Jan 23 2009

MOAD exhibition – Decoding Identity: I Do it for My People

Posted in Culture by Skye


Oakland based artist Lorraine Bonner announces that pieces from her “Perpetrator” series will be shown at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, CA.  Lorraine’s work MOVES me!  A META DEEP artist with a lot to say!

Check out her on-line gallery.
Decoding Identity: I Do it for My People
January 23, 2009 – March 8, 2009

Forging a personal identity gives rise to a unique voice that transcends stereotypical barriers. The works of 20 diverse artists challenge cultural and ethnic prejudices and question issues of religion, sexuality, race, and gender. Ultimately, Decoding Identity heals the dynamic tension between individual and collective identities.
Includes works by: Lorraine Bonner, Ed and Linda Calhoun, Christopher Carter, Lalla Essaydi, John Yoyogi Fortes, Chaz Guest, David Huffman, Clint Imboden, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Annette Lawrence, Kelly Marshall, Wardell Milan, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Adrienne Pao, Jefferson Pinder, Dario Posada, Danny Ramirez, Manuel Rios, Blue Wade, and David Yun
Decoding Identity: I Do it for My People (1.23.2009 – 3.8.2009)
We’re located in the heart of San Francisco’s Arts District at Mission and Third.
Museum of the African Diaspora
685 Mission Street (at Third)
San Francisco, California 94105
phone: 415.358.7200
fax: 415.358.7252
Jan 21 2009

Guest Travelogue: Cuba

Posted in Travelogues by Skye

About The Contributer
Liz Hendrickson is a San Francisco bay area resident, grandmother, lawyer, and founding member of Women Drummers International. (All photographs (c) Francis Eatherington.)


havana-waterfront-and-skyIt’s hard to believe, but a week ago today I was in Havana, hanging out along the waterfront, in the open air market and in the old town tourist district. Bus loads of European tourists clogged the streets and reminded me of Fisherman’s wharf. Today I’m home doing my laundry; it’s a little shocking.

In case you’re interested, a couple tidbits from my trip:

tour-by-bici-taxiWith the embargo, and general economic distress, there are few private autos, which isn’t a bad thing if you ask me. The result is that traffic (except a few places in Havana) is not bad and neither is pollution. The private cars are vintage and worth millions: 1940s Chevys, Fords, etc in beautiful condition. The airport parking lot looked like a classic car convention. There are buses in the cities. In the rural provinces there are not. There are lots of bicycles, horses, horse drawn wagons, bici-taxis (seat two people behind someone pedaling), and flat bed trucks made into local buses by putting benches, a ladder and a kind of giant camper shell for protection. The cities also have coco taxies which are vespas with a fiberglass shell attached which seat two people plus the driver on the vespa. I tried every one of these except the flat bed trucks, which seemed for locals. I liked the bici-taxies the best, although they are a little extra thrilling coming down hills. They have a brake pedal which activates not our high tech disk brakes but a metal on metal brake of questionable effectiveness. I came home at midnight in one after beginning new years in a local club and had quite an entertaining ride.

The hurricanes destroyed a lot of the crops. We ate just fine and drove through some undamaged areas and got coconuts, bananas, mandarin oranges, and balls of pure chocolate from roadside stands. Cubans don’t eat spicy food or much fish! They eat lots of pork. They drink LOTS of rum. It’s served like ice tea. Every time we came to a new hotel, we were served a tray of mojitos; at lunch the mojitos would come out. 3 yr old rum, 7 yr old rum, very smooth and EVERYWHERE. The US does not allow travelers to bring things back, so I couldn’t bring rum or cigars, which are also everywhere. I did pick up some chocolate…… 

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Jan 17 2009

Dispatch #27: Babies Slaughtered in Gaza

Posted in Dispatches by Skye

cnn_turk2_09 cnn_turk3_09

On the eve of my departure from Turkey, I sit here transfixed in front of the television. I watch endless loops of CNN Turk footage depicting the carnage that is raining down on Palestinian children–neigh on Palestinian babies…babies…babies. I can’t breath.


The images of Israeli soldiers and civilians jumping up and down in jubilation and celebration makes my head hurt. My breath is caught in my throat.


The CNN Turk news anchor is doing a valiant job of not breaking down in tears as he holds a mobile phone while broadcasting the wailing and plaintive cries of a Palestinian father who gave a first person and live report immediately after an Israeli attack. The man’s child is dead. I am stunned into silence even though I sit here alone.

cnn_turk4_09 cnn_turk5_09

I turn off the t.v.


Protests in Turkey

ankara_protest_09 ankara2_protest_09
Ankara Ankara
istanbul_protest_09 erzurum_protest_09
Istanbul Erzurum

Yesterday’s protest against the Gaza attacks continued today and has occurred in all the major cities in Turkey.

The world is watching to see how the Obama administration will address this travesty.
“None of us are free, if one of us is chained”.


Ankara, Turkey

Bonus Links:
Heaven Help Us All (Song, Lyrics)
UN chief pays ‘heartbreak’ visit to Gaza as truce holds
Gaza schools open but young minds closed to peace

Jan 8 2009

Coming up: Travelogue, Dispatch and Photographs

Posted in Uncategorized by Skye

Berlin, Muenster and Bergisch Gladbach

Ankara and Istanbul

Dec 12 2008

Olfactory Offerings

Posted in Dispatches, For Fun, Resources by Skye

Haji Ali Dargah (Mumbai) – Incense attendant

On 12/6, I had the pleasure of being in community with several light-filled sistern who attended the Rhythm Sistas dance/drum circle. In addition to the food and music love offerings that seem to have become an integral part of the monthly circle–I shared incense cargo from my recent India trip.

I explained how for centuries Arabs have used these scents in various Islamic cultures to perfume their homes in desert climates. And, how Hindus and Muslims alike burn ritual incense during worship. I use the scents in my spiritual practice, daily meditation and healing arts.

For the benefit of those who missed the talk or simply the curious, I have prepared a brief description and names of the scents gifted at the circle. I’ve also included on-line resources for conjuring women who want to deepen their alchemic knowledge. Attars are not only used to scent the home, body, and clothes. Certain attars distilled from Agarwood Oils, or Oud, are highly valued for their aphrodisiacs properties.

Lastly, a word about purchasing dhoop, when visiting your local Indian bazaar do insist on FRESH and premium quality incense. To avoid being sold low quality incense reserved for unsuspecting non-Indians, ask for puja quality incense. If you are in India, the best place to purchase dhoop is from vendors near temples and mosques.

Stir your pots!

Indian Attars, Islamic Attar Perfume Oils & Pure Fragrance Oils in India

Dhoop: Lavendar and 6am. Ritual incense used during puja
Chandan: Sandlewood incense sticks for everyday use.
Attar – distilled essential oils, traditional Arabian process
Attar (charcoal discs) – BAKHAR AL AREET
Attar (wood pieces) – OUD MOATTAR MUKHALLAT


The Establishment Name: Attar Ahmed Dawood
Address: Shop No.6, Apollo Bunder, Landsdowne Road, Colaba
City: Mumbai – 400039.
Telephone Number/s: +91-22-22870435
(I’ve patronized this shop for nearly 8 years-fine gentlemen.)

Attar Ahmed Dawood, Colaba, Mumbai
manufacturer and exporter of perfumes, perfume oils, fragrance oils,
perfumery compounds, essential perfume oil, pure perfume oil, scented
perfume oil, perfume body oil, perfume oil bottle, essential oil for
cosmetics and essential oils for perfumes

How are Traditional Attars Made?
Attar Extraction Process (attar of roses)

Dec 12 2008

Conjuring Women Inna Oaktown

Posted in Culture by Skye

Big up Rhythm Sistas for co-creating a POTENT community healing space in
the East Bay.  Walk strong sistern/breath deep/chant peace/accept love.


When: Sat. January 24, 2009 1:00PM to 4:00PM
Host: Sandy Mills, Mar Stevens, Charlene Gumbs & Monica Anderson
Location: The Noodle Factory
1255 26th Street, Oakland, CA US
Phone: (510) 381-0844
E-mail: imaniblessed@yahoo.com

When we drum – we send out waves of healing rhythm!
Bring your drum and your positive energy!

Become part of a circle of women who are creating a place of love, joy,
empowerment and artistic expression for Sistas of Color.

(NEW ADDITION! FREE Traditional African Drumming Instruction 1:30-2pm)


Be certain to bring water and a chair. You are also welcome to bring fruit
or veggies to share!


Dec 12 2008

Toybox Showcase/Micia Mosely

Posted in Culture by Skye

Papaya Mann’s Toybox Showcase & Holiday Event (DC)
Featuring Comedic Performer Micia Mosely

When: Sunday December 28, 2008
7pm-1am(Performance @ 9pm)
Blair Mansion Inn

Who: Micia Mosely

What: “Where My Girls At?: A Comedic Look at Black Lesbians.”

Where: The Toybox Showcase
7711 Eastern Ave.
Washington D.C.

Papaya Mann
(202) 486-8888, (202) 882-1925


Message From Papaya Mann
This event we will showcase a special drama production starring Micia
Mosely from New York City, who is touring nationally presenting
woman show is a unique blend of hipness, humor, political astuteness
and versatility.
Micia is a seasoned Actor and Playwright who has performed in many
venues, from coast-to-coast. We will be entertained by a few
different characters from this extraordinary play. The production,
that evening,?is from 9pm-10pm.

For the remainder of the evening,from 10pm until 1am we will dance
the night away with specia ?sounds from our DJ, Margaret Kinard, who
will be flying in from Florida to work her musical magic. Come early,
doors open at 7pm as we enjoy the Jazz and R&B Lounge until 9pm.

For advance tickets, which are $20 give me a call at 202-882-1925 or
202-486-8888. You can also email me at Vpapayamann@aol.com for ticket
pickup info. You are encouraged, if planning to come with friends to save
cash by purchasing ten tickets in advance–because you get the eleventh one free! Otherwise, the admission price at the door is $25.00.

Looking forward to sharing a festive night to remember with you,



Sister-to-Sister Party
Micia Mosely
Toybox Flier

Dec 6 2008

Post Mumbai Ruminations

Posted in Travelogues by Skye

It saddened me to leave India early, but I did not want my family and friends to stress over my being there. So with a heavy heart, I departed India by way of Doha, Qatar, London, UK, and Los Angeles, CA. My body is just now catching up with the enormity of the Mumbai attacks.

Qatar Airport Mosque

Qatar Airport Residential Compound (UAE)

I’m trying to decompress from the trip but the more I reflect on the political aspects involved in the response to the Mumbai attacks including the usual unchecked communalism, corrupt politicians and inept law enforcement officials the more enraged I become. Mumbai police, government officials and the t.v. media in Bombay have BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS due to what I observed as ineptitude, recklessness, sensationalism and a gross disregard for the physical safety of victims and the well being of the victim’s families.

“Stay calm, the terrorists are not attacking Indians-only Americans and British. Indians have nothing to worry about.”
[Actual quote.]

The television producers at Times Now the English language channel should be drenched in blood due to their use of high-powered telephoto video cameras during the first day of the siege. Times Now showed in real time footage of terrified hotel guests attempting to hide from the terrorists while at the same time alert rescuers to their whereabouts. On the second day of the siege, a Taj Hotel victim emerged from the hotel confirming that terrorists had indeed been watching the news the first day of the attack and shifting their movements in tandem with the police. By then, the confirmed death toll exceeded 100 fatalities. 


Skyediver and friends

Enjoy these photos of my beloved Bombay taken two days prior to the attacks.

Taj Palace Hotel (background) Indian Navy Band in front of the Gate of India.

Photo Album

Jai Hind. (Long live India)

[SW 12.4.08]

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Dec 3 2008

Spelman Junior Faculty Institute (EXPENSES PAID!)

Posted in Global Sisterhood by Skye


Spelman Junior Faculty Institute

We invite applicants for our Spelman Junior Faculty Institute:

Women of Color: Theory, Scholarship, and Activism

June 15-17, 2009 · Spelman College, Atlanta, GA

About the Junior Faculty Institute
Hosted by Spelman College’s Women’s Research and Resource Center in conjunction with the National Women’s Studies Association, the Institute is designed to explore issues of power and privilege and examine intersectional analyses of race, class, nation, sexuality, gender, and globalization which have become central to scholarship and teaching in the field of women’s studies as well as feminist activism. The Institute is funded with generous support from The Ford Foundation.

The three-day Institute will be led by established women of color scholars in women’s studies and will combine readings, lectures, discussion, and media. The Institute will also take advantage of its location in Atlanta. A major site for the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta today is characterized by strong racial/ethnic diversity and a tradition of African-American leadership in the public sector. It also serves one of the largest gay and lesbian populations in the United States.

Click here for more information and to apply
Conference Proposal Submission Site Open 0A The Conference Proposal Submission Site is now open and we are accepting proposals for the 2009 conference, Atlanta GA, November 12 – 15.

Apply on line
(NWSA membership required) – Click here to access the online form

Application Deadline:
MARCH 1, 2009
Applicants will be notified of their selection in the Institute by March 15.

Institute participants will have their travel, lodging, and meal expenses paid.

Dec 3 2008

“And Marriage for All” Campaign Kick Off — Phase 2!

Posted in Events by Skye

“And Marriage for All” Campaign Kick Off — Phase 2!
Thursday, December 11, 6-8PM
@ the SF LGBT Community Center
(followed by a free, holiday cocktail reception!)

These past few weeks, much has been said to pit LGBT Californians against People of Color, People of Faith, etc, and visa versa.

We’re better than that.

Now more than ever before, those of us who “live” at the intersections of race, class, faith, sexual orientation, and gender identity must help chart a path forward — a path grounded in true unity, equality, and justice.

We hope you will join us next week to learn more about the campaign, and join us in this important effort. Please visit www.andmarriage4all.org for details about the campaign.

Also, please join us for “Hope for All Families”, Sunday, December 14 at 4pm in Oakland!

For details about either event, please contact Marcos Rodriguez at 818.231.4593 or mebeingmarquitos@gmail.com