Jamaica’s first gay pride celebration


This video from England says about itself:

30 June 2013

YO! Blessup, One Love and Real Rasta greetin’s to you, fellow follower of de Lord of Lords, de King of Kings, de most High…Rastafari.

Have ya heard of de latest roots reggae and dancehall sensation to come out of our island home? Well a mi fi tell yu! Rastatroll Battyboy Soundsystem, all di while dem depon di bashment, Lord a Mercy. Dis crew a been buss dancefloors up in Kingston, all over Europe, and Kingston again, ya see me? Big man ting, ya dun know.

Yes, ‘ere me now, Rastatroll Battyboy Soundsystem are a REAL Jamaican soundsystem, proud of our fabulous heritage and our broad, glistening shoulders and thighs. Rastatroll are not ashamed to look a man in his eyes while he heaves his hard muscled body against ours, whisperin’ sweet words inna our ears. Rastatroll do not apologise for quivering like a flower in his arms, groaning and writhing as he pushes forcefully inside, pumping us over and over until de walls shake and de eyes roll back inna dem head. And Rastatroll do not hesitate to share a ganja spliff wit him as we relax pon de beach afterwards, holding each other, and listening to de cool sea breeze tell its stories of the love our forefathers shared, in much de same way we do now.

Star, dis is our way of life. Worn down by centuries of slavery and homophobic subjugation – but not defeated. Slandered by de bloated, imperialist, Western music industry – but not silenced. Attacked by de colonial sheep and demons who spread lies about Jamaica, but never once forgettin’ de dignity of our ancestors who first spread de Rainbow over Kingston.

In de immortal words of Gloria Gaynor, Prophet of Carr: “Jamaica’s a sham…till it can shout out, I am what I am”

PUUUUUUUUUUUULL UUUUUUUP!

Dis video is some bless footage from de Rastatroll stage at London Gay Pride. Nuff respect and REAL RASTA blessings fi all de battybwoys and punnanygyals who came out to hear de Lion‘s roar inna Trafalgar Square. We were truly blessed to walk amongst you.

De 29th June will go down in history as de day Rastatroll assumed its rightful title of as de most respected Reggae soundsystem on de European Gay scene – a day dat will resound through de ages.

Even Babylon were struck down in awe by our fabulousness, begging us to have their photos taken with us and asking for more rewinds.

If yu have any pictures or video, feel free to share dem pon dis page and inspire de next generation of Rastatroll soldiers.

SELASSIE I. Praise be to de Most High, JAH CARRSTAFARI.

Battyboys inna London, set it set it set it.

From Associated Press:

Jamaica to hold its first gay pride celebration in the island’s capital

Weeklong event that was previously almost unthinkable in a Caribbean country long described as the one of the globe’s most hostile places to homosexuality

Tuesday 4 August 2015 21.22 BST

Jamaica’s LGBT community is holding its first gay pride celebration in the island’s capital, a weeklong event that was previously almost unthinkable in a Caribbean country long described as the one of the globe’s most hostile places to homosexuality.

Events in Kingston have included a flash mob gathering in a park, an art exhibit and performances featuring songs and poems by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans.

Jamaican gay rights activists said Tuesday the peaceful events are a clear sign that tolerance for LGBT people is expanding on the island even though stigma is common and longstanding laws criminalizing sex between men remain on the books.

“I think we will look back on this and see it as a turning point because many persons thought that it would never actually happen,” said Latoya Nugent of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, or J-FLAG, the rights group that organized the event.

For years, Jamaica’s gay community lived so far underground that their parties and church services were held in secret locations. Most stuck to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of keeping their sexual orientation hidden to avoid scrutiny or protect loved ones. A number of gay Jamaicans have won asylum overseas.

But while discrimination against gays remains pervasive in many parts of Jamaica and anti-gay violence flares up recurrently, Nugent said there’s an inaccurate perception overseas that homosexuals in Jamaica “can’t even walk on the streets because if you do you are going to be stoned or stabbed to death”.

“What we are seeing these days is more and more LGBT people willing to be visible, to be open, and to be public,” said Nugent, a co-chair of the planning committee for the events called PrideJa. “It’s remarkable.”

Still, some 80 incidents of discrimination, threats, physical attacks, displacement and sexual violence were reported to J-FLAG last year and the high-profile 2013 mob murder of transgender teen Dwayne Jones remains unsolved. There have been reports of targeted sexual assaults of lesbians. In a 2014 report, New York-based Human Rights Watch asserted that LGBT people in Jamaica remain the targets of unchecked violence and are frequently refused housing or employment.

“Yes, there’s still ridicule on the streets and some people look at you and laugh, but it’s not as violent as it was and we will insist on living our lives. There is a certain change going on,” 26-year-old Nas Chin told the Associated Press after dancing at a secure pride event.

Many Jamaicans consider homosexuality to be a perversion from abroad and a newspaper-commissioned poll has suggested there is overwhelming resistance to repealing anti-sodomy laws. In late August, a young Jamaican gay rights activist who brought an unprecedented legal challenge to the anti-sodomy law withdrew his claim after growing fearful about possible violent reprisals.

But Human Rights Watch has noted that there’s been a “groundswell of change” in the way Jamaica is responding to human rights abuses against LGBT people.

In recent days, Kingston’s mayor and the island’s justice minister have even publicly supported the weeklong pride activities, a major change in a nation where politicians once routinely railed against homosexuals and former prime minister Bruce Golding vowed in 2008 to never allow gays in his cabinet.

Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, a critical review


Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman

By Sandy English in the USA:

Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman: More of a moneymaking than a literary event?

3 August 2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, New York: HarperCollins, 2015, 278 pp.

Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set a Watchman, has sold over a million copies in the United States since its release two weeks ago. It is currently at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. The book, or what readers imagine or hope it to be, has clearly struck a chord.

Lee, now 89, is the author of one other novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. That book is set in 1930s Alabama during the Jim Crow segregation era. The novel tells the story of Atticus Finch, a white, small-town lawyer, who defends a black man against the charge of raping a white woman.

His daughter, Jean Louise, narrates a compelling tale about the life of the Finches and the inhabitants of the small town of Maycomb. What runs through Atticus, Jean Louise (known by her nickname, Scout) and her elder brother Jem is a feeling for equality and fair play and a generally democratic sensibility.

Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird Scout (who is eight when the books opens) and Jem learn from their father and their own experiences to treat people with a sense of empathy and justice. This includes the poor and illiterate, the mentally disabled and nonconformists, but especially the deeply oppressed African Americans in the town.

The novel was published at the height of the Civil Rights movement, and became an immediate bestseller. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961. More significantly, the book was identified in the public’s mind with the struggle by millions of African Americans for justice against segregation and racism in the South.

Producer Alan Pakula and Harper Lee on set of To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962

Producer Alan Pakula and Harper Lee on set of To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962

The fictional Atticus Finch demonstrated to a whole generation what it meant to be willing to endure, in defense of decency and fairness, threats to one’s reputation, life and even the well-being of one’s family.

Furthermore, To Kill A Mockingbird came as something of a moral release or revival to a society battered by the McCarthyite anticommunist witch-hunts and years of blacklisting, “naming names” and frame-ups such as that of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953. The informer and the capitulator had become American social types that were all too familiar.

Egalitarian sentiment had awakened with the mass struggle against Jim Crow in the South. Millions were ready by 1960 to read about those who stood up to prejudice and racism.

At the same time, Lee’s novel, although no doubt written with complete sincerity, only went so far, or perhaps only could go so far. The political climate in America presumably had something to do with the fact that the hero of To Kill a Mockingbird was a middle class, or by the standards of the South at the time, an upper middle class lawyer.

Nevertheless, Lee’s work expresses the genuine opposition to inequality that is a part of American life, including in the South. It is a deeply satisfying work that argues, through the eyes and experience of children, for more compassionate and humane behavior and attitudes. It still resonates as a simple, powerful novel that speaks in well-constructed images and appeals to the senses.

Over the last five and a half decades, the work has sold over 40 million copies. It has become part of many American middle-school and high-school curriculums and inspires countless youth to see the defense of equality as a moral principle and a human virtue. The story of Atticus Finch has even inspired many young people over the years to become lawyers and to fight for justice to prevail. For years many parents have named their sons after him.

The 1962 film adaptation of Lee’s novel with Gregory Peck (for which he won an Academy Award), directed by Robert Mulligan, produced by Alan Pakula and with a screenplay by Horton Foote, is almost as popular as the novel and an honest work of art in its own right.

Harper Lee never published another novel after To Kill a Mockingbird, until now, and generally avoided the limelight. She stopped doing interviews in 1964, complaining that journalists asked the same questions over and over again. She also refused to write an introduction to the novel, observing, “Mockingbird still says what it has to say; it has managed to survive the years without preamble.”

It is easy to see why a new novel about Atticus and his family was so eagerly anticipated. It brings back to the stage, or so readers hoped, the figure of the principled lawyer. And 2015, as a great many people would undoubtedly agree, is a time when such a figure is needed in both literature and life.

Fifty-five years after Lee’s first book was published American society is riven by a much deeper social inequality than was the case in 1960. While a layer of upper middle class African Americans has prospered and made its mark in politics, conditions for every section of the working class have deteriorated sharply. The gap between the super-rich and the mass of the population has never been greater. Where is the literary or film character who will address that question?

Unease and anger about social inequality are ubiquitous in every part of the United States, but find no recognition in official media or political life.

In many ways, the political or moral climate is worse today than at the height of the McCarthy period. Academics and “intellectuals” line up to serve the Pentagon, the CIA and other murderous government agencies. Revelations of massive NSA spying, an essential ingredient of a police state, fail to disturb the sleep of the ex-liberal middle class, scandalously wealthy and desirous of protecting every penny.

Fighters for justice and equality are maligned, imprisoned and hounded by the political establishment. However, the widespread popularity of figures such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is an indication that millions of people are revolted by this climate. Atticus Finch could not return too soon.

The circumstances around the discovery of Go Set a Watchman are murky. Harper Lee is suffering from the after-effects of a stroke and is partially blind and deaf. She is wheelchair-bound and confined to an assisted living facility in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama (on which Maycomb was modeled) and has limited access to her friends, much less journalists. The writer’s life-long business agent, her older sister, Alice, died last year. It was soon after that the manuscript of Go Set a Watchman surfaced.

HarperCollins, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has spared no effort to publicize the book, with a massive public relations campaign, including a pre-release of the first chapter.

While nothing definitive can be said about the origins of the new book’s manuscript, it seems clear that the prospect of making a good deal of money had something to do with the sudden appearance of the novel. HarperCollins has released almost no information on its provenance.

When Harper Lee submitted an early draft of To Kill Mockingbird in 1957 to the publishing house of J.B. Lippincott, it was considered unpublishable. Lee reworked the manuscript over the next three years with Tay Hohoff, an editor at the firm, apparently producing a number of drafts.

“After a couple of false starts, the story-line, interplay of characters, and fall of emphasis grew clearer, and with each revision—there were many minor changes as the story grew in strength and in her own vision of it—the true stature of the novel became evident,” wrote Hohoff, who died in 1974. What other changes Lee made in the complex process of writing and rewriting are unknown.

The “new” novel—or early draft of an old novel—takes place when an adult Jean Louise returns to Maycomb from New York City. She must deal with a young man who wants her to marry him and settle down in Maycomb. Her brother is dead and we meet characters familiar from To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, some critics have noted that the new work seems to imply a familiarly with the first book.

She encounters a town in the throes of the Civil Rights struggle, and discovers that her fiancée and her father, Atticus, have lined up with the Citizens Council (a respectable version of the Ku Klux Klan). She is physically ill when she discovers all this. The climax of the novel takes place in a confrontation between father and daughter.

Atticus defends his presence at a meeting of the Maycomb County Citizens’ Council as a way of gathering information, but, we learn, he holds racist views about blacks. “Do you want Negros by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?”

Phrases like this, and racial slurs, have caused consternation and disappointment among some readers and critics. Atticus Finch turns out to be a bigot after all. But Finch is a fictional character. Lee created him one way in this first draft, and thought better of it later on. The book is not genuinely a sequel, about the same Finch growing older and more reactionary; it is a distinct work, with a different, perhaps less mature approach and set of problems.

For her own artistic and ideological reasons, Lee shifted her own indignation at racism and injustice from the adult Jean Louise in Go Set a Watchman (whose response to the remark of Atticus above is, “They’re people, aren’t they? We were quite willing to import them when they made money for us”) to the middle-aged Atticus, and through him, to his children, in To Kill a Mockingbird. And her decision seems to have been the proper and more convincing one.

Lee’s Go Set A Watchman is a much less compelling work than To Kill a Mockingbird. Jean Louise offers her defense of black people’s rights in long, expository remarks and speeches. The book lacks spontaneity for the most part, and gets bogged down in the not so intriguing issue of her relationship with her boyfriend.

Flashbacks to childhood have some of the original impact of To Kill a Mockingbird, but on the whole, the book is not a finished work of art. While literary researchers, critics and biographers will no doubt benefit, the novel has been marketed by a publishing conglomerate under false and opportunist pretenses and adds little to our understanding of the period, the place … or the individual who stands on principle.

See also here.

British Museum’s Reading Room, what will happen?


This video says about itself:

Reading Room of the British Museum

16 April 2007

The British Museum in London is one of the world’s greatest museums of human history and culture. Its collections number more than 13 million objects from all continents. The centre of the museum was redeveloped in 2000 to become the Great Court, surrounding the original Reading Room.

By Jack the Blaster in London, England:

What future for the British Museum‘s reading room which inspired Karl Marx?

Friday 31st July 2015

THE British Museum opened a new wing last year which cost £135 million to build and was designed by New Labour’s favourite “starchitect,” Sir Richard Rogers.

The museum was thrilled to announce a purpose-built exhibition area providing the public with a new way of looking at its treasures.

But as the debate as to whether our museums should be allowed to charge an entrance fee raises its head again — the new wing is used for ticket-only events — the British Museum faces a tricky question as to what it now does with one of the greatest assets it possesses.

It is not an artefact pillaged by a Victorian grave-robber, but Sir Sydney Smirke’s astonishing round reading room, found in the very centre of the museum.

Built in 1852 and based on Rome’s Pantheon, it gave Karl Marx a desk, its shelves were browsed by Lenin, and was the place for Victorian novelists such as Bram Stoker and Conan Doyle to be seen slaving over their manuscripts, and later other writers such as the Bloomsbury set.

To construct what was originally the main reading room for the British Library, Smirke used cast iron and concrete — ground-breaking construction techniques for the time.

Its spectacular interior boasts huge windows that flood leather-topped desks with natural light. Shelves packed with tomes curve gently round the walls and history seeps from every nook and cranny.

We can also assume it is in fairly good nick. It was spruced up by a three-year renovation programme after the library’s 1997 move to new headquarters in nearby Euston Road, its original decorative scheme reinstated and post-war additions removed. Desks were discreetly updated so computers can be used.

From 2007 until last year the museum used it as a temporary place to host ticket-only blockbuster exhibitions, including acclaimed shows as The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army and Life and Death in Pompeii.

But while its glorious history as a “temple to the deification of bibliography,” as one Victorian scholar described it, is celebrated, its future is not so certain.

The museum had temporary planning permission to shroud its beautiful features in scaffolding and planks during the construction of the new wing so it could host shows that cost more than a tenner to go and see.

It boosted income while wriggling round the free-entry rule. They said it was a temporary solution while the new wing was completed — but it seems the museum has no idea what happens next.

This is particularly important today, as new calls for museums to charge come at a time when access to public study spaces is under attack.

The idea that the state should fund libraries is increasingly being whittled away in this neoconservative age. Everything must have an immediately obvious economic cost and public services are seen as luxuries, not the corner stone of a civilised society.

Your correspondent has been asking the museum for five long years what the future holds for the room.

I have requested interviews with the directors in charge of its future — but been stonewalled. Instead, after regular badgering, press officers finally answered written questions.

Their answers were far from enlightening.

“The reading room is currently closed while the museum undertakes a programme of work to remove temporary exhibition staging,” they said — a case of stating the bleedin’ obvious.

What happens after this, nobody wants to discuss in any detail. The museum says a new director is to be appointed in 2016 after the current incumbent Neil MacGregor steps down, and then its fate will be considered.

“There are no specific ideas on the table,” the spokesman added. “It is a case of keeping an open mind and considering all options.”

This case of kicking the can down the road is concerning.

Surely MacGregor, widely praised for his stewardship of a collection that, to many, carries the distasteful whiff of Britain’s imperial past, should have a vision for this extraordinary room at the very heart of the institute?

It can only further heighten fears that spaces which can be used for coffer-boosting ticketed exhibitions are just too valuable to hand back to the public.

Surely with Bloomsbury’s massive student population facing further pressures on study space, and the neighbourhood’s schoolchildren — many living in crowded conditions where homework is a logistical issue — the room should be returned to its original role forthwith?

Support is out there. Museum trustee and Nobel prize-winner Sir Paul Nurse told me that opening up Smirke’s masterpiece once more would be a advantageous.

“I can’t second guess what will happen — but I’d like to see its integrity returned,” he said.

“I’d like to see the fact it was this great library and intellectual centre for London celebrated. It means making its structure obvious and some connection maintained to its intellectual history. It is a space that spawned ideas.”

Others are more forthright. Architectural historian Dan Cruickshank queries why a plan has not been long in place.

“It is an extremely important interior and the museum must find an acceptable use for it soon,” he told me. There were promises it would be restored and reopened and they have not done that. So much has happened there of truly international importance. “It is a marvellous place to work — it is so conducive to intellectual achievement.”

Architect Spencer de Grey, senior partner and head of design at Rogers’s practice, worked on the redesign of the museum’s great court between 1994 and 2000.

He says the room’s future must be at the top of the to-do list for MacGregor’s replacement.

“London is short of civilised, free places of study,” he said. “Surely the round reading room could immediately reopen as such. It is an uplifting space that inspired the likes of Karl Marx and should be available to the students and researchers of today.”

The museum holds in its trust treasures lifted from civilisations from around the globe.

Now it must show, as a matter of urgency, how it intends to care for one of its own.

Military bases, neocolonialism get out of Africa, film


This video is a film by Aziz Salmone Fall, saying about itself:

Africom go home, Foreign bases out of Africa

19 February 2014

AFRICOM GO HOME: No Foreign Bases in Africa is shot within the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the “Independence” of African states (OAS 1963-2013). It’s an anti-propaganda, not-for-profit film dedicated to raising public consciousness by opening up a space for discussion and building a sound information base drawn from archival records.

This documentary represents my views, and my views alone, on geopolitical challenges to both Africa and the wider world. The contents of this film can in no way be ascribed to GRILA or any of its members. It addresses Africa’s leaders, all PanAfricanists, internationalists and especially the African Youth caught up in the maelstrom of Africa’s place in the world.

AFRICOM GO HOME illuminates a vision of freedom that comes down from the mothers and fathers of panAfricanism.

This documentary takes a personal look at how events have evolved in the wake of the signing of the declaration “AFRICOM Go Home” by fifty or so organizations from Africa and Germany that are united in their opposition to the presence of AFRICOM on either African or German soil. The film is a combination of images filmed or taken off the WEB. However, the authors of those images are in no way responsible for the production or point of view of this film.

This video helps us to understand events arising out of the “AFRICOM Go Home” Declaration and what has been achieved since then.

It shines a spotlight on the history and evolution of imperialistic, neocolonial military forces within Africa over the last fifty years.

It unpacks AFRICOM and how it came into existence, what it means and provides a way of interpreting imperialist rivalries and ambitions on the continent, including why they spy on each other and exposing the contradictions that have surfaced in the “fight against terrorism”.

It articulates disbelief in claims of humanitarian goals by those who established AFRICOM for Africa after building a whole network of bases stretching as far as Germany.

It explores contradictions that also arise between Africans and within African organizations as they try to defend themselves within a context of conflicts tied to the pillage of their resources and the appropriation of their ancestral lands.

It examines the urgent need for panAfrican and internationalist resistance as well as the re-politicization of our Youth for future democracy.

The film follows President Obama when he visits Germany and Africa, highlighting the attitudes of various European, American and African presidents as well as AFRICOM’s military chiefs. There is also footage on some of the men and women who make up the opposition.

It takes stock of security policies on the continent, paying special attention to the influence of American neoconservatives and how regional power blocs are already putting some of their policies into practice.

AFRICOM GO HOME exposes the machinations of both imperialism and neo-colonialism and shows how they operate to coopt our elites and military leaders as well as civil society organizations. It paints a picture of the damage to which Africans are exposed when these bases take up residence in their midst.

Clearly, our local elites are no less responsible than their foreign bosses for [what] has evolved.

The film urges all parties to review those bases already cached on the African continent or encircling it as well as NATO‘s position, the vulnerability and tutelage of the African Union and the presence of a ravenous pack of emerging nations under the rubric of BRIC.

By way of explanation, this video mounts a hypothesis that takes note of the repatriation of Germany’s gold which had long been held captive by the US, France and the UK; the now dominant position of China in the global monetary system as well as the reasons why the base was launched so precipitously in Germany. It then goes on to provide reasons for the crisis unfolding in Mali.

This 3 May 2012 video is called AFRICOM and the Conflict in Mali. Nii Akuetteh: Why did US trained officers organize the coup in Mali?

This film unveils the AFRICOM base in Germany before the eyes of the world. In doing so, it also draws special attention to the heroic efforts of members of the public and parliamentary representatives belonging to the Linke Party and acknowledges their court action against AFRICOM’s drone strikes and targeted killings.

Beyond the security question, this video demonstrates that the crisis in capitalism as well as endemic under-development are fertile ground for culturalism, integrationism, populism and terrorism which are tools that can both create divisions across the continent and abort sovereignty.

AFRICOM and NATO have concocted formulas that they claim will protect Africa.

However, this film is an appeal for more self-determination and balance in Africa’s development. It calls for the reemergence of progressive wings of African states as well as a plan for accelerating panAfrican integration within the context of internationalism and a polycentric world that upholds all of humanity’s common “good”.

Soviet filmmaker Eisenstein, new film about him


This video says about itself:

Eisenstein In Guanajuato – Official Trailer

8 February 2015

A film by Peter Greenaway, 2015, Netherlands/Mexico/Finland/Belgium, 105′

On 27 July 2015, I went to see the film Eisenstein In Guanajuato.

In this film, movie director Peter Greenaway reconstructs the stay of his famous Soviet colleague Sergei Eisenstein in Mexico in 1931. Eisenstein then made recordings, intended for a film on Mexico and the Mexican revolution, entitled ¡Que viva México!

In his reconstruction, Greenaway had to consider that some of the facts in this part of Eisenstein’s life are known. Some others are not certain, but maybe, with some fantasy (Greenaway made a feature film, not a documentary), might be deduced from known facts. And many other things about Eisenstein’s Mexican episode are completely unknown.

Greenaway’s film ‘plays fast, loose and salaciously with the facts’, according to film critic David Robinson.

Robinson points out, inter alia, that Eisenstein was a workaholic, while Greenaway depicts him as hardly ever leaving his hotel bedroom. Eisenstein did not drink alcohol, while Greenaway depicts him as drunk.

The central theme in Greenaway’s film is that Eisenstein was a virgin, until his initiation into gay sex in Guanajuato at 33 years of age. Very improbable, according to Robinson.

Was Eisenstein gay? Maybe, we don’t know for sure.

However, there are so many and such obvious inaccuracies in Eisenstein In Guanajuato that, rather than being results of Greenaway’s supposed ignorance or sloppiness, one may suspect that Greenaway included them on purpose to indicate the film is not about the historical Eisenstein, but about an Eisenstein of his own post-modernist imagination.

In post-modernism there is no historical truth.

Eisenstein as a film role in Greenaway’s work speaks about lots of famous filmmakers and other artists he supposedly had met. A list so long that it looks a bit incredible. Is this not really a list of Peter Greenaway’s favourites in film history and art history?

One can see that Eisenstein In Guanajuato is by someone who was originally a visual artist, and an admirer of the imagery of Eisenstein’s films. Greenaway’s imagery in this film is good. So is the acting. However, Greenaway undeservedly makes the issues in Eisenstein’s films, Russian revolution and society, Mexican revolution and society, etc. play a very second fiddle to aesthetics.

At least one review of this film has a historical inaccuracy of its own: Variety magazine in the USA writes that Lenin underwrote Eisenstein’s expenses while in Mexico. Lenin had died in 1924. While the Variety article also spells ‘Guadajuato’ which should have been Guanajuato.

‘Rihanna’s Freddie Gray concert plan blocked by Baltimore, USA police’


This video from the USA says about itself:

Rihanna, Nas, Alicia Keys: Superstars react to Ferguson grand jury decision

25 November 2014

Social media has been set ablaze after the police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed an unarmed Michael Brown was not indicted by a grand jury in the murder trial in Ferguson, Missouri yesterday and big stars are now reacting differently from all over the world. Rihanna, Nas, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Gabrielle Union, Keri Hilson, Katy Perry, Michelle Williams, Ludacris and many more jumped on social media to air their views on the shocking verdict which has now left the city of Ferguson in complete violence.

RiRi posted a picture on her Instagram of a board which read: ‘Justice for – (I left it blank) because I’ll probably need this next year‘ and captioned it “Fact”.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Rihanna’s Freddie Gray concert was blocked by Baltimore police – reports

Singer had planned to walk with protesters and give free concert for 25-year-old African American man who died in police custody

Nadia Khomami

Wednesday 29 July 2015 12.34 BST

Rihanna was reportedly blocked by Baltimore police from playing a free concert for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African American man who was fatally injured by six police officers in April.

According to newly released emails between police and the singer’s representatives, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, Rihanna wanted to go to Baltimore in the week after race-related rioting broke out, to walk with protesters and perform a free concert.

In a message dated 1 May sent to Captain Eric Kowalczyk, the then head of media relations for Baltimore police, an officer detailed a conversation he had with a representative for the singer. He said the representative advised that Rihanna would arrive by plane and “in an effort to divert press/media she will be travelling to the city by train (or by car if necessary)”.

The officer added that the representative “had hoped to secure some extra police security and was directed by the governor’s office to seek assistance through communications”.

The email was forwarded to Anthony Batts, the then Baltimore police commissioner, and Kevin Harris, a spokesman for the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The possible concert was also mentioned in a situation report on 1 May, which revealed the location to be the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North avenues, the focal point of the protests. “Possible Rihanna Concert at Penn & North,” it read. “No time given. Police are claiming they have no permit so it will not be allowed.”

A state of emergency was declared in Baltimore amid widespread civil unrest across the city following Gray’s death, which a medical examiner ruled was a result of spinal injuries inflicted by arresting officers. Criminal charges including murder and manslaughter have since been brought against the officers involved.

During the unrest, Rihanna posted on Instagram a picture taken by Baltimore photographer Devin Allen of a black police officer with tear-filled eyes. The picture was accompanied with a crying emoji.

Other musicians who expressed concern about the situation included Kelly Rowland, Gerard Way, and Prince, who played a show at the city’s Royal Farms Arena on 10 May. The concert, Rally 4 Peace, was broadcast live by Tidal, the livestreaming company backed by rapper Jay Z.