Friday, May 30, 2008


Hip Hop is African: Recent film chronicles rise of Ghanaian Hip-Life group V.I.P. (Vision in Progress)

Everyone who is at all down recognizes that Hip Hop is the lingua franca of global youth culture. What's also cool is that the form continues to morph by syncretically merging with indigenous styles - as in the rise of the Ghanaian style Hip-Life - a combination of Hip Hop and High Life epitomized by the group V.I.P.

To get a more in-depth look at this musical and cultural phenomenon - on going since the mid 90's - check out the recent documentary by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, HOMEGROWN: HipLife in Ghana. The film chronicles the rise of V.I.P.(Vision in Progress) and their first international tour. The film was screened this month (May 2008) at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) in San Francisco.


To learn more check out Ghana

V.I.P on YouTube: Here

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Okwui Enwezor Maps the Altermodern for You

Here's some serious dome tuning for you critical heads out there. In anticipation of its 2009 Triennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, the Tate has organized a number of prologues with leading curators. Thankfully, the Tate has posted the full video of a recent presentation by the fierce writer, critic and curator, Okwui Enwezor. If you don't know brotha Enwezor, you need to get hip quick. He is important!

In this talk, Okwui jumps off the concept of the "altermodern", proposed by contemporary art theorist/curator Nicolas Bourriaud, to attemp a map of (using Dante's inferno as a frame) levels of altermodernity in order to locate "new artistic imaginaries that undercut the singularity of supermodernity." Sound like BS...try it this way. In the face of the overwhelming power of the supermodern state to define life, life-ways and expressions of "culture", can artists define new approaches and spaces that are specific and liberatory; lift up voice and spirit in a way that undermines the death machines of ultra-commercialism, machismo and necrophilia?

Thanks to the Tate for the full video of his recent performance Specious Modernity: Speculations on the end of Postcolonial Utopia

From the Tate Site: "The fourth Tate Triennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, opens at Tate Britain in February 2009.

It will explore what 'modern' means now, in the globalised culture of the early 21st century. Bourriaud has come up with the new concept: 'Altermodern', and he uses this to describe art being made now that belongs to the global era and is a reaction against standardisation and commercialism.

This art is characterised by artists' cross-border, cross-cultural negotiations; a new real and virtual mobility; the surfing of different disciplines; the use of fiction as an expression of autonomy; concern with sustainable development and the celebration of difference and singularity."

Key Enwezor Texts: Click here.

Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography

Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art

Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace

Monday, May 12, 2008


Let the Love Fest Begin: Obama/Clinton 2008

Ok, so I've not weighed in at all on this political race...I suppose my passions were too high and so I didn't trust my opinions. But, I feel pretty calm these days as it looks more certain that Obama will be the nominee. So, the question now is how to handle an endgame for Mrs. Clinton that respects her, preserves her supporters for the democratic side in November, acknowledges her extraordinary contributions and preserves for her, a path to the White House?

My solution - the "Love Hillary Up" campaign. It is time to acknowledge her; to recognize her central role in the future of the Democratic party; to celebrate her galvanizing energy; to embrace her razor sharp intellect; to employ her insight into thorny policy issues; to direct her dogged determination; and to galvanize her fighting spirit and her base to demolish McCain in the fall. The "Love Hillary Up" campaign will end, of course, by offering her what most likely remains her only path to the White House - the veep slot on the ticket. A marriage of the campaigns would likely galvanize the nation and bring together the now bitterly divided wings of the party to face the common enemy - Bush II (Oops I mean John McCain).

I guess a great fear in the Obama camp about offering Senator Clinton the VP slot would be the the danger of Hill and Bill overwhelming and undermining an Obama presidency. However, I think she could serve an Obama presidency well. They are, after all, nearly identical on policy issues. And, since "Darth Vader" Cheney, we've become familiar and comfortable with a strong veep. Now, we don't expect the VP to be powerless. We expect them to be at some undisclosed locations busting chops, taking names and convening anonymous committees of business leaders to figure out policy. Another thorny question would be what do do with Bill. The right assignment for him would, in my opinion, conveniently remove him from Washington, to say .... (the political equivalent of Alaska) India, China or Africa to do charity work on AIDS or climate change. This would free Vice President Clinton to be the velvet hammer of an Obama presidency in Congress and in thorny foreign policy negotiations in the war on terror, etc. As an added bonus, she could have that red phone installed in her office just to reassure the nation that if the young buck gets off course, or, Goddess forbid, slips on a wet basketball court, that we've got our very own "Iron Lady" prepped to pick up the dreaded 3AM call.

So, now that we've got that figured out...let the Love Fest begin...that is, after a couple months of Obama defining himself in the race against McCain, while doing the warm love her up thing. Then, in, around the end of July, announce the ticket that is gonna whup McCain in Novemeber.

Until then, everybody "Love Hillary Up"...Show her that we care, and that we appreciate her and stop all this nonsensical chatter about voting for Bush II in Obama/Clinton yo! That's the BlackBloggah ticket!

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