WOMEN: The War We Are Living: Women, War & Peace in Colombia - Women, War and Peace > PBS

The War We Are Living

November 1, 2011

Watch the full episode:

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If you ask Colombia’s city dwellers and governing political class, they’ll tell you the country’s 40-year-old civil war is over. But The War We Are Living reveals the “other” Colombia, in rural areas far away from the capital, where the war is all too real – and now the battle is over gold. In Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are fighting to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community through small-scale mining for centuries. Clemencia Carabali and Francia Marquez are part of a powerful network of female leaders who found that in wartime women can organize more freely than men. As they defy paramilitary death threats and insist on staying on their land, Carabali and Marquez are standing up for a generation of Colombians who have been terrorized and forcibly displaced as a deliberate strategy of war. If they lose the battle, they and thousands of their neighbors will join Colombia’s 4 million people – most of them women and children – who have been uprooted from their homes and livelihoods. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.

Watch the promo

Credits for The War We Are Living

More from the Women, War & Peace series:

I Came to Testify
The moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned and raped by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
The astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war.
Peace Unveiled
Three women in Afghanistan are risking their lives to make sure women’s rights don’t get traded away in peace negotiations with the Taliban.
War Redefined
The capstone of Women, War & Peace challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, Secretaries of State and seasoned survivors of war and peace-making.

via pbs.org


HISTORY + VIDEO: West Africa in Mexican Rice Cultivation and Gastronomy

West Africa in

Mexican Rice Cultivation

and Gastronomy

Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas

The present work reveals that, among others, rice, rice cultivation, and a major part of rice gastronomy, arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century from the Senegal-Gambia region of West Africa as cultural capital of the West African Ancestors who were brought to Mexico at the time. The reconstruction of a plausible history of the successful transplantation of rice to Mexico in the first half of the sixteenth century provides agency to Senegalese-Gambian women and men in the building of Mexican national crops, gastronomy and identity.

VIDEO + AUDIO: Joy Frempong aka Oy

Norient spoke to Joy Frempong in the context of the project Sonic Traces: From Switzerland.




Thomas Burkhalter, an ethnomusicologist, music journalist and cultural producer from Bern (Switzerland), runs the research project «Global Niches – Music in a transnational World» at the Zurich University of the Arts. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of norient – Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture. He produced and tours with the audio-visual performances «Sonic Traces: From the Arab World», «Sonic Traces: From Switzerland», co-curates the norient Musikfilm Festival), and co-directed the documentary film «Buy More Incense» (2002) about Indian and Pakistani musicians of second and third generation in the UK. His dissertation «Creating Sense out of Chaos: New Sounds from Beirut« researched empirically experimental and popular music in Lebanon (University of Bern and Oldenburg, 2009). His book «Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut» is going to be published by Routledge in 2013.
More : Info



Simon Grab is a musician and producer from Zurich.
Website: ganzerplatz.ch




Oy Interview: SXSW 2010

OyFor her debut effort, Swiss-Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Joy Frempong looked to the past to create a fuzzy, alternative present. In 2006, the songstress decided to make an album based on childhood memories and began asking friends for off-the-wall stories and remembrances from their formative years. The result is 'First Box, Then Walk,' a dreamy mix of avant-garde pop four years in the making that was released under Frempong's stage name--Oy--in February. 

Oy's first U.S. tour takes the dream weaver to Austin for three SXSW shows starting on Wednesday, Marcy 17 at Baby Blue Studio. Frempong spoke with Spinner following a stop in Seattle.

How did you come up with your stage name?

Well, I'd never used an alter ego before and wanted to have one before I set up a Myspace page. I just dropped the first letters of my name which I thought sounded kind of funny: Oy Rempong. Then I decided to use just my first name. I didn't think about practical things though--Oy is hard to be found in internet search machines but it's nice and compact.

Describe your sound in your own words.

It's hard to label my music. There's some acoustic stuff, but mostly it's playful electronic music and, as it's a concept album, it's very narrative. Also it's very much based on soulful vocals. Plus there's a lot of weirdness in it. 

What influences that sound?

I totally adore Nina Simone, she's my number one hero, and then when I discovered Moloko at the time it was mind blowing to me and has certainly been a major influence. Anyway, I listened to a lot of other electronica at the time. I was educated as a jazz singer and composer and played classical piano for a long while too. 

I grew up with African and European gospel music, so there's some of all that stuck in my head. Perhaps I practiced handstands for too long. It seems like all the influences have been shaken up in my head and they come out as some indefinable cocktail.

How did growing up in Ghana affect your sound and interests, musically? 

I'm pretty sure it did affect me, although I've never dug into the polyrhythmic concept too much and wouldn't be able to play along with Ghanaians. I'd miss all the cues. And then there's the whole choir/call-and-response thing, which I also know from American music on records, but in Ghana I got the live experience of that whole energy.

When did you start making music as Oy? 

I started working on this project about four years ago. I was playing with several bands, I still am, and had the urge to do a thing of my own. There were so many possibilities as I'm interested in different styles and was also considering writing out music for a bigger band, including strings or horns. I finally decided to stick to what I could do completely on my own and started jamming around on the piano, harmonium and toys. 

What's the concept behind the album?

One part of what I was interested in was a poetic world of innocent melodies that I associated with childhood and, as it's easier for me to work with a topic, I decided to make a concept album based on childhood memories. 

Is the album based completely on your memories?

[It's] derived from my own stories and others my friends had mailed me. I started out with little vocal loops and went on sampling all sorts of instruments, toys and objects in order to create the music. 

The little sketches grew over time and finally I got some friends to add drums and bass to certain tracks that I wanted to sound fuller. Frederik Knop from Berlin pimped up the rather trashy sounds and did a whole lot to round up the mix.

What is it about childhood that interests you artistically?

I guess it's the fact that everyone can relate to it and you're thrown back into this whole different state of being as a child, so you trigger memories of people, each unique and at the same time sharing a general feel of the time when imagination and games were a major part of one's existence.

What's it like touring in the U.S. for the first time?

So far people have been amazingly hospitable and willing to help out and make it happen. I guess one difference in organizing tours is that the U.S. seems to be a bit more flexible in terms of setting up short notice gigs. And it seems it's normal in the U.S. to have a lineup of many bands whereas I'm used to having only one band per night plus their support act, and often at small venues there's none.

What do you know about SXSW? 

Everyone I know knew about the festival. I didn't, but I've found out by now what an amazing event it is. It's not the kind of gig you don't do if you can, I guess.

Have you played many festivals in the past? What's in your festival survival kit? 

I have played quite some festivals, but I've never needed a survival kit.

What's your musical guilty pleasure? 

Playing classical piano pieces too fast and too bad and only halfway through and thinking about the poor composers turning in their graves.

And your biggest vice?

'Miami Vice.'

Chris Opfer is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.


Exclusive Interview + DLs:

Ghanaian Electronica From Oy


Ghanaian/Swiss singer Joy Frempong aka Oy constructs infectious, left-of-center African inflected electronica, lavished with stories, proverbs and a basketful of samples from everyday life in the continent. We spoke to her about her influences, her recently released album Kokokyinaka, out via Creaked Recordsand got two exclusive downloads of singles “Akwaba” and “Market Place.”

Your songs live in a unique sonic landscape between Western electronica & pop and traditional Ghanaian/African music. How do you arrive at your sound?
For this album I chose to search for lyrical and musical content around African countries I had visited or was planning to visit, and to combine these influences with my experimental approach to writing music. I love a broad range of music, and probably just want a bit of everything in my own songs – so I’ve found a playful approach to juggle with styles and clichés. Using effects (electronic and natural) on my vocals helps me slip into different characters and the fact that I record my own samples makes the music never quite sound exactly like what it might remind you of. The acoustic drum set of Lleluja-Ha, who provided warm beats, is of major importance for this album as it’s almost the only ‘real’ instrument on the album. And when I got stuck with the field sample library I bought my first synth ever.

The album contains samples collected across the continent — in Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso and SA. Can you tell us about those trips, how you came about some samples and how they were later used?
I spent the first 7 years of my life in Ghana and have visited the country many times ever since, but was curious to get to know some other African countries. I chose Mali because of my love for musicians I had discovered in Europe, hoping to find more when I was there — and I did. Luckily enough, we arrived exactly at the time of the biennale of music, dance and opera, and my ears received beautiful massages!

I was also hunting for local proverbs and traditional stories like I had been told as a kid. In Bobo-Dioulasso I found (young) story teller Ismael Sawodogo, who combines his two jobs of being a taxi driver and a story teller for the best: finding new stories by talking to passengers and entertaining passengers by telling them his own creations. This encounter was so rich that I invited Ismael to perform with us at La Cigale, Paris for festival Ile de France past October.

>>>Download:Oy “Akwaba”

In South Africa, on a cultural residency and for shows, I started cutting up into snippets and samples all the material I had recorded while travelling Western Africa, and did a few collabs and jam sessions. The track “Chicken Beer” was born out of a jam session with João Orecchia and Mpumi Mcata of BLK JKS in Johannesburg. I later revisited it and combined it with lyrics inspired by a 75-year old Ghanaian farmer and watchman who I had asked for a message to my friends in Europe.

The bass sound in that track is a sample of my mother’s very noisy washing machine, recorded in northern Ghana. There’s a South African bird in there, the audience clapping at the biennale in Mali, and rhythmical elements include knives being sharpened at a market in Ouagadougou. Later the drumming of Lleluja-Ha and electronic beat of Christophe Calpini, as well as replayed samples of João’s and Mpumi’s guitar, took the track in another direction.


The melodic string-like instrument in the hook on the track ‘Bienvenue’ is actually the wooden door at the cottage house I was staying at in Johannesburg. It didn’t fit smoothly into the frame, and the sound of forcing it open served me well as a melodic sample. The squealing of Ismael the taxi-driver/storyteller’s brakes, did me a similar services. As a vegetarian I faced a dilemma when receiving a cock and two guinea fowls from old friends around Christmas. I didn’t save their lives, but made sure I’d keep their voices on the album (“Juju”).

So certain samples were actually used to create melodies or as rhythmic elements, while others, like the “Halleluja” sample recorded in a small village church, simply help telling the story of – praising the Lord for hair, even if it’s a wig made of some Indian lady’s natural crown that was meant to be sacrificed in a ritual. God here, God there – Halleluja everywhere!

>>>Download: Oy “Market Place”

What bands or musicians would you say influenced the album?
This is some of the music that accompanied me in the period of working on the album or doing research for it: older African musicians like King Sunny Adé, Ali Farka Touré, traditional Ghanaian songs and highlife music as well as modern artists like Wanlov The Kubolor / FOKN Bois or Amadou et Mariam. On the European side, some of my recent favorites are Little Dragon or James Blake. It’s hard to say who influenced me to what extent but I am certainly what I eat, so I try to chew the good stuff!


What’s the meaning behind the album title Kokokyinaka?
Kokokyinaka is the Akan (Ghanaian language) name for the bird ‘Great Blue Turaco or Giant Plantain Eater’ whose looks I love – blue with a punky crown. It’s also said to have taught man to drum, and so drummers would not kill or eat it. The reason I chose the title was because of this poem:

Kokokyinaka Asamoa, the clock-bird, how do we greet you?
We greet you with ”anyaado”
We hail you as the drummer’s child,
The drummer’s child sleeps and awakes with the dawn.
I am learning, let me succeed.


PUB: Henry Hazlitt Novel Writing Contest > Fiscal Press

The First Annual Henry Hazlitt Contest
for Business Fiction 
The Henry Hazlitt Contest is a writing competition for the best new novel with a business or economics theme by a debut author.  The winner will receive the 2013 Henry Hazlitt Award for Business Fiction, which includes a cash prize of five hundred dollars ($500) and an offer of a publishing contract that includes a royalty advance of $2000.
Traditionally, business has been portrayed negatively in most novels. The purpose of this contest is to provide some balance to this situation, and thus provide a publication opportunity to debut novelists with a positive business mindset. 

Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993) was a prominent economist, author, literary critic and journalist.  During his life, he worked for such publications as The Nation, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, and Newsweek. He is the author of such books as Economics in One Lesson (1946) and Time Will Run Back (1966), the latter being a strongly pro-business novel.  

The Henry Hazlitt Contest for Business Fiction is not associated with the Henry Hazlitt family or his estate, but is a creation of Fiscal Press to honor his lifetime of literary work promoting business and industry.

  Official Contest Rules
1.    You must be an  unpublished author, not previously or currently bound by a publishing contract.

2.   The novel must have a theme related to business, finance, entrepreneurship or economics.  The novel's theme should be pro-business.

3.   The target audience for the novel can be any age from middle-grade to adult.  No picture books.

4.   Manuscripts will be accepted electronically between December 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013.  

5.   The winner will be announced on or before July 1, 2013.   Fiscal Press, Inc. reserves the right to not proclaim a winner if the editors feel that none of the submissions meet the minimum requirements for publication.

6.   Submissions should be double-spaced, 12-point font and in MS Word format.

7.   Submissions should be emailed to contest@fiscalpress.com.  Please also include a short author bio.

8.   Contest entrants must be legal residents of the United States of America.

9.   Your entry must be your original unpublished fictional creation in the English language.

10.  Your novel should not contain profanity or explicit sexual content – a good writer can communicate without these.

11.  Manuscripts submitted to the contest cannot be actively marketed by you or your agent to other publishers during the contest period.

12.  The winner will receive a $500 cash award.

13.  The winner will receive a publishing contract offer from Fiscal Press that includes a royalty advance of $2000 if executed.  The winner is under no obligation to accept this offer.

14.  By entering this contest, you consent to the promotional use of your name, likeness and biographical information for any purpose connected to the contest without additional notification or permission, except where prohibited by law.




PUB: Pen Parentis Writing Fellowship for New Parents > Poets & Writers

Pen Parentis

Writing Fellowship for New Parents

April 17, 2013

Entry Fee: 

A prize of $1,000 is given annually to a fiction writer who is the parent of a child under the age of 10. The winner also receives an invitation to give a reading in New York City. Submit a story of up to 1,400 words with a $25 entry fee between March 1 and April 17. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Pen Parentis, Writing Fellowship for New Parents, 176 Broadway, 14F, New York, NY 10038.

via pw.org


PUB: Call for Papers: West African Languages Congress 2013 > Writers Afrika

Call for Papers:

West African Languages Congress 2013

Deadline: 30 May 2013

Despite years of scholarly research a large percentage of the indigenous languages of West Africa have not been documented. Several of the languages are at the risk of being lost. Greater attention to diversity, environment and sustainability in the global discourse has not reflected much in terms of support for and development of indigenous languages. Although there is a heightened sense of activities and activism for language documentation, there has been no commensurate attention to the very important aspects of description, development, modernization and integration of local (West African) languages with global information infrastructure. This appears to be leading us once more to the ideological issue of resource exploitation. The critical question remains, how do we make West African Languages relevant and work for those who speak them? We are once more forced to rethink the role of the linguist and interrogate West African Languages Curricula in the face of emerging realities. The task of language documentation is particularly necessary so as to plan the future with the past, since information/ facts derived from such efforts can have positive impact on current and future linguistic endeavours.

The aim of the conference is to explore the different perspectives from which language studies reflects or impacts on the different aspects of human endeavour. In addition it seeks to foreground the various areas in which language and linguistics interface with diverse capacities and disciplines. Given the current realities of modern human life it seems increasingly compelling for Linguists to find common grounds with other disciplines while emphasizing language as a core human capacity. The conference brings together researchers and students in the various fields of language studies as well as aspects of professional life in which indigenous languages play a part. This is expected to motivate an exchange of ideas and promote discussions of, progress in and development of these areas in West African languages. We hope that through the conference participants will be able to consider the issue of sustainability in research and practice.
The sub themes of the conference include (but are not limited to):

  • Language Typologies

  • Morphology and Syntax

  • Phonetics and Phonology

  • Semantics, Pragmatics and Discourse

  • Language shift, maintenance and documentation

  • Language and education

  • Language policy and language management

  • Language, the media and ICT

  • Language and the community

  • Language and industry

  • Language and medicine

  • Language and governance

  • Language and Business

  • Language and Law

  • Language and poverty

  • Language and migration

  • Cross-border languages and regional cooperation

  • Cognitive corpus linguistics and Corpus-based computational linguistics

  • Language competition: Ex-colonial languages vs. indigenous West African languages

  • Literature, film and popular culture

  • Language, gender and power

  • Language, identity, culture and translation

  • Language, Peace and Conflict
Participants are invited to submit abstracts dealing with any of the sub themes and other related areas. They can be up to a maximum of 300 words long. It must be typed in a 12– point font and in both word and pdf file formats. Deadline for the submission of abstracts has been extended from 31 March, 2013 to 30 May, 2013.

Individuals and organizations who would like to present demos and organise workshops/special events should contact the LOC Secretary, Dr Oye Taiwo, Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria through the e- mail address: oyepaultaiwo@gmail.com.

Abstracts can be submitted through the following e-mail addresses: tayolamidi@yahoo.com. (Chairman, Abstract sub-committee: Dr Tayo Lamidi); oyepaultaiwo@gmail.com (Secretary, LOC: Dr Oye Taiwo).


For queries/ submissions: tayolamidi@yahoo.com or oyepaultaiwo@gmail.com

Website: http://www.walc2013.com



CULTURE: Black Erotica's Scottie Lowe of AfroerotiK 03/25 by myCultural Conversations > Blog Talk Radio




PHOTO ESSAY: Omar Victor Diop Photographer Fine Art Fashion

Reviving the West African staged portrait tradition.

© Omar Victor Diop (2012)


Omar Victor Diop was born in Dakar in 1980. Since his early days, Omar Victor Diop developed an interest for Photography and Design, essentially as a means to capture the diversity of modern african societies and lifestyles.​
The quick success of his first conceptual project Fashion 2112, le Futur du Beau which was featured at the Pan African Exhibition of the African Biennale of Photography of 2011 in Bamako (Rencontres de Bamako) encouraged him to end his carrer in Corporate Communications to dedicate to photography in 2012.

Omar Victor Lives in Dakar, his body of work includes Fine Arts and Fashion Photography as well as Advertising Photography. He enjoys mixing his photography with other forms of art, such as costume design, styling and creative writing.

His work is interrogative and intriguing, prospective, yet a tad vintage and draws inspiration from Diop's international uplifting, as well as his african visual heritage


FRANCE: Exposition Solo aux Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie dʼArles 2012 (OFF)
BELGIUM: Exposition Collective au Palais des Beaux Arts de Bruxelles (2012)
SENEGAL: Exposition Solo à lʼInstitut Français de Dakar/ Biennale de lʼArt Africain Contemporain de Dakar
(2012) (OFF)
MALI: Exposition Panafricaine de la Biennale Africaine de la Photographie de Bamako (2011)