Archive for May 19th, 2008

19
May
08

More on RECLAIM THE ANTHROPOLOGIX

I was very happy to receive a reply from Illcommonz, in response to questions I sent regarding the meaning of “Anthropologix,” what the words were next to the MTV logo on the screen (I was not sure if I had read them clearly), and to ask questions about the makers of the film. The response I received added some important clarification, but was also very encouraging where “open anthropology” is concerned.

Illcommonz explained that the meaning of the term “anthropologix” is “NOT Anthropology,” as in not the academic discipline (genre was the word used). The MTV logo was inserted by the video creators, not because it was shown on MTV, as I thought (I fell for it), but as a sign of contemporaneity.

Illcommonz explained that he lectures at a university, and is an artist-activist-anthropologist who teaches anarchist anthropology. He explained that the title of his course, “bunka jinrui gaku kaiho kouza”, means lectures in open anthropology.

•••••••

I wanted to add one short note, to the extent that there are any similarities or overlaps. This is not the first time that I have been inspired by the beautiful renegade work of independent, anarchist, artist-researchers. One of those that I have known for several years — and I am not sure who I have known since they preserve their individual anonymity and shift their locus of production and communication from Brazil to Jamaica to the Pacific — is a collective called The Fire This Time. I was struck by this group on two accounts at first: “the fire next time” is a line from the 3-Canal song “Talk Yuh Talk” featured on this blog; second, the revolutionary reinterpretation of the figure of the Black Indian in TFTT is echoed in the Black Indian in Trinidad’s Carnival, and 3-Canal also adopted the Black Indian theme in the late 1990s. With respect to TFTT, readers can visit my neighbouring blog.

•••••••

Slowly but surely, with the aid of Roi Kwabena, Illcommonz, and The Fire This Time, I am inching my way towards painting some image of what an open anthropology can be. In the meantime, let me end with a segment of a poem by Federico García Lorca, which explains at least one of the directions in the relationship between anthropology and public in open anthropology:

The poem, the song, the picture is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink — and in drinking — understand themselves.

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19
May
08

Apologies to the Queen on The Day of Her Royal Highness

It is VICTORIA DAY in Canada

God Save the Queen!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
PLEASE BE UPSTANDING AS YOU JOIN ME IN SINGING

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

I am still praying that no one noticed my unintentional though nonetheless abominable oversight in not paying due respects to Her Royal Highness, on this Her special day. I suspect these Canadian vapours have had some deleterious effect on my proper sense of orientation. This is nothing, I am sure, that cannot be cured by a short sojourn in fairest Wolverhampton.

Also I will brook no unsalutary remarks placing a question mark on whether the ensign shown above is the flag of Her Majesty’s Dominion of Canada, for all righteous patriots know well that it is. And now, let us conclude this brief memorial with a poetry reading from Alfred Tennyson:

On the Jubilee of Queen Victoria

FIFTY TIMES the rose has flower’d and faded,
Fifty times the golden harvest fallen,
Since our Queen assumed the globe, the sceptre.

II.
She beloved for a kindliness
Rare in fable or history,
Queen, and Empress of India,
Crown’d so long with a diadem
Never worn by a worthier,
Now with prosperous auguries
Comes at last to the bounteous
Crowning year of her Jubilee.

III.
Nothing of the lawless, of the despot,
Nothing of the vulgar, or vainglorious,
All is gracious, gentle, great and queenly.

IV.
You then joyfully, all of you,
Set the mountain aflame to-night,
Shoot your stars to the firmament,
Deck your houses, illuminate
All your towns for a festival,
And in each let a multitude
Loyal, each, to the heart of it,
One full voice of allegiance,
Hail the fair Ceremonial
Of this year of her Jubilee.

V.
Queen, as true to womanhood as Queenhood,
Glorying in the glories of her people,
Sorrowing with the sorrows of the lowest!

VI.
You, that wanton in affluence,
Spare not now to be bountiful,
Call your poor to regale with you,
All the lowly, the destitute,
Make their neighborhood healthfuller,
Give your gold to the hospital,
Let the weary be comforted,
Let the needy be banqueted,
Let the maim’d in his heart rejoice
At this glad Ceremonial,
And this year of her Jubilee.

VII.
Henry’s fifty years are all in shadow,
Gray with distance Edward’s fifty summers,
Even her Grandsire’s fifty half forgotten.

VIII.
You, the Patriot Architect,
You that shape for eternity,
Raise a stately memorial,
Make it regally gorgeous,
Some Imperial Institute,
Rich in symbol, in ornament,
Which may speak to the centuries,
All the centuries after us,
Of this great Ceremonial,
And this year of her Jubilee.

IX.
Fifty years of ever-broadening Commerce!
Fifty years of ever-brightening Science!
Fifty years of ever-widening Empire!

X.
You, the Mighty, the Fortunate,
You, the Lord-territorial,
You, the Lord-manufacturer,
You, the hardy, laborious,
Patient children of Albion,
You, Canadian, Indian,
Australasian, African,
All your hearts be in harmony,
All your voices in unison.
Singing, ‘Hail to the glorious
Golden year of her Jubilee!’

XI.
Are there thunders moaning in the distance?
Are there spectres moving in the darkness?
Trust the Hand of Light will lead her people,
Till the thunders pass, the spectres vanish,
And the Light is Victor, and the darkness
Dawns into the Jubilee of the Ages.

19
May
08

Marlon’s Monday Morning Medication

Trinidad’s Marlon Asher sings Ganja Farmer for us on this lovely Monday morning. Along with Prophet Benjamin, Asher is one of Trinidad’s newest and best Reggae artists. (I was going to show a video of a concert by Asher in Trinidad, but unfortunately it was re-edited to feature a sales pitch by those who uploaded it to YouTube, added to some nasty sound and visual effects.)




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EVERY DAY FUH T'IEF,
ONE DAY FUH WATCHMAN

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