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Archive for December 2008

printwork timeline

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blue-h40×24 – or 23×17 ish
2/2 if possible on newsprint
text to miek asap
images to miek beginning of february
print the last week of march
music CD included? DVD included?
find carton CD packs online, screenprint packs?

Written by bluehammer

December 22, 2008 at 5:00 am

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operation hammer

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The inability of the MAu Mau rebels to protect their supply sources marked the beginning of the end. The Passive Wing in the cities had disintegrated under the roundups and the rural Passive Wing was in a state of siege on the central highlands and reserves. Forced to spend all their energy to survive, and cut off from sources of new recruits, the Land and Freedom Armies withered.

In 1953 some 15,000 Mau Mau guerrillas were at large. In January 1954 the King’s African Rifles began Operation Hammer. They combed the forests of Aberdare mountains but met very little resistance; most guerrillas had already left. Eventually the operation was moved to the Mount Kenya area. There they captured substantial numbers of guerrillas and killed 24 of 51 band leaders. The Mau Mau were forced deeper into forest. By September 1956, only about 500 rebels remained.

Written by bluehammer

December 22, 2008 at 4:44 am

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King Leopold’s Ghost (1998)

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The best-selling popular history book by Adam Hochschild that explores the exploitation of the Congo Free State genocide by King Leopold II of Belgium between 1885 and 1908. King Leopold of Belgium, writes historian Adam Hochschild in this grim history, did not much care for his native land or his subjects, all of which he dismissed as “small country, small people.” Even so, he searched the globe to find a colony for Belgium, frantic that the scramble of other European powers for overseas dominions in Africa and Asia would leave nothing for himself or his people. When he eventually found a suitable location in what would become the Belgian Congo, later known as Zaire and now simply as Congo, Leopold set about establishing a rule of terror that would culminate in the deaths of 4 to 8 million indigenous people, “a death toll,” Hochschild writes, “of Holocaust dimensions.” Those who survived went to work mining ore or harvesting rubber, yielding a fortune for the Belgian king, who salted away billions of dollars in hidden bank accounts throughout the world. Hochschild’s fine book of historical inquiry, which draws heavily on eyewitness accounts of the colonialists’ savagery, brings this little-studied episode in European and African history into new light.

The title is adopted from the poem The Congo, by Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay. Condemning Léopold’s actions, Lindsay wrote: Listen to the yell of Léopold’s ghost, / Burning in Hell for his hand-maimed host. The book is the basis of a 2006 documentary film of the same name, directed by Pippa Scott and narrated by Don Cheadle.

Written by bluehammer

December 22, 2008 at 4:13 am

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BLUE HAMMER: A Trans-Historical-Post-Colonial-Dinner-Theatre-Burlesque:
This performance project unfolds in a late-night cable television studio, between two live broadcasts: a cooking show, HOT POT, and BLUE HAMMER, presented by a host who professes to have toured Africa during the Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya and the Belgium occupation of the Congo. His name is Vin Pays and he believes there is a vivid connection between the Jacobean play he performed, The White Devil, and colonial Africa. A guest joins him, the former leading-lady of the African tour [and of Hammer Horror films] named Tabula Rasa, who appears only to disrupt and dispel, an angel of death whose memories of Africa are harder to maintain than Vin’s nostalgia. We feature three live video feeds, including GPS analysis, a prototype portable kitchen, custom porcelain bowls, a reading library of ephemera, and an on-site food anthropologist. Inspired by 1950’s dinner theaters, Blue Hammer aims to be a convivial intervention on the claims of history and the demands of the future. With ramps, morels and asparagus. Each night, post-performance, a dinner will be served to the 20 members of the audience in custom produced porcelain bowls. Supported by a Maine Arts Commission Good Idea Grant, Creative Material Group hopes this premier performance will seed the beginning of a long-term dinner theater in Portland, incubating and presenting new performance works in collaboration chefs, bakers and farmers.

Written by bluehammer

December 22, 2008 at 3:22 am