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Review: Kanaval – Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haïti – by Leah Gordon

kanaval

Leah Gordon is a former punk artist from London. She is also a photographer and this book reflects upon her experiences of Kanaval on the streets of Jacmel in Haïti between 1995 and 2010. Haïti was the first black republic in the Western hemisphere, a black slave nation that overthrew the yolk of its French European masters. A core component of the revolution’s power was the African-inspired Vodou belief system and intertwined with politics the Kanaval (Creolisation of Carnival) traces its routes to the clandestine slave gatherings in the upland forests of the island. Gordon takes powerful black and white images of the key Kanaval characters and interviews these characters, capturing a series of oral histories from the poor local inhabitants who invest their energy effortlessly, creating characters, making costumes, designing props, organising dance routines and applying makeup, to create this pre-Lentern annual orgy of street theatre and fiesta. We meet the Lanse Kòd (The Rope Throwers), Jwif Eran (Wandering Jew), Papa Sida (Father of AIDS), Oungan (Vodou Priest), St Michel and also the Satanic Zel Maturin (The Wings of Maturin). These characters act out a fight of good versus evil, they challenge the audiences to raise small amounts of money and to reflect upon the political realities of Haïtian life. There is a series of critical essays throughout the book from key researchers of Haïti, that reflect upon the essence of Leah Gordon’s work. The book is enlightening and the images, that can be very disturbing, project an exoticism and spirituality that gives the reader a true taste of the Kanaval performers’ messages and allows the reader a glimpse of the post-colonial ‘Other’ that is the Caribbean.

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KryKey Web Radio #IPhone #app – Review

KryKey IPhone App

  Technology is shrinking. We are moving into areas through mobile technology that would have been unenvisaged 20 years ago. Devices bring us together on the move and we share photos, music, film, like never before. The disruptive web radio technology, that is #KryKey, now brings web radio to your pocket, with the release of its eagerly anticipated mobile app. Having just purchased a new #IPhone, I decided to surf over to the Apple App Store and test out what KryKey’s app brings to the table. It’s nice and easy to get hold of this FREE app from the Apple App store… Just a quick search of ‘KryKey’ will list the Premium app for free download and installation time is fast. The app is pretty much streamlined and for the data it handles, works very efficiently. The app builds on the successful web-based platform of http://KryKey.com and brings web radio to your fingertips. The first noticeable thing about the KryKey app is the design. It is structured to look like a traditional radio, with easy to use dials, all app-subscribing radio stations being allocated their own digital frequency, with plenty of space available at present to allow for company growth. Obviously, listeners and app users will remember the frequencies of their favourite KryKey radio stations and be able to simply whirl the dial to quickly tap between shows, in the same manner in which one used to flick through a car radio. There’s an initial sign up to the app which requires a simple email address and some locational information, to tailor the app to your needs. This is non-essential though and the app will function anonymously, if required. You have the pre-mentioned dial, for simplicity, though for the first few uses of app, it might be more advisable to use the search features to get to know the network a bit better. The preset dials can be customised for easy browsing, like any standard, traditional radio. The search features allow radio stations to be navigated by various subdivisions: Music genre, Radio Name, City or wider, by country. The app is only available for broadcast for KryKey Premium stations, that pay the $30 or so monthly fee for the new service. KryKey used to have over 60000 personal radio stations and since the streamlining of the business, ahead of app release, most of the dross has been culled and only the…

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Immigrant Doctors on the NHS: A Good Thing or Bad Thing?

nigel farage

Not wanting to sound the horn or anything, but: PEOPLE, THERE IS A GENERAL ELECTION COMING UP! Come May unless you adhere to Russell Brand’s non-voting strategy, then you could well be heading to the polling booth. We heard of ‘weaponising the NHS in the buildup and it looks like a weird old forthcoming election with the rise of UKIP and some pretty unsettling times here in the UK and indeed in the wider world. I put a picture of Farage on this post as I have heard time and time again people citing immigration as a key issue. I am very pro-European in essence. As a Translation student and a man with a passion for foreign languages, I embrace the ‘otherness’ of cultures from abroad. I think that in expelling immigrants and abandoning the European we would instantly be cats back into the stone age. Immigration brings us a net benefit in terms of capital, cultural diversity and skills in the workplace, plus it would be rather difficult to study foreign languages in the education sector if all foreigners are thrown out à la Farage. But, politics aside, immigration is a real issue. We hear of how our NHS is full of nurses and doctors from abroad. In fact, I believe that I am correct in saying that proportionally, the NHS employs more foreign workers than the average organisation. I think that in healthcare, some of my pro-immigration views do distort. I can especially remember when my dying grandmother was in hospital. She came from a pre 1960s immigration boom generation. She was supporting an RAF pilot during WW2 and part of the incredible effort made by home soil women during that conflict. Her values and ideas were very old-fashioned and quite a bit different from my own. I felt a bit ashamed when she was openly cursing foreign NHS workers during her treatment. I found it a little rude, but, who am I to judge? I come from a more tolerant generation whose values have been shaped by a different set of problems and I live in a more or less totally globalised world. I wonder though, how the older, often politically silent generation feel about their healthcare needs being attended to by foreigners. We are constantly told how our education and especially higher education system is among the best in the world. If that is the case,…

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Wez G DJ CV

Rock & Fountain, Penhow Set Sail with Shuffle boat parties Miss Moneypennys London: Ministry of Sound, Velvet Underground, The Cross, London Zoo, Turnmills, Plastic People, the Gardening Club, Bar Lorca-Stoke Newington (drum n’bass), The Sound Republic, Legends, The Clinic, Thirteen, Skinny Dipp@UCL, Easy J’s, The Little House, Connaught Hall, Ormonds, Hooked boat parties, The Crystal Ship, Rare FM Radio Birmingham: Bonds, The Church, Raymondo’s Canal Bristol: Lakota, Silent Peach, The Powerhouse, Cast, The Level, Moles, The Vaultz, Walton Castle, Byzantium, Bar Latino, Club Loco, Blue Mountain, The Old Fire Station, Cafe Blue, Po Na Na Cardiff: The Emporium, Elements, Q bar, Slug & Lettuce, The Howardian, GloBar, Cuba Club, Owain Glendower, Sub 29, Journeys, Callaghans, Dep Cult in the Bay Festival, Nettie’s fancy dress shop, Soda Bar Newport: The Cotton Club, V3, Annabels, Bah Rumbah, The Bunker, Langtons, The Arcade, OTT, Baltica, Jesters, Duffryn Community Festival, Maindee Community Festival, the Gallery, Mustang Sally’s, Newport City Radio Chepstow: Muts Nuts@The White Lion, Mathern Village Hall, Jimmy Deans, New Inn-Pwyllmerric Caldicot: The Haywain, The White Hart, The Galleon, The Pill House, Jordan’s, Caldicot Football Club, Undy Football Club, Ye Olde Tippling Philosopher, Dewstow Golf Club, Rogiet Hotel, Broome’s horse shows, The Severn View Club Other UK: Chuff Chuff, Shrewsbury Alter Ego @ The Lost Weekend, Nottingham 1 Love @ The Brunel rooms, Swindon In a field in Chippenham, Wiltshire The Winchester Arms, Taunton Kings Arms Hotel, Salisbury King’s bar, Lydney Disco Lites, Cinderford International: Klubb Ra @ Nefertiti, Goteborg, Sweden Kafe Publik, Goteborg, Sweden Tikisoft, Tahiti, French Polynesia Ceramic, Wanganui, New Zealand Da Tempo Radio Station, Paris, France KryKey Radio, San Francisco, CA, USA JNCBEST Radio, Kabul Afghanistan Dr House Music, Holland Cloob.fm, San Francisco, USA ItaliaNetwork, Italy ScoutLounge, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Mobile App World 2011

Looking forward to tomorrow as I’m heading down to London for the Mobile App World 2011 conference. Luckily I’ve been allocated several complimentary passes and the show should provide the perfect opportunity to promote the Wez G App… Leading App developers from across the world will be showcasing some of the finer cross-platform mobile phone software. More show details can be found here : http://www.mobileappsworld.net/ And of course you can get your hands on the Wez G iphone / ipad / ipod touch app here – http://tinyurl.com/wezgapp

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