Marxism 2009

Here is the final timetable for Marxism 2009 with full details of speakers and meetings.

If you are looking to attend some of these workshops and meetings here is some useful information. Continue reading

Cuba50

CUBA 50 is a hub for any event, large or small that aims to celebrate and showcase the best of Cuban culture and talent in 2009.

From world class touring music and dance to national and regional theatres, galleries and exhibitions, Cuba 50 will be out there offering something for everyone, from live performances and film festivals to schools workshops and seminars.

Alongside sporting links to the Olympiad and Sustainable Living initiatives, this will be the biggest ever celebration of Cuban culture, of art, music, education, dance, film, photography and theatre.

From a country renowned for its vibrant cultural mix, events will be taking place across the UK throughout 2009 and culminating with the Cuba 50 highlight, a major London festival in Summer 2009.

From the rhythms of salsa and the cha cha cha, to the beauty of Afro Cuban dance to the precision of formal ballet; theatre, in a specially commissioned series of readings and performances of Cuban drama; seminars and talks from leading cultural commentators; art and photography exhibitions in some of London’s leading galleries; Cuban film festivals around the country; and the fantastic Barbican Cuba50 festival, featuring some of the world’s best musicians.

People across the world have come to love Cuba through seeing and experiencing the island’s culture, born of hundreds of years of history and a rich mix of cultures.

This is a unique festival and the biggest mix of performances and events to celebrate Cuban culture in Europe – Cuba 50!

Check out the Cuba50 website for more info.

Documentary: Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad

When the people of Oaxaca decided they’d had enough of bad government, they didn’t take their story to the media… They TOOK the media!

In the summer of 2006, a broad-based, non-violent, popular uprising exploded in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Some compared it to the Paris Commune, while others called it the first Latin American revolution of the 21st century.

But it was the people’s use of the media that truly made history in Oaxaca. A 90-minute documentary, Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad captures the unprecedented media phenomenon that emerged when tens of thousands of school teachers, housewives, indigenous communities, health workers, farmers, and students took 14 radio stations and one TV station into their own hands, using them to organize, mobilize, and ultimately defend their grassroots struggle for social, cultural, and economic justice.

“Beautiful, powerful, dramatic… magnificent… provides a remarkably deep and penetrating look into the people who made up the movement. Everyone interested in Mexico, in teachers and education, in workers’ movements, in indigenous people, in the state of our world and the struggle for social justice should see the video.”

For more information see http://www.corrugate.org/un_poquito_de_tanta_/un_poquito_de_tanta_verdad

To watch this documentary full screen click here

Every Child In School Numbered For Life

All 14-year-old children and future generations in England will have their personal details and exam results placed on a compulsory electronic database for life under a plan announced in February by government officials.

Colleges and prospective employers will be able to access students’ records online to check on their qualifications. Under the terms of the scheme all children will keep their individual number throughout their adult lives. The database will include details of exclusions and expulsions.

Officials claim that the introduction of the unique learner number (ULN) is not a step towards a national identity card. But it will be seen as the latest step in the Government’s broader efforts to computerise personal records.

Teachers’ leaders, parents’ organisations, opposition MPs and human rights campaigners have questioned whether this Big Brother approach is necessary and have said that it could compromise the personal security of millions of teenagers.

The new database — which will store a “tamper-proof CV” — will be known as MIAP (managing Information Across Partners). To be registered on the new database every 14-year-old will be issued with a unique learner number. Unlike the current unique pupil number now given to children in school but destroyed when they leave, the ULN will be used by government agencies to track individuals until they retire. Ultimately, it will create a numbered database for every citizen aged 14-plus in the UK. Continue reading

Free Instruments For Poor Children

Children living on England’s poorest estates will be provided with musical instruments and taught for free how to perform works by composers such as Bach and Beethoven.

They will then be encouraged to join full-scale orchestras as part of a government scheme, spearheaded by internationally renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, that aims to tackle disaffection and boost aspiration. Continue reading

“The Future of Classical Music lies in Venezuela”

Excerpt from documentary ‘Mata Tigre” 2006

Placido Domingo cried when he saw the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra perform. The world-renowned opera singer confessed that the concert evoked the strongest emotions he had ever felt.

Sir Simon Rattle, director of the Berlin Philharmonic, swore that the country’s youth orchestras were doing the most important work in classical music anywhere in the world.

And former Berlin Philharmonic director Claudio Abbado only needed to see one performance by the orchestra to invite the Venezuelans to play in Germany. Continue reading