Cover art from new tune ‘Straight to Banksy head’ by Mau Mau ?

More from Beejoir here.

Mau Mau on the Move

Digging through some vinyl this week, I came across this 7″ cover with the little lion icon on the speaker identifying it as a Mau Mau production.
The tune by Micah Shemaiah is another part of the reggae revival vibe coming out of Jamaica right now – but that’s another story, although we’ll have more on this coming shortly. It’s one of several pieces Mau Mau has done for reggae artists. If you’ve got issue 10 of Irie Up, you’ll see several of Mau Mau’s pieces featured inside, including some of the work he painted on the streets in Kingston a couple of years ago.

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My Design Berlin: Cross the border session with Irieland Soundsystem (2009)

Looking for three hours of top notch reggae and dance grooves for a party? Check this Party on the river, Berlin 2009 – big up to Tricky D for the mix. Cross the border: let’s just say that this is one of the big unresolved issues in the world right now – who gets to cross the border? How much of the world’s wealth is created by segregating the population and the capital? Do partygoers want only to dance? Digital Roots Movement never felt that way.

This recording is from a session on the river in Berlin, around May 2009, by the Digital Roots Movement – five DJs: Tricky D (Tricky Tunes), Supa DJ Dmitry (Deee-lite),  Saint Glue (aka Mr Glue, Irieland Soundsystem/World In Reggae),  Aldubb (One Drop Music?Irieland Soundsystem) & Jah Seal (Irieland Soundsystem) – playing out on the Irieland Soundsystem at the beach club beside Arena for one of the DMY Berlin 2009 after-parties. I remember the owner of the club arriving late and freaking out – jumping up and down like a cartoon character, we were watching him thinking, ‘what’s up with that dude’ – when he saw the speaker stack on the beach. He calmed down when he realised it was all sweetly set up, facing away from the river. (You wouldn’t believe how far water carries sound in a metropolis.) Three hours of great tunes, heavy on 70s classics.

Billionaires and the press

When a billionaire arrived into the news business in Ireland in the last years, the results included a well-regarded investigative journalist being ushered out the door. So, billionaires and journalism, a good combination?

With the news that Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill are joining forces with billionaire Pierre Omidyar, a new news organisation is being born, online only, and apparently dedicated to investigative and deep reporting. Whether it’s non-profit or not remains to be revealed, but presumably it will be for profit as this does not seem to be a philanthropic venture.

Jay Rosen from NYU spoke to Omidyar in the last days, and reported: Why is Omidyar doing this? He said that his involvement in Civil Beat (a news site he started in Hawaii) stoked his appetite to try something larger in news. “I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy.” He said he had watched closely over the last 15 years as the business model in journalism collapsed but he had not “found a way to engage directly.” But then when the idea of buying the Washington Post came up he started to think about it more seriously. “It brings together some of my interests in civic engagement and building conversations and of course technology, but in a very creative way.
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War: The speech, 50 years later

Everywhere is war

Following his visit to Washington DC, Haile Selassie travelled to New York, arriving to a ticker tape parade through the city. On 4 October, he made his way to the United Nations to deliver a speech on the consequences of the first summit of the Organisation of African Unity. At the United Nations, Selassie presented miniature versions of the obelisks of Axum, but it was his speech that was keenly awaited. Selassie had first come to international prominence following his oration at the League of Nations in 1936, when he warned that aggression against Ethiopia, unchecked, would only lead to further aggression.

Following the wave of de-colonisation in Africa, Selassie looked hopefully to the future in his United Nations speech:

Last May, in Addis Ababa, I convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together. In unity, to the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire. On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:

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Fifty years ago this week: JFK and Selassie in Washington

Kennedy, Selassie and the Vietnam question.

In the first week of October, 50 years ago, Haile Selassie made his second public visit to the United States, where he first visited Washington D.C. and then New York. Selassie had visited the United States in the mid-1950s, visiting agricultural colleges to help establish similar programmes in Ethiopia, and meeting with then President Dwight Eisenhower, who later told a press conference in somewhat mysterious terms that he had received some “elementary education” from the Ethiopian leader.

Selassie admired the technological progress of the United States, and had visions of a united Africa that could be developed along the line of the American states. European nations were being forced to relinquish their African colonies and Selassie had established the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa. It was a crucial point in the development of an independent Africa.
Selassie’s visit to the USA in 1963 was important for himself and for Kennedy, and while Selassie had something in common with the old war veteran Eisenhower, this time he was meeting a young war veteran, a President whose youthful demeanour seemed in tune with the possibilities of a new era – and was a potential ally in the Emperor’s broader mission.

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Grand Theft Auto (and Grand Theft Property)

Kingston Be Wise

There’s fewer degrees of separation between Grand Theft Auto Five and the foundation Rasta village of Pinnacle in Sligoville than you might think.

One wonders what Leonard Howell, founder of the Pinnacle, would have thought of the story of his famous experiment showing up on one of the 21st century’s most famous computer games. As an historian, I never fail to be amazed by the extent to which history is arranged, re-arranged, manipulated, covered up or denied. Of course, it’s also simply forgotten or ignored, depending on who is doing the storytelling. Yet the best stories have a way of bubbling back to the surface, and Pinnacle, Jamaica, is certainly one of those.

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