In this roundup: Dakota Access Pipeline news, Hawaiian sovereignty and other indigenous peoples news, the death of space art, and fusion jazz.
It’s Friday — time for some jazz. This time it’s eastern-western fusion, melding Spanish flamenco and Indian classical music. The embedded video here is a real treat, an entire hour and 13 minute concert featuring Anoushka Shankar on sitar, Melon Jimenes on guitar, and Sandra Carrasco’s vocals. My favorite cut is Baleria which begins at 0:42:10 in this video. It feels like the high point of the concert to me, where all the artists are in the same state of flow at this point. I really shouldn’t minimize the contributions of the other artists here — Sanjeev Shankar on the shenhai, Pirashanna Thevarajah on several different percussion instruments, and El Pirana on the cajon — all add incredible depth. Sanjeev Shankar’s shenhai sounds so human in Traveller; I’d really love to hear El Pirana in other jazz work, will have to hunt down more of his work.
- Militarized law enforcement threatening DAPL protesters after prayer session (Indian Country) — The photos featured in the article at this link don’t do justice to the threat from law enforcement.
- Note Twitter user @notaxiwarrior’s feed beginning 28-SEP through yesterday showing law enforcement carrying shotguns and automatic weapons, and in at least one case aiming their weapon at protesters. The thread indicates police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades on a prayer group of mostly women and children. Same thread shows a possible contract agent provocateur who may have been trying to incite the protesters to violence.
- Low-flying aircraft may have dropped chemicals on protesters; 21 arrested (EcoWatch) — It’s not clear from videos and photos here and across the internet what one or more planes may have dropped. Some protesters believed Facebook may have halted streaming. At one point in a video police are loading their weapons. Nauseating to watch and listen.
- Oil company CEO thinks jobs, economic opportunity will stop DAPL protests (TelesurTV) — James Volker, CEO of Whiting Petroleum, thinks contracting Native American-owned companies for oil services and water hauling will make the affected tribes happy. White male privilege, much? How hard is it to understand the pipeline scars lands which never really belonged to whites, desecrating burial grounds and religiously significant sites, while putting land and water at risk of permanent damage? Imagine the outcry if a Chinese- or Saudi-owned company wanted to rip up the battlefield at Gettysburg for an oil pipeline. But Volker said “he was sensitive to Native American concerns over the pipeline and that he ‘wouldn’t want necessarily a pipeline to go through the cemetery where all my relatives are buried.’” Right. And he’d feel all better about it if somebody offered him a a few paltry bucks for his mother’s grave.
- Anti-pipeline protest in Vermont culminates in $500K bank account closure (Times Argus) — At a Mountpelier branch of TD Bank, locals protested both a planned Vermont Gas pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. A TD Bank customer closed her $500K account because she was disgusted with TD Bank’s role financing pipeline construction.
Other indigenous news
- DOI looks at government-to-government relations with future sovereign Hawaii (NBC) — Protesters are unhappy, however, with the change in U.S. Department of Interior position allowing a Native Hawaiian government. In a nutshell, it’s not up to the DOI to tell Native Hawaiians and a sovereign Hawaii how to operate just as no illegal occupying force has a right to define the nation it illegally occupies.
- First Nations’ children ‘sold’ to Americans as recently as 1982 (CBC) — Heartbreaking read; between 1960-1982, indigenous children were taken from their families and ‘sold’ to adoptive families in the U.s., often labeled as ‘special needs’ when they were simply First Nations’ descendants.
- Interview: Kichwa leader José Fachín on oil and Peru (Guardian) — Fachín discusses a permanent protest underway, fighting against chronic oil pipeline leaks fouling land and water lived on by Kichwa and other indigenous peoples in Peru. Hard to imagine this persistent assault on indigenous peoples’ environment becoming just as embedded here in the U.S. — fossil fuel extraction must stop.
- Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist commemorates the loss of indigenous’ history in Sydney art installation (Guardian) — Nearly all artifacts of Australia’s indigenous peoples were destroyed in 1882 when an exhibition building burnt to the ground. Artist Jonathan Jones marks this epic loss with barrangal dyara (skin and bones) constructed from 15,000 gypsum shields marking the outline of the former building site.
Longread: Is ‘Space Art’ dying?
Interesting read about the history of space art and its impact on science. I wonder, though, whether space art has really been dying, or if it has merely been surpassed by the real beauty of space our current technology has been able to capture? Just browse through NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day — phenomenal images captured by cameras. Is the real problem space art faces a matter of imagination; are we not encouraging young artists to ponder what’s out there we have yet to capture with telescopes, space missions, and cameras?
Week’s over, already been tequila thirty here for nearly an hour. Have a nice weekend!