“When they have power and authority they don’t give a damn about nobody prostituting the island to all and sundry they peddlin my people’s rights exploiting, oppressing, less freedom more suffering…” ~King Short Short
This thinking and heart behind this music video renews my faith in humanity.
I believe artists are warriors for the mind and spirit. We all have that artist or creator inside that wants to speak the truth about our lives and our experiences.
This video juxtaposes the beauty that is sold to the masses to the beauty that lies beneath Antigua & Barbudas touristic veneer.
Hard work was shot, edited & directed in Antigua & Barbuda by Justin “Jus Bus” Nation & Anderson Andrew with additional Drone Footage by Adam Anton.
The Drone footage Provides us a gorgeous cinematic glimpse in to REAL side of island living not everything is at it seems in paradise.
The video starts with a dramatic birds eye view of a colorful shanty town in Antigua. The song jumps right in to paint you the reality of 17 year old girls in stilletos, and how the bad boy on the corner is simply looking for a way to make his money any way he can. An uptempo beat carries the weighty refrain “All this hard work , all this sacrifice you don’t give a damn what lies beneath”.
Looking back at another edition of Paradise World, where EDM met Caribbean rhythms, the budding festival with its ambitious organizers, who one day hope to rival the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, can look back with satisfaction. Paradise World was launched in 2012, as an intimate yet energetic event that is slowly evolving into a reputable and characteristic destination festival, with renowned headliners like Diplo from Major Lazer and enfant terrible Skrillex.
This year, Paradise World expanded its wings by partnering with the renowned Winter Music Festival based in Miami, and added a two-day music conference to the mix. The execution of the latter definitely left some room for improvement. The laid-back vibe that Paradise World is known for was taken to another level and raised quite a few eyebrows during the conference. The Q&A of Day 1 was exceptionally delayed due to the hectic partying schedule of certain participants. After distinguished guests like Bill Kelly, founder and director of WMC, and Esteban Mendez of Paradise World, finally graced us with their presence, the attendants fired off their burning questions to the panel.
An array of subjects was discussed, like Kelly’s views about ranking lists of international DJs, “not a fan due to the politics involved”, and finally what the panel’s advice was for local DJs who want to expand their wings internationally. Kelly gracefully replied that “the local DJ should work on its popularity on the home front first and establish its brand, to then find proper booking and representation abroad”. Additionally he was asked about the role of females in the male dominated world of EDM music and what effect the oversexed model-turned-DJ persona had on the industry. “With DJing, true talent quickly weeds out the wannabes from the pros, however I recognize that sex has always sold and some women choose to use that to their advantage”, Kelly concluded. “But the over-sexualisation can hurt the female DJ in the long run, so the focus should always be on the music”, both Kelly and Mendez agreed.
After the Q&A, the party continued around the Renaissance pool with its scenic ocean view, where Aruba’s DJ extraordinaire Nutzbeatz launched his most recent remix of the club banger ‘Bon Vibe’ and entertained the cool collective of enthusiasts with his captivated selections.
Day 2 of the conference kicked off with an animated Q&A with Kuenta i Tambú or KIT, who launched their much talked about production called ‘Santa Electra’ featuring famed tambú singer Doña Elia Isenia.
The video clip was directed by Selwyn de Windt and the song was produced by talented Clifford Goilo, both present to discuss their roles in the production. The panel was also attended by KIT group members Diamanta and Roël Calister, who discussed the idea behind the captivating clip and let an animated discussion about its meaning. “Santa Electra is the perfect blend between traditional and modern music, fiction and reality, and can mean a variety of things to many people”, they concluded. Again the party continued around the pool, where KIT gave an impromptu performance that jump started the festivities, which continued in Club Bermuda until the early hours.
The conference concluded with an interesting Q&A with several local EDM festival organizers, amongst others the Martel brothers of Su’legria and the organizers of the Amnesia Music Festival, who shared their thoughts on how to grow their respective events into destination festivals by adding to and improving the Curaçao entertainment export product.
Finally on Saturday it was the turn for Diplo, who surprised the audience by returning to the stage with Major Lazer, in addition to the much anticipated performance of Skrillex. The gentlemen didn’t disappoint and put on an animated 90-minute show, yet failed to blow away the audience with the theatrics like Major Lazer did the previous year. Maybe Diplo and Skrillex were a bit weary of all the traveling or the Curaçao audience failed to impress altogether, yet whatever the reason was for the somewhat lackluster performance, it was gut-wrenching to observe the animo deflate after a while for such skilled performers. This could have been attributed to the fact that the audience was significantly smaller and younger, however the ambiance was relaxed and the people seemed like they were having a good time.
The preshow started early with forgettable performances of a few up-and-coming American DJ’s. An unquestionable exception of the night was the performance of DJ Alex Sargo, who was clearly having a good time and kept the audience on its feet with his pulsating beats and impressive showmanship. Poor Alex Sargo was clearly the savior of the preshow as he was instructed to replace a DJ who was unceremoniously taken off stage, because he clearly wasn’t in synch with the Paradise World vibe.
Despite these minor hiccups, the 2014 edition of Paradise World proved to be an overall success. Nevertheless, if the organizers want to give the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival a run for their money, they should take their conference participants more seriously and add more content to the encounters. This edition tried to be too many things to too many people and it appeared that the attention was more on partying and having fun, than growing the brand. If Paradise World is here to stay, they need to set themselves apart from the rest and carefully refine the complicated yet unique formula between EDM and Caribbean rhythms.
Almost there fellas, just a little bit more tweaking…
We have seen a growing movement against the appearance of Zwarte Piet. Why? Because many believe that the image of zwarte piet is hurtful as it continues negative racial stereotypes by lightheartedly reinforcing prejudice. It allows for social behaviors that are downright hurtful and stands in the way of critical thinking.
On the other hand we have also come across people, articles and comments saying that because the intent isn’t to discriminate, the tradition is therefore not racist. It is also said that the growing opposition could be attributed to cultural insensitivity (ironic considering zwarte piets’ visage), and “outsiders” misunderstanding the celebration.
Zwarte Piet according to defenders could not be racist as his coloring is attributed to soot, and his buffoonish behavior is a result from a past of being a disobedient, hardworking, undereducated child. Yes I mean kidnapped, forced into labor and neglected. As showers and education are apparently not offered in Sinterklaas’s care? Does this sound familiar to you?
Yeeeah moving on.
Again the question remains, is it racist? –
And in my opinion what people secretly want to know, and basically defend (which brings us to cognitive dissonance; this will be explored in article two) – is if it makes them racist by association.
Defenders of the tradition are also quick to point out some historical tidbit or another in order to reaffirm/confirm explain and justify the tradition.
But before we take the historical plunge into the life and times of St Nick (ground zero of many of our winter traditions) and Zwarte Piet. Before we explore the most current opinions. I say we understand what is at the foundation of the uproar. Racism. And in order to truly understand what kind of discussion we are walking into, we must explore it.
What is race?
Race is a social concept used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation. Let’s pretend we have no idea it’s basically a made up concept and go on to the next step.
What is racism?
A simple google search says that it is;
“…the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”
“Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”
Alright but what does acting racist look like ?
I went back to google and pulled this little summary:
The use of offensive terms and language.
Making prejudiced statements about other races and members of other races.
Believing that people of other races are incapable as working as well/being as smart/becoming as successful as someone of your own race.
Believing that you are better than someone of another race.
Any discrimination based solely on someone’s race.
We see the words prejudice and discrimination repeated, they must be important. Let’s take a closer look.
What the hey, let’s try Bing this time, where I found the newworlddictionary.com and it states that Prejudice is an unfair, intolerant, or unfavorable attitude toward a group of people. Prejudicial beliefs are virtually negative stereotypes. Social scientists view prejudice as the possession of negative attitudes targeted against members of a particular religious, racial, ethnic, social, and/or political group. These attitudes give rise to negative or unfavorable evaluations of individuals seen as belonging to that group. The perception that one belongs to a certain group is the precipitating factor in prejudicial feelings—not the actual attributes or behaviors of the person being judged. Like attitudes in general, prejudice has three components: beliefs, feelings, and “behavioral tendencies.”
Check this out though, it had an interesting tidbit on colonialism but the implications of that, much like cognitive dissonance will be discussed in the next article. Right now we are just laying down the groundwork.
“Colonialism was based, in part, on a lack of tolerance of cultures different than that of the mother country and the development of stereotypes regarding people living in such different cultures”
And discrimination? “The practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other groups of people.” Thanks Merriam-Webster.The debate really is whether the appearance of Zwarte Piet as is, embodies, engenders or continues racism and any of its affiliated issues.
Ladies and gentleman we have explored the “what” of the situation, join me next time for the “who” and “how”. And finally in our third installment, we will explore the “when” and finally the “why” Zwarte Piet, as is, is racist or not.
The legendary performance of Izaline Calister in Joe’s Pub in New York City marked an important milestone in the career of our beloved jazz extraordinaire. It was the firs time that she preformed as a soloist together with her talented band in the Big Apple.[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″ p_margin_bottom=”20″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]
[mk_dropcaps content=”T” style=”fancy-style” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]The legendary performance of Izaline Calister in Joe’s Pub in New York City marked an important milestone in the career of our beloved jazz extraordinaire. It was the firs time that she preformed as a soloist together with her talented band in the Big Apple. To celebrate this occurrence, renowned percussionist Pernell Saturnino, who is currently living in New York , also joined her onstage. Approximately 150 people, consisting of a cozy, yet diverse blend of “yu di Korsou” or Curacao people and American music lovers, got together to enjoy her rhythmic presentation. Continue Reading…