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Showing posts from November, 2018

Haitian Play Has Three Days To Sink Or Swim In Toronto

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Les Frères – Sink of Swim for a Three-Day Run In Toronto By Stephen Weir Three Brothers. One’s nose and mouthis underwater.  The two others are treading water, heads barely breaking the surface. The striking theatre poster is a metaphor for Haiti and an advertisement for Les Frères, a new play debuting in Toronto next weekend. Les Frères(The Brothers) is a 90-minute play set in Harlem and performed by the UC Follies in English (with a little bit of Creole thrown in for good measure). Written by New York based Sandra Daley-Sharif, her play, runs from November 29 to December 1 at the downtown George Ignatieff Theatre. The play follows three estranged brothers of Haitian descent, who come home to Harlem for their father’s final days. Troubled memories filled with anger and abuse come rushing back as they deal with their father’s death. “ We found the play through the New Play Exchange App and I successfully pitched it to the U of T drama society,” director Abigail Whitney told the Caribbean C…

Carnival. The Sound of People Madly Clapping. Concert Review

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Opens Tonight In Toronto

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Solo Show Will Attract The Masses To The AGO Photos and Story By Stephen Weir
Even though the Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noire exhibition doesn't open until this evening, there is a big buzz in the downtown Toronto already! Internationally acclaimed for her powerful portraits of Black women - New York based artist Mickalene Thomas has brought to Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario a remarkable exhibition that sparks urgent questions about race and sexuality and how we see the Black female body. On Tuesday the artist came to Toronto to hold court at a crowded morning media scrum. A large group of television, radio and print journalists (including me on behalf of Caribbean Camera) followed the artist through the large multi-media show as she gave the background of each piece in the show.
" I don't speak French," the artist told the Caribbean Camera. "I used French because it is very descriptive (to call the show Femmes Noires).When you get off the elevator and walk int…

Cavalier Noir: Young Lego Warrior On Unicorn

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At City Hall – Black Knight’s Brand New Day! By Stephen Weir in today's Caribbean Camera newspaperScarborough’s Black Knight is currently stabled in the lobby of Toronto’s City Hall.The real-life sized statue of a young black girl riding a jet-black unicorn is the first thing visitors now see when they enter the Queen St. Building. It was commissioned for Scarborough’s first all-night Nuit Blanc festival held in September of this year. The statue is built from 80,000 individual black Lego bricks. Named Cavalier Noir  (the Black Knight), it is meant to answer the question, “If Scarborough was to commemorate its own heroes, what would the monument look like?” Created by two Scarborough stars - artist Ekow Nimako and video maker Director X – they say the Lego statue “stands as an emblem of hope for the disenfranchised by drawing on hip-hop’s creative strategies: taking existing, discarded, often overlooked elements and flipping them to inspire and amplify voices of the oppressed.” Origi…

Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires

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Breakthrough Exhibition Opening At Toronto's AGO
By Stephen Weir as published in the Caribbean Camera A first for a noted American artist is about to be made at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  Opening next Thursday is a solo exhibition by African-American artist Mickalene Thomas – this is the first Canadian solo show for the famed painter / photographer. Recognize the name? She is best known as being the first artist to create a portrait of the First Lady Michelle Obama. Thomas's silk-screen portrait, "Michelle O," was a riff on Andy Warhol's famous portrait of former First Lady Jackie O and captured the attention of all Americans. Thomas has made a career out of creating powerful portraits of Black women.  The Brooklyn-based 47-year old artist comes to the AGO November 29th with a remarkable exhibition that sparks urgent questions about race and sexuality and how society sees the Black female body. 
Portrait of Kalena by Mickalene Thomas
The AGO says that Mic…

Reggae Music At The Arctic Circle. Iceland's Airwaves Festival

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Arctic Soul - Where Everything is White Except the MusicBy Stephen Weir  / Caribbean Camera (Reykjavík, Iceland)  —- You get off the plane, suck in the super clean air, and get your bearings.  Everything is white. The white tipped mountains. The flecks and traces of snow in the air. And then there are the people.  Draco Malfoy white blond hair.  Bright alabaster skin.  Perfectly coiffured and impeccably dressed (except for the industrial strength snow boots).
Salka Sól by  Stephen Weir
Iceland is the last place in the world you would expect to hear the soulful sounds of Jamaican reggae. AmabAdamA have been writing and performing Arctic Reggae for the past five years, and their music is as pure Irie as the driven snow. Gnúsi Yones, his partner Steinunn Jónsand their best friend Salka Sólhave been performing in Iceland and England for over ten years and have taught a generation of Icelanders the joys of downbeat reggae music.  In an island nation of under 300,000 people, most Vikings under …