Showing posts from 2012

Remembering Maestro Eduardo Rivero-Walker, Former Artistic Director of Cuba's Leading Modern Dance Company

Article published in the Jamaica Gleaner
The passing of Eduardo Rivero-Walker, the adopted Jamaican dancer, legendary Afro-centric modern dance choreographer and artistic director of Cuba's leading modern dance company Compañía Teatro Dela Danza Del Caribe de Santiago, has left the dance community in shock.
Rivero-Walker's passing has also left a void among members of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) and the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble.
In fact, the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble's 19th Season of Dance - which is scheduled to run at the Little Theatre from November this weekend - will be paying tribute to Rivero-Walker's work as choreographer and teacher.
"His passing has given heightened significance to his entrusting to us his choreographic work Toromato," said Dr MoniKa Lawrence, artistic director and founder of the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble. Lawrence worked closely with Rivero-Walker - first as a dancer with the NDTC, and subsequently with …

From Calcutta to Melbourne, Dr. Michele Lobo Tackles Shifting Identities

Born in Calcutta, India, Dr. Michele Lobo migrated to Australia in the year of the Sydney Olympics, 2000, after quite a random conversation with her Brother-in- Law who lived in Australia at the time. She describes the Christmas scene, with family and friends in Eastern India: “There was lots of food, drinks, and merriment,” typical of celebrations at that time of the year for her family. Her brother-in law called from Australia and said that he was watching TV, a shocking revelation  for an Indian at Christmas Time. On further prodding, he explained, that it was because of the lack of family members nearby to celebrate with and asked “why don’t you guys move here?” The rest, as we say, is history!
Dr. Lobo is a 2012 recipient of the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (Decra), and an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Lobo describes Calcutta as very busy, colourful, crowded with…

'Dia de los Muertos' - The Embassy of Mexico in Jamaica Celebrates the Day of the Dead

As practised by the indigenous communities of Mexico, el Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) commemorated the transitory return to Earth of deceasedrelatives and loves ones.

The festivals take place eachyear at the end of October to the beginning of November. This period also marks the completion of the annual cycle of cultuvation of maize, the country's predominant food crop. Families facilitate the return of the souls to Earth by laying flower petals, candles and offerings along the path leading from the cemetry to their homes. The deceased's favourite dishes are prepared and placed around the home shrine and the tomb alongside flowers and typical handicrafts such as paper cutouts. Great care is taken with all aspects of the preparations for it is believed that the dead are capable of bringing prosperity or misfortune upon their families depending on how satisfactorily the rituals are executed.

The Day of the Dead celebrations holds great significance in the life of M…

Deadline Approaching!! 2012 Intercultural Innovation Award

Sustainable Cultural Diversity: 2012 Intercultural Innovation Award Launched
Now accepting applications. Over 400 participants in 2011.

NEW YORK/MUNICH —The BMW Group and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) are inviting organizations to apply for the Intercultural Innovation Award. Grassroots initiatives that are promoting intercultural understanding and cooperation in new and sustainable ways shall be recognized.

The Intercultural Innovation Award is a partnership between the BMW Group and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), a special project of the UN Secretary-General.

Both BMW Group and the UNAOC favor projects that are sustainable, make a long lasting impact and have the potential to benefit the widest possible audience. An international jury of scholars and experts from different regions of the world will assess this year’s applications to ensure that winning projects are innovative and impactful. Five top winners will be announced at an awards ceremony that will take …

Take a Stroll Along Gungo Walk

If you're in Jamaica next weekend, the 1st September 2012, be sure to check out the Gungo Walk Festival. It'll showcase two stages with performances from Acmatic, Roslyn, SEZi, Black as Cole, Stone Dub, Suzanne Couch, Charmaine Limonius, Sky Grass, Pentatwuch, Mystikal Revolution and One Drop Routz. They'll also have "Armchair Rebelution" with Michael Sean Harris, Tessanne Chin and Di Blueprint.  An official Jamaica 50 event, the Gungo Walk Festival is a new, annual music and arts festival which will be held on the 1st September 2012 in association with Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts (EMC).

You may also take a stroll down to our Magazine... check it out:

Linked to Culture... Cultural Voice explores...

Welcome to the second issue of Cultural Voice eZine

 The  Cultural  Voice eZine  team extends congratulations  to  countries worldwide celebrating 50 years of independence during  2012. Countries including those in the English-speaking Caribbean  such as Jamaica  and  Trinidad  & Tobago; the middle  East and African region such as Algeria  and Rwanda;  and Samoa, a country in the pacific.
 We are looking forward to unearthing the cultural wonders worldwide. Follow  us on Twitter  and  facebook for  updates. We  note that sports is often not included  in discussions of culture but we believe that the platform created for cultural expression should  be harnessed as we seek to create greater economic development through the creative industries.

Click here to read August's Issue

Have Printed Books Been Relegated to Ancient History?

While in London on a trek to discover the artistic creations heralded as cornerstones of the Cultural Olympiad, a celebration of all things Artistic, I stumbled into a pile of books!

It was a relatively overcast day, with  temperatures above average in the city hosting the 2012 Olympics. People paraded in greens, blues, yellows and reds, waving country flags indicating the patriotism that is especially poignant during any Olympics games. Dressed in the colours Green, Gold, and Black, I paraded along the Southbank enjoying the smells from hot dog stands and picnic areas donned with Mojitos. A guide suggested a visit to the Southbank Centre.

On entering people buzzed with excitement seemingly in 'culture paradise' with the 10s of choices for artistic stimulation. I turned a corner and in the midst of the revere there they were, these books!

A group of visitors approached the display, made funny faces, and walked with flashing hands, signalling their boredom with the concept. …


Forgotten Diaries Blogger Arevik Hayrapetyan shares w/CV her experience at the International Youth Camp Dialogue 2012

From 11-July 15, “Forgotten Diaries” was represented in the International Youth Camp Dialogue 2012, organized by Youth Department of the Council of Europe. This event gathered at one place more than 100 volunteers, youth activists and youth leaders. They all came from different national, cultural, religious backgrounds; they represented different organizations and had different interests and walks of life. But what was really common for all the participants was that each of them, without any exception, does strongly believe in the importance of intercultural dialogue for the better world we want to create.
From the very start of our Camp what the essence of  real Intercultural Dialogue was present. The presence of so many cultures and nationalities, people with different ways of thinking was not at all a reason for any kind of clashes or disputes. On the contrary it wa…

Have you been to the ATM Cave in Belize! Kevin Callopy has!

1) In your travels where is the most special destination you've been to and why? The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave in Belize: It is a cave two (2) km under ground full of several thousand year old intact Mayan artifacts and the entrance is almost mystical 2) What is your opinion of world peace? "Politics and oil will prevent us from ever achieving world piece, governments are too greedy to cooperate" 3) What is your favourite drink?
" A 2006 chateauneuf du pape"  4) If there was anything you could change about the world what would it be and why? "Changing the world is a bold statement, why push for fantasy items we cannot achieve, rather lets focus on the things we have the ability to impact"

Congratulations Turkey! New UNESCO Heritage Site 'Çatalhöyük'

ÇATALHÖYÜK FEATURED ON UNESCO’S WORLD HERITAGE LIST As the World Heritage List celebrates its 40th birthday this year, Turkey joins the party adding its eleventh location to the list; Çatalhöyük.

Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic site in Konya, in Southern Turkey. Its history goes back to 7400 BC, and it is the largest and is said to be the best-preserved Neolithic site to be discovered hitherto. The site was first excavated in 1958. It is composed entirely of residential buildings and held an estimated population of 10.000.

In the UNESCO Resolution, accepted by its 21 experts from various countries, it is expressed that Çatalhöyük fulfilled the basic requirements set by the Treaty of World Heritage, it preserved its authenticity and entirety and had a “global outstanding quality”.

The site was nominated for the list by the Turkish Ministry of Culture, and the resolution won raves in Turkey from many parts of society. On the other hand, UNESCO experts declared that …

Speaking Beyond Stereotypes!

Derefe Chevannes

How many times you heard folks referring to Africa, not as a continent but a country? It’s, “are you African?” rather than “are you from Kenya? Or, Uganda? Or, the Congo, even?”

Or, how many images do we see daily with starving kids with big bellies lying in the dirt waiting to die? Or, how many times do we see lions, giraffes or hippos being the image of the African animal? Also, let’s talk honestly about images of corrupt politicians and bankrupted, poor nations that seem to represent all countries on the continent. How many times have we heard those narratives? And, it’s not that they are untrue, but that they are NOT representative of Africa’s vast diversity.
This is the problem winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, Binyavanga Wainaina is having.The 41 year old Kenyan journalist and author has been in the news of late, with his published piece entitled, How to Write About Africa. Wainaina speaks to this issue when he says, “In your text, treat…

Anush Hayrapetyan, Embracing History to Create Cultural Harmony...A hero for youth around the world!

Here are a few things you may not have known about Anush Hayrapetan, Manager of a project of youth action for change promoting intercultural dialogue and one of Cultural Voice's partners.

Nationality: Armenian
Anush has won the following awards:
Hero of Millennium 2011, 2nd World Summit for Youth VolunteeringEUNIC 2010 European youth competition winner,category “Democracy and Politeia”World Youth Summit Award 2010, category “Pursue truth” (Forgotten Diaries project related)Intercultural Innovation award 2010, Marketplace of Ideas of the UNAOC 3rd forum, (Forgotten Diaries project related)World Aware Education Award 2009, North-South Centre of Council of Europe (Forgotten Diaries project related)
Favourite City: "My favorite city is Riga, the capital of Latvia. I lived there for almost a year and love it for its unusual charm, warm people and relaxing atmosphere."

 If Anush could choose to be any other nationality she would be: "I am proud to be …

Should Kurdish be an elective course in Turkey?

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced Kurdish indeed will be taught as an elective course, putting an end to all the rumors about the issue 2 days ago in his party’s group assembly in the Parliament.

Kurdish had been taught in universities since 2009, however with this step there is a chance to learn it at a younger age in school. In the assembly, RTE said “For decades, Turkey has witnessed times where minorities dominated majorities with its non-democratic decisions and their suppressive implementation. Those who have been ostracized for years are becoming equal citizens and this should not be misinterpreted. What we are witnessing in Turkey right now is a process of normalization and normalization only.” He added that Kurdish will be taught on condition that a certain number is reached.

Kurds make up around a fifth of Turkey’s population. Some see this move as a privilege given to a minority, some as a natural right, some as a reaction too little too late. I had menti…

Caribbean Americans to be honoured in South Florida

MIAMI - In the first event of its kind, ICABA Media Holdings, LLC, (ICABA) will celebrate some of South Florida's most accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs with heritage spanning 14 different Caribbean nations. One hundred corporate executives, educators, entrepreneurs, entertainers and community leaders will be honored at the ICABA Salutes South Florida's 100 Most Accomplished Caribbean Americans program, Friday, June 29, 2012, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts: 201 Southwest 5th Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale.

The black-tie event will begin in the Amaturo Theater at 7:30 p.m. with the recognition program and be followed by a reception and traditional Caribbean fete. The signature ICABA coffee table book showcasing their diverse accomplishments will be unveiled at the event and include the honorees' bios, features and advertorials from a noted list of corporate sponsors.

"As our nation's gateway to the Caribbean, South Florida has long-been a cultiv…

Pictures From Paradise: A new book featuring Caribbean emerging photographers

The cosy bookstore Bookophilia, located in Kingston, Jamaica provided the ideal location for the launch of the book 'Pictures From Paradise' on Saturday, June 9, 2012. The book features works of photographers from around the Caribbean and introduces inspiring emerging talent. The evening consisted of great discussion, the signing of books and mingling.

'Pictures From Paradise' captures everyday Caribbean life. Published by Robert & Christopher Publishers, a publishing house in Trinidad & Tobago, the art book is edited by Melaine Archerand Mariel Brown and features a critical essay by O’Neil Lawrence, assistant curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica, 230 images from 18 artists. The book artists are: Gerard Gaskin, Abigail Hadeed, Alex Smailes, Rodell Warner, EwanAtkinson, Marvin Bartley, Terry Boddie, Holly Bynoe, James Cooper, Renee Cox, Gerard Hanson, Nadia Huggins, Marlon James, Roshini Kempadoo, O’Neil Lawrence, Ebony Patterson, Radcliffe Roye and Stace…

Signs of the Times - El Général - Cultural Influencer

We're going to be exposing you to what's happening with some of your fav Cultural Icons from around the Globe... 50 Icons, in celebration of Jamaica's 50th year since independence... but don't worry the focus is still Global :)

CULTURAL ICON # 50: 'El Général'

He is a Tunisian born rapper who is not afriad to speak out. Now with a permanent place in history... we're anxious to see where this goes.

'When I became a rapper, I wasn't looking for love. I was looking to rap for the good of the people.'

He took to facebook and the 22 year old Hamada Ben Amor performed the tune “President, Your People Are Dying,”. In the clip originally in Arabic, the rapper speaks firmly and directly to now-former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali about the unemployment and hunger ravaging the country while Ben Ali’s family lived in excess. This was a brave step for the young rapper, and became fundamental to many of the movements that evolved last year. Throughou…

UNESCO celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 World Heritage Convention: Caribbean Training Course Launched

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention launched the Caribbean Training Course in the Preparation of Nomination Dossiers for World Heritage. The Training Course which is being held from the 5th -15th June in Kingston, Jamaica serves to build the capacity of cultural agents from across the Caribbean in the preservation of Cultural Heritage.
The morning started with a welcome by Dr. Kwame Boafo, Director and UNESCO Representative, UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, followed by an address by Mr. Ron Van Oers, Programme Specialist, Special Projects Unit, UNESCO World Heritage Centre. His Excellency Ambassador Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize gave background to the long history of the Japanese with UNESCO, stating that UNESCO was one of the first international organisations that Japan joined after World War II and that being a member of UNE…

Dance Theatre Harlem Hits the Stage in Kingston, Jamaica

The effortless transitions, the visually stimulating scenes and the strength of well-toned bodies were poignant features of Dance Theatre Harlem’s performance on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 12:00pm. The show, presented by The Embassy of the United States of America, had the theme “Celebrating the ties that bind 50 years of friendship”.  That message was clear onstage and off. Fate smiled and landed me in a seat just beside the Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Virginia Johnson, and Founding Member of Dance Theatre Harlem, Jamaican Patsy Ricketts. Patsy Ricketts also danced on Jamaica’s Stage as a Principal Dancer of the National Dance Theatre Company for many years.

When Johnson sat beside Ricketts it was like a reunion of sisters, that sense of shared history was undeniable.  They laughed through hellos and spoke admiringly of their first interactions with Arthur Mitchell the Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of DTH.  It was schoolgirl giggles as Rickets asked Joh…