Monday, August 30, 2010

Florida Symposium to Discuss Nollywood Films

Nigerian films are the world's third biggest film industry.

One Day Symposium at the University of Florida, Ritz Union
Nigeria as a Center of Discourse: 
Re-centering a Marginal Nation-State
organized by Kole Oluwatoyin Ade-Odutola,
Lecturer, University of Florida
Friday October 1st
Program of event 9:00 to 12:45pm
(1). Arrival of Guests 9:00 to 9:30am
(2). Opening formalities and Welcome Addresses
(2.1) The Chair of LLC
(2.2) The sponsors…Center for Humanities and Center for Cultural studies
(3). Introduction of speakers/ Chairman’s opening remarks
1st Session….Nigeria in text and in context
(4) Organisation of a Modern Nigeria using indigenous wisdom by Adewale Ajadi
(5) “The Many and Changing Faces of Ogun: The Yoruba God of Iron in Florida.” …Prof.Robin Poynor
(6) Knowing Nigeria through music…Professor Bender
(7) Knowing Nigeria through creative writers…STILL OPEN
(8). 50 Years of Nigerian Literature….by Professor Ken Harrow (Kenneth W. Harrow Distinguished Professor of English, Michigan State University)
(9). Performance and presentation by Dr. Rachel Hastings
(10). Questions and responses
(11). Lunch Break 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Afternoon   Nollywood: What it is and what it is not
(12). Introduction of speakers/ Chairman’s opening remarks
(12.1) The Chair of the session
(12.2). Introduction of speakers
(13). "Religious and Surrealistic constructions in Nollywood: NEED A PRESENTER
(14). "Nollywood: A Cinema In Search Of Itself."...NEED A NEW TOPIC AND PRESENTER
3:30pm to 4:30pm (Professor L. White introduces Dr. Ambler) (Speaker sponsored by the Center for African Studies)
(15). “The Movies in Nigeria from Hollywood to Nollywood.”..Dr. Ambler
(16). Screening of 'Green Passport' (30mins)
(17) Reception at Grinter Hall (Sponsored by the Center for African studies)
After the reception…
3rd session Politics and representation (6:30pm to 9pm)
(18). Chairperson’s brief remarks
(19). (Middle Belt: People, politics,[Nigerian Middle-belt Region: The Third Force in Nigerian Politics.]…Professor Tunga Lergo
(20). Brief spoken word Performance by Dr. Rachel Hastings
(21). Screening of Professor Su O’Brien’s Documentary (65mins)
(22). Questions and responses
(23). Closing remarks

Friday, August 27, 2010

CRTC Releases Yet Another "Paternalistic" Community TV Policy

Ottawa (August 28,2010) After eight long years of complaints from the Canadian public that they have been excluded from "community TV channels" on cable, the CRTC yesterday released a new community TV policy for Canada that is little better than the existing policy.

As dissenting Commissioner Michel Morin dubs it, "The Commission’s paternalistic community model" leaves community cable channels and the money that is collected from Canadians for "local expression" firmly under the control of cable companies. Catherine Edwards, Spokesperson for the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) noted, "The Commission ignored the request of the Canadian public—which was made abundantly clear at these hearings—that the time has come for community broadcasting to be in the hands of communities, as it is in all Western countries that have a community sector. This is how it operates here in Canada in the community radio sector. Why not TV?"

Licences for communities to run their own channels were introduced in 2002, but there was no funding formula. The CRTC’s analysis acknowledges that a lack of funding explains why so few community licenses have been requested, yet the new policy denies communities access to the Local Programming Initiative Fund that is available to private broadcasters, denies access to commercial advertising, and denies access to the more than $120 million collected annually from Canadians for "local expression", but which instead goes to cable companies for their professional regional channels.

Edwards reflected, "What’s particularly sad is how outdated the Commission’s model of community TV is. Approximately 40% of Canadians don’t subscribe to cable, so a cable channel as a digital townhall for Canadians just doesn’t work anymore. We also presented data to show that the majority of the more than 300 unique community channels and studios that once existed on cable have already been closed. This evidence appears to have been ignored. The relatively minor tweaks to the existing policy do nothing to address the closures."

CACTUS proposed a new model of community broadcasting that would offer access to digital technologies, tools and training in every community across the country, available on all platforms, not just cable. "It’s a real missed opportunity," said Edwards.

Contacts: Catherine Edwards, CACTUS (819) 772-2862

Friday, August 20, 2010

Radio Victoria--Sigue siendo Victoria

Part 1

Part 2

Celtic Tradition in Cape Breton

Mabou - Inverness County, Nova Scotia - an unincorporated area - now defined as a school district and postal area - formerly the mail distribution point for a number of small post offices in surrounding communities each of which also had one or two room schools. It may also be defined very roughly as the area drained by two branches of the Mabou River.

While the name of the place may well be of Mikmaw (native) origin, the meaning of the word is obscure. The name was used in the 1700's. The location was known prior to the settlement by Europeans for the deposit of coal, for the headland which is today called "Cape Mabou" and for the sheltered inlet called "Mabou Harbour". The Mikmaw in their yearly peregrinations were attracted to the area by the abundance of fish - alewives, salmon and lobster - and by the natural meadows where game was plentiful - deer, moose, beaver and mink. The mouth of the river was also one of the closest places to Prince Edward Island - often visited by the Mikmaw.

Tradition hold that the French used the steep banks along the southeast or Mull River for constructing shipways during their occupation of the island in the 1700's. No remnants of such ways have been found, but the French were known to have used stone from adjacent Port Hood in the construction of Fortress Louisbourg....

The earliest European settlement of a permanent nature was made by families from the United States at the time of the American Revolutionary War. These families from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey seem to have had small sailing vessels of their own and may have engaged in some coastal trading and fishing as well as possibly some privateering. Although some were Loyalists, others may have been adventurers or land speculators....

The English-speaking settlers in the Mabou-Port Hood area in the 1780's and 1790's were joined about 1800 by Irish adventurers and settlers, by British seamen and one Portuguese sailor. Early in the 1800's, the Scottish immigration began with a number of former regiment members from the British Armed Forces and families from the Western Islands and Coast of Scotland. Two families from the Lowlands of Scotland, one from the Orkneys and one from the Island of Jersey are also noted among the early inhabitants. But the Highlanders and Islanders were predominant...

The Highland Scottish settlers began to intermarry with the previously settled English and Irish within a short time so that it appears as though the English language predominated as a commercial language here from the earliest years. Many of the families from the Scottish Area of Lochaber (who came here between 1801 and 1848) tended to continue a pattern of intermarriage which had been common in the old country so that the Scottish Gaelic Language and Song continued to be a household language in these families down to the present time.

The two languages existed with very little friction, it would appear - and while some people still living today knew no English until they went to school, English was the language of commerce, education and politics from the beginning of the settlement. It is noteworthy that the earliest Presbyterian Minister and the first Priest were not Gaelic speakers. In fact, it would appear that the adjacent church in Broad Cove and the one in Whycocomagh had Gaelic Services down to the present generations. The Roman Catholic clergymen following the first one had Gaelic down to the 1950's. Although Gaelic was not the language of the Catholic Church, the church at least did not discourage the use of the language and may indeed have fostered it in the area.

The Gaelic tradition was so strong in the area that a number of Gaelic Poems and Songs were composed here. In fact, in the opinion of a local resident, a student of Gaelic from Scotland, the compositions of the MacDonald writers of Mabou equaled if not surpassed in quality any compositions in Scotland during the middle years of the 19th Century. Since there was a strong oral-transmission tradition in Gaelic literature, it is certain that many interesting and significant compositions have been lost. A number, however, have been written down in manuscript form and some have been published.

The outpouring of the Muse from the Gaelic writers seems not to have been equaled in English; nothing remains of any compositions by the Irish immigrants. While many long songs and occasional poems were written in English, few if any have survived.

The Mabou community is justifiably proud of the large number of fine musicians who have their origins here. Not only have these fiddlers, pipers and singers preserved ancient tunes, but they have also composed new tunes - and indeed developed a highly stylized form of playing dance tunes. While the origins may be obscure, the impact of the Mabou style of fiddling remains both here in Mabou and in places in North America where Cape Bretoners have settled.

From its inception to the present day, Mabou has been much more of an agriculture and lumbering center. There was once a processing plant for fish as well as a canning plant. But the raising of cattle and sheep and the making of butter and cheese was a major economic venture during the 1800's. Today, three of the largest dairy herds on the island of Cape Breton are within the confines of Mabou - and a number of moderately large and prospering dairy farms are to be found. The second oldest agricultural society on the Island of Cape Breton has existed here in one form or another from 1821 to the present.

In keeping with the agriculture attitude of the community, a number of grist mills were to be found during the years before milled flour could be imported more cheaply from the West. In fact, Mabou at one time shipped flour to the mainland and to P. E. I. Shiploads of cattle and sheep and butter and cheese went from the area to Newfoundland until shortly after the time of Confederation. Agriculture declined from 1871 on until after World War 11 when improved roads and transportation made the shipping of milk to the processing plants in Sydney and Antigonish a profitable venture. It may be interesting to note that for every cleared acre seen today in this area, one hundred years ago there were three.

The shipping of lumber in large quantities to Newfoundland and to the Mediterranean as well as apparently to the States was very common in the 1800's. The present activity is almost entirely in the shipping of soft wood to the Pulp Mill in Port Hawkesbury.

A number of small manufacturing concerns were to be found in the area during the 1800's. The most significant was the MacDonald Woolen Mill in nearby Glendyer. It and all of the grist and grain processing mills were operated from water power. Some making of sleighs, buggies and farm implements as well as a small cottage industry of shoe-finishing could be seen here as well. But the first decade of the twentieth Century saw the end of these activities. Several of the MacKeen families were engaged in saw and grist mills for the larger portion of the 19th century.

The insistence of local people on good schools resulted in bringing of a number of teachers to the area from Ireland and Scotland. As early as the 1820's, schools were to be found here earlier than in most parts of rural Cape Breton. It is perhaps an influence of the English settlers from the New England States that such schools were established. From the 1830's on, Mabou had a reputation for excellent schools. The MacKeen Family also brought to the area teachers as tutors for the many children in the family. Although the outpouring of people from the area into professions in the U. S. and Western Canada has never been properly studied, it is certain from reading the accounts of early families found in books Mabou Pioneers 1 and 11 that an unusually large number of doctors, lawyers, clergymen and business men came from the area. The establishment of St. Joseph's Convent in Mabou in the 1880's by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, a teaching order, continued to place emphasis on scholarship and the pursuit of excellence.

The early decades of the Twentieth Century saw an increasingly large number of people moving from the area to the New England States and to Central and Western Canada as well as to the rapidly industrialized Sydney area of Cape Breton. The out migration has occasioned the thought that perhaps the chief contribution of Mabou to the life of North America has been its people. The migration continues although somewhat abated as young people look to Calgary as to a Mecca. The improvement in employment opportunities at the Strait area has helped to slow down the out migration.

The local organizations in Mabou are all striving to provide for the residents as rich a variety of activities and enterprises as existed in the past.

The above information was taken from the Bridge Archives, compiled by Jim St. Clair

Fishing around the turn of the 21st Century began to improve especially in the lobster and crab areas. New boats were being purchased in the Mabou Harbour and the Mabou Coal Mines areas and the standard of living was raised because of increased quotas and better fishing management. The future looks somewhat brighter, but as with this industry numerous factors, controllable and uncontrollable, can change the industry. Ed’s Hydraulic & Marine Services, not only brought employment to local people but also offers a much needed service to the fishermen, not only in the Mabou area, but also Eastern Nova Scotia....

Beaches at West Mabou and Mabou Coal Mines offer warm salty waters and sandy area for all who enjoy a swim or the occasional walk as you breath the fresh air and mingle with the friendly locals.

The population of the area is decreasing, as the young continue to leave the area in search of better jobs and a higher standard of living. This was always the trend in Mabou, but there are less young married people living in the area, as the declining enrolment in the schools show. The future of the area at the moment may be questionable to some, but no matter how long people of the area live in other provinces or countries when they say that they are going home, they mean MABOU.

Donald Cosman

Coal settled Cape Breton. From the very early days coal attracted men from around the world. Those immigration trends gave Cape Breton a culture that today is recognized as distinct by artists and musicians. There would be no Rankins, or Natalie MacMasters or Rita MacNeils without the mix of cultures that made Cape Breton.

While both the French and English exploited the fishery off Cape Breton in the 1600s. They also saw the potential of coal. As early as 1687 the French had plans to use coal from Sydney Harbour to refine sugar in the West Indies.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marcos Media Message

Recorded as a message to the Free the Media Conference organized in NYC, Jan 31-Feb 1, 1997.

Monday, August 9, 2010

WACC: Statement on International Day of the World's Indigenous People

The Tejido of Communication at the Minga, the march of indigenous peoples in 2008 from Cauca to Bogota 

Indigenous people worldwide are forging new agendas with the help of communication 
On the International Day of Indigenous People, the World Association for ChristianCommunication (WACC) celebrates the advances made to date by Indigenous Peoples everywhere and calls for widespread recognition of Indigenous Peoples' communicationrights in order to improve the lives of indigenous people in every corner of the globe.

Full statement....
Half way through the second International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, launched in 2004 by United Nations' General Assembly, there have been significant gains among the Indigenous peoples of the world.

In regions such as Latin America, indigenous peoples are creating national and regional alliances and in some countries, such as Bolivia, they have an increased presence in the setting of national agendas as well as in public life.

In Asia, new broadcasting legislation in Bangladesh allowing the existence of community radio stations has translated into indigenous people using new technologies to implement their right to communication and information.

And yet much remains to be done. This is particularly true in relation to indigenous women, who have faced centuries of discrimination, marginalization and human rights abuses. Despite the advances of the last fifteen years, indigenous women still face high levels of poverty and violence, lack of access to education, economic opportunities, land and natural resources, poor or non-existent health services, etc.

In the struggle to be heard, "Sometimes being present does not mean taking part," said Melania Canales Poma, regional coordinator for the Andean and Amazon Women's Organization of Peru. She added that participating means "saying what one thinks, what one feels, and that is a fundamental part that we're still missing." Her plea
points squarely to the need to establish mechanisms that guarantee indigenous women's right to communicate.

This was the same sentiment expressed by Sanjeeb Drong of Bangladesh's Adivasi Forum in his address to the third meeting of the UN's Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous People (EMRIP) held in Geneva in July 2010. He quoted Article 16 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states that indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination."

Mr Drong added that, "States have the main responsibility to take effective measures for promoting indigenous media and to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. Media can play a vital role in promoting and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at country level."

On the International Day of Indigenous People, the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) celebrates the advances made to date by Indigenous Peoples everywhere and calls for widespread recognition of Indigenous Peoples' communication rights in order to improve the lives of indigenous people in every corner of the globe.

For further information please contact: