Sunday, July 22, 2007

BEMBE Productions a division of AFROETS PRESS

bembe productions
a continuing commitment


This cultural collective has as its' main aim the propagation of creative
expression from the Caribbean and the Diaspora.
Activities over the years have been jointly conducted with
other groups and individuals across the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

    1973- Publication of the anthology : " Four Hundred Years of Pain and Suffering" by Leroy Calliste and Selwyn Newton.
    1974 - Launch of "Lament of the Soul" ; First book review by Anson Gonzalez in the Trinidad Guardian: " Young Poet steps boldly into print" First poetry reading session: featuring Leroy Calliste, Fitzroy Cook Jnr. , Peter Smart and Michael Als at Oilfields Workers Trade Union's
    Port of Spain Office. Several other readings staged at a commercial bank and church parish halls and community centres across the country.
    1975 - Publication of "INSIGHT" ; Members actively advocate adoption of International Copyright conventions by Government. Memorable stage production of "BLACK FIRE" in sister isle Tobago. Leroy Calliste concludes a performance tour in U.S.A.
    1976 - Tragic death of poet-teacher Leroy Calliste ; Afforded ISBN by Caribbean Agency; also Owusa Babatunde appointed AP Editor Publisher. Numerous readings across the country.
    1977 - AP presents lecture by poet / artist Leroy Clarke. Media fuels controversy over " AP Poets" with their unusual style. Roi Kwabena delivers lecture on local literature to local Teachers Training College; Founding of BEMBE PRODUCTIONS ; Famous AP lecture by Dr. Victor Questel -"Nobody is coming to theatre, because it has nothing to say "
    1978 - FUNDISHA cultural exposition in Diego Martin commands national media attention; "Redemptive Season" a literary event with music successfully promoted outside capital.
    1979: Two young poets: Peggy Heather Hull and Helen Williams launch a season of new female writers. Veteran lyricist- Iacoob Ibn Abbass and community worker Omataa Ojungi joins Bembe.
    1980 - In Other Words enjoys successful run at The THEATRE in Belmont, Port of Spain. Several performances staged in discotheques around the capital. These events blended popular youth culture with local performance poetry supported with percussion. At this time the artform RAPSO pioneered by fellow writer Bro Resistance of the Network Riddum Band also gained more popularity.
    1981 - Publication of Seko Tafari's: In Memory ; Christian Action for Development in the Caribbean supports our activities with a grant. Lecture on Women, Labour and struggle in the Caribbean by Dr. Rhoda Reddock; Cacique Publications a local publishing company seeks partnership and appoints Roi Kwabena an associate editor. Works published during this period included:- Is Slavery Again- Labour History and Bandit Garden- Pickers and Flowers- an anthology of poetry by Michael Als . AP gains Membership in the Writers Union of Trinidad & Tobago.
    1982 - Several exhibitions and readings across the country featuring many writers and artists. Three dinner performances featuring vocalist-poet Amalla Sayida, Sapodilla, Roi Kwabena and Ateba Keneyatta successfully staged.
    1983 - Publication of C.U.R.E. (Community Upliftment & Rehabilitation Exercises ) a journal of Good health.
    1984 - Publication of C.U.R.E. , presentation of Manifestations art exhibition; Tragic passing of poet /artist Jamakie TUT Oyoyo and Dr. Victor Questel; Anthony Weeks appointed AP Editor-Publisher.
    1985 - Our founder embarks on a Performance / Lecture Tour: Belgium, U.K., France, Netherlands, West Germany and Bulgaria. Links forged with international publishers writers and artists.
    1986 - Publication of poetry and other works in joint co-operation with UK
    ( Coventry based ) TAMARA PRODUCTIONS. Including CHALLENGE- a newspaper serving the Afro-Caribbean communities in the West Midlands founded.
    1987 - During a extended sojourn in East Afrika, Kwabena is accorded the distinguished title of Al ANSAARI in the Sudan. AWARE Publications Imprint launched in T&T.
    1988 - Khadija Saliyma is appointed AP Editor publisher.
    1989 - Lectures and workshops for schools and libraries across Trinidad & Tobago by Christopher Grey and Roi Kwabena. Exhibition on antiquity of KUSH presented in joint co-operation of the Insititute For Cultural Co-Operation of the Venezuelan Embassy in Trinidad. This multi-media display also tours other venues across the country with support of the Division of culture-Trinidad & Tobago Gov't.
    1990 - Caribbean tour by Roi Kwabena , several titles published by AWARE . Plus Kwabena Trinidad Public Library in recognition of the U.N. Declaration of International Year of Literacy.
    1991 - North American and Japanese tour by Christopher Grey, who also receives several national and international awards for his community work.
    1992 - Roi Kwabena appointed Senator of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. He also supports RAPSO week and the T&T Government's hosting of CARIFESTA . YOUTH VOICE journal also invites him to address their third anniversary celebrations. He addressed the formal opening of the NIA Arts Centre in Manchester UK.
    1993 - AWARE publishes two more titles edited by Christopher Grey .
    1994 - Valerie Griffith appointed AP Editor-Publisher; AP also presents Ghanaian historian: Dr. Kwaku Sennah's lecture on the Afrikan Diaspora. Afrikan History Month celebrations staged at the University of the West Indies ( St. Augustine Campus- Trinidad ) and other venues. Aware
    1995- PROFILE a cultural journal published by AP launched and Awards ceremony held. Roi Kwabena embarks on another tour of Europe. Third Edition of About The Caribbean published in Germany, plus the anthology: Manifestations through joint co-operation of AP and the University of Augsburg - Bavaria
    1996 - AP publishes KUSH RECLAIMED and the fourth edition of About The Caribbean ; RAKANubian Saints Of Christianity; Further editions of above mentioned plus other titles released. Two Exhibitions- "Gathering Power I & II " featuring Midland based artists presented in Birmingham, UK .
    1997 - About The Caribbean 5th Revised Edition published, also " A JOB FOR THE HANGMAN" - a controversial collection of poems by Kwabena. An official online presence on the worldwide web established.
    1998 - Two titles of poetry by U.K. based poets published by RAKA Pubs.:- "Poetic Revelations" by Sakinah Reynolds & "Nelson Mandela's Dream as a Boy " by Leon Blades. The Multi-media exhibition "Glory of KUSH" is open to view for twenty four weeks in London jointly hosted by the University of the Diaspora & Centerprise Trust Ltd. . The UK Dept. of Employment & Education commissioned Kwabena to launch the National Year of Reading. He also accepted an invitation from the Birmingham City Council to deliver the inaugural lecture: "MOCKING SHADOWS" for Black History Month celebrations.
    1999 - An International and UK Tour by Kwabena performing selections from the Cd:Y42K "FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS" & "WHETHER OR NOT". The itinerary includes cities across Britian and Wales, Nigeria, Ghana, New Zealand, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Canada.
    2000- Trinidad Circle of Poets honoured our Founder at a poetry session at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port of Spain. Prizes sponsored by RAKA Books were distributed for a locally organised Poetry competition. Numerous workshops and lectures across UK, including a national extended tour of "GLORY OF KUSH" " multi-media exhibition. Hosted launch of BLUE magazine RAKA also hosts performances by numerous artistes, poets and writers...including CARIFOLK SINGERS (from Jamaica)KAALAMU ya SALAAMU ( Veteran Poet New Orleans), Goldie the Poet (California), Historian Runoko Rashidi and acclaimed playwright-Lennox Raphael.
    2001- Celebration of our Anniversary.Publication of a new work by Dorrette Hanson: "HANDSWORTH THROUGH MY EYES" Our founder is appointed Birmingham's POET LAUREATE for the period 2001-2002.




Friday, July 20, 2007

Zeitgeist - The Movie: Religion (Part 1 of 3)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hon. Minister Of Culture Gilberto Gil circa. 1979

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Out of the Mouth of Babes

and a child shall lead them

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Book signing

dialogue blazes the trail