The Rastafari movement, which began in Jamaica during the 1930s, has become internationally known for its contribution to culture and the arts, as well as for its focus on peace and “ital” living. Major icons include reggae musicians Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Burning Spear, with the movement overall projecting a very male image.
The “all-virtual” Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) that took place May 11-14 highlighted islands’ particular vulnerabilities in the face of both climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. But the event - hosted by the Dominican Republic - also provided “important momentum for a successful UN Climate Change Conference” (COP 26) in November in Glasgow, according to the United Nations.
Cuisine formed a notable portion of the latest inscriptions on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with hawker food in Singapore and couscous traditions in North Africa being celebrated.
Ecuador’s entry for the 2021 Academy Awards’ International Feature section is a surprising movie, highlighting a story that up to now has been little-known. Titled Vacío / Emptiness
and directed by self-taught filmmaker Paúl Venegas, the work focuses on how increasing numbers of Chinese migrants have ended up in Latin America over the past 15 years, and it features a cast of mainly non-professional actors – speaking Mandarin, Spanish, English and some Cantonese.
Even as their income dries up and their touring opportunities disappear because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some artists are using their work to call out injustice, criticize inept leaders and spark social change.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced it is “launching initiatives” to support cultural industries and cultural heritage, sectors hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has put many intangible cultural heritage practices, including rituals and ceremonies, on hold, impacting communities everywhere,” the organization stated April 9. “It has also cost many jobs, and across the globe, artists … are now unable to make ends meet.”
With the spread of the Covid-19 disease, the arts and culture sectors have seen a flood of cancellations and postponements, affecting artists around the world and putting the global 2,000-billion-dollar creative industry at risk.
When Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings were shown in France a few years ago, a visitor overheard a teenager remarking that the artwork seemed to have come from “a very angry little boy”.
The 2018 Paris Book Fair (Livre Paris
) took place against the backdrop of demonstrations in Mayotte that echoed similar protests a year ago in French Guiana, putting the topics of literary activism and popular disaffection high on the agenda at the March 16-19 event.