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May 13, 2008
of note

  Havana, Cuba  © julien de bock

of  note

 celebrates the arts of our distinct yet intersecting diasporas. It is a space where art meets activism, empowerment, and social  responsibility.

Editorial Director
Grace Aneiza Ali

Executive Editor
Art & Film Editor
Sandrine Colard

Photography  Editor
Julien De Bock

Book Editor
Clarence Haynes

Theater Editor
Stella Vincenot-Dash

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When photographer Julien De Bock turns his lens on Cuba, he accomplishes a delicate balance of intimacy and objectivity. For him, the art of photography lies in capturing the essence of a moment without being intrusive of it.

De Bock has  traveled throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle-East, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

In his Cuba collection, De Bock's portraits of Cuba's people evoke a tenacity for life that stands paramount to the social conditions in the background. His diverse body of work exhibits an authentic commitment to global citizenship. And, in true of  note form, De Bock reminds us that art is responsible and socially conscious.

Grace Aneiza Ali

center stage

Makandal: Migrations in Progress
Harlem Stage
The Gatehouse

On Friday May 2nd, the reading of Makandal, a contemporary opera about the 18th century Haitian maroon was a moment of magic. Presented by the The Gatehouse at Harlem Stage as part of their WaterWorks series to support artists of color, Makandal brought together librettist Carl Hancock Rux, composer Daniel Roumain, and painter Edouard Duval Carrié.

Makandal is a symbol of the diasporic quest for liberty. Contrary to what one would expect, Makandal is not a historical opera, but a multi-lingual account of crossings over water of a group of Caribbean 'boat-people' fleeing economic, political, and sexual exploitation. Themes of social injustice, uprooting, and exile transcend the opera's Haitian setting and question American immigration policies.

Roumain's promising improvisations were a blend of classical music and a variety of soundscapes that refused narrow national identifications. They beautifully complimented Duval Carrié's mysterious and carnivalesque migration of Voodoo Gods. A reason not to miss this opera, scheduled for Fall 2009, is to see how Duval Carrié's pictorial world will be translated on stage.

Stella Vincenot-Dash


Thursday, May 15 @  6 pm

HAIRPOLITIC! Artist Kenya Robinson will present work on the kinky, curly, relaxed, matted, braided, and shaved expressions of black hair.  Using combs, mirrors, screws, text, nuts and bolts, Robinson re-imagines these objects- creating pieces that speak to notions of black beauty and ugliness.

80 Hanson Place
James E. Davis Art Building
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Anita Dube
Thursday, May 15 - Saturday, June 28
Artist's Opening Reception: Thursday, May 15 @ 6 pm

Working from the academic heritage of art criticism, Anita Dube's sculptures and photographs straddle the often nebulous line between conceptual and artisanal productions; between the cerebral and visceral. While each body of work has a distinct voice within the space, they come together, providing an intelligent and thoughtful investigation of the aesthetics of the inside/outside dynamic that navigates the intricacies of the access to and representation of personal and social phenomena.

Bose Pacia
508 W 26th St , 11C
New York, NY 10001

On view May 4 - September 21

A fresh look at the painting and sculpture that transformed the art world in the years after World War II. Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976  features over fifty key works of postwar art, revealing the cultural and intellectual framework of Abstract Expressionism, the movements that followed it, and popular culture's fascination with the art and artists of the period.

Illustration: Willem de Kooning, Gotham News, 1955

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue
@ 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128

Outside In 70s & 80s: A Tale of 3 Cities
Photographs by Pablo Bartholomew
On view through June 14

Outside In 70s & 80s: A Tale of 3 Cities is a collection of black and white prints  covering the period of 1970s and 80s India. There is an acute absence of documentation of changing urban India in these two decades, particularly Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, the three cities referenced in the title. This body of photographs serves as a chronicle of the cities' shifting nature, character, and function.
Bodhi Art
535 West 24th Street,
New York, NY 10011

Allure of the East: 'Orientalism' in New York, 1850-1930
On view through Sunday, August 17

The New York Historical Society presents a multi-faceted installation examining the fashion for 'Orientalism' in New York during the late 19th century. Through paintings, prints, photographs and books as well as silver, lighting, and metalwork, the display will explore New Yorkers' fascination with the 'Orient'-defined for this purpose as the Middle East, as well as North Africa and Moorish Spain.

By the 1860s, New Yorkers were  incorporating facets of Eastern design, as well as a plethora of imported exotic objects, in domestic interiors influenced by Islamic art and also by impressions of an alluring and sensuous 'Orient' gained from popular translations of works such as The Arabian Nights.

The New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024


Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
Monday, May 12  @ 7 pm

Evening Is the Whole Day illuminates in heartbreaking detail one Indian immigrant family's layers of secrets and lies, while exposing the complex underbelly of post-colonial Malaysia itself. 

Sweeping in scope, exuberantly lyrical, and masterfully constructed, Preeta Samarasan's debut is a mesmerizing and vital achievement sure to earn her a place alongside Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, and Zadie Smith.  Preeta Samarasan grew up in Malaysia before emigrating to France and later receiving her MFA in the U.S.

McNally Robinson Booksellers
52 Prince Street
btw Lafayette and Mulberry Streets
New York, NY 10012

What Would Martin Say by Clarence B. Jones
Tuesday, May 13 @ 7 pm

Clarence B. Jones was King's personal lawyer and one of his closest principal advisers and confidants. Jones has chosen the occasion of this somber anniversary to break his silence-removing the mythic distance of forty years' time to reveal the flesh-and-blood man he knew as his friend, Martin.

Delving deep into his memories of the man he worked closely beside, Jones offers the guidance and insight his friend and mentor would have provided for us in these troubled times. Many Americans today know of Martin Luther King only from video clips and history books. As Jones so aptly reminds us, this legendary figure was also a warm human being full of life-and more relevant now than ever.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

82nd & Broadway
New York, NY 10024

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Wednesday, May 14 @ 6 pm

This powerful memoir about coming of age in inner-city Baltimore during the cracked-out 1980s is written with a stunning poetic awareness and gorgeous immediacy. The Beautiful Struggle is an exceptional father-son story about the reality that tests us, the myths that sustain us, and the love that saves us.  With a remarkable ability to reimagine both the lost world of his father's civil rights era and the terrors and wonders of his own youth, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers readers a small and beautiful epic about boys trying to become men in black America and beyond.

Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
Btw 124th and 125th Streets
New York, NY 10027

Claude Grunitzky on Transculturalism
Wednesday, May 14 @ 7 pm

The modern metropolis as cosmopolitan utopia, the savvy city dweller as cross-cultural flâneur - these are the dreams of Claude Grunitzky, acclaimed editor of Trace  magazine.

Trace magazine explores urban space as a place where diversity coalesces rather than collides, where cultural borrowings gradually erode the edges of difference to forge a world of true universality.

The son of a Togolese ambassador, Grunitzky was raised between Lomé, Togo; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France and London, England. Growing up,  these foreign interactions shaped his transcultural philosophy and informed the creative energy of Trace magazine.

FIAF (French Institute Alliance Française)
Le Skyroom
22 East 60th Street
btw Park & Madison Avenues
New York, NY 10022

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, JR.'s Death and How It Changed America
by Michael Eric Dyson
Thursday, May 15 @ 6 pm

Acclaimed public intellectual and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson uses the 40th anniversary of King's assassination as the occasion for a provocative and fresh examination of how King fought, and faced, his own death, and how we should use his death and legacy. 

Dyson also probes the virtues and flaws of charismatic black leadership that has followed in King's wake, from Jesse Jackson to Barack Obama.
Always engaging and inspiring, April 4, 1968 celebrates the prophetic leadership of Dr. King, and challenges America to renew its commitment to his deeply moral vision.

Hue-Man Bookstore & Cafe
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
Btw 124th and 125th Streets
New York, NY 10027


Muna Moto
Tuesday, May 13 @ 12:30 & 7 pm

In Muna Moto, Ngando and Ndomé share a young and perfect love, yet tradition demands a dowry for Ndomé's hand that Ngando cannot afford. Forced to ask for assistance, Ngando soon finds himself at the mercy of his uncle's lust and greed. One of the first features to come out of Cameroon, Muna Moto remains a landmark film of that country's cinema.

The 7 pm screening will be introduced by director Mamadou Niang.

FIAF (French Institute: Alliance Francaise)
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Ali Zaoua
Tuesday, May 13 @ 4 & 9 pm

A vivid, unforgettable account of four young boys living in the streets of Casablanca who struggle to remain happy, unified, and largely unafraid. Amongst them, Ali is the dreamer who tells them of the oceans and the mermaids. But looming tension between the boys and local gangs consumes them, crippling their fantasies and forcing them to grow up all too quickly.

FIAF (French Institute: Alliance Francaise)
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

A Walk to Beautiful
Tuesday, May 13 @ 8 pm
Thirteen/WNET New York Channel 13

A difficult journey that begins in hopelessness and shame for thousands of women in Ethiopia ends in a productive new life in this award-winning documentary. Filmed in a starkly beautiful landscape, the film juxtaposes the isolated lives of village women who are outcasts because of their medical condition, with the faraway hospital that offers a miracle after a long and arduous trek - a "walk to beautiful."

La Fiesta del Chivo
Friday, May 16 @ 6:30  pm

Based on the best-selling novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, La Fiesta del Chivo is the story of Urania Cabral (Isabella Rossellini) an independent Manhattan lawyer who returns to the Dominican Republic after thirty years to face her past and the memory of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo (Tomás Milian) a.k.a "El Chivo" (The Goat), the dictator who ruled the island paradise with an iron-fist. Isabella Rossellini will be present to introduce the film.

Author Mario Vargas Llosa, filmmaker Lucho Llosa, and actor and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini will be in conversation on Tuesday, May 20, 6.30-8.30 pm.  El Museo will be honoring the international literary contributions of Mario Vargas Llosa at El Museo's 15th annual Gala on May 22, 2008.

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Senegalese Cinema: A Schomburg Selection
Sunday, May 18 @ 1 pm

In conjunction with A Saint in the City exhibition, the Schomburg Center presents a day of film screenings dedicated to Senegalese filmmakers, featuring:

Faat Kine
by Sembene Ousmane (2000)
Almodou by Amadou Thior (2002)
Ndeysaan by Mansour Sora Wade (2001)

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Langston Hughes Auditorium
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
@ 135th Street
New York, NY 10037

Battle for Haditha
Playing through May 20

Battle for Haditha  revisits a wretched chapter of the war in Iraq. On Nov. 19, 2005, marines stationed in Haditha, a Euphrates River valley city northwest of Baghdad, killed 24 Iraqi civilians.

"Battle for Haditha isn't a jeremiad against the war, the American administration or even the quick-triggered marines. Rather, with dry-eyed intelligence, [it]  takes the killings at Haditha and returns the incident to the historical moment from which it has been removed by politics and propaganda.

[The film]  points fingers, suggests reasons and explores rationales, showing sympathy for the war-ravaged marines without letting them off the hook."
~ Manohola Dargis, New York Times

Film Forum
209 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10014

Before the Rains
Now playing

Set in 1930s southern India against the backdrop of a growing nationalist movement, Before the Rains is the English language debut of acclaimed Indian director Santosh Sivan. An idealistic young Indian man (Rahul Bose) finds himself torn between his ambitions for the future and his loyalty to the past when people in his village learn of an affair between his British boss (Linus Roache) and a village woman (Nandita Das).

"Before the Rains doesn't dawdle in sentimentality...the film is a dispassionate study of how power, when threatened, ruthlessly exercises its prerogatives."     
~ Stephen Holden, New York Times


Lionel Loueke
Tuesday, May 13 - Thursday, May 15 @ 8 & 10:30 pm

Born in Benin, Africa, Lionel Loueke has forged a remarkable career path. His musical studies brought him from West Africa to Paris, France, and later to the United States where he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles.

It was at the Monk Institute that Loueke first gained the admiration of Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter. Before graduating from the Institute, Loueke started performing in Blanchard's sextet, becoming an integral member of that progressive band both as a performer and a composer, and appearing on Blanchard's first two albums for Blue Note Records, Bounce and the Grammy-nominated Flow.

Blue Note New York
131 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012

Thursday  May 15  @ 8 pm

Known in Israel by her given name Achinoam Nini, Noa is Israel's leading international concert and recording artist. Born in Tel- Aviv in 1969, Noa lived in NYC from age 2 until her return to Israel alone at the age of 17. Her family is originally from Yemen. After serving the mandatory two years in the Israeli Army in a military entertainment unit, Noa studied music at the Rimon School where embarked on an international music career.

NYU Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place
@ Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Ancient Songs of  South Africa
Friday, May 16 @ 8  pm

Considered national treasures in South Africa, the members of Ngqoko are masters of the African bow (ancestor of the Brazilian berimbau) and the only practitioners of the extraordinary 3,000 year-old-vocal style known as split tone singing (a highly developed form of overtone singing).

This unusual ensemble is a guardian of rural Xhosa culture, maintaining the survival of indigenous South African traditions. Over the past two decades, Ngqoko has taken its music from obscurity to local and international venues and festivals

NYU Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place
@ Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Akua Dixon
Saturday, May 17 @ 2 pm

Aku Dixon and her Swing Quartet featuring the Hip Hop Blues Project is a collaborative presentation with Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. Dixon plays her originals and arrangements of jazz classics from the likes of Ellington, Monk, Mingus, Spirituals and Work Songs, with classics from the great American Song Book. This is the Fourth Hip Hop Blues Project Concert, featuring some of the hardest working string students from the Tri-State area, performing a new work "BEATZ."

Harlem Stage
150 Convent Avenue
@ West 135th Street
New York, NY 10031

Bryan Jackson @ BAMcafé Live
Saturday, May 17 @ 9pm years collaborating with poet-musician Gil Scott-Heron does not leave one without musical stories to tell. Nor session work for Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire or producing albums for Kool & the Gang. Now, nu-soul pioneer and multi-instrumentalist Brian Jackson is on his own, waist deep in a socially-conscious, maddeningly funky fare that virtually dares the audience to sit still.

BAMcafé Live
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217


The Castle
Currently on stage

The Castle is a dramatic story of change and hope. Politicians have said plenty about zero tolerance for criminals, and the country has an overcrowded prison system to show for it. A simple, fascinating production about four ex-convicts, The Castle presents the other side of the coin, describing the obstacles that criminal offenders face upon their release. Three men and one woman tell their life stories from childhood, crime, prison, homelessness and into... The Castle.

New World Stages
340 West 50th Street
btw between 8th & 9th Avenues
New York, NY 10019

The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson
Tuesday, May 20 - Sunday, June 1

In a constantly shifting landscape, a trio of emerging black leaders try to conquer their individual demons, the local KKK fights for its old way of life, and everyday black men and women must overcome their fears, all under the ever-watchful eye of the FBI.

One of the first recipients of the Sundance Institute and Time Warner Storytelling Fellowships for The Good Negro, Tracey Scott Wilson recently won the prestigious 2007 Weissberger Award for this play.

The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street
NY, NY 10003

of note

Grace Aneiza ali

Sandrine Colard

Julien De Bock

Clarence Haynes

Stella Vincenot-Dash

Questions and Submissions


For many of us, the arts are central and inspirational to our life, work, and activism. As people of color, we are making great strides in terms of our representation on the stage, yet we are not equally represented in the audience. Even when it is work celebrating our histories, experiences, and cultures - we are often scantily present in the theaters, auditoriums, galleries, etc.

Out of that absence, of note was created. Its mission is to increase our access to and participation in the arts that celebrate people of color. The artistic works presented by
of note demonstrate a commitment to global citizenship and social change.

of note  2008. All Rights Reserved.