eight countries.

The program features several documentaries about the Black experience in the United States. “Stubborn as a Mule” by Miller Bargerton, Jr.” and “Arcelious J. Daniels,” an internationally award winning film that presents an eye opening depiction of lesser known historical facts and contemporary commentary regarding the call for reparations for African-Americans. In the process, the film disseminates USA black history that is not taught in most educational systems. “Spies of Mississippi” by Dawn Porter is an explosive documentary based on a book by the same name that tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy during the Civil Rights Movement.

Linking the US and Africa is the very popular documentary “Bound: Africans vs African-Americans” by Peres Owino, about the tensions between these two groups and winner of ADIFF 2014’s Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color. The screening of this hard-hitting documentary—that walks us through the corridors of African colonialism and African American enslavement—will be followed by a conversation with Director Peres Owino.   Three historic epic dramas that explore the fight for liberation by colonized and enslaved Africans are in the program: “Ninga Queen of Angola” by about a 17th century Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism, “Tula, The Revolt” by Jeroen Leinders, a film set in Curaçao in the Caribbean during slavery times and Sergio Giral’s classic Cuban drama “Maluala,” about the Maroons, the communities of escaped enslaved Africans in the 19th century.

: “Thomas Sankara” from Burkina FasoAmilcar Cabral” from Cape Verde directed by Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Ana Ramos Lisboa respectively. “The Story of Lovers Rock” by Menelik Shabbaz is a musical documentary about Lovers Rock, often dubbed “romantic reggae,” a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. “Denying Brazil” by Joel Zito Araujo is a documentary that explores the history of the stereotypical representation of Black characters on Brazilian TV and the negative impact of these stereotypes on the Afro-Brazilian identity formation.

For more information and tickets go to: http://www.NYADIFF.org, or call (212) 864-1760

For the original report go to http://www.eurweb.com/2015/02/the-film-strip-black-films-you-can-sink-your-teeth-into/#mXVA4ypHSBFqzo1R.99

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 27, 2015

Don’t forget Louisbourg rum’s history of slavery

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Canada’s Fortress of Louisbourg and Authentic Seacoast has launched Fortress Rum, Andrew Carnaby of The Chronicle Herald reports.

Part of a broader rethinking of the visitor experience at the fortress, the product embodies a new spirit of entrepreneurialism at Parks Canada which has produced other initiatives like the popular LouisRocks! concerts and Culture Fete multicultural festival. With any luck, all of these things will boost attendance at the reconstructed site. That a local business, Authentic Seacoast of Guysborough, is involved makes the new venture that much better.

Yet for a national historic site — reconstructed and animated in the spirit of 1745 — the sale of rum raises some thorny questions. At the product launch, a Parks Canada representative noted correctly that rum was traded at the Fortress and “enjoyed by all levels of society.”

Indeed it was. But rum in the mid-18th century was also derived from slavery.

From its founding in 1713 to its fall in 1758, Fortress Louisbourg was a fortified town and entrepot. Fish from Louisbourg ended up in New England, Quebec, Acadia, and France in exchange for everything the town could not produce on its own — meat, flour, wood, clothing and luxuries. The fortress’s fish also found a ready market in the French colonies of Martinique, Saint-Domingue, and Guadeloupe – cheap nourishment for the estimated 300,000 enslaved men, women, and children that powered the islands’ sugar plantations in the mid-1700s. From slave-made sugar cane came sugar-cane juice, the base ingredient in the making of rum.

It is estimated that one million slaves arrived in France’s New World possessions over the entire 18th century. Slave life was controlled by many things, not least being the Code Noir; created by the French Crown in 1685, it defined slaves as “movable property” and allowed runaway slaves to be branded with the fleur-de-lis. By the time of the Haitian Revolution in 1801, Saint-Domingue had become the largest, most lucrative, and one of the most brutal slave societies in the Caribbean.

Fish from Louisbourg helped make that success possible. In return, rum (and molasses) flowed northward.

In the new world, as in the old, rum was consumed by nearly everyone in the mid-1700s. So much so that the value of the trade between Louisbourg and the French slave islands soon eclipsed the exchange between the fortress and the mother country itself. Some of that rum was consumed by fortress dwellers; a lot of it satisfied the thirst of New Englanders. In the heat of the campaigns to abolish slavery in the 1800s, slave-made goods like rum would become the target of widespread boycotts and moral condemnation.

Will consumers of Fortress Rum be taught such important history lessons? Not by Authentic Seacoast — that’s not their responsibility. And it would be weird if they tried.

What about the responsibility of a national historic site? Will visitors who consume period-style rum during their lantern and ghost tours be introduced to the sordid side of their beverage? Could Parks Canada apply the lessons it has learned from animating the life of Marie Marguerite Rose — a slave who lived at the Fortress from 1736 to 1757 — to this new commercial venture? Should it?

It’s exciting to see the visitor experience at Fortress Louisbourg change. And the launch event for Louisbourg Rum looked wonderful. But let’s hope that the site’s founding educational mission is not lost when visitors gather to enjoy a dram of 18th-century rum.

For the original report go to http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1271756-don%E2%80%99t-forget-louisbourg-rum%E2%80%99s-history-of-slavery

Posted by: lisaparavisini | February 27, 2015

Erica James to speak at the St Louis Art Museum

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Art historian Erica Moiah James will discuss the art of the Caribbean at an upcoming, free lecture at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

James’s lecture is drawn from preliminary research for a new book entitled Historicizing the Global in Caribbean Art and Visual Culture. The book offers a new approach to the concepts of globalization and global culture in the Americas through a series of works created over a 500-year span on the island of Hispaniola.

The lecture – titled Object, Image and the Living Archive: Historicizing the Global in Caribbean Art – begins at 7:00 pm on March 26 in the Art Museum’s Farrell Auditorium. The lecture is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are in-person at the Museum’s Information Centers or through MetroTix, which charges a service fee of $3 per ticket.

James is an assistant professor of art history and African-American studies at Yale University. Before arriving at Yale, she was director and chief curator of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, as well as a post-doctoral teaching fellow at Washington University.

Her scholarly research focuses on epistemology; non-linear approaches to art history; the nexus of representations of race, violence, and modernity; methods of writing the art histories of historically marginalized traditions in relation to modern art and globalism; and institution-building in post-colonial societies.

James has curated more than a dozen exhibitions and has published more than 30 essays and exhibition catalogues. In 2012, she also completed a four-year book project focused on one of the largest private collections in the Caribbean titled Love and Responsibility: The Dawn Davies Collection. James also currently is co-editing a special issue of the biannual journal MaComère on the art of women artists from the global Caribbean.

Image: Tavares Strachan’s I Belong Here

Posted by: ivetteromero | February 27, 2015

Tours to highlight Miami’s historically black communities

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Miami Herald focuses on how Miami’s historically black and multicultural neighborhoods have continued to develop and tell their histories, especially with the opening this week of the Historic Overtown Visitor Center. It also mentions a variety of other interesting sites to visit including the Purvis Young exhibit [see image above], Coconut Grove, Brownsville, Lemon City, the Little Haiti Cultural Center, and Liberty City, among others:

On Saturday, people who booked early will be able to tour the neighborhoods during open-top bus tours stopping in Overtown, Coconut Grove, Brownsville, Lemon City, Little Haiti and Liberty City. But if you didn’t book early, you’re out of luck — both tours were sold out by Thursday. Timothy Barber, executive director of the Black Archives, will lead the tours, talking about the historic landmarks and how local neighborhoods were affected by the African diaspora.

[. . .] The tours will stop at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, which showcases the Afro-Caribbean culture through activities and the arts; the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, a former base for “colored patrol officers” that documents the history of black officers; and the Kroma Gallery in Coconut Grove, an art gallery that features perspectives that came out of the African diaspora.

[. . .] But even if you didn’t get a spot on one of the tours, there will be plenty to do. The art exhibit, “A Man Among the People: A Purvis Young Homecoming Exhibition,” will be on display Saturday at the Lyric Theater, 819 NW Second Ave. Built in 1913 and recently restored, the Lyric is the oldest theater in Miami and hosted such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday, among others.

The Purvis Young exhibit runs through June. Young, who died in 2010, was known for his colorful paintings and murals, which he often painted on wood, on doors and other objects he found in and around his Overtown home.

The Lyric Theater will show historic movies from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, including WLRN’s All Shook Up, a one-hour documentary that details the rich history of the Miami music scene.

For full article, see http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article11274170.html

Posted by: ivetteromero | February 27, 2015

U.S. Biologists Keen to Explore, Help Protect Cuba’s Wild Places

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NPR’s Christopher Joyce focuses on how Cuba could see a new wave of tourism—“with visitors treated to music and scenery that has been closed to most U.S. residents for more than half a century” —and the possible negative side effects of more encroachment into the island’s rich flora and fauna. Joyce says:

But beyond the beaches and cabarets, there’s a spectacular world of wildlife, with hundreds of plants and animals that live nowhere else. Cuba is also a vital stopover for birds migrating from North America, and much of the wild area is pristine because the government hasn’t had the money to develop it. U.S. biologists are eager to explore this “green” Cuba … and help protect it.

On the streets of Cuba, one of the things that you’ll hear soon enough is the country’s unique music; the syncopated rhythm of the changui musical form, for example. Go out into the countryside, though, to hear a different kind of music — the call of a yellow-brown woodpecker called Fernandina’s Flicker [see photo above].

The bird is loud and persistent and you won’t hear it anywhere else but Cuba. “It’s a native — an endemic of the savannahs of Cuba, where it’s rapidly disappearing,” says Eduardo Inigo-Elias, an ornithologist with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York. Inigo-Elias says Cuba has about 750 species of birds — a fourth of them found nowhere else on Earth.

[. . .] But the native birds are only half the story — many North American birds visit the island every year, from backyard warblers to big raptors like the osprey. And these birds need Cuba to survive, says Cornell Lab ornithologist Greg Budney. “There are literally millions of birds, migratory birds, that are making use of Cuba as a stopping point as they cross the Caribbean,” he says. The birds rest and regroup there, and they eat — that’s why biologists want to know more about the state of Cuba’s environment.

[. . .] “We have a gap in Cuba,” says Inigo-Elias. “We have a gap in the Caribbean that is huge, and for us it is so important for scientists to know what these birds are. What are the survival rates? What are the threats that are occurring there?”

It has been hard to find out. Inigo-Elias and Budney are among the few U.S. biologists to visit Cuba, and once they get there it’s tough to do field work. Though Cuban scientists have welcomed visiting researchers, Inigo-Elias explains, “They don’t have money to buy gas, to be able to move. Or they don’t have the trucks to go to the field.”

[. . .] Also, years of economic sanctions by the U.S. slowed development that otherwise might have mowed down forests and mangroves. The result: a biological treasure trove. “There are peaks that are more than 6,000 feet high, plunging deeply into the sea that goes 20,000 feet deep,” Rader says. “There are cloud forests that house an incredible array of lizards, painted snails and birds.”

Scientists who know Cuba say the government does have strong environmental laws. It has already protected lots of forests and coastal zones. But newly opened doors to the U.S. could also mean more pressure to create wealth — golf courses, hotels, highways. And the lush greenhouse that is Cuba’s wilderness hangs in the balance.

For full article and program, go to http://www.npr.org/2015/02/27/387891090/u-s-biologists-keen-to-explore-help-protect-cubas-wild-places

frontera

Stephanie Stoddard (The Culture Trip) reviews Puerto Rican artist Franco Frontera and credits “Santurce es Ley” for bringing attention to new artists on the island and in the diaspora. She writes about Frontera’s latest work, especially his interactive art. Here are excerpts:

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Contemporary Puerto Rican art has been flourishing and expanding with exciting speed, in part thanks to the highly anticipated Santurce es Ley, an arts festival held in el pueblo of Santurce once a year. One of the most talented and most promising participating artists is Franco Frontera, a 23-year-old Puerto Rican who is currently doing his masters in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

One of his latest projects ventured towards interactive art, where the audience had a more hands-on approach with that they saw; the work culminated in a more wholesome art experience. The idea stemmed from his childhood memories of vendors pushing ice cream carts through el barrio, ringing their bells while saying ¡helados, helados! (‘Ice cream! Ice cream!). He had always between intrigued by the dynamic between vendor and ice cream buyer, their exchange, the convenience. Frontera, who had been experimenting with sound art at the moment of the idea’s conception, came to the conclusion that sound would replace ice cream.

And so, Mantecados La Sonora, which translates to Ice Cream Sounds, was born. Frontera made three sounds based on salsa music from the 1960s and 70s, each representing a flavor; the classic coconut, pineapple and passion fruit. The sounds he chose were then recorded on small voice recorders and installed within three ice cream containers that had headphones coming out of tiny hole on their lids. It was this way that he roamed the streets of Santurce where the Santurce es Ley arts festival was being held. As soon as he and his unusual ice cream cart hit the streets, the public’s curiosity was sparked. Those who dared approach had to play a game: guess the flavors by listening. [. . .]

For full review, see http://theculturetrip.com/caribbean/puerto-rico/articles/franco-frontera-a-voice-of-young-art-in-puerto-rico/

Heidi-Berger-art-in-the-Caribbean-2

“Women’s Work 2: The ‘I’ of Venus” opens on March 15, 2015, from 5:00 to 8:00pmat the Gallery of Caribbean Art in Speightstown, Barbados, and runs until April 9. According to the Bajan Reporter, the exhibition was inspired by the success of ‘Behold! Women’s Work’ in 2013. Here is more information, with a link to the original article below:

12 women artists bring their personal, widely different styles, media and temperaments to the interpretations of ‘The “I” of Venus’, some are literal, while others vary in their intensity and scope of abstraction.

They range from Darla Trotman‘s literal, photorealistic interpretations, through Heidi Berger‘s gently lyrical portrayals of Barbadian women [see image above] and the softly romantic portraits of Tracey Williams, to Rosemary Parkinson’s sharp wit, expressed in stark, cartoonish black,-white and red drawings and Lilian Sten’s, unapologetically stormy , abstract renditions of the female principle.

Alison Chapman-Andrews shows new variations of her well established oeuvre, but also joins Corrie Scott and Martina Pilé with round-bellied mixed media portrayals of the Goddess in her many glorious and voluptuous forms.

Joyce Daniel celebrates the birthing theme with an, almost imperceptible, nod to Botticelli and Ann Rudder presents her ancestral narratives in colourful, multi- layered assemblages.

Heather-Dawn Scott steps away from her ‘nostalgic Caribbeana’ paintings to confront the viewer with edgy and visually exciting mixed media works, while the trade-mark natural, and effortless, elegance of Ichia Tiyi‘s jewellery combines the spiritual and earthy qualities of universal womanhood.

The exhibition will be formally opened by Leader Of The Opposition, Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., whose dynamic stint as Minister of Culture saw an exponential development in the areas of art and culture. [. . .]

For original report, see www.bajanreporter.com/2015/02/womens-work-2-the-i-of-venus-opening-reception-sunday-15th-march-5pm-8pm-at-the-gallery-of-caribbean-art

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