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The Visual Life of Social Affliction at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, December 6, 2019

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The Caribbean. It’s everywhere in Miami — in culinary staples like beans and rice, in the rhythms of salsa and reggaeton, and in the vibrant attire of club attendees and churchgoers. It’s definitely a “creole” city, but it could do more to see these characteristics and the complex lives of Miami-dwelling Caribbean natives reflected through its visual arts. This is the position held by Bahamian art historian Erica Moiah James, a curator and assistant professor specializing in contemporary art of the Caribbean, African, and African American diasporas.

That’s why on Friday, December 6, she and fellow Caribbean art curators David Scott, Nijah Cunningham, and Juliet Ali will take over the Little Haiti Cultural Center with the exhibition “The Visual Life of Social Affliction.” The collection was designed to reflect the emotional and physical wounds endured by Caribbean peoples as the result of a long history of imperialist activities and marginalization.

“I am a huge fan of thematic, tightly curated shows, and also of giving global Caribbean art space to enunciate itself in a contemporary way,” James says. “Art Basel is the ultimate now space,” She notes the curatorial team chose artists who would “engage more critical issues facing the Caribbean based on their demonstrated concern with these subjects.”

Sponsored by the Small Axe Project — otherwise known as SX, a New York-based Caribbean intellectual and artistic non-profit organization — the exhibition is the tenth of Miami’s Global Caribbean Series, and likely the most diverse in terms of the social issues it addresses. SX originally began in Jamaica in 1997 as a journal of the University of the West Indies, but it has since expanded into assembling art shows. Hence, the work artists will be presenting at this week’s show have been paired with art critics in order to produce new pieces in written and visual forms.

This latest project began as a May 2018 symposium at Miami’s Lowe Museum and grew into an exhibit exploring everything from the high cost of colonialism and tourism to the devastation of maroon societies.

“We wanted to explore an area of arts and scholarship that was understudied but vitally present as it related to the region, and [to] develop scholarship around this work while being led by the work itself,” says James.

Beautiful and haunting, the pieces invite viewers to take a closer look at the marginalization of people of color through the lens concerns such as police brutality, human trafficking, and the very objectification or rejection of blackness itself.

Ricardo Edwards

Jamaican artist Ricardo Edwards, the youngest participant in the event, will be exhibiting his painting Pirate Bwoy, featuring a young black man sitting in a dinghy resting in a vast green sea.

”We are looking at the man from above, from a kind of god-like perspective,” James says. “At first the beauty of the water and the precarity of the boat is all you see, but as you look closer, the young man looks back at the viewer and you realize that he has a gun in his hand. There is a hopelessness presented that is palpable. He looks up toward God and the viewer in a way that asks, Why shouldn’t he do what he came to do on that boat without oars in the middle of the sea?

Untitled (archangel) by Rene PeñaEXPAND

Untitled (archangel) by Rene Peña

Courtesy of Small Axe Project

Rene Peña

Cuban artist Rene Peña places feathered wings on a black man for photos exploring the absence of black angels in art history. Depicted from the back on which those wings grow, the angel’s torso tilts toward the camera, as though he has just sensed the viewer’s presence.

Untitled (archangel) inserts itself into the totalizing narratives of Western art history and unsettles the claims this history makes through historic black absence,” writes James in an essay she wrote for the corresponding book for “The Visual Life of Social Affliction.”

She adds, “This image objectifies and then disassembles this void by formally asserting the sublime qualities of blackness within a transcendent form.”

She goes on to write about how Peña’s piece “conceptually disavows any reading of black skin, black surfaces, and blackness itself as signs of moral darkness” seen throughout 18th-century artwork.

Belkis Ramírez

The objectification and commercialization of women is also featured in the works of late Dominican artist Belkis Ramírez, for whom the show is dedicated to in light of her passing last May. Her work Volare features black and white images of women on white bedsheets to speak to the widespread issue of human trafficking.

“These unknown, anonymous women have been unveiled, looking down upon us,” writes Trinidadian artist Marielle Barrow, Program Coordinator at the Caribbean Development Bank in Washington, DC. “Though their billows seem poised for flight, their forms are anything but in flight… We are, in this moment, acutely uncomfortably aware of the coordinates of our point of departure and the journey that our migration might entail.”

This collection of intense art pieces and the written reflections accompanying them gained widespread support from funders such as the Ford Foundation, the Warhol Foundation, The University of Miami School of Arts and Sciences, and the Miami-based Green Foundation. James says it’s easy to see why the works have attracted this degree of attention.

“There are so many lessons of history and culture contained in the Caribbean as a historically imagined geographic place and a critical and conceptual space.” she says. “Everything the world is facing is being faced — or has been faced — in this microcosm is simultaneously local and global.”

The Visual Life of Social Affliction. 10 a.m. Friday, December 6, at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 225 NE 59th St., Miami; 305-915-1951; haitianculturalartsalliance.org. Admission is free, but RSVP is required via haitianculturalartsalliance@gmail.com.

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How sport for development and peace can transform the lives of youth

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Thousands of young athletes have been competing at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, this month. But there are actually millions more young people participating in sports, and not just to bring home medals – but to bring peace.

In December, the Peace and Sport Forum took place in Monaco to discuss the work of peace and acting through sport. But what is sport for development and peace?

Sport for development and peace is an international movement that began with the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which ran from 2000 to 2015, and continues through the Sustainable Development Goals, a second global development plan running from 2015 to 2030.

Organizations and associations use sport as a vehicle to reach several social and humanitarian missions: education, social cohesion, health, reintegration, diplomacy and peace.

Origins and history

Sport for development and peace is not a new phenomenon. In 1894, Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, said:

But it’s really Nelson Mandela’s words that inspired the contemporary movement. In a speech at the 2000 Laureus World Sport Awards, he said:

Indeed, the South African leader decided to use the power of sport during the 1995 Rugby World Cup after the official end of apartheid in order to unite the South African people.

In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in favour of the use of sport as a tool for development and peace building. In 2015, it reaffirmed the 1978 UNESCO International Charter for Physical Education and Sport. Between 2008 and 2017, the UN went a step further by establishing the UN Office for Sport and Development and Peace. Through this agency, a large number of projects were developed particularly in Central America and West Africa.

From soccer clubs to community tournaments

In these initiatives, sport is a lever for integration or social reintegration in developing countries or in conflict-affected areas. For youth especially, sport can be a way of instilling respect for opponents and rules, teamwork, sportsmanship, determination and discipline.

For example, soccer matches are used between two enemy sides to help rebuild relationships. In addition to its positive impact on health, sport also helps with the prevention of violence and with awareness of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. These fundamental principles can transfer into the social lives of the athletes in a way that has a positive impact on development in their region.

In practice, sport for development and peace can then take many forms. It can look like organizing clubs and tournaments in El Salvador to reclaim territories from street gangs and to make sure kids are going to school. It can also be training coaches in the poorest neighbourhood of Montreal to act as mentors for kids.

In Madagascar, sport is used to occupy kids after school and divert them from dangers of the streets. It can also take the form of soccer games between Palestinian and Israeli youth to work on social cohesion and teach them how to respect one another.

Events like the Olympic Games and indeed, the Youth Olympic Games, are carrying out de Coubertin’s vision but in an increasingly less amateur and often more corporate fashion. Truly, it is the smaller and more local initiatives, such as Bel Avenir (a sports initiative in Madagascar and Cambodia), that are aiming to accomplish Mandela’s goal of uniting people through sports.

Benefits for development and for peace

Sport offers many benefits, including individual development, health promotion and disease prevention, gender equality, social integration, peace-building or conflict prevention/resolution and post-disaster/trauma assistance. From a development perspective, the goal is to enhance mass sport, not elite sport. Think: less NHL and more Timbits hockey.

In this sense, sport is used to reach the most needy, including refugees, child soldiers, victims of conflict and natural disasters, poor people, people with disabilities, victims of racism, stigma and discrimination. Today, organizations like the United Nations do not only rely on institutions like schools and governments to solve conflict.

Sports organizations like Right to Play, Grassroots Soccer, Pour3points and Peace Players International are an essential part of the path to peace and progress.

In the more than 100 years between the ideas of de Coubertin and those of Mandela, a lot has happened in the world of sport for development and peace. Both men were visionary in using sport as a vehicle for development and as a means of ending conflict. As geopolitical crises erupt globally and communities struggle against entrenched problems, there is potential for sport or other non-formal recreation to resolve conflicts and educate future generations.

Author: Tegwen Gadais – Professor, Dpartement des sciences de l’activit physique, Universit du Qubec Montral (UQAM) The Conversation

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Powerful Earthquake Hits between Cuba and Jamaica

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HAVANA – A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Tuesday, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or heavy damage.

The quake was centered 139 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 kilometers (87 miles) west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit at 2:10 p.m. (1910 GMT) and the epicenter was a relatively shallow 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the surface.

Dr. Enrique Arango Arias, head of Cuba’s National Seismological Service, told state media that there had been no serious damage or injuries reported.

The quake was felt strongly in Santiago, the largest city in eastern Cuba, said Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Roman Catholic cultural center in the center of Santiago.

“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” she said. “We heard the noise of everything moving around.”

She said there was no apparent damage in the heart of the colonial city.

“It felt very strong but it doesn’t look like anything happened,” she told The Associated Press.

It was also felt a little farther east at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on the southeastern coast of the island. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages, said J. Overton, a spokesman for the installation, which has a total population of about 6,000 people.

Several South Florida buildings were evacuated as a precaujtion, according to city of Miami and Miami-Dade County officials. No injuries or road closures had been reported.

The quake also hit the Cayman Islands, leaving cracked roads and what appeared to be sewage spilling from cracked mains. There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries or more severe damage, said Kevin Morales, editor-in-chief of the Cayman Compass newspaper.

Witness reports

The islands experience so few earthquakes that newsroom staff were puzzled when it hit, he said.

“It was just like a big dump truck was rolling past,” Morales said. “Then it continued and got more intense.”

Dr. Stenette Davis, a psychiatrist at a Cayman Islands hospital, said she saw manhole covers blown off by the force of the quake, and sewage exploding into the street, but no more serious damage.

Claude Diedrick, 71, who owns a fencing business in Montego Bay, said he was sitting in his vehicle reading when the earth began to sway.

“It felt to me like I was on a bridge and like there were two or three heavy trucks and the bridge was rocking but there were no trucks,” he said.

He said he had seen no damage around his home in northern Jamaica.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake could generate waves 1 to 3 feet above normal in Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Belize.

The USGS initially reported the magnitude at 7.3.

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Magnitude 7.7 Earthquake Hits Between Cuba and Jamaica

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HAVANA – A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Tuesday, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or heavy damage.

The quake was centered 139 kilometers (86 miles) northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 140 kilometers (87 miles) west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It hit at 2:10 p.m. (1910 GMT) and the epicenter was a relatively shallow 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the surface.

Dr. Enrique Arango Arias, head of Cuba’s National Seismological Service, told state media that there had been no serious damage or injuries reported.

The quake was felt strongly in Santiago, the largest city in eastern Cuba, said Belkis Guerrero, who works in a Roman Catholic cultural center in the center of Santiago.

“We were all sitting and we felt the chairs move,” she said. “We heard the noise of everything moving around.”

She said there was no apparent damage in the heart of the colonial city.

“It felt very strong but it doesn’t look like anything happened,” she told The Associated Press.

It was also felt a little farther east at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on the southeastern coast of the island. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages, said J. Overton, a spokesman for the installation, which has a total population of about 6,000 people.

Several South Florida buildings were evacuated as a precaujtion, according to city of Miami and Miami-Dade County officials. No injuries or road closures had been reported.

The quake also hit the Cayman Islands, leaving cracked roads and what appeared to be sewage spilling from cracked mains. There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries or more severe damage, said Kevin Morales, editor-in-chief of the Cayman Compass newspaper.

Witness reports

The islands experience so few earthquakes that newsroom staff were puzzled when it hit, he said.

“It was just like a big dump truck was rolling past,” Morales said. “Then it continued and got more intense.”

Dr. Stenette Davis, a psychiatrist at a Cayman Islands hospital, said she saw manhole covers blown off by the force of the quake, and sewage exploding into the street, but no more serious damage.

Claude Diedrick, 71, who owns a fencing business in Montego Bay, said he was sitting in his vehicle reading when the earth began to sway.

“It felt to me like I was on a bridge and like there were two or three heavy trucks and the bridge was rocking but there were no trucks,” he said.

He said he had seen no damage around his home in northern Jamaica.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake could generate waves 1 to 3 feet above normal in Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Mexico and Belize.

The USGS initially reported the magnitude at 7.3.

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Major 7.7 magnitude quake hits Caribbean off Jamaica: USGS

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A major 7.7 magnitude quake struck Tuesday in the Caribbean northwest of Jamaica, the US Geological Survey reported, raising the risk of tsunami waves in the region.

The US agency said the quake hit at a depth of 10km at 19:10 GMT – 125km northwest of Lucea, Jamaica.

The Kingston-based Jamaica Observer newspaper said the quake was felt across much of the island, lasting for several seconds.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said that based on preliminary readings, “hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometers of the earthquake epicenter”.

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Haitian national women’s soccer team headed to Olympic qualifying game – The Haitian Times

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Photo credit: USScoocer

The U.S. WNT will kick off the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament on Jan. 28 vs. Haiti at BBVA Stadium in Houston. Here are five things to know on Haiti:

ROSTER BY POSITION


GOALKEEPERS (3):
 1-Jonie Gabriel (As Tigresses), 12-Kerly Theus (Aigle Brillant), 18-Madelina Fleuriot (Exafoot)         


DEFENDERS (7):
2-Soveline Beaubrun (As Tigresses), 3-Chelsea Surpris (Unattached), 4-Ruthny Mathurin (As Tigresses), 5-Tabita Joseph (As Tigresses), 13-Emeline Charles (Aigle Brillant), 15-Johane Laforte (Anacaona SC), 20-Kethna Louis (Le Havre AC, FRA)       

MIDFIELDERS (5):6-Melchie Dumonay (As Tigresses), 8-Dany Etienne (Fordham University, USA), 9-Sherly Jeudy (Anacaona SC), 14-Phiseline Michel (As Tigresses), 19-Angeline Gustave (As Tigresses) 

FORWARDS (5): 7-Batcheba Louis (FF Issy Les Moulineaux, FRA), 10-Nerilia Mondesir (Montpellier HS, FRA), 11-Roseline Eloissaint (As Tigresses), 16-Abaina Louis (As Tigresses SC), 17-Mikerline Saint Felix (Montauban FC, FRA)

USA VS. HAITI

The USA has played Haiti six times, all wins, with the most recent two matches coming on the Victory Tour after the 2015 World Cup, which were 5-0 and 8-0 wins. The previous four meetings were in CONCACAF qualifying tournaments. The teams first met in the first CONCACAF women’s qualifying tournament in 1991, a Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament that was hosted by Haiti. The USA won 10-0 in Port-au-Prince. The teams wouldn’t meet again for 13 years when they played at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in February of 2004, an 8-0 U.S. victory. The teams also met at the Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament in Mexico in 2010, with the USA winning 5-0, and won 6-0 at the Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament in 2014 Washington, D.C. Carli Lloyd has scored a hat-trick in her last two meetings with Haiti, in September 2015 in Detroit and then again three days later in Alabama.

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Rachele Viard

Rachele Viard

Managing Editor at Haitian Times

Born into a Haitian family in Stone Mountain GA. , Rachele visited Haiti several times in her youth and connected to the country and the culture. She moved to Haiti in 2009, where she put her English degree to use as a writer, using her voice and pen to promote tourism in the country and highlight the richness of the Haitian culture and people.

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7.7 Magnitude earthquake hits Jamaica and Cuba – The Haitian Times

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Experts say a tsunami is possible following a major earthquake near Jamaica and Cuba

A powerful earthquake has struck in waters off Cuba and Jamaica, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS said the quake had a 7.7 magnitude and hit at 2:10 p.m. ET about 70 miles southwest of Cuba and about 73 miles northwest of Jamaica.

Damage or injury reports were not immediately available.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.

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