Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Gulf Caribbean Updates


On Postcolonial Identity:



"The Caribbean is not just black… and white, with long forgotten stories of its indigenous peoples. We are the mulattos born of rape, or outlawed love, as seen in Agostino Brunias’ paintings, we are the rebels who were written out of the history books like Carlota of Cuba, or Carib Warner of Dominica, or the three Queens of the Fireburn, we are the ivory white of John Stedman’s skin as he trudged through the rainforest of Suriname hunting the ebony black of our maroon forefathers, we are the red skinned lovers of liberty as described by Father Labat of the Kalinagos, and what grace and beauty we are, and how inherently we love, despite our most stormy past as shown in paintings by Victor Patricio Landaluze. The Caribbean is not one thing, one race, one story—yet it is a story of humankind, love, lust, greed, and our unending desire for freedom." More>>


Roma: An Overdue Reckoning for Castizos



"...Mexicans use the euphemism “la muchacha,” Spanish for “the girl,” for this combination of housekeeper, nanny and caregiver. It’s complicated, this relationship between domestic workers and the families that thrive because of them: A quasi-organic intimacy exists between patrons and muchachas, but we don’t truly understand how much we owe them, and how much we don’t give back. “Roma,” with its silences and steady lens, acts as a prelude to an overdue reckoning..." More>>


"A Tuba to Cuba"



"...this joyous, wide-ranging account of a New Orleans jazz band’s visit to Cuba is crammed with fascinating facts and toe-tickling tunes. Its myriad voices, humble despite their extreme musical gifts, guide a journey to forge new connections and untangle the music’s Afro-Caribbean roots. Everyone has a story to tell... A mini urban opera emerges from the percussive rhythms of street life... The movie exudes such an abundance of pleasure, talent and fellowship that we barely notice the poverty that backgrounds many of its scenes. Instead, it seems more logical to ponder why a neighborhood with its own conga organization isn’t on top of everyone’s house-hunting list..." More>>


A New Vanguard: Women in Cuban Jazz


Plenty of Cuban women have made their marks on jazz music, from the Buena Vista Social Club’s Omara Portuondo and the salsa legend Celia Cruz to the Queen of the Bolero, Olga Guillot, who coached Nat King Cole on his Spanish. But, in past generations, Cuba’s jazzistas were predominantly singers; female instrumentalists were too often confined to all-female dance bands. Now a new generation of female musicians has a different sort of footing in the jazz world. Many of have serious chops as instrumentalists... More>>


Haitian-Louisianian Vodou Flags at NOMA

These flags celebrate vodou's melding of West African, Catholic and Haitian spiritual practices. After thousands of enslaved people were brought to Haiti from West Africa in the 16th century, they were not allowed to practice their diverse religions openly and thus forced to blend their customs with the Catholic beliefs of French and Spanish slave owners. Following the path of slavery and colonialism, this spiritual amalgam has helped form religious practices in places across the globe, including New Orleans. Much like Vodou itself, these flags represent a coming together of different cultures, communities, and planes of existence. Each flag pays tribute to a different spirit of Haitian Vodou, called the “lwa,” or “invisibles” in Haitian Creole. These unseen entities stand at the spiritual and cultural crossroads: existing between the human and spirit world... More>>



Dr. Nativo Returns to his Roots


"...In 2010, Nativo returned to Guatemala, where he attended his first Mayan ceremony and discovered his nahual (Mayan animal spirit), beginning an intense spiritual journey. Two years later, Nativo took a 16-hour ride through mountains and jungle to meet with producer and Stonetree Records founder, Ivan Duran, at his studio in neighboring Belize: “His songs struck me like instant Polaroid pictures into the soul of a young and proud indigenous generation that had finally woken up in Guatemala. I remember thinking, “There’s hope! The resistance is not dead!” More>>



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1496819381/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_5?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture explores Caribbean identity through photography, criticism, and personal narrative. Taking an unapologetically subjective Caribbean point of view, the author delves into "Mas" -- a key feature of Trinidad performance -- as an emancipatory practice. Kevin Adonis Browne divulges how performers are, or wish to be perceived. More>>




The Haitian Surrealists that History Forgot: Despite the hardships Haiti has endured since its slave population rose up to established the world’s first black republic in 1804, its people have created a unique culture. Haitian novels, music, and poetry rank among the best in the modern canon, yet nowhere is Haiti’s legacy more apparent than in the voudou-inflected surrealism of its visual art tradion. More>>   See Also: PÒTOPRENS:The Transcendent Spirit of Haitian Contemporary Art 





The American South, the Gulf South, the Global South and the Caribbean all share a common history. It is a legacy we would like to think has evolved and is now in our past, but the current American president seems intent on routinely reminding us of our plantation history when humans were like livestock and children could be taken from their mothers at the whim of the rich and powerful and their laws. Here Rhiannon Giddens reminds us of a history that evolves but never completely changes.



Our Affiliate Joan Duran & MID51's Sara Martinez Explore Western Art Modalities Encountering Global South Realities at DAK’ART 2018:



See Also: Yasser Musa in Bitacora



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 by Jose de Salazar y Mendoza / Ogden Museum. "Ultimately, it was New Orleans' global, often exotic citizenry that made it such a rich milieu for portrait painters and nowhere is that more evident than in Salazar's portrait of Marianne Celeste Dragon, a Creole of French and Greek ancestry whose charismatic presence epitomized the social mutability of this city's unusually prominent mixed race community. Swathed in blue silk and pearls, she lives on as a kind of Louisiana Mona Lisa, mysterious not for her coyness, but because she appears so completely at ease with who she was, in a place and time unlike any other..." More>>

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Voodoo as Community Activism: Kristina Kay Robinson's Temple of Color and Sound



"The Temple of Color and Sound is a traveling shrine dedicated to the city of New Orleans. The Temple is in part a meditation on homelessness, life outdoors, outside of state control and what sacred space might look like in that context. Dedicated to all the ancestors, elevated spirits, and most especially Mother Marie Laveau... In New Orleans Voodoo, Marie Laveau is more than a queen, she is revered as loa. The loa are the elevated spirits. The intermediaries between God & humanity that bring us closer to the BELOVED than we could ever get on our own... Being a Black woman from the Deep South, I’ve been told who & what I wasn’t, so many times I’ve lost count. But Marie can remind us all of who we are, where we come from and what we can accomplish. That there is too much blood in this dirt to count us out. “Voodoo” means many things to many people, but for me and my lineage, it has always been about the harnessing of will coupled with respect for the laws of creation as vehicles toward creating change. I do not always understand her orders, but I always obey them. And because she walks with me, I know I am never alone. None of us are. Click the link to read the short piece I wrote on her for GoNOLA‘s series on ‘Notable NOLA Women." ~Kristina Kay Robinson: The Temple of Color and SoundCrescent City Boxing Gym, 3101 Erato St., Tuesdays 12 - 4  / Thursdays 12 - 4 & 6 - 8pm, through May 6, 2018.  More>>