Sunday, December 10, 2006

Starting the week off pretty well. I've had some great conversations recently about artists and sustainability. Meaning, how do we balance life and work, work and life? For the long term...and in such a way that makes it possible to still do our creative work?

Anyway, that is an on-going conversation.

I'm so excited. Wura-Natasha Ogunji and Carole Metellus organized an event at the Rhizome Collective this coming Saturday, December 16 (1st night of Chanukkah) for Caribbean artists. The event is called Areyto - the pan-Taino word for gathering/convite and Wura's going to MC. The artists are:

Carole Metellus

Courtney Morris
Leo Guevara
Rebeca Castellanos
Las Krudas
and me....

And we're going to have Caribbean food (yum!): pasteles en hoja (for those who don't know, this is a plantain based `tamale'), Haitian chicken (poule kreyol), cuban rice & beans (moro/congri), and a lot else. I'm thinking of making my arepitas de yucca (yucca latkes), perhaps.

It's going to be fun and sweet. All the writers/performers are awesome and dynamic and it's amazing to me to have Caribbean energy up here in the lush Austin desert. Carole and I will be having a conversation about Haitian-Dominican relations and the role of the artist in social transformation. I'm excited and honored to be in this conversation with her, and I think it's the beginning of many conversations I hope to have.

Speaking of which, there is going to be a forum in NYC in February on Haitian-Dominican Representations. Here's the call for papers:

The Puerto Rican/Latin American Studies Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is currently soliciting papers and presentations for its international conference on "Dominican Haitian Representations: Migrations, Citizenship and Human Rights" to take place from February 22-23, 2007 in New York City. Currently, an estimated 500,000 Haitian immigrants and Dominican-Haitians are living in the Dominican Republic without any form of identification, which leave them exposed to summary deportation to Haiti. The Dominican Republic and Haiti share an island in the Caribbean Sea; with a legacy of colonialism, foreign interventions, migrations and long history of political and social struggles. This international conference will bring together scholars in history, cultural studies, sociology, law, human rights, elected officials, cultural workers from the Dominican Republic, Haiti and their diasporas to explore the problems of legal representations of Haitian immigrants and Dominican-Haitians in law, policy, economy and culture. It also examines the role that Dominican and Haitian Diasporas can play to find common ground.

Proposals, which should be no more than 250 words, should be sent to : luisalval@yahoo.com or cgonzalez@jjay.cuny.edu no later than December 1st, 2006.

It should be interesting to see what comes out of this conversation. Leading up to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, FLACSO, in the D.R. organized a series of conversations on racism in the Dominican Republic.
Since then, they have monitored deportations, published reports on discriminatory policies and generally provided a space for looking at the cultural, political and social implications of racism on Dominican society. Let's see what comes out of a forum in the space of the Diaspora.


peace

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