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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Now on Smashwords

Greetings, Jah World. I know everybody don't have Amazon and Kindle, so now you can get Cries of Redemption as an ebook (ePub) through Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, et al. Click the Link to go through Smashwords and find out more. And, I give thanks for all the love and support I have been getting. Blessed Love, Kaya @TheAbeng http://KayaOmodele.com

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Abeng Interviews Clairmont Mali Chung from Roots and Culture Media (Part 2):The Cuffy Project


A documentary on slave revolutionary leader Cuffy is Roots and Culture Media's next project


Kaya @TheAbeng: So Clairmont, what new projects you got going on?

Clairmont Mali Chung: The new work is, I'm working on a documentary on Cuffy. As I said before, you cannot understand that history, or it's of less value, if you are not able to put in into the present; not just the information, the story, but the feeling, the ethos of revolution should be taken from the past and be placed into  present context. This is my belief. And this is what I tried to do with W.A.R.. Stories, the documentary of Walter Rodney, and this is what I'm trying to do with Cuffy. Because you cannot understand Walter without understanding the history from which Walter came - the personality, the ideas.
The idea of self emancipation didn't begin with Walter Rodney, it started a long, long, long time ago. He contextualized it and made it present; but Cuffy, when he stood up and said, "I'll never be your slave again!" to the governor, the Dutch governor at the time of Berbice, that's what he was talking about- self emancipation.
And so, doing a documentary on Cuffy is an attempt to bring that ethos into the present, but also to introduce Cuffy, not just as a figure in Guyana, as Guyana's national hero, governor of Berbice as he declared himself, but to introduce him as a world figure, someone who understand the way the world was working and  he needed to revolt and to lead a revolt. Because often times these figures are just seen in the context of their time, and never, we never extrapolate their feelings and place it amongst the present.
And so it's important for me to show the world that Cuffy was not just an enslaved African fighting for freedom, it was much more than that. Secondly, when Europeans write about enslaved men that revolt, they often contextualize it as though it were some kind of revolt or complaint about the series and the kinds of punishment that were being meted out to them. For example, in the trials that followed the Berbice revolt, many of the enslaved who testified, testified to the violence of the punishment that they received and European writers wrote about this violence as though it was something the Africans were revolting against; when in fact, it wasn't the violence, but the system that they were against. And so when, it makes sense that when Cuffy says, "I will not be your slave!" he was not talking about treatment he was receiving, it wasn't as though he was saying, "OK. I'll be your slave, just don't beat me as much." It was a much larger view, a world view.
And when you see the documentary, I hope that is the sense I am able to convey, that this was a world figure, operating in a context thirty years before Toussaint L'Ouverture, before the French Revolution and before the American Revolution - those are important points.

Kaya +The Abeng World-wide: 1763. I would always refer the whole thing as more than a revolt...more classify it as a revolution...that it wasn't something so much reactionary, it was something revolutionary.
CMC: Well, without a doubt, in my mind and in my view, after reading his letters that he dictated and  reading the journals of the sailors who visited both with captive cargo and as part of the hierarchy, it is clear to me that Cuffy and his lieutenants were much larger figures and much more informed.
"...it was a revolution because the government, the local government, the Dutch representatives, were forced to flee their seat of government. Whenever that happens anywhere in the world that's called a revolution. Why wouldn't it be a revolution simply because it was Africans who had been captive?" ~ Clairmont Mali Chung
It was a revolution because...it was a revolution because the government, the local government, the Dutch representatives, were forced to flee their seat of government. Whenever that happens anywhere in the world that's called a revolution. Why wouldn't it be a revolution simply because it was Africans who had been captive? See if the government, if you're forced to flee the seat of government, you're no longer in control.You see.  If you were to remain in control and were able to quell the revolt then you can call it a rebellion. But this was not just a rebellion, this was for control of the government of Berbice because Berbice was a separate colony. It was not attached then to Demerara or Essequibo which now makes up the Guyana border. Berbice was a separate Dutch colony, separate administration. So when they fled the seat of government, politically and otherwise, this was a revolution. The fact that they were able to come back and recapture it years later, a year later, does not change what happened. I often compare it to a heavyweight boxing match: you can beat me next week but if  I beat you today, and you're the champion and I beat you, I am the champion. You may come back two days later or a week later and regain your crown. But for the time that I was, remained unbeaten, I was the champion and so I am the government, I am the King, I am the Governor of Berbice.
And this is what Cuffy said, that he is the Governor. And so yeah, you couldn't be the governor of Berbice unless you were successful in a revolt, in a revolution.

Kaya Omodele interviews Clairmont Chung from rootsculturemedia on Vimeo.

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