An Open Letter to AmerIndia (abbreviated)

By Carla Moore & Mario Guthrie  [ soundtrack: d’bi  young.anitafrika & LAL]

xaymaca land of your naming
we say Jamaica  like you were never here
Jamaica 50
what of xaymaca?
in 50 years it was gone
I know not how I got here
indentured-servant-slave
but for staying
I apologise
you were a story
Taino
a thing a black child learned
Arawak
a part of Jamaica’s history
the part before the real part
I apologise.

Reblogged from http://jamaicawrites.com

Mi people, samahani (forgive me) for not having loved you relentlessly…

Somewhere, sometime I had forgotten, watu wangu, lakini no mas!

malaika kama wewe hunikumbusha ukweli, nashukuru unavyotufundisha kila siku na kazi yako.

pamoja tunafika na upendo, au siyo?

[Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….Kama ya Pan Afrikan Performing Arts Institute, en the Queen who founded dis wondrous senta…… inspiring stories like these teach me en our communities the infinite possibilities n divine manifestations of working on our own unity first….for those of us who want to know what comes tomorrow en the moons after and what more we can do……here’s  some answers en many questions, not only between the lines but, all around us….]

rivers and other blackness between us (cape town)

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

what elders and children

walk with old-time knowledge

of a courageous love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

washing away all the unknowing I have come to know

relearning a language of integrity honesty passion

scribed on our heart’s tongue

by the ancients

whom I have forgotten

somewhere between a dream and a time-less-ness

across di ocean waters

black sons and dawtahs

black moddahs and fadahs

black auntie uncle sistah and breddah

stretch love fabric

thick and thin

so now we trodding

trying to heal these scars

of broken fibre

that stick up inna wi like macka

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

what elders and children

walk with old-time knowledge

of a compassionate love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

washing away all the unknowing I have come to know

relearning a language of integrity honesty passion

scribed on our heart’s tongue

by the ancients

whom I have forgotten

forgive us for not having loved you relentlessly

in all cases fear has been our worst enemy

were fear not here

I would kiss you

and feed you food from my mouth

stop you from aching and share a smile

maybe even wait with you

by the roadside for a while

were fear not here

I would give name to these unnamed

spaces of accountability

and responsibility

that flow like rivers between us

sometimes silent but always deep

were fear not here

the full moon radiance of your

vulnerable warrior spirit

washing over me like the sun

bathed in blackness

could mirror and you would shine

and I would shine

and we all could shine brilliantly

who among us carry those sage-secrets of loving?

tell me

where are our elders

where are our children

who walk with the old-time knowledge

of a courageous love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

I want to unknow all this unknowing that I have come to know

I want to relearn a language of honesty

a language of integrity

a language of compassion

these were scribed on my heart’s tongue

by ancient ancient ancient ones

who somehow I have surely forgotten

please forgive me for not having loved you relentlessly

in all cases fear has been my worst enemy

I cannot promise to love you fearlessly

but I will love you courageously

in spite of my fear

I will love you compassionately

honestly

and with integrity

this love is a healing love

re-branching herself like the iroko tree

roots reaching beyond

the wounds of yesterday

arms outstretched to the promise of tomorrow

you and I and we

the community

the people

we

can

choose

to

stand

firmly

in

love

one love

[ase, ase….]

[dis fundraising petition is reposted with overflowing love, respekt en humility from  http://papainstitute.org ]

dear member of the community:

my name is d’bi.young anitafrika and I am an afrikan-jamaican-canadian dubpoet, monodramatist, and educator. I am contacting you in the hopes that after reading more about papai you will choose to help fund this urgent and necessary project. the pan afrikan performing arts institute (papai), of which I am the founder and artistic director is a cultural organization committed to the holistic development of afrikan artists, through the use of self-knowledge, orality, rhythm, political content and context, language, urgency, sacredness, and integrity; eight principles in the sorplusi methodology of biomyth theatre, that I am in the process of developing:

  • papai supports the recovery, healing, mentorship, growth, propagation and ultimate success of continental and diaspora afrikan artists through comprehensive creative, practical, technical, philosophical, administrative, and critical-thinking training in the performance arts, via residencies, courses, and workshops. papai provides the panafrikan artist with the tools to assert, manage, promote, and professionally develop ourselves while formulating a methodology to house our creativity.
  • papai is also devoted to the exploration, preservation, and expansion of afrikan oral storytelling traditions within and outside of afrika through it’s centre for research.
  • and thirdly papai is invested in the arts-education paradigm shift that the sorplusi methodology and biomyth theatre represent; founded on a system of critical thought-analysis, accountability-responsibility, and love for the earth and ourselves within it, the sorplusi method inspires artists to be conscientious human beings and conscientious human beings to become artists.

I was born and raised in jamaica and as an emerging artist, I always desired mentorship in developing a personal system of art-making and dissemination grounded in knowledge of self and community. throughout the years I have had the great fortune of being raised by many villages and being mentored by some incredible doers and thinkers starting with my mother and grandmother. all of their guidance and support taught me that in the absence of what I need, I must create from what I have been given. papai is for every afrikan artist who has ever felt neglected, unsupported, uncelebrated and left to fall through the cracks of life; whether amateur or professional,  emerging, mid-career or established, my vision is that papai will house our whole selves as we regain our rituals and cycles of afrikan oral storytelling traditions. and provide the necessary resources for us to soar beyond our wildest spiritual, creative and professional dreams.

currently papai is home to a school of monodrama and a school of storytelling for youth. in the near future we hope to also nurture a main theatre, a centre for research of afrikan oral traditions, a library, green arts project, and a plethora of other programs and services including artist consultation and mentorship, weekly townhalls and performances, and the annual vuvuzela! monodrama festival and storyteller (un)conference. we also envision housing the me/we funding drive, an in-house funding system for projects that emerge from our student body.

papai’s school of monodrama is directed at young adults ages 18-35. the program presently hosts 5 students, tuition-free, in its three month biomyth monodrama residency: phillip cowie from the cape flats, mbali vilakazi from cape town, siphumeze khundayi from the eastern cape, jennifer bryant from the united states and danielle lee williams from canada. we meet twice per week for three hours; there I teach a curriculum based on biomyth theatre and the sorplusi principles. each student creates a solo show which is then presented to the public at the end of the program. papai’s other program is the  school of storytelling for youth. it is geared towards learners ages 4-16 and is a joint initiative between the pan african market and papai. I facilitate tuition free storytelling sessions for children and youth bi-weekly on saturday mornings from 10am-12pm. the curriculum includes storytelling, games, discussions, art tours and other stimulating creative activities.

currently, there is no one organization in cape town or in the rest of south afrika that provides pan afrikan artists with a wide artistic skill-set that enables them to professionalize their art, including teaching them how to conceptualize an idea, nurture the idea, manifest the idea, garner support for it, market it, stage it, and finally professionally and personally benefit from the entire process.  the institute is based on the premise that everyone is a storyteller, and gives the artist a solid theoretical, methodological, practical, pedagogical, and administrative approach to the art of art-making dissemination. artists get the opportunity to reflect on their lives while developing a personal creative system that they can utilize when they need to generate art. this system is primarily concerned with developing a sense of integrity on the part of the artist for the work that they create, and for themselves within the work. the artist is always implicated in their art and the dialogue between them and their audiences is always open.

papai aims to mirror in many ways the objectives of your organization and it is for this reason that I have contacted you, in the hopes that you would take into consideration supporting papai through a financial contribution to our institute. this contribution will help us to grow and develop philosophically, ideologically, socio-politically, and economically as well as assist us in further providing tuition free education to afrikan artists. you can make you donation through our website as well as find out more about papai at http://www.papainstitute.org and about me athttp://www.dbiyoung.net.

I can be contacted via email at artisticdirector@papainstitute.org or via telephone at    +27(0) 760 889 025.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for you contribution.

in solidarity

d’bi.young

founder and artistic director of papai

check dis brudda's site out @ http://www.youdunknow.org

[ nakupenda….bless you dada and your family, and all those around you….infinite gratitude for all the positive transformashuns in our shared spaces, diverse and intersecting journeys with our growing, revolushunary villages….wanikumbusha kila siku pamoja tunaweza! Pamoja tunafika!  ase

In the words of another brudda in solidarity,”You Dun Know D’bi we will be (re)uniting very soon….” ]

Last night was one of those unexpectedly beautiful ones, where I reasoned, ate, danced and reconnected with mo people that I love, respekt and admire so, that not only I need to get to know much betta, [http://www.apaa.ca/]

yesterday was betta than I expected, breaking bread and praying with growing families. I am grateful for working, living, and communing in such human positive spaces. I give thanks for the mentors, healers, peacemakers, farmers, cooks, families and friends gathering to re/build healthy, loving sustainable communities

[real tox: between the lines/ hadithi kama/riddle of the sphinx /a spiral/ healing/litany of survival/ haiku/]

http://www.blacklooks.org/2010/10/the-mask-hides-nothing



weeks been manifesting in sync with the autumn season: full of metamorphosis, deep lessons, storyboarding en mobilising resources for (hibernation en) mo’ arts/educashun en community work

[real tox: we’re, in the spaces between, writing biomythdramas, shooting interviews with POCstars, revising the storyboard of the feature length documentary (from 32 stories to 9ish core characters ), organising fundraisers for a queer/trans youth arts collective to be implemented in May 2011 in East Afrika….big tings a gwaan en the fiya this time is divine]

the drama of the q_t werd is  (un)expected, deep/rooted in pan/afrikan tapestries, familiar/yet masked/with many faces/many acknowledge truthis/ over-rated yet

the stories we’re retelling in dub are the real tox we been having, and the real struggles we been facing in building solidarity among our communities/revolushunary village style

The folks in the  q_t werd are the tapestry of our quest to reclaim our ancestral memories en resituate global voices: afrikan/ queer/ trans/people of colour/ middle class/ poor/ en working class/youth/diversely-abled/artists/healers/farmers/mamas/babas/bredrin en dadas in solidarity/people we know……

you don’t need a weatherwomban to know which way the wind blows…the fiya en wota  dis’ time, on dis here earth of ours, is divine….

hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo.

Giza ya?………Sahani ya?……..Nipe mji……..

[blogger’s notes:  this post is NOT an official peace theatre release. just another sista outsider view on what’s going on in her hood, like with…..]

The Space Between –  the final frontier

60 children and youth and 12 of Toronto’s finest artists were on a mission to explore faith and reason, to seek out truth and understanding

To boldly go where no Theatre has gone before

Director: Liz Pounsett

Music Director: Brownman

Visual Arts Director: Jerry Silverberg

Artistic Director: Karen Emerson

This year, the 10th annual peace camp gala performance & peace is possible summer workshops were supported by a (core) collective of womben + one man, from karen emerson, susan ryan, liz pounsett, jessica salloum, angela chau, vivian sofia mora, sharon vanderveen, merril matthews to Abdul & Alixa @ the (place formerly known as the childrens) peace theatre

[blogger’s notes: disclaimer – the term collective is used strategically/loosely en creatively, the people didn’t come together specifically to work as a collective, didn’t necessarily even work as a collective, there were ofcourse boys & men involved in the work, and depending on where you look at it from, the folks mentioned are just a fraction of ‘the core’]

there was an honorary granma en granpa during the camp, the space was even visited by a few healers during rehearsals, en blessed with a joyous graduation in a celebration of the talents of many children, youth en the rest of us who worked together, and individually for (more than) 3 weeks on the production of the space between: the final frontier & the (ultimately postponed) peace is possible parade.

We will share our stories all through (the sacred moon of Black) August, in a photo & video diary of the spiral journey of n0t only the peace theatre, from 2009 to 2010, but more significantly for this place here, the re-birth of the q/t werd

http://fourwomen.wordpress.com/

But before that, I’ll tell you (part of) the story of how the (children’s) peace theatre was born, where its come from, and where this place is going….. as an institutional body, a (vision of a ) collective, and in our individual, unique journeys that intersect/ed in the heart of what we’ve dubbed as the peace forest, betwixt en between, crescent town, good wood and park vista, close to scarborough village, ideologically not that different from regent park, intrinsically connected to jane & finch, and originally from afrika.

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo!

Uongo njoo! Utamu kolea!

Sahani? ya mchele! Giza? Ya…….

Once upon a time, there was a turtle on whose back the world turned, underneath that turtle, was another turtle, and underneath that turtle another turtle, or so one version of a creation story goes, the bigger point is, we were born of the great goddess, came from mama afrika, and a decade ago to be exact, the children’s peace theatre was founded by Robert Morgan, en a growing in/visible collective of youth, supporters, and our communities at large…

The first peace camp was “ At The Crossroads”….the gaps and (mis)steps in our journey are the spaces between mo’ people (not) knowing about us, and mo’ folks working ‘with the group in educating in the practice of freedom, using the arts for social change, and rebuilding heathy, sustainable communities

As Robert (one of the founders of this place formerly known as the children’s peace theatre) has said:

“We place children and youth centre stage, not because they are cute or candid, but because they display humanity’s capacity to evolve, even in the harsh conditions of the current times. Young people are demonstrating an instinctive desire to move away from the dominant culture of self-interestedness and aggression, and are moving instead towards building relationships and community due to an innate desire to seek stability, safety, and peace. It is also evident that young people have the imagination and the energy that will be necessary to establish a new culture of peace. Watching young people from very different backgrounds cross paths, encounter conflict, and find creative ways of making the conflict evolve in positive directions, gives me the audacity to believe that peace is possible.”

coming soon…the space between (us and mama afrika), in the (evolushun of the) Q/T werd

dear toronto,

If this open letter to tdot is to stay true to its mission, it has to start with (re)acknowledging where we’re at, on turtle island & where we coming from, mama afrika. It’s also only natural that in speaking truth to power, we share that we are in our final stage/week of developing & organising for

  1. The Spaces Between [produced by the Peace camp],
  2. Peace is Possible Parade &
  3. summer workshops at Crescent Town Public School  with Full Circle, Regent Park Camp, Balmy Beach, Learning for Life, Seeds of Hope…..

The ‘official’ werd on the ground is

The Children’s Peace Theatre of Toronto will be holding its 10th annual Summer Peace Camp from July 5-24, 2010. Under the direction of Liz Pounsett and musical direction by award-winning jazz artist Brownman with the artistic direction of Karen Emerson.

A group of 60 children and youth will work alongside professional artists to create a theatrical collaboration called ‘The Space Between’.

This is bound to be the most provocative of Peace Camp productions as the children explore faith and reason and how these concepts affect our lives personally and globally. It confronts head on the issues associate with the interplay of faith and reason with the level of honesty, humor and energy only children and youth can impart. The Space Between is sure to be visually stunning, thought provoking and full of surprises].

http://www.peacetheatre.org/

We’re inviting Tdot, all our friends and visitors, to come with their pikney and friends, join us on Friday July 23rd and Saturday July July 24th in the PIP Parade and the gala performance of the Space Between.

So ofcourse we should first tell you the story about the source of this peace theatre.

Hapo (si) zamani (sana) ya kale

In 2000, the Hannon-Shields Centre for Leadership and Peace reclaimed parts of the Massey Goulding Estate and under the ‘official’ leadership of Robert Morgan, launched the Children’s Peace Theatre (PT)

As Robert has said: “We place children and youth centre stage, not because they are cute or candid, but because they display humanity’s capacity to evolve, even in the harsh conditions of the current times. Young people are demonstrating an instinctive desire to move away from the dominant culture of self-interestedness and aggression, and are moving instead towards building relationships and community due to an innate desire to seek stability, safety, and peace.

It is also evident that young people have the imagination and the energy that will be necessary to establish a new culture of peace. Watching young people from very different backgrounds cross paths, encounter conflict, and find creative ways of making the conflict evolve in positive directions, gives me the audacity to believe that peace is possible.”

http://books.google.ca/books?id=hfBaL4-ei2AC&lpg=PP1&ots=wjbLnY-b6-&dq=once%20upon%20a%20time%20there%20was%20a%20little%20girl%20healing%20power%20of%20fairy%20tales&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false

[10 years later, the ‘un-official’ werd on the ground on the opening ceremony  is: join us in a prayer circle on Friday July 23rd @ at 7:00am , in the heart of the peace forest.

The ‘official’ plan of the day is the Peace is Possible parade @ 11:00am, and the 2nd matinee of the spaces between which will begin @ 1.00pm, in the outdoor amphitheatre of the Peace Theatre @ 305 Dawes Road.]

[this subjective perspective on the process of manifesting justice, truth, reconciliation en peacemaking; is after many moons of ‘unofficially’ re/claiming the grounds of the peace forest,  since I came back from ‘home’ [aka. in another place, not here…], en in the years before, with osain as my colleague, en his home as my office. Close to eshu, obatala, ogun, oshun, oya en all the orishas.

I am deeply grateful for now ‘officially’ being part of that divine, growing team that is blessed, honoured and privileged to work here, [job soon dun, but it’s a contract with possible extensions of renewal nonetheless, and all the fertile spaces between metarmophoses, healing rituals & building solidarity with people of all faiths, all nations, with one prayer.

I give thanks for the artists, caregivers, comrades, elders en youth, peer educators, healers and peace makers, friends of PT, who contribute their energy, talent & time to rebuilding our communities, with our children, using arts for revolushunary social & spiritual change, sharing our healing stories with the 3c’s of PT]

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others. I pray for humbleness, for myself and others. Please forgive my sins, those that I know about, and those that I don’t know about, those I am yet to commit, and those of others. Inspire those without hope, and strengthen those without faith. I give thanks for the cool wotas, the sun, moon, and stars, for the birds, and our trees. Bless all our living relatives.Onikpite]

I give thanks for our continued re/learning of faith in the true (true) ways of the ‘natives’ of port credit Mississauga, for our deepening connecuns with egun,

Bless taylor creek park en all our neighbours en visitors. Bless the ancestors betwixt en between, all around  crescent town, goodwood, thorncliffe, dentonia park, jane&finch, parkdale, regent park, in all our enclaves, trees, en living relatives, in these diverse hoods.

PIP song

I give thanks for the burning, metamorphoses en (for) the spaces between spreading big love en positivity in our communities.  I give thanks that the fiya this time feels like ‘the revolushun’ is with our breaking bread, making arts en crafts, playing, praying, reasoning and replenishing not only ourselves, but with our families and friends, en ‘others’.

Bless the motherless and fatherless, those sick in hospital. Bless the homeless, and those who ignore them. Ifa,  I pray that you continue to guide us in coming to our right/full destinites. I pray that the circle may be unbroken. Bless our wotas en granmama earth. Ase. Ase….

[blogger’s notes: It’s, only officially, been less than a moon that I’ve been working on programs at the peace theatre, there’s still many pieces of the past that I’m not familiar with, but I give thanks that this place, in another space, not home, is exactly where I need to be,….naushukuru that the blessings of yesterday, manifested today en I pray for them to carry forward to tomorrow…..

85 days 16[+72]hours 25 minutes – the caps finally contained the oil spill, and we are bound to pray for our continued healing en self recovery, to learn from our mis-steps, and continue changing the destructive path we’ve been on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor-Massey_Creek

Taylor-Massey Creek is 16 kilometres long. Its headwaters are near Sheppard and Victoria Park Avenues. It flowed diagonally through Wishing Well Park and under Highway 401 at Pharmacy Avenue. The original headwaters were diverted to Highland Creek when the highway was widened to 12 lanes, so the creek now starts at a stormwater outfall just south of the highway.

The creek starts in Terraview Willowfield Park, a restoration project, named after a nearby public school. It flows through two medium sized ponds with naturalized channels. From there it flows southeast through a series of concrete lined channels and drains. This section runs along an abandoned hydro right-of-way before entering a residential and industrial section that is closed to public access.

South of Eglinton Avenue East it enters a shallow ravine and flows south passing through Pine Hills Cemetery. It exits the cemetery travelling west and enters a small park on St. Clair Avenue East. At Warden Avenue it turns southwest, moving through a park called Warden Woods. West of Pharmacy Avenue it enters a city run golf course. At Victoria Park Avenue it enters Taylor Creek Park and continues uninterrupted to where it empties into the Don River East Branch, just north of the forks of the Don.

you’ll (never) believe that happened!!!!

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe hadithi? Nipe Mji…..

Made in Tdot

There’s a book I read called The Truth About Stories (A Native Narrative), written by Thomas King, that instantly became one of the touchstones in my (literary & spiritual) journey….I’ll tell you parts of his-story because he said that I could, and I quote…..”It’s yours. Do with it what you will. Cry over it. Get angry. Forget it. But don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”

najua hadithi ya mumbi na nambi, oshun, oya na Yemoja, ya audre lorde na assata shakur, bell hooks na Brenda fassie, Cherie moraga na chan mubanga, dbiyoung.anitafrika en adhri zhina mandiela, dionne brand, Jamaica Kincaid, Nalo Hopkinson, Octavia Butler, Angela Davis, Bernedette Muthien, Field Marshall Muthoni, Mekatilili wa Menza, Mbuya Nehanda, Nana yaa Asantewaa, Nyabinghi Muhumusa, Wahu Kaara, Wangari Maathai, Philo Ikonya, Muthoni wanyeki,  Sylvia Tamale, Winnie Mandela..all the way to Zanele Muholi, and I know more than these 31 en some stories, the ones that I keep for guidance and (true) hope, that remind me that WE  are the ones we’re looking for, we have all the answers that we need, in our true true stories…..

(tukona) Soul.hadithi…….

‘in the beginning’ hadithi…..

Lakini kwanza, nitakuambia hadithi ya how the Q werd was born from the Truth about (our) stories (a pan-afrikan narrative). We were listening to others because we thought we didn’t have any good ones of our own, even though we KNEW different, that those ‘other’ versions were still our own, just diluted & distorted through centuries of retelling…..

and because so many hadithi have been made up about US (people) and corrupted for exploitative reasons, then we have to at least try and set the record straight, while we still have the means…but don’t get it wrong, this non-fiction ain’t no luxury, en its (not) a free show,

(i got this on good authority) the truth about stories is that’s all we are. The metis singer Andrea Menard reminds us of this in the first verse of her song ‘The Half breed Blues’

I was born the privileged skin

and my eyes are bright, bright brown

You’d never know there is Metis blood raging underground

let me tell you a story about revelation.

It’s not the colour of a nation that holds a nations pride.

It’s imagination. It’s imagination inside.

hadithi? hadithi? nitakuambia hadithi yetu….lakini kwanza nipe mji?

to be continued….

it’s not enough that we continue abetting the genocides of so many of our people….

now we’re going to bomb the moon?

here’ the gift of the day….gil scott heron.

the revolushun will (not) be televised.

amerikkkaA rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey’s on the moon)
I can’t pay no doctor(‘s) bill.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.
(while Whitey’s on the moon)
The man jus’ upped my rent las’ night.
(’cause Whitey’s on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
I wonder why he’s uppi’ me?
(’cause Whitey’s on the moon?)
I wuz already payin’ ‘im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
Junkies makin’ me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin’ up,
An’ as if all that shit wuzn’t enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)rbg10
Her face an’ arm began to swell.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Was all that money I made las’ year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain’t no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey’s on the moon)
Y’know I jus’ ’bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I’ll sen’ these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)