Allen Report. Retracing Transnational African Methodism 07.07.2015

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ALLEN REPORT: RETRACING TRANSNATIONAL AFRICAN METHODISM

A documentary film-project written and directed by Alanna Lockward

Cinematography by Peyi Guzmán

A Co-production of Art Labour ArchivesAmistad Films and Master Media

Shot on location in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Germany and Namibia

PARTNERS

African Methodist Episcopal Church 16th District

Presiding Prelate Bishop Sarah Frances Davis

Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University

Department of English and American Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin

Transnational Decolonial Institute

MEDIA PARTNERS

AFROTAK TV cyberNomads  + AfricAvenir + Afrikadaa

Uprising Art + Repeating Islands + Caribbean InTransit

Release Date

December 2014

Length

80 min

December 2014

Length

80 min

Work-in-progress / Trailer 15 min

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LemKijrCNoE

 Edited by Pedro Branco

Music by Jorge Lockward and the AME Churches on location

Cinematography by Lanchel Brutus, William Córdova, Tatiana Magloire

The purpose of this documentary film project is to retrace the liberation legacy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in three different locations united by common narratives related to struggles against enslavement and apartheid. The AME Mother Bethel Church was founded by Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794, as the first protestant church ministered exclusively by former enslaved people. It became a legally incorporated denomination in 1816. Upon the request of the Haitian government, The AME sent 6,000 individuals to the island of Saint-Domingue between 1824-1826, two decades after this first Black Republic in the world came into being. The Haitian Revolution is an integral part of the history of the AME in the island and it is also crucial to note that Richard Allen was deeply involved in the logistics of this immigration, the most important one of the XIX Century in Dominican history.

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In 1946, Marcus Witbooi, a descendant of anti-colonial Namibian national hero, Hendrik Witbooi, deserted the German Rhenish Mission and affiliated his congregation to the AME inspired by the historical liberation narratives and practices of this church. Later, AME members were instrumental in the liberation and independence of Namibia from South Africa.

The role of African Methodism in the Caribbean and the African continent will be approached from perspective of decolonial theory. This ratifies my intention of presenting South-South narratives of liberation in the voices of its own protagonist.

This reflection is extremely valuable since until today neither the AME in Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Namibia has a physical archive where church members and historians could consult their amazing legacies. The archival value of the raw footage of this film will motivate Africana and international experts on Protestant church histories, among others, to join forces with the AME Connectional Church in providing a safe place for these histories to be preserved in a dignified way.

Synopsis

The film starts narrating how the sound of the typewriter of my grandfather, George Augustus Lockward Stamers, impregnated my childhood and teenage years. Little did I know that from his incesant typing the first documented account of African Methodism in the island of Saint-Domingue was being written. The cover of his book, “El Protestantismo en Dominicana“ (1976, Editora Dominicana) is arguably the ugliest version of the legendary portrait of Rev. Richard Allen.

My aunt, Anilda Lockward de Brito, holds the book of my grandfather, George Augustus Lockward Stamers, "Historia del Protestantismo en Dominicana".My aunt, Anilda Lockward de Brito, holds the book of my grandfather, George Augustus Lockward Stamers, “Historia del Protestantismo en Dominicana”.

However, the beauty of its content surpasses any description. It has been a powerful influence in my work as scholar and arts curator.

After this first sequence, the film will offer an overview of the legal battle that the Rev. Richard Allen and the AME fought in the courts of Philadelphia for
a decade to achieve full independence from the oppression of the established white Methodists.

The definitions and historical entanglements of Black citizenship, a central theme that unites the narratives of the AME in Saint-Domingue and Namibia, will be one of the main foci. Another one will be the role of women in these histories. Equally, the social engagement of the AME in community education and health services will convey how the powerful legacy of Rev. Richard Allen is still alive accross time and space. To further illustrate the historical relevance of the AME, we will include archival images of prominent AME members, Rosa Parks and Fredrick Douglass.

Marassá y la Nada 01.10.2013

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”Marassá y la nada” es una narración extraordinaria, un diálogo poético que evita las formas narrativas tradicionales para crear un espléndido mosaico de la historia y las tradiciones de dos países y de sus diásporas.. Una cita de “Mi vaso verde”, poema de la escritora dominicana Altagracia Saviñón, va tejiendo paralelos entre el pasado y el presente, entre el aquí y el allí, ámbitos que se invaden unos a otros hasta convertirse en una línea borrosa en la que no existe diferencia entre los sueños y la realidad. “Marassa y la nada” (Editorial Santuario, 2014), de la escritora y curadora Alanna Lockward, está hecha de conversaciones y descripciones que ofrecen nuevas maneras de percibir la realidad. Descifrar significados no es la clave para entender de qué trata esta historia. “Las palabras que no se dicen pesan más que una enciclopedia”, escribe acertadamente Lockward.

Gabriela Vainsencher. "El Tipo". 2008.

Esquivos como el rastro de los sueños por la mañana, los personajes del libro nos dan una intensa sensación de la convulsa historia de dos países, Haití y República Dominicana, de generaciones pasadas y presentes, una presencia fantasmal tejida a través de símbolos, reflexiones y ecos que nos permite mirar a través del espejo a un mundo mágico. Esa es la geografía de “Marassá y la nada”, de una isla antaño llamada Saint-Domingue, en la que difícilmente coexisten República Dominicana y Haití, donde al Oeste se le llama el Sur, donde nada es lo que parece. “Cuando llueve en Puerto Príncipe, las montañas se derriten como un helado inmenso, como si Pompeya reapareciera a cada rato en el Caribe para terminar una lección inconclusa”, escribe Lockward sobre las tormentas que deshacen el paisaje.

El nombre de la novela —Marassá— alude a una divinidad gemela del panteón haitiano del vudú, hermanos idénticos que conjugan no sólo sexo masculino y femenino en cada uno, sino un juego de palabras, sílabas y onomatopeyas que en diferente orden contienen diferentes significados y que son también los nombres de algunos de los personajes y de las palabras que aparecen repetidas como un mantra en “Marassá y la nada”: Mara, rama, mar, ritmo.

Fragmentos de conversaciones entre diversos individuos van esbozando lentamente un paisaje fantasmagórico de las situaciones de los personajes de “Marassá y la nada”, en Haití, en República Dominicana y en muchos otros lugares donde se encuentran y hablan sobre sus relaciones entre ellos y con esos países. Narración de lectura inicialmente ligera, casi inconexa, hasta que comienzan a aparecer profundos significados que vinculan a los personajes, con los que Lockward va tejiendo un complicado mosaico en el que “cada gota (de agua) es como un dedo sobre el tambor del mundo”.

Basándose en tradiciones orales, en mitos y recuerdos, además de en su propia historia familiar, las historias de Lockward se mueven como espíritus para formar lo que la autora describe como “un acantilado de azúcar en un mar de la lentejuelas”. Es un libro que abarca más historias y más verdades del pasado y el presente que nada de lo que he leído en mucho tiempo, y la autora lo hace de una manera que sólo puede calificarse como notable.

Recursos • Alana Lockward: alannalockward.wordpress.com • Editorial Santuario: editorialsantuario. blogspot.com

Dental Tribune No. 7, 2014. Volume 11. Miami.

MARASSA Y LA NADA JAVIER DE PISON  (pdf)

Truth is Concrete 06.05.2014

Truth is concrete

A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics

“Truth is Concrete”—this sentence was emblazoned over Bertolt Brecht’s desk in his Danish exile. A constant reminder in times of extreme political turbulence never to forget the reality around us. How can art play a role in social and political struggles? Can it be a tool with which to shape the world rather than just a reflection of it?
Following steirischer herbst festival’s twenty-four hour, seven-day marathon camp of the same name, Truth is Concrete: A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics takes the possibility of concrete truth as a working hypothesis for both art and activism, and looks for direct action and concrete knowledge. For an art that not only represents and documents but engages performatively in specific political and social situations. And for an activism that not only acts for the sake of acting but searches for intelligent, creative means of self-empowerment.
Ninety nine entries describe very different tactics and strategies, written by practitioners from all over the world, mapping the broad field of engaged art and artistic activism in our times. Additional essays focus on the philosophy and modalities behind the many struggles to make this world a better place.Essays by Stephen Duncombe & Steve Lambert, Alanna Lockward, Florian Malzacher, Chantal Mouffe, Gerald Raunig and Jonas Staal
A Conversation with Etcetera, Nato Thompson and WHWDrawings by Dan PerjovschiOriginal contributions by Jonathan Allen, Udi Aloni, Corina L. Apostol / Artleaks, Hector Aristizábal, Saki Bailey / Teatro Valle,  Artúr van Balen / Tools for Action, Katherine Ball, Andy Bichlbaum / The Yes Men, Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping, Leah Borromeo, Andrew Boyd, Tania Bruguera, Santiago Cirugeda / Recetas Urbanas, Collective Authorship, Corrupt Tour, Gabriella Csoszó / FreeDoc, Minerva Cuevas, Neil Cummings, Diedrich Diederichsen, Charles Esche, Noah Fischer, Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius / raumlaborberlin, Sérgio Miguel Franco / Pixadores, Andrea Fraser, Isabelle Fremeaux, Christine Gaigg, Ganzeer, Federico Geller, Guillermo Gómez-Peña / La Pocha Nostra, Marina Gržinić, Núria Güell, Erdem Gündüz, Hans Haacke, The Haircut Before The Party, Stefano Harney, Carl Hegemann, Justin Hoffmann, Khaled Hourani, Iconoclasistas, The Institute for Human Activities, International Institute of Political Murder, Janez Janša, Khaled Jarrar, Jeudi Noir, Anna Jermolaeva, John Jordan, Janice Kerbel, Jisun Kim, Omer Krieger, the laboratory of insurrectionary imagination, Kalle Lasn / Adbusters, André Lepecki, Lexxus Légal, Lawrence Liang, Liberate Tate, Geert Lovink, Matteo Lucchetti, Lucifer / Church of Kopimism, Oliver Marchart, Leónidas Martín, Joana Mazza / Observatório de Favelas, Tomislav Medak, Thomas Meinecke, Jasmina Metwaly / Mosireen Collective, Antanas Mockus, Jean-Luc Moulène, Rabih Mroué, Michal Murin, Marina Naprushkina / Office for Anti-Propaganda, Neue Slowenische Kunst, Occuprint, Robyn Orlin, Ahmet Öğüt / The Silent University, Sibylle Peters, The Pinky Show, Srđa Popović / CANVAS, Public Movement, Raivo Puusemp, Richard Reynolds, Irit Rogoff, Ned Rossiter, Philipp Ruch / Center for Political Beauty, Yekaterina Samutsevich / Pussy Riot, Florian Schneider, Frank Apunkt Schneider / monochrom, Susan Schuppli / Forensic Architecture, Shared Inc., Inna Shevchenko / Femen, Gregory Sholette, Stevphen Shukaitis, Toma Sik, Kostis Stafylakis / Kavecs, Mladen Stilinović, Kuba Szreder, Claire Tancons, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Ultra-red, the vacuum cleaner, Dmitry Vilensky / Chto Delat?, Marina Vishmidt, Joanna Warsza, WochenKlausur, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Jacob Wren, Stephen Wright, Kàddu Yaraax, Wu Yuren, Salam Yousry and Slavoj Žižek, et al.

Edited by steirischer herbst & Florian Malzacher
Co-edited by Anne Faucheret, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, Kira Kirsch, Andreas R. Peternell & Johanna Rainer

Sternberg Press
April 2014, English
16 x 22 cm, 336 pages
Retail price € 19.00

Orders at
http://www.steirischerherbst.at/shop
truthisconcrete@steirischerherbst.at

Book launch

Sat 26/04, 20.00, WUK, Währinger Straße 59, 1090 Vienna

With Saki Bailey (Teatro Valle), Anne Faucheret, Christine Gaigg, Anna Jermolaewa, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, Kira Kirsch, Bernd Kräftner, Florian Malzacher, monochrom, WochenKlausur et.al.

Camera Austria

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The point of departure for the issue at hand partially originates with the history of the Camera Austria organisation itself. In 1989, the cultural department of the City of Graz made an offer, on the occasion of “150 Years of Photography”, to support larger-scale projects in order to emphasise the significance of contemporary photography in Graz. The first related exhibition was called “No. 1 Stadtpark”, which was accompanied by an eponymous publication; it presented those artists who were working in the area surrounding the Forum Stadtpark in Graz, to which Camera Austria also belonged at the time. What is more, the magazine’s publisher Manfred Willmann had the idea to confer an award (of which there were very few at the time, even internationally) to honour the photographic artists associated with Camera Austria who have made “a noteworthy contribution … in Camera Austria since 1980” (as the statute reads). In 1989, the Camera Austria Award for Contemporary Photography by the City of Graz was thus presented for the first time—to Nan Goldin. Since then, it has been awarded by an international jury every two years.
All other artists that we are (once again) introducing in this issue have, like Nan Goldin, been recipients of the Camera Austria Award: Seiichi Furuya (1993), Allan Sekula (2001), and Joachim Koester (2013).

In the current issue Alanna Lockward starts her series of essays, which over the course of this year will make up the Column section. In our view, her project “Decolonial Aesthetics/AestheSis” and the related decolonisation of the gaze already in this issue provides an important extended framework for discourse on modernism and its production of visibilities.

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