Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Book: Black in Latin America

Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World during the Middle Passage. While just over 11.0 million survived the arduous journey, only about 450,000 of them arrived in the United States. The rest—over ten and a half million—were taken to the Caribbean and Latin America.

This astonishing fact changes our entire picture of the history of slavery in the Western hemisphere, and of its lasting cultural impact. These millions of Africans created new and vibrant cultures, magnificently compelling syntheses of various African, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.

Despite their great numbers, the cultural and social worlds that they created remain largely unknown to most Americans, except for certain popular, cross-over musical forms. So Henry Louis Gates, Jr. set out on a quest to discover how Latin Americans of African descent live now, and how the countries of their acknowledge—or deny—their African past; how the fact of race and African ancestry play themselves out in the multicultural worlds of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Starting with the slave experience and extending to the present, Gates unveils the history of the African presence in six Latin American countries—Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru—through art, music, cuisine, dance, politics, and religion, but also the very palpable presence of anti-black racism that has sometimes sought to keep the black cultural presence from view.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lit Links & Scoops

I apologize in advance for all the gloomy links:

Spanish archaeologists have started the search for the remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes

The August cover of Rue Magazine makes me dreamy and nostalgic!

I finished reading The Kitchen Daughter and I liked it, but one minor detail irritated me: Ginny, the narrator, reflects on a Peruvian woman's memory/scent as being "curry-like." While I am sure it wasn't meant in an offensive manner, it stuck out in my head as a form of gender-related exoticism, once again tied to food.

Stimulating the senses: The History of Flowers and Mexican Cuisine

Speaking of which..., even when we appropriate the cliche's, I still find it to be not so funny.

Guess who was asked to contribute to Fox News Latino? And, guess who turned them down?

Esmeralda Santiago Talks to Harvard Magazine about Suffering a Stroke

We lost Salsa legend Joe arroyo, scholar, historian and anthropologist Ricardo Alegria, and we also observed the thirty-third anniversary of the Cerro Maravilla incident.

Guillermo Del Toro talks shop at Comic Con 2011: Part 1 and 2.

Some one dissected the history of the entire genre of Scifi and made an infographic, inside of what else but a whale... tres magnifique and oh so geeky: History Of Science Fiction Infographic by Ward Shelley

I can still recall when I first wrote about the espresso book machine, well, five years later, here's the QR Code eBook vending machine.

Target's new site Mamiverse, aimed at Latina moms and daughters is too blatantly commercial to not be seen as ploy to target that particular niche audience. Next up: World news brought to you by Tide!

A film version of the Afro Samurai manga is being produced and filmed in the Dominican Republic, which makes me wonder if the tide is turning for the island and their roots.

The race/wealth divide is now ginormous.

A plea for bookstore innovation and lessons learned from Borders.

The apocalypse might come not from zombie but from the loss of our most precious resource: The Coming Water Wars Infographic

We are also in danger of losing our bananas.

Slideshow: Ten Technology Trends That Will Change the World in Ten Years

Trailer time:

Stay cool and dry, my friends!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1977: New York Cosmos & the Blackout

This new ad was created to celebrate the relaunch of the New York Cosmos soccer team and a new line of related sportswear. It's such a nice animation, historical anecdote and ode to NYC (& just plain cool) that it evens speaks to me (who is clueless about sports and sports history).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not So Different

The world is where we live from WWF on Vimeo.

I think this ad was definitely inspired by the Symmetry piece, it's a refreshing take from the WWF - I think any animal lover would agree.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Watch out for that Flying Book

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore iPad App Trailer from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

This app blurs the line between picture books and animated film, [convergence, my friends] and adds a notch of interactive narrative to that thing called transmedia.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Visit to the Library

Here's a view on two very different libraries:

“The Library of Congress Documentary” reveals details of:

  • The Great Hall, Reading Room , and exterior of the Jefferson Building

  • Some of the treasures among its books, maps, photos, and presidential papers

  • The History of the Library of Congress and its Jefferson Building

  • The Jefferson Library and other treasures of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division

  • The painstaking care of the Library’s collections

  • The use of technology to reveal new information about historical document

  • Watch the complete documentary here.

    Biblioburro is the story of a librarian — and a library — like no other. A decade ago, Colombian grade-school teacher Luis Soriano was inspired to spend his weekends bringing a modest collection of precious books, via two hard-working donkeys, to the children of Magdalena Province’s poor and violence-ridden interior. As Soriano braves armed bands, drug traffickers, snakes and heat, his library on hooves carries an inspirational message about education and a better future for Colombia. His simple yet extraordinary effort has attracted worldwide attention — and imitators — but his story has never been better told than in this heartwarming yet unsentimental film.

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Flight of the Dragonfly

    “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” - Paulo Coelho

    "Dragonflies embody a stripping away of all the beliefs that say we cannot do this or that, achieve a dream or goal, reminding us that anything is possible when we really get the understanding that we are part of the divine and as such we have the power to manifest anything that we desire. They are the keeper of dreams, the knowers within that see all of our true potential and ability. Dragonflies strips away the illusions that say to us we cannot achieve our dreams and goals, that we are not worthy or capable when in fact it is our birthright and our true power to create anything we choose!"

    Song featured at the Film "Déficit" by Gael Garcia Bernal.

    Finalist Videoclip - 2nd International Festival of the Videoclip MUSICLIP 08 Barcelona / Spain. April 2008. An overdrive city... a contemplative girl and a distracted guy, go for different ways but they have the same destiny. On their ways, they meet a smalls and magical characters that guide them to an unexpected meeting. "Libélula" (Dragonfly) brings an original and innovative proposal. As Latinsizer's song, this video uses retro elements from 80's decade, re-interpret and compose them to the reality, creating a magic world with pixels and equalizers.

    Music by Latinsizer (synthetic project from the well-known Mexican musical producer Pepe Mogt, one of the members and Co-founder of Nortec Collective). Directed by Peter Ponk (Pedro González, creative director with an outstanding career in Broadcasting TV). Produced and realized by Novo Comunicaciones. Motion graphics by Totuma Communication + Design.

    * Video sent in by a Literanista reader from Texas.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    How to Make your Own Infographics with V

    Powerful marketers know how key it is to offer data that it is simple, pretty and in context, launched a service to empower everyone to make their own wonderful infographics.

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    A Litany of 2011 Latino Infographics

    Those of you who read my blog often know I love nothing more than pretty data, I was inspired to write this post after seeing a curated list of social media infographics:

    * This one is outdated but just wow on the blatant sexualized male Puerto Rican youth stereotype, couldn't you at least put a shirt on the man?

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    Large and In Charge: Latina Millenials

    I came across some very cool Twitter infographics today and one of them included this section:
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