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Haiti Popular Creole Artist Emeline Michel on her Way to Festival Kreol 2013 in Seychelles

Repeating Islands

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Mellow jazz, with a soulful sound, is how many have described Emeline Michel’s singing. Soon the Seychellois public and all coming from the World of Creoles will have the chance to sample what the amazing vocalist from Haiti has to offer during this year’s edition of Festival Kreol.

The well known Haitian songstress is among many other Creole artists who have confirmed their participation in the 28th edition of Festival Kreol. This an annual event held in Victoria, the Creole Capital of the World to celebrate the diversity and flamboyant and unique Creole culture. The islands of La Reunion, neighboring Mauritius and Rodrigues, as well as Martinique will also be joining Seychellois artists at this year’s Festival Kreol edition in Victoria, the Capital of the Seychelles.

Together with the other delegations from the Creole Diasporas descending upon the Seychelles in droves, the ‘Joni Mitchel of Haiti’; will also add an…

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Pig’s Foot, by Carlos Acosta

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The acclaimed dancer’s debut novel is as lively and catchy as Cuban music, Eileen Battersby writes in this review for The Irish Times.

Exuberance and a gleeful return to the characteristic devices – and multiple excesses – of magic realism sustain the richly entertaining debut novel by the Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta. Pig’s Foot tells the story of a family’s adventures set against the racing backdrop of Cuba’s history.

On realising that with the death of his grandparents – he never knew his parents – he has been left alone, the narrator feels compelled to set the facts straight. “So like I said, my name’s Oscar Mandinga – pleased to meet you – now, back to the hazy past that was my childhood.”

His birth in a place called Pig’s Foot, “in the deep south of Cuba”, is relatively unusual: “I slid down my mother’s legs into the…

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African Religions 101 | Resource List

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Thanks to recent accounts in the news about the disrespect of African spirituality – first the media’s reaction to the suicide of actor  Lee Thompson Young (and the subsequent erroneous blog written by Luvvie in rebuttal) and most recently the American Apparel Halloween window display of a makeshift Vodou scene, I’ve created a list of resources from my personal collection that can be utilized by those interested in African spirituality. This list is by no means exhaustive. At some point, I will also add personal commentary to each resource. My interest has developed over the past decade and is informed by my own experiences as a practitioner of Lukumí, my academic studies, research and by the city that raised me, New Orleans. For now, happy reading!

General Overview of African Spiritual Systems

Encyclopedia of African Religions | Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama

Of Water and The Spirit | Malidoma Some

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American Apparel, Our Culture Is Not Your Trick Nor Your Treat

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After the retailer rolls out an offensive Voudou-themed Halloween display, Shantrelle Lewis offers a lesson in the African spiritual tradition in this article for Ebony. See a link to her blog, which we highly recommend, below. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

In 2013, at a time when nearly every aspect of Black life and culture can be bought, repackaged, gentrified and re-sold to the highest bidder, it is still both shocking and appalling to see a makeshift Vodou altar adorning the window of a Manhattan American Apparel location. Recently, my friend Rosella Molina, a Yoruba initiate, saw just that: a larger than life vevé for Papa Legba, a spirit respected as the Keeper of the Crossroads and found throughout the Americas, and three mannequins dressed in a hodgepodge of apparel designed by social media icon/artist Kesh, mixed together with an assortment of pieces…

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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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