Afromexico: Children of the moon

Originally published by laphoenikera.com written by 

 

Afromexico: Children of the moon

Queen Muhammad Ali and Hakeem Khaaliq, two local visual anthropologists have made it their mission to demystify preconceived notions about black and indigenous communities around the globe.

This is no easy feat since they’re against a historical propensity to blaze inaccurate information about communities of color (at this point we’re all misinformed about everybody else, really), erase or undermine their cultural relevance and contributions to humanity. In our good ol’ AZ we even banned the study of said groups. But they have two powerful tools: art and technology.

A few days ago I was walking down Roosevelt after getting some grub at one of the eateries and inside MonOrchid there was an awesome photograph of a girl’s face, a huge print of one of the most piercing eyes I’ve ever seen… a future Bruja if you will. These eyes have a story, a history. I went in, Invisible Mexico was the title of the exhibit and to its creators, it’s an anthropological portrait of the African Diaspora of settlers in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Chiapas, Michoacán, and other Mexican states.

A crowd was already hurdled around the artists, it was almost inappropriate not to eavesdrop on their narration. It wasn’t just an explanation, they had some techie stuff –augmented reality–, which blew my mind immediately.

My thoughts exactly when I saw the first picture. Photo credit: Jimaral Marshall.

Queen and Hakeem have been going back and forth to Mexico since the 90’s for different projects (some we can mention, others not so much). They’ve traveled all over, too many places to list in this poor excuse of a paragraph. However, it is important to mention that their voyages have taken them to places with large Afromexican communities, which are sadly unknown.

Hakeem, originally from South Central L.A. and Queen from L.A. (her ancestry is actually American Samoan royalty), would tell an anecdote behind the picture, where it was taken, the context. With their tablet they would create an interactive environment that immediately connected with the audience, establishing a learning space for everyone.

Attendees get mind-blown with the experience! Photo credit: Jimaral Marshall

The actual explanation of augmented reality is quite techie but for the purposes of detailing this exhibit, it means that when you hold your mobile device over one of the photographs, the pictures become animated and provide further information about the image hanging on the wall. This is ain’t magic stuff, though ancient curanderos would freak the f out! This augmented reality experience is a collaboration between Queen, Hakeem, the University of Arizona and Associate Professor Bryan Carter. This effort produced an app for mobile devices which could expand the experience of a gallery to a much broader space, immersing the audience into a different kind of reality: the subjects’ realm.

But beyond the augmentation of an experience, its bi-dimensional reality has a unique depth and behind the photographs displayed, there is a history that has been ignored for a minute or deux. I was confronted with my own ignorance about Afromexican communities in Mexico and here in the U.S. (there’s a large population of Afromexicans in Califas as depicted on this  awesome short).

Hakeem says it is rare for Afromexicans to be photographed because they consider themselves ugly. Photo credit: Hakeem Khaaliq

Hakeem explained the history behind Yanga (Nyanga or Gaspar Yanga), a man from the state of Veracruz whose photograph hangs on a wall of the exhibit. He awoke a whole town and lead them to resist their oppressors. The sound of his name resonated with me, then it hit me. There’s a region in Bolivia, Los Yungas, in the state of La Paz. I’m Bolivian, and my heart has a special place for Saya, a dope Afrobolivian beat. So naturally when he said his name I was curious. There has to be some connection, especially when this Andean tropical forest extends from northern Peru and Argentina, passing through Bolivia and all the way up to Colombia and Venezuela.

What is known about Yanga is that he was apprehended somewhere in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana and disembarked in the coast of Veracruz in the 1500’s. He was briefly enslaved until he escaped and lead a 30-year crusade against the Spaniards…¡toma! Actually, he was the first great liberator of the Americas. Way before El Libertador did his thing in South America, Nyanga sealed a treaty with the Spaniards that would allow freemen to live in a sovereign, gachupin-free land in the early 1600’s. Also, the meaning of the word Nyanga will blow your mind, but I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Nyanga, the first libertador in the Americas. Photo credit: Hakeem Khaaliq

Queen and Hakeem were really impressed with his story, but also realized that a lot of African descendants felt a void in their roots, their history; that there wasn’t an accurate representation of them.

“If we don’t change these stories and the perception people have, no one will,” Said Hakeem.

That is the main reason why they’ve put up this show, a collection of photographs made over a decade of travels through Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tepoztlán, and Costa Chica. Queen explains how the perception that these communities have of themselves has affected their collective self-worth in respect to other Mexicans. I mean, it wasn’t until an internal census in 2015 that they could self identify as Afromexicans. Up until then they didn’t have a box to check. This is precisely why there isn’t a knowledge of the prevalence of African cultures settled in Mexico, because everything was focused on indigenous people or mestizos. Also, Afromexicans aren’t even a considered a minority because, according to the government, they don’t have a native language or dialect. As a consequence, their history has vanished.

Some Mexican archaeological sites have shown the presence of African descendants. Photo credit: Hakeem Khaaliq.

The good thing is that there is a new found pride in being Afromexican and now they can identify with their blackness and own it like the woman in this short-doc. Also there are visual artists and anthropologists that constantly travel to these regions and others in the Americas where there are large populations of African descendants and their stories aren’t represented.

Queen and Hakeem’s Invisible Mexico will be at MonOrchid located at 214  E Roosevelt St. until this First Friday 4/7. Check out the space, approach the artists, ask them questions. They’re awesome at sharing knowledge and have a truly keen eye for stories.

Now, are you ready for the meaning of Nyanga? Well, the short answer is witch-doctor, but it’s too generic and whitewashed. Now, Occult Zulu has an interesting interpretation and we kinda like it better. It basically means moon-ritual-person. It turns out that some plants’ properties react to the lunar cycles and in ancient Africa there were special humans that knew when to conduct rituals based on this to increase effectiveness. These special people were viewed as saviors and they called them Nyanga.

You can pay a visit, check the exhibit and feel a little less ignorant about the world you live in. In this case, ignorance is not bliss, it is a sin. Also check this jam, it’s pretty awesome!

#Bars4Justice doc highlighting hiphop activism and police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri gets US and Canada distribution on 2 year anniversary of Mike Brown’s death

Hip Hop Association and Third World Newsreel (TWN) have secured US and Canada distribution rights to Directors Queen Muhammad Ali and Hakeem Khaaliq’s Award winning (#Bars4Justice) documentary short – A Film shot in Ferguson Missouri capturing a glimpse into the new civil rights movement through hiphop with Talib Kweli, Common, Cornell West.

Khaaliq shot the film in Ferguson Missouri during the one year anniversary of Mike Brown’s death. Mike Brown was an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri shot to death by Ferguson officer Darren Williams August 9th 2014. The film documents a benefit concert held in his commemoration orchestrated by Talib Kweli to raise money for Mike Brown’s Family. “We initially thought it would be a good idea just to capture such a great event, not knowing that it would later be produced as a film” said Khaaliq.

Roselly Torres, Director of marketing and distribution for Third World Newsreel said, “I’m so happy we found this film. TWN has been collaborating with Martha Diaz of the Hip Hop Association for many years to distribute social issue Hip-Hop media.” Khaaliq and Ali’s #Bars4Justice is a perfect fit with appearances by Academy Award winning hip hop artist/ actor Common, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, among many more. Some activists’ appearances include Cornell West, Bree Newsome, Rahiel Tesfamariam, Rev. Renita Lamkin, and Rabbi Susan Talve.

#Bars4Justice is set for release to the educational market in the US and Canada August 9th 2016, the 2nd year anniversary of Mike Brown’s death. Ali and Khaaliq aim to help educate and address injustices caused by a lack of representation in the justice system from the eye of their lens. “Both directors will be available for presentations along with their film, ” said Torres.

The film is financed by Nation19, YoSoy and with the participation of Co-producer Ronald Sims.

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#Bars4Justice WIKI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bars4justice

#Bars4Justice is available to educational Institutions here: http://twn.org/catalog/pages/cpage.aspx?rec=1443&card=price

Awards:
Winner Best Short Documentary at the 23rd Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) 
https://www.paff.org/films/bars4justice

Winner Audience Choice Award (Short Documentary) at the Uptown Short Film Festival

Screenings:
World Premiere October 1st 2015 Phoenix, AZ – 

NAACP Private screening October 5th 2015 

November 24th 2015 – Alloy Studios – Pittsburg, PA

Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)  February 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th 2016 – Rave Cinemas Los Angeles, CA

University of Arizona Tucson February 15th 2016

Arizona State University (ASU) February 26th 2016

Uptown Short Film Festival –  May 15th 2016 – Harlem, NY 

Allied Media Conference – June 18 2016 Detroit, Michigan (Wayne State University)

Mutianyu Art Gallery Bejing China – September 2016

Milwaukee Film Festival September – September 22th – October 6th 2016 

For further information contact or media inquiries:
get@nation19.com
909.380.2138

Watch the the Fall of America! issue #07

Indigenous cultures are ofttimes portrayed as a primitive people of the past, when in reality they are a people of pride, articulate manners, elaborate courtesy, and spirituality that had a love and respect for the land. There was no need to teach these people the importance of self sustainability, for that was the foundation of their well being. These people did not disappear, in fact each one of us represents in someway, shape or fashion an indigenous culture. Find out how you relate to these forgotten and sometimes belittled civilizations in the Nation19 Magazine Fall of America Issue #07. Watch and share our true history! #APDTA


 

 

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Christmas is Cancelled campaign for National Boycott. (JusticeOrElse)

Christmas has become the most wonderful time of the year for corporate companies. Every end of the year they can’t wait to see you rush to buy their products. Its all a big marketing scheme to open up emotional vulnerabilities that make people feel that without their products they are defective. Corporations hire phsycologist to sell what is essentially the same product every year. Consumers are emotionally and phycologically inclined to buy during this time because “its the season of giving” when in reality it is the season of buying. Christmas has become nothing but bait, laid out for certain types of consumers and since the black consumer market has reached $1 trillion this year, its safe to say the bait is laid out for us.

This year we are killing the bait, the pole, and the fisherman by canceling Christmas. Similar to the way you would cancel a check lol No we are not saying to stop any religious beliefs, but stopping a habit that has turned into a mindless shopping ritual centered on an old fat bearded guy with elves, reindeer, and dead trees is what we are saying lol.


So share this commercial because #ChristmasIsCanceled #APDTA
Boycott Black Friday through Cyber Monday
November 27th 2015 – January 2nd 2016

Don’t give them your money this season!!


Here are some behind the scenes images of the making of the commercial.
(Dope photos by Ntosake Muhammad PHX)
christmas_is_behind
“The Family Dinner”
Written, Directed, Edited by Hakeem Khaaliq & Queen Muhammad Ali
Produced by Steve Muhammad, Nation19, and Yosoy!
Actors: Bro Sylvester, Sis Hope, Marquise Jennings, Omniya, Matt Knight(DJref) (Santa)
Sound Recording: Ronald Muhammad
Production Assistants: Ronald Muhammad & Khalfani Muhammad, Marquise Jennings
Cinematography by Hakeem Khaaliq

Activists discuss social injustice at World Premier screening of film in Phoenix!

 

We had such a great night at the world premier screening of our film #Bars4Justice! There were community activists, leaders, organizers, artists, and hip hop heads all there to discuss as a whole what we can do as a community to make a difference. WestCoast Kam was there and he talked about his role as an artists, hiphop and advocacy. Staring in the film is Jasiri X who flew all the way from Pittsburg, PA. There was a question and answer session with him where we spoke about his role as a hiphop activist. So we want to bring the film to your city to encourage and promote how hip hop and the arts can be used as a tool for positive change.

 

For info about screening in your area contact:

get@nation19.com

909.380.2138

Filmmakers bring Ferguson to Phoenix’s Hip Hop community… Sheriff Arpaio not invited.

On October 1st, community leaders along with local and national Hip Hop artist will meet in Phoenix to discuss racial profiling, police brutality, SB1070 laws, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. This will take place at a premier screening of a short film “#Bars4Justice” (view or download media kit) Presented by Nation19 and Directed by award winning filmmakers Hakeem Khaaliq and Queen Muhammad Ali. “We believe this is the perfect time to use different approaches to activism especially in the state of our society today, and encouraging advocacy through hip hop can help educate and position today’s youth locally and nationally” said Queen. The film includes cameo appearances by Academy Award® winner artist Common (Selma) along with Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, M1 from Dead Prez, Jasiri X, Cornell West, Bree Newsome, and activists from all over the country. “This film documents the new generation of civil right activists who don’t sing We shall overcome they chant… Fight the Power” said Hakeem. “Bars4Justice” was filmed in Ferguson in the midst of yet another officer involved shooting during the anniversary of Michael Browns death who was killed by officer Darren Wilson on the same day a year prior.


bars4justice_film_cornell

With the growing epidemic of police deadly force against people of color, community activism has become a necessity.  While community activism is progressing, there is another revolution on the rise that has not yet been televised. The revolution of HipHop advocacy and the rise of MC’s rapping about social issues.

Subsequent screenings of the film #Bars4Justice are being scheduled in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, New York, Honolulu, and Ferguson. To find out more about screening the film in your area contact 909.380.2138 or email get[at]nation19.com.


bars4justice_film_jasiri_talk

Facts:
  • Since the 2014 killings of unarmed 17 year old Mike brown in Ferguson, and unarmed  34-year-old father of four Rumain Brisbon in Phoenix, 1100+ people were killed at the hands of police.
  • Arizona ranks among the highest in nation for deaths by Cops
  • No FM or AM radio station currently play conscious Hip Hop in Phoenix
  • Officer Mark Rine was not charged for the killing of unarmed father Rumain Brisbon.
  • Since then Arizona passed a law in 2015 that will shield names of police in ‘deadly force’ killings.
  • The Public Enemy music video for “By the Time I Get to Arizona” aired on MTV only one time in 1991. However, PE’s message spread:
    The NFL pulled the 1993 Super Bowl from Tempe, Arizona, and thousands of conventions and tourists followed suit. It’s estimated the state lost $350 million in revenue before voters reconsidered the referendum in a 1993 vote, re-instating the King holiday.

bars4justice_film_jasiri_march


What does “bars” 4justice mean?
The most popular time signature in music  is the 4/4 measure and 4 bars is usually 1/4th  of a rap verse (16 bars).


bars4justice_film_common


About Bars4Justice:
Bars4Justice is a documentary film shot on location in St Louis and Ferguson. The film follows Emcee / Community activist Jasiri X who was invited to perform at a benefit concert on August 9th 2015 along with Common, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Cornell West, and Bree Newsome. The screening and live Q&A discussion with Jasiri X on Hip Hop’s roll in activism locally and nationally will take place on October 1st 2015 at:
bars4justice_film_MOD


Mod HQ 

2828 N. Central Ave. 
Suite 100 (First Floor)
Phoenix, AZ  85004
(Southwest corner of Central and Thomas)
602.687.9417 (Venue)
909.380.2138 (Nation19)

6:30PM to 9:00PM 

Space is limited (so come early)
Free admission
Free parking

All ages welcomed


Featuring

In order of appearance
Jasiri X
Talib Kweli
Fubar St Louis
Tory Russell (Hands up United)
Kayla Reed (OBS)
Kendra Ross
The Ferguson Poet
Cornell West
Bree Newsome
Immortal Technique
Tef Poe
T-Dubb-O
Pharaoh Monch
Bun B (UGK)
M1 (Dead Prez)
Common
Family of Mike Brown
Rev. Renita Lamkin
Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou
Rev Traci Blackmon
Rahiel Tesfamariam (Urban Cusp)
Rabbi Susan Talve ( Reform Congregation)
Rev Michael McBride
Protestors
Davey D
Rosa Clamente
Deray Mckesson (We The Protesters)
Andre Anderson, Chief of Police Ferguson

 


#blacklivesmatter sisters take over the NetRoots Nation Presidential Town Hall [explicit]

Nation19 Magazine was live on the scene when these strong #blacklivesmatter sisters who took over the NetRoots Nation Presidential Town Hallin Phoenix, Arizona. Here is the play by play.

If I die in police custody do not let my parents talk to Don Lemon, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson or any of the motherfuckers that would destroy my name. Let them know that my sisters got this.


If I die in police custody say my name, say my name… the name that I chose, not the one I was given. If I die in police custody make sure that I’m remembered. Make sure my sisters are remembered. Say their names. Say their names. Marsha P. Johnson. [Unintelligible] Say their names! Say that Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!


Mexican immigration activists also were there.  Two of Black Lives Matter’s founders head up pro-Illegal alien groups.

If I die in ICE custody say I am not a criminal. Stop funding prisons and detention centers! Shut ICE down and (unintelligible) jails and our prisons! Not one more deportation!

The line about ending all deportations got huge applause and cheers from the Netroots.


If I die in police custody, know your silence helped kill me. White sumprecacy helped kill me. And my child is parentless now.


If I die in police custody know that I want to live! We want to live! We fight to live! Black lives matter! All black lives matter!


If I die in police custody don’t believe the hype, I was murdered! Protect my family! Indict the system! Shut that shit down!

If I die in police custody. Avenge my death! By any means necessary!


If I die in police custody burn everything down! Because no building is worth more than my life! And that’s the only way motherfuckers like you listen!


If I die in police custody make sure I’m the last person to die in police custody by any means necessary!


blacklivesmatter_netroots_1If I die in police custody do not hold a moment of silence for me! Rise the fuck up! Because your silence is killing us!

 

 

The Inside Job Mother’s Day Sale extended!!

The Unboxing of the “Inside Job” purse! Exclusively for you! You can’t find this purse anywhere but here! Thats why we are extending the sale just for you!! Click link below to order Now!

GET IT ON SALE NOW!

Publication Nation19 Magazine publishes exclusive interview with late CIA whistleblower, Michael C. Ruppert

Phoenix, Ariz June 4th 2014. Nation19 Magazine has decided to publish an unreleased interview with the recently deceased CIA whistleblower and investigative reporter, Michael C. Ruppert. “The Man Who Knew Too Much” will be available in the summer issue of Nation19 Magazine.

While researching the effects of Fukushima radiation in the Pacific Ocean, Nation19 reached out to Mr. Ruppert. This led to a discussion in unrelated topics and, ultimately, a feature on Mr. Ruppert. In the piece, he shares details ranging from the CIA’s alleged intelligence activities in regards to drug smuggling to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. This interview was recorded by phone on September 25th, 2013 while Mr. Ruppert resided in Moffat, Colo.

Excited to send the final version of the magazine to the author prior to its release, Nation19 was shocked to hear that Mr. Ruppert died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 13th, 2014 according to Napa County Sheriffs.

“Because of the sensitive information he knew, we were very hesitant to release the interview because of all the controversy,” said Hakeem Khaaliq, Nation19 co-founder.

In light of recent media coverage surrounding Edward Snowden’s release of classified material and temporary asylum in Russia, Nation19 decided to run Michael Ruppert’s interview in their new issue for public scrutiny. The magazine will be available for purchase at Nation19.com on Wednesday, June 4th in standard-size print and digital formats. The audio will be available at a later date.

About Nation19 Magazine / APDTA

Coalescing a colorful mix of style, hip hop, UFO research, photojournalism and anthropology, Nation19 magazine caters to an audience of global tastemakers with a limited standard size, seasonally-produced and printed publication covering a wide variety of topics and interviews.
Contact:
Queen Muhammad Ali
Co-founder of Nation19 Magazine
Nation19 Magazine / APDTA
909.380.2574 mobile
Queen@nation19.com

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Debris House in Phoenix: A sign of unity and love. APDTA

A few weeks ago we were compelled to help with a very humble project with the potential to bring about great change in the city Phoenix area. The project is called The Debris House. It is a home for homeless men in Phoenix. Basically the two directors work by driving taxis and extra jobs to help pay the rent, buy clothes, food, and toiletries for new men coming from off the streets into this clean environment. After we toured the houses Nation19 / APDTA agreed to help by producing this video to get the word out (see below). If you would like to support The Debris House please send check, money order and clean clothes, blankets etc to:

Debris House
3732 West Lincoln
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Contact us at:
thedebrishouse@gmail.com
(602) 544.6239

 

Facts:
According to the U.S. Census, Arizona’s population has grown to 6,482,505 and one in every 230 Arizonans experienced homelessness. Single adults account for 80 percent of the adult homeless population and the great majority (70 percent) are male.
According to the U.S. Census, Arizona’s population has grown to 6,482,505 and one in every 230 Arizonans experienced homelessness.

Single adults account for 80 percent of the adult homeless population and the great majority (70 percent) are male.