Latin American Report - Volume 28, Issue 2, 2012
Volume 28, Issue 2, 2012
Author Anna ChitandoSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 338 –346 (2012)More Less
The study of African culture in the diaspora has concentrated on the survival of Africans in the United States of America. However, there is need to pay attention to developments in Brazil. This is principally important because Brazil has a significant black presence as a result of the slave trade. This article makes use of the specific case of a unique dance, capoeira, to examine the survival of African culture in Brazil. Capoeira is a complex, elegant and spiritual dance that was developed by slaves. Although there is some debate, it is probable that it was developed in Angola and was taken to Brazil. In this article, capoeira is approached as an African-Brazilian struggle dance. Attention is drawn to its complexity and varied significance. The article argues that capoeira demonstrates the extent to which Africans resisted slavery and came up with strategies for freedom.
Author Aaron MupondiSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 347 –355 (2012)More Less
This article focuses on the treatment of the Caribbean experience in Earl Lovelace's novel The Dragon Can't Dance. In this novel, Lovelace captures the life of the underprivileged Caribbean people in post-independence Trinidad in a very convincing way. Black people at Calvary Hill (which represents Trinidad) live in abject poverty despite now living under their own government. The poor inhabitants use their most important cultural resource, carnival as a survival strategy. Carnival laughter, music and dance provide them with momentary respite from their worries and frustrations. Carnival also unifies and strengthens them and gives them a sense of identity and belonging. The challenge for Lovelace's characters is to live beyond the carnival by adapting to the demands of the new society. Some, like Aldrick Prospect who plays the dragon role during carnival, eventually come to a realization that life is not all about the carnival but others fail to overcome their limitations. In Lovelace's view, Trinidad needs true heroes and heroines to redeem it from post-colonial oppression. Lovelace also encourages unity between blacks and East Indians since they experience the same harsh conditions and thus have the same destiny as Trinidadians or Caribbeans.
The shaping influence of the past in Lamming and Reid's works and the implications for the West Indian society in the global eraAuthor Edwin MhanduSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 356 –366 (2012)More Less
This article explores the presentation of history in literary works by Victor S Reid and George Lamming. It is my argument here that the presentation of history in these works helps us to understand the West Indian society not as a static entity but as dynamic, organic and an active participant in the alignment and re-alignment of forces in the era of globalization. In In The Castle of My Skin, George Lamming gives us an expose of the history of the Caribbean society in as much as it impacts on the people of Creighton village. That history is posited in a society where educational and religious institutions are shown to negate it, where family relationships are problematic due to it and where conflicts are endemic. Like in In The Castle of My Skin, The Emigrants and in The Pleasures of Exile, Lamming does not skirt the historical exigencies that characterise the Caribbean society as in them lie the 'inner experiences of the West Indian community.' It is pertinent from the outset to point out that the Caribbean society is projected not as dormant, rather as dynamic owing to new forces which the villagers in In the Castle of My Skin can hardly control neither can they comprehend them. In the New Day, V.S Reid projects a society that has seen it all and is highly expectant on the new day as a bringer of good tidings. The 87 year old John Campbell narrates the history of the island dating back from since he was eight and it is a history of people who are actively engaged in a quest for self-determination. The question that arises is: Is the anticipated day really a new day or is it one in a chain of long tortuous days that dates back to 1865? The anxiety that grips John Campbell triggers reminiscences that necessitate an exploration of Jamaican history in a way that is definitive and identity conferring on Jamaicans in the present era and in the unforeseeable future.
Old age in the selected stories of Marquez and Mungoshi : 'age, with his stealing steps hath clawed me in his clutch'Author Memory ChirereSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 367 –375 (2012)More Less
This article attempts an exploration of the creative strategies employed by Garcia Marquez and Charles Mungoshi in depicting how some individual ageing characters (in some selected short stories) construct meaning in their lives. This is an article about content of style, dwelling (sometimes) very deliberately and largely on how the manner of writing contributes to the production of certain specific meanings. In old age, these selected characters of Marquez and Mungoshi seem at first defeated by time, their bodies wasted and their spirits resigned to certain death and as the grave digger sings in Hamlet (5.1.73-4): 'But age with his stealing steps Hath clawed me in his clutch And hath shipped me into the land As if I had never been such.'
Sometimes there is fear and anxiety that characterise the anticipated coming of hardships imposed by ageing. However, as they variably come to terms with their circumstances, these elderly characters in Marquez and Mungoshi reveal an existence of certain internal resources which they have been scarcely aware of or unable to use before. We must not lose sight of what Laura L. Carstensen and Linda P. Fried (2012: 01) observe in The Meraning of Old Age that since time immemorial, elders have almost always featured in religious texts, mythology and lore where they have been portrayed as prophets, saints, tribal leaders and healers, providing cultural continuity, wisdom and concern for the common good. It is argued here that these two veteran short story writers (from Columbia and Zimbabwe, respectively,) handle and employ the short story with a creative deftness in bringing out how it sometimes feels to be old in a world that scarcely notices the challenges of ageing. The old characters explored here are specifically from Marquez's Bon Voyage, Mr. President and Maria dos Prazeres from the collection called Strange Pilgrims and Mungoshi's Who Will Stop The Dark? from the collection called Some Kinds Of Wounds.
A comparative analysis of characters in Mia Couto's The Blind Fisherman (2010) and Naipaul's Miguel Street (1959)Author Josephine MuganiwaSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 376 –383 (2012)More Less
This paper explores the ways in which characters attempt to make their lives meaningful despite the obstacles they face which include colonial dispossession and relocation. The adopted strategies help the characters not to sink into depression or be swallowed by ennui. Miguel Street is written in the context of the post-slavery colonial Caribbean Islands while The Blind Fisherman reflects on the experience of Portuguese colonial legacy and the civil war. V.S. Naipaul has won many awards while Mia Couto is the first African author to win the prestigious Latin Union Literary Prize in 2007.
Agency and transcendence in Naipaul's Miguel Street and Pettina Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly: An Africana Womanist ExegesisAuthor Ruby MagosvongweSource: Latin American Report 28, pp 384 –393 (2012)More Less
Naipul's Miguel Street (1971) and Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly (2009) present the reader with a population striving to overcome challenges of stultifying existence in the neo-colonial period. Though in the case of Naipul's Miguel Street, the population was originally uprooted and transplanted by institutionalised slavery, they share the post-colonial experiences with Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly. This exegesis uses an Africana Womanist approach in critiquing the manner in which the people of colour rise up to challenges dealing with various forms of oppression bent on undermining their human dignity and personhood. It critiques the conceptualization of the African reality and examines the functional purposes of both short story collections. It particularly focuses on the injection of women agency, or lack of it, and subversion of the woman as creator instead of consumer, in the matrix of social transformation and regeneration in the neo-colonial phase.
Source: Latin American Report 28, pp 394 –403 (2012)More Less
The announcement in 2009 by the President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) that 'there is no room for religion in soccer' triggered a great deal of controversy among interested parties. This article, using a phenomenological approach, dissects the motive behind such prohibitions. In doing this, we ask whether this is not an attempt by FIFA to impose Western secularity upon the African and Latin American people whose lives and aspirations largely depend on religious traditions and rituals? In Africa and Latin America, soccer comes with its own demands and expectations on the individual player and the whole team. Because soccer tournaments such as the World Cup are not every day events, the frequent elements of danger, triumph or heroism that they carry may be thought to require religio-magical supplementation over and above player skill. How a particular player and his or her team deal with the pressure to perform has led to numerous scandals, from doping and match fixing, to the engagement of magico-religious rituals. With 2010 over and 2014 around the corner, south to south co-operation is going to be put to the test in terms of soccer cultural practices and expressions. From a phenomenological perspective the present article argues that FIFA and CAF's (Confederation of African Football) intentions to ban religion in soccer is not only anti-ethnocentric but also represents a 'false universalism of the West' undergirded by Cartesian rationality and its narrow definition of modernity.