Cuba embraces Bob Marley

Repeating Islands

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CUBA is opening its doors to reggae king Bob Marley, Jamaica’s Observer reports.

Thirty-two Marley posters from the collection of the International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC) are to go on show in the Caribbean state as part of an exhibition and seminar titled ‘Bob Marley Time Will Tell’.

The 32 works from poster designers represent Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Poland, Egypt, Romania, South Korea, United States, Iran, Greece and others. This event is part of a broader International event that will take place at Casa De Las Americas, the 6th Edition of the International Colloquium ‘Cultural Diversity in the Caribbean’ Conference.

IRPC organiser Jamaican visual artist Michael ‘Freestylee’ Thompson has also been invited by the organising committee to design a special poster to commemorate the event, and also celebrate the life and message of the legendary reggae icon.

The IRPC and Thompson note that they are delighted to participate in this…

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Caribbean Feminist Activists Face Threats, Intimidation & Misogynist Bullying

Feminist Conversations on Caribbean Life

On Monday, April 21, 2015 an audio recording captured Guyana’s Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran calling feminist activist Sherlina Nageer “an idiot”,  “a little piece of shit”, threatening to “slap her ass…just for the fun of it”, and to have her stripped by “some of my women”.

A statement sent to the press by the Minister of Health subsequently claims that he was provoked to such misogynist violence after Sherlina Nageer interrupted a press interview. Sherlina can be heard demanding state accountability for Guyana’s high maternal mortality rate, which is the highest in the English-speaking Caribbean.

The Minister invoked the language of “provocation” to justify his act of violence.  The invocation of “provocation” is frequently used to justify and rationalise men’s fatal violence against women and has crept into state and activist responses to violence. The language of provocation, just like the denigrating language and threats the Minister directed…

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Women with or without headscarves should be accepted and respected in Egypt

Nervana

Initially published in Egypt’s Ahram

A call by Egyptian journalist Cherif Choubachy for veiled Muslim women to take off their headscarves (hijab) has stirred widespread controversy in Egypt. Choubachy has also proposed a “take off the veil” rally to be held at Cairo’s Tahrir Square. While some have welcomed Choubachy’s proposal, others vehemently oppose the idea. A senior official at Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Sunni Islamic institution rejected the call, stressing that the head-cover is a religious must for female Muslims once they reach puberty.Heated discussions spread to talk shows, and social media, with pro- and anti-veil trading accusations and counter-accusations.

The responses to Choubachy’s proposal have exposed the shallow, mediocre approach to contentious, sensitive topics, and the inability of society to tackle different viewpoints in a constructive manner.

The debate about Islamic dress code for women is not new. On a personal level, as for any Egyptian female, this issue…

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It could be so beautiful… but it’s painful

Embassy of the Earth

By Leo van der Vlist.

Last night at the UN Headquarters in New York I enjoyed the most beautiful cultural expressions of Indigenous Peoples from around the world. Traditional Meitei folkdance from Manipur, song, music and dance from indigenous peoples from Russia and Mexico, powerful drumbeats and dance from Polynesia and Africa, and more, including a surprise act by Native American poet, writer and artist John Trudell reciting his poem See the Woman.

“…She is sister to earth
In all conditions
 She is life bringer 
In all life she is our necessity…”

A true celebration of life in the halls of the UN filled with people in colorful  outfits and cheerful faces.

The contrast with the morning session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for which indigenous peoples gather in New York could not have been more dramatic. The topic on the agenda was Youth, self-harm and suicide…

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