First, Music, Video & Entertainment, Reportage

Return to the Trembling Heart: Grand Rue, Port-au-Prince

Three months after the earthquake that devastated our neighbouring island of Haiti, 22-year-old Haitian writer/filmmaker Claudel ‘Zaka’ Chery takes FIRST on a short tour around Grand Rue, a main street running through the heart of the commercial district in Port au Prince.

Zaka is part of a collective of Haitian artists who have been chosen to work on The Trembling Heart, which is a limited edition book of sculptural artwork – just 20 copies will be created. The book is intended to serve as a historical testimonial of the cataclysmic events in Port-au-Prince following the earthquake and its’ aftermath.

Each page will be executed by some of the most respected contemporary artists in Haiti today. Jean-Euphele Milce (Alphabet of the Night, Pushkin Press) is writing 20 original short stories based on personal experiences of the cataclysm of January 12 2010. The accompanying pages will be wrought from metal (Sculptor’s of the Gran Rue, Guyodo and Cheby) Wood (Lionel St Eloi, Jean Frederic and Nathalie Fanfan) and Beads (Myrlande Constant, Drapo Artist).

During the creation of the work interviews with the artists and studio sessions will be broadcast online to build anticipation for the auction of the completed work. The proceeds of the auction will be split with 50 per cent going towards a permanent residency programme for Haitian and Caribbean cultural exchange and the remaining 50 per cent divided amongst the participating artists.

In its completed form the giant book will be a freestanding work of art which will stand on sculptural legs and be targeted for inclusion in museum collections around the world.

For more information about the Trembling Heart Project contact:

More from FIRST’s trip to Haiti:

PHOTO-ESSAY: Into the Trembling Heart: Five hours in Port-au-Prince
MORE PHOTOS: Port-au-Prince: In Living Colour

Music, Video & Entertainment

Sherman's Reggae Nation

Sherman, big in farin reggae circles

Readers of this blog should by now be familiar with the wisdom of Sherman Escoffery, husband, father, jerk specialist, kite-flyer and panty importer.

Sherman doesn’t actually live here anymore – he’s in New York City – but like any other Jamaican in big foreign, that gives him the confidence to pontificate about happenings in the backward place where he sends his remittances (thank you, really). Continue reading

Editorial, Music, Video & Entertainment

Deejay sacrifice this Easter

Ricky Trooper: Scapegoat?
Dem know a nutten ’bout music, dem a computer pussy. – Ricky Trooper

While FIRST has mixed feelings about the decision of the United States to cancel the visas of some of Jamaica’s best-known entertainers the incident is also a mixed blessing. Okay, as @afflictedyard reckons, America’s behaviour maybe “fascist” and “petty” but as @BigBlackBarry was saying last night, this might be actually be a necessary sacrifice to help the music renew itself.

Regardless of the Dudus extradition matter, its almost certain that the five artists were targeted as a retaliation for the stance of the Golding administration, even if it could be argued that these artists were already flirting with the proverbial no-fly list. There have been bans and there have been other visa cancellations – of which this was the most high-profile. And of course, the obviously bored officials at the U.S. Embassy can only be helped by instances like Trooper’s brilliant but self-destructive rant on ‘YouChuuuuube’.

Continue reading

Food, Travel & Leisure, Music, Video & Entertainment

Jamaica World Cinema Showcase X The Last Don

The Jamaica World Cinema Showcase will present three movies each night, for the generous price of $1,000 (pre-sold) $1,200 at the gate. And the price includes free wine, as much as you can drink!

Beginning tomorrow the show runs for three days until Saturday at Finnigan’s Winery, 5 Cranbourne Avenue, Kingston. The event also includes the FIRST-related DiMaggio: The Last Don (Friday at 10 pm).

For more information call: 1-876-260-2084. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, April 1

7:00 pm: Aaltra: 92 mins, Belgium, Benoit Delepine (Comedy)

8:45 pm: Licensed To Kill: 80mins, HK, Arthur Dong (Documentary)

10:10 pm: W.A.R. Stories Walter Rodney: 80mins, Guyana, Mykal Cushnie (Documentary)

Friday, April 2

7:00 pm: Real Ghetto Youth: 80 mins, JAM, Omaal Wright (Grassroots/Urban Drama)

8:45 pm: Black Dynamite: 84mins, USA, Scott Sanders (Blaxploitation/Action)

10:10 pm: DiMaggio – The Last Don: 80mins, JAM, The Rickards Bros. (Documentary/Comedy) (that’s us!)

Saturday, April 3

7:00 pm: Single 97mins, CAN, Richard Atkinson (Docudrama)

8:45 pm: Young People Fucking: 91mins, CAN, Martin Gero (Comedy)

10:10 pm: Medicine For Melancholy: 88mins, USA, Barry Jenkins (Romance)