Barring of Lavlas sparks fears of unrest in Haiti

REUTERS reports that Haitian authorities say they have barred the country’s most popular political party from Senate elections, a move some fear could spark unrest.


My fascination with the country was sparked by one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen entitled : The Ghosts of City Soleil. It pictures how two charismatic, but lawless young brothers are torn apart by political forces in the Port au Prince ghettos.


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As soon as I could, I googled the director. His name is Asger Leth. It turns out his father is also a documentary maker who has spent many years capturing life in Haiti. According to Leth, political events in Haiti are so cyclical that it makes it very easy for a filmmaker to plot how events will unfold:


“The thing in Haiti is that when the rebellion starts in the specific city of Gonaives it always ends up with the president or the dictator leaving the country. And it’s always at the end of February! It’s crazy as a documentary filmmaker that you can already [know that].”


Which is why it was so interesting to read the following report on the wires today (towards the end of February):


Haitian electoral officials said The Lavalas Family Party failed to submit papers from former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide authorizing the party’s list of Senate candidates; Aristide is living in exile in South Africa.


 Lavalas Family Party members protested when officials refused to register their candidates on Feb. 6.


Although electoral officials had given them until Monday to submit the legal mandate, it was claimed that Lavas missed the deadline


As a result its 12 candidates were barred from running in the April 19 Senate election.

Documentary on ’08 Greek Riots

Can’t actually see this video as access to bittorrent and utorrent are blocked by the work firewall but this documentary about the Greek riots looks fascinating, at least if the write-up on IndyMedia is to be believed:

A 28 minutes short movie-presentation of the insurrection of December 2008 in Greece through the words and actions of people that took part in it.

The video was created in Thessaloniki in January 2009 and its first presentation took place before an open discussion-review of the insurrection in the squatted public library of Ano Poli.

UK premier of Bassweight, dubstep documentary

The word dubstep first came to my attention at an artistic salon I went to at the Bethnal Green Men’s Working Club back in 2006.

It was, admittedly, an unlikely setting.  Chatting about writing for Rolling Stone Italy to a Dutch DJ sharing my table, I mentioned that I was on the look out for hot new bands and new musical trends.

He was appalled when I admitted that I had never hear of dubstep, a sound which originated in deepest, darkest Croydon but which had spread to Holland, Brazil and even Japan.

Imagining that I had come across this hot new genre, the next I whacked the term into Google to see how much had already been written.

To my dismay, the Telegraph had got there first (has anyone else noticed how, despite having the reputation for being the paper of choice for right-wing wrinklies, the Torygraph has a pretty avant-garde culture coverage.)

In the years that have followed, I’ve always been tempted by the idea of a night of dubstep. To date the closest I’ve come is listening to Annie Nightingale’s show on the BBC iPlayer, which I don’t think really counts.

Plastic People, one of my favourite clubs in London seems like the perfect venue – small, dark, underground and with a wicked sound system.

But the idea of spending the night with a load of moody teenage boys wearing sportswear has never really appealed.

Now it seems like I may have the perfect excuse to dig a little deeper into the scene.

My weekly journey (round the corner into the graphics suite) for creative inspiration has come up with a little gem.

Where the magic happens - ITV News graphics suite
Where the magic happens - ITV News graphics suite



The Whitechapel Gallery, which is round the corner from my gaff is hosting the UK premiere of Bassweight, the first documentary about dubstep.

The screening will be followed by live music from MEMORY9, The Open Sauce Soundsystem and KULTURE.

Bassline debuts on Friday 24th October 2008 at the Whitechapel Gallery