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Not Nasty, But Feisty

An Interview with Roots and Culture Media.

 Six Nigerian Artists discuss art and their country on its 57th year of Independence.
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Who's Your God: The Wave, Wind, Sun?

by clairmont chung

WHO'S YOUR GOD: A brief look at climate change, hurricanes and Africa's history

It is not true that hurricanes begin off the coast of West Africa. Hurricanes begin deep in the landmass of Africa itself. We are talking about those tropical cyclones that sweep through and destroy the things and sometimes the lives of people in the Caribbean and the eastern coasts of the Americas; mainly Central and North America. The temperature differences in two streams of overland winds create energy when they collide near the West African coast after their journey across North Africa, the Sahel, and to Guinea. When they hit the Atlantic they are already locked in a whirling dance, transformed, in full communion.
These conditions do not disappear and reappear; they are always present and at work like gods. It is only when the annual conditions are right, aligned, that the signal is received. The ocean currents moisturize and drive the cooler air into the vacuum left by the …

Dry Mouth People

Redemption, Revolution, Capitulation: A Short on the Masquerade of Caribbean Cricket

by clairmont chung

“Carlos Brathwaite! Carlos Brathwaite! Carlos Brathwaite!” screamed a hoarse Ian Bishop, as Brathwaite’s fourth successive and winning six landed somewhere. Bishop urged we recognize Brathwaite as a star of the future. Co-commentator, David Lloyd philosophized that ‘the future is right here, right now!” Bishop, emotional like never before, suggested history had been created. I half expected Lloyd to counter, “history is right here, right now". And history is.
Those were the final moments of the 2016 World Twenty/20 Cup Final on April 3, 2016: four consecutive sixes to win a world tournament. Victory for the West Indies over England meant joy all over the cricket world, maybe not as much in England, everyone’s old rival. No cricket fan had witnessed anything like that before. No West Indies fan had felt like that for a long time. Earlier that day WI Women defeated Australia for their first world title. Both games had all the elements of an epic; adversity, triu…

Guyana’s Junta and the New Cold War

by clairmont chung

Many thought the Cold War over: dead and buried in the rubble of the Berlin Wall. The winners claimed their medals and the superiority of their ideas. These formed an alliance centered on notions of individual freedoms and a free market. Seemingly, slowly, the rest of the world fell into smug step. But, now, as the whole planet grapples with the same old but growing income inequalities and all kinds of fundamentalism, environmental degradation, mass health emergencies, racism and xenophobia, huge cracks have opened in once sacred alliances. Smaller countries like Guyana and others in the region struggle to fill their cracks while being knocked around by huge waves that originate elsewhere, in a struggle to stay afloat and a lifeline with room for only a few. For Guyana, more than most, it seems a lot like that old Cold War. The offered lifeline is the exploitation of resources but that has brought little benefit to its caretakers; only its takers.
So, instead of di…

Fires, Bombs and Hearsay: A plan that blew up the prison, finally!

by clairmont chung
Our penal system came out from the enslavement system. Until we recognize that, bigger better prisons would lead nowhere. They too will be filled with the hordes of the dehumanized; and the population desensitized.

The 17 men incinerated at the Georgetown Prison on Thursday, March 3, 2016, are a warning of things to come. It has reached a point where we do not recognize our own contributions to the condition; our fuel to the fire. Fire has been a traditional political weapon to terrorize poor people, and the bomb its most recent incarnation. At no point was this truer than now: a time of the Walter Rodney COI, its delayed report and the Georgetown Prison massacre.
In one week Guyana’s political leadership felt compelled to denounce testimony from one Commission of Inquiry, WRCOI, solely because it came from a convict and then convene another ‘Commission of Inquiry’ at which convicts and would-be-convicts would have to testify. More than likely, as a cruel joke, one …

African Soccer: Culture and World History Intersect

by clairmont chung
Nigeria won its fifth FIFA Under 17-World Cup by beating Mali in the 2015 final held on November 8 in Viña Del Mar, Chile. Nigeria has dominated this level of world soccer by virtue of its appearance in eight finals of the 16 tournaments to date. As if not enough this was a repeat victory to defend the cup won in the UAE in 2013. Repeat victories are rare and more so in world finals of any sport. But nothing is, as it seems. I for one find more comfort in search of a deeper wider context. The seaside host city for the final presented an opportunity to show that deeper wider context: and how that country and the Pacific Coast of South America intersect with African history, art, and soccer.
Equally remarkable as Nigeria’s 5 cups, is that this was the second all-African under-17 soccer final: Ghana and Nigeria had that honor in Japan 1993. These victories demonstrate Nigeria’s and Africa’s superiority over this age group in soccer. Africa is the winningest continent…