Sunday, 31 January 2010

My Weku, Football & All Things African




My Weku means “My Family” in Ga (spoken in Accra, Ghana).

It is also the name of a brand new site on All Things African by Ghanaian Nii Thompson.
More than a site, it is a well-conceived project aimed at celebrating Africa across lots of areas and a première online resource for the review, analysis and promotion of African Culture in its entirety.

I am honoured to be guest-blogging there today, at Nii’s kind invitation, with my first post for this year, "2010-The Year of Afrika 50 Years On", which includes some thoughts on the CAN tournament just ended in Angola.

As I told Nii the other day, I wasn’t happy that his team, the “Black Stars”, put my own team, the “Palancas Negras”, out of the tournament earlier on, but I was hoping that they'd win it! Sorry that it wasn’t the case, as I just learned that they lost to "The Pharaohs" of Egypt in the final…

But congratulations are due all around anyway, as all attentions now move on to SA 2010!

So, you are all invited to join The African Family here.






My Weku means “My Family” in Ga (spoken in Accra, Ghana).

It is also the name of a brand new site on All Things African by Ghanaian Nii Thompson.
More than a site, it is a well-conceived project aimed at celebrating Africa across lots of areas and a première online resource for the review, analysis and promotion of African Culture in its entirety.

I am honoured to be guest-blogging there today, at Nii’s kind invitation, with my first post for this year, "2010-The Year of Afrika 50 Years On", which includes some thoughts on the CAN tournament just ended in Angola.

As I told Nii the other day, I wasn’t happy that his team, the “Black Stars”, put my own team, the “Palancas Negras”, out of the tournament earlier on, but I was hoping that they'd win it! Sorry that it wasn’t the case, as I just learned that they lost to "The Pharaohs" of Egypt in the final…

But congratulations are due all around anyway, as all attentions now move on to SA 2010!

So, you are all invited to join The African Family here.



Saturday, 30 January 2010

Poets For Haiti

Lament
(by Gillian Clarke)

For the earth that shivered its skin like an old horse
For the shout of the sun, of the earth as it broke its heart
For the white palace that fell into itself like snow
For the hospital, for its rows of white graves
For the cathedral that folded on emptiness
calling God's name as it went
For its psalms of sorrow, the prayers of the living and dead
For each house crushed with its cots and cushions and cups
cooking pots pressed between pages of stone
For the small lung of air that kept someone alive
For the rescuer's hand reaching into the void
For the slip of a life from its grip
For the smile of daylight on a woman's face
For her daughter dead in the dark
For the baby born in the rubble
For tomorrow's whistling workmen
with their hods of bricks
For scaffolding and walls rising from the grave
over rosaries of bones


When Carol Ann Duffy heard about the cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, the Poet Laureate felt it was not enough to pull out her credit card and donate some money to those left suffering in its wake.
Instead, she contacted 23 of Britain's most eminent poets to mobilise them for one of the biggest charity poetry jamborees for decades. Two hours after she requested their help, she had received a deluge of enthusiastic replies. Some pledged to write new poems relating to the disaster, while others said they would read verses filled with love, humour, sadness and death, some to music, to mark the moment.
Poetry Life for Haiti, which takes place today at Westminster Central Hall, has been billed as Band Aid for poets. Roger McGough, the former poet laureate Andrew Motion, Brian Patten, the national poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, Elaine Feinstein, and the Costa-prize winning Christopher Reid will all be taking part, as well as Duffy herself.


[Keep reading here]


N.B.: You can read about Haiti's History in this text which I annexed some time ago to this post. You can also read about the challenges facing Small Islands Development States (SIDS), which include Haiti, here.


Related post:

Lament
(by Gillian Clarke)

For the earth that shivered its skin like an old horse
For the shout of the sun, of the earth as it broke its heart
For the white palace that fell into itself like snow
For the hospital, for its rows of white graves
For the cathedral that folded on emptiness
calling God's name as it went
For its psalms of sorrow, the prayers of the living and dead
For each house crushed with its cots and cushions and cups
cooking pots pressed between pages of stone
For the small lung of air that kept someone alive
For the rescuer's hand reaching into the void
For the slip of a life from its grip
For the smile of daylight on a woman's face
For her daughter dead in the dark
For the baby born in the rubble
For tomorrow's whistling workmen
with their hods of bricks
For scaffolding and walls rising from the grave
over rosaries of bones


When Carol Ann Duffy heard about the cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, the Poet Laureate felt it was not enough to pull out her credit card and donate some money to those left suffering in its wake.
Instead, she contacted 23 of Britain's most eminent poets to mobilise them for one of the biggest charity poetry jamborees for decades. Two hours after she requested their help, she had received a deluge of enthusiastic replies. Some pledged to write new poems relating to the disaster, while others said they would read verses filled with love, humour, sadness and death, some to music, to mark the moment.
Poetry Life for Haiti, which takes place today at Westminster Central Hall, has been billed as Band Aid for poets. Roger McGough, the former poet laureate Andrew Motion, Brian Patten, the national poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, Elaine Feinstein, and the Costa-prize winning Christopher Reid will all be taking part, as well as Duffy herself.


[Keep reading here]


N.B.: You can read about Haiti's History in this text which I annexed some time ago to this post. You can also read about the challenges facing Small Islands Development States (SIDS), which include Haiti, here.


Related post:

Friday, 29 January 2010

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof




I had already seen the movie version of this Tennessee Williams' play starring the late Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor, many years ago. Yesterday I went to see it again on stage, at the Novello Theatre in London, and it was a totally different story. To start with it has an all-black cast directed by dancer, choreographer, producer and actress Debbie Allen and headed by none other than the great James Earl Jones alongside Adrian Lester, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan. Then, theatre ambiance, actors’ chemistry and story treatment make all the difference. This excerpt from an interview by Debbie Allen tells a bit about it:

Q - Is this first ever all-black production of a Tennessee Williams play the start of a larger cultural project to reclaim the repertoire?

A - Maybe it is, but I'm just concentrating on this one. It started with a young African American Wall Street mogul, Stephen Byrd, who has acquired the rights to several Tennessee Wiliams plays for a multi-ethnic cast. His first idea was Streetcar ten years ago, and I got Denzel Washington to commit for Stanley Kowalski. But then it never happenned.

Q - So how did this happen?

A - In the meantime, in addition to running my dance academy in Los Angeles, I've done a lot of work in movies and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and we've known for a long time that James Earl Jones wanted to play Big Daddy. I didn't audition him: you don't audition James Earl Jones. I met with him, and we went from there.


Q – Although there are no racialist remarks in the play beyond the odd ‘nigger’ and no overt racism, Tennessee William’s Deep South family on the cotton plantation is clearly white and church-going with red neck elements. How do you deal with this?

A – Black people often refer to each other as ‘nigger’, and there were certainly black landowners who kept black slaves. But we’ve moved the action gracefully, I hope, forward from the 1950s to the 1980s; there’s no mention of a particular time in the play apart from Big Daddy saying he got off a train in 1910, and we’ve changed that.

Q – So your Brick could more feasibly be a recent football star in the 1980s?

A – Yes. There were no black people in 1955 playing in the Super Bowl, or the Sugar Bowl, or anybody’s bowl. Lynchings still happened. Civil rights was burning across America. Moving the play forward doesn’t affect anything beyond allowing us to take a fresh look. There is a universality about Tennessee’s characters and their situations. I don’t know too many families who don’t have to deal with the challenges of alcoholism, or drugs addiction, or any large family where there’s no fighting over who’s in charge, who is going to inherit the kingdom.

Q - Is Williams a dramatist for all time?

A - You bet. All good theatre, all good dance, is about energy and life, and that's nowhere truer than in Tennessee Williams. All of his underlying themes are relevant today. Mendacity? Oh, my God. Where is the truth, and who is telling it? The whole world is dealing with this, in politics, religion and in the global economic crisis.




Then there is the music - just snippets of it here and there. The last one particularly caught my attention and I convinced myself that it was Miles Davis. But which one? I never heard it before... Then, on the way out I bought the play's soundtrack and it was by one Tex Allen that I never heard of before. Still I opened the CD looking for any mention to Miles - it had to be there somewhere! But it wasn't... Until I finally got to read Tex Allen's biography and found out that he worked early on with Gil Evans and his orchestra... So, there was Miles "in there" after all! It's called The Click and was composed by Tex (it also turns out that he is Debbie and Phylicia's brother - so, pretty much a family affair going on here) especially for this play (the snippet that I'm referring to and can be heard on its closing scene is the first part of the song before the "percussion jam").




The Click by Tex Allen

Want to know more? Then click here.





I had already seen the movie version of this Tennessee Williams' play starring the late Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor, many years ago. Yesterday I went to see it again on stage, at the Novello Theatre in London, and it was a totally different story. To start with it has an all-black cast directed by dancer, choreographer, producer and actress Debbie Allen and headed by none other than the great James Earl Jones alongside Adrian Lester, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan. Then, theatre ambiance, actors’ chemistry and story treatment make all the difference. This excerpt from an interview by Debbie Allen tells a bit about it:

Q - Is this first ever all-black production of a Tennessee Williams play the start of a larger cultural project to reclaim the repertoire?

A - Maybe it is, but I'm just concentrating on this one. It started with a young African American Wall Street mogul, Stephen Byrd, who has acquired the rights to several Tennessee Wiliams plays for a multi-ethnic cast. His first idea was Streetcar ten years ago, and I got Denzel Washington to commit for Stanley Kowalski. But then it never happenned.

Q - So how did this happen?

A - In the meantime, in addition to running my dance academy in Los Angeles, I've done a lot of work in movies and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and we've known for a long time that James Earl Jones wanted to play Big Daddy. I didn't audition him: you don't audition James Earl Jones. I met with him, and we went from there.


Q – Although there are no racialist remarks in the play beyond the odd ‘nigger’ and no overt racism, Tennessee William’s Deep South family on the cotton plantation is clearly white and church-going with red neck elements. How do you deal with this?

A – Black people often refer to each other as ‘nigger’, and there were certainly black landowners who kept black slaves. But we’ve moved the action gracefully, I hope, forward from the 1950s to the 1980s; there’s no mention of a particular time in the play apart from Big Daddy saying he got off a train in 1910, and we’ve changed that.

Q – So your Brick could more feasibly be a recent football star in the 1980s?

A – Yes. There were no black people in 1955 playing in the Super Bowl, or the Sugar Bowl, or anybody’s bowl. Lynchings still happened. Civil rights was burning across America. Moving the play forward doesn’t affect anything beyond allowing us to take a fresh look. There is a universality about Tennessee’s characters and their situations. I don’t know too many families who don’t have to deal with the challenges of alcoholism, or drugs addiction, or any large family where there’s no fighting over who’s in charge, who is going to inherit the kingdom.

Q - Is Williams a dramatist for all time?

A - You bet. All good theatre, all good dance, is about energy and life, and that's nowhere truer than in Tennessee Williams. All of his underlying themes are relevant today. Mendacity? Oh, my God. Where is the truth, and who is telling it? The whole world is dealing with this, in politics, religion and in the global economic crisis.




Then there is the music - just snippets of it here and there. The last one particularly caught my attention and I convinced myself that it was Miles Davis. But which one? I never heard it before... Then, on the way out I bought the play's soundtrack and it was by one Tex Allen that I never heard of before. Still I opened the CD looking for any mention to Miles - it had to be there somewhere! But it wasn't... Until I finally got to read Tex Allen's biography and found out that he worked early on with Gil Evans and his orchestra... So, there was Miles "in there" after all! It's called The Click and was composed by Tex (it also turns out that he is Debbie and Phylicia's brother - so, pretty much a family affair going on here) especially for this play (the snippet that I'm referring to and can be heard on its closing scene is the first part of the song before the "percussion jam").




The Click by Tex Allen

Want to know more? Then click here.


Saturday, 23 January 2010

Thursday, 21 January 2010

OLHARES DIVERSOS (XVIII)

MARCOLINO MOCO AO "PUBLICO"

Só O Tribunal Constitucional Pode Impedir Esta Barbaridade

História da humanidade é prenhe em exemplos de como os maus precedentes podem ser fatais para a vida dos Estados.

A questão das normas constitucionais vigentes que vão ser violadas com este acto da Assembleia Nacional, nas vestes de Assembleia Constituinte, não pode ser tão despicienda como se pretende fazer passar, com o pretexto de que a maioria esmagadora do MPLA o justifica.

Esta não é apenas uma questão de ordem teórica defendida pelos grandes mestres do Direito. É algo que o Direito foi retirar das lições da História. Veja-se o caso do nazismo hitleriano.

Para o caso concreto do constitucionalismo angolano, o artigo 159 surgira, exactamente, para acautelar que uma eventual maioria esmagadora pudesse alterar conquistas específicas no processo da construção de uma democracia pluralista, bem como a preservação dos princípios basilares de um Estado democrático e de direito, entre os quais a questão da separação material e formal dos órgãos nacionais de soberania.

Ora, será justamente a destruição deste mecanismo acautelatório a que vamos assistir, para além da consagração constitucional de outras práticas irregulares a que os angolanos foram submetidos, ao arrepio da lei constitucional em vigor durante o longo consulado do Presidente José Eduardo dos Santos, cuja necessidade de chegar ao fim ele próprio preconizara há cerca de cinco anos.

Eu, pessoalmente, alimento ainda a esperança de que, pela idoneidade dos juízes do Tribunal Constitucional, cuja actuação em relação ao assunto foi anunciada pelo presidente da Assembleia Nacional, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, "Nandó", e que, na minha óptica, se impõe ex officio, nos termos do artigo 135, número três, da lei constitucional, conjugado com a alínea "O" do artigo 16 da sua lei orgânica, sejamos poupados a assistir à anunciada barbaridade.


Post relacionado:

A Tarefa de Substituir JES
MARCOLINO MOCO AO "PUBLICO"

Só O Tribunal Constitucional Pode Impedir Esta Barbaridade

História da humanidade é prenhe em exemplos de como os maus precedentes podem ser fatais para a vida dos Estados.

A questão das normas constitucionais vigentes que vão ser violadas com este acto da Assembleia Nacional, nas vestes de Assembleia Constituinte, não pode ser tão despicienda como se pretende fazer passar, com o pretexto de que a maioria esmagadora do MPLA o justifica.

Esta não é apenas uma questão de ordem teórica defendida pelos grandes mestres do Direito. É algo que o Direito foi retirar das lições da História. Veja-se o caso do nazismo hitleriano.

Para o caso concreto do constitucionalismo angolano, o artigo 159 surgira, exactamente, para acautelar que uma eventual maioria esmagadora pudesse alterar conquistas específicas no processo da construção de uma democracia pluralista, bem como a preservação dos princípios basilares de um Estado democrático e de direito, entre os quais a questão da separação material e formal dos órgãos nacionais de soberania.

Ora, será justamente a destruição deste mecanismo acautelatório a que vamos assistir, para além da consagração constitucional de outras práticas irregulares a que os angolanos foram submetidos, ao arrepio da lei constitucional em vigor durante o longo consulado do Presidente José Eduardo dos Santos, cuja necessidade de chegar ao fim ele próprio preconizara há cerca de cinco anos.

Eu, pessoalmente, alimento ainda a esperança de que, pela idoneidade dos juízes do Tribunal Constitucional, cuja actuação em relação ao assunto foi anunciada pelo presidente da Assembleia Nacional, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, "Nandó", e que, na minha óptica, se impõe ex officio, nos termos do artigo 135, número três, da lei constitucional, conjugado com a alínea "O" do artigo 16 da sua lei orgânica, sejamos poupados a assistir à anunciada barbaridade.


Post relacionado:

A Tarefa de Substituir JES

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A Tarefa de Emagrecer o Governo (1)



[in SA#350-p.15]


Sensata a ideia de se “emagrecer” o Governo (ou, para usar uma expressao a que estou mais habituada neste contexto, “streamlining” - que tecnicamente, em termos de gestao economica, significa "melhorar a eficiencia de um processo, empresa ou organizacao pela simplificacao ou eliminacao de estruturas ou procedimentos desnecessarios, usando tecnicas modernizadoras, ou outras medidas de igual efeito") e interessantes tanto o anuncio de JES, quanto a proposta de VPA. No entanto, esta proposta sugere-me as seguintes observacoes e questoes:

- Estaremos aqui perante um caso de “8 ou 80”? Nao se estara’ aqui a sugerir um possivel trade off “de soma nula” (uma vez que a “receita de emagrecimento” proposta resulta igualmente em mais de 30 pastas – chame-se-lhes embora ‘Secretarias de Estado’ – e, muito provavelmente, em igual ou maior volume de recursos financeiros para as manter) entre a macrocefalia do Governo considerado como um todo e a macrocefalia de cada Ministerio considerado individualmente?

- Estarao suficientemente acautelados os custos de coordenacao, comunicacao e gestao dentro de cada Ministerio e, consequentemente, a eficacia funcional de cada um deles, em particular aqueles para os quais se propoe mais de 3 Secretarias de Estado - apresentando-se os propostos Ministerios dos "Recursos Naturais e Ambiente" e dos "Assuntos Sociais" como os casos mais preocupantes, com 7 e 5 Secretarias de Estado respectivamente?

- Estarao as valencias de alguns dos Ministerios propostos suficientemente claras e articuladas/alinhadas logicamente com as das respectivas Secretarias de Estado? E.g. havera' alguma "razao de forca maior" que justifique a separacao do Ensino Superior do Ministerio da Educacao? Deverao funcoes e estruturas tao distintamente especificas como as da Saude e da Educacao coexistir sob uma mesma tutela; a mesma questao se colocando em relacao a Comunicacao Social ao lado das Obras Publicas e outras “Infrastruturas e Equipamentos”? Teriamos duas Secretarias de Estado das Obras Publicas em Ministerios diferentes: uma sob as “Infrastruturas” e outra sob o “Planeamento”?


Ou seja, com o devido respeito pelos creditos do autor, nao basta afirmar-se retoricamente que «Mais relevante do que a questão do encurtamento/alargamento da máquina são as questões referentes às suas políticas, programas e acções, bem como o empenho e desempenho dos titulares dessa máquina. No entanto, entendo que a reorganização do Governo deve obedecer a critérios que têm a ver com as suas funções e a articulação das mesmas. Um pressuposto básico para a diminuição da máquina governamental é o Estado reduzir e melhorar o seu peso na Economia, reforçando o seu papel regulador e fiscalizador»: ha' que demonstrar a praticabilidade dessas ideias fazendo-as reflectir logicamente na estrutura do governo, o que, infelizmente, a proposta em apreco nao faz - muito pelo contrario...




[in SA#350-p.15]


Sensata a ideia de se “emagrecer” o Governo (ou, para usar uma expressao a que estou mais habituada neste contexto, “streamlining” - que tecnicamente, em termos de gestao economica, significa "melhorar a eficiencia de um processo, empresa ou organizacao pela simplificacao ou eliminacao de estruturas ou procedimentos desnecessarios, usando tecnicas modernizadoras, ou outras medidas de igual efeito") e interessantes tanto o anuncio de JES, quanto a proposta de VPA. No entanto, esta proposta sugere-me as seguintes observacoes e questoes:

- Estaremos aqui perante um caso de “8 ou 80”? Nao se estara’ aqui a sugerir um possivel trade off “de soma nula” (uma vez que a “receita de emagrecimento” proposta resulta igualmente em mais de 30 pastas – chame-se-lhes embora ‘Secretarias de Estado’ – e, muito provavelmente, em igual ou maior volume de recursos financeiros para as manter) entre a macrocefalia do Governo considerado como um todo e a macrocefalia de cada Ministerio considerado individualmente?

- Estarao suficientemente acautelados os custos de coordenacao, comunicacao e gestao dentro de cada Ministerio e, consequentemente, a eficacia funcional de cada um deles, em particular aqueles para os quais se propoe mais de 3 Secretarias de Estado - apresentando-se os propostos Ministerios dos "Recursos Naturais e Ambiente" e dos "Assuntos Sociais" como os casos mais preocupantes, com 7 e 5 Secretarias de Estado respectivamente?

- Estarao as valencias de alguns dos Ministerios propostos suficientemente claras e articuladas/alinhadas logicamente com as das respectivas Secretarias de Estado? E.g. havera' alguma "razao de forca maior" que justifique a separacao do Ensino Superior do Ministerio da Educacao? Deverao funcoes e estruturas tao distintamente especificas como as da Saude e da Educacao coexistir sob uma mesma tutela; a mesma questao se colocando em relacao a Comunicacao Social ao lado das Obras Publicas e outras “Infrastruturas e Equipamentos”? Teriamos duas Secretarias de Estado das Obras Publicas em Ministerios diferentes: uma sob as “Infrastruturas” e outra sob o “Planeamento”?


Ou seja, com o devido respeito pelos creditos do autor, nao basta afirmar-se retoricamente que «Mais relevante do que a questão do encurtamento/alargamento da máquina são as questões referentes às suas políticas, programas e acções, bem como o empenho e desempenho dos titulares dessa máquina. No entanto, entendo que a reorganização do Governo deve obedecer a critérios que têm a ver com as suas funções e a articulação das mesmas. Um pressuposto básico para a diminuição da máquina governamental é o Estado reduzir e melhorar o seu peso na Economia, reforçando o seu papel regulador e fiscalizador»: ha' que demonstrar a praticabilidade dessas ideias fazendo-as reflectir logicamente na estrutura do governo, o que, infelizmente, a proposta em apreco nao faz - muito pelo contrario...


Sunday, 17 January 2010

E assim Começa o Annus Angolensis

Servimo-nos do extracto da crónica que Pepetela publicou no África 21 e que abaixo reproduzimos, com a devida vénia, para desejar as melhores entradas em 2010 a todos os invertebrados deste e de outros países.
Feliz Ano Novo a todos!


Reginaldo Silva
[aqui]

“(…) estamos habituados a que não se respeite metodologias e acordos passados; o espantoso é que bastou o chefe dizer que talvez tivesse outra ideia para todos declararem que nunca estiveram de acordo com a proposta apresentada com fanfarra e fogo-de-artifício, para se arregimentarem militante e agressivamente atrás da palavra do chefe. E lá vimos os mesmos de sempre a argumentar convictamente sobre a perspicácia, a ousadia intelectual, a inovação, etc. (já se conhecem os encómios dos discursos de fim de ano ou de aniversário) …
O lambe-botismo de alguns políticos e comentadores raia a sem-vergonhice mesmo.
Estão lá só para cantar angélicas melodias aos ouvidos de quem manda e apanhar as migalhas.
O problema é que de tanto lamber botas, os responsáveis menores e intelectuais de plantão já têm a língua áspera como lixa.
De onde se conclui que o melhor militante é o que tem língua de gato. Por isso, a entrada para um próximo congresso será a aspereza da língua.”

[Pepetela in Africa21/Dezembro-Janeiro 2010]


A mudança de hábitos e de mentalidade de que todos falam implica enfrentar esse inimigo oculto que é o lambebotismo. Toda a máquina politica e administrativa
está infestada pelo lambebotismo. Tornou-se um meio de ascensão social. Suplanta a competência ou o saber cientifico. Todos os que procurem ser apenas competentes ou que sejam rigorosos tecnicamente não chegam a lado nenhum ou se alguma vez chegados ao topo vivem em permanente aviso de demissão. É igual ou pior que a prostituição de rua. Os que aparecem na imprensa são bastante conhecidos. Falta conhecer os graúdos. Aqueles que alimentam a máquina. Deveríamos fazer com que os seus filhos lhes perguntassem à mesa do jantar: ‹‹na minha escola dizem que o papá é um lambe-botas. O que é um lambe-botas?›› ou que os seus amigos e familiares se envergonhassem deles pela falta de caracter.


Ismael Mateus
[aqui]

Servimo-nos do extracto da crónica que Pepetela publicou no África 21 e que abaixo reproduzimos, com a devida vénia, para desejar as melhores entradas em 2010 a todos os invertebrados deste e de outros países.
Feliz Ano Novo a todos!


Reginaldo Silva
[
aqui]

“(…) estamos habituados a que não se respeite metodologias e acordos passados; o espantoso é que bastou o chefe dizer que talvez tivesse outra ideia para todos declararem que nunca estiveram de acordo com a proposta apresentada com fanfarra e fogo-de-artifício, para se arregimentarem militante e agressivamente atrás da palavra do chefe. E lá vimos os mesmos de sempre a argumentar convictamente sobre a perspicácia, a ousadia intelectual, a inovação, etc. (já se conhecem os encómios dos discursos de fim de ano ou de aniversário) …
O lambe-botismo de alguns políticos e comentadores raia a sem-vergonhice mesmo.
Estão lá só para cantar angélicas melodias aos ouvidos de quem manda e apanhar as migalhas.
O problema é que de tanto lamber botas, os responsáveis menores e intelectuais de plantão já têm a língua áspera como lixa.
De onde se conclui que o melhor militante é o que tem língua de gato. Por isso, a entrada para um próximo congresso será a aspereza da língua.”

[Pepetela in Africa21/Dezembro-Janeiro 2010]


A mudança de hábitos e de mentalidade de que todos falam implica enfrentar esse inimigo oculto que é o lambebotismo. Toda a máquina politica e administrativa
está infestada pelo lambebotismo. Tornou-se um meio de ascensão social. Suplanta a competência ou o saber cientifico. Todos os que procurem ser apenas competentes ou que sejam rigorosos tecnicamente não chegam a lado nenhum ou se alguma vez chegados ao topo vivem em permanente aviso de demissão. É igual ou pior que a prostituição de rua. Os que aparecem na imprensa são bastante conhecidos. Falta conhecer os graúdos. Aqueles que alimentam a máquina. Deveríamos fazer com que os seus filhos lhes perguntassem à mesa do jantar: ‹‹na minha escola dizem que o papá é um lambe-botas. O que é um lambe-botas?›› ou que os seus amigos e familiares se envergonhassem deles pela falta de caracter.


Ismael Mateus
[aqui]

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Haiti Tragedy



Help for Haiti
Thursday, 14 January, 2010 21:08

Ana --

On Tuesday, a catastrophic earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed, but the death toll -- already in the thousands -- is climbing fast.

This is the worst earthquake to hit the area in more than 200 years. Entire communities have been ripped apart and as many as 3 million people have been directly affected, including tens of thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti.

Our neighbors in Haiti are racing to confront the enormous devastation -- and the OFA community can help.

Footage is pouring in of homes collapsing, Haitians carrying injured family members, and hospitals being overrun in what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives. Personnel from the United States and our partners in the international community are on the ground in damaged areas right now, working side by side with the Haitian people. They're providing much-needed food, water, and sanitation supplies, saving lives and helping local communities start to rebuild.

Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I encourage those who can to reach out and help. It's in times like these that we must show the kind of compassion and humanity that has defined the best of our national character for generations.

Click here to find out what you can do:

http://my.barackobama.com/Haiti

As this story continues to unfold, I hope you will continue to keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the many Haitian-Americans who have done so much to enrich our country and who are worried about friends and loved ones in this time of need.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama



Help for Haiti
Thursday, 14 January, 2010 21:08

Ana --

On Tuesday, a catastrophic earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed, but the death toll -- already in the thousands -- is climbing fast.

This is the worst earthquake to hit the area in more than 200 years. Entire communities have been ripped apart and as many as 3 million people have been directly affected, including tens of thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti.

Our neighbors in Haiti are racing to confront the enormous devastation -- and the OFA community can help.

Footage is pouring in of homes collapsing, Haitians carrying injured family members, and hospitals being overrun in what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives. Personnel from the United States and our partners in the international community are on the ground in damaged areas right now, working side by side with the Haitian people. They're providing much-needed food, water, and sanitation supplies, saving lives and helping local communities start to rebuild.

Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I encourage those who can to reach out and help. It's in times like these that we must show the kind of compassion and humanity that has defined the best of our national character for generations.

Click here to find out what you can do:

http://my.barackobama.com/Haiti

As this story continues to unfold, I hope you will continue to keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the many Haitian-Americans who have done so much to enrich our country and who are worried about friends and loved ones in this time of need.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Celebrando o Legado de Alioune Diop

SIMPÓSIO INTERNACIONAL
Alioune Diop, o homem e a obra frente aos desafios contemporâneos


A celebração do centenário do nascimento de Alioune Diop, feliz coincidência, é também o quinquagésimo aniversário da independência de muitos países africanos. A Comunidade Africana da Cultura tomou a iniciativa de convidar intelectuais, mulheres e homens da cultura para um simpósio internacional sobre o tema: Alioune Diop, o homem e a obra frente aos desafios contemporâneos.

Através de uma pergunta muito aberta, o simpósio irá analisar as múltiplas dimensões do trabalho de um humanista e universalista original, um homem de diálogo, um homem comprometido e pragmático, um africano amante da liberdade que rejeitava qualquer forma de racismo. Alioune Diop era tudo isso ao mesmo tempo: um homem do seu tempo, que resumiu o significado do seu compromisso na aventura editorial da Présence Africaine: "Todos os artigos serão publicados, desde que respeitem as normas exigidas, que façam referência à África, que não traiam o nosso compromisso anti-racista, anti-colonial, nem a solidariedade com os povos colonizados." Primeiro africano a executar rigorosamente o trabalho de editor, ele gerara a eclosão de talentos que, sem a sua firmeza, teriam sido provavelmente sufocados pela implacável máquina ideológica e repressiva introduzida pelo sistema colonial.


Assim, na África e nas suas diásporas, uma produção literária e científica de qualidade pôde afirmar-se em contextos diversos e variáveis, marcados por desafios múltiplos. É por isso que, após cinquenta anos de independência, é importante reexaminar o trabalho da Presence Africaine para tirar ensinamentos para o futuro.
O centenário do nascimento do fundador da revista Présence Africaine, este instrumento único para a produção dos intelectuais da África e das suas diásporas, forjada por um homem cuja vida foi um modelo de eficiência e generosidade na promoção do seu ideal, dá-nos a oportunidade durável de reflectir sobre a atualidade da sua luta. Trata-se de uma trajectória invulgar para reler o passado, pensar o presente e imaginar um futuro.

[Mais detalhes Aqui]

Posts Relacionados:


Aime' Cesaire

Joseph Ki-Zerbo: A Quand L'Afrique

SIMPÓSIO INTERNACIONAL
Alioune Diop, o homem e a obra frente aos desafios contemporâneos


A celebração do centenário do nascimento de Alioune Diop, feliz coincidência, é também o quinquagésimo aniversário da independência de muitos países africanos. A Comunidade Africana da Cultura tomou a iniciativa de convidar intelectuais, mulheres e homens da cultura para um simpósio internacional sobre o tema: Alioune Diop, o homem e a obra frente aos desafios contemporâneos.

Através de uma pergunta muito aberta, o simpósio irá analisar as múltiplas dimensões do trabalho de um humanista e universalista original, um homem de diálogo, um homem comprometido e pragmático, um africano amante da liberdade que rejeitava qualquer forma de racismo. Alioune Diop era tudo isso ao mesmo tempo: um homem do seu tempo, que resumiu o significado do seu compromisso na aventura editorial da Présence Africaine: "Todos os artigos serão publicados, desde que respeitem as normas exigidas, que façam referência à África, que não traiam o nosso compromisso anti-racista, anti-colonial, nem a solidariedade com os povos colonizados." Primeiro africano a executar rigorosamente o trabalho de editor, ele gerara a eclosão de talentos que, sem a sua firmeza, teriam sido provavelmente sufocados pela implacável máquina ideológica e repressiva introduzida pelo sistema colonial.


Assim, na África e nas suas diásporas, uma produção literária e científica de qualidade pôde afirmar-se em contextos diversos e variáveis, marcados por desafios múltiplos. É por isso que, após cinquenta anos de independência, é importante reexaminar o trabalho da Presence Africaine para tirar ensinamentos para o futuro.
O centenário do nascimento do fundador da revista Présence Africaine, este instrumento único para a produção dos intelectuais da África e das suas diásporas, forjada por um homem cuja vida foi um modelo de eficiência e generosidade na promoção do seu ideal, dá-nos a oportunidade durável de reflectir sobre a atualidade da sua luta. Trata-se de uma trajectória invulgar para reler o passado, pensar o presente e imaginar um futuro.

[Mais detalhes Aqui]

Posts Relacionados:


Aime' Cesaire

Joseph Ki-Zerbo: A Quand L'Afrique

Monday, 11 January 2010

1960-2010: “The Year of Africa” 50 Years On (I)

Here we are – in 2010!
The beginning of a new decade and of the celebration of a founding moment in History: half a century since 1960, popularly known as “The Year of Africa” – the year of independence for 17 African countries.

Angola, however, was not among them. There and then I was born amidst a host of spurring events that would lead to the 14-year long struggle for independence that ensued from the following year until 1974. Elsewhere in the region, in that year events such as the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa were also to shape the continent’s 1960s decade.

Today, 50 years after “The Year of Africa” and on the way to the 35th anniversary of its independence from Portugal, Angola hosts an event that is also meant in some way to celebrate Africa and its achievements, in this instance in the realm of the 'king of sports': football and its Cup of African Nations (CAN).


Unfortunately, though, in an incident still reminiscent of Africa’s colonial legacy of arbitrarily drawn borders by the Europeans at the Berlin Conference , its start was stained by the saddening and indefensible event of a guerrilla attack, in Cabinda, to the participating team of Togo while in the bus on the road to their dreams of glory and victories at the stadiums so painstakingly built over the last few years for this continental event. Sad and damning.


Sad for all of us, but damning only for a faction of the FLEC (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda) pro-independence movement. 50 years of so many bloody struggles for independence in Africa, and markedly in Angola, have surely left a number of profound lessons to be learned from for all of us. Among them, that indiscriminate, senseless bloodshed is hardly the way to achieve anything – certainly not immediate independence, self-determination or, perhaps most importantly, self-respect... But it has happened and all we have left is our deep sorrow for the team of Togo, the families of the athletes dead in the attack and their country.


Let us now hope that the CAN 2010 in Angola pursues its road to the success it deserves!
Here we are – in 2010!
The beginning of a new decade and of the celebration of a founding moment in History: half a century since 1960, popularly known as “The Year of Africa” – the year of independence for 17 African countries.

Angola, however, was not among them.
There and then I was born amidst a host of spurring events that would lead to the 14-year long struggle for independence that ensued from the following year until 1974. Elsewhere in the region, in that year events such as the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa were also to shape the continent’s 1960s decade.

Today, 50 years after “The Year of Africa” and on the way to the 35th anniversary of its independence from Portugal, Angola hosts an event that is also meant in some way to celebrate Africa and its achievements, in this instance in the realm of the 'king of sports': football and its Cup of African Nations (CAN).


Unfortunately, though, in an incident still reminiscent of Africa’s colonial legacy of arbitrarily drawn borders by the Europeans at the Berlin Conference , its start was stained by the saddening and indefensible event of a guerrilla attack, in Cabinda, to the participating team of Togo while in the bus on the road to their dreams of glory and victories at the stadiums so painstakingly built over the last few years for this continental event. Sad and damning.


Sad for all of us, but damning only for a faction of the FLEC (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda) pro-independence movement. 50 years of so many bloody struggles for independence in Africa, and markedly in Angola, have surely left a number of profound lessons to be learned from for all of us. Among them, that indiscriminate, senseless bloodshed is hardly the way to achieve anything – certainly not immediate independence, self-determination or, perhaps most importantly, self-respect... But it has happened and all we have left is our deep sorrow for the team of Togo, the families of the athletes dead in the attack and their country.


Let us now hope that the CAN 2010 in Angola pursues its road to the success it deserves!