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A daring new collection of short stories from the prize-winning Caribbean writer Lawrence Scott, author of Light Falling on Bamboo.

‘Marvellous voices that grow into a very special world that Lawrence Scott has made his own. These are stories full of charm and surprise.’ Romesh Gunesekera

In these stories, Lawrence Scott explores a world of yearnings and memory, of departure and return, underpinned by the disturbing tensions created by religion, race, sexuality and crime. Sensuous and evocative, Scott’s prose has a lightness of touch and tone that exhilarates and illuminates.

In the midst of everyday lives, he finds the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Original paperback

Price: £9.99

Publication: 2 February 2015

ISBN: 9780957118782

Papillote Press

23 Rozel Road, London SW4 0EY

tel: 0207 720 5983

email info@papillotepress.co.uk www.papillotepress.co.uk

For further information, please contact the publisher: polly.pattullo@gmail.com

Posted by: ivetteromero | January 30, 2015

KAMACUKA: New Platform for Culture, Creators, and Creative Events

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Gens de la Caraïbe recently announced the birth of KAMACUKA, a platform that aims “to strengthen the network of cultural professionals and to introduce the general public to the work of these creators or organizations.” According to Gens de la Caraïbe, a demo version is online and the address will be shared on request. The demo looks exciting, with spectacular photos, artwork, and information about creatives such as musician Sonny Troupé [featured above], photographer Willy Vainqueur, dancer and choreographer Wilma Kuiperi-Jansen [below], and more.

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Gens de la Caraïbe writes: “The KAMACUKA platform is available in two languages, English and French. This is a real test, an important and unavoidable challenge to fully anchor Caribbean-Amazonian cultures in world affairs and move forward together.”

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

To visit the site and to subscribe, see https://www.kamacuka.org/

[Photo above, Sonny Troupé.]

Posted by: lisaparavisini | January 30, 2015

EFE inaugurates 75th anniversary photo exhibit in Puerto Rico

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A photo exhibit celebrating the 75th anniversary of Agencia EFE, Spain’s international news agency, opened Thursday in the Puerto Rican capital.

Puerto Rico’s secretary of state and lieutenant-governor, David Bernier, joined EFE President Jose Antonio Vera for the inauguration of the exposition of 75 images reflecting the modern history of Spain and the Americas.

Spain and Puerto Rico “maintain strong ties” thanks to a common culture that has withstood the change of sovereignty in 1898, Bernier told distinguished guests from the worlds of business, culture and academia.

The presence of EFE in Puerto Rico will contribute to the preservation of Hispanic culture, he said.

Vera, in his remarks, stressed the evolution of EFE from a small agency in the northern Spanish city of Burgos into the world’s largest Spanish-language news agency and the fourth-biggest overall, an achievement he credited to the work of the organization’s dedicated professionals.

The use of Spanish – the language of more than 500 million people around the world – is the hallmark of EFE’s identity, Vera said.

Among those present for the opening of the exhibit at San Juan’s Plaza Las Americas mall were Puerto Rican Development Secretary Alberto Baco, Senate leader Eduardo Bhatia and Ingrid Rivera, director of Compañia de Turismo de Puerto Rico, the island’s tourism agency.

Jaime Fonalledas, president of Empresas Fonalledas, which owns Plaza Las Americas, was also among the guests.

The exhibit includes images of events such as Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Muñoz Marin’s arrival in Madrid in 1955 and the tragic 1986 New Year’s Eve blaze at San Juan’s Dupont Plaza hotel.

Likewise represented are Ricky Martin, Tite Curet, Benicio del Toro and other Puerto Ricans who have become international stars, as well as sporting milestones such as Puerto Rico’s 2004 victory in basketball over the United States.

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The exhibit, “EFE: 75 Years of History,” does not ignore the political realm, offering photos of the Spanish ambassador to Cuba confronting Fidel Castro and of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 visit to Puerto Rico.

The anniversary exposition is sponsored by Spain’s Air Europa and Banco Santander.

EFE has maintained a presence on the island for decades and the agency’s San Juan bureau provides coverage in both Spanish and English of Puerto Rico and the non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

In the United States, EFE offers a national Spanish-language news service aimed at the Hispanic market, as well as a global English-language service, while the agency’s journalists provide full coverage of the U.S. scene for the agency’s clients worldwide.

With more than 3,000 professionals working in 120 countries, EFE annually generates more than 3 million items of text, photo, audio, video and multimedia.

Lavado-Vid

The Bob Marley brand launched a new project with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Tongal — the leading platform for creative content development — to create a brand new music video for Bob Marley’s classic track, “One Love”. The project celebrates the 30th anniversary of Bob’s iconic best-of album, Legend, and the spirit of togetherness that his music has inspired for the last half century, Dionne Benjamin-Smith reports for The Bahamas Weekly.

The “One Love” project offers filmmakers around the world a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new visual identity for the track, released in 1977 when music videos had not yet entered mainstream culture. The competition encourages all applicants to include themes of social connectedness and of making the world a better place, virtues that Bob professed throughout his life and musical career.

Last Saturday, Bahamian filmmaker Lavado Stubbs was announced a runner-up in the international One Love Music Video Project. Shot in The Bahamas using Bahamians throughout, Stubb’s video has so far garnered over 3.4 million views and over 97,000 Likes on Bob Marley’s Facebook page. His video is one of only two videos selected so far.

All filmmakers were required to base their music video on this treatment: “The ‘One Love’ song has 256 words. In the video, one person sings one word of the song allowing 256 different faces sing the entire song.”

Stubbs expressed, “I’m honored and grateful to have had this opportunity to create a video for Bob Marley, “One Love.” Being a filmmaker from the Caribbean, Bob Marley has always been an inspiration to me in my film-making. He, too, was once an island boy with dreams. He used his art in the form of music as a tool to unite the globe. Thank you to everyone that made this video possible.”

In 2008, Stubbs received an award at the BIFF Reel Life Documentary competition with his short-subject documentary, “Ma Boy I Speak Bahamian” which was also an official selection at BIFF, claiming local rave reviews.

His music videos are aired on national networks such as Much Music and Tempo Network, and viral networks such as Americafree.tv. As a result, he gained a nomination for best hip-hop music video at the Americafree.tv music video awards and also having one of his video deemed a “hot one” on the XXLmag.com.

Additionally, his video for Pharrell Williams’ song ‘Happy’ (Bahamas version) was selected as an official selection at the WideScreen Film & Music Video Festival at AMC Theaters in Aventura, FL in March 2015.

For the original report go to http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/entertainment/Bahamian_filmmaker_is_finalist_in_intnl_Bob_Marley_One_Love_music_video_project39744.shtml

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Your Time Is Done Now: Slavery, Resistance and Defeat: the Maroon Trials of Dominica (1813-1814)

edited by Polly Pattullo

introduction by Bernard Wiltshire

“We know far too little of the Maroons, and of their attempt to carve out a free existence for themselves in a dark and oppressive time. It’s good to have this new window onto that past in this book, and to be reminded again of the cruelty of Caribbean slavery and the bravery of those who tried to escape it.” Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains

“This is a very valuable book… the documents allow us to hear the voices

of the enslaved.” Professor Gad Heuman, editor of Abolition & Slavery

When the Maroons of Dominica challenged the British Empire some 200 years ago, they were captured and put on trial. Here, for the first time, you can read their evidence and, unusually, hear their voices — in resistance and defeat.

Your Time Is Done Now tells the story of the Maroons of Dominica through the transcripts of trials held in 1813 and 1814 at the end of the Second Maroon War. Using the evidence to explain how the Maroons waged war against slave society, the book reveals fascinating details about how they survived in the forests and of their relationship with their allies, the enslaved on the plantations. It also, again through the historical record, examines the key role of the British governor, George Ainslie, who succeeded in suppressing the Maroons, and how the Colonial Office in London reacted to his punitive conduct.

Editor Polly Pattullo is a journalist and publisher of Papillote Press, which specialises in books about Dominica and the wider Caribbean. The introduction is by Bernard Wiltshire, a Dominican lawyer and a former attorney-general.

For further information: please contact Polly Pattullo at info@papillotepress.co.uk

Publication: February 2015

ISBN: 9780957118775

Original paperback

Price: £9.99

Papillote Press

23 Rozel Road, London SW4 0EY tel: 0207 720 5983

Trafalgar, Dominica tel: 767 440 0329

email info@papillotepress.co.uk www.papillotepress.co.uk

Posted by: lisaparavisini | January 30, 2015

marie-claire ends 2014 on high note with UN performance

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Two performances at the UN Headquarters in New York on 10th December 2014, rounded off a fruitful year and set the tone for an eventful 2015 for Dominican jazz/opera singer, marie-claire.
Accompanied by pianist Mun Tzun Wong, marie-claire performed “Amazing Grace” and “Laschia Ch’io Pianga” (from Hendel’s Rinaldio) at the High-Level Pledging Luncheon to raise funds for the Permanent Memorial at the UN to honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Chair of the Permanent Memorial Committee and Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Courtney Rattray, praised marie-claire for her “exquisite and resounding performance” which played “an invaluable role” in the success of the event.
That night the Permanent Memorial Committee raised over USD $400,000 towards the completion of the Memorial scheduled for unveiling on 25th March 2015– International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The Memorial, called “The Ark of Return” was designed by M Rodney Leon, a celebrated American architect of Haitian descent.
Immediately following the pledging luncheon, marie-claire sang the Negro Spiritual “Deep River” at the launch of the Decade for People of African Descent (2014-2024).
Ambassador and Chef de Cabinet Arthur Kafeero called her performance “exceptional.”
Her contribution to both events was momentous as the Dominica-born, Bronx-bred artist was the only performing act from the Caribbean egion. Due to her excellent showing, marie-claire will return to the UN General Assembly hall on 30th June 2015 to perform at the UN 70th Anniversary Gala Concert.
“I feel truly honored to be chosen to be a part of these two distinguished events,” says marie-claire. “Especially in light of my background in philanthropy and human rights,” she added.
In 2010 marie-claire raised funds for disadvantaged Dominican youth through the Year of the Child concert which she co-founded and co-produced. She has also shared words of encouragement with female victims of sexual abuse in Dominica, Jamaica and St. Vincent. In New York she continues to mentor young women. In March 2014 marie-claire was honoured by the Williamsbbridge chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for her service to her community as part of Women’s History Month celebrations.
Apart from recognition of her charitable efforts, marie-claire’s vocal and acting talents were put to good use during the year. In June, she took part in the off-Broadway play Mothers. During the year she also had well-received performances at the Metropolitan Room and noted jazz venue Smalls Jazz Club – both in New York City. She also penned lyrics to four compositions by Pulitzer Prize-winning and Metropolitan Opera House-commissioned composer of the Great Gatsby, John Harbison.
She has already kicked off 2015 with a show at the Metropolitan Room on 20th January. She returns to the UN in June and in October her vocals will be on show in Jaipur India at the private collection presentation of “Quatre Poeme Hindo de Maurice Delage” – a four song cycle by the French pianist and composer. marie-claire will sing the cycle in French. The multi-talented entertainer is also reading for co-starring roles in two movies.
Visit http://www.marieclairemusic.com for updates on her upcoming performances. To learn more about “The Ark of Return” go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/UN-Slavery-Memorial/144326045627955

Banded Red-bellied Anole

As part of its Conferencias Caribeñas 16, the Institute of Caribbean Studies of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras (UPR-RP), invites the academic community and the general public the screening of Jürgen Hoppe’s Extinction in Progress—a documentary about Haiti—and a related lecture by Dr. S. Blair Hedges (Laura H. Carnell Professor and Director, Center for Biodiversity, Temple University): “Solving Biological Questions with Historical Maps of Caribbean Islands.”

The screening will take place on Thursday, February 5, 2015, from 9:00-11:30am and the talk will be held from 1:00 to 4:00pm at the Manuel Maldonado Denis Amphitheatre (CRA 108) of the Carmen Rivera de Alvarado Building, School of Social Sciences, UPR-RP.

Screening: Extinction in Progress (Haiti/USA 2014): Director/Director of Photography: Jürgen Hoppe. Producers: Dr. S. Blair Hedges and Jürgen Hoppe. Narrator: Hugh McClellan

As Haiti still struggles to recover from a disastrous earthquake, it faces an even greater problem, the complete degradation of its natural resources. Fresh water sources are drying up. Flood waters wash fertile soil into the ocean. Natural forests cover less than 2% of its territory. Indiscriminate logging of forests is leading to the desertification of its territory. Overpopulation, unsustainable agriculture and a growing need for lumber and cheap energy sources, mainly charcoal, are main causes for the disappearance of forests and wildlife. A considerable part of its biodiversity is endangered. A team of scientists and naturalists, led by Evo­lutionary Biology Professor Dr. Blair Hedges, take on the task to search for species with the help of the Audubon Society Haiti. They travel to the remote regions of La Gonave island and the La Hotte mountain range in order to investigate the current state of Haiti’s biodiversity, and discover almost 50 new species of amphibians and reptiles and rediscover species thought to be lost for decades. A combined effort by Haiti’s govern­ment, the Audubon Society Haiti, Dr. Blair Hedges and the Philadelphia Zoo concluded in the creation of a breeding program of Haiti’s highly endangered amphibians and a cryobanking program at the laboratory of Dr. Blair Hedges.

Lecture by Dr. S. Blair Hedges: “Solving Biological Questions with Historical Maps of Caribbean Islands”

The Caribbean islands have had a political history more complex than any other region in the New World, as revealed in maps spanning five centuries. At the time of European discovery, millions of Native Americans inhabited the islands and they had names for many geographic features. Some of those names are used today, such as Haiti and Jamaica. As islands and regions changed hands, names were introduced in different languages, some new and others as replacements for older names. The names given to islands, cities, and countries sometimes changed repeatedly. For biologists unfamiliar with this complex history, major errors can be made in determining where old but important museum specimens were collected. Timelines of Caribbean toponyms will be discussed, and how they bear on solving some biological questions.

See trailer here: 

For more on the film, see http://www.extinctioninprogress.net/extinctioninprogress/Home.html

This lecture will be broadcast LIVE online through the following website: uprrp.edu

For further information, you may call Dr. Humberto García Muñiz, Director, at (787) 764-0000, extension 4212, or write to iec@uprrp.edu

See the Institute of Caribbean Studies on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#%21/pages/Instituto-de-Estudios-del-Caribe-UPR/146169468754542?ref=sgm\

Posted by: ivetteromero | January 30, 2015

In Havana, the XIXth Mariana de Gonitch National Singing Contest

Mariana de Gonitch

The following article “Mariana de Gonitch: A Soul Shared between Russia and Cuba,” highlights the forthcoming XIX Mariana de Gonitch National Singing Contest, which takes place at the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP) in Havana, Cuba, on February 1-5, 2015. The jury— headed by Italian singer Lucía Altieri—will make the results public at the award ceremony at the ICAP on Thursday, February 5, at 4:00pm.

The artistic labor and educational development of Mariana de Gonitch in the field of lyrical music as well as her roots in the cultural life of the island, constitute a symbol of the bond between Russia and Cuba. That is how it was expressed by Mijail Kaminin, ambassador of the Russian Federation in Havana, at the presentation of the jury of the competition that bears the Russian diva’s name, which will take place at the headquarters of the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP) on February 1-5, 2015.

The ambassador meant that the competition will open the commemorative journey for the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War and the 55th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Russia, at that time part of the Soviet Union. [. . .]

The competition, which honors the memory of the great artist and educator established in Cuba since 1940, will gather 18 singers, which, according to founder and director of the competition, Hugo Oslé, will compete in a demanding program that cover diverse types of popular and folkloric song.

For original article in Spanish, see http://www.granma.cu/cultura/2015-01-23/mariana-de-gonitch-alma-compartida-entre-rusia-y-cuba

elena_of_avalor

The National Institute for Latino Policy reposted today several articles that discuss whether Princess Elena of Avalor—who will make her debut in 2016 on a special episode of Sofia the First, a Disney Junior franchise—represents Latinas or not. The Disney press release says that Princess Elena is “a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairy tale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore.” All sorts of news outlets reported that Elena was Disney’s “first Latina princess.”

Amelia Butterly (BBC Newsbeat) for example, says yes: “Say hello to Elena – she’s the latest Disney princess and the first of Latin descent.” Meanwhile, Carolina Moreno (Huffington Post) says, “not so fast” in her article “Sorry, Disney’s New Princess Elena Probably Doesn’t Count As Latina.” According to Nancy Kanter, a senior vice president at Disney Junior, “The writers have wisely chosen to write stories that include elements that will be familiar and relatable to kids from many different backgrounds including Spain and Latin America. For example, Sofia’s mom comes from a fictitious land, Galdiz, which was inspired by Spain [. . .]” Consequently, Moreno concludes that “Kanter’s statement indicates that Princess Elena would also not technically be Latina.”

Well. . . I guess I will just have to do some research and watch for traces of Latinidad or Caribbeanness in the episodes when they are aired next year. For now, let’s just highlight the fact that Aimee Carrero, who plays Elena, is an actress of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rican descent.

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Here are excerpts of Butterly’s article (with links to the full post as well as Moreno’s and several other articles below):

Disney says she’s “inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore”. Elena of Avalor – starting in 2016 – is aimed at children aged two to seven. She reflects “the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience”, says Disney’s Nancy Kanter. Aimee Carrero, who currently stars in the ABC show Young and Hungry, will play teenager Elena.

Latin America has a population of 588 million and is made up of over twenty countries. While Elena does not come from a particular country, Aimee Carrero is an American actress of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rican descent.

The Disney princess franchise was created in the late 1990s, based on characters from Disney films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Cinderella (1950). Others include Ariel from the Little Mermaid (1989) and Pocahontas (1995).

In recent years Disney has introduced more characters from non-white backgrounds. Tiana, who stars in The Princess and the Frog, became the first African-American princess in 2009. Anika Nonie Rose, who voiced the character, said at the time that the new princess would have a big impact on children. [. . .]

[Photo of “Aimee Carrero” by MingleMediaTVNetwork – Aimee Carrero. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aimee_Carrero.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Aimee_Carrero.jpg]

For full article, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/31053428

Also see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/29/disney-elena-of-avalor-latina_n_6573968.html, http://www.people.com/article/princess-elena-hispanic-latina-disney and http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/disney-launching-latin-inspired-sofia-768220

PICT0089

Fundación Casa Cortés is presently hosting two exhibitions: “Poéticaentredos,” featuring work by José Morales and Agustín Fernández, and a collective exhibition of contemporary art from Latin America and the Caribbean, “Trans/Figura.” Graphic artists and designer Néstor Otero will be offering a guided tour on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at 2:00pm. The foundation is located at 210 San Francisco Street in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

As the Fundación Casa Cortés staff informs us, Néstor Otero and his wife, artist Annex Burgos, were responsible for designing and installing the wonderful historic murals found in the foundation, as well as the art for the Cuarto de los Cuentos [Story Room] Tales found in the Cortés ChocoBar.

The tour will offer drinks and cheese plates for a suggested donation; the foundation relies on donations to complement their funding efforts to carry out all their educational and cultural activities. For group visits, please call for a reservation at (787) 523-4642.

For more information on Casa Cortés, see http://www.casacortespr.com/

For more information, you may write to noba@prtc.net

Also see http://artnewspr.blogspot.com/2015/01/un-reencuentro-con-dos-maestros-agustin.html

See more information on Néstor Otero and Annex Burgos at http://fusionarte.ning.com/profile/, http://librodeartista.ning.com/profile/, http://nestoroteropr.blogspot.com/, nestorotero@nestorotero.com and annexburgos@annexburgos.com

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