Nov 1, 2016
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Notes from the 4th Kistrech Poetry Festival (2016)

I have participated in many poetry festivals, each series of events is unique, but the fourth Kistrech Poetry Festival had something that others don’t have. To begin, there are not many venues for international poets or artists in Africa, the economic realities of the continent dictate this scarcity of opportunities. Christopher Okemwa, the director of the festival has been working hard to create an event where the audience and the poets can share insights and discussions. Another thing that made this festival standout was the fact that our group, the invited poets and a large section of the audience, were always together. We were together in the conference room, at lunch breaks and we were together in buses travelling to different locations. This created a sense of belonging and gave us a chance to get to know each other more closely.

Most of the Festival events took place at the main campus of the Kisii University from October 3rd until October 8th with writers from Nigeria, the USA, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Canada, and Kenya. Student participants came from both Kisii University and Nairobi University. A series of readings by internationally based, Kenyan poets as well as student poets took place on the Kisii University Campus, at the Genesis Preparatory School, the St. Charles Kabeo High School and on the shores of Lake Victoria. In addition to these, papers were also presented: Beatrice Ekesa (Nairobi University) talked about issues of globalization in the context of Spoken Word in Kenya; Martin Glaz Serup (Denmark) presented the Holocaust Museum, a conceptual post-productive witness literature that deals with the representation of Holocaust; Eric Francis Tinsay Valles (Singapore) delivered a text about trauma in poetry; Seth Michelson (USA) talked about the process of translation and the practice of human freedom; Micheal Oyoo Weche (Kenya) spoke of oral poetry and aesthetic communication practiced by children within the Luo tribe; Tony Mochama (Kenya) discussed the modernity of African poetry in Kenya; Godspower Oboido (Nigeria) compared Nigerian poet Christopher Okigbo with Russian poet Alexander Pushkin; Margaret N. Barasa (Kenya) explained the convergence of language and culture in Manguliechi’s Babuksu after-burial oratory and Valerie LeBlanc and myself (Canada) presented our poetic work created within the Everglades National Park biosphere.

This was the first time that the Festival was held during the University’s Cultural Week. The campus was alive with students and many attended the festival’s lectures and presentations. Throughout the festival, there was a constant flow of energy, of shaking hands, of being truly part of the whole, like the Festival’s program states.

Here are two key moments, two events that made an significant impression on me. Both happened on October 6rd 2016.

GENESIS PREPARATORY PRIMARY SCHOOL

We were on our way, to the Genesis Preparatory Primary School to meet and to read to the children. As with every morning, the light was intensely beautiful; the sky blue and the sun hot. At the school, three hundred children, dressed in their dark green uniforms with green and white checker shirts were waiting for us. They actually had been waiting all year for this moment and had a program of poetry, songs and dances prepared for the occasion. We all sat outside in the courtyard under the sun and under the shades of pine trees, on blue chairs and yellow chairs, on green chairs and magenta chairs. There was electricity in the air. A teacher came up front, to welcome us and invited a group of students to take place on the stage. Many students had a chance to perform poetry and to sing. To my surprise, a lot of the songs were in French. The Principal told me later that they wanted them to learn English, Kiswahili and French as many countries in the regions speak French. After that, it was our turn to read. Gunnar Wærness (Norway) created a song for a crow that was perched in a tree above us; Martin (Denmark) read 100 words from a children’s book; Jennifer Karmin (USA) involved the children with a participative poetry reading and so on.

After the readings, we were invited to plant trees on the school grounds. Poets planting trees: ‘Poet-trees’ said someone. The holes were already dug and the little seedlings were sitting in a wheel barrel, all ready to go. As each poet was busy planting, students would gather around, looking at our techniques and cheering for the forest to come. Many of the holes were sewn with yellow flowers that looked similar to squash flowers. This seemed to present a wish to protect and encourage the future growth of the trees. The man in charge of the grounds made sure that the dirt was well packed and that the seedlings were straight. When we left it looked like a little forest had been added to the valley.

BOGIAKUMU VILLAGE

When we stepped out of the bus, I don’t think any of us expected to be greeted with such enthusiasm. A musician was already playing his nyatiti, an eight-string instrument, as loud as he could. There was a lot of laughing, clapping and dancing. In the blink of an eye, we were dancing as well, which generated even more laughter. Then, each of the poets was taken in charge by one or two villagers for a personal tour. I left with my two hostesses and Cornelius, a Kisii University student who was translating the exchanges. In Kiswahili I said ‘good morning’ to the women. They both laughed. Cornelius told me that in the afternoon, the custom is to say, ‘good afternoon.’ I wished that I had a pen and a piece of paper to add this to my list of Kiswahili phrases. I repeated it in my head a few times like a mantra as we walked on the main road until we took a path down the hill. The earth is red. Everything is lush. The air is warm and humid. The pathways are incredibly complex, there are paths going everywhere. We walk past mango trees, papaya trees, banana trees, avocado trees, sugar cane and cornfields. Here and there a goat tied to a post looks at us as we go by. Cornelius tells me that the two women are widows and are cultivating their plots and raising their animals by themselves. We finally arrive at a house. As we go in, a few little chicks scramble to get out. The air inside the house is heavy and the sunlight makes the dust appear like diamonds floating in the room. The walls are covered with a lacework-like fabric. I notice two pictures on one of the walls and go to them. They are images of two smiling men. Under the images are their names and two dates. The men are dead. They are the husbands of the two women. The oldest man was born in 1963 and the younger in 1985. The images and the frames look old, as if they had been on the wall for a long time, but the younger man died just a couple of months earlier. After a while, we pull away from the wall and sit on couches. From there I can feel the heat radiating from the tin roof. Cornelius tells me that when one of the women’s husband died, she had to wait for planting the corn and this is why hers is so short compared to the rest. There is a silence. We hear the wind rustling through the nearby sugar canes. At that moment, we also feel the absence of this husband. Then the older woman gets up and goes out. We follow her lead back onto the paths. Red soil. Corn fields. The sun feels good. We arrive at the second home. The woman opens the door. The light floods into the main room. It is very hot and very bright. We sit and rest there for a while.

I can’t remember much from this house; my mind was still filled with the other place. Then we were back on the main road. There were many young people walking to the river to get water. It looked like they just came back from school. All carried yellow jugs. The river, I am told, is not far. I asked Cornelius to teach me how to say, ‘How are you’, and then I repeat this to a group of young boys. They all laugh. Cornelius tells me that there is a difference to whether you speak to one person or many. He teaches me how to say ‘how are you’ to many people, which I say many times during the walk back to the village centre.

The weather was turning. Big dark clouds were gathering and it started to rain. Instead of eating outside, we all went inside a large house to share a meal. We had yams and uji, a porridge made from ground millet. By the meal’s end, the weather had cleared up and we were invited to go back outside. We sat on plastic chairs in a big circle. The musician was in the middle with his instrument and dancers came from behind him. Eventually, it was the poets’ turn to join in the dance. Later, as we walked back through the pathways toward the bus, we saw a rainbow arching over the valley.

KISII POSTSCRIPT
The night before we left, two women were killed by the police at the market. Some people at the hotel heard what sounded like fireworks. I heard nothing. But two women died that night. Then there was a riot and wooden stands were thrown into a bonfire as people protested. In the morning as we drove down the road, the market looked empty, here and there were piles of charred wood. A few days later, the University of Kisii introduced new fee payment rules for its students. This change resulted in a massive riot, this time by students. A fourth-year woman student was shot in the head by a stray bullet, but survived. The Daily Nation (Nairobi) newspaper, reported that 10 students had been arrested while the Standard (Nairobi), mentioned that more than 30 students were arrested. According to the newspapers, the fee collection office and a School of Law office were set ablaze. Images of soldiers on the grounds of the University were unsettling to see. Many of our young poet friends from the Kisii University and University of Nairobi (Elly Omullo, Ombui Omoke, Roberto de Khalifa) wrote poignant texts on their Facebook walls, putting words to what was happening around them.

THITIMA (energy)

In this landscape
of shovelled earths
and un-shovelled earths
of arched goats
looking thoughtful
of speeding Boda-Bodas
and Boda-Boda sheds

In this land of Churches
and Choma zones
of men with shovels
walking empowered
dreaming of self-sufficiency
of yams and sweet potatoes and bananas

In this cosmology of paths
extending outward
shortcutting everything

In this endless network
of paths of life and death
of paths taken and abandoned
of paths like the energy of the Big Bang
like the music rising
from every bus
every stand
from the music
that envelops everyone

There is no stopping the going
and no stopping the rhythms.

A path goes this way
another one that way
they overlap
become larger
veer between bushes
They are the tentacles
of giant octopus’
dancing a waltz

The neurons
sending electricity
to each limb
light up this
East African night

The paths are
the way to go
the way to come
back home

They are
what is left
of having to go
of wanting to go

They are what is passed down
to the children who in turn
will invent new roads to travel upon
and new rhythms to walk along.

Daniel H. Dugas
October 9, 2016

GODS

God is everywhere!
Especially as decals on buses

GOD ALMIGHTY
in bold letters
racing on a dirt road
God in the middle of the wilderness
incarnated in every speeding Boda-Boda

God is everywhere!
I see him
in the diesel fumes of buses
I see him
in the whirlpools
of papers and bags
in the tails
of small goats
eating in ditches
I see him
in the yellow plastic jugs
balancing on heads
I see him in the tarps
flapping in the wind
in the wind that controls everything
I see him
in the smoke of every fire
of this never ending choma zone

He is here,
everywhere,
present on each kernel of corn.

Daniel H. Dugas
Oct 10, 2016

*

I would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts and the New Brunswick Arts Board for their support. / Je remercie le Conseil des arts du Canada et le Conseil des Arts du Nouveau-Brunswick pour leur soutien.

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Sep 15, 2016
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Horaire- Symposium (2016)

wsixx3oHoraire

JEUDI 22 SEPT. THURSDAY

10h > Lancement / conférence de presse

Opening / press conference

@ Parc écologique du Millénaire – gazebo

12h – 13h > Mot de bienvenue du recteur et vice-chancelier Raymond Théberge

L’art et l’écologie sur le campus de l’Université de Moncton

avec conférences de Marie-Andrée Giroux et Ronald Babin

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

VENDREDI 23 SEPT. FRIDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Gregory Lasserre

Œuvres hybrides et sensorielles

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

SAMEDI 24 SEPT. SATURDAY

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

14h – 15h > Lancement du chapitre 2 du projet autocollant Une ville, un livreAncrages revue acadienne de création littéraire avec performance littéraire contextuelle

 

DIMANCHE 25 SEPT. SUNDAY

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

LUNDI 26 SEPT. MONDAY

12h – 13h > Table ronde sur les diverses approches en art public non-permanent

Martin Dufrasne, Christiana Myers, Matt Williston

Animée par Jean-Pierre Caissie

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

MARDI 27 SEPT. TUESDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Daniel H. Dugas et Valérie LeBlanc

Visible / Invisible : négocier l’impossible

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

MERCREDI 28 SEPT. WEDNESDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Isabelle Hayeur

Paysages incertains

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h > Courte présentation de Douglas Scholes

@ Parc écologique du Millénaire

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

17h – 19h > Vernissage / Opening

Im/pénétrable

Avec : Isabelle Hayeur, Mathieu Léger, D’Arcy Wilson

@ Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen

Exposition en montre du 7 septembre au 16 octobre

Heures de visite : 13h – 16h, du mardi au dimanche

 

JEUDI 29 SEPT. THURSDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Gilles Bruni

L’écologie et la pratique d’installation paysagère dans l’espace social

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

VENDREDI 30 SEPT. FRIDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Edith-Anne Pageot

Jardins et hétérotopies urbaines dans l’art contemporain

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

SAMEDI 1ER OCT. SATURDAY

10h – 15 h > Visites guidées du Symposium dans le cadre de la Tournée des galeries 2016 Art Gallery Tour guided tours

départs / departing from Parc écologique du Millénaire – gazebo

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

14h – 16h > Vernissage / Opening

@ Parc écologique du Millénaire

20h > Présentations-flash avec les artistes du Symposium

(Ouverture des portes / Doors open 19h30)

@ Salle Bernard-LeBlanc (Centre culturel Aberdeen)

 http://www.artnaturemoncton.ca/fr/symposium2016/horaire-2016/

 

 

*

 

Schedule

JEUDI 22 SEPT. THURSDAY

10h > Opening / press conference

@ Parc écologique du Millénaire – gazebo

12h – 13h > Mot de bienvenue du recteur et vice-chancelier Raymond Théberge

L’art et l’écologie sur le campus de l’Université de Moncton

avec conférences de Marie-Andrée Giroux et Ronald Babin

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

VENDREDI 23 SEPT. FRIDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Gregory Lasserre (FR)

Œuvres hybrides et sensorielles

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

SAMEDI 24 SEPT. SATURDAY

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

14h – 15h > Lancement du chapitre 2 du projet autocollant Une ville, un livreAncrages revue acadienne de création littéraire avec performance littéraire contextuelle

DIMANCHE 25 SEPT. SUNDAY

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

LUNDI 26 SEPT. MONDAY

12h – 13h > Table ronde sur les diverses approches en art public non-permanent

Martin Dufrasne, Christiana Myers, Matt Williston

Animée par Jean-Pierre Caissie

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

MARDI 27 SEPT. TUESDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Daniel H. Dugas et Valérie LeBlanc

Visible / Invisible : négocier l’impossible

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

MERCREDI 28 SEPT. WEDNESDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Isabelle Hayeur

Paysages incertains

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h > Courte présentation de Douglas Scholes

@ Parc écologique du Millénaire

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

17h – 19h > Vernissage / Opening

Im/pénétrable

Avec : Isabelle Hayeur, Mathieu Léger, D’Arcy Wilson

@ Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen

Exposition en montre du 7 septembre au 16 octobre

Heures de visite : 13h – 16h, du mardi au dimanche

JEUDI 29 SEPT. THURSDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Gilles Bruni

L’écologie et la pratique d’installation paysagère dans l’espace social

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

VENDREDI 30 SEPT. FRIDAY

12h – 13h > Conférence midi avec Edith-Anne Pageot

Jardins et hétérotopies urbaines dans l’art contemporain

@ Salle Neil-Michaud

15h – 18h > Heures de présence au Parc

SAMEDI 1ER OCT. SATURDAY

10h – 15 h > Visites guidées du Symposium dans le cadre de la Tournée des galeries 2016 Art Gallery Tour guided tours

départs / departing from Parc écologique du Millénaire – gazebo

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

14h – 16h > Vernissage / Opening

@ Parc écologique du Millénaire

20h > Présentations-flash avec les artistes du Symposium

(Ouverture des portes / Doors open 19h30)

@ Salle Bernard-LeBlanc (Centre culturel Aberdeen)

DIMANCHE 2 OCT. SUNDAY

13h – 16h > Heures de présence au Parc

 

http://www.artnaturemoncton.ca/en/symposium2016/schedule-2016/

Sep 10, 2016
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Illumination (2016)

illumination1-wp

Illumination: Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas
for the Poetic License Week, September 3-11, 2016

For this collaborative work, we have juxtaposed texts to appear as graffiti on the hull of a boat. The left and right hands both speak to the challenges of forging a path through life. The audio, wind from the sea, speaks for everyone.

Illumination from Basic Bruegel on Vimeo.

Sep 7, 2016
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Kistrech Poetry Festival (2016)

http://dandatadugas.tumblr.com/post/150034073080

We have been (Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas) invited to participate in the Kistrech Poetry Festival 2016 in Kissi, Kenya, October 3 – 8, 2016. We will also present a paper entitled Flow: Big Waters at Kisii University. We would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts and the New Brunswick Arts Board for their assistance.

Kistrech Poetry Festival
Welcome to the 4th edition of Kistrech Poetry Festival in Kenya. This year’s event is seen to be unique since it will run alongside Kisii University Cultural Week. The venue, being at the University ground, will accord visiting poets an opportunity to interact and share with University student-poets, upcoming writers and lecturers.

KISTRECH POETRY FESTIVAL IN KENYA 2016
The Word is Not Alone. It is Part of the Whole
KISII UNIVERSITY
3rd to 8th October 2016

Website

http://2016.festival.kistrech.org/

Sep 4, 2016
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This is not a bikini (2016)

Delineator

On July 5, 1946, five days after the explosion of a nuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll, French automobile engineer and clothes designer Louis Reard unveiled the first bikini bathing suit to the world. It was daring and shocking. Reard’s inspiration was the nuclear blast on the tiny Pacific Ocean atoll of the same name. The French newspaper Le Monde said that the word ‘bikini’ was as lashing as the atomic explosion, that it had annihilated clothing as we knew it, and brought forward an extreme minimization of modesty. Some called it ‘the first a(na)tomic bathing suit in the world’ (… la première bombe an-atomique).

But the bikini is not a modern idea; the Greeks and the Romans had it all figured out. In 1959, the Italian archaeologist, Gino Vinicio Gentili, excavated the ‘bikini girls mosaic’ at the Villa Romana del Casale. This artwork entitled Coronation of the Winner shows young women in two-piece suits performing various sports. Perhaps the discovery of the bikini girls mosaic paved the road for even more daring inventions. In 1964 fashion designer Rudi Gernreich unveiled the monokini, the first topless swimsuit for women. Gernreich believed that the prefix “bi” as in bikini meant two. He was wrong. Similarly to the famous butterfly’s wings in Brazil, this mistake started to create a series of storms across the globe. All kinds of swimsuits were invented based on the same assumption: microkini, tankini, trikini and now the famous burkini.

According to the Wikitionary, kini means many things. It is an alcoholic beverage in Hawaïan, a woman in To’abaita, the adverb now in Malay, to nip in Maori and KINI is a radio station in Nebraska. Unfortunately, kini has nothing to do with the lower part of a two-piece swimsuit. By naming the Islamic inspired swimsuit burkini, Aheda Zanetti, the fashion designer who created the garment, only perpetuated the misconception. There is nothing ‘kini’ about the burkini. In fact, the burkini is similar to the 1800’s bathing gowns that embodied Victorian ideals of religious morality and prudery. The problem with the construction of this word is that when we talk about the burkini, we invoke the bikini. In our minds, we allude to revealing the body of the swimmer, while in fact the burkini is covering that same body. It is an oxymoron like ‘sweet agony’ or ‘true myth’. If the bikini was born out of an explosion, the burkini is closer to an implosion. The bikini fashion started with a bang while the burkini is threatening to close the trend with a whimper.

Nevertheless, the dress code war that is being waged in France is not new. What is sanctioned and what is forbidden to wear on a beach is part of a long-time struggle to break away from the iron collar of modesty. In 1921, Louise Rosine, a writer from California, was arrested in Atlantic City for rolling down her stockings and showing her bare knees on a public beach. She fought back saying that it was ‘none of Atlantic City’s business to roll them up or down’ and she threatened to bring the City to court. Before that, in 1907, the Waverly Shire Council in Sydney, Australia required the wearing of a skirt-like tunic by male bathers. Mayor, R. G. Watkins said:

After contact with water… the V-trunks favoured by many of the male bathers show up the figure… in a very much worse manner than if they were nude… people who patronize them should not be compelled to overlook bathers whom they do not agree with.

Soon after, the Sydney bathing costume protests erupted. Thousands of male surf bathing enthusiasts wearing women’s clothing made a point to show the ridiculousness of the proposed regulations.

What we should have learned by now is that people should be permitted to decide for themselves. If people want to wear bikinis, let them wear bikinis, if they want to go to the beach in long swimming gowns, let them do so. We know that “those who look directly at [a nuclear] blast could experience eye damage ranging from temporary blindness to severe burns on the retina.” The problem here is that explosion and implosion are two different ways to detonate nuclear weapons. The advice is not to look at the blast, but in the battle royal between fashion police and morality squads, we have decided to stare.

Daniel H. Dugas
3 September 2016

 


NOTES

• Le Monde, 1947,  ‘Bikini, ce mot cinglant comme l’explosion même … correspondant au niveau du vêtement de plage à un anéantissement de la surface vêtue; à une minimisation extrême de la pudeur.’
• For an informative write-up about the transformation of swimsuit through the ages see The Evolution Of The Bathing Suit From The 1800s Until Today
• Bikini Girls mosaic: Villa Romana del Casale
KINI 96.1 FM is a radio station broadcasting a Variety music format.
• Louise Rosine: Keep her knees bare in Atlantic City jail, The New York Times, September 4, 1921.
• For Mayor R. G. Watkins’ comments see ‘Tourism and Australian Beach Cultures: Revealing Bodies‘, Christine Metusela, Gordon Waitt, Channel View Publications, Toronto, 2012, p. 32.
• Sydney bathing costume protests: Fun on the Beaches, The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 23 Oct 1907
• Bathing Machine: Sea-Side Etiquette, Victoriana Magazine
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Radiation
• TOP IMAGE : The Delineator magazine

Aug 24, 2016
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Le modèle et la copie (2016)

bust-of-lord-elgin2

Le simulacre n’est jamais ce qui cache la vérité – c’est la vérité qui cache qu’il n’y en a pas.
Jean Baudrillard

Je croyais que Chirac était du marbre dont on fait les statues.
En réalité il est de la faïence dont on fait les bidets.
Marie-France Garaud

L’hôtel Lord Elgin d’Ottawa a été nommé en l’honneur de James Bruce, le 8e comte d’Elgin, gouverneur général du Canada-Uni de 1847 à 1854. Dans une alcôve du hall d’entrée de l’hôtel, on a placé un buste en son honneur. Comme j’aime toucher à tout, j’ai tapé sur sa tête et j’ai été surpris de constater que l’homme n’était pas fait en marbre, mais en fibre de verre! Je me disais qu’on avait dû mettre l’original en lieu sûr, que ce faux marbre n’était là que pour des questions d’assurances ou de nettoyage. Peu importe la raison, son état révélait un lien de filiation des plus intéressant.

Le père de James s’appelait Thomas Bruce, c’était un aristocrate et un homme militaire qui portait plusieurs titres dont celui de 7e compte d’Elgin. Au début du 19e siècle, il était ambassadeur britannique à Constantinople, la capitale de l’Empire ottoman. La Grèce qu’on disait « ottomane » à l’époque faisait partie de l’empire et l’ambassadeur, qui avait une fascination toute particulière pour la Grèce, parcourait son territoire comme un véritable golden retriever. La pie voleuse plénipotentiaire, grande receleuse, a enlevé de l’Acropole d’Athènes des centaines de statues et les a vendus au British Museum. Parmi son butin, il y avait 12 statues des frontons, 156 plaques de la frise et 13 métopes; la frise du temple d’Athéna Niké et une cariatide de l’Érechthéion! Ces marbres qu’on appelle maintenant les Marbres d’Elgin (comme quoi le crime paie, et ce même si le 7e comte a vendu le matériel à perte) constituent aujourd’hui l’une des pièces maîtresses du musée britannique. La Grèce réclame depuis longtemps le rapatriement des marbres, mais le musée a toujours prétendu être le gardien du patrimoine culturel de l’humanité et n’a jamais accepté de les rendre.

Notre illustre gouverneur général, grand administrateur colonial, avait un pedigree des plus impressionnants, son beau-père n’était nul autre que John George Lambton, 1er comte de Durham, l’auteur du terrifiant Rapport Durham et son père, on l’a vu, était un statuomaniaque international. Notre comte n’est toutefois pas en reste; il a été vice-roi des Indes et a laissé sa marque sur la scène internationale en ordonnant, durant la seconde guerre de l’opium, la destruction du Palais d’été, jardin impérial de Pékin. Quoi qu’il en soit, la statue du fils en fibre de verre qui siège aujourd’hui à l’hôtel semble être la conséquence d’une certaine justice immanente, comme si le fils payait en substance les crimes de son père. Ce qui est plus drôle, c’est qu’en tapant sur le buste, il sonne creux comme pour nous rappeler que l’Histoire n’est pas aussi pleine qu’elle le clame.

Daniel H. Dugas
le 22 août 2016

Notes

Le point de vue du musée britannique :
The Parthenon Sculptures, The British Museum

Le point de vue du gouvernement grecque :
Demands of the Greek government

Pour un exposé favorable des politiques de Lord Elgin, voir : The voice of the people “Lord Elgin” (N.F.B. 1959)

Aug 20, 2016
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Symposium d’art/nature (2016)

symposium-art-nature

Valerie LeBlanc et moi sommes très heureux de faire partie du prochain Symposium d’art/nature qui se tiendra du 22 septembre au 2 octobre 2016 à Moncton, au Parc Écologique du Millénaire. Notre projet Visible / Invisible est un dialogue entre la matérialité du monde et la matérialité de l’espace.

Le Symposium d’art/nature : Moncton est une initiative du Département d’arts visuels et du Département de sociologie de l’Université de Moncton, de la Galerie d’art Louise et Reuben-Cohen et de l’Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Symposium d’art/nature – WEB
Symposium d’art/nature – Twitter
Symposium d’art/nature – Instagram
Symposium d’art/nature – Facebook

Aug 15, 2016
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People Carrying Signs (2016)

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People carrying signs

Two images
of people carrying signs
supporting
a refinery
Wanting
a pipeline

Then it was Seadade
A chemical plant and an oil processing temple
along the shores of Biscayne Bay

Now it’s Energy East
A continental pipeline
to be laid across the land
over rivers and rivers and rivers
until it reaches the edge of the Bay of Fundy

Two images
of people carrying signs
of old folks and kids alike

The man with the cigarette in his mouth
and the woman with the pointy glasses
never saw their dream come true

But what about the YES PIPELINE kid
Will she be part of the sacrifice?

I don’t think
they understood then
or understand now
what is at stake
the gamble at play

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we are willing to risk everything
to ease our pains

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we believe that this endless tube of tar is not the Moloch
to which we will have to feed our own

Daniel H Dugas
August 12, 2016


Tales of two bays

The Bay of Fundy in Canada and Biscayne Bay in Florida are separated by more than 3,000 kilometers. At first glance, they seem to be worlds apart, but looking back into archival material, we realize that these two ecosystems have a shared history with industrialization. In this drama of progress we find two key players: K. C. Irving, one of Canada’s foremost 20th century entrepreneurs and Daniel K. Ludwig, shipping magnate and businessman with numerous companies, sometimes referred to as the American Onassis.

In 1959, Ludwig began buying acreages in South Dade, Florida to build a deepwater port and a refinery on a bayfront site east of Homestead Air Force Base. The project called Seadade was approved in 1962 and was supported by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, but soon faced growing opposition from the Safe Progress Association (SPA). The SPA argued that Biscayne Bay, a warm and shallow, salt lagoon could be easily and irreversibly harmed by industrial pollution. Support for the project faded and in 1968 the American Congress passed the Biscayne National Monument Act, establishing a 96,000 acre preserve.

The industrial developments threatening Biscayne Bay are not isolated circumstances, they are happening everywhere in the world. The geological makeup of the Bay of Fundy in Canada seems to be diametrically opposite to the one of Biscayne Bay. Fundy is known to have the highest tides in the world whereas Biscayne Bay is a shallow semi-enclosed lagoon. But similarities emerge when we look at the relationship between humans and these ecosystems. The first parallel is between the historical players behind the refineries of Seadade and the Energy East project. Energy East would send its tar sands oil across a vast section of North America to Irving’s refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The narratives arcs of the two tycoons followed similar trajectories: Ludwig was born in 1887 and Irving the founder of Irving’s empire, was also born just about the same time, in 1899. Both magnates died the same year, in 1992. The two of them were involved in a wide range of holdings, shipbuilding, pulp paper and oil refinery among other things. Their fortunes were equally formidable. In 1982, Ludwig was #1 on the first Forbes 400 “Richest Americans” list, while Fortune Magazine in 1989 listed K. C. Irving as the 11th wealthiest man on earth.

There is a second connection between Biscayne Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Both locations have nuclear plants built on their shores. The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station was built just next to Biscayne National Park in 1973 while the construction of Point Lepreau in New Brunswick was started in1975. Both stations have had their share of safety problems in the past and are still plagued with ongoing problems today

The two bodies of water, on the Atlantic coast of North America, are magnificent. They are true natural wonders of the world. The question is why pristine areas are such magnets for big polluters? Why do they have to choose the most biologically diverse ecosystems to set up shop? If Biscayne Bay managed to avoid Seadade, can the Bay of Fundy do the same with Energy East? The two already have their own nuclear stations, their own safety, and cost management conundrums, it seems that this should be enough danger to deal with.

Daniel H Dugas
August 14, 2016


Notes

The Florida Experience: Land and Water Policy in a Growth State, Mix-up on South Bay, Luther J. Carter, RFF Press, New York, 1975p 157-192.

Daniel Ludwig, Billionaire Businessman, Dies at 95, The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/29/us/daniel-ludwig-billionaire-businessman-dies-at-95.html?pagewanted=all

K. C. Irving, 93, Industrial Tycoon Dominant in Canadian Province, The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/14/world/k-c-irving-93-industrial-tycoon-dominant-in-canadian-province.html

Study shows severe nuclear accident at Point Lepreau 40 times more likely than initially thought:
https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/study-shows-severe-nuclear-accident-at-point-lepreau-40-times-more-likely-than-initially-thought/

Evidence of salt plume under Turkey Point nuclear plant goes back years:
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article73233802.html

Nuclear energy, David Suzuki:
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/energy/nuclear-energy/
‘Nuclear power creates radioactive waste for which there is no accepted method of safely managing or storing. It is also prohibitively expensive.’

SAFE PROGRESS ASSOCIATION, INC. is a business entity formed in Florida and is a Domestic Non-Profit under local business registration regulations. Having the registration number 703668, according to the official registry, it is now Inactive. http://www.associationdatabase.org/safe-progress-association-inc


IMAGE CREDIT
Left: Pro Seadade demonstrators, January 23, 1963. South Florida History Magazine, Vol. 23, no 1, Winter 1995. / Middle: 18th-century depiction of the Moloch idol from Johann Lund’s Die Alten Jüdischen Heiligthümer (1711, 1738). / Right: Video still from CTV Atlantic ‘Pipeline arguments at NEB hearings’ by Ashley Blackford, August 8, 2016.

Aug 13, 2016
admin

Impossible Colors (2016)

YELLOW-with-text

Impossible Colors

Reddish-Green and Yellowish-Blue are known as impossible colors or forbidden colors. Set side by side, it is said that the human eye could not see them, that their light frequencies would cancel each other, rendering them invisible. Researchers say that they can be seen if one looks ‘the right way’.

The boundaries between colors are akin to those between logic and dreams, they too can produce an impossible meaning if we mix them.

2016 Impossible Colors, HD video, 11 min 26 sec
(also designed as a 4 channels video installation)
Red, HD video, 2 min 41 sec
Green, HD video, 3 min 41 sec
Bleu, HD video, 2 min 43 sec
Yellow, HD video, 2 min 32 sec

 

5-impossible-colors-installation-image-wp

Installation view

 

BLUE-with-text

GREEN-no-text

RED-with-text

Aug 6, 2016
admin

Citations gratuites – Caraquet (2016)

Samedi 6 aout 2016
9 h – 11 h Un poète au Marché avec Daniel H. Dugas. Interventions poétiques publiques Citations gratuites. //// Marché régional de Caraquet – Gratuit

Au marché avec Joanie Roy et Jonathan Roy
Photos : Valerie LeBlanc

02-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016-sm 03-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016-sm 04-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016sm 05-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016-sm 06-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016-sm 08-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016-sm 09-Citations-gratuites-Caraquet-Aout-2016-sm

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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

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