Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi? Hadithi?

Kuna hadithi najua kuhusu Re/presenting the Wild [is the moon] Woman Archetype

In (not only) my experience, lead performers teach improvisational possibilities, ways to think about improvising on the archetypal structure, but only after the neohphyte has reached a basic level of performative

competence; that is, only after the student understands the basic aural, visual, and gestural components of a given archetypal praise song, rhythm or movement. This notion of a constantly moving target calls  into question what one might call the body of material to be taught. What happens when that body does not remain constant?  The implication is that what is being taught (and learned) is not necessarily a fixed repertoire of songs, patterns, dances, and the like, but rather a way of hearing and performing and conveying the structures that inform these chants, rhythms, and gestures in a meaningful way. What is being taught, ultimately, after the student learns to imitate the teacher’s gestures, is how to perform differently from one’s mwalimu.

sacred space

This idea of imitation leading to (improvisatory) difference is directly connected to the notion of performative intent. One learns the basic rules of performance and engagement with the other performers in order to know how to interpret and bend those appropriately. If one does not have the initial feel for a rhythm, for example, how can one improvise successfully from it?……

Rogelio Martinez Fure, the asesor (artistic advisor) of the Conjunto Folklorico…..A gifted student of both Argeliers Leon and Fernando Ortiz, his artistic vision has guided de Conjunto Folklorico for most of its institutional life, from  through the mid-1960s, en then again throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In a July 1992 interview, Martinez Fure stated that he considered Ortiz to be the single greatest influence on his institutional and intellectual work.

Infact, Martinez Fure’s well-known book Dialogos imaginarios, written in the mid-1970s and published in 1979, is an “imaginary dialogue” with Fernando Ortiz about the ideology and uses of “folklore”. Even in the first chapter of his book, Martinez Fure promotes the idea of stimulating the transformation and development of folklore, by “cleaning up the folk”…[the bigger point is] One cannot escape the massive influence of Fernando Ortiz in Cuba….and this post is a tribute to legends of dis diaspora of righteousness and imaginary conversations with honourable elders like….

It is useful to compare Martinez Fure’s vision and critique of [the uses of] folklore (and Afro-Cuban, or what Alberto calls “black”) with that of the responsible (head) of the CFNC  percussion department, Alberto Villareal,

Katherine Hagedorn asked Alberto about his understanding of the term folklore as it related to the work of the Conjunto Folklorico during a September 1992 interview. Alberto’s vision of folklore, like that of Fernando Ortiz, refers specifically to the religious performance traditions of Cuba`s African-based population:

We [the members of Conjunto Folklorico] are looking for a way for folklore to be a principal source in Cuba, because really, from the point of view of art, the principal source for Cuba is the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional….So every time that Cuba`s folklore is to be represented in other countries, they send us……Ofcourse, folklore has always been a little bit off to the side, which can be understood as the attempt to eliminate it by people who don`t understand how the Conjunto Folklorico was founded. There have been people who have wanted to eliminate the Conjunto, too, because they said we are religious, we are black – but now they know they can`t eliminate the Conjunto. Because no country can eliminate its folklore [emphasis mine]. To represent a country`s folklore is like representing its flag. They have finally realised this. So, for this reason, there has been more of an effort to educate foreigners than Cubans on the part of the Conjunto……

But if, as Mercedes Cros Sandoval (1979) asserts, Santeria is a “mental health care system” for the shock of exile, what does it mean that sacred intent is confused and conflated with criminal intent? Is it simply the

collision of cultural values, or is there something theologically valid about seeing crimes and misdemeanors in diverse pan-Afrikan rituals?

The physicality of sympathetic magic, in which one sheds the blood of a bird instead of the blood of a human, works because the stand-in or metaphor can be disassociated from the primary source only in a limited way before it loses its ritual and symbolic powah: blood is blood and flesh is flesh; wine and bread won`t do.

It is precisely the blood sacrifice that riles up nonpractitioners. In Hialeah, Florida, in Miame-Dade County (home to hundreds of thousands of exiled Cubans), only in 1993, after years of litigation, did the Church of the Lukumi Babalu-Aye (an institution dedicated to the practice of Santeria, led by obba Ernesto Pichardo Pla) finally win its case: the Supreme Court ruled that the animal sacrifice practiced in Santeria was protected under the Constitution`s basic freedoms of religious expression. In Cuba, even until the early 1980s, religious practitioners of Santeria were routinely arrested on their way to initiations….An important subset of the prisoners of colour who were freed and subsequently directed toward the United States in the 1980 Marielito exodus from Cuba were practitioners of Santeria…..

CUBA AND THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE:

Only de relative recent en conscious emphasis on Cuba’s Afrikan origins has allowed its scholars to begin to come to terms with its history of annihilation and exploitation. Walterio Carbonell’s Critica: Como surgio la cultura nacional (1961) marks a turning point in the postrevolutionary Cuban understanding of de history of slavery. Carbonell suggests that de slave revolts, oral culture, en religious traditions of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Afro-Cubans were de real roots of the Cuban revolution, thus implying that the legitimate successors to de revolution were, in fact, Cuba’s long-oppressed black population. Carbonell’s work was immediately banned and its author imprisoned, so threatening did de young revolutionary government find his suggestions….[na bado]

It is useful to consider Cuba’s role in de Atlantic slave trade to gain a more nuanced understanding of how de prevailing attitudes about Cuba’s black population at the turn of the twentieth century might have been influenced by de events of de nineteenth century. Some of de first enslaved African peoples landed on Cuban shores in 1511, en under Spanish rule, Cuba continued to import slaves until the early 1870s. The indigenous Arawak and Taino peoples were annihilated by Spain’s invasion en colonization of de island during the first two centuries of de slave trade.

Spain then imported African, Asian and Yucatecan labourers to “replace” the indigenous peoples who were to have worked on Cuba’s sugar, tobacco, and coffee plantations….

RE/LOCATING AFRO-CUBAN FOLKLORE

Widely varying interpretations of Cuba’s racial composition have fueled both prerevolutionary and postrevolutionary constructions of twentieth (& 21st) century Cuban identity…..of immediate importance here is that the conditions of nineteenth- and early twentieth century Cuban blacks are evoked and carefully shaped first as a socioeconomic nadir from which to improve, and later as  de basis for de revolution’s preliminary ideas of a national Cuban culture, many of which were manifest in the Teatro Nacional and the Conjunto Folklorico, along the lines of the performative structures set up by Ortiz na wahenga wetu…..

pamoja tunafika from the diaspora of righteousness to de Afreekan shores, sharing mo resources in cracking these codes to freedom, kwasababu The most important thing is to give the people confidence, to help them understand that they can at last define their own happiness, to enable them to decide on their own aims and understand the price to be paid. [Thomas Sankara]

hadithi hii imetoka Divine Utterances: The Performance of Afro Cuban Santeria  by Katherine Hagedorn

There is a story I know.  It’s about the earth and how it floats in space on the back of a kobe (turtle) na Maat.  I’ve heard this story many times, and each time someone tells the story, it changes.  Sometimes the change is simply in the voice of the storyteller. Sometimes the change is in the details. Sometimes in the order of events, leo ni ya akina dada na mama wa Afreeka, asemaye kesho ni muongo.

Other times it’s the dialogue or the response of the audience.  But in all the tellings of all the tellers, the world never leaves the kobe’s back.  And the kobe never swims away.

Hapo zamani za kale pia, mukadzi (wali)namata, en before the earth even got on de kobe’s back, womyn’s prayers brought de visions of heaven to de dunia, straight from de moyo of Afreeka aka. as

Maat, pronounced “Ma aut,” corresponds to de faculty within wo/mban wherein is intuited and experienced de urge to live truth (according to de laws of de indwelling self).

The name and de meaning are derived from de hieroglyph that is de phonetic symbol of “Maa”-de measure of a cubit. The connection of measurement with Truth is one of de most profound achievements of de Afreekan mind.

[We saw that] de name of Maat’s complement (brother/husband), Tehuti, is also based on de idea of measurement. When something, one side of an equation, is known, it is because we have an objective standard, de other side of de equation, against which to measure it. Hence, the “double measure” or “Tehu-ti,” the “utchau metut” (weighing of words) and the weighing of the heart judgement, etc.

The construction of all things and the unfolding of all events are based on universal patterns underlying the activities of all natural forces. While some of de patterns underlying physical phenomena have been discovered and codified by Western scientists (E.g., chemistry, physics), Afrikans and other Nonwestern people have discovered and codified the patterns governing our day to day existence and spiritual

development. In other werds, de quality of life, en de destiny of men en nations are ruled  by forces that are as mensurable and subject to codification into immutable laws as are de factors governing physical and chemical phenomena. In de esoteric tradition, the branch of study governing these laws is Cosmology. The embodiment of these laws (moral cannon), against which the actions and beliefs of Man are

weighed/measured, is Maat.

By extension, the term ‘maat’ has several denotations in de everyday language of Kamitic people; straight, rule, law, canon by which the lives of wo/mben is kept straight, real, unalterable (“it, the law has never been altered since the time of Ausar”), upright, righteous, steadfast or consistent. The last correspondence, “steadfast or consistent,” is of extreme importance. In the Kamitic tradition, a person cannot claim that he is living truth if he has not been consistent in the observation of spiritual laws at each and every crossroad situation. This is why it is said, “Today as Yesterday, Tomorrow as Today, is Truth!”….

Maat is generally depicted as a woman holding the Ankh cross, symbol of de heka Aung, in one hand, and de Papyrus sceptre, representing de book of law, in de other. On her head rests the feather—her main symbol—which is de standard against which de will (the heart/ab) of de initiate is weighed. In one pan of the scale is placed the heart, and in the other,

the feather, which symbolises the lightness of truth, that is, the absence of emotional force that characterizes the action of truth. A fact little known to Egyptologists is that in her furrow ( a wrinkle in her face) lays concealed the sceptre of flint which she confers upon the initiate after s/he has been found to be “true of heart” (to have lived ukweli). That it is to be used to kindle de fiya of Ra, is a hint regarding de life-force (kundalini) arousing powah! of living truth. This is the key of the supreme mantra caitanya (mantra awakening) secret that has eluded many yogis for millenniums…..

Sheps & Dark Deceased

….All traditional Afreekan societies possess the knowledge of how to communicate with the deceased. It is very

important to note that although western religions believe in the existence of man’s spirit, and its survival of the body after death, there are no religious or social institutions for communicating with the dead.

The most important outcome from communicating with the deceased is the realization that wo/mban’s true being is not only independent of hir physical body, but de fact that it precedes, and survives de existence of de body. And, finally, it is immortal. Ultimately, a people’s philosophy of maisha (life), and their cultural expression is based on their belief in the mortality or immortality of their essential being…

Spiritual philosophy begins with de understanding of the meaning of life, before and after death, which could only be empirically acquired through communications with de deceased. So great was the empirical revelation of man’s immortality, that the greatest architectural wonders of Kamit were dedicated to the honour of the dead.

No less important was de fact that the ability to communicate with ancestors has enable Afreekans and other non-western people to unite people into kinship groups that transcended the lower and limited ties of blood…It is in this manner, out of a sense of extended blood kinship, that traditional (ie. Not westernised) Afrikan societies with populations numbering in the millions, have been able to maintain law and order without police systems, ideologies, etc.

Although all ancestors have the potential to function as unifiers of the people, not all of them did so. Only such people who lived up to the standards imposed by Tehuti (Tehuti is de Great Sheps in Khemennu) earned the right, and privilege to become Sheps,-the honored living, or honoured dead.

Incidentally, Afreekans have never worshipped ancestors. Ancestral rituals are aimed at establishing communication with egun (ancestors)to enable them to contribute to the direcshun of the nation. Thus we must reject the western concept of ancestor worship.

Ra (pronounced Rau, hence Aur/light, aurum (oro)/gold, aura, auraut/ureus, origin, etc.) is de active state of Nu/Nut, de undifferentiated energy/matter from whence all things, living and non-living  originate. It is known as Chi or Ki in de oriental tradishun, Kundalini in Dravidian India, and de Aur that emanated from de union of Ain and Sophia, according to the Kabalistical tradishun. Although it is not correct to say that Ra is the “sun god,” it is quite correct to relate its functions to the solar energy as the energy/matter basis of all manifestations in our solar system. The planets, including dis earth with its lifeforms, owe their existence to the solar emanations.

As the solar energy, then, is the material, and energy basis for the creashun, and maintenance of life (physical, and metaphysical), the wisdom traditions of Afrika, and the Orient devised ways of manipulating it.  No! They never worshipped it.

What western scholars have interpreted as sun worship are the many practices for cultivating it, replenishing it, diving it’s activities (as it works outside the ken of normal waking consciousness), living in harmony with the rhythmic and cyclical manifestations of its modalities (“air(wood),” “fiya” “earth(metal),” and “wota”)…

remixed hadithi fromThe Truth About Stories, A Native Narrative by Thomas King The Metu Neter Vol.1, The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation ilivyoandikwa na Ra Un Nefer Amen 

So like we’ve blogged  en said before, dis’ documentary/series is a work in progress: like we have a summer’s worth of footage,  yet we’re still developing the storyboard, still deciding (the rest of) our core characters from the 32 (and then some) stories we collected, still trying to get another camera, laptop and editing software, funding, jus’ to start….the bigger point is we hustling to manifest our dreams of a video project and (going) back-to afrika movement/s

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke67lHxPf8A&feature=related]

So far we’ve got our ABCDE/Fn’G’s (H! ….to P will debut in November )

a is for afrika [is for anitafrika dub theatre! is for amai kuda is for audrey mbugua…..]

is the crux of dis’ here doc

En b is for black august [is for blockorama en blockobana is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity]

Are (some of) the visions of our quest

C is for colour spill productions  [is for cee swagger is for cea walker is for chan mubanga]

Some of the real/live legends of this doc

D is for Dini Ya Msambwa: our ancestral memories

En E is for (the spaces between) Elijah Masinde and Elijah Wilson

That’s wussup.

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo…..Sahani? ya……Giza? ya……

Kesho (kutwa) on the Q/t werd, F n’ G en people we’re learning from, who’re educating others in the practice of freedom and reclaiming indigenous afrikan knowledge systems.

On Truth

 Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the Lord of Heaven who guides the world rightly.

Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the Unseen One guiding the world in the right way.

The wisdom that Olodumare uses, great wisdom, abundant wisdom.

Osa Otura asks what is ‘truth’

 I ask what is truth?

Orunmila says truth is the nature of Olodumare.

Truth is the word that cannot fall.

–Ese Ifa, Osa Otura

 

 

[blogger’s notes: Leo, hadithi ya kale ni ya egun en, the spaces between reclaiming, our knowledge of orishas]

 

Egun – our ancestors

Egun is the collective representation of the Ancestors.We often call our Ancestors by the name, Egun, which in Yoruba language means bones.

As we walk upon the Earth our feet press against the bones of the Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand. Like most indigenous cultures of the world, Afrikans believe that those who go before us make us what we are. When we walk on the Earth, we literally stand on the shoulders of those who bodies have been committed to the soil, the water, and the wind.

Our Ancestors influence our lives through heredity and human culture. However, there is an even deeper connection to the Ancestors as active spirits who continue to influence our lives. We humans honor them with altars, music and prayer. They in turn offer us guidance, protection and prosperity.

Read More

 

Eshu – divine messenger

Esu is the Divine Spirit of Communication, the well-spoken orator who speaks all languages. Esu translates messages between humans and Orisha. Without Esu our prayers would not be understood in heaven and we would be unable to understand the language of Orisha or our ancestors (Egun). Esu is the guardian of the crossroads, as such he opens and closes all doors and ceremonies.

Esu is the owner of ase, the dynamic power that pulses throughout the universe. He is one of the most tactile Orishas constantly stimulated by all he encounters. As such, Esu hates to be bored.As a force in nature Esu is absolutely masculine; however, Esu also has a nurturing side. Esu statues are sometimes sculpted with him having a large, erect penis and well-developed breasts. Esu’s primary colors are red and black.

  

Ochosi – the tracker/warrior

Ochosi is the Orisa associated with hunting and tracking. Ochosi is a nimble, strong, fast Orisha, a supreme marksman.  A “cool” Orisha, Ochoosi is called the “Left-handed Magician”, owing in part, to his ashe of stealth. Yoruba scholar, John Mason writes, that “Ochosi attacks like Ogun, sudden and deadly, yet the victim never sees the assailant or hears the report of the weapon, and that, “Ochosi only has to find a suitable perch and wait for his victims.”

Ochosi helps us to find the most efficacious path to what we aim to achieve. While Esu opens the door and Ogun clears the path, it is Ochoosi who, with bow and arrow aims and creates for us the path of least resistance.

 

Ogun – …of iron

Ogun is the Spirit of iron in Yoruba culture. Both a hunter and a warrior, Ogun uses an iron machete to cut through dense forest to procure food and medicinal herbs and to protect the lives of the community. Ogun helps us clear physical, psychological, or spiritual obstacles that block our ability to achieve our goals. Similarly, Ogun protects us from physical, psychological, or spiritual dangers.

 

Obatala…of the white cloth

Obatala, is the chief of the White Cloth, the Orisha who in Yoruba cosmology, first descended from heaven to earth with the tools for making the earth livable for humans. Obatala is considered the father of all orisa and is said to make the inner and outer heads of all humans.

Obatala is associated with purity, ethics and humility. Obatala is the Orisa of the elderly as well as the Orisa of those with physical disabilities. 

Aganju – the volcano

Aganju is the Orisa of the Uncultivated Earth, Lord of the Volcano, Lord of Caves, The Divine Ferryman.

Aganjú  is most often referred to as the Volcano. He is also the Orisa of untamed lands, from desert to mountains, the brother/husband of Yemoja. Like Olokun, is fabulously wealthy.  As Lord of Caves he owns all the mineral wealth of the earth. Aganju is also the navigator, knowing the safe passages and fjords across the river.  Followers of Santeria equate him with St. Christopher, for like St. Christopher, he will dance at a bembe with little children on his shoulders. Aganju is the bearer of burdens, (the shoulders and back belong to Aganju) the defender of the helpless, down trodden and enslaved. Aganju is a force of life that overcomes obstacles and does the impossible.

Aganyú is the symbol of all earth forces, particularly the core of the earth, the desert, and the volcano. He represents a brute and regenerative force that is responsible for all cataclysmic upheavals that change the face of earth. Volcanic lava is seen as his fiery breath and his power makes the earth gyrate upon its axis. Aganyú is depicted as the father of Shangó in some patakin, and a younger brother of Shangó in others.

 

Shango – “King of” King(s)

“Lightning reaches from the Realm of the Ancestors to Earth as a reminder of the humbling power that exists within Nature itself.”

In Ifa, Divine Justice is symbolized by lightning, one of the primal fires of the Earth in existence since the beginning of time.  Shango is the Orisha associated with the power of lightning and thunder, as well as the name of the Fourth Alafin (Chief) of Oyo. Oyo was a major Yoruba city and the name of a federation of city-states that existed during the 14th and 15th centuries in West Africa.

Oshun – the river

Oshun is the Orisa associated with fresh water. The name Oshun translates to mean “spring” or “source.” As the Orisa of fresh water, Oshun is the source of all life. She is the owner of the Osun river in Oshogbo, Nigeria. She is a powerful healer, especially as it concerns to issues of conception, women’s health and love relationships.

 

Oya – Mother of Nine

Oya is the complex Orisha who guides transformation and change in life.  As the Goddess of the Winds, she can come as a fierce tornado or hurricane or as a cool breeze on a hot summer day.  In her transformative mode she is always moving toward ideal justice for all. 

She wants the best for each of us, and sometimes that means taking away our illusions about the world regarding things and people.  Oya is also known as the keeper of the Ancestors.  In this capacity she serves as the guardian of Egun (Ancestors) at the outskirts of the cemetery, serving as mediator between the living and the sacred dead.  There is a Yoruba prayer for Oya that says, “ Ajalaiye, Ajalorun, fun mi ire,” translated as “the winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good fortune.”  She moves heaven (ancestors) and earth (living) to create communication between the realms.  Finally, as Patron of the Marketplace, Oya is a shrewd businesswoman who reigns over commerce and exchange.  Invoke her before you go shopping.  Take an offering to her and leave it at the opening to a flea market, and she will smile upon your bargaining.  She is also called Iyansan (The Mother of Nine), particularly in Brazil.  Her number is nine, and she loves eggplants and red wine.  Oya- Iyansan is a complex warrior deity who will go to battle for her children out of love and justice.

 

Yemoja – mother of fish

Yemoja is the “Mother of the Children of Fishes.” As such, she is the penultimate symbol of motherhood. Yemoja is the all encompassing mother; like the sea, her ability to nurture is vast. Though associated with the ocean in the African Diaspora, in Yorubaland, Yemoja is the Orisa of the Ogun river. Yemoja is associated with the top layers of the ocean-Olokun is considered the deep, deep realm of the Ocean. The Ocean is the largest environment for life on the earth, therefore Yemoja is viewed as the mother who gave birth to civilization and who continues to sustain us. 

Olokun – owner of the deep

Olokun is the Orisha of the ocean. In Yorubaland Olokun refers to the entire ocean, but in some areas of the New World, this Orisha refers only to the bottom of the sea, with Yemoja governing the top. In those references the ocean is seen as governed by Yemoja/Olokun.

Read more from the source @ http://www.ileorunmilaoshun.org/

Dis’ werd on the ground: [is] doing the best we can to provide (revolutionary) pan-afrikan media coverage of the world cup.

So we celebrate Ghana’s Black stars victory not jus’ over Serbia, but in the struggle for afrikan liberation, manifest/ing in the past moons en years (en long ago), symbolised [most significantly for dis’ series on the q/t werd] in other historic events

[such as:- A.L (Afrikan Liberation) D-ay]

http://www.voiceofafricaradio.com/news/351-the-history-of-african-liberation-day.html

So, it’s only fitting that, in honour and memory of our great ancestors, we commemorate this post to the anniversary of the death of Walter Rodney,  a(nother Pan-Afrikan) King.

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/65084

I give thanks for yesterday, today, and tomorrow, for bredrin and dadas in solidarity, for all the love and resources shared amongst ourselves, and all people liberating not only themselves, but others.

I pray for my families, friends and their families…….Bless our brothas and dadas, cooks, healers, mamas, peacemakers, our children, the future generations and (gran) mama earth. Ase. Ase…….

The q[/t] werd on the ground is doing it true true world cup style….working for unity everywhere from from Ayiti to Zimbabwe,[like in this hadithi] where we give thanks for the fiya, earth, air en wota this time! Mo’ blessings to people (practising and) speaking truth to power!

Hinche, Haiti-

An estimated 10,000 peasants gathered for a massive march in Central Haiti on June 4, 2010, to protest what has been described as “the next earthquake for Haiti” – a donation of 475 tons of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds by the US-based agribusiness giant Monsanto, in partnership with USAID. While this move comes at a time of dire need in Haiti, many feel it will undermine rather than bolster the country’s food security.

According to Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, leader of the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) and spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papaye (MPNKP), the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti is “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds… and on what is left our environment in Haiti.”

While Monsanto is known for being among the world’s largest purveyors of genetically modified seeds, the corporation’s spokespeople have emphasized that this particular donation is of conventional hybrid seeds as opposed to GMO seeds. Yet for many of Haiti’s peasants, this distinction is of little comfort.

“The foundation for Haiti’s food sovereignty is the ability of peasants to save seeds from one growing season to the next. The hybrid crops that Monsanto is introducing do not produce seeds that can be saved for the next season, therefore peasants who use them would be forced to somehow buy more seeds each season,” explains Bazelais Jean-Baptiste, an agronomist from the MPP who is currently directing the “Seeds for Haiti” project in New York City.

“Furthermore, these seeds require expensive inputs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that Haiti’s farmers simply cannot afford. This creates a devastating level of dependency and is a complete departure from the reality of Haiti’s peasants. Haitian peasants already have locally adapted seeds that have been developed over generations. What we need is support for peasants to access the traditional seeds that are already available.”

Who is La Via Campesina?

We are the international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.

We defend the values and the basic interests of our members. We are an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic, or other type of affiliation. Our 148 members are from 69 countries from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

(re) introducing the q[/t] werd: a video diary

It ain’t no mystery that we (been) preparing for dis’ (not-so) new film & video projects: nekkyd & the Q[/T] werd. 

season 1 features 32[+4]stories en the magic is in  retelling of OUR stories

some of the [extra] ordinary people featured [en behind the scenes] include: anitafrika dub theatre, blackness yes! and blockorama, bombastic kasha, bunge la mwananchi, bredrin and dadas in solidarity, colour me dragg, [is] the crux, deb singh, Elijah Masinde, elimu sanifu, faith Nolan, funkasia, the funketeers, gender education and advocacy project, house of munro, Ishtar, kalmplex, nikki mawanda, nneke dumele, red lips. cages for black girls, swagger, tajudeen abdul raheem, victor mukasa, en the Yoruba house project

A love letter to rafikis, [aka.] bredrin and dadas in solidarity.

 

b is for blackness yes! and blockorama

Feminism: (as) a transformational politic  

“We live in a world of crisis – a world governed by politics of domination, one in which the belief in a notion of superior and inferior, and its concomitant ideology – that the superior should rule over the inferior – effects the lives of all people everywhere, whether poor or privileged, literate or illiterate.

Systematic dehumanization, worldwide famine, ecological devastation, industrial contamination, and the possibility of nuclear destruction are realities which remind us daily that we are in crisis…..

Feminism, as liberation struggle, must exist apart from and as a part of the larger struggle to eradicate domination in all its forms….the separation of grassroots ways of sharing feminist thinking across kitchen(table)s from the sphere where much of that thinking is generated [read institutionalised], the academy, undermines feminist movement.

It would further feminist movement if new feminist thinking could be once again shared in small group contexts, integrating critical analysis  with discussion of personal experience(s).

 It would be useful to promote anew the small group setting as an arena of education for critical consciousness, so that women, men (& trans folk) might come together in neighbourhoods and communities to discuss feminist concerns….It is in this commitment to feminist principles in our words and deeds that the hope of a feminist revolution lies.

Working collectively to confront difference, to expand our awareness of sex (gender), race and class as interlocking systems of domination, of the ways we reinforce and perpetuate these structures, is the context in which we learn the true meaning of solidarity.

It is this work that must be the foundation of feminist movement…..

True politicization – coming to critical consciousness – is a difficult “trying” process, one that demands that we give up set ways of thinking and being, that we shift our paradigms, that we open ourselves to the unknown, the unfamiliar.

Undergoing this process, we learn what it means to struggle and in this effort we experience the dignity and integrity of being that comes with revolutionary change.

If we do not change our consciousness, we cannot change our actions or demand change from others.

Our renewed commitment to a rigorous process of education for critical consciousness will determine the shape and direction of future feminist movement……

 

Feminist focus on men: a comment

…now we can acknowledge that the reconstruction and transformation of male behaviour, of masculinity is a necessary and essential part of feminist revolution. Yet critical awareness of the necessity for such work has not led to the production of a significant body of feminist scholarship that fully addresses these issues. Much of the small body of work on men has been done by men…..

(yet) just as love relationships between females and males are a space where feminist struggle to make a context for dialogue can take place, feminist teaching and scholarship can also and must necessarily be a space for dialogue….it is in that space that we can engage in constructive confrontation and critique…..

[Youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmvx8suFr3M&NR=1%5D

Blogger’s note: these teachings are symbolic of the great work that has been done and that is still ahead of us in healing not only ourselves, but the world, and in liberating not only ourselves, and ALL Afrikans, but ALL people. The bigger point of sharing teachings that have transformed not just me, but many others is simple: to reconnect, relocate and rebuild (our) communities with (big) love en more bredrin en dadas in solidarity….afrika moja!

Writing autobiography

The longing to tell one’s story and the process of telling is symbolically a gesture of longing to recover the past in such a way that one experiences both a sense of reunion and a sense of release…..

To G…., who is she: on using a pseudonym

Bell hooks is a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-grandmother on my mother’s side…claiming this name was a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of woman speaking – of woman power.

[between the lines: molisa nyakale is also a name that comes from my family. It is the name of my great-great-great-grandmother on my father’s side, and a mark-er of my true true home….claiming this name was also a way to link my voice to an ancestral legacy of wom(b)an speaking]

When I first used this name with poetry, no one ever questioned this use of a pseudonym, perhaps because the realm of imaginative writing is deemed more private than social….after years of being told that I said the wrong things, of being punished, I had to struggle to find my own voice, to feel that I could speak without being punished…

in using the pseudonym, I consciously sought to make a separation between ideas and identity so that I could be open to challenge and change.

Though by no means a solution to this problem, a pseudonym certainly creates a distance between the published work and the author….longing to shift attention away from personality, from self to ideas, informed my use of a pseudonym…the point of the pseudonym was not to mask, to hide my identity but rather to shift the focus, to make it less relevant

Excerpts from Talking Balk: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

In honour of the legacy of tajudeen abdul raheem (en many many ancestors who dedicated their lives to the liberation of all afrikan peoples)

this post is dedicated to bredrin and dadas in solidarity…nakupenda. bless those who work for truth, justice, reconciliation & peace.

 ase.ase.

 

Afrika moja! Afrika huru!

Ase. o.

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