A community-oriented art & graphic design collective. We make graphic apparel, hand-crafted accessories and produce events. And most importantly, spew randomness about important and non-important topics.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spare the Child & Reinvent the Rod

Okay so I just had this crazy dream, and it made me upset in the dream and all the way to waking up. It's fuzzy but I remember a raging party of adults... an event i think maybe Zara's Flyest Video premiere or something (lol I swear). So this party is going strong and crazy...fun for me until... there's this little boy no older than 8 years, dressed shabbily with an abstracted but distraught look in his eyes that comes through the throng of people, carrying a bucket on his head laden with alcoholic beverages.

He's the servant/houseboy


I'm immediately filled with rage and sadness at the same time. It makes me think of how I think the idea of using kids as indebtured servants and damn near slaves in some cases is so messed up. I think of situations where kids are brought to people's homes to clean, cook, take care of other kids they are not much older than, and then all in all misused and abused.

This made me MAD!

What the hell are we thinking? How can we go through life in any kind of good moral thinking state and participate in this?...I am filled with guilt as I think of my family's participation in this.
No matter how "nice" or "supportive" you are of your slave -ahem- houseboy. That shit is fucked up. Stop it!

If you want a helper hire someone who is not a CHILD. If you want to help another family out by 'taking their kids off their hands' then take the child in, and treat them like you would your child...no strings attached but the expectation of success from that child and their family.

Gosh! *breathe Nk....breathe*

Speaking of child abuse and all...
segue into Staceyann Chin's 'The Other Side of Paradise'... Chin's memoir of growing up in Jamaica, being abandoned by her mother, being raised by her grandmother and then separated from her, struggling to survive despite various forms of abuse, finding her father and finally coming out. It's honest, revealing and very very brave. To be able to just tell about yourself like that, and risk the feelings of shame about where you are from and what you done.

I give it 4 stars (most on amazon give it 5) because I feel like something was missing at the end. it ended too soon...like i had been wrapped and caressed for a long time, and then quickly discarded like a used tampon.

2 things.

I don't think I could ever write a memoir because I don't think I could ever be that honest to anyone about my life past or present

I've come to the conclusion that I love books with lots of vernacular in them. I think that's going to be what I'm doing now. my thing. reading books with vernacular.

alright. that's it for now.
over & out


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Featured Guests at Bacchanal de Afrique Sep 20

Here's some info about the Featured artists at the next Bacchanal de Afrique event. More to descriptions to come.

KPFA Africa Today is our recipient for this event.
Africa Today with Walter Turner
Mondays 7 pm - 8 pm

A weekly news program providing information and analysis about Africa and the African Diaspora. Africa Today seeks to update listeners on contemporary developments in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the United States. The program utilizes an interview and discussion format to explore political, social, economic, and cultural themes relative to the African experience.

Jonita Rose
Celeste- Celestrial Healings
Denise Wallace
Brass Liberation Orchestra
Semaj the Poet
Prentice Powell
Eugene Young
Dania- Fluffy Jo
Kay S Jay Photography

Denise Wallace is a triple threat. The singer/dancer/poet is a tremendously talented and ambitious young woman who resides in Oakland, California. Since 2007 she has performed with the Hip-Hop group 40Love and their world-renowned live band The Park. As a dancer she has been a part of Axiom Dance Company as well as Bay Area dance company Funkanometry, with whom she has toured and competed in Hip-Hop festivals and dance events throughout California. Wallace has been able to unify poetry and performance as a means of social empowerment. Denise is currently a part of the poet mentor/high school visit program in Youth Speaks, a program that promotes social engagement through oral literacy in high schools and helps to apply the voice of change and social awareness at after school workshops for youth. Denise incorporates her art in the communities of the bay area as a form of activism. Denise is a Therapeutic Arts and Enrichment Specialist at the Edgewood Center where she works with foster children coming from emotional traumatic circumstances and uses literacy as a tool for their personal development.

Since honing her skills on the job, Ashiko has contributed percussion to the play Fredrick Douglas Speaks held at the Malonga Casquelourd Arts Center in Oakland, and backed up acclaimed singer and early civil rights activist Hope Foye at Yoshi’s in San Francisco.
Ashiko's CD: Soul Sistah For My Folks…The Journey Here evolved out of a poetry collection. Combined with deep grooves and hip-hop beats reminiscent of her own Djembe, Conga and hand drum work, Ashiko’s observational verses cover everything from finding the “real thing” to honoring her ancestry in the title track, to finding a sultry alternative to violence on “Black Love.” “Love is the answer, love is everywhere and available in the world,” she says, explaining the CD’s recurring theme. “If we can just claim a piece of it, our lives will change.”

The Brass Liberation Orchestra (founded in 2002) is a musical group of brass, reeds and percussion that plays music to support political causes with particular emphasis on peace, and racial and social justice. We are a work in progress. We work to build a multigender/multiracial/multigenerational group that enhances and strengthens the culture of the Left.

Air Lounge
492 9th St, Oakland

Outdoor Patio
Live music & performances, Art & Fashion exhibit, Vendors, African inspired eats & cocktails

Urban Vintage, Tede Zerhioun, Jonita Rose, Brass Liberation Orchestra, One3snapshot, Cocoacentric & More

Cover: Donations
Proceeds benefiting KPFA Africa Today

Video from Bacchanal de Afrique: Party to the People!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Work and Play

So for Labor day weekend C and I started on our visit-as-many-top-American-cities as-we-can for 'business' and/or pleasure.

This time we picked Seattle (or the general area that is).

Our trip was cool. Glad we went.

We got to kick it with lots of Nigerian Microsoft kids, and we got to attend 2/3 days of the bumbershoot festival (we had 3-day passes) which was a primary motivation to making our stop at this here city at that there time. We didn't really get to do as much touristy/exploring things as we had planned (as C may have liked).

day 1.

Let's say I'm not a fan of the outskirts/suburbs areas of Washington, and probably I could only live in Seattle (or close) and may not be able to afford it. That was the only part that I was able to swallow. The 'burbs with all it's 300 unit one-color paint is sooo not my thing. I need culture, contrast and color in my life. At least in the Bay you can go outside of San Francisco (east as far as Oakland or south; Daly city & co) and still have like some culture & color.

We started out with a work session. Got a bunch of work done between the both of us...and then headed out to our planned exploration, a la space needled, pike market, downtown shopping and what not.

One thing that may have hindered our exploring was the fact that... Ha ha, okay funny story. We are on our way...C driving, N navigating. I tell her to make a turn this here right. She starts yelling 'OMG OMG OMGod!' I'm freaking out like 'What what', never mind if you can't make the turn just keep going we can backtrack' Finally after she stops screaming she tells me that when she tried to brake, the car kept accelerating. This happened two more times. So we made our first stop and decided that we would risk it back 'home', but not go anywhere else after this.

Come to find out the reason that was happening was cos the emergency brake had been up the whole time. Yeah! But by then we'd pretty much just whiled away time and given up on our exploring the city. So we ended up going out to dinner with a bunch of Microsoft kids who were gracious enough to hang out with us even though they were pretty much meeting us for the first time. A few microsoft kids were clowning on C about her prehistoric phone, talking about it looks like a phone from the Flinstones. I, of course had the decency at this point to leave mine in my purse and just join forces to have my girl C's back... whatever i'm not gonna get a fancy phone. sue us.

We then headed over to Seattle's First Friday (the black people kind)...did some yahoo yahoo moves to get in....and had the time of our lives: Which included C winning a salsa dance competition. LMAO. C... she who does not know the first basic move in any Salsa or ballroom/partner/latin related dance. This is a whole blog entry on its own...but you just had to be there, so I'll let the story go...

day 2.
Bumbershoot fest
First we saw this dope Taiko drum/dance/singing group that had me at the edge of my seat the whole performance: COBU. Then on to De la Soul but got turned off by the maybe thousand or more people... 90% whom were probably 18 or younger. Why did De la Soul come out asking "I want you to think of where you were when you first heard this song 3 feet high and rising." I'm looking around like ummm their parents hadn't even kpanshed at this point, shoot some of their parents hadn't even been BORN. So our whole plan to like be up front and wink wink at them, and probably get to kick it backstage and promote one3 was shot to sheeet, when we found ourselves backed up like crazy. We tried to squeeze through, but after a while it was like ...okay I feel old and irritated, so after two songs we headed out. When we finally got some air and kicked it in the outskirts it became fun, especially when I started wilin' out with the oldest and latest dance moves. 4 songs or so into my madness we really kicked rocks...bed time!

day 3
We flaked on going to see Rafael Saadiq, cos I had lazed around all-day (dvr is the devil especially when you're like me and you barely have a tv with antenna). So we just kicked it, visited and networked... see Sikulu and then had an 8-course dinner cooked by me and my sous chefs which included: Mac & Cheese, Yams, Fried Chicken, Pan-Fried Tofu, Rices & Blackeyepeas, Fruit Salad, Greens, Kale salad, Grime virgin cocktail & some store bought red velvet cake.

day 4.
The last day of Bumbershoot was probably the day that made it all worth the money. First off we already were like "okay we're not gonna be no punks, we will be at the front for any show we wanna see." Most of the folks that came through with us today wanted to see Blackeyed Peas but I was cool off them...I'm thinking okay De la Soul was that packed, I can't imagine how BEP would be... so I just wandered around with C and closer to the end of their set we made our way in. craziness. how can you be at a show and you're looking like "is that ant on stage fergie?" at the end of it, i stopped faking the funk and let loose and started dancing...then we headed out.

about 30-40mins before Janelle Monae came on, C and I were there looking at them setting up. She was cool. Very interesting performer. Tiny human being. Her guitarist is very fun too look at... we were hella mad though cos somehow we ended up on the side of the crowd that she didn't favor, not only did she always perform towards the OTHER side, she crowd surfed AND threw the live painting canvas she did on that side too. Not fair Monae not fair!

We then waited for Vieux Farka Toure (yeah the one with the famous father) which was cool, it was definitely an older hippier crowd...funny and fun to watch people dancing. Toure's music was a good way to end the day. Part way through his performance we headed to see Youth Speaks Seattle and Staceyann Chin...(I HAD TO). So glad we did, I love Staceyann, she makes me laugh and cry and burp and fart all in one move. Bought her book "The Other Side of Paradise" (loving it so far, will let you know how it goes), got it signed.

peaced out.

and we're back home to reality. to the daily grind of day jobs and more events and what not. Got vid clips and pics will try to get those up asaaaaap


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Watch this Space

Culture, Politics, Fashion, Music, People and everything in between will be let all out!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

2 more weeks to the Next Bacchanal

Okay we're fin1alizing our performer lists....we have artists and vendors and people and OMG it's going to be so fun. Here's the new flyer for the upcoming ones. Will be back with more info... TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!