Tonton Macoutes, Pink Army, and Mario Andrésol: WikiLeaks Shines Light on U.S. Role in Haiti

This years been a rough one as far as politics are concerned. Its only just begun.

Repeating Islands

According to Kim Ives, President Michel Martelly is trying to fire the Director General of the Haitian National Police (HNP) Mario Andrésol, but the police chief is refusing to step down. This scenario comes after the president divested Prime Minister Garry Conille of power in February. “The showdown for control of Haiti’s only official armed force, and the crux of state power,” he writes, “is part of a larger, complex class struggle between three sectors: Washington, Martelly’s neo-Duvalierists, and the Haitian masses.” See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Andrésol is a key pawn of Washington on Haiti’s political chessboard, as was Conille (see “Class Analysis of a Crisis: What Lies Behind PM Conille’s Resignation?” in Haïti Liberté, Vol. 5, No. 33, 2/29/2012). Since becoming Haiti’s police chief in 2005, he has been viewed by Washington as “trustworthy,” according to numerous secret U.S. State…

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Nothing to Lose? The art of Rotimi Fani-Kayode

Check this out if you are in the nyc area. I def will be.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s first solo show in New York opened last week. The British-Nigerian artist’s last works, large photographs of the naked male body, are on display at the Walther Collection in New York City. These are images of rites which explore the artist’s familial background as keepers of the shrine in Ife, Nigeria, and the artist’s status as liminoid. Fani-Kayode’s interest in Yoruba ‘techniques of ecstasy’ is juxtaposed against a sombre thinking into sexuality, race, and religion, as discourses of the body.

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Jamaica: Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts to Host Cultural Exchange

Repeating Islands

Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, The CAG[e] Gallery, will host an International Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Jamaica in association with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) of Miami, Florida. The accompanying exhibition “Living Sculpture II” will showcase work from the visiting artists as well as feature Nicole Wynter, Jamaican ceramic artist, and is scheduled to open at The CAG[e] Gallery, Edna Manley College, Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:00pm. There will also be free all-day workshops on Saturday, March 31 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Supported in part by Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the five-day event beginning March 29 will feature artists from diverse backgrounds, working in various media and exploring the concept of ‘cultural Diaspora’, intellectually and creatively.

On her second visit to Jamaica, DVCAI founder, curator, and director Rosie Gordon-Wallace hopes to build lasting connections with the island’s vibrant art community…

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The Invisible Christians of #Kony2012

On point.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

In the last few days every journalist (or outraged blogger) covering #Kony2012 has been so busy reporting on what the bloggers have been saying and putting together salad after salad of African (and therefore authentic, true etc) opinion, that they have utterly failed to actually do any journalism. That’s right: reporting. Finding out what this thing is actually about. So far as I can tell there hasn’t been much of this. As a result the conversation has either taken the form of handwringing over What Is To Be Done in Northern Uganda (we all think we know more about this than six-year-old Gavin and so we can all speak with great confidence on such matters) or else gawping blankly at the colossal, though suspiciously self-pronounced, power of social media. A big part of the story that is being missed is that Invisible Children and their project are firmly rooted in…

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Shameless Self-Promotion

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

An essay I wrote for AIAC on David Goldblatt at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan (2010) is in the latest edition of SAVVY, a Journal for Critical Texts on Contemporary African Art based in Berlin. The 3rd edition of SAVVY is devoted to looking at the “The fire behind the smoke called political art”: that is, the relationship between art and politics, and whether the two are an “inseparable couple”; it’s edited by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Andrea Heister. Some great essays in there.

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Art in Cuba: Janio Núñez and His Tobacco Leaf Sculptures

So amazing!

Repeating Islands

Janio Núñez is a talented Cuban artist who has the gift of making incredible sculptures exclusively from tobacco leaves. He creates works of art both tiny and life-size that prove there are better things to do with tobacco than smoking it. Apparently he has created sculptures of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, José Martí, Winston Churchill, Jack Nicholson, Groucho Marx, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among many others, entirely with tobacco leaves.

Janio’s fascination with tobacco began as a little boy, watching his grandparents roll cigars at the factory. He started copying them and ended up becoming a tobacco leaf roller himself. He worked at the factory, but after passing evaluations, he was sent to Varadero, Cuba’s largest resort in Cuba, to roll cigars for tourists. Everything was normal until one day when something really strange happened. He began seeing his co-workers like they were made entirely of tobacco leaves. He would get…

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Kony 2012 and Invisible Children viral propaganda

Rising Continent

Until lions have their own historians, the story of the hunt will only glorify the hunter.
African proverb

After 9/11, it is often said that when George Bush decided to go after Al-Qaeda, he turned to Hollywood for help.

Apparently, his political strategists wanted to instil in the Americans’ minds a certain level of fear which would later on allow his government to take some unpopular decisions which would’ve otherwise found impossible to gain public support.

Against a similar [real or fictional] background of terrorism around Joseph Kony, it shouldn’t surprise no one that visual tools and information technology are being used by Invisible Children, an American charity working along the lines of US foreign policy, to justify the latter and help it achieve its geostrategic objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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