colonizing in reverse – louise bennett-coverley

“Wat a joyful news, Miss Mattie
I feel like me heart gwine burs
Jamaica people colonizin
Englan in reverse.
By de hundred, by de tousan
From country and from town,
By de ship-load, by de plane-load
Jamaica is Englan boun.
Dem a pour out a Jamaica
Everybody future plan
Is fe get a big-time job
An settle in de mother lan.
What a islan! What a people!
Man an woman, old an young
Jus a pack dem bag an baggage
An tun history upside dung!
Some people doan like travel
But fe show dem loyalty
Dem all a open up cheap-fare-
To-Englan agency.
An week by week dem shippin off
Dem countryman like fire,
Fe immigrate an populate
De seat a de Empire.
Oonoo see how life is funny,
Oonoo see de tunabout?
Jamaica live fe box bread
Out a English people mout’.
For wen dem ketch a Englan,
An start play dem different role,
Some will settle down to work
An some will settle fe de dole.
Jane say de dole is not too bad
Because dey payin she
Two pounds a week fe seek a job
Dat suit her dignity.
Me say Jane will never fine work
At de rate how she dah look,
For all day she stay pon Aunt Fan couch
An read love-story book.
Wat a devilment a Englan!
Dem face war an brave de worse,
But me wonderin how dem gwine stan
Colonizin in reverse.”

#rediscoveringtheordinary | a photographic exhibition by germaine de larch

#rediscoveringtheordinary | a photographic exhibition by germaine de larch

My Debut Solo Exhibition #rediscoveringtheordinary – a photographic exhibition by Germaine de Larch @ Studio23, Arts on Main, Sunday 16 June, 3pm. On until the 23rd July. Please come.

“[T]he demand that everything must make a spectacular political statement […] has forced us to gloss over the nooks and crannies [….] By rediscovering the ordinary […] the daily lives of people should be the direct focus of political interest [….] If it is a new society we seek to bring about in South Africa then that newness will be based on a direct concern with the way people actually live.”

Njabulo Ndebele, 2001, South African Literature and Culture: Rediscovery of the Ordinary

“My work is an artistic exploration of making the private public. For me there is no politics outside of the private, nothing extraordinary outside of the carnival of everyday, ordinary life. My artistic vision stems from the need to share the quirky, queer, beautiful and extraordinary that I see in the ordinary. I am in love with the individual, eccentric beauty and extraordinariness that I see in the ordinary around me in my daily life – the very human landscape of the city we live in, the selves that we choose to inhabit and the very organic and dynamic energy at the heart of the way that we engage with our city and our selves. It is this energy, this life-saving and life-celebrating renewal, recreation and renegotiation that is at the heart of my journey and who I am, what I see in this city and its people, and thus the images that I make.”
— Germaine de Larch

Germaine de Larch is a writer, visual artist and gender artivist living, working and playing in Johannesburg.

gramsci on being immersed in life

human trampoline

“Give up to life your every action, every ounce of faith. Throw all your best energies, sincerely and disinterestedly, into life. Immerse yourself, living creatures that you are, in the live, pulsing tide of human existence, until you feel at one with it, until it floods through you, and you feel your individual personality as an atom within a body, a vibrating particle within a whole, a violin-string which receives and echoes all the symphonies of history; of that history which, in this way, you’re helping to create.”

– Antonio Gramsci

evelyn glennie – how to listen with your whole body

In this fascinating TED talk, virtuoso deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie demonstrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.

According to Wikipedia, Glennie has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12, having started to lose her hearing from the age of 8. This does not inhibit her ability to perform at an international level. She regularly plays barefoot during both live performances and studio recordings in order to feel the music better.

Glennie contends that deafness is largely misunderstood by the public. She claims to have taught herself to hear “sound colours” with parts of her body other than her ears. In response to criticism from the media, Glennie published Hearing Essay in 1993, in which she discussed her condition. Read it HERE.

pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name

“Just keep still; keep together!”

6 December, 1969: A free live performance by the Rolling Stones at Altamont of “Sympathy for the Devil” with Hells Angels doing security descends into chaos.

Screenshot of the infamous Altamont concert from the film "Gimme Shelter"

Screenshot of the infamous Altamont concert from the film “Gimme Shelter”

spinning with a turkish drop spindle

Bizarrely, there just happens to be a news report about South African security and miners on in the background of this British instructional video, which I came across looking for footage of Sufi mevlevi (dervishes) directly after I posted the piece below (cf. connection of spinning, drilling, finding gold and freedom). I really find it so bizarre how often the messy layers of random stuff I find while looking for other things fit what I want to find more appositely than what I was looking for. What I am talking about goes way beyond confirmation bias… It’s uncanny… and partly what this blog is about is documenting these “curiouser and curiouser” moments that blossom outside of the frame.

Rumpelstiltskin Illustration: A H Watson

Illustration: A H Watson

I’ll bet what I am writing is not making much Sense and I should probably try to sleep. It’s 3 a.m. and the aftermath of this waking dream is only going to add up to fog at work tomorrow.

Rumpelstiltskin Illustration: John Gruelle

Illustration: John Gruelle

written on waking with a spinning head

birdcage thaumatrope

[7 may 2012]

i am a dervish
a thaumaturge
i spin very fast
bore downwards
pour stuff out of the top of me churned rich like butter as i whirl
why do i spin so?
the thing about spinning
is that it is an oscillation between opposites that generates the movement
it’s how motors work
it’s how hard drives work
it’s how atoms work
the spin is ambi-valence made physical
so i am always moving fast yet can seem to be going nowhere
in my indecision, in the swinging tension between irreconcilable polar opposites
i can actually drill down deeper
because i am always spinning, seeing both sides almost, but not quite,
it’s impossible to see both sides simultaneously
but the quicker you are at seeing multiple perspectives
eddying off on fractal tangents
the faster you spin
(and the dizzier it can make you and others)
how do you solve a problem like maria?

i am not moving linearly
not climbing a ladder
it does not mean i am unproductive
it does not mean i am trapped
the hum is just my motor running at a higher frequency than the
general populace
a powerful magnet
drawing stuff in constantly
flipping it over and over
360 degrees of perspective, 365 days a year
a thaumatrope

it’s a funny thing
i can actually spin, physically, round and round for ages and not get dizzy
i think this is how i manage to get through life, mentally
i am mostly able to tune out the vertigo
i have learned
others can’t
they can’t take how fast i am going all the time
the spinning keeps me upright
in perpetual motion but never able to choose only one definite course
drawing straws
in perfect tension
twirling thread
spinning gold
the speed of sound
affects aerodynamics
determinism and chaos
it’s all connected
all ways
in the dance of particles

gilles deleuze, regarding the dreamer’s dream

Gilles Deleuze
Cinema 2: The Time Image
 Chapter III. From Recollection to Dreams: Third Commentary on Bergson
3b: From the Optical and Sound Image to the Dream-Image
[regarding the dreamer’s dream:]
The virtual image which becomes actual does not do so directly, but becomes actual in a different image, which itself plays the role of virtual image being actualized in a third, and so on to infinity: The dream is not a metaphor but a series of anamorphoses which sketch out a very large circuit. [….] When the sleeper is given over to the actual luminous sensation of a green surface broken by white patches, the dreamer who lives in the sleeper may evoke the image of a meadow dotted with flowers, but this image is only actualized by already becoming the image of a billiard table furnished with balls, which in turn does not become actual without becoming something else. These are not metaphors, but a becoming which can by right continue to infinity.
In René Clair’s Entr’acte, the dancer’s tutu seen from beneath ‘spreads out like a flower’, and the flower ‘opens and closes its corolla, enlarges its petals, and lengthens its stamens’, to turn back into the opening legs of a dancer; the city lights become a ‘pile of lighted cigarettes’ in the hair of a man playing chess, cigarettes which in turn become the columns of a Greek temple, then a silo, whilst the chessboard becomes transparent to give a view of the Place de la Concorde.’
Gilles Deleuze, in Cinema 2, 1989: 54c-55, quoting Jean Mitry.

rené clair & erik satie – relâche/entr’acte

Relâche,  ballet instantanéiste en deux actes: un entr’acte cinématographique, et “la queque de chien” is a 1924 ballet by Francis Picabia with music composed by Erik Satie. The title was thought to be a Dadaist practical joke, as relâche is the French word used on posters to indicate that a show is cancelled, or the theatre is closed (and the first performance was indeed cancelled, due to the illness of Jean Börlin, the principal dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of the Ballets Suédois).

Still from "Entr'acte"

Still from “Entr’acte”

Picabia commissioned filmmaker René Clair to create a cinematic entr’acte to be shown during the ballet’s intermission. The film, simply titled Entr’acte, consists of a scene shown before the ballet and a longer piece between the acts. The score was also composed by Satie.

Entr’acte premiered as an entr’acte for the Ballets Suédois production Relâche at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris in 1924. The Dadaists collaborating on the project invented a new mode of production: instantanéisme. Watching the 20 minute film involves seeing people running in slow motion, things happening in reverse, looking at a ballet dancer from underneath, watching an egg over a fountain of water get shot and instantly become a bird, and watching people disappear. The cast included cameo appearances by Francis Picabia, Erik Satie, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. The conductor of the orchestra at the premiere was Roger Désormière. The edition of the soundtrack featured here was conducted in 1967 by Henri Sauguet.

alejandro jodorowsky’s new film

jodorowsky dansaWatch the trailer:

The Guardian review from Cannes 2013 has this to say:

The extinct volcano of underground cinema has burst into life once again — with a bizarre, chaotic and startling film; there are some longueurs and gimmicks, but The Dance of Reality is an unexpectedly touching and personal work. At the age of 84, and over 20 years since his last movie, Alejandro Jodorowsky has returned to his hometown of Tocopilla in the Chilean desert to create a kind of magic-realist memoir of his father, Jaime Jodorowsky, a fierce Communist whose anger at the world — at his son — was redoubled by the anti-Semitism the family faced.

Of course, the entire story is swathed in surreal mythology, dream logic and instant day-glo legend, resembling Fellini, Tod Browning, Emir Kusturica, and many more. You can’t be sure how to extract conventional autobiography from this. Despite the title, there is more “dance” than “reality” — and that is the point. Or part of the point. For the first time, Jodorowsky is coming close to telling us how personal evasiveness has governed his film-making style; his flights of fancy are flights of pain, flights from childhood and flights from reality. And now he is using his transformative style to come to terms with and change the past and to confer on his father some of the heroism that he never attained in real life.

Read more of this review HERE.

goodbye, ray manzarek

The Doors, live in Copenhagen,1968. Ray, I was always even more in love with you than I was with Jim…  That organ of yours is what really hypnotised me (that’s what she said).


From Michael Ochs’ archive

As my friend Carlo Germeshuys just put it, “Goodbye, Ray Manzarek – without your swirly lounge keyboard old Jimbo wouldn’t have gotten far with his whole bozo Dionysus act.” Oh wait, Carlo says he was referencing a diss by Lester Bangs. Well, whatever. “Bozo Dionysus” = best description of Jim Morrison ever.

HERE‘s an obituary from Rolling Stone.

nevermind the bollocks, here’s deleuze and guattari

[E]ffective differences pass between the lines, even though they are all immanent to one another, all entangled in one another. This is why the question of schizoanalysis or pragmatics, micropolitics itself, never consists in interpreting, but merely in asking what are your lines, individual or group, and what are the dangers on each.

JR at Desperadoes', Observatory, Cape Town, 15  May 2013. Photo: Rosemary Lombard

JR around the pole at Desperado’s Saloon, Observatory, Cape Town, 15 May 2013. Photo: Rosemary Lombard

What are your rigid segments, your binary and overcoding machines? For even these are not given to you ready-made; we are not simply divided up by binary machines of class, sex, or age: there are others which we constantly shift, invent without realising it. And what are the dangers if we blow up these segments too quickly? Wouldn’t this kill the organism itself, the organism which possesses its own binary machines, even in its nerves and its brain?

What are your supple lines, what are your fluxes and thresholds? Which is your set of relative deterritorialis­ations and correlative reterritorialisations? And the distribution of black holes: which are the black holes of each one of us, where a beast lurks or a microfascism thrives?

— Deleuze and Guattari: Toward Freedom. Read more HERE.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

chelsea wolfe – halfsleeper

All the parts of me that lived inside
Are drowning in the sea of waking life
They don’t know their colours don’t belong on the outside
They don’t know their colours don’t belong

Til they’re spread across the open road
Til they’re spread across the asphalt on the open road
Til they’re streaming in the wind like cassette tape or jellyfish
Long dark veins and records playing memories

All the things we yell don’t mean a thing
When we’re spinning out of darkened meadow wind
When we’re flying like we’re Mary’s angels through the shattered glass
When we find that tall dark shadow waiting there with outstretched hands
He has given me a dress of red and you a skin of gray
We’ll be twisting here for hours ’til the light will bring us day

And we’re spread across the open road
And we’re spread across the asphalt on the open road
And we’re streaming in the wind like cassette tape or jellyfish
Long dark veins and records playing memories

spectrum – undo the taboo

The opening track of Highs, Lows and Heavenly Blows, released in 1994 on Silvertone Records.

Spectrum was the most high-profile and straightforward of the projects undertaken by Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember after the demise of the trance-rock avatars Spacemen 3. As his work as a member of the Experimental Audio Research coterie allowed Kember the opportunity to explore ambient textures and tonal constructs, Spectrum satisfied the singer/guitarist’s more conventional pop leanings, while never losing sight of the hypnotic otherworldliness which became his music’s trademark and legacy.

(Info from


where the echoes stop

Julie Loen - Title Unknown

Julie Loen – Title Unknown

Erwin Raphael McManus – Where the Echoes Stop

I want to stand where the echoes stop.
Far past where sound has abandoned thought.
Where silence reigns over redundancy.
Where once well said is more than enough.

I want to stand where the echoes stop.
Where words must be born to be heard.
Where speech is a gift and not a curse.
Where there is more of the unique and less of the mundane.

I want to stand where the echoes stop.
Where meaning is rescued from noise…
Where conviction replaces thoughtless repetition…
Where what everyone is saying surrenders to what needs to be said.

I want to stand where the echoes stop.
Where the shouting of the masses falls silent to the whisper of the one…
Where the voice of the majority submits to the voice of reason…
Where “they” do not exist; but “we” do.

I want to stand where the echoes stop.
Where substance overthrows the superficial…
Where courage conquers compliance and conformity…
Where words do not travel farther than the person who speaks them.

I want to stand where the echoes stop.
Where I only say what I believe.
Where I only repeat what changes me.
Where empty words finally rest in peace.

“Be still and know that I am God…” — Psalm 46:10a

whispers in the deep

Matt Temple, of the excellent African music blog Electric Jive, has just uploaded another fascinating compilation of rare and historical sounds. This time the focus is on music and censorship in South Africa, and tracks span the period from 1960 to 1994. Accompanying the download link is an essay by Peter M Stewart, written in 2003, when this compilation was originally made, which provides some context for listening.

whispers in the deep

“Given the recent Secrecy Bill passed by the South African Parliament it’s worth reflecting on music that caught the attention of the censors during the previous dark period of Apartheid… this is a compilation I put together for private distribution in August 2003, almost 10 years ago. It fits the Bill!

Whispers in the Deep collects a number of anthems, agit-pop songs, and propaganda pieces. Many of the tracks were intended as direct responses to the South African social order as it was prior to 1994. The other tracks might as well have been. Nevermind the revolution, nothing was televised in South Africa prior to 1976.

Whispers in the Deep also documents some of the ways in which access to popular music was restricted in South Africa – the obstacles that prevented persons resident in South Africa from listening to songs, hearing them broadcast, or seeing them performed. It explores the cultural boycott, censorship by the state in South Africa, and various manifestations of the ‘climate of censorship’.”

Read more and download it HERE.