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Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Voice is Heard

It is sometimes naively comforting to think that this little blog, and what is written daily, is kept within a circle of the regular Carnival lovers who visit every day, critics who check in ever so often and the few that stumble upon Trinidad Carnival Diary while doing a google search for some obscure thing that leads them here. The greater realization that my “voice” is being heard outside of that circle is unexpected yet the very fact now makes me more aware that the World Wide Web is not as anonymous as we would like to think; bloggers do not exist in a vacuum. This was illustrated to me by a column on Global Voices Online highlighting the acrid responses to the Jamaican Gleaner article by Dawn Ritch. In addition to other bloggers in “blogsphere” they quoted my retort first! Imagine my surprise to see the very words I had written now being used to support a follow up article on the subject:

But no commentary on the issue has caused as much ire in the blogosphere than a vitriolic piece by Jamaican columnist Dawn Ritch entitled “Bombastic Trinidadians”, published recently in the Jamaica Gleaner. Trinidad Carnival Diary shared her views in a post titled “Bombastic Jamaican”:

"I find it quite ironic that a Jamaican is writing about the murder rates in Trinidad and Tobago when theirs is the highest in the region."

Bloggers also seemed insulted at Ms. Ritch’s characterisation of the indigenous people of Trinidad and Tobago: “What the Jamaican Government must now have realised are baleful consequences of the Amerindian heritage of Trinidad. They are not Taino but Carib, and those were cannibals. We were not, and it’s not part of our make-up. Murderous today, but still not cannibal. The only thing to do with cannibals is drive them out with prosperity. That way we will have the economic independence to buy back that which they have gloatingly captured here on the cheap.”
To read the Global Voices Online article " Jamaica, Trinidad &Tobago; Bombastic?" written by Janine Mendes Franco in it's entirety click here.

Global Voices Online is a non profit organization that basically scours the Internet looking for blogs and bloggers with something to say and then compile them all in one place. In their own words this is a synopsis of what Global Voices Online does:

With tens of millions of people blogging all over the planet, how do you avoid being overwhelmed by the information overload? How do you figure out who are the most influential or respected and credible bloggers or podcasters in any given country, especially those outside your own?
Our international team of volunteer authors, regional blogger-editors and translators are your guides to the global blogosphere.

Our Primary Goals:
At a time when the international English-language media ignores many things that are important to large numbers of the world’s citizens, Global Voices aims to redress some of the inequities in media attention by leveraging the power of citizens’ media. We’re using a wide variety of technologies - weblogs, podcasts, photos, video, wikis, tags, aggregators and online chats - to call attention to conversations and points of view that we hope will help shed new light on the nature of our interconnected world.

We aim to do the following:
1) Call attention to the most interesting conversations and perspectives emerging from citizens’ media around the world by linking to text, photos, podcasts, video and other forms of grassroots citizens’ media being produced by people around the world
2) Facilitate the emergence of new citizens’ voices through training, online tutorials, and publicizing the ways in which open-source and free tools can be used safely by people around the world to express themselves
3) Advocate for freedom of expression around the world and to protect the rights of citizen journalists to report on events and opinions without fear of censorship or persecution

Consequently it is somewhat unnerving, yet complimentary ,to know that people are paying attention to what is written and think it is worthy enough to be singled out. In that respect I am quite grateful to Global Voices for “spreading the word” and letting bloggers voices be heard!

Brazil Carnival 2007

JJ sent me this amazing slide show of photos from Brazil Carnival 2007. Unfortunately it was done in Power Point and I could not upload it in it's original format (if anyone does want the original file of a slide show with music you can send me an email). However I was able to convert the photos and have uploaded them to an album on Photobucket which can be accessed here.

click on the photos for larger view

The costumes are absolutely gorgeous and I am seeing both fantasy and animal themes in a few of the presentations. Two things I have realised looking at those photos; one is that the samba girls are separated from the crowd so though they wear these ridiculously skimpy costumes there is a feeling that they are on "show" and cannot be touched. The second thing is that no matter how skimpy the costumes of Trinidad's Carnival becomes I am NOT wearing a belt piece that is akin to a wire thong of sorts held between my butt cheeks! Oh, and I was too happy too see a sheer body suit! Now this I will wear for Carnival 2008 (after liposuction and tons of plastic surgery LOL)!

Be forewarned there is a lot of, ahem, nudity in some of the photos so open with caution.
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