". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alan Lomax in Haiti -- And Danse Martinique

Re, Alan Lomax in Haiti:

The island nation was discovering the roots of its rural culture in Africa, struggling to reconcile the class and race issues arising from a mixed French, Spanish and African heritage, and the cosmopolitan urban culture and folk traditions of the rural poor. Lomax, too, was coming of age in his first solo venture in ethnography, while wrestling with emotional uncertainty, romantic longing, technical challenges, sickness, and financial woes. Harte Recordings will release Alan Lomax in Haiti (obviously this happened last year -- as Vaquero was commissioned to write a piece about it, we spent many weeks working through all the contents), a 10-CD audio and video box set that reveals for the first time the musical and cultural fruits of that national and personal struggle.
The Danse Martinique clip is from the massive Caribbean film and audio recording focused primarily on Haiti that Alan Lomax conducted in the 1930's. These same pattern dance forms and drum accompaniment we saw in the French Caribbean a couple of summers ago. Though now the performers were much more prosperously dressed -- yet, again, the same patterns of clothing too.

I'd have embedded it, but for some reason the code plays without you having a choice about it. This may not be desireable or wanted by someone casually surfing their friendly blogs.

Film - audio clips and more information here on the Cultural Equality site.

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