If I yam because we are, then sisi ni Wafreeka,

litanies of  survival & de legacies of our wahenga.

Na ni ukweli ,  #we are trayvon martin, alem dechassa & anna brown

#we are sakia gunn, david kato, & eudy simelane

….and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

Kama vile Adrienne Rich alisema

“Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves.”

Na kwasababu ni muhimu kukumbuka, where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a womban who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powahs. A mwanamke with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs en tiaras of Spanish moss, this womban is a consort of de spirits. (ase)

[ntozake shange, sassafrass, cypress & indigo]

I give thanks for god/desse/s kama hawa, who know the truth, carry sage secrets of loving, en share their gifs abundantly. For sacred spaces like a righteously inspiring Sankofa night co-created by pan-Afreekan youth leaders from de Onyx Society & I Get Out 2.0  that sistas of dis collective organised in acknowledgement & celebration of black females .

I yam nourished,  mi cup overflowing wid healing upendo because we harvesting de wealth of our diversity en working on our unity so much mo.

…….so we continue speaking, remembering we were never meant to survive.

[asante sana Mama Audre Lorde, pamoja tunafika!]

World vision: Bredrin and Sistas in Solidarity (B.A.S.I.S)

Paukwa! Pakawa! Hapo (si) zamana (sana) ya kale a collective of god/desse/s gathered over moons en continue to co-create art for (revolushunary) social change (in diverse mediums).

There are many stories we know bout de dunia en how it floats in space on de back of a kobe…..

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo, ukweli njoo, Utamu kolea. Nipe mji?

Are you ready for a Tdot Renaissance?

We gon be sharing live.. Mark your calendars.

Ya dun know!

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”   —  ALBERT EINSTEIN

 …..Why Don’t We Ask Better Questions?

If asking good questions is so critical, why don’t most of us spend more of our time and energy on discovering and framing them? One reason may be that much of Western culture, and North American society in particular, focuses on having the “right answer” rather than discovering the “right question.” Dis educational system focuses more on memorization and rote answers than on the art of seeking new possibilities.

We are rarely asked to discover compelling questions, nor are we taught why we should ask such questions in the first place. Quizzes, examinations, and aptitude tests all reinforce the value of correct answers. Is it any wonder that most of us are uncomfortable with not knowing?

The aversion in Western culture to asking creative questions is linked to an emphasis on finding quick fixes and an attachment to black/white, either/or thinking. In addition, the rapid pace of our lives and work doesn’t often provide us with opportunities to participate in reflective conversations in which we can explore catalytic questions and innovative possibilities before reaching key decisions. These factors, coupled with a prevailing belief that “real work” consists primarily of detailed analysis, immediate decisions, and decisive action, contradict the perspective that effective “knowledge work” consists of asking profound questions and hosting wide-ranging strategic conversations on issues of substance.

The reward systems in our organizations further reinforce this dilemma. Leaders believe that they are being paid for fixing problems rather than for fostering breakthrough thinking. Between our deep attachment to the answer—any answer—and our anxiety about not knowing, we have inadvertently thwarted our collective capacity for deep creativity and fresh perspectives. Unfortunately, given the unprecedented challenges we face both in our own organizations and as a global community, we need these skills now more than ever. Are there organizations that do place a high value on questions? Consider the ones in y/our communities…..

 [revised excerpts from] THE ART OF POWERFUL QUESTIONS: Catalyzing Insight, Innovation, and Action    by Eric E.Vogt, Juanita Brown, and David Isaacs

[Also what are the stories in our cultures that place a high value on questions? Fafanua…]

HADITHI YA MARAFIKI WAWILI (the story of de two friends)

ONCE upon a time there was a potter and his wife who had one child, a little boy, and as he grew older they were grieved to see that he was different from all other children.

He never played with them, or laughed, or sang; he just sat alone by himself, he hardly ever spoke to his parents, and he never learnt the nice polite manners of the other children in the village. He sat and thought all day, and no one knew what he thought about, and his parents were very sad.

The other women tried to comfort the potter’s wife. They said: “Perhaps you will have another baby, and it will be like other children.” But she said:

“I don’t want another baby; I want this one to be nice.” And the men of the village tried to cheer the potter. “Queer boys often become great men,” they said. And one old man said: “Leave the boy alone; we shall see whether he is a wise man or a fool.”

The potter went home and told his wife what the men had said, and the boy heard him, and it seemed to wake him up, and he thought it over for a few days, and at last one morning at dawn he took his stick in his hand and went into the forest to think there.

All day he wandered about, and at last he came to a little clearing on the side of a hill from which he could look down over the country. The Sun was setting over the distant blue hills, and everything was touched with a pink and golden light, and deep shadows lay on the banana gardens and forests in the distance, but the boy saw none of these things; he was footsore and weary and miserable, and he sat down on a fallen log, tired out with his long day. Suddenly a lion came out on to the clearing.

“What are you doing here all alone?” he said severely.

“I am very miserable,” said the boy, “and I have come into the forest to think, for I do not know whether I am a wise man or a fool.”

“Is that all you think about?” said the lion.

“Yes,” answered the boy, “I think about it night and day.”

“Then you are a fool,” said the lion decidedly. “Wise men think about things that benefit the country.” And he walked away.

An antelope came bounding out on the clearing and stopped to stare at the boy.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I am very miserable,” answered the boy; “I don’t know whether I am a wise man or a fool.”

“Do you ever eat anything?” said the antelope.

“Yes,” said the boy, “my mother cooks twice a day, and I eat.”

“Do you ever thank her?” said the antelope.

“No, I have never thought of that,” answered the boy.

“Then you are a fool,” said the antelope. “Wise men are always grateful.” And he bounded off into the forest again.

Then a leopard came up and looked suspiciously at him.

“What are you doing here?” he asked crossly.

“I am very miserable,” answered the boy; “I don’t know if I am a wise man or a fool.”

“Do they love you in your village?” asked the leopard.

“No, I don’t think they do,” said the boy. “I am not like other boys. I don’t know them very well.”  “Then you are a fool,” said the leopard. “All boys are nice; I often wish I were a boy; wise men mix with their fellows and earn their respect.” And he walked on sniffing.

Just then the big grey elephant came shuffling along the forest path,  “What are you doing here all alone in the jungle when the Sun is setting?” he asked. “You should be at home in your village.”swinging his tail as he walked, and picking a twig here and a leaf there as he passed under the trees.

“I am very miserable,” said the boy. “I don’t know if I am a wise man or a fool.”

“What work do you do?” asked the elephant.

“I don’t do any work,” said the boy.

“Then you are a fool,” said the elephant. “All wise men work.” And he swung away down the path which leads to the pool in the forest where the animals go to drink, and the boy put his head down in his hands and cried bitterly, as if his heart would break, for he did not know what to do.

After a little while he heard a gentle voice by his side: “My little brother, do not cry so; tell me your trouble.” The boy raised his tear-stained face and saw a little hare standing by his side.

“I am very miserable,” he said. “I am not like other people, and nobody loves me. I came into the forest to find out whether I am a wise man or a fool, and all the animals tell me I am a fool.” And he put his head in his hands again and cried more bitterly than ever.

The hare let him cry on for a little while, and then he said: “My little brother, do not cry any more. What the animals have told you is true; they have told you to think great thoughts, to be grateful and kind to others, and, above all, to work. All these things are great and wise. The animals are never idle, and they marvel to see how men, with all their gifts, waste their lives. Think how surprised they are to see a boy like you, well and strong, doing nothing all day, for they know that the world is yours if you will make it so.”

The Sun had set behind the distant hills and the soft darkness was falling quickly over the forest, and the hare said: “Soon it will be chilly here; you are tired and hungry, and far from your village; come and spend the night in my home and we will talk of all these things.”

So they went into the forest again, and the hare brought the boy water in a gourd and wonderful nuts to eat, and made him a soft bed of dry leaves.

And they talked of many things till the boy said: “My father is a potter, and I think I should like to be a potter too.” “If you are, you must never be content with poor work,” said the hare. “Your pottery must be the best in the country; never rest until you can make really beautiful things; no man has any right to send imperfect work out into the world.” “Nobody will believe in me when I go home; they will think I am mad,” said the boy. And the little hare answered: “wo/man’s life is like a river, which flows always on and on; what is past is gone for ever, but there is clear water behind; no man can say it is too late, and you are only a boy with your life before you.”

“They will laugh at me,” said the boy.

“Wise men don’t mind that,” said the hare; “only fools are discouraged by laughter; you must prove to them that you are not a fool. I will teach you a song to sing at your work; it will encourage you:

“When the shadows have melted in silver dawn,
Farewell to my dreams of play.
The forest is full of a waking throng,
And the tree-tops ring with the birds’ new song,
And the flowers awake from their slumber long,
And the world is mine to-day.

“My feet are sure and my hands are strong.
Let me labour and toil while I may.
When the Sun shall set in a sea of light,
And the shadows lengthen far into the night,
I shall take the rest which is mine by right,
For I’ll win the world to-day.”

In the early morning the hare went with the boy to the edge of the forest and they swore an oath of friendship, which is as sacred in the jungle as among men, and the hare said:

“Come back sometimes and see me, and we will spend a long day together in the forest. Come to this place and sing my song, and the birds will tell me you are there if I am too far away to hear.”

So the boy went back to his village, and he found his mother digging in the garden, and he knelt down and greeted her as all nice Baganda children do, and he saw how pleased she was. Then he went to his father, and said: “I want to be a potter; teach me your work and I will try to learn it.” And the potter was very much pleased to think that he would have a son to take on his trade after him, and all the people in the village heard and they rejoiced with the potter and his wife.

And the boy worked hard, and in after years he became a famous potter, and people came from all parts of the country to buy his pottery, for everyone knew that he never sold anything that was not beautiful and well made.

He made beautiful black pottery, and sometimes he put a design in white on it, and everything he made was good.

But sometimes the old black moods would return and he would feel sick of his work and all the people round him, and then he would go away at dawn to the edge of the forest and sing the hare’s song, and the little hare would come running down the forest path, and the two friends would spend a long day together, while the man would shake out his heart and all its sorrows to the hare, and he never failed to get love and comfort and encouragement in return, and went back to his work full of hope.

This all happened many years ago; nowadays men think they are much wiser than the animals, but sometimes you may see a strange look in the eyes of an animal, as if it would say: “That man thinks he is wise, but he is only a fool.” And the animals in the forests and jungles and in our houses watch everything we do, and they marvel when they see how some men waste their lives.

(reposted from http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/baskerville/king/king.html)

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo, ukweli njoo, Utamu kolea.

Giza ya? Sahani ya? Nipe mji?

[between the lines: a queer afrikan reading of mukoma wa ngugi’s poetry]

Listen. Do you hear ghosts? Connect them to the sound of a canoe
on Indian Ocean. Listen to that tape of familiar beats that has weathered
foreign seasons. Sukus found in Salsa. Fela Kuti meets Masekela
in Appalachia. Do not inhale the coal fumes. Hold a memory.

The AntiHomosexuality Bill & Kato's Trial

[recent like the synergy of #todavidwithlove project or the rebirth of  pan-afrikan performing arts (papa) institute, en ancient like creashun o!]

Commit sins of transportation. Bite the past. Spit broken teeth
and colored blood that will chart global awareness. Learn
to say fuck without flinching. Seduce anarchy of the mind and try
to order schizophrenia in realms just outside the touch of your black

[nyeusi!]

hand. Image coming at you. Color it in Old English and an accented
haiku and see what you win. If lucky enough, if you are one of those
lucky cigar smoking sons of bitches, play the lottery and you might win
the lady’s hand. Do not try to break the chains that bind her feet.

realism

Hold her. Touch an image of her that is a mirage of you. Laugh
and say she is crazy to forget with you. Sip your beer gently. Light up,
let the sizzling seeds pass from your lips to hers. Watch the smoke
and its promise, it will turn you on onto possibilities of the night. Smile.

Ghosts. As a child voices sang in my sleep and then took to life. I dueled
them with screams that were hushed with threats of tranquility. I stole
Don Quixote’s sword and found a horse in my bouncing bed and would
have won the battle had it not been for the doctor who found Malaria

[read: HIV/AIDS, no fly zones, sodomy laws, polio, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis et cetera]

where there was none. Pills. Silent duels. And so when the police with guns
and big black coats came for my father, it must have been a dream I dreamt.
That night – pills with no water but morning tea still found a newspaper
damp with dew. Swords thrust, truths as righteousness of strength

bouncing horses and Marx -it all could have been a dream. Learn to stay up
late and talk of classes and footsteps. Not of classes but of labor at the nearest
Micky D’s. Dance to old rhythms and constitute common law while talking
of tradition. Find the nearest altar. Take pills without gun powder. Say

Mandela always with a smile. Miss her but call her a bitch. It will make

gemini by akwa

you feel like a man to stare her down feminism. Dust sprinkled so sparsely

and gently on your feet, stripped dress, gapped smile, black hair in rainbow

[ase]

your laugh and the way your fingers curled inwards – they always smelled
of plums. I miss our evenings by the pond, that time the sun refused to set
and we had to roll it over and down the hill You never did come to say good bye
how is it I remember your smile at the airport? Stay away from New York.

[even Brooklyn o??!]

[play…. spot the asylum seekers @ http://www.autostraddle.com/ ]

eke, the naija drag king

Too many mirrors of yourself. Read Harlem only in your sleep. Learn

to say Puerto Rican radicals got what was coming to them and Mexico

is no man’s land. Watch birds on national geographic migrate.
Amuse yourself in the sound of wing against wind. Ignore the wail

of the middle passage. Find beauty in trees where no necks were broken
and burning flesh was not sacrificed and color it Rainbow. You see,
its all creation. Streams, your feet washing clean. Your curved elbows
sending rays back to the sun. Your militant Khaki skirt wet at the folds.

I sent you a letter. In it I enclosed photos of you as I will remember
you tomorrow. Sometimes I am waiting for you at our pond scribbling
little notes shaped like butterflies and birds that bear your name.
It’s Sunday. How did you leave church to come to me? I swear you make

me laugh. A hungry bird once in mid Indian Ocean flight, very much
weakened by hunger and scared of what lay below, measured
wing against thigh and eat its feet. And as all must come down, it landed
on its head and died. My dear, eat your memories very carefully.

*This poem originally appeared in Hurling Words at Consciousness (AWP, 2006)

[give thanks for today, yesterday and tomorrow, give thanks for the continued guidance and protection of our ancestors]

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is the author of Nairobi Heat (Penguin, SA 2009), an anthology of poetry titled Hurling Words at Consciousness (AWP, 2006) and is a political columnist for the BBC’s Focus on Africa Magazine.  He was short listed for the Caine Prize for African writing in 2009.  He has also been shortlisted for the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing for his novel manuscript, The First and Second Books of Transition.

A former co-editor of Pambazuka News, his columns have appeared in the Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Chimurenga, Los Angeles Times, South African Labour Bulletin, and Business Daily Africa, and he has been a guest on Democracy Now, Al

Jazeera and the BBC World Service. His essays have appeared in the World Literature Review, the Black Commentator, Progressive Magazine and Radical History Review.  His short stories have been published in Wasafiri, Kenyon Review and St. Petersburg Review and poems in the New York Quarterly, Brick Magazine, Kwani?, Chimurenga and Tin House Magazine amongst other places.

Mukoma was born in 1971 in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in Kenya before returning to the United States for his undergraduate and graduate education. He is currently based in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is the son of World renowned African writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o.  You can find his blog here.

He can also be found at: http://www.mukomawangugi.com/

[redo(ne): in another place not here, Make una read this list o! beaurriful people! E don reach time wey we fit dey use abbreviation for our own exceptional street lingua. Kpele o! We dey plot  big time to chop money… you dey excite now, abi? Yes, ooo.

special thanx to Bredrin en dadas in solidarity like @ http://papainstitute.org/, http://www.kubatanablogs.net/kubatana/, and http://blacklooks.org/, for introducing me to http://www.spectraspeaks.com/ to http://www.thefeeloffree.com/….   En on en on to all dey aiding me in creative process….kesho: seven habits of successful fairies]

[rapture.ase.]

(Reposted with big love en respekt from) Chuka Nnabuife on why 2011 is the Year of Interesting Books Coming

NEXT year will be eventful in the African books section. Already publishers are introducing books they will release in the first half of the year. Amazon will put out a new anthology containing the works of Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, John Coetzee, Nardine Gordimer, Ben Okri and other Caine Prize winning writers. Ngugi wa Thiongo will also come out with a new book due for release in February 2011 on the Amazon list.

In Pambazuka Press, an about to be released book, No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way, captures the tale of resilence while throwing the reader back to memory of the segregative Apartheid rule in South Africa.

The anthology of factual tales captured in both poetic and prose (media feature report format) narrates the several accounts of Cape Town, South Africa’s Symphony Way pavement dwellers who, like in film story, found themselves catapulted from their hitherto poor settlement to an better developed estate upon the end of the Apartheid only to be pushed out of the houses almost as suddenly as their fortune changed.

The publishers promote the work thus: “This anthology is written by shack-dwelling families in Cape Town who were moved into houses but soon afterwards evicted again. They organised the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction and here write about their experiences.

 “Many outside South Africa imagine that after Mandela was freed and the ANC won free elections all was well. But the last two decades have led to increased poverty and inequality. Although a few black South Africans have become wealthy, for many the struggle against apartheid never ended because the ethos of apartheid continues to live.”

The book follows several hundreds of shanty-dwelling families in Cape Town who, early in 2007, were moved into houses they had been waiting for since the end of Apartheid. But soon they were told that the move had been illegal and they were kicked out of their new homes. In protest, they built shacks next to the road opposite the housing project. And, soon a vibrant settlement of hundreds of ramshackled huts inhabited by organised protesting settlers blossomed there. It became known as Symphony Way. Home ground of Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign, whose membership vowed to stay on the road until the government gave them permanent housing. Eventually, the tales from the protesting slum-dwellers turns out a warm, close-knit and eventful one – full of vibrant communal lives, simmering relationships, love, hate and blood ties. The book also rubs off some disturbing feeling that the robust but poor settlement was forcefully moved to make the country host last summer’s football’s World Cup without what the authorities deem an odd sight for tourists.

Promoters’ of the book who inform that its audience target include anthropologists, activists, campaigners, NGO-workers, academics, journalists, commentators state: “This anthology is both testimony and poetry. There are stories of justice miscarried, of violence domestic and public, of bigotry and xenophobia. But amid the horror there is beauty: relationships between aunties, husbands, wives and children; daughters named Hope and Symphony. This book is a means to dignity, a way for the poor to reflect and be reflected. It is testimony that there’s thinking in the shacks, that there are humans who dialogue, theorise and fight to bring about change.

Two Symphony Way evictees were featured in a Guardian article of 1 April 2010: Badronessa Morris: ‘The police treat us like animals. They swear at us, pepper spray us, search us in public, even children. At 10 o’clock you must be inside: the police come and tell you to go into your place and turn down the music. In my old home we used to sit outside all night with the fire.’

Jane Roberts: ‘It’s a dumping place. They took people from the streets because they don’t want them in the city for the World Cup. Now we are living in a concentration camp.’

No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way set for release in March 2011 is available for ebook order in United Kingdom.

Another up coming book of interest from the same publishers is African Sexualities: A Reader, by Sylvia Tamale. In the work Ms Tamale probes, the perculiar traits of African sexualities with the aim “to inspire a new generation of students and teachers to study, reflect and gain fresh and critical insights into the complex issues of gender and sexuality.”

Promoters say the book seeks to open new frontiers of thinking about African notiopns of sex. African Sexualities stretches the space to several spheres of multidisciplinary scholarship.

The book with authors who are scholars, researchers, professionals, practitioners and experts from different regions of Africa and Africa’s Diaspora comes in themed sections, all introduced by a framing essay.”

The authors use essays, case studies, poetry, news clips, songs, fiction, memoirs, letters, interviews, short film scripts and photographs from a wide political spectrum to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, analyse the body as a site of political, cultural and social contestation and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities. The book adopts a feminist approach that analyses sexuality within patriarchal structures of oppression while also highlighting its emancipatory potential.

“As well as using popular culture to help address the ‘what, why, how, when and where’ questions, the contributors also provide a critical mapping of African sexualities that informs readers about the plurality and complexities of African sexualities – desires, practices, fantasies, identities, taboos, abuses, violations, stigmas, transgressions and sanctions. At the same time, they pose gender-sensitive and politically aware questions that challenge the reader to interrogate assumptions and hegemonic sexuality discourses, thereby unmapping the intricate and complex terrain of African sexualities.

“The blend of approaches and styles enhances the book’s accessibility and usefulness for teaching as well as allowing for historical and textual contextualisation.”

It is written for audiences in the higher education and postgradute levels. Due date of emerging from press is June 2011.

Among other books coming from Pambazuka and Fahamu books are African Women Writing Resistance, An Anthology of Contemporary Voices an anthology of African-born contributors who “move beyond the linked dichotomies of victim/oppressor and victim/heroine to present their experiences of resistance in full complexity: they are at the forward edge of the tide of women’s empowerment moving across Afrika.”

My Dream is to be Bold, a feminist oriented work is among them as well as Dust from our Eyes an Unblinkered Look at Africa, a Joan Baxter tale of the diversity of Africa and the resilience and spirit of its people.

From Citizen to Refugee, Uganda Asians come to Britain by Mahmood Mamdani is another nostalgia awakening book to be expected. It dwells on the seriously embattled life of Asians in Uganda during the eventful dictatorial reign of the late Gen. Idi Amin in the 1970s. It is a re-publication of 1972’s original. The author, Mamdani, an eye witness, describes the feelings experienced by Uganda’s Asians and tells of their camps’ political culture.

[http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71700%3A2011-year-of-interesting-books-coming&catid=54%3Aarts&Itemid=694]

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Montreal+protesters+rally+support+WikiLeaks/3999493/story.html

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……..

[B is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity: our (vision) quest is to implement queer/trans youth arts collective/programs & circles for healing and self recovery in East & South Afrika in collaboration with anitafrika! dub theatre: an intersection of radical creativity, activity, and thought, human positive and moyo wa afrika: a coalition of Afrikans on the continent and in the diaspora who are committed to the reclamation of Indigenous Afrikan spiritualities, knowledge systems, economic praxis, and resources as the only viable means of addressing the colonially-induced dis-ease and dysfunction plaguing our peoples….

Lakini kwanza….]

A is for anitafrika! dub theatre: founded by artistic director d’bi.young in spring 2008 under the mentorship of visionary dub artist ahdri zhina mandiela, adt is a radical arts initiative rooted in the orplusi principles of storytelling, being developed by d’bi.young.

The 7 living/en/working principles are 

language, orality,

political context (or protext),

rhythm, urgency, sacredness, and integrity:

fundamental tools in the (re)emerging genre of bio-myth-solo-performance storytelling or ‘dubbin solo’,

according to artistic director d’bi.young.

[en between the lines: the Q_t werd is a documentary series/work in progress, charting the evolution of these principles  en reclaiming ancestral legacies……]

Through the intersection of these principles, the theatre seeks to explore and expand the relationship between the storyteller, their village(s), and transformation.

herstory

adt! is inspired by the seminal work of dubpoetry visionaries anita stewart and ahdri zhina mandiela. trained during the early to mid eighties at the jamaica school of drama (now the edna manley college of visual and performing arts), anita stewart wrote her thesis dubbin theatre: dub poetry as a theatre form on the progressive movement of dubpoetry into a theatrical realm which radically dramatized both the socio-economic tribulations of the jamaican people, as well as their potential for rebellion against their oppressors.

in her unpublished manuscript stewart identifies four major elements of the then emerging artform of dubpoetry — music, language, politics and performance — as bridges between the personal and the political and vice versa. stewart’s early documentation and analysis of dubpoetry as a working people’s socio-political movement, provide the primary lens through which adt! focuses.

in the late eighties early nineties, ahdri zhina mandiela coined and further developed the term dub theatre in reference to her own evolving work as a dub aatist. in the prelude to her dark diaspora… in dub: a dub theatre piece she defines dubtheatre as dramatized stage presentation comprised of varying performance component, including an indispensable/uniquely tailored dance language threading thru oral/choral work proliferating with endemic musical elements.

d’bi.young is a second generation dubpoet who learnt the artform from her her mother anita stewart and her mentor ahdri zhina mandiela. young is building on the foundational work of stewart and mandiela by developing dubpoetry/dubtheatre theory and practice through anitafrika! dub theatre: a launch pad of artistic training that locates itself within art for social change.

En A is for the legacies of audre lorde, that’s wassup!

Dream/songs from the moon of Beulah land I-V

I

How much love can I pour into you I said

Before it runs out of you

Like undigested spinach

Or shall i stuff you

Like a ritual goose

With whatever you think

You want of me

And for whose killing

Shall I grow you up

To leave me

To mourn

In the broken potsherds

Upon my doorstep

In silent tears of the empty morning?

But I’m not going anywhere you said

Why is there always

Another question

Beyond the last question

Answered

Out of your mouth

Another storm?

It’s happening

I said

II

Whenever I look for you the wind

Howls with danger

Beware the tree arms scream

What you are seeking

Will find you

In the night

In the fist of your dreaming

And in my mouth

The words became sabers

Cutting my boundaries

To ribbons

Of merciless light

IV.

You say I yam

Sound as a drum

But that’s very hard to be

As you covers your ears with academic parchment

Be careful

You might rip the cover

With your sharp nails

And then I will not sound at all.

To put us another way

What I come wrapped in

Should be familiar to you

As hate is

What I come wrapped in

Is close to you

As love is

Close

To death

Or your lying tongue

Surveying the countries of our mouths.

If I were drum

You would beat me

Listening for the echo

Of your own touch

Not seeking

The voice of the spirit

Inside the drum

Only the spreading out shape

Of your own hand on my skin

Cover.

If I ever really sounded

I would rupture your eardrums

Or your heart.

V.

Learning to say goodbye

Is finding a new tomorrow

On some cooler planet

Barren and unfamiliar

And guiltless.

It costs the journey

To learn

Letting go

Of the burn-out rockets

To learn  how

To light up space

With the quick fiya of refusal

Then drift gently down

To the dead surface of the moon.

Kesho……The (A, B, en C’s Of the) Q_t werd in dub video