A Closer Look at Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Charlotte Duffield offers a look at Jean-Michel Basquiat, who, as the talented son of a Haitian-American father and a Puerto Rican mother and raised in Brooklyn, took New York City by storm. [For more on the artist, see previous posts Art Exhibition: Basquiat, Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, Jean-Michel Basquiat Retrospective in Paris, and Jean-Michel Basquiat and “The Last Hollywood Africans”.]

The artist Jean Michel Basquiat is not conventionally known, yet his work is instantly recognisable for its graffiti-style, bold lines and graphic figures, which convey a lively spirit and raw emotion. Basquiat was an intelligent and gifted child who fled his home in Brooklyn at the age of fifteen to dwell in the New York underground jazz scene. He forged a life as a street poet who emblazoned the streets of downtown Manhattan with intricate aphorisms under the copyrighted name SAMO, before he began painting…

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30th MOJA Arts Festival: A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts

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2013 marks Charleston’s 30th annual MOJA Arts Festival: A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. The upcoming festival is scheduled for Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, October 6, 2013.

Description: Selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events for many different years, the 2013 MOJA Arts Festival promises an exciting line-up of events with a rich variety of traditional favorites. Nearly half of MOJA’s events are admission-free and the remainder are offered at very modest ticket prices, ranging from $5 – $35.

The MOJA Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary festival produced and directed by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the MOJA Planning Committee, a community arts and cultural group and the MOJA Advisory Board, a group of civic leaders who assist with fundraising and advocacy. MOJA, a Swahili word meaning “One,” is the appropriate name for…

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Call for Submissions: Islands in the Mainstream—Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Caribbean Rhetoric

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The Caribbean Commons (Kelly Baker Josephs) recently posted a call for chapters for an anthology project on Caribbean rhetoric currently titled: Islands in the Mainstream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Caribbean Rhetoric. The project editor is Kevin Browne, author of Tropic Tendencies: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean. The deadlines are November 1, 2013 for proposals and August 31, 2014 for full papers.

Call for Papers: Proposals are sought from scholars, teachers, practitioners, and researchers in rhetoric, communication, literature, Caribbean studies, indigenous studies, diaspora studies, cultural studies, gender studies, and the visual and performing arts for contributions that explore aspects of Caribbean rhetorical expression from an interdisciplinary perspective. In particular, original essays are sought that will contribute to and fortify emerging work in the study of Caribbean rhetoric by envisioning the scope and dimension of what such work might entail. Such essays will engage, challenge, and move beyond the traditional…

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Haiti Through Dialogue and Dance

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Promoting a culture to an audience of both natives and foreigners simultaneously is a tricky challenge. Cambridge READS, however, seemed to stumble upon a solution: an interaction of two arts, in this case lively dancing paired with a talk by a best-selling author, Sue Wang reports for The Harvard Crimson.

The writer is Edwidge Danticat, whose latest book, “Claire of the Sea Light,” gives readers a poignant glimpse into the world of a young Haitian girl who disappears on her seventh birthday. Danticat’s reading followed an energetic performance of a trio of Haitian dances by the Jean Appolon Expressions dance company. Combining dance, music, and literature, the presentation on Haitian culture, hosted by Cambridge READS in Sanders Theatre on Wednesday night, drew a diverse crowd, from local Cambridge residents and Harvard students to an MIT linguistics professor and University President Drew G. Faust.

Both Danticat and Appolon immigrated from…

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Women’s Health: Are Pregnant Women’s Rights at Risk?



By Helen Coster


If an expectant mother survives a suicide attempt but her fetus doesn’t, is it murder? That question is at the center of a controversial court case that could impact women nationwide.

BEI BEI SHUAI was 33 weeks pregnant in December 2010 when she learned that her boyfriend, Zhiliang Guan, had no interest in marrying her — and planned to return to his wife and two kids. Distraught, the then-34-year-old Chinese immigrant, who worked with Guan at a restaurant in Indianapolis, wrote a letter telling him that she was killing herself and taking the baby with her. She then swallowed rat poison, lay down in her apartment, and waited to die.

But Shuai’s dose wasn’t lethal enough to kill her, and hours later she drove to the home of a friend, who took her to the hospital. Doctors filled Shuai’s stomach with charcoal and vitamin K to…

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Explore Bermuda the way Lennon did

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Bermuda is about to get a huge boost in the iTunes store. John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes will launch as an app on November 5. The app follows Lennon’s trip to Bermuda and the music he recorded for his Double Fantasy album, Don Burgess reports for Bermuda’s Sun.

Lennon’s legion of fans will be able to listen to demos of Woman, (Just Like) Starting Over, Nobody Told Me, I’m Losing You and Dear Yoko among others.

There will be a few interactive elements as well such as sailing to Bermuda from the US and visiting a disco and other places he visited in Bermuda.

All the revenue from the sale of the app (price not available yet) will go towards WhyHunger’s Imagine There’s No Hunger campaign. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s wife, said in a press release: “I think the album app captures the sense of discovery and the artistic dialogue…

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Discovering Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

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This article by Kerry La appeared in The Costa Rican Times.

Costa Rica Travel News – Costa Rica is bordered by two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Pacific side has large resorts and draws more tourists, but the Caribbean is also appealing in it’s own way. Although Costa Rica is part of Central America’s mainland, it has a Caribbean island feel to it on this side. The sand is white and the water see-through. The lifestyle and culture are more laid back. If you want to experience this part of Costa Rica, there are several towns to pay a visit to.

Tortuguero is the land of turtles in the northeast corner of Costa Rica. Tortuguero National Park reaches the Nicaraguan border and is only accessible by boat or plane. The boat ride is quick and inexpensive, making this park the third most visited in the country…

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