Maandelijks archief: september 2013

A Jump in the Sea: Sofia Maldonado Writes about Ateliers ’89

Puerto Rican artist Sofia Maldonado writes about her experience during Caribbean Linked II, a residency programme at Ateliers ’89, Aruba. Maldonado cites the importance of projects like this in transcending boundaries — geographical, political, cultural and language limitations — and instead revealing the commonalities of the region. The relationships and dialogue that emerged out of the diverse work each artist produced for the final exhibition was testimony to the fact that in the Caribbean “there is far more that unites, than separates.”

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Aruba was home to ten Caribbean artists for two weeks from August 25 to September 6. This 19-mile long island of the Lesser Antilles happens to be one of the great tourist stops in the Dutch-Caribbean, but for these contemporary artists it became an artistic workshop. For two weeks, Aruba was transformed into a studio of endless possibilities, conceptual research, and multicultural exchange. Between long walks on the white sand of this intriguing “desert island” and sporadic swims in the pristine Caribbean Sea, ten artists from the Spanish, French, English and Dutch Antilles were able to meet face to face and share an incredible moment of creative exchange.

This cultural exchange was made possible, thanks to the three daring directors that organized Caribbean Linked II at Ateliers ’89. Annalee Davis, director of the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc., Holly Bynoe, curator and Editor-in-Chief of ARC Magazine and Elvis Lopez, director of the Ateliers ’89, challenged the great geographical barrier of the Caribbean, its sea, and brought together artists from “afar”, representatives of the cultural diversity inherent to the Caribbean. Artists whose origins, languages and artistic media are very diverse were invited to converse about the importance of creating alternative spaces, establishing links between the artists of the different islands, exchanging ideas and sharing their creative process.

Economic and artistic limitations in cmany Caribbean islands often compel young contemporary artists to turn their heads towards the booming capitals in the US or Europe that have larger art budgets and art markets; leaving behind — much to their regret — the Caribbean as a possible creative arena. Caribbean Linked II at Ateliers ’89 offered a journey into the artistic complexities of a postcolonial society. All Caribbean artists have at least two things in common: their colonial past and their postcolonial present. Aruba provided the perfect setting for a natural and spontaneous dialogue between the artists who found themselves “at home in the Caribbean”. The trips to the arid landscapes, the interactions with the Aruban people provided the opportunity to discuss a shared history and culture. It was a voyage of cultural, historic and political awareness. The artists were given the space to puzzle out their own experiences, experiment and create. Some collaborated in a physical way, others on a philosophical level.

Ateliers ’89 is not alone in this endeavor. Important creative networks have been on the rise in the Caribbean. A growing need for global and intra-island connections has encouraged the creation of spaces such as: The Fresh Milk Art Platform in Barbados, NLS (New Local Space) in Jamaica, Ateliers ’89 in Aruba, Instituto Buena Bista in Curacao, Alice Yard in Trinidad, Beta Local in Puerto Rico and many others. These programs have inspired contemporary art practices in their own countries and have projected them outside of their natural boundary, the sea. Although the Caribbean islands are pretty close together, the natural barrier hampers cultural exchange and communication. There are also other obstacles, besides the sea, that impede the flow of ideas between islands, most of which have their origins in the colonial period. Whatever political discrepancies, cultural and language differences exist are the remnants of colonial times. Creative spaces, like Ateliers ’89, hope to break through these complexities and obstacles in order to bring together artists, artistic manifestations and people. Experiences like Caribbean Linked II bring forth the pivotal truth: there is far more that unites, than separates.

Elvis Lopez, director of Ateliers ’89, recognizes the communication barriers within the diverse islands of the region. He has been able to provide a crucial exchange by inviting the selected artists to CARIBBEAN LINKED II: Omar Kuwas (Curaçao), Veronica Dorset (The Bahamas), Mark King (Barbados), Shirley Rufin (Martinique), Sofia Maldonado (Puerto Rico/US), Dhiradj Ramsamoedj (Suriname), Rodell Warner (Trinidad and Tobago), Robin de Vogel, Kevin Schuit and Germille Geerman (Aruba). A group exhibition concluded the two week long residency. ARC Magazine and Fresh Milk will publish each artist’s written contribution and recollection about his/her experience on their online platforms.

Voor het origineel bericht: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sofia-maldonado/a-jump-in-the-sea_b_3969759.html

Slavenschip Leusden. Moord aan de monding van de Marowijnerivier

De handelseditie van Slavenschip Leusden is verschenen. Dit is een voor een groot publiek toegankelijke editie van het proefschrift van Leo Balai.

titel Slavenschip Leusden
subtitel Moord aan de monding van de Marowijnerivier
auteur

Leo Balai

isbn 9789057309519
rubriek Maritiem en Koloniaal
serie
specificaties 176 pagina’s
15 x 23 cm
genaaid gebrocheerd
geïllustreerd in zwart-wit
prijs € 19,95
Op 1 januari 1738 verging voor de monding van de Marowijnerivier in Suriname het Slavenschip Leusden, eigendom van de West-Indische  Compagnie (WIC), met aan boord 700 Afrikaanse gevangenen, op het moment van de ramp bevonden zich 680 gevangenen aan boord, waarvan er slechts 16 de ramp overleefden. Het schip, gebouwd in Amsterdam in 1719,  heeft  tot aan haar ondergang in 1738 tien slaventochten uitgevoerd. In totaal werden 6564 gevangenen in Afrika ingescheept, waarvan 4925 mensen de overtocht  overleefden.
De geschiedenis van de Leusden confronteert ons met alle facetten van de trans-Atlantische slavenhandel: opstanden, ziekten en tenslotte de moord op 664 van de 700 gevangenen door de bemanning  tijdens de ondergang van het schip. Deze scheepsramp, die geldt als de grootste moordpartij tijdens de gehele periode van de slavenhandel, is tot nu toe onbesproken gebleven. De beschrijving van de geschiedenis van dit schip brengt ons dichter bij een periode waar wij liever niet aan herinnerd willen worden.

 

Buitgemaakt en teruggevonden. Nederlandse brieven en scheepspapieren in Engels archief

In november verschijnt het vijfde deel in de serie Sailing Letters Journaal. Voor liefhebber van koloniale geschiedenis is dit een must read.

titel Buitgemaakt en teruggevonden
subtitel Nederlandse brieven en scheepspapieren in Engels archief
auteur

Van der Doe, Moree & Tang (red)

isbn 9789057309182
rubriek Maritiem en Koloniaal
serie Sailing Letters Journaal
specificaties 288 pagina’s
17,3 x 24,6 cm
genaaid gebonden
rijk geïllustreerd in kleur
prijs € 24,95
Deel 5 van het Sailing Letters Journaal
Inclusief DVD met hoge resolutie opnamen van de originelen
Verschijnt november 2013Nederland en Engeland hebben nogal wat zeeslagen met elkaar uitgevochten. Over en weer werden schepen tot zinken gebracht of veroverd. Scheepsladingen werden, samen met de aanwezige post, tot ‘prijs’ verklaard. De Engelsen maakten keurige beschrijvingen van de Nederlandse buit en de bemanningen van de gekaapte schepen werden uitvoerig verhoord. De verslagen daarvan werden – samen met honderdduizenden in beslag genomen papieren – eeuwenlang bewaard, aanvankelijk in de donkere kelders en tochtige zolders van de Tower of London en later in The National Archives. Niemand keek ooit om naar deze unieke verzameling, die meer dan 38.000 zakelijke en persoonlijke brieven bevat van en aan Nederlandse zeelieden, kooplieden en hun familie. Veel van deze brieven bereikten nooit hun bestemming. Sommige zijn tot op de dag van vandaag niet eens geopend. Pas in 1980 werden deze Prize Papers door een Nederlandse onderzoeker ontdekt. Het bestaan van deze archiefschat bleef echter slechts in kleine kring bekend. De omvang van het materiaal is indrukwekkend en uniek en de brieven zelf geven een goed beeld van het alledaagse leven in de 17de en 18de eeuw.

Ieder Sailing Letters Journaal bevat transcripties van opmerkelijke brieven en documenten met afbeeldingen op de bijbehorende dvd. In dit dubbeldikke vijfde en laatste deel komt een veelheid aan verloren gewaande brieven en scheepspapieren aan bod. Zo is er een verslag van het vertrek van de Hollanders uit Nieuw-Amsterdam, een relaas van de opstand aan boord van een Zeeuws slavenschip, nauwelijks bewaard huiswerk van stuurlieden, uniek drukwerk van het Bataviaas Genootschap en een onbekend gedicht uit Suriname, de beschrijving van de vracht van het laatste porseleinschip uit China en de perikelen rondom een saluutincident op de Antillen, alles buitgemaakt en teruggevonden in een Engels archief.

Slavernij en vrijheid op Curaçao

Bij uitgeverij  Walburg Pers verschijnt in november het boek Slavernij en vrijheid op Curaçao.
titel Slavernij en vrijheid op Curaçao
subtitel De dynamiek van een achttiende-eeuws Atlantisch handelsknooppunt
auteur

Han Jordaan

isbn 9789057309236
rubriek Maritiem en Koloniaal
serie
specificaties 320 pagina’s
17,0 x 24,0 cm
genaaid gebrocheerd
geïllustreerd in zwart-wit
prijs € 39,50
Verschijnt november 2013Curaçao bleek ongeschikt voor tropische plantagelandbouw. Met de slavenhandel als motor ontwikkelde het eiland zich tot een Atlantisch handelsknooppunt. De concentratie van de bevolking in het stedelijk gebied rond de haven, waar ook de helft van de slaven woonde, weerspiegelt deze economische gerichtheid. Stad en haven boden goede mogelijkheden voor slaven om geld te verdienen en zichzelf en vooral ook hun kinderen vrij te kopen. Gedurende de achttiende eeuw groeide de bevolkingsgroep van vrijgelaten slaven en hun vrijgeboren nakomelingen snel. Omstreeks 1790 waren de aantallen vrije niet-blanken en blanken vergelijkbaar. De blanken beschouwden de vrije zwarten en kleurlingen met een mengeling van verachting, achterdocht en angst. In blanke ogen vormden zij samen met de slaven één groep. Dit kwam tot uiting in de lokale wetgeving en leidde tot misstanden bij onder meer de rechtspraak. Desondanks wisten vrije niet-blanken een stevige positie binnen de Curaçaose economie te verwerven en zij werden onmisbaar bij interne ordehandhaving en defensie. Er ontstond een spanningsveld tussen het gouvernement, de blanke bevolking en de vrije niet-blanke groep. Toen het eiland eind achttiende eeuw werd meegezogen in een regionale maalstroom van maatschappelijke onrust en geweld op de schokgolven van de Franse en Haïtiaanse revoluties werd hieraan een dimensie toegevoegd.

Walcott film makes world premiere

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The documentary about Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott, Poetry is an Island, had its world premiere at the 2013 T&T Film Festival (TTFF) on Saturday, Zahra Gordon reports for Trinidad’s Guardian

The film, which was directed by Ida Does, focuses on Walcott’s creative process and his dedication to art. Both Walcott and Does were present at the screening and participated in a question- and-answer session.

Does, in an e-mail interview, said she was happy the film was premiering at TTFF. “I think it’s great since Walcott has lived in Port-of-Spain for many years and has a history of working in the arts there.”

She also said her team was developing a film festival strategy to turn Poetry is an Island into a travelling film. Does is going to have the film subtitled in at least three languages and will be producing a DVD package with extra footage for sale.

Post-production of Poetry is an Island was completed through crowd-funding between April and March. Does said the support came from both fans of Walcott and corporate sponsors.

“On the one hand a lot of people were fans of Walcott, or simply loved the whole idea of a movie being made of our great poet, while he can still participate. On the other hand we have been sponsored by some corporate donors who want to contribute to the arts and to the legacy of Walcott. So that’s a wonderful thing. I like to think of it, as an energy that recognised our own intention, being a labour of love,” she said. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter also helped Does promote the film and gauge the response from the Caribbean. While there was support from people all over the world, Does said people in Barbados, T&T and Walcott’s home St Lucia gave the most support.

“People were waiting for this film and kept saying: I can’t wait to see this film. We ourselves couldn’t wait to see it, while we were still in the middle of the whole process of editing, the actual making of the film…It was an interesting experience.”

Poetry is an Island was shot on location in St Lucia, where Walcott lives, and in Trinidad, where he lived and worked for many years.

The film includes footage of Walcott reading his poetry and painting, interviews with his friends and family, and scenes from the places immortalised in his poetry.

Walcott is a poet, playwright and painter who has written nearly 20 books of poetry and more than 20 plays.

Voor het volledig bericht: http://guardian.co.tt/entertainment/2013-09-22/walcott-film-makes-world-premiere

Critically Acclaimed Book “Dreaming in Cuban” Banned in Arizona Public Schools

dreaming in cuban

The Arizona public schools continue their quest to rid the public schools of ‘subversive’ Latino literature.  Their latest efforts at censorship involves the critically acclaimed “Dreaming in Cuban” by Cristina Garcia, Hispanically Speaking News reports.

The book tells of the life of three generations of a single family after the 1959 Cuban revolution.  The book written in 1982 was a finalist for the National Book Award.  Cuban history and the rich culture are important facets of the novel.  According to the American Library Association, which tracks banned books, this is the first banning of this novel.

The book had been listed, as were many other pieces of Latino literature, on the state’s core-curriculum list.  Certain teachers deemed the book “sexually graphic” and inappropriate for students.  The banning originated with the complaint of one parent who noted the following passage was inappropriate for her 10th grader:

“Hugo and Felicia stripped in their room, dissolving easily into one another, and made love against the whitewashed walls. Hugo bit Felicia’s breast and left purplish bands of bruises on her upper thighs. He knelt before her in the tub and massaged black Spanish soap between her legs. He entered her repeatedly from behind.

“Felicia learned what pleased him. She tied his arms above his head with their underclothing and slapping him sharply when he asked.

“‘You’re my bitch,’” Hugo said, groaning.

“In the morning he left, promising to return in the summer.”

Voor het origineel bericht: http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com/latino-daily-news/details/critically-acclaimed-book-dreaming-in-cuba-banned-in-arizona-public-schools/27150/

Sir Hilary Beckles Appointed Chair of Caribbean Reparation Commission

hilary beckles

Noted Caribbean academic, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill, Barbados), has been appointed to chair a Caribbean Reparation Commission that will seek to advance the region’s position on the injustices suffered as a result of the slave trade. Sir Hilary was appointed at the end of the first ever three-day Regional Reparation Conference that ended here late Tuesday.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders at their meeting in Trinidad in July had agreed to the formation of a region-wide Reparations Commission to seek compensation from Europe for native genocide and enslavement of Africans during colonisation. Member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Reparation Committee, Joseph Delves, speaking on the state-owned NBC radio Wednesday, described the conference as a “huge success”. He said that the Commission would comprise the various heads of the national reparation commissions. “We have also set up and appointed some five vice chairs…so that body will be the body that would be advising the CARICOM heads. “So you have your structure going forward. We also adopted the significant terms of reference for this Caribbean wide Commission and the conference ended with the public filming of the movie called ‘War’ a movie on Walter Rodney, the great Caribbean academic from Guyana.

Voor het volledig verslag: http://m.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/latestnews/Beckles-appointed-chair-of-Caribbean-Reparation-Commission

Rain Forest Plants Race to Outrun Global Warming

plants

Justin Catanoso (for National Geographic) reports on how tropical plants are migrating due to climate change, asking “but can they move fast enough?”

From a 13,000-foot peak of the Andes Mountains in southern Peru, gazing east over the dense rain forests of the Amazon basin, all you see is undulating green—one of the most verdant places on the planet. It’s what you can’t see that matters. The plants are on the run, trying to move to higher ground, where the air is cool enough to support their existence.

“Most of these species are not going to be able to tolerate climate change,” says Ken Feeley, a tropical biologist from Florida International University in Miami, “mostly because climate change is happening so fast.” Feeley spoke as we hiked into the jungle with a small group of other scientists—through an area that contains more tree, plant, bird, and animal species than the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. It is here that an international collective of scientists, called the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group, has mapped one of the largest field grids of its kind for a wide range of climate change studies. According to a decade of research by Feeley and his colleagues, including tropical biologist Miles Silman of Wake Forest University, tropical species are frantically migrating upslope as they reproduce. But they may not be moving fast enough.

Tropical Andean tree species are shifting roughly 8 to 12 vertical feet (2.5 to 3.5 meters) a year on average—the arboreal equivalent of a dash. Yet for those trees to remain in equilibrium with their preferred temperatures, they need to migrate more than 20 vertical feet a year.

[. . .] As we hike, I notice a large, bushy schefflera with umbrella-like leaves. It looks just like the one I have in a pot on my porch back home in North Carolina. Silman says it could survive the race. Of 38 species tracked in the 2010 study, schefflera is migrating the fastest, as much as a hundred vertical feet a year. But ficus, another common houseplant native to the tropics, could be doomed. It is migrating less than five vertical feet annually.

Research models by other biologists project that more than 50 percent of tropical species could die off by 2100 or sooner if average temperatures rise by 7 degrees Fahrenheit, as climate experts predict. If the planet warms even more, which is possible, extinctions could reach 90 percent.

[Justin Catanoso is a journalist in North Carolina. His climate change coverage is supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, D.C.]

Voor het volledig verslag: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130915-climate-change-amazon-rain-forest-science/?source=mem_lpnews_20130916-rainforest

KNAW Merianprijs voor Caribisch archeologe Corinne Hofman

Corinne Hofman, Leids hoogleraar Archeologie van het Caribisch gebied, ontvangt op 21 november de KNAW Merianprijs 2013 voor vrouwen in de wetenschap. Met haar onderzoek wil ze het verhaal over de kolonisatie van de Amerika’s aanvullen vanuit het perspectief van de oorspronkelijke Indiaanse bevolking.

Meest succesvolle onderzoeksgroep

Onder Hofmans leiding is de Caribean Research Group uitgegroeid tot ’s werelds grootste en meest succesvolle onderzoeksgroep op dit terrein. Sinds september 2013 is Hofman tevens decaan van de Leidse Faculteit der Archeologie.

Tweejaarlijkse prijs

De KNAW-Merianpijs, mogelijk gemaakt door SNS REAAL Fonds, wordt vanaf 2009 eens per twee jaar uitgereikt aan een excellente, vrouwelijke wetenschapper die anderen kan inspireren tot de keuze voor een wetenschappelijke loopbaan. Toekenning vindt afwisselend plaats aan een vrouwelijke onderzoeker in de alfa- of gammawetenschappen (2013) of de bètawetenschappen.

Inspirerend rolmodel

De wijze waarop Hofman haar eigen vakgebied heeft opgebouwd en internationaal prominent op de kaart heeft gezet is een indrukwekkende prestatie’, zo schrijft de jury in haar rapport. ‘Haar gezaghebbende en innovatieve wetenschappelijke werk maakt haar tot een inspirerend rolmodel. Daarnaast zet zij talentvolle vrouwen actief aan om wetenschappelijke posities te verwerven.’

Over de laureate

Met haar onderzoek toont Hofman aan dat het Caribisch gebied al duizenden jaren voor de komst van Columbus een eigen geschiedenis kende. Een geschiedenis die zich bij gebrek aan geschreven bronnen uitsluitend laat reconstrueren aan de hand van archeologische vondsten. Hofman startte in de jaren 80 met opgravingen op Saba, maar verrichte sindsdien veldwerk in vrijwel het hele Caribische gebied omdat er tussen de verschillende eilanden en delen van het vasteland een netwerk bestond waarin mensen zich verplaatsten en ideeën en goederen werden uitgewisseld. Zij werkt samen met onderzoeksgroepen uit verschillende disciplines voor isotopen- en DNA-analyse, netwerktheorie, geschiedenis en etnografie.

Zelfbewustzijn bevolking Caribisch gebied

Naast een subsidie uit de NWO Open Competitie ontving Hofman recent een ESF HERA-subsidie en de prestigieuze ERC Synergy Grant. Dit stelt haar in staat dit najaar samen met drie andere onderzoeksgroepen uit Nederland, Duitsland en België een groot multidisciplinair onderzoek te starten naar de eerste culturele ontmoetingen tussen de westerse kolonisatoren en de Nieuwe Wereld, vanuit het perspectief van de oorspronkelijke Indiaanse bevolking. Met haar onderzoek wil Hofman bijdragen aan het historisch besef en het zelfbewustzijn van de huidige bevolking van het Caribisch gebied. Daarom nodigt ze regelmatig schoolklassen uit bij de opgravingssites.

 

De KNAW Merianprijs bestaat uit een geldbedrag van 50.000 euro en een speciaal ontworpen sieraad. Corinne Hofman zal het volledige bedrag aanwenden om jonge, veelbelovende vrouwelijke onderzoeksters uit het Caribisch gebied in de gelegenheid te stellen te promoveren binnen haar projecten.

(19 september 2013 – KNAW)

Ga voor het origineel bericht naar: http://www.nieuws.leidenuniv.nl/nieuws-2013/knaw-merianprijs-voor-caribisch-archeologe-corinne-hofman.html

Dominican hotelier announces aviation venture

Dominicans and visitors can expect to benefit from a reliable and comfortable mode of air transportation when Hummingbird Airlines come on stream later this year, Dominica Vibes. The airline is the project of Sam Raphael, owner of the award-winning Jungle Bay Resort in Dominica. I have stayed at this excellent eco-tourist resort on several occasions, on two memorable ones with contingents of 40 Vassar students. It is indeed a wonderful place.

Owned by Dominican hotelier, Sam Raphael, the 15-seater airline will provide an on-schedule charter service flying mainly mix cargo and passengers between the US Virgin Islands and Dominica from October/November, 2013.

“In light of all the aviation challenges that we’re having in Dominica, as a hotelier, I don’t think I have any other choice but to get into aviation, this is key to our tourism development, Mr Raphael announced on Saturday, 31st August.

Dominican and Caribbean travelers have been experiencing adverse effects from challenges in aviation specifically with LIAT.

In July of this year, LIAT upgraded its 20 year old fleet of Dash 8 aircraft with 12 ATR airplanes, a venture costing the airline US$100 million. However, they have been experiencing serious difficulties which many claim is as a result of bad management and customer service relations.

“At Jungle Bay, we’ve had quite a few cancellations, people who were on the way to Dominica and had to overnight in Antigua or St. Martin for a few days and had to turn around and we’ve had to refund, even people planning to come who had deposited money, we’ve had to turn-around and refund them,” Mr Raphael said.

He noted that although a small start, Hummingbird Air’s launching will help address these travel challenges.

Mr Raphael, who has been working on this aviation project for two years, said it is has been a very expensive, technical and bureaucratic venture dealing with the various jurisdictions across the Caribbean region.

He acknowledged that it’s going to take a lot of additional investment to grow the airline, but believes that “in the next few years you will see Hummingbird Air become part of Dominica connection”.

He is hopeful that Hummingbird Air will respond to the challenge of direct access to Dominica from faraway places and removing the need for overnight stops and loss of baggage.

“Sometimes as local people we can tolerate it because we are Caribbean people and sometimes we shrug it off,” he said, but visitors do not respond in the same way.

He said the feedback that they have been receiving from visitors at Jungle Bay is that they love Dominica but can’t come back or recommend it unless there is some reliable way of getting here.

“I think this is going to be the start of a turnaround for tourism if it works out well,” Mr Raphael said.

Hummingbird Air is a US registered airline, partly because Mr Raphael operates business there as well, he said it was “a business decision” to do so.

However, he noted that it has “strong ties to Dominica, it is Dominican owned and it certainly will be “seamless, reliable” and provide “good customer service”.

The airline will also be able to transport at least a ton of produce and so they will need “some good quality produce” from farmers. These include dasheen, ginger, cinnamon and cut flowers among others.

“I think it is going to be something that can benefit quite a number of Dominicans, both in their ability to travel and their ability to move produce…So Dominicans should look out and support their Hummingbird Air,” Mr Raphael said.

Voor het origineel bericht: http://dominicavibes.dm/content/dominican-hotelier-announces-aviation-venture/