Thursday, November 11, 2010

More on Hector Aristizabal and The Blessing Next to the Wound

The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and TransformationIn my previous post on Hector Aristizabal's The Blessing Next to the Wound, I mentioned an older Uprising Radio interview with our friend Sonali Kolhatkar.  Today she has a fresh interview with Hector and his co-author Diane Lefer. Again, don't miss Hector at Vroman's in Pasadena this Friday, November 12th, 7:00 pm, then join us for a discussion of the book on Sunday, Nov. 21, 6:30 pm, also at Vroman's.

Get the full audio here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Our November Author: Hector Aristizabal and The Blessing Next to the Wound

The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and TransformationOur November author, Hector Aristizabal is a dear friend and collaborator. In case you're just getting to know him through his book The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation here are a few links. First, he will be speaking at our favorite bookstore, Vroman's on November 12.  If you can't make that this KZSU Stanford University Radio interview will give you an idea of what's in the book.

Next, be sure to checkout the website for ImaginAction, where you can learn about Hector's work to bring about healing and social justice through theater and the arts (you can also keep track of Hector's theater projects on Facebook). To learn more about "Theater of the Oppressed" listen to Rights Readers friend and host of Uprising, Sonali Kolhatkar interview Hector about Augusto Boal, founder of the movement. Then grab the first chance to be a part of one of his workshops!

A brief video introduction to our author:

A couple of video glimpses of Hector in theater mode can be found here and here. You might also check out this old Pasadena Weekly profile: Playing through the pain. For more on Hector and School of the Americas watch check here.

Hector's collaborator, Diane Lefer has written several articles revolving around Hector's recent visit to Colombia, The return to Medellin of Hector Aristizabal,  Social Justice Theatre for Colombia, Torture: Peace Crimes. Hector explores some new territory:
Men are changing behavior, too, said Aristiz√°bal, noting the movement called La Nueva Masculinidad and even a group called El Machismo Mata, in which men try to end the ways in which violent behavior has become connected to the male identity.

"They did a scene in which one guy is knocked over during a soccer game. One member of his team just says, 'Get up, jerk,' and when another player asks instead if he's OK and tries to give him a hand, the others shout homophobic insults at him for being soft and showing concern. So what do you do in that moment? How do you respond to the situation?"
It's Hector month at Rights Readers and Vroman's is the place to be. Join our Loyal Readers there to support Hector and his work!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

For February: A Mercy by Toni Morrison

A Mercy (Vintage International)For February we have chosen Toni Morrison's A Mercy:
In the 1680s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy. Jacob Vaark is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Rejected by her mother, Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master's house, and later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives. A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, like Beloved, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter-a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.
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