UNESCO adds Haiti’s freedom soup to cultural heritage list

Al Jazeera reports on the newest addition to UNESCO’s cultural heritage list: Haiti’s freedom soup: Soup Joumou. As the article underlines, “Haitians took ownership of Joumou Soup in 1804 and turned it into a national symbol of freedom and independence.” The dish is eaten on January 1, Haiti’s Independence Day, as well as served as a traditional Sunday morning breakfast.

The United Nations cultural agency (UNESCO) has added Joumou Soup – Haiti’s national symbol of freedom from slavery – to its intangible heritage list, saying the soup is “so much more than just a dish”.

UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee decided on Thursday to put Joumou on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The dish, also known as giraumon soup, is made of pumpkin, vegetables, plantains, meat, pasta and spices.

“Intangible cultural heritage has the capacity to unite communities around their unique know-how and traditions, and thus to strengthen social cohesion,” Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO director general, said in a statement.

“This is especially true when communities are hit by disasters or emergencies: intangible cultural heritage has a major role in community resilience and recovery,” Azoulay said.

Originally exclusively reserved to slave owners, Haitians – who prepared the dish but were never allowed to eat it – took ownership of Joumou Soup when they gained independence from France in 1804.

They turned it into a symbol of their freedom and the regaining of their dignity.

“So much more than just a dish, Joumou Soup tells the story of the heroes and heroines of Haitian independence, their struggle for human rights and their hard-won freedom,” Azoulay said.

Former Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph welcomed Joumou Soup’s addition to the UNESCO list, saying on Twitter that it filled him “with a lot of pride and emotion”.

The announcement comes at a time when the small Caribbean nation has been experiencing a series of crises. [. . .]

“Haiti has faced countless challenges, including natural disasters that have dramatically affected the daily lives of the population, and the country’s authorities wished to make an inscription that would help revive national pride while perpetuating a unifying and symbolic know-how,” Azoulay said.

According to the UNESCO application, there are several variations of Joumou Soup and it can be found in multiple Caribbean and Latin American cuisines.
For full article, see https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/16/unesco-adds-haiti-freedom-soup-joumou-heritage-list
Also see https://ich.unesco.org/en/joumou-soup-01221

L’ex Massive Attack Tricky sort un court-métrage hypnotique : « Lonely Guest »

Après avoir publié le premier album de son nouveau projet Lonely Guest au mois d’octobre dernier, Tricky décline l’univers de cette aventure collective dans un court-métrage impressionnant qu’il a réalisé. Pour mettre en image ce disque passionnant qui comprend des collaborations avec Joe Talbot d’Idles ou Paul Smith de Maxïmo Park, l’ex membre de Massive Attack a opté pour des images sombres de la nuit berlinoise. Sur fond de sonorités électro-trip-hop-reggae-rock-soul moites, une poignée d’individus luttent contre des situations difficiles jusqu’à un dénouement aussi tragique que bouleversant. Après ces 13 minutes intenses, on n’a qu’une seule envie : voir Tricky monter sur la scène du Trianon à Paris le 22 avril [2022] prochain. 

À voir :

À lire : https://www.numero.com/fr/musique/tricky-massive-attack-lonely-guest-trip-hop-idles-maximo-park-court-metrage 

Belgian pop sensation Angèle: ‘When we speak about feminism, people are afraid’

Kim Willsher (The Guardian) writes, “A million-selling superstar at home and in France, she discusses her confrontation with Playboy, growing up in a famous family and being publicly outed as bisexual.” Angèle’s new album Nonante-Cinq is out now on Universal/Angèle VL Records.

A few years ago, a popular pub quiz question involved naming 10 famous Belgians. The answers often revealed more about British cultural ignorance than Belgium’s ability to produce international celebrities, given that the fictional Tintin and Hercule Poirot were the best many could come up with.

The game has got easier since the rise of Angèle, a stridently feminist Belgian pop singer-songwriter who shot to fame in 2016 after posting short clips singing covers and playing the piano on Instagram. She was young, talented and not afraid to make fun of herself, pulling faces and sticking pencils up her nose. Her 2018 debut album, Brol, sold a million copies; by 2019, she was a face of Chanel. “I’d always wanted a career in music, but I was thinking more of working as a piano accompanist,” she says, folding into an armchair at a five-star boutique hotel near the Paris Opéra. “I really didn’t expect it to happen like that.”

If Angèle, 26, is known in the UK, it is for her duet with Dua Lipa on the British singer’s 2020 song Fever (“There’s something very natural between us,” Angèle says), but in France and Belgium she is a household name performing to packed arenas. She has just released her second album, Nonante-Cinq (95, after the year she was born), 12 introspective disco-pop tracks with deceptively naive, childlike vocals. It follows a Netflix documentary about her life. “The success came from nowhere, almost from one day to the next,” she says. “It was very rapid and intense. I was very surprised by it all. I still am.”

This intensity ramped up in 2017 when she agreed to talk to Playboy. Despite being asked not to, the magazine used a photograph of Angèle topless and holding two peppers in front of her breasts. Feeling humiliated and betrayed, she says she cried for a week.

“They didn’t even write about the music I was doing, but just the fact that I was sexy,” she says. Amid the fallout, “I was also reduced to being a woman who wanted to draw attention to herself by sexualising her image, as if that wasn’t something good, while being sexy and sexual shouldn’t be a problem”. Playboy breaking her trust, she says, “was a hard lesson”.

Her response was Balance Ton Quoi (Squeal on What), a song that played on the French #MeToo phrase Balance Ton Porc (Squeal on Your Pig) and instantly turned her into a feminist figurehead.

“As a girl and young woman, I have suffered lots of sexist aggression, like the majority of women. There’s the harassment in the street and in relationships and there are sexist remarks and behaviour in the [music business],” she says, adding that it was seeing the lack of reaction to her brother, the rapper Roméo Elvis, performing shirtless that hammered home the sexist double standard. “Nobody remarks on it when he does it, but if there’s a topless picture of me in Playboy the discourse is pejorative. People don’t say: wow, isn’t that great and isn’t she lovely; they think it shames me.”

She wrote Balance Ton Quoi “because I knew what these women were talking about from my own experience. This song suddenly became a feminist hymn at protests – I found myself a bit of a feminist icon at 23 years old when I still had many things to learn.” Belgium and France, she says, “are still behind on sexism. Violence against women is still treated as a taboo subject and one that’s difficult to address and is minimised.” [. . .]

Watch the video for Bruxelles je t’aime, from the new album:

For full article, see https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/dec/09/belgian-pop-sensation-angele-when-we-speak-about-feminism-people-are-afraid

Angèle “Démons” (feat. Damso)

Angèle Van Laeken, better known as Angèle, is a Belgian singer-songwriter, musician, pianist, record producer and actress.

Damso, whose real name is William Kalubi Mwamba, is a Belgian-Congolese rapper, singer, and songwriter. 

See lyrics below.


Jusqu’ici, tout va bien, enfin, ça allait
Confiant, t’as peur de rien, avant de tomber
On verra bien demain, mais ça, plus jamais
J’ai pas l’air de m’en faire, mais si vous saviez
Comment c’est dans ma tête, ça me fait vriller
L’angoisse me fait la guerre et part en fumée

Jour après jour, je m’habitue
À mes ennemis qui me tuent
Et j’apprendrai toutes les vertus
Oh, jour après jour, je m’habitue
Quand j’en attends trop, j’suis déçue
Mais grâce à ça, moi, j’évolue

Comment faire pour tuer mes démons?
Comme un ange en enfer, j’oublie mon nom, eh, eh
Si la magie opère, tous ils tomberont, eh, eh
Comment faire pour tuer mes démons? Tuer mes démons

Le démon, mes démons (bah, ok)
Le démon, mes démons (bah, ok)
Le démon, mes démons (bah, ok)
Mes démons (bang, ah bah ouais)

J’feat avec Angèle, pas d’gros mots, radio, faut qu’on passe
Au lieu d’un “nique ta-” non, non, j’dirai “grand bien leur fasse”
Porte-feuilles achromate ne voit que violet, vert, ice
J’suis dans la zone, rageux me suivent à la trace
Comment faire pour tuer les haineux? Juste en n’en parlant plus
Ces faux rappeurs, non, font moins de vues qu’j’ai d’albums vendus

Très sincèrement, si je m’en vais, je n’reviendrai plus
Besoin d’explorer autre chose, me perdre dans le cosmos
Ils parlèrent dans mon dos couvert de vêtements chers italiens
Dans leur derrière, j’ferais un don de quelques futurs Homo sapiens
J’suis l’avatar du game et j’maîtrise les quatre éléments
J’rappe, je chante, j’produis, j’écris pour les gens

Je sais comment faire pour tuer tes démons
Comme un ange en enfer, j’oublie mon nom, eh, eh
Si la magie opère, tous ils tomberont, eh, eh
Comment faire pour tuer mes démons? Tuer mes démons
Comment faire pour tuer mes démons? (dé-démons, dé-démons)
Comme un ange en enfer j’oublie mon nom, eh, eh (no)
Si la magie opère, tous ils tomberont, eh, eh (ah bah ouais, ah bah ouais)
Comment faire pour tuer mes démons? Tuer mes démons

Si tu veux, j’le ferai pour toi
Mes démons, mes démons, mes démons, mes démons (si tu veux, j’le ferai pour toi)
Mes démons, mes démons, mes démons, mes démons (si tu veux, j’le ferai pour toi)
Mes démons, mes démons, mes démons, mes démons (si tu veux, j’le ferai pour toi)
Mes démons, mes démons, mes démons

Comment faire pour tuer mes démons?
Comme un ange en enfer, j’oublie mon nom
Si la magie opère, tous ils tomberont
Comment faire pour tuer mes démons? Tuer mes démons

For a Combative Decoloniality Sixty Years after Fanon’s Death

“For a Combative Decoloniality Sixty Years after Fanon’s Death” is an invitation from the Frantz Fanon Foundation, represented by co-chairs Mireille Fanon Mendès France and Nelson Maldonado-Torres. They posted this article on December 6, which marked sixty years since Fanon’s death in 1961.

“Finally, a third stage, a combat stage where the colonized writer, after having tried to lose himself among the people, with the people, will rouse the people. Instead of letting the people’s lethargy prevail, he turns into a galvanizer of the people.” Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth.

“The collective struggle (le combat collectif) presupposes a collective responsibility from the rank and file and a collegial responsibility at the top. Yes, everyone must be involved in the struggle (le combat) for the sake of the common salvation (le salut commun). There are no clean hands, no innocent bystanders. We are all in the process of dirtying our hands in the quagmire of our soil and the terrifying void of our minds. Any bystander is a coward or a traitor.”  Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth.    

Readers of The Wretched of the Earth are familiar with the often-cited sentence: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.” It has been sixty years after the publication of The Wretched and sixty years after Fanon’s passing, yet this sentence reads as relevant today as it read then. It might indeed be a timeless sentence, one of those gifts with perennial value from that intense era of decolonization movements towards the middle of the last century. 

That the traditional empire-based juridico-political colonialism of several centuries was largely, but not totally, vanquished last century, does not mean that colonial relations ended then. By the time that European empires fell, nation-states had already assumed the duties of preserving institutions, values, and forms of social organization that reproduced and/or extended the racial logics that characterized the age of modern Western colonialism and that continue to characterize the discourse of modern Western civilization. The conceptualization and treatment of indigenous and racialized populations in Europe, including Blacks, Jews, Gypsies, and Muslims, anticipated the formation of a new model of global power that became the cornerstone of new nation-states in the former colonies. The gospels of “discovery” and civilization legitimated vast genocides, dispossession, and racial enslavement, all of which solidified racial thinking in Europe and became cornerstones in the birth of new nations. Notable examples include the United States, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Australia, but the list is too long to make it justice here. 

While empire-based colonialism largely ended, nation-based and corporate-based colonialism as well as local and global coloniality endure. Whether formally democratic or dictatorial, nation-states reproduce coloniality. The struggle against coloniality continues even as the context has changed and the forms of domination have often morphed. It is in this situation of relative opacity that Fanon continues to call us to discover our mission sixty years after his death. 

While many today have turned to celebrate liberal tolerance, corporate efficiency, inclusive excellence, and/or resilience in face of climate disasters or evidence of systemic and structural racism, we find that the struggle against coloniality demands first and foremost a combative attitude. We also take this idea from Fanon, who was careful enough to distinguish combativity from mere denunciation and critique. As much as critique and criticism are often praised as the counter-liberal attitudes or actions par excellence, they are often mobilized to take attention away from coloniality and to openly or surreptitiously support the myth of the cognitive superiority of modern Western civilization. Critique is as necessary as insufficient, and it can easily align itself with conservative attitudes if it is not deployed in a combative decolonial direction. 

Different from critique, combativity emerges when racialized subjects start to address other racialized subjects in the effort to generate the sense of a collective struggle. While critique draws its power from crisis, decolonial combativity addresses the catastrophe of modernity/coloniality. Combativity goes beyond cries of protests, laments, and appeals, even as these may be necessary moments of the struggle. Combativity is about the path from individual to collective responsibility, and it requires the will and ability to connect with others and to engage in collective movement against coloniality. The combative attitude is, like combative literature, “resolve situated in historical time” (Fanon, The Wretched) and it is dedicated to the effort of building “the world of you” (Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks).

 The trajectory of Fanon’s life indicates that combativity calls for transcending the roles of the medical doctor and the scholar. These positions can offer important tools for the process of decolonization, but they can also turn counterproductive if they remain isolated and disconnected from collective movements and struggles. Fanon went so far as resigning from these positions in the effort to connect with a collective of racial and colonial subjects who were struggling for their liberation and independence. Combativity requires similar acts of transgression and resignation from the established standards of recognition and merit. Combativity transcends desires for recognition. It is rather about the possibility of maximizing the possibilities of connection between the condemned of the earth and between their various struggles. 

 Since the struggles against dehumanization continue, how should we then conceive of our combative mission today, and how to pursue this mission without betraying it? We invite reflections on the nature of combativity, on contemporary examples of combativity, and on the most important combative tasks of our day. This includes consideration of how doctors, scholars, writers, and professionals like Fanon can assume the challenge of connecting with people in other positions and help generate a sense of collective struggle. It is important to consider how can medical, artistic, and scholarly training best contribute to struggles for decolonization and decoloniality, as well as how these activities can and should be enriched, redefined, and sometimes even set aside as part of this process. What sort of transformations those who practice medicine, who create art, and/or who engage in scholarship need to undergo when working with communities and collectives that come together in the effort to promote change? How can those who work within hegemonic institutions participate in a process of unlearning and relearning with those who work outside these institutions? There is much to learn from those who produce knowledge through organizing and through educating others to organize. How do we support, work with, and learn from those who do not count with institutional resources? How can we effectively counter the extraction of ideas from social movements, community organizers, and social movements’ leaders? How do we transform medical, artistic, and scholarly training and direct them to oppose extractivism in all its forms? How do we transition to more relational forms of engagement, communication, and collaboration in support of movements that combat systemic racism, coloniality, and antiblackness? What can everyone learn from existing combative movements, and what combative movements do we consider particularly critical from our own situated position and point of view? These are urgent questions that are very familiar to combative decolonial movements and community organizations across the globe.   

 Also crucial are questions about the challenges to combativity and combative organizing today in the context of the state-sanctioned violence against social movement leaders and protesters, the eradication of free time, as well as the cooptation, mistranslation, and ensuing domestication of movement-based anti-colonial, decolonial, and abolitionist terminology in state, corporation, and academic projects. This is occurring in the context of the renewal of anti-racist and decolonial movements in multiple parts of the globe, and as a response to demographic shifts in the north that are perceived as threats to the interests and world view of normative populations. Anything is done to contain the impact of these movements and these demographic shifts; everything is mobilized to limit the possibilities of dissenting voices and projects to find a fertile ground. The reinvention of apparently benevolent, but not less modern/colonial, liberalism and neoliberalism through the extension and proliferation of the “diversity, equity, and inclusion” state and corporate industrial complex is one of the most pervasive efforts in this direction today. How to engage in combative struggle when the faces representing the forces of benevolent liberalism are increasingly “diversified,” and when terms like Black and blackness are mobilized to support liberal and neoliberal initiatives and projects? In this vein, how to respond to Black and other racialized intellectuals who are sometimes conveniently positioned as brokers in discussions about racism and colonialism by state leaders of the north while sidelining combative social movements in the north and south? 

Learning about our respective views regarding combativity and what we consider to be urgent and necessary combative struggles of our time can be of great assistance in bringing more clarity to the task of discovering our mission and doing our best not to betray it. The Frantz Fanon Foundation invites you to join us in keeping Fanon’s decolonial spirit of combativeness alive by learning from each other, loving each other, and together contribute to the unfinished project of decolonization and decoloniality today.

–Mireille Fanon Mendès France & Nelson Maldonado-Torres Co-Chairs, Frantz Fanon Foundation

See original post at http://fondation-frantzfanon.com/for-a-combative-decoloniality-sixty-years-after-fanons-death-an-invitation-from-the-frantz-fanon-foundation/