Dix sur dix photo gallery.3
Photo credit: Skyediver 2010
The Dix Sur Dix Festival was in progress my first full weekend back in Paris. Fortunately the activities underway at le Jardin Villemin was just a stones throw away from my lodgings in the 10th arrondisement. I had a great view of the park and the festivities from my balcony but the sunny weather beckoned me outdoors well into the early evening.
I am glad I was able to recover these photographs because they offer a good representation of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the 10th arr. I consider the 10th arr my home-away-from-home in Paris. Welcome!
Dix sur dix photo gallery.1
Photo credit: Skyediver 2010
Saturday October 09, 2010
La Peña Cultural Center. 3105 Shattuck Avenue. Berkeley, CA 94705 USA. 510-849-2568. info(at)lapena.org
Celebration of African Musicians, Dancers, Drummers, and Singers. Featuring live music with Sia Amma, Ousseynou Kouyate, Mohammed Kouyate, Karamba Dioubate, Faly Seydi, Karano Susso and many more! Benefit for Liberian Schools.
La Peña’s Mission and Overview of Activities
La Peña is a vibrant community cultural center with a national reputation and a global vision that promotes peace, social justice and cultural understanding through the arts, education and social action.
As a welcoming gathering place, La Peña provides opportunities for artists to share diverse cultural traditions, to create and perform their work, and to support and interface with diverse social movements.
Annually, La Peña presents over 200 events with emerging and established artists; organizes an arts education program; produces new works by local artists, presents internationally and nationally renowned artists, and houses a Latin American café which complements the organization’s mission.
In preparing for my journey of self-discovery, I pack spiritual provisions that I will need along the way. The virtues and values I bring give me courage and strength–and are a spiritual blessing to those I encounter on my adventure. [Joseph Dispenza, The Way of the Traveler]
Travel Journal Entry 9/12/10
Yesterday I spent my off (work) day exploring the historical sights of Nantes, France including a very well maintained chateau with full access to the interior and grounds. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is the last of the Loire Châteaux before the Atlantic Ocean. I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the ramparts, peering below into the moat and going in and out of the structure. I was “Dora the Explorer”! Afterwards I took an evening stroll along the waterfront and saw two ships one a vintage multi-masked wooden ship and the other a contemporary military battle ship complete with BIG guns and missiles.
Despite all my best intention to just be a tourist, an imaginary princess in a castle or a seafaring traveler something kept impeding my enjoyment and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I passed billboard that contained the phrase L’Atlantique. In that moment I realized the disquiet in my body was in fact RACIAL MEMORY. It was an encrypted message from the ancestors to remember the souls who perished in L’Atantique.
Shortly after I left the castle I went to the tram stop to wait for my ride to the hotel. I spotted a nice looking dred brother eyeing me. Fortunately our reticence gave way to friendly introductions and conversation. L. spoke to with an urgency that foretold the experience I was about to have at the slave memorial wall. He informed me of the cultural and healing work undertaken in Nantes to heal the racial schism historical and contemporary. He invited me to visit a local cultural center and to meet individuals involved in the memorial project.
The ancestral spirits in Nantes seek acknowledgement, tribute and remembrance. Once I came correct with a silent prayer the disquiet gave way to a pleasant evening and sound sleep.
On my return visit to the castle I met up with two individuals from the EAIE conference who’d come out for a bit of sightseeing too. I recognized the fellow from a past conference of international educator. The man is from Bostwana the woman from Finland by way of Nambia. Also noticed other African visitors on the chateau grounds particurlarly a family enjoying the shade of an exhibit stand left over from a recent Chinese celebration. My conference associates did not hestiate to join me paying tribute to ancestors known and unknown. Indeed, they were delighted to do so hence our energetic photos. I also like the image of the futbol and man.
Honor and praises.
Castles & Culture Carriers
My journey is mine. The goals I would accomplish on my journey are mine. I will bring back the Golden Fleece of my own perfected self. The goals I choose direct me to the center of my being. In that secret, sacred place, I dwell serenely full of the understanding that comes with wisdom. [Joseph Dispenza. The Way of the Traveler.]
These photos were taken over a period of two consecutive evenings. The first visit occurred on 9/13 after I’d toured The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany at the conclusion of what I thought was a perfect ending to an afternoon of sightseeing in Nantes. Not so! The real journey was only about to begin the moment I ventured along the waterfront the first evening and continued during my Paris visit. In Nantes, I was completely oblivious to images on the slave memorial wall but stopped in my tracks when I saw the vessels that first evening.
On the waking path–I felt a profound disturbance in my body when I caught sight of the ships. Shaking hands, fumbling fingers, accelerated breath and all, I inadvertently deleted all of the chateau photos and the first set of ship and dock photos. I was momentarily distressed about the lost photos. But I was also acutely aware of something transpiring in the moment—a dispatch being delivered to me. It wasn’t until I began to walk back to my hotel that I noticed the images on the memorial wall, in that moment I got my marching orders: PAY TRIBUTE.
I poured librations; the ancestors were appeased, the sky(e) and water was alight.
Marche Des Esclaves – The Walking of the Slaves (French performance/ritual on YouTube)
Too real to be mythological. 
Photo credit: Skyediver 2010
 A deft phrase borrowed from a blogger pal, khorine. Luv it!