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MAY 3, 2017 VOLUME XXXV ISSUE X
New College of Florida's student-run newspaper
The Bilingual Cubano-American tutorial finishes with a ‘Big Fiesta’
BY GIULIA HEYWARD
This reporter is one of the students who participated in the Bilingual CubanoAmerican tutorial. Salsa music, Afro-Cuban beats and the sounds of a puppet show stole the silence in the library that usually occurs on Saturday mornings. Families, students and professors crowded the Jane Bancroft Cook Library at the Big Fiesta which took place on Saturday, April 19. The ‘Big Fiesta’ was the final culmination of events hosted by students apart of Professor Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez’s Bilingual Cubano-American tutorial during the fall 2016 semester. The tutorial studied the migration of Cuban immigrants to the Florida region - most notably Key West and Ybor City - during the 1800s. The second mod of the tutorial consisted of
(left) Second-year Kaithleen Conoepan watches as the audiences follows along to the puppet show performed by students at the Big Fiesta in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. (right) Students performed as puppet-version of Paulina Pedroso, Jose Marti and Ybor Vicente Martinez.
projects that the class was responsible for doing: a puppet show featuring activist and leader of the Cuba Libre
movement, Jose Marti, Paulina Pedroso and Vicente Martinez Ybor; a bilingual newspaper, entitled the Cuba
Libre; a revamped guantanamera song with lyrics passed out that doubled as a coloring book; and a timeline that chronicled important moments during this time period. The event attracted students, faculty and families from the Sarasota area. Children sat down in front of the audience to watch the puppet show, while parents leafed through issues of the Cuba Libre. Almost everyone munched on cafe con leche, pastelitos and croquetas. “I thought it was nice to see a diverse community, not only NCF affiliates, but friends as well [of Professor Labrador-Rodriguez],” second-year Kaithleen Conoepan said. “I feel that the audience really enjoyed the puppet show, especially the kids who would laugh and comment on how
continued on p. 11
Q&A with Rafael Hernandez on future of Cuban-American relations because it has been a permanent factor in Cuban history for more than two centuries, especially cities in South Florida like Miami, Tampa and St. Petersburg.”
BY ANYA CONTRERAS-GARCIA Since diplomatic relations between the Unites States and Cuba began normalizing in June 2015, Americans and Cubans alike have wondered what the future of CubanAmerican relations will look like. Dr. Rafael Hernández, a Cuban scholar whose expertise involves Cuban and U.S. culture and politics, spoke about the current stage of the everevolving international relations at New College of Florida’s Sainer Pavilion on April 25. Cuban-American Catalyst reporter and layout editor, Anya Contreras-Garica, sat down with Dr. Hernández before his presentation to ask him questions about the future of relations between her two countries. Comments have been edited for length and clarity.
Dr. Rafael Hernández hold up a copy of Temas, a Cuban quarterly magazine.
small town at the center of Cuba called Cabaiguan. My grandmother was a very respectable elementary school teacher who taught many people how to read and write, which What inspired you to become the greatly influenced my interest in education. scholar you are today? “After I got my BA from the “I grew up in the 1950s, in a University of Havana, I was offered
2 LGBTQ in Russia
to go to Mexico to continue my studies. I decided to focus on U.S.Latin American relations, and was one of the founders of the Center for the Study of the Americas in Cuba. I was there for almost 20 years as the Director of U.S. Studies. “I have always had a deep interest in learning about the U.S.
6 Palestinian Womanhood
How do Cubans on the island view Cuban-American dissidents? “I find that there is a meaningful difference between the average Cuban dissenter – any person who may have a critical view of a certain government or policy – and dissidents. What I observe among the Cuban dissidents in Miami is that many of them are very dogmatic, rigid, hard-liners. “Reconciliation and dialogue cannot happen with people who take such an inflexible stance towards normalization. If you are so against the re-connection between the Cubans in Cuba and the Cuban diaspora in the United States, I don’t continued on p. 11
12 New Music New College
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NEWS PAGE 2
Chechen torture prisons reflect LGBTQ discrimination in Russia BY JACOB WENTZ Please note that some of the following content is deeply disturbing. Though I personally prefer “LGBTQ+” in place of “LGBT,” I resort to the latter not only to illustrate the lack of civil rights advancements within Russia, but also to show, in part, how international media has been covering the situation. Recent allegations made by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta state that the Chechen Republic, commonly referred to as Chechnya, detained over 100 men suspected of being gay. These claims, in addition to those about secret jails in which men are reportedly tortured, led to international outcry about the current state of civil rights in Russia. What’s happening in Chechnya Investigative journalists from Novaya Gazeta made the report that over 100 men had been detained in secret prisons on suspicion of being gay. Many of these men had apparently been beaten and tortured. At least four men were said to have been killed. Chechen authorities and government figures, under the leadership of Ramzan A. Kadyrov, dispute the claims made by the newspaper, asserting that gay men do not exist in the region. “I said before, and I repeat now, in Chechnya we just don’t have this problem,” spokesman Alvi Karimov told New York Times reporter Andrew Kramer. “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic. If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.” When asked if he was certain that there were no gay men in all of Chechnya, Karimov said that he found that question strange, but that he was certain. Other authorities, such as Heda Saratova, who represents the local government on matters of human rights, said similar things. “I never saw them with my own eyes,” Saratova told Kramer, referring to gay men. “I see flies, I see mosquitoes, but I have never seen a gay man.” Homosexuality is considered taboo in deeply conservative Chechnya. Because of the social conditions of the region, men often marry women to disguise their sexuality. This is the case for “Ruslan,” a man who fled Chechnya after being detained
and tortured for being gay. Ruslan is not the victim’s real name because, even now, he lives in fear of being identified. “If beating you with their hands and feet is not enough, they use electric shock,” Ruslan told the BBC. “They have a special black box and they attach wires to your hands or ears. The pain is awful. It’s terrible torture.” As Chechen security forces hunted down gay men in the region, someone singled Ruslan out. Interrogators tried to get Ruslan to disclose the names of other gay men, but he refused. Soon after his release, he fled the republic. “They used to detain people before all the time to blackmail them,” Ruslan said. “Now [the aim] is the extermination of gay men, so that there are none left in the republic.” These claims support those made by government officials that there are no gay men in the region. The intense conditions in Chechnya raise larger questions about LGBT rights in all of Russia. LGBTQ+ Rights in Russia “I never heard of them. I never thought of them. In my 50 years, I have never seen a gay man.” Saratova told the New York Times. LGBT people in the Russian Federation face challenges - both legal and social - that non-LGBT people do not experience. Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law, formally known as the federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values,” was unanimously approved by the State Duma in 2013 and signed by President Vladimir Putin 21 days later. The law bans the dissemination of “propaganda for nontraditional sexual relationships” among children. These “nontraditional sexual relationships” are understood to be lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships. “This law openly discriminates against LGBT people, legitimizes antiLGBT violence, and seeks to erase LGBT people from the country’s public life,” Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) told HRW reporters. “The authorities have fined only four people, but that is four too many.” One of the only examples of Russian pro-LGBT support comes from a 15-part documentary series about the lives of a group of young transgender, gay and lesbian Russians called TransReality. Even with this series surprisingly
"Congratulations to Pariesa, Dylan and Jasmine for BACCing!" © 2017 the Catalyst. All rights reserved. The Catalyst is available online at www.ncfcatalyst.com, facebook.com/NCFcatalyst, @ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria Vesperi. It is developed in the New College Publications Lab using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign and printed at Sun Coast Press with funds provided by the New College Student Alliance.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images Investigative journalists from Novaya Gazeta made the report that over 100 men had been detained in secret prisons on suspicion of being gay.
being aired on the Kremlin’s flagship international TV channel, RT, there are still massive amounts of homophobia in the country. Since Putin’s re-election as president for a third term in 2012, state TV has repeatedly portrayed the acceptance of LGBT lifestyles as “a disease of the decadent West.” These sentiments were seen in a documentary called “Sodom,” which aired on an official channel called Rossiya 1 a few months before TransReality. The documentary referred to gay people as “sodomites” and “perverts,” drew a parallel between homosexuality and pedophilia and suggested that the campaign for LGBT equality was part of a U.S.-backed conspiracy to undermine Russian nationhood. How to help Located in Moscow and organized in cooperation with the Moscow Community Center, the Russian LGTB Network “continues to work on the evacuation of those persecuted by the authorities in Chechnya because of their real or assumed homosexuality.” As of April 17, around 60 people have contacted the Russian LGBT network. Of these victims, some are still in the area and are in need of urgent evacuation. Others have managed to relocate themselves but are still in need of further assistance. More than 30 people have already been provided with support. “Among those who have applied to us for help, there are two victims
Pariesa Young General Editor Giulia Heyward Managing Editor Ryan Paice Copy Editor Magdalene Taylor & Jacob Wentz Online Editors Audrey Warne & Layout Editors Anya María Contreras-García Katelyn Grimmett, Staff Writers Jasmine Respess, Dylan Pryor, & Photographers Jordi Gonzalez, Jason D'Amours, Kelly Wilson, Cassandra Manz,
of the persecutions, with whom we suddenly lost contact for unknown reasons. We presume some people may have decided to delay their decision to leave the region, but unfortunately, we cannot rule out the possibility that something more untoward has happened to them,” a press release from the Russian LGBT Network stated. Individuals and organizations from around the world are collecting money and donating it to the Russian LGBT Network. The organization asserts that the money will go towards transportation, accommodation, basic goods, medical and psychological support and the preparation of necessary documents. The organization also mentions that it is dangerous for most of the survivors to stay in Russia, and that it is therefore preparing to evacuate as many people as possible. For those that are not able to provide monetary support, there is a petition on change.org that has already been signed by 348,000 people. The petition is titled “Russia Prosecutor General, investigate mass murder and torture of LGBT people in Chechnya.” It demands a full investigation of all the facts and unlawful repression of LGBT persons in Chechnya and calls for punishment of the “guilty parties.” Information from bbc.com, nytimes. com, hrw.org, lgbtnet.org
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NEWS PAGE 3
Tensions between pro-government and opposition groups in Venezuela escalate BY JASON D'AMOURS Thousands of people took to the streets of Venezuela within the past month, capturing media attention worldwide. Most marched against what they see as President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian rule. This recent burst of opposition-led movements calls for Maduro to address the worsening political, economic and social climate in Venezuela, but was specifically prompted by what some see as a deliberate effort by Maduro to disrupt checks and balances within the government. At the end of March, Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice nullified the ability of its National Assembly - the legislative branch of the government - to grant President Nicolás Maduro the ability to create joint oil ventures. Instead, the court declared it would be stepping in for the National Assembly. This comes after the overturning of numerous National Assembly decisions since their oppositional win in 2015. Following that win, reports emerged with accusations of votebuying in Amazonas state. As a result, the Supreme Court barred the four legislators from Amazonas while an investigation took place. Since then, the court has assumed that the National Assembly is in contempt of court for failing to carry out their legislative duties. The Supreme Court’s actions are nothing new. According to Venezuelanalysis, the National Assembly has not been able to exercise complete control since January of 2016. The only difference this time, concerning the news from March, is that the judicial branch declared that they will be standing in for the National Assembly until the issue is resolved. The Supreme Court reversed its ruling three days later, but the month since has been marked by anti-government, opposition led demonstrations that have left at least 32 people dead and many more injured. Venezuelanalysis estimates that nine of the recent deaths have been caused by anti-government groups, five at the hands of state security and the rest caused by accidents. The initial protests had several different purposes: to march against record food shortages, rising unemployment, high inflation rates, the suspension of elections, to convince the government to re-establish the separation of powers and to rally against the arrests of many protesters demanding these things. Julio Borges, the President and opposition-leader of the National Assembly, has referred to Maduro as a dictator, accusing him of carrying out a ‘coup d’etat’, Reuters reports. In the same vein, other opposition leaders have joined him in calling for protests against what they see as Maduro’s creeping authoritarianism. However, not all Venezuelans see this “creeping authoritarianism.” On April 27, hundreds of Chavista women rallied in Caracas to demand an end to
the violent opposition protests. “We Chavista women, we love our country, we meet here to reaffirm our commitment to the revolution and in defence of the peace of our people, and we strongly reject the violence generated in recent days by violent right-wing groups,” Mirian Lopez, rally-goer, said in an interview with Venezuelanalysis. When Maduro was elected in 2013 after the death of former President Hugo Chávez, he assumed the role of leader of the chavista political movement’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Some sources credit Chávez for leading the Bolivarian Revolution and transforming the economy by providing free education, health care and better conditions for lower income Venezuelans. The Washington Post, however, reports that Maduro inherited an economic crisis because of Chávez’s economic policies, such as “using P.D.V.S.A.’s [the state’s oil company’s] revenues to pay for generous social welfare benefits that won votes, failing to save for more difficult times, and discouraging private industry that could have diversified the nation’s economic base.” “The capacity of the Venezuelan state to provide for its poor comes from the capacity of the Venezuelan state to create profit from the petroleum that has been nationalized,” Sarah Hernandez, professor of sociology, said, echoing the use of P.D.V.S.A. profits for social benefits. “High oil prices, making more money from selling petroleum internationally, [...] is used to provide housing to the poor, provide healthcare, provide a wide variety of programs.” However, Professor Hernandez also addressed the point in the Washington Post’s quote about how some believe that those profits and benefits were only used to win votes. “Some people would see [these benefits] as being carefully planned, to gain the favor of particular groups of people,” she said. “So it's seen as, okay the money is not being used for the middle classes, [...] they're being used to help the very poor and only certain neighborhoods so that the government maintains, basically, their base support.” Despite differing opinions regarding Venezuela’s economic condition, most sources agree that the nation is currently experiencing a crisis. “Maduro has made almost no observable effort over the past year to tackle the roots of Venezuela’s most pressing issues, such as the economy, crime and corruption, and the government appears to have no clear roadmap out of the current political/economic crisis, let alone any obvious plans for advancing with the revolution,” a contributor for Venezuelanalysis reported in an op-ed. The above quoted remark about the current political and economic crisis is likely referring to soaring inflation rates, unemployment rates, poverty rates and shortages of food and medicine. Unemployment is set
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Thousands of people took to the streets of Venezuela within the past month, capturing media attention worldwide.
to surpass 25 percent and inflation rates are expected to reach 720 percent this year. CNN reported data from a national study conducted by three Venezuelan universities that found that the percentage of respondents eating two or fewer meals per day tripled from 2015 to 2016, from 11.3 percent to 32.5 percent, respectively. The Venezuelan Health Observatory, a research site at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, estimates that less than 10 percent of operating rooms, emergency rooms and intensive care units are fully operational. Professor Hernandez recognizes that Maduro is serving in a different historical moment than Chávez did, and thinks that Maduro needs to recognize that the state can no longer provide in the ways that it used to when oil prices were still high. “They have to rethink the economic policy, and in my personal opinion, I think the problem is that they did not have the flexibility to do that,” Professor Hernandez said. “They stayed the course and that has created a whole set of serious problems within. [...] The cost of foreign goods have become more expensive, so to produce anything national becomes more expensive, so the overall economy becomes less affordable and a growing number of people are unable to buy things.” Growing up in both Caracas and Valencia, these problems strike close to home for third-year Eugenia Quintanilla. After her mother received death threats for protesting and publicly speaking out against Chávez, her and her mother were eventually granted political asylum, leaving her dad and extended family in Venezuela. “I think seeing the place that I grew up in ravaged by violence on such a large scale is frustrating and I want everyone to know what's going on and be aware,” Quintanilla said. “The food shortages and medicine shortages are especially what frustrates me the most.” The political, economic and social climate of Venezuela is complex, just like any other nation. The current conditions in Venezuela are largely reported on, but the reasons why, and who is to blame, are greatly contested.
For a broad understanding of what is happening in Venezuela, look to multiple news sources, not just Western media. “We have had a very long history of U.S. intervention throughout Latin America,” Professor Hernandez said. “So we look at the world from a particular, I would say, it's not even from the selfinterest of the general population of the U.S., but the self-interest of the business sector of the U.S., that then pushes the American population to see the world from a very particular angle.” Information for this article was gathered from venezuelanalysis. com, theguardian.com, mic.com, pbs. org, reuters.com, cnn.com, and the washingtonpost.com. first-year Sofia Jimenez said. “I’m probably going to go there a lot so [I] can still get a little taste of Latin American food. It’s the closest food from home.” Sandra Pascual, the director of marketing for the chain, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that Pollo Tropical has aggressive growth plans and that she expected to open more stores in the Sarasota-Bradenton area within the next few years. “The opportunities are limitless,” Pascual said. “We’ll start with one and take it from there and look to open more. It all depends on real estate availability.”
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Colorado frees the nipple by halting ordinance BY JASMINE RESPESS Free the Nipple can check a tally in the win column. It is now legal for breasts to be out in public in the state of Colorado. U.S district court Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted an injunction halting an ordinance in Fort Collins that prohibits women from exposing their breasts. “I find that the ordinance discriminates against women based on the generalized notion that, regardless of a woman’s intent, the exposure of her breasts in public, or even in her private home if viewable by the public, is necessarily a sexualized act. Thus, it perpetuates a stereotype engrained in our society that female breasts are primarily objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not,”Judge Jackson wrote. Fort Collin’s No. 134 ordinance stated that women over the age of 10 could not be bare chested in public unless breastfeeding, since it would be a distraction to drivers and pedestrians and endanger children. Those who broke the law were subject to pay as much as $2,650 in fines and even 180 days in jail. "As someone who has lived in
Colorado and who goes to Colorado often to see my grandmother and religious teachers, I am relieved to know that in those contexts and beyond i can experience the freedom of whole tits out for both myself and those around me,” alum Ganga Carina ’12 said. “Thank you Colorado.” People were glad a body part would now be less demonized. “I was super pleased when I heard that news don't think it's a big deal for women to show their breasts and I think it's a step in the right direction even if it is minute,” University of Central Florida graduate Ali Gilbert said. “I hope this might open the doors for other states to do the same [...] It still blows my mind that "female breasts" are illegal.” Some other places in U.S. where toplessness is legal include, New York, Seattle and Miami, at the beaches. “That it's a huge win for America,” Madeline Kirshner, a senior at Fort Lewis College said. “If I can't have my titties out anywhere else I don't want to leave.” Information for this article was taken from USA Today.
COUP theme chosen
BY JASMINE RESPESS Graduation Center Of the Universe Party (COUP), formerly known as Palm Court Party (PCP) is a time honored tradition, especially important to graduating students. It is a celebration and a party that alums go out of their way to attend. This year, it almost didn't happen, but fourth-year students pulled it together. There was a vote on the theme and Fuck Yeah Burn it to the Ground won, but they decided on a collaboration with the second place winners, Mystery COUP. “We are teaming up with the hosts of Mystery COUP to make "Fuck Yeah Mystery COUP,” thesis student Kayla Evens said. “We really wanted a final party as graduating students, but didn't want to the full burden of a standard one-sponsor, full-out COUP.” The planners are hoping that having multiple parties involved will help alleviate planning stress. “This one will probably smaller and less press out, with an emphasis on music and food rather than unique decorations,” Evens said. “I am glad that this coup will be more focused on music,” thesis student Kasia Burzynski said. After a long semester, student want to ring in the summer.
Confederate monument removed in NOLA BY JASMINE RESPESS A 40 foot, 15,000 pound monument to a confederate group was recently removed in New Orleans. According to the New York Times, the obelisk was built in 1891. It was erected to honor the Crescent City White League who fought in the Battle of Liberty Place. They fought against the racially integrated New Orleans militia. The statue was constructed during the Reconstruction-era. The monument was removed with police guard nearby. The monument was originally located on Canal Street, but was relocated to Iberville street in 1993. This particular statue has served as a rallying spot for the Klu Klux Klan memebers and former Imperial Wizard David Duke. In the 80s, local leaders attempted to get the statue removed. “The decision to remove these statues was made after a lengthy public process that determined these statues failed to appropriately reflect the values of diversity and inclusion that make New Orleans strong today,” New Orlean’s Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
The New Orlean’s City Council voted 6-1 to have the statue removed. In 2017, that vote was upheld by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana. This is the first of a group of monuments that will be removed in the near future. A statue of Confederate general Lee and another of general P.G.T Beauregard will soon be removed as well as a monument to the only Confederate President Jefferson Davis. These statues will not be destroyed. “The City intends to move to a place where they can be put in historical context,” Landrieu said. “The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance.” The location of the statues will not be disclosed, for security reasons, as New Orleans seeks out an appropriate space, such as a museum. Both Black Lives Matter demonstrators and confederacy sympathizes were present at the monuments removal.
How to use extra HAM Points BY JASMINE RESPESS As the semester comes to an end, students are either rolling in Hamilton Center (Ham) points, almost out, or have been dry for quite a while. Bill Moore, Metz General Manager for New College, provided the community with a few suggestions: 1. USE THEM 2. Donate to Racing Dog Retirement or All Faiths Food Bank. 3. Donate to Student Card. This will be a card that any student can use for a meal that is out of Ham points. This card can only be used in the café for meal per visit. The card will start May 8, 2017. Order in bulk to take home. This will be food items only at retail pricing.” Bulk ordering will be available until May 8, 2017. Funds will be taken out of account on the day of purchase. Students will need to use an N#. Bulk kitchen orders included products such as ground meat for $50 and 40 pieces of chicken breast for $80. Bulk store items are also available and store items can also be purchased. Interested students must make a request through Moore. “I am going to buy as many grocery items I can,” third-year Milo Bickel said. “I don't have much money for grocery store food and just kinda stock up on stuff. [...] Plus I can buy friends meals. [...] If I have leftovers, I think they still let you donate them so I'll do that.” In recent years, students have not been able to transfer Ham points to one another directly, so having more options is helpful to those with too many points and too little. “I am glad there is a Ham donation card,” third-year Ellie Airst said. “Especially since we don’t really have a free table anymore and people are still hungry.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or requests.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons The Liberty Place Obelisk in 1912.
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NEWS PAGE 5
What’s at stake in south Florida
The risks of climate change and what local governments are doing to mitigate it BY CASSIE MANZ In a 2016 study released by the Yale Program on Climate Communication, it was found that 70 percent of people in the United States believed global warming was happening and 53 percent believed global warming was caused mostly by human activity. In Florida, the state average of adults per county who were at least somewhat worried about global warming was 57 percent. The percentage of worried adults was higher in South Florida compared to the panhandle area and North Florida. Florida is ground zero for climate change. As the flattest state in the country and one of the lowest in terms of elevation, it stands at a considerable risk to the effects of sea level rise. Six of the ten American urban centers most vulnerable to storm surge are in Florida, according to a 2016 report from CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. Many cities, including Key West, Key Largo, Fort Lauderdale and Miami have experienced more extreme tidal flooding and seasonal tidal flooding as sea water rises up from the drainage systems and floods streets and lawns. Although developers continue to build along the coast and beachfront, the real estate market in Florida could lose a considerable amount of money in property values as the seas rise. According to a report by Risky Business Project, between $15 billion and $23 billion of existing property in Florida will likely be underwater by 2050. By 2100 it could be between $53 billion and $208 billion. In Miami-Dade county, where the effects of climate change can already be seen, 77 percent of adults believed global warming was happening but only 45 percent believed global warming would harm them personally, according to the Yale study. As a low-lying coastal city just four feet above sea level, Miami is one of the most vulnerable places to rising seas. According to a projection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, by 2045 Miami-Dade County is expected to see about a 15-inch rise in sea level above current levels. This rise won’t just mean more intense tidal flooding. Sea level rise could also cause degradation of land in the Everglades and increased saltwater intrusion, saltwater contamination of the drinking water supply and flooding of power plant substations and ensuing power outages, according to a 2016 report on tidal flooding and sea-level rise in Miami-Dade County. Climate change migration The peer-reviewed journal Nature released a study in April that seeks to pinpoint where climate change will drive people in the United States, as people will be forced to leave their cities when warming temperatures and sea level rise become more intense. The results provide, according to the author
Photo courtesy of Lynne Sladky/Associated Press Juan Carlos Sanchez paddled a kayak with his shoes on a flooded street in Miami Beach last year.
Matthew Hauer, “the first glimpse of how climate change will reshape future population distributions and establish a new foundation for modelling potential migration destinations from climate stressors in an era of global environmental change.” The study found that more than 2.5 million Miami residents may someday be forced to leave the city - the highest number in any city in America. Florida could lose 2.5 million residents to other states by 2100 if seas rise by 1.8 meters. This loss would critically affect local economies in Florida. Hauer points out in his study that many of these residents may not actually be able to afford to leave. There is a growing consensus that climate change will and does affect minority and low-income communities disproportionately. In Hauer’s report, he names Austin, Orlando and Atlanta as the top three landlocked cities that would take in the highest amount of climate refugees. Around 460,000 people, many from South Florida, are predicted to migrate to Orlando. In this future world of sealevel rise migration Hauer warns that the waves of migration will overwhelm landlocked cities that are not prepared for the surge in population. Hauer’s study assumes that sea level will rise by 1.8 meters by 2100.
In a new study that accounts for the melting of ice sheets on Antarctica, it was hypothesized that oceans could rise by close to two meters in total. This doubles many other estimates of sea level rise. The 2013 report from the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that the high-end sea level rise would be just under a meter by the turn of the century. Working against climate change in South Florida According to the Sun-Sentinel, South Florida has been nationally recognized for its work on climate change. In 2010, following the first Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach and MiamiDade counties came together to form the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact, designed to work on climate change mitigation across county lines. The four counties have also begun creating positions specifically designed to deal with climate change. The Sun-Sentinel reported the efforts: in 2012, Monroe County hired its first “sustainability coordinator,” in October 2015, Miami-Dade created the “chief resilience officer” position, last March Palm Beach hired a “climate change and sustainability coordinator” and
"2.5 million Miami residents may someday be forced to leave the city."
seven months later in September of 2016, Broward named a “chief climate resilience officer.” Miami-Dade County’s Chief Resilience Officer James Murley visited New College to give a talk titled “Enhancing Local Sustainability Through Resilience Planning” on MAY 3. Murley focuses on resiliency planning to make cities more sustainable. During his talk at Sainer Pavilion he said that all departments of city and county government should be responsible for taking action in coordinating the solution of moving towards resilience. He described his resilience strategy as the “sweet spot” of balancing between the economy, ecology and equity. On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people descended on Washington D.C. to participate in the People’s Climate March. Sister marches happened across the country and world on Trump’s 100th day in office, including a march in Sarasota. The marchers hoped to send a message to President Trump that climate change is real and people want the administration to act on it. Information for this article was gathered from nytimes.com, miaminewtimes.com, miamiherald. com, nature.com, sun-sentinel.com, bostonglobe.com, washingtonpost.com, ucsusa.com.
NEW COLLEGE CELEBRATES
Palestine Womanhoods Week BY GIULIA HEYWARD “The U.S. is not exactly the ideal place to exist while Palestinian,” thirdyear and New College Student Alliance (NCSA) Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI) Leen Al-Fatafta wrote in an email interview. “There’s a lack of education around and interest in Palestinian struggles. [...] This is partly why we decided to organize Palestinian Womanhoods Week, to educate and to raise awareness about the different realities Palestinians face across the globe.” New College of Florida’s first Palestine Womanhoods Week took place from Monday April 24, to Friday, April 29, and consisted of a lecture with a keynote speaker, panels and discussions, film screenings and a dinner party. The event was hosted by third-year and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI) Leen AlFatafta, as well as with the help of firstyears Abeer Obaido and Dalia Jacob. Rite of Return: Palestine, Feminism and Academia Palestinian Womanhoods Week began with its keynote speaker, Amal Eqeiq, delivering a lecture entitled “Rite of Return: Palestine, Feminism and Academia” at the Sainer Pavillion on Monday, April 24 at 6:00 p.m. Eqeiq serves as Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature at Williams College. Eqeiq began the lecture, which captured the attention of students, faculty and staff, with the question of “Who is your panel?” She challenged the audience to consider who their audience was at any given moment. This was followed by a Q&A session where the politics of identifying as Palestinian, colorism and solidarity and support were discussed. “It’s not about validating Palestine and saying that it matters,” Eqeiq said at one point during her lecture. “Palestine already matters!” Movie Screening and Discussion: Radiance of Resistance The lecture was followed by a movie screening of the award-winning film ‘Radiance of Resistance’ which tells the story of 9-year-old Janna Ayyad and 14-year-old Ahed Tamini and their journey into becoming global ambassadors for human rights. The film screening took place on Tuesday, April 25 in Hamilton “HCL” Classroom 7. After the film, viewers participated in a discussion to discuss the film’s theme, message and overall application to the real-world. Panel: Solidarity Across Struggle Easily the most heavily attended event was a panel featuring local activist and Sarasota resident, Shakira Refos and activists Laila Abdelaziz, Dezeray
Lyn as well as second-year and NCSA co-President elect, Ximena Pedroza. Students and faculty watched as Al-Fatafta facilitated the discussion, asking questions related to activism at New College, activism in Sarasota and the nuances of building coalitions. The panel was informal in style, allowing audience members to ask question and vent their frustrations with the privileges non students of color are privy to when being activists on campus. “People don’t want to get too close, if it’s affecting the community that they still want something from,” Refos said in reference to the lack of involvement from white Sarasota residents during the controversy over the ‘Newtown’ exhibit last week. Movie Screening and Discussion: Lemon Tree The second film-screening of the week was of another critically acclaimed film, Lemon Tree. The film screening took place in HCL 8 on April 27. Lemon Tree tells the story of Salma Zidane, a widow living in the West Bank, whose lemon tree becomes the subject of a ground breaking Supreme Court case. This film screening was also followed by a discussion. Lecture: A Conversation with a Palestinian-American Woman Samah Dahmas-jarrah is a Palestine-American journalist and former CNN reporter who discussed her experiences from attending the University of California-Berkeley and later worked in broadcast and print journalism, all while focusing on the theme of “statelessness” and her growing understanding of what it means to be Palestinian. This event took place on April 28 in the Sainer Pavillion. Dinner Party The final event took place at the Four Winds Cafe and was a dinner party to celebrate the week’s success. This event was populated by students who dined on delicious food while chatting and talking about their days. “Our hope for this week was to highlight the multiplicity of experiences Palestinian women go through,” Al-Fatafta wrote. “We also wanted to de-essentialize the category of Palestinian woman, who is often portrayed to be a victim [...] we wanted to channel the resiliency, the resistance and the powerful love of Palestinian women as they navigate the combined reality of occupation, displacement and patriarchy.”
Second-years Matthew Bocanumenth, Simona Rahi and Jeeda AbuKhader chat at the dinner party at the Four Winds Cafe on Saturday.
Third-year Leen Al-Fatafta interacted with the crowd, and the panel, during the discussion on activism and forming coalitions on Wednesday.
More information about Palestine Womanhoods Week can be found on their Facebook page.
all photos Giulia Heyward/Catalyst
The keynote address required the audience to think about concepts such as who their audience is and the significance of their country and heritage.
The panel on Wednesday was easily the most heavily attended event of the week with dozens of students who packed into the room to listen in on the discussion.
Panelists Laila Abdelaziz, second-year and NCSA co-President elect Ximena Pedroza and local activist Shakira Refos were included on the panel.
Guest Samah Dahmas-jarrah discusses her experiences understanding "statelessness' and the evolution of her Palestine identity as she moved around the world.
Second-year Matthew Bocanumenth samples the food at the Saturday dinner party.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
NEWS PAGE 8
The 100-day scorecard
Trump’s pledges for the 100-day mark left unfulfilled BY PARIESA YOUNG The 100th day of the Trump presidency passed on April 29. With a number of promises still under scrutiny or unfulfilled, this first landmark of Trump’s time in office has left his supporters and opponents wondering how the next 1300 days will play out. Although Trump called the 100-day mark an “artificial barrier,” he set the bar for himself by presenting 28 promises to the American people in the form of a contract on his website. Now that this checkmark has passed, we can see just how much the president has (or has not) achieved so far. According to donaldjtrump.com, the accomplishments the new president has made in his first 100 days have not been adequately represented by the mainstream media. “The mainstream media lies. Don’t let fake news dominate the truth. President Trump promised to Make America Great Again and he is fulfilling his promise to you,” the site reads. Trump’s 28 promises – 18 of which would require executive orders, and ten of which need to be passed through legislation – were released to the public during his campaign. The 18 promises for executive orders included three main objectives: reducing corruption, protecting the American workforce and restoring security and the rule of law. Of these 18 promises, only seven have seen significant progress or success. Of the 10 pledges introduced in legislation, only one has been supported with specific policy action. “Draining the swamp” Trump’s first six promises focused on reducing “corruption and special interest collusion” in the Capital. Running on a campaign that valued disrupting the status quo, Trump promised throughout his bid for the
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Trump's 100th day since being inaugurated passed on Apr. 29, 2017.
presidency to “drain the swamp” that is Washington, D.C.. Some of the concrete ways this might happen were outlined in his “Contract with the American Voter”: imposing term limits on Congress, implementing a federal hiring freeze, reducing federal regulation, banning political officials from becoming lobbyists, or lobbying for a foreign government and banning foreign fundraising for American elections. On his first day in office, Trump did implement a federal hiring ban through an executive order, but the order was in practice for only 90 days, and was lifted ten days early. While his goal was to “reduce the federal workforce” except for military, public health and safety, the hiring ban only resulted in about 1,000 less out of almost three million federal employees. Trump was more successful in achieving his goal to reduce federal regulation and red tape. He signed an executive order to do exactly what he promised – ordering two regulations to be eliminated for each new one imposed. Several liberal groups have filed suit against the first order, saying that the
order is not in Trump’s constitutional authority and that it would unduly benefit big business at the detriment of public health and safety. Another executive order called for all federal agencies to form a task force for looking at regulations that could be eliminated or reduced to save costs. Despite backlash from environmentalists and more, Trump has done exactly what he promised for deregulation. Although by day 50, Trump also imposed a five-year ban on top officials lobbying for foreign governments, his other pledges to curtail lobbying have either failed or not been initiated. Protecting workers In an effort to “protect American workers” Trump pledged to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the TransPacific Partnership (TPP). While he did withdraw from the TPP, Trump pivoted from completely opposing to “tweaking” - but ultimately continuing - NAFTA. Trump also pledged in his campaign to have the Secretary of the Treasury label China a currency
manipulator. In addition to failing to do so, Trump also admitted in an interview with the Associated Press that he would not call the nation a currency manipulator as long as the United States needed China’s support in a potential conflict with North Korea. While this has earned him some praise, the turnaround still runs against Trump’s campaign promise. Trump has had more success in his pledge to lift restrictions on energy reserves. He has rescinded Obama’s climate plan and is considering withdrawing from the Paris agreement. The president also followed through on his promise to approve energy infrastructure projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline. Intended to elevate workers, this group of promises – and the very few steps that have been taken to implement them – are of particular concern to environmentalists and climate change activists. Trump’s budget threatens huge cuts to UN climate funding, but it is yet unclear whether those changes will pass. Rule of law To “restore security and the constitutional rule of law,” Trump set out to cancel all of the former president’s unconstitutional executive orders. Although all of Obama’s actions were constitutional, Trump overturned a number of changes that were made in the prior administration. Arguably one of Trump’s most clear wins in fulfilling – and actually exceeding – a campaign promise was the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, to fill Justice Scalia’s seat left open for the last ten months of the Obama administration. Other pledges that Trump made to “begin removing [...] criminal illegal
continued on p. 11
Hooters girls, racial slurs and other factors in Frank Artiles’s resignation BY KELLY WILSON On Friday, April 21, Florida Senator from Miami, Frank Artiles stepped from from the State Senate for “personal reflection.” As his explanation for his use of a racial slur was less than satisfactory to many, the move was a desperate attempt to leave quietly. Unfortunately, this move came before he could explain why female Hooters employees were paid as consultants during his campaign. While having drinks at the Governors Club in Tallahassee with co-workers Senator Perry Thurston of the 33rd district and Senator Audrey Gibson, a black female of the sixth district, Artiles made a racially
charged comment. Artiles’ comment, explaining Senate President Joe Negron’s election using blatant racial slurs and prejudice, was made drunkenly, according to Artiles, for which he has since apologized. He said that Negron was only elected because six [n-word]’s in the Republican congress elected him. In his tirade, he also called Gibson a “bitch” according to a report in CNN that Thurston gave. He later apologized for his remarks. The Democratic Party still called on him to resign for his remarks. "His use of horrific racist and sexist slurs towards his colleagues is disgusting, unacceptable and has no place in our democracy or our so-
ciety,” the Florida Democratic Party stated. To make matters worse, on April 21, the Miami Herald reported that Artiles’ PAC, Veterans for Conservative Principles, paid former Hooters model Heather Thomas $2,000 and former Playboy model Brittney Singletary $1,500 on the same dates, and listed them as consultants despite neither of them having any political experience. When the Miami Herald reached out to them to ask why they were listed as consultants - as well as about Artiles’ other expenditures, such as a trip to the Kentucky Derby and a fishing tournament in Key West - and both the PAC and Artiles refused to comment.
photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Artiles swearing in as a State Senator in the Florida House of Representatives.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
NEWS PAGE 9
Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s suspicious death further confused by conflicting media reports BY KELLY WILSON Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first black women to be appointed to New York’s highest court. On April 12, her dead body was recovered from the Hudson River near Manhattan. The confusing reports regarding her death - in addition to several suspicious circumstances surrounding the situation - have been the basis of widespread controversy and conspiracy. Background Abdus-Salaam graduated from Barnard College in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She went on to receive a law degree in 1977 from Columbia University’s School of Law. Later that year she began her career as a staff attorney at East Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation. In 1991 she was elected to the New York City Civil Court bench, which began her judicial career. In 1993 she was elected as the Supreme Court Justice of the state of New York for New York County. This election made her the first black female judge to sit in this position. She was nominated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Rising from working class roots to serve for decades on the bench of the New York State Supreme Court, Justice Abdus-Salaam has a deep understanding of the everyday issues facing New Yorkers, as well as the complex legal issues that come before the state’s highest court,” Cuomo said in a press release. Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing liberal judge, presiding over many cases involving LGBT+ rights, including a case which expanded the rights of LGBT+ parents to seek custody and visitation for children who were not biologically related to them. Rumors There are reports that AbdusSalaam was Muslim, which inspired headlines stating that she was the first Muslim elected to this position. However, this statement was established in an error made by Senator Kevin Parker of the New York State Senate. Abdus-Salaam’s first husband was Muslim, and when they wed Abdus-Salaam took his name but never officially converted to Islam, according to the New York State Court of Appeals spokesperson Gary Spencer. Her current husband, Reverend Canon Gregory A. Jacobs - an Episcopal priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark - has come out to correct other well circulated facts about Abdus-Salaam’s life. "Despite the ongoing investigation, some media outlets and others have conjectured that
Sheila was the victim of a 'probable suicide.' These reports have frequently included unsubstantiated comments concerning my wife’s possible mental and emotional state of mind at the time of her death," Jacobs wrote in a statement on his church’s website. Originally the New York Times and the Washington Post - among others - repeated an unverified report that two of Abdus-Salaam’s family members, her mother and brother, committed suicide surrounding the date of Easter in years prior. However, Jacobs and other family members have come out to dispute these claims. “Sheila’s mother, the matriarch of our family who died at age 92 in 2012, did not take her own life, Shelia’s younger brother, who died in 2014, lost his battle with terminal lung cancer,” the Turner family, Abdus-Salaam’s extended family, said in a statement to NBC News. These statements were eventually corrected after New York State Police began investigating Abdus-Salaam’s death as a suspicious death, instead of as a suicide. From Suicide to Suspicious Death Abdus-Salaam was found dead in the Hudson River at 1:45 p.m. on April 12 near 132nd Street in Manhattan. At that point, New York Police told reporters that there were no signs of trauma or any obvious injury that might indicate foul play. The New York Daily News reported on April 13 - when AbdusSalaam’s death was ruled a suicide by New York police - that Abdus-Salaam had began taking medication for depression a few weeks before her apparent suicide. However the source of this statement is not named, and instead the facts are credited to a high court official, and an otherwise unspecified police department source. These claims circulated, along with the reports of suicide running in Abdus-Salaam’s family, despite the fact that Jacobs’ disputed them. However, there were substantiated claims which contributed to the conclusion that Abdus-Salaam’s death was a suicide. Marilyn Mobley, an official at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland as well as a close friend to Abdus-Salaam, told the New York Times that she met with AbdusSalaam prior to her death and that Abdus-Salaam reported feeling stressed and overloaded by casework. “What she shared with me is she had been under a lot of stress recently and that she was having trouble sleeping. The truth is she was accomplished, resilient and strong,
photos courtesy of the Associated Press
(top) Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first black women to be appointed to New York’s highest court. (bottom) In 1993 she was elected as the Supreme Court Justice of the state of New York for New York County.
and she had a breaking point like everyone else. I fear it got there,” Mobley told the New York Times. As well Mobley’s testimony, there was evidence that AbdusSalaam was not feeling well on the day of her death. On Tuesday, April 11, Abdus-Salaam allegedly called her assistant to report that she would not be in to work because she was not well, according to the New York Times and ABC news. Despite these reports, other friends of Abdus-Salaam, such as former New York state assemblyman, Keith Wright, didn’t believe this was a suicide. “Sheila was one of the most rational measured and intellectual folks that I’ve ever known, I don’t believe she killed herself,” Wright told the Associated Press. In the hours after Abdus-
Salaam’s death, investigators treated her death as a suicide, stating that there was no signs of trauma on her body. Reports now state that there was bruising on her body and video footage of Abdus-Salaam on a security camera heading towards where her body was found. According to the New York Times, an autopsy into AbdusSalaam’s death found bruising on the judge’s neck. The article pointed to the possibility that Abdus-Salaam was choked sometime, possibly days earlier, or that the bruises were created during the body recovery process. The investigation remains open, as police continue to investigate the situation leading to the influential judge’s mysterious death.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
BY MAGDALENE TAYLOR Every spring semester, students get three days off that for some, might feel like a break. For others, these three days are used to showcase and defend the work they've spent the last year creating: their thesis. Even if you're not thesising yourself, there's a lot to gain from attending other students’ baccalaureate exams, known as BACCs. Here's some of the interesting theses that students presented this year during BACC days: Thesis student: Francisco Andrés Pérez Thesis title: The Stock Imagery of Crisis: Incorporation as Methodology and Analytical Tool in Contemporary Visual Culture BACC pun: None Refreshments: Publix iced tea, croissants, coconut macarons, berries Pérez presented their thesis at 10 a.m. on Monday morning, May 1, in the Issermann Gallery Projection Room in Caples. They pursued a special AOC program in Visual and Critical Studies, which allowed them to create a thesis that not only blended Art and Art History, but also approached these topics through lenses of philosophy, sociology and critical theory. Their BACC discussed the function of abstract geometry in art, and critiqued the notion which artists like Peter Halley have attempted to assert that abstract geometry is a Western concept. This also brought up ideas about the role of reproducibility and incorporation in art. Part of the BACC involved Pérez delivering a slideshow and then discussing the written portion of their thesis, and was then followed by a viewing and discussion of Pérez’ artworks that are currently displayed in the Issermann Gallery. Thesis student: Mariana Bonilla Thesis title: Four Seasons Share Organic CSA Farm in Guangdong, China and La Cooperativa Las Cañadas in Veracruz, Mexico: Two Case Studies for Establishing Agricultural Intentional Communities as a New Social Movement BACC pun: The last four years were probably an L, but tonight I bounce [bacc] Refreshments: Croquetas, pastelitos, yuca, platanos maduros. Bonilla presented her thesis at 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon in a library classroom. Bonilla’s thesis was interdisciplinary, combining her passion for sustainable farming with film and language. Bonilla utilized continued on p. 11
The Activist Newsletter BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERAS-GARCÍA This week (5/3 – 5/11), activists have the opportunity to participate in panel discussions, protests, movie screenings and meetings! Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding economic justice, trans rights, farmworkers rights, LGBTQ+ rights or racial equality. Check out ncfcatalyst.com for a full list of events! Wed, May 3 Fight For $15 Roundtable @ 6 – 9 p.m. Fogartyville Community Center, 525 Kumquat Ct, Rear, Sarasota, Florida 34236 Activist Kofi Hunt will host this important discussion on the latest developments for the fight for a $15 minimum wage. This is a potluck event. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Wed, May 3 Trans Surgery Options with Dr. Salgado @ 6 – 7:30 p.m. Metro Wellness, 3251 3rd Ave N, Suite 125, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 Gender confirmation surgery advancement options have changed for the Female-to-Male and Maleto-Female transgender population. Dr. Christopher Salgado from the University of Miami will discuss advancements and answer questions. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Sun, May 7 Protest Publix for Farmworker Justice! @ 2 – 3:30 p.m. Publix, 13550 Immokalee Rd, Naples, Florida 34120 For seven years, Publix has refused to protect farmworkers human rights by joining the Fair Food Program. Join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for a lively protest outside Publix to pressure them to support farmworkers rights! For more info, contact Patricia (patricia@ allianceforfairfood.org) or check out the event page on Facebook. Mon, May 8 Black Lives Matter Open Meeting @ 6:30 – 8 p.m. Goodwill, 1781 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Sarasota, Florida 34234 At this meeting, community
members will provide updates on Black Lives Matter initiatives in Newtown and discuss a study that was done locally and recently published "Bias on the Bench". For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Tues, May 9 How to Protect LGBTQ+ Rights @ 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, Florida 34232 Panelists will address the dramatic expansion of LGBTQ+ support in Florida schools, including some important developments in Sarasota. Panelists include an attorney who served as lead counsel in the ACLU’s federalcourt litigation that brought marriage equality to Florida in January 2015, a public policy director for Equality Florida, and the program coordinator for ALSO Youth. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Thurs, May 11 13th: Movie Screening and Discussion @ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Seminole Heights Library, 4711 N Central Ave, Tampa, Florida 33603 Join this important discussion on Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary 13TH. The title refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which outlawed slavery, yet the horrors of mass criminalization and the prison industry still fit this mold. Testimonies from activists, politicians and formerly incarcerated people will get your blood boiling and your tear ducts flowing. For more information, check out the event page on Facebook.
Songs you should heAR STUDY EDITION BY JORDI GONZALEZ Some say silence is the best study music, but for wavering A.D.H.D. prone minds of the technology era, sounds can really help get the mind on the right track. Whether it’s straight trap music or heavy metal screams, music can stimulate the mind better than most activities. Here are a few selections for the grind. “Water Ripples” by Enno Aare The high-pitched notes of the piano dance like a water nymph over the lower, softly played keys in the background. This piece feels nostalgic in a way. It’s smooth, relaxing and pleasing to listen to. With no vocals, the song can be perfect for a calm studying environment. “BUS RIDE” by KAYTRANADA A blend of electronica with jazz like sounds. A drum that kills it with mysterious string instruments swaying side to side. It does make one feel like they’re on a long, monotonous bus ride. Just like our study lives. “Do You Believe in Soul Mates” by josh pan One of the mellowest mellows I have ever had the pleasure to mellow out to. Your guess is as good as mine as to why the name was given for this song as it has no lyrics. A thick fuzzed bass sound permeates the song really well, but not too distracting to one’s diligently studying mind.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
Rafael Hernandez CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
think this is a positive thing. I believe dissent is very important in any democratic political culture, but we must be able to work together. “Another problem with CubanAmerican dissidents is that they have been associated with the interests of the United States government. Even those Cubans who do not approve of Cuba’s current government and policies do not like the authoritarian stance of American policies towards Cuba. “The conflict between the two countries is not only ideological, but it is also about a big power dominating a small nation on the border of that big power. When there was initial support for the Revolution in Cuba, many of the supporters had completely different political views. Why did they merge together into one movement? Because they had a common enemy, a common threat – the United States. “If we want to solve the social issues that plague us, we must not allow ideology to blind us. I see no difference between a hardline Communist and a hardline dissident. They don’t want to have a dialogue.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 two case studies for her thesis, having travelled to Four Seasons Share Organic CSA Farm in Guangdong, China and Las Cañadas in Veracruz, Mexico to conduct research for three weeks at each location during her time as a student here. Bonilla used the mediums of interviews and documentary filmmaking to explore how people are forming social movements through small-scale sustainable farming. She presented a short documentary of her own featuring footage that she took during her research trips.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 funny the sock puppets were.” This sentiment was shared by other students in the tutorial who were present at the Big Fiesta. “I was really grateful that my mom got to see all the work I put into learning more about my culture,” second-year Camilla Vallejo, who is of Cuban and Ecuadorian descent, said. Vallejo participated in the tutorial, and acted as Christina, the protagonist of the puppet show. “I connected with my family [by being in the tutorial] and I was able to understand more, and the reasoning behind Cuban-American culture.”
They’re not democratic.”
What do you think about many Cuban-Americans in Miami voting for Trump? “During the campaign, Trump sent many mixed signals regarding his stance towards Cuba. But what has happened in his first 100 days? Has he rolled back any policies towards Cuba implemented during previous Presidencies? No, that has not happened. “According to Professor Guillermo Grenier [one of the lead investigators of the Florida International University Cuba Poll], approximately 53 percent of CubanAmericans who voted for Trump favor normalization and lifting the embargo. They separate voting for Trump and policy towards Cuba.” Do you feel like American tourists fetishize Cuba? Are they commodifying Cuban culture at the expense of the Cuban people or are they bringing much needed capital to the island? “What I ask my students is, ‘Do you think the Americans are going to be any worse than the Italians who come to Cuba?’ Many Europeans, Canadians, even Mexicans who come to Cuba are not the best tourists. Drug consumption and prostitution increase when tourism increases. “The upper-middle class Americans who are coming to Cuba are fascinated by Cuba regardless of their political positions. They say, ‘I wanted to see Cuba before it changes, before there is a McDonalds on every corner.’ It is like they are having a reencounter with the Cubans they have in their minds that they believed disappeared because of Communism. “Tourism is the most important exchange happening between these two countries. They are coming to Havana and staying in bed-andbreakfast houses with real Cuban
Dr. Rafael Hernández answers audience questions at his presentation in
Sainer Pavilion on Apr. 25.
families. I think this is great because it’s the best way to know a country. We can learn from each other. You can visit and talk to real Cubans and listen to what their concerns and problems are. I think this is good for Cuba, good for the American tourists and good for relations between the two countries.” Because of the double-currency system in Cuba, there is a generation of Cuban youth watching their parents and role models leave their professions as doctors and engineers to join the tourism industry as waiters and cab drivers because they will make more money. What effect do you think this will have on Cuban society?
“I think that a degree that does not equate to a salary proportional to that degree is a fundamental problem in Cuba. Nuclear physicists had to quit their jobs to work in hotels. But, you have to remember that this is not happening in a bubble. This has been going on, and the people are adjusting. “The negative impact of this distortion, what scholars call the inversion of the income pyramid, has been very negative to all Cubans, not just young Cubans. Yet, universities are full of youth studying things that will not earn them a high salary. Perhaps some of them will join the tourism industry of leave Cuba, but many will not.”
100-day scorecard CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8
immigrants” and halt immigration from “terror-prone” nations have not exactly come to fruition as he campaigned for. Both of Trump’s attempts to ban immigrants from Middle Eastern countries have been blocked by federal courts. Legislative measures Out of ten proposed legislative measures that Trump would work to pass in the first 100 days, only one piece of legislation has seen any traction. Failures include the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, pass a tax reform bill, improve education in American schools, build
a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and eliminate corruption in Washington. In fact, for most of the first 100 days, Trump has been alleged to commit a range of ethics violations in the White House. Other propositions, such as ending the Offshoring Act and increasing infrastructure investment, have not even been addressed by the president in his first 100 days. Although the first 100 days of a presidency are indeed an “artificial barrier,” if they are also an indicator of the next four years, the Trump presidency is going to be one of broken
promises and pivoting platforms. For his supporters, this clearly conflicts with the vigor of Trump’s original aspirations for his first 100 days in office. But for Trump’s many opponents, his failure to follow through provides even more questions about how the remainder of his presidency will play out. Information gathered from Donaldjtrump. com, whitehouse.gov, ap.org, nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
SONIC COMMUNICATIONS NMNC delivers another electrifying season BY JORDI GONZALEZ
Winning recipient of the 2015 Hermitage Artist Retreat’s Greenfield Prize in Music, composer and drummer Bobby Previte performed the world premiere of his latest piece “Rhapsody (Terminals Part II: In Transit)” at the Mildred Sainer Fine Arts Complex in Caples Campus on Apr. 21 and 22. Thanks to the innovative, idealistic and interdisciplinary organization, New Music New College (NMNC), which dedicates itself to five performances a season, some students get to see their original compositions performed by professionals around November in the Fall term and March in the Spring. This most recent show included Nels Clein – lead guitarist of the band Wilco – on acoustic-electric guitars, John Medeski on piano, Greg Osby on alto sax, Zeena Parkins on harp, Jen Shyu on vocals, percussion, piano and erhu (Chinese fiddle) and last but not least, the man himself, Bobby Previte on drums, guitar – and even harmonica. “New Music New College developed out of the music program and became a way to not only explore contemporary music, but to also ask questions in an interdisciplinary way,” Provost Stephen Miles said. “I thought it would be really important for our students to have exposure to more types of contemporary music and to hear that music performed by first rate musicians.” Every performance is free with ID to all students, faculty and staff of the institutions that are part of the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast (C4), including New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida, University of South Florida at SarasotaManatee and Eckerd College. Traditionally, each of the five performances per season are about one hour in length, with no intermissions and a free reception immediately after, so that curious attendees can have a chance to speak with the performers themselves. NMNC pushes for interaction and dialogue between the listeners and the artists, as to encourage the ongoing conversation of music. The Thursday before every performance there is an Artist Conversation – an informal preview of the show to come – in which Miles quickly introduces the performers before a piece is played for five to ten minutes. Visitors can give comments or ask questions about the music and what they may have personally felt or experienced. Through this, the artists learn new insights on their own work that could even inspire newer works.
“I’ve never heard a comment that didn’t offer a clue to something that we hadn’t really thought of before,” Miles said. “The idea of conversation and shared learning is a big, big part of New Music New College.” NMNC upholds the idea that each performance is a distinct, unique experience in relation to the music, normally experimental and contemporary, and the frame of the event; equal value is given to the choice of each venue. Primarily, shows are held in different venues throughout campus due to the fact that NMNC gets contributions from the school in which spaces can be used freely for rehearsals or performances. These occur in places such as the Sainer Complex which creates a formal, in-house experience; PepsiCo Arcade, the space right behind the Sainer, that is a nice outdoor patio ambiance; Club Sudakoff, where the Harry Sudakoff Conference Center is transformed with lights and added round tables, made for more informal experiences where audiences can move around and eat congruently. “I’m hoping that people will have a powerful experience, and I emphasize experience, that leads them to think of new possibilities for music,” Miles said. “We think of the event as an experience. It’s not just [about] the music.” For next school year two of the five performances will be particularly student-oriented with components being performed by students. The November performance will incorporate the final projects of Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Mark Dancigers’ current Electronic Music students with dance accompaniment by students of Adjunct Instructor of Dance Leymis Wilmott’s classes. Then, in March, a grandiose artistic extravaganza will be taking place all over the Academic Center and the Koski Plaza. The idea of the extravaganza being a rendition of composer John Cage’s “Circus On” which is a set of instructions on how to transform a book – in this case Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein celebrating the novella’s 200th anniversary – that will include several performers that dance, chant and sing. Participants for the extravaganza will involve, “as many students as I can recruit,” Producer of NMNC Ron Silver said. “This is going to be for anyone from people who are musicians and actors to people who just want to be involved in the performance.”
Lucy Shelton was one of the performers present at New Music New College.
NCF students Emma Kervel, Juliana Lind, and Eugenia Titterington and alum Erich Barganier performing Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, Paragraph 2
All the performers of Cardew’s The Great Learning, Paragraph 2.
The full version of this article can be read on ncfcatalyst.com.
all photos courtesy of Nancy Nassiff of Elan photography
John Medeski, Bobby Previte, Greg Osby, Zeena Parkins, Nels Cline, and Jen Shyu in Sainer, 4.22.17