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>>

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