contents issue three | 2012
Ring di Alarm: Storm Saulter ‘A Bad-Ass MamaJama’
HIGHLIGHTING “AMARA”: A 2011 WINNER OF THE UNAOC-BMW INTERCULTURAL INNOVATION AWARD
BEHIND THE LENZ WITH RICHARD CALMES
Garifuna Music: A Cultural SyNthesis
‘Citizen of the World’ Ron Van Oers on preserving World Heritage
Trini Entrepreneurs create Whole Peace Brand
Editor’s Desk Thanks! It’s been an exciting two months for Cultural Voice. We are humbled by the positive feedback our team has received and strive to provide our readers with high quality, trendy and relevant access to what’s happening in the Creative Industries worldwide. We encourage all our readers to continue forging innovative pathways within the creative space and adding to the development of this industry. Cultural Voice eZine now has an associated “Ambassadors’ Circle of Friends” and we specially highlight the group’s first official member, Mexico’s Ambassador to Jamaica, H.E. Gerardo Lozano Arredondo. We will keep you posted as this initiative evolves. Check out our new section which highlights available fellowships, “calls for papers” and opportunities worldwide across the Creative Industries landscape. Follow us on our Facebook page (www.facebook. com/culturalvoice) and on twitter (@ culturalvoice) for the most up-to-date information.
Blessings, Steffi T @hiddenbluegem
i D g n i R m: r a Al
r ’ e a t l m u a a J S a m m r a o M t S s s A d a B ‘A r’s Edito
s Storm Saulter really a “Bad Ass MamaJama”? These are the words he used to describe himself in a recent interv iew with Cultural Voice (CV), du ring which we had the opportunity to gain greate r perspective on this Jamaican film maker who is proving to be a game changer on the Caribbean media landscap e. Storm has stirred up the political and cultural waters time and time again by tac kling controversial issues and providing critical review of “the establishment”. Hi s movies have embodied themes of civil war, reb ellion and portrayed “ghetto life”.
“Bet ter Mus’ Come” is not going to affect tourism nearly as much as when the Government sends the military into Tivoli Gardens and kills 70-80 civilians”
His latest projects include the multi-award winning 2010 film “Better Mus’ Come”, and the collaborative 2012 film “Ring Di Alarm”, which showca ses seven short stories by six Caribbean directors. In respon se to our question on his authority to represent the ghetto, he said that he did not grow up in the ‘ghetto’, “but neither did Danny Boyle, the director of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. A good storyteller is someone who has the ability to inhabit the cha racters they are portraying.” Storm cites the key to good sto rytelling as doing extensive research and studying the environ ment and, in his opinion, “If people could only tell stories abo ut their own backgrounds or social reality, the world of storyte lling would be very biased and boring.”
CV asked the filmmaker if he had considered any adverse effect on tourism in portraying Jam aica as a war-torn ghetto. He said, “‘Better Mus’ Come’ (a film which follows warring political factions in the 1970s) , was not going to affect tourism nearly as much as when the Government sends the military into Tivoli Gardens and kills 70-80 civilians,” making reference to a controversial clam pdown on a community in West Kingston, Jamaica, that occ urred in 2011. He further said, “Don’t complain about dep ictions of our social reality, when the Government is tak ing minimal steps towards changing that reality for most of the population.”
ow ’, r g t o t to n e d h i “I d the ‘g er did e n up i t neithyle, th bu y Bo f ”. o ’ e r n r Dan irectolionai D il M g do m u ‘Sl Behind the Scenes
Storm considers his former boss, “Little X”, to be his mentor. He learned skills such as how to efficiently run a high-budget production and how to handle high-profile artistes and musicians to get the most out of them while making them comfortable and confident. He shared that when casting for productions, he focuses on talent and ability and is completely uncompromising when selecting talent that can get the job done well. Actors have to make the audience care for them, love them or fear them; they need to get a reaction and this is what Storm looks for when selecting talent. He believes in guerilla marketing and applies the same creativity here as he does to his projects and products. Storm shared that online publicity through social media networking and strategic partnerships with influential Caribbean blogs got the word out on his London screenings, which led to a feature on BBC’s “The Strand”.
Storm considers “Better Mus’ Come”, his greatest achievement to date because of its impact on filmmaking in the Caribbean, and the fact that it is generally considered the best Jamaican film in 40 years since the iconic “The Harder They Come”. His partner in New Caribbean Cinema, (newcaribbeancinema.com) Michelle Serieux, initiated the launch of both films “Better Mus’ Come” and “Ring Di Alarm” at the British Film Institute in London in September 2012. The screenings were sold out four days in advance and the launch was a major success. As a result of the London screenings, interest has continued to build and the films have now been screened in New York, Toronto and the Dominican Republic.
Click to see New Caribbean Cinema Featurette
“The Astro Project”
Storm is very excited about the upcoming “The Astro Project”. He says his brother Astro, who has physical disabilities, is an amazing artist who uses his computer to produce great art. Astro is an inspiration to the entire family and, in Storm’s opinion, he will be a major influence on persons living with disabilities in Jamaica and beyond. Astro’s first solo exhibition will open on November 17, 2012, at Studio 174, Kingston, Jamaica. A writer, editor, director, cinematographer and photographer, Storm’s life motto is: “Take one step towards something; it will take two steps towards you.”
“A good story teller is someone who has the abilit y to inhabit the characters they are portraying.”
Ring Di Alarm is a collaborative effort to provide an outlet for highly talented and creative filmmakers to break through in the industry without traditional funding.
“Ring Di Alarm” features a short film by Storm Saulter “Watching Him Kissing Her”
HIGHLIGHTING “AMARA”: A 2011 WINNER OF THE UNAOC-BMW INTERCULTURAL INNOVATION AWARD By Derefe Chevannes
magine a world where all videos on the worldwide web, in spite of being in Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin or English, could be understood by all - a world where languages aren’t barriers. Amara is creating that world. This concept is similar to “Wikipedia” and allows newgeneration, multi-media tools to be accessible to people around the globe, eliminating language barriers. Cultural Voice (CV) interviewed Nicholas Reville, CEO and Founder of Amara, an organization that has over 60,000 volunteers worldwide who have come together to provide subtitling and translation services to videos on the internet. Reville, who is making significant strides in the media landscape, is a native of western Massachusetts and an
avid connoisseur of dry red wine. He is a believer in the Paleo diet (no wheat or grain) and is a recipient of the 2011 BMW Group and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Award for Intercultural Innovation. Reville is passionate about activism and told CV, “What we are trying to do is to give people new ways to be active agents in the world and to create accessible content more easily.” He reminds us, “No one speaks every language in the world.” Reville asks, “How can we make a video accessible to everyone around the world and ensure that every time a video becomes popular, it is accessible to all?”
Beyonce’s video “I Was Here”, was targeted to reach a billion people & translated into 10 languages in less than 24 hours.
Beyonce with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Beyonce performing “I Was Here” at the United Nations.
Eliminating the language barrier is an impressive goal, but it’s not the only one. Some of the benefits of having subtitling and translation on video content go beyond fostering intercultural exchange. It is an important tool for literacy. “Having people see words along with speech has an incredible impact on language acquisition. It acts on the subconscious,” Reville said, referencing the success of subtitling programmes in India.
“As human beings, language is our important tool for communication. If you and I speak different languages, we are less able to connect. Universal Subtitles bridges this gap.”
Speaking on the role of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), he said the “AOC is an important match for us as it helped us reach a much wider audience and gain greater credibility.”
Co-founder of Amara collecting an international award.
Ted is a major media partner of Amara
The Kony 2012 video was translated into 30 different languages within 48 hours.
“Launched in 2010, working with outstanding partners including PBS Newshour, Khan Academy, Mozilla, and Al Jazeera, Universal Subtitles (Amara) has already garnered more than 200,000 subtitles in 100 different languages, over a half a million video views per month, and over one million unique visits to its website.” - UNAOC
“Amara is the next ‘Wikipedia’– a massive community that’s doing something that would be impossible without global participation, and which benefits all of us.”
Amara partners with multi-media giants including Netflix, PBS and TED, covering topics ranging from culture to politics and news to entertainment. Reville tells CV that Amara is being inundated with requests for translation: “We hope to keep most of what we do completely free by having a set of services for organizations that need special help with creating volunteer teams.” Whatever the next impactful story, whether it’s a video that goes viral and makes us laugh, or a video that goes viral and makes us cry, Amara is waiting and ready to ensure that no one is lost in translation!
Behind the lenz with
Richard Calmes Editors Desk
Blue Transparency, 2009
Richard Calmes is one of the most sought after dance photographers in the industry. He has photographed thousands of dancers from over eighty companies worldwide. A favourite of the Alvin Ailey Company, Calmes, who served as a photographer in Vietnam, has had an interesting life journey. He has been artist, architect, athlete, husband and father. 14
“Develop your own personal style of shooting what you love...actually that will happen naturally!”
Sky Diver, 2009
CV: Have you ever been in love with a dancer? RC: Oh yes and I still am! My beautiful wife of 32 years! CV: Describe your most exciting photo shoot to date. RC: That is very difficult because they all have memorable and exciting moments. I look at my photographs and recall the moments leading up to the “snap”. There are lots of snaps because each image usually takes several tries. Some of my favourite shoots have involved taking dancers out into the world. There were 3 days in New York City that produced many beautiful images. I will never forget the 10 page photo permit I had to shoot on the Mall in Washington, DC. I have shot at sunrise in the Atlantic Ocean and sunset in the Pacific Ocean. I say “in” because I get in the water with the dancers. Just last weekend I shot aerial performers on a stage using my studio lights and that was exciting. Shooting dancers is exciting, no matter when and no matter where!
CV: How did you transition from art; representing war, to dance? RC: My journey from Vietnam War photography to dance involves 40 years and two careers. When I came home from Vietnam, I continued my photography using a spare bedroom and the bathroom as a darkroom. Over time, my career began to take more time and I put away my camera. When my daughter was around 10 years old and taking Ballet class, I purchased a video camera to shoot her dance. As she grew, I shot video of her and her dance company. I became more involved in the dance company, serving on the Board of Directors and raising money. I learned a lot about dance from the inside: about the struggle and about the challenges. I developed a deep appreciation and love of dance and dancers!
Hey Slide, 2012
My daughter grew up and danced professionally and I became more involved in my career putting away the video camera. My career continued until I retired about 10 years ago. About 7 years ago, my wife became the Marketing Director of a Ballet school and one day, she asked me to take photos for a brochure. I had never taken still photos of a dancer but I used the family digital camera and took some shots. I LOVED IT! I loved working with the dancers and working with the light. I began learning as much as I could about the new “Digital Age” of photography acquiring new cameras, lenses and studio lighting equipment.
Some of my favourite shoots have involved taking dancers out into the world. There were 3 days in New York City that produced many beautiful images.
CV: Top 5 locations that you’ve taken pictures at: RC: New York City, Los Angeles, Folly Beach - South Carolina, North Georgia Mountains, Atlanta CV: If you had to choose another profession, what would it be? RC: I have had several, from architect, to marketing officer, to CEO. None have provided the joy and challenge that photographing dancers has done for me. So it would be easy for me to say “Dance Photographer!”
CV: Do you have any tips for young photographers? RC: Yes. Find the area or subjects that you love and learn as much about them as you can! And then take lots and lots of pictures and learn from your mistakes. Develop your own personal style of shooting what you love...actually that will happen naturally! CV: What is your favourite drink? RC: Diet Coke...must have handy at every photo shoot!
CV: Do you enjoy being in front of the camera? Why or why not? RC: I am not much of a subject on my own. I do not mind being photographed shooting dancers. In fact, I frequently hire photographers to do “behind-the-scenes” photos. CV: Is there a particular Dancer or Dance Company that you’d love to capture that you haven’t as yet? RC: I would love to photograph the American Ballet Theatre dancers in the studio and on the streets of New York City.
AÂ CulturalÂ Synthesis To this day, Garifuna music continues to ripple and reverberate with the compounded influence of all the cultures and experiences of its complex historical development. In the over two hundred years before their appearance in Central America, the Garinagu had emerged as a prominent Afro-Amerindian hybrid on the island of St. Vincent. Traditionally, it is held that during the height of the slave trade in the Caribbean, Africans en route to other booming sugar producing islands became shipwrecked near the island of St. Vincent. They encountered the Island Caribs who lived alongside Arawak Indians and from this the Garifuna was born. The cultures merged to form an exquisite blend of the island based values and sensibilities of the Arawaks and Caribs with the richness of Afro based ideologies, customs, language and culture. By Lauren Burn
In 1797, swelling numbers and free status led the agitated British Colonialists to expel the entire Garinagu population from St. Vincent. They were exiled in the bay islands of Honduras. They survived the ignoble removal and from Honduras they drifted and spread like seeds across the Central American coast, taking root and thriving wherever they landed.
Click to see the Andy Palacio’s “Watina” video.
Despite their small numbers, the Garinagu have made an indelible imprint on Belize’s cultural landscape. In 2001, UNESCO declared Garifuna culture and language as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Like the language, Garifuna music speaks to the journey and the experiences that have merged to form a sound that is entirely unique to this region – a sound that integrates African, Amerindian and European influences in perfect synthesis. This willingness to adopt and explore new instruments, new topics and new forms of expression has shown Garifuna music to be a dynamic process and, as it continues to forge its own course, the music has seen its own influx of modernizing influences.
In 2001, UNESCO declared Garifuna culture and language as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” 19
Younger Garifuna artistes tend to favour the more frenzied and rapid pace of Punta Rock that came out of traditional Garifuna drumming and instrumentation. While it continues to feature the sounds of the drums quite prominently, the sound also incorporates a collection of organic and synthetic instrumentals that create an intensely vibrant melody. Barbara Noralez, who has been managing solo Garifuna artistes in Dangriga, Southern Belize since 1995, sees the potential for even greater growth. She points to the critically acclaimed Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective’s Watina album achieved after its release in 2007. It became the first Central American album to reach number one on the European World Music Charts and was later voted the number one album of that year. Noralez shares that there is a lack of institutional support locally and internationally and that generally, artistes have not been able to leverage technological improvements and effectively market Garifuna music on sites such as “Youtube” and “iTunes”. She reveals that the lack of infrastructure needed to build and effectively market Garifuna artists internationally, has led in some cases to a lack of professionalism, disillusionment and alcohol dependencies. It is difficult to encourage young Garifuna artistes to see the potential for success beyond the region’s borders. Noralez sees development beginning with a marketing strategy, highlighting the singularity of Garifuna music and creating an identity such as is done for Reggae music, which evolved out of Jamaica. Noralez notes that indigenous cultures are rapidly being absorbed by a wave of modernization and urban development and, that preventing the encroachment of external influences, in an effort to maintain cultural authenticity, may prove impossible. Garifuna artistes will continue to experiment with music that retains its traditional sound, and music that explores the incorporation of more contemporary influences. One thing is certain, the music will evolve and the remarkable story of the Garifuna will always be known, through the music.
Like the language, Garifuna music speaks to the journey and the experiences that have merged to form a sound that is entirely unique to this region – a sound that integrates African, Amerindian and European influences in perfect synthesis. 20
â€˜Citizen of the Worldâ€™ Ron Van Oers on Preserving World Heritage By Derefe Chevannes
Cultural Voice (CV) interviewed Ron Van Oers, Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific (WHITRAP) in Shanghai, China. He opened up about issues faced by conservationists, his background and recommendations for the future.
Stonehenge: an existing UNESCO World Heritage Site
on Van Oers animatedly said, “The movie Finding Nemo did more for the preservation of tropical fish than any programme devised by UNESCO,” making reference to the role of industry stakeholders in cultural and environmental preservation efforts. Van Oers, former Programme Specialist for Culture at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, coordinated the World Heritage Sites Programme.
“The movie Finding Nemo did more for the preservation of tropical fish than any programme devised by UNESCO.”
Van Oers considers the relationship of his hometown Rotterdam to Holland as similar to Shanghai’s relationship to China: “where the money is being made.” He shared that “Rotterdam was completely burned during the 2nd World War”, but that, “the city has reinvented itself as the city of contemporary architecture.” Van Oers describes himself as a ‘citizen of the world’ and explained that his lifestyle gives him a three-dimensional perspective. He finds this designation a privilege. However, he told CV that when reports of world events are broadcast on television, whether it is flooding in Pakistan, hurricanes in the Caribbean, or earthquakes in Haiti, he not only absorbs the news as an onlooker but can directly relate to the scenes and the people. Van Oers explained that this can be distressing. He revealed that when the earthquake struck in Haiti, he connected not only to the scenes but to the people experiencing the events. He reacted, “Oh my God, everything is gone!”
Halong Bay, Vietnam: an existing UNESCO World Heritage Site
In March 2012, Van Oers published his latest book, The Historic Urban Landscape: Managing Heritage in an Urban Century, which focuses on proper preservation and management of historic cities. He expressed his disappointment with the increasingly hands-off approach of publishers and noted that he had to source reviews and contact journalists, and only received two copies of his book. He admits nevertheless, “At the same time, it is fun!” Building Bridges Van Oers stressed the importance of the private sector, saying that conservationists have difficulties building bridges to the corporate sector, as they see the language of business as contrary to their own initiatives. He advises fellow preservationists to change the language used when communicating with the private sector.
Tsodilo, Botswana - The Mountain of the Gods: an existing UNESCO World Heritage Site
“Broadband is an essential component for bringing out the rich potential that society has.”
Van Oers believes that government should, as policy, ensure that everyone is connected to Broadband. He said that the traditional way of building roads to increase a region’s accessibility has given way to the internet highways and social media. He stresses that a critical factor for people is to have access; they can develop their own platforms.
Old Town of Regensburg: an existing UNESCO World Heritage Site
“It is the government’s responsibility in the Creative Industries to make sure that it’s not only building and maintaining infrastructure, but also making sure that all the artistes and creative persons have access to information and services that will protect whatever is going to be produced.”
Protecting Industries The conversation shifted to protection of the Creative Industries and Van Oers highlighted a case in which an American firm patented the production of steel drums, seen worldwide as an invention developed in Trinidad & Tobago (T&T). While T&T is still making steel drums, it cannot market itself internationally as THE steel drum maker. To prevent loss of cultural property rights, “The government should be setting up special websites and telephone numbers, where artistes can be supported.” Van Oers asks, “Why aren’t we using new media initiatives to tap into the masses so that everyday people say, ‘listen I want to work for the preservation of tropical fish or marine conservation?’” He warns that, “unless the powers-that-be tap into these broader sentiments of human populations, it will be a hard sell.”
Trini Entrepreneurs create Whole Peace Brand By Frances Fulton
hole Peace, a company marketing full Brazilian cut swimsuits for any body type, is a relatively new company owned by two young entrepreneurs from Trinidad and Tobago, Toni Smart and Lynmerie Parris. Toni, a qualified lawyer and accountant, and Lynmerie, with a degree in Molecular Biology, have dived head first into the world of business. For a long time, Toni found it impossible to find the perfectly fitting full-swimsuit that complemented her; that is, until she came across an interesting Brazilian line of swimsuits that fulfilled her needs. This is how Whole Peace was born.
Toni convinced her cousin Lynmerie that it was a great idea to market swimwear that broke the accepted norm of a bikini as the standard for beautiful swimwear. Toni M. I. Smart
Toni convinced her cousin Lynmerie that it was a great idea to market swimwear that broke the accepted norm of a bikini as the standard for beautiful swimwear. It wasnâ€™t a hard task as Lynmerie, always up for a challenge, jumped right in. The girls contacted designers and suppliers in Brazil and Europe and started putting the gears into motion. The line of swimsuits, which encourage peace within oneâ€™s self, has already been launched in 2012 in Trinidad and Martinique. It will be launched in Jamaica at an annual Fashion Showcase in Montego Bay in November. The brand is marketed as a French and English West Indian brand. Savvy on marketing, Whole Peace is sold as a luxury brand and is sponsored by Angostura in Trinidad and Clement in Martinique. The owners donate a portion of sales to the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society, a cause that they relate to personally, having lost their mutual grandmother to this illness. They are exploring a partnership with an organisation in Martinique to support the rights of immigrant women.
Lyn and Toni donate a portion of sales to the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society, a cause that they relate to personally, having lost their mutual grandmother to this illness.
Whole Peace is planning to continue expanding its line utilizing home shopping events and creating a niche in the honeymoon market. Toni and Lynmerie believe Whole Peace will stand out from the pack because of their attitude to work and the high quality product lines.
Cutural Events Opportunities Available UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists 2013 The UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme has the pleasure to announce the 2013 call for applications. The Programme promotes the mobility of young artistes through art residencies abroad. This call is open to creative writers, musicians and visual artists between 25 and 35 years old. To consult the list of bursaries available for 2013 please visit our website.
Grants Available – Endangered Archives Programme
Call for Scholarships of the Mexican scholarships for Foreigners 2013
The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library is now accepting grant applications for the next round of funding. The Endangered Archives Programme offers a number of grants every year to individual researchers worldwide to locate vulnerable archival collections, to arrange their transfer wherever possible to a suitable local archival home and to deliver copies into the international research domain via the British Library. Deadline for application: November 2nd. Detailed information on the timetable, criteria, eligibility and procedures for applying for a grant is available on the Programme’s website.
Scholarships are offered yearly to produce art work in Mexico under the advice of a national or foreign expert in the field. The scholarships are offered to mid-career artists from the countries included in the Foreign Ministry’s scholarship program for foreigners.
Summer Fellowship for International Arts Managers Launched in 2008, the DeVos Institute’s Summer Fellowship for International Arts Managers offers international arts managers an immersive program of study in arts management strategy. For four weeks each summer, for three consecutive years, Fellows participate in seminars, group projects, individual mentorships, and practical assignments supervised by Institute leadership and Kennedy Center senior staff. Apply here.
Exhibitions for October-November
What: Exhibition - Peregrine Heathcote - Romancing Imagination When: Oct 1st - Nov 30th Where:JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, California, USA
What: 2012 Caribbean Rum and Beef Festival When: Nov 2nd -3rd Where: Grenada Cultural Centre Grand Anse, Grenada
What: Exhibition - Elizabeth Garner Hidden Secrets in the works of Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) When: Oct 8th – 23rd Where: The Rebecca Randall Bryan Gallery, Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina, USA
What: Trinidad and Tobago Drinks Festival When: November 3rd -4th Where: Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, Trinidad What: The Mandeville Art Fair When: November 8th-10th Where: Mandeville, Jamaica
What: Exhibition - Aux sources de la peinture aborigène – Featuring Aboriginal artists from the Papunya community in Australia When: Oct 9th, 2012 – Jan 13th Where:Seineside Museum of NonEuropean Art, Paris, France
What: Exhibition - The Astro Project When: Opens Nov 17th Where: Studio 174, 174 Habour Street, Kingston, Jamaica What: Exhibition - African Art, New York and the Avant-Garde When: Nov 27th, 2012 – April 14th 2013 Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
What: Dance Show - ‘Lift up Jamaica’ – Featuring Ashe & Dance Theatre Xaymaca When: October 27th - 28th Where: The Little TheatreTom Redcam Avenue Kingston, Jamaica
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