Monday, December 31, 2012

Mandela in kufiya: Algeria 1990

Nelson Mandela and his comrade Robert Resha received training from the Algerian FLN in Morocco in 1962. Shortly thereafter he returned to South Africa and was captured, tried, convicted of sabotage, and imprisoned until February 1990. In May 1990 he visited Algiers to meet his former FLN comrades. (Resha died in exile in London in 1973.)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Marilyn Monroe & James Dean in kufiya

It makes sense that this t-shirt, of Marilyn in a kufiya, would be from a clothing line produced by Iranian designers living in New York City. Check out Nimany's other stuff, it's fantastic. Most of it with terrific calligraphy. (The back of this shirt says Marilyn, written in Arabic script.)

And now that we have learned that Marilyn was a Commie symp, this is all the more appropriate. Even if she was sympathetic to Zionism.

I've seen nothing to suggest that James Dean had any "Communist" sympathies, but it nonetheless makes some sort of sense that an icon of disaffected youth would be posthumously kufiya-clad.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DJ Islam Chipsy live (mahragan)

Great short vid of mahragan (AKA 'techno shaabi' or 'electro shaabi') artist DJ Islam Chipsy working his keyboard magic, in a popular quarter in Cairo.

This is a great one too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Time's Joe Klein on why we kill 'their' 4 year olds with drones

Joe Klein really said this. On MSNBC's Morning Joe on October 23. From a recent piece by Vijay Prashad:

'On Oct. 23, Time’s Joe Klein was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Host Joe Scarborough spoke passionately against the use of drones, saying “it seems so antiseptic and yet you have 4-year-old girls being blown to bits because we have a policy that now says, ‘You know what? Instead of trying to go in and take the risk and get the terrorists out of hiding in a Karachi suburb, we’re just going to blow up everyone around them.’”

Klein, a defender of the Obama record, answered emotionlessly, “The bottom line in the end is — whose 4-year-old gets killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.” (emphasis added)'

Meanwhile, 178 children have died in US drone strikes on the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rihana Arabic Tat Reprise: "Numb"

"Numb" is a fantastic song. Let's just get that out there at the outset.

The video is great too. It's also an occasion to for Rihanna to show off all her tattoos as well as lots of flesh.

At 1:43 you can spot her tat which reads (though you can't in fact read it) in Arabic (roughly translated) "Freedom in Christ/the Messiah." Viewers might not have noticed because they were looking at something else. Or maybe at her new Isis tattoo. (For a better view of the Egyptian goddess Isis tat and the Arabic one, go here.) Another view of the Isis tat is: here.

I've blogged about these Arabic tats before. And about Rihanna's pro-imperialist vid, "Hard," too.

I just thought you Rihanna heads should know about this latest sighting. Don't forget to listen to the song. (I want to know who is rapping early on. Before Eminem kicks in.)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Apache (Apaçi) Kurdish Turkish dance. Or is it?

Young Turkish Kurds (reportedly from Ağrı, near the border with Iran) doing 'Apache (apaçi) dancing' (a Turkish subcultural dance style) to a song by the Mehmet Ali Arslan Grup. Well, I assume they are Kurds. (Turks and Azeris also live in Ağrı.)

A comment on a blog that discusses "Apache dancing" tries to explain:

Actually "apaçi" is a trending word in Turkish slang. It is used when describing uneducated and wannabe young people that has immigrant parents and live in suburbs of big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir. These young people can never completely integrate themselves to the city life because of their origins and that's why they have a "mutant" style, a bit from city life and a bit from their conservative family life.

"Apaçi dance" term came up from a dance style that is performed by these apaçi people when they're in a clubs :)

It's seems then that apaçi is a pejorative term used to describe young Kurds in Turkey. A term of denigration that, perhaps, young Kurds have embraced and attempted to detourn?

A friend who is in Alanya, Turkey, which is far from Turkey's eastern border but has lots of workers from the east, says "the young men with those kinds of hairstyles (standing up in the middle, lots of gel, long on the sides and back, etc) call their style 'apache'."

Meanwhile, as far as I can determine, Mehmet Ali Arslan is from Northeastern Turkey (near Ardahan) and the music may have Georgian, Azeri and Iraqi (Kurdish) influences. (I used Google translate to try to make sense of this.)  

Interestingly, the dance performed above is very similar to the dance performed in the video below. This is from Iranian Kurdistan. Fatima Al Qadiri has written about it here. Not very informatively, as she doesn't even mention that the singer, Mehdi Alizadeh, is from Iran. He is really great, no? 

So maybe (as Sherifa has noted in a bit of conversation about this on FB), there isn't any specific "Apache" dance tradition, so much as it is a matter of apaçi-s who are doing it.

Here's another Mehdi Alizadeh vid.

Who knows, maybe this is more like what Apaçi dance is supposed to be:

Saturday, December 01, 2012

hip-hop homophobia

In a move that shocked many, Kanye collaborator Frank Ocean came out publicly this year, but it’s been the loud and proud shamelessness of the openly gay underground rappers that’s shaken up the dialogue the most—artists such as Le1f, Mykki Blanco, and Nicky Da B have had the Internet going nuts. The walls protecting hip-hop’s historical homophobia and perplexingly arbitrary code of masculinity are finally getting wavvy.

@ LIL INTERNET writing on the best music of 2012 in Artforum. It's well worth reading both his take as well as Jason Moran's. Here.

More on Le1f here. And this:

Mykki Blanco here. Plus:

Nicky Da B talks. Sissy bounce!