Berrett Koehler Publishers (405)
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Notes

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

1. Explore the history and current work of the Walkouts Network (Swapathgami) at http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/walkoutsnetwork.htm. Swapathgami is Hindi for “making our own paths of learning and living.”

2. For more information about The Berkana Institute, see p. 265 or visit www.berkana.org.

3. Gratitude to Myron Rogers, who first coined the phrase “Start anywhere, follow it everywhere.”

4. Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, México Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), 5.

5. To learn more about co-motion, read Gustavo Esteva, “Back from the Future,” http://gustavoesteva.com/english_site/back_from_the_future.htm#_ftn1.

6. CIDECI stands for Centro Indigena de Capacitación Integral.

7. Dr. Raymundo Sánchez Barraza shared this in an interview with Nic Paget-Clarke published in In Motion Magazine. See “Interview with Raymundo Sánchez Barraza: A University Without Shoes,” http://inmotion magazine.com/global/rsb_int_eng.html, September 2005 (accessed August 17, 2010).

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We Never Know Who We Are

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
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Choosing to Act

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Deborah Frieze

I began hosting Learning Journeys in 2004, when I took my first group of fourteen participants to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Within six months of that trip, four participants had quit their jobs—the life they returned to just didn’t make sense anymore—and I became curious. What about our journey was creating this disturbance? What were we seeing now that hadn’t been visible to us before? I began paying attention to our Walk Out statistics. Sure enough, within six to twelve months of each journey, about 30 percent of the participants would walk out of their previous lives, declaring that something more must be possible.

These Learning Journeys have been working on me relentlessly ever since. I’ve discovered that the real work of the journey only begins once you have returned home and you see your familiar world through new eyes. Patterns and choices that once had been indistinguishable suddenly come into high relief. Until now, these patterns have been operating in the background, invisible and unintentional—Meg and I call this a system of influence, the dominant forces of our culture that have us unconsciously embracing the collective assumptions about how we should live. But a Learning Journey interrupts that unconsciousness and moves those patterns to the foreground, where we are confronted with choice. Let me give you some examples of where that has happened to me.

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Chapter 1: The Birth of Pro-Voice

Baker, Aspen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I grew up in the middle of our nation’s wars over abortion.

In 1976, the year I was born, the first clinic bombing was reported. The 1980s, my formative childhood years, were dominated by the impact of aggressive pro-life protests. California, my home state, had one of the most successful anti-abortion campaigning organizations around: more than 40,000 pro-life activists were arrested while protesting abortion clinics during a four-year period in the ’80s.1

As I was growing up in Southern California, it wasn’t unusual for me to see a huge picture of a bloody, dismembered fetus on a massive sign attached to the side of a minivan driving up and down the freeways near my home. I was certainly affected by pro-life public-awareness efforts but unaware of the violence against clinics. I grew up without a TV, so if these events were covered on the news, I never saw them.

As regular attendees of what I like to call a “surfing Christian” church and school, both nondenominational, my family and I spent time with other church and school families on the beaches of my hometown. San Clemente is steeped in surfing culture: it’s the home of Surfing Magazine; surf legends such as the Paskowitz, Fletcher, Beschen, and Gudauskas families; iconic surf brands such as Rainbow Sandals and Astrodeck; the nonprofit ocean conservation organization the Surfrider Foundation.2 To top it all off, our “Spanish Village by the Sea” was made famous by Richard Nixon during his presidency as the location of his “western White House.” Everyone, including many of the moms and all the kids, surfed, and in our circle, a special occasion meant it was time to pull out a nice Hawaiian shirt or sundress and wear the good flip-flops. Only the preacher wore a suit. Everyone was pro-life, and we all mourned the tragedy of abortion, but no one ever invited me to a protest, and as far as I knew, no one in our community participated in one, either—violent or not.

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Chapter 2: America’s Abortion Conflict

Baker, Aspen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our country has never really talked about the personal experience of abortion.

For a long time, abortion was an open secret—illegal yet something everyone knew existed even though it was never discussed. When legal cases started making the news in the 1960s, the topic of abortion came out of the closet. But it wasn’t the voices and experiences of women who were having abortions that were making the front page. It was most often stories about providers and local efforts to crack down on the procedure.

After LaVange Michael, a 68-year-old widow, was arrested for providing women with illegal abortions in her home in Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1962, the New York Times noted that it was no longer so easy to sweep abortion under the rug of secrecy.1

People were starting to talk openly about abortion and how it might be addressed.

It was the perfect time to make a change.

Social movements advocating for increased equality and the elimination of racism and sexism were sweeping across America, generating a heightened sense of urgency and new hope for the possibilities of a less restrictive and freer society. The arrest of Michael was just three years after “Bloody Sunday,” when hundreds of African Americans marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, for voting rights were injured and tear-gassed, which prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to create the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It was just a couple of years after 24-year-old Stokely Carmichael was identified by the New York Times as the new chairman of the Black Panther party,2 signifying the growth, diversity, and splintering of black leadership in the movements for civil rights and black power. The National Organization for Women (NOW), cofounded by Betty Friedan, had just called for equal partnership between the sexes, while Dolores Huerta and César Chávez were forming the National Farm Worker’s Association, later called the United Farm Workers.

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Cabi (22)
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9: Soil Quality in Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS) of Rainfed, Sloping Land Farming in the Central Mid-hills Region of Nepal

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

9

Soil Quality in Conservation

Agriculture Production Systems

(CAPS) of Rainfed, Sloping Land

Farming in the Central Mid-hills

Region of Nepal

Susan Crow,1* Olivia Schubert,1 Bir Bahadur Tamang,2

Theodore Radovich,1 Bikash Paudel,1

Jacqueline Halbrendt1 and Keshab Thapa2

University of Hawaiʻi at Ma¯noa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; 2Local Initiatives for

Biodiversity, Research, and Development (LI-BIRD), Pokhara, Nepal

1

9.1  Introduction

9.1.1  Nepal

Nepal is a populous country (30.4 million people) of small size (147,181 km2), with a growth rate of 1.35% per annum (NPHC, 2012; CIA, 2013). Agriculture is the main sector contributing to people’s livelihood and the national economy, and nearly three-quarters of the total population depends primarily on agriculture

(CSB, 1999). Nepal is landlocked on the southern slopes of the central Himalayas in South Asia. The topography, elevation, and climatic conditions of Nepal are all wide-ranging. The country is commonly divided into three ecological zones: mountains, hills, and lowland areas called terai (Khatri-Chhetri and Maharjan,

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1: A Brief History of Conservation Agriculture

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

1

A Brief History of Conservation

Agriculture

Travis Idol*

University of Hawai‘i at Maˉnoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

1.1  Introduction

“Conservation agriculture (CA) aims to achieve sustainable and profitable

­agriculture and subsequently aims at improved livelihoods of farmers through the application of the three CA principles: minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA holds tremendous potential for all sizes of farms and agro-ecological systems, but its adoption is perhaps most urgently required by smallholder farmers, especially those facing acute labour shortages. It is a way to combine profitable agricultural production with environmental concerns and sustainability and it has been proven to work in a variety of agroecological zones and farming systems. It is been perceived by practitioners as a valid tool for

Sustainable Land Management (SLM)” (FAO, 2014a).

This modern definition of conservation agriculture embodies almost a century of academic and public concern over the negative effects of agriculture on soils and other natural resources and a much longer recognition that the quality of these resources is essential for the sustainability of agricultural production and the well-being of the surrounding natural and human communities. The main culprit has been, and continues to be, the plowing of the soil. Tillage has been a part of the development of agriculture since its beginnings in North Africa, the

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10: Preferences for Conservation Agriculture in Developing Countries: a Case Study on the Tribal Societies of India and Nepal

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

10

Preferences for Conservation

Agriculture in Developing

Countries: a Case Study on the

Tribal Societies of India and

Nepal

Cynthia Lai,* Catherine Chan, Aliza Pradhan,

Bikash Paudel, Brinton Foy Reed and

Jacqueline Halbrendt

University of Hawaiʽi at Ma¯noa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

10.1  Introduction

In many agricultural regions of the world, farmers are experiencing the effects of climate change and its subsequent effects on soil productivity, which lead to reduced agricultural productivity (FAO, 2012). For smallholder subsistence farmers who reside in developing countries, the effects of climate change coupled with population pressures are of even greater impact, due to existing marginalized land conditions (i.e. poor soil fertility, moisture retention, and erosion), as well as lack of capital, institutional support, and access to resources and information (Lai et al., 2012a). With increasing population and decreasing land fertility, agricultural research in the 1960s and 1970s focused on agricultural intensification and increasing per capita food production (Conway and Barbier, 1990). The new technologies, innovations, and increased agricultural productivity that emerged from this period are recognized as the “Green Revolution”. Although the resulting chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and breeding programs for high-yielding varieties provided increased yields, the successes were short-lived, as they failed to provide sustainable solutions to existing land degradation and soil fertility problems, particularly for the smallholder subsistence farmer (Conway and Barbier, 1990).

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3: Potential of Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS) for Improving Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security in the Hill Region of Nepal

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

3

Potential of Conservation

Agriculture Production

Systems (CAPS) for Improving

Sustainable Food and Nutrition

Security in the Hill Region of Nepal

Bikash Paudel,1* Theodore Radovich,1 Catherine Chan,1

Susan Crow,1 Jacqueline Halbrendt,1 Keshab Thapa2 and Bir Bahadur Tamang2

University of Hawai‛i at Ma¯noa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; 2Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development, Pokhara, Nepal

1

3.1  Introduction

3.1.1  Food and nutritional security in Nepal

One in eight people in the world suffers from hunger (FAO/IFAD/WFP, 2013).

Although the population considered malnourished has decreased from 1,015 to

842 million from 1990–1992 to 2011–2013, the rate of progress varies across different regions. During this period, the undernourished population has decreased from 319 to 295 million people in southern Asia, yet the region’s contribution to the global malnourished population has increased from 31% to 35% in the same duration. The increase in southern Asia’s proportion of the world’s undernourished population is due mainly to comparatively slower progress in improving food security in the region. Although Nepal is included in southern Asia, its progress in fighting hunger is slightly better than other countries in the region.

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5: Assessment of Maize-based Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS) in Rainfed Uplands of Odisha, India

Chan, C.; Fantle-Lepczyk, J. CABI PDF

5

Assessment of Maize-based

Conservation Agriculture

Production Systems (CAPS) in Rainfed Uplands of Odisha,

India

Pravat Kumar Roul,1* Aliza Pradhan,2 Kshitendra

Narayan Mishra,1 Plabita Ray,1 Travis Idol,2 Satya

Narayan Dash,1 Catherine Chan2 and Chittaranjan Ray2

1

2

Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, India;

University of Hawai‛i at Maˉnoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

5.1  Introduction

Rainfed agroecosystems, the purported gray patches untouched by the Green

Revolution or most technological advances, occupy a prominent position in

Indian agriculture. However, since productivity of the country’s irrigated areas has almost reached a plateau, future growth in farm productivity will likely come from rainfed agroecosystems. The rainfed zones of India, with annual rainfall ranging from 500 to 1,500 mm, constitute 60% of the country’s net cultivated area. Calculations based on rainfall distribution pattern and soil type showed that even if the full irrigation potential of the country was realized, 50% of the net sown area would remain rainfed.

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Cabi (27)
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2: Rainforest Use: Necessity, Wisdom, Greed, Folly

Bruenig, E.F. CABI PDF

2

Rainforest Use: Necessity,

Wisdom, Greed, Folly

2.1  Original Inhabitants and Secondary

Refugees: Forest-dwellers and the

Rainforest

Life on earth has been, since its origin in the

Archaeozoic period of the Praecambrium, essentially expansive and acquisitive. Life multiplies and reaches out towards the limits of the carrying capacity of habitats. Local to global scarcities of resources are the inevitable consequence. Scarcity provokes competition, forces evolution and drives conquest of new habitats. Natural “genetic biotechnology” increases the efficiency to acquire and assimilate foreign substance to one’s own.

Human biological and social evolution are no exception to this natural rule (Markl, 1986, p. 19), except for the challenges, opportunities and dangerous temptations of the three special gifts of language, abstract thinking and free will (see Chapter 1). The early abode of the precursors of the human species most probably was the aseasonal to weakly seasonal tropical (rain) forest. An indication is the association of the fossils of early Pliocene hominids at Aramis, Ethiopia, with faunal and floral fossils of a closed forest, suggesting that some kind of rainforest was the habitat of the hominids 4 million years ago, in which they lived and died (Woldegabriel et  al., 1994). The rainforest canopy provides the only type of habitat on earth in

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12: Quo Vadis Silva Tropica Humida, Quo Vadis Nos?

Bruenig, E.F. CABI PDF

12

Quo Vadis Silva Tropica Humida,

Quo Vadis Nos?

12.1  From Ancient Democratic

Athens and Oligarchic Rome to the

Postmodern Era and Beyond

12.2  In the Postmodern Era and Beyond: Who Are They That

Now Abuse Our Patience?

Democratic ancient Athens, upon the suggestion of Plato (Davies and Vaughan, 1935) tried to stop the rampant deforestation in the Attic hills, re-green the bare hills and stop timber theft. Plato succeeded in having a forest law passed and an empowered and competent forest administration established. The forests are gone, but the ideals of individual freedom, social responsibility, justice, equity and democracy still

­inspire the peoples of the world. The oligarchic ancient Rome defended ethics and morals, constitution, law and order against the unrelenting attacks by the nobleman

Lucius Sergius Catilina (108–62 bc), a corrupt, fraudulent, ruthless and unprincipled opportunist, and his gang of predatory exploiters. In his famous In Catilinam speeches to the Senate of Rome, Marcus Tullius

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Appendix 1: Biocybernetic Principles of System Design

Bruenig, E.F. CABI PDF

Appendix 1: Biocybernetic Principles of System Design

The eight basic biocybernetic rules for system design as defined by Vester (1980) can be adapted and applied to planning and management in forestry as follows:

Rule 1

In a complex of feedback loops the number of linkages with negative signs must exceed those with positive signs (Figs 2.3 and 11.1).

Rule 2

Function must be independent of quantitative growth: the forest stand and the estate can continue to be ecologically and economically robust, viable and serviceable even if, for example, the market does not expand or the increment of timber does not increase.

Rule 3

Design for broad functionality by means of production and product diversity: production schedules should produce a variety of timbers and other products in a mixed forest instead of maximum rates of a single product in a monoculture; the maximising of biomass or timber according to yield table models in densely grown, uniform, single-species stands is a classic example of a non-biocybernetic concept.

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6: Naturalistic Close-to-Nature Forestry Management in Tropical Rainforests

Bruenig, E.F. CABI PDF

6

Naturalistic Close-to-Nature Forestry

Management in Tropical Rainforests

6.1  Origin, Goals, Targets and

­Principles of Close-to-Nature Forestry

Two centuries ago, Professor Pfeil (1783–1859)

(the first Director of the Academy of Forestry in Eberswalde, University Berlin, 1836–1856), inspired by A. von Humboldt’s work in the

Amazonas–Orinoko basin, aptly expressed the essence of the “close-to-nature forestry”

(CNF) doctrine: “Fragt die Bäume wie sie erzogen sein wollen, sie werden Euch besser darüber belehren, als die Bücher es thun”

(“Ask the trees how they want to be tended and trained, they will teach you better than books do”, translated from an autographed handwritten note below an engraved picture of Professor Pfeil in my study). It means that foresters or forest owners should go out to the forest, look at the trees and the ground they stand on, observe and judge the trees in relation to their neighbours and their habitat (soil and terrain type, and including the ground vegetation) as indicators of vigour and health of the soil and vegetation biology. But you must ask the trees or forest concerned – go to the trees and into the forest. Books and tables are no substitutes, as Pfeil said, neither are the Weiserflächen (monitoring plots), fashionable in the 1930s, nor the Referenzflächen (reference plots) now fashionable and politically correct. The Weiserfläche was

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4: Principles and Strategies of Sustainability

Bruenig, E.F. CABI PDF

4

Principles and Strategies of Sustainability

4.1  Timescale and Hierarchy of Sustainability Principles and Strategies

The principle of sustainability has been recognised as the basic principle of economics and environmental management as long as conscious economic and long-term thinking has existed in humans, possibly at least from the hunter-and-gatherer stage. However, it has not always been practised. Plato (427–347 bc) and

Socrates (470–399 bc) lamented the bare hills of Attica, Greece, and realised that the driving forces of deforestation, soil exhaustion and soil loss, and common resources generally, were human greed for wealth and lust for power (The Republic of Plato, translated by

Davies and Vaughan, 1935). We still witness the same connections working all around us in all spheres of life, today – 2400 years later – not only in forestry and forest products processing and consumption, making sustainability a pretentious buzzword in media and politics. In theory, true sustainability (Section 3.1) should be the universally guiding principle of all aspects and levels of forestry and forest industries and trade. The reality is that in most tropical rainforest (TRF) countries, achieved sustainability is reported to exist in official statements and politically correct publications, without convincing evidence; in others, it is simply ignored. Reliable data and information

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Indiana University Press (1989)
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3 Slavery, Ethnogenesis, and Social Resurrection

Walter C. Rucker Indiana University Press ePub

Coramantien, a country of blacks . . . is very warlike and brave, and having a continual campaign, being always in hostility with one neighbouring prince or other.

APHRA BEHN, OROONOKO (1688)

In the autumn of 1736, hundreds of the inhabitants on the British Caribbean island of Antigua witnessed a series of events purported to be the culmination of months of clandestine planning. Court, an enslaved man in the employ of Thomas Kerby, became the widely recognized leader of a “Coromantee” contingent and he helped forge an alliance with “Eboes” and island-born creoles. Captured and enslaved in the Gold Coast at the age of ten, Court reportedly hailed from a “considerable” family—likely in Ga-speaking Accra—though he was not of royal blood. Despite his high-born natal origin, the leveling influences of capture, social death, and chattel slavery—along with his youth at the time of his transatlantic journey in 1711—reduced Court’s status to that of other Atlantic Africans and creoles he encountered after disembarking in Antigua. Over the course of a quarter century, Court—described in trial records as “artful, and ambitious, very proud, and of few Words”—accumulated money, influence, and an elevated status that led him to assume, “among his Countrymen . . . the Title of King, and had been by them [addressed] and treated as such.” Court’s stature as New World royalty among the Coromantee was evident in the chant his retinue routinely performed in his presence. With raised wooden cutlasses, they would cry “Tackey, Tackey, Tackey, Coquo Tackey which signifies, King, King, King, great King, which Words are used in the Coramantee Country every Morning at the King’s Door.” Indeed, Court was referred to by his Coromantee title “Tackey”—a Ga royal lineage or office—so often that it was mistaken by contemporary witnesses and more recent historians for his personal, Gold Coast name.1

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1 A Two-Level Study of Attitudes toward Political Islam: Data and Methods

Mark Tessler Indiana University Press ePub

UNTIL A DECADE or so ago, the investigation of individual attitudes, values, and behavior patterns was the “missing dimension” in political science research dealing with the Arab and Muslim Middle East.1 Such research, although not completely absent, was limited to a very small number of American, Arab, and Turkish political scientists. It was also limited with respect to the countries where systematic survey research could be conducted, the degree to which representative national samples could be drawn, and the extent to which sensitive questions about politics could be asked.2

There are complaints about the paucity of research in this area going back to the 1970s. A major review of the scholarship on Arab society, published in 1976, called attention to the absence of systematic research on political attitudes and behavior patterns. The author of this review, I. William Zartman, stated that “the critical mass of research [in the field of political behavior] has been done outside the Middle East” and “data generation and analysis in the region remain to be done.”3 Malcolm Kerr, another leading student of Arab politics, offered a similar assessment a few years later. Writing in the foreword to Political Behavior in the Arab States, Kerr stated that there is a need for much more research in which the individual is the unit of analysis in order “to bring a healthier perspective to our understanding of Arab politics . . . and so that we may see it less as a reflection of formal cultural norms or contemporary world ideological currents and more as [the behavior] of ordinary individuals.”4

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3 Control of the Lower Decks, 1860–1910

Zachary R. Morgan Indiana University Press ePub

What exactly do we mean when we use the term “povo”? Certainly not this base mass of illiterate, diseased, shriveled, malaria-ridden mestizos and blacks. This cannot be called a “people,” they cannot be presented to foreigners as an example of our people. The workers cannot be this example, they will never be the people. People means race, culture, civilization, affirmation, nationhood – not the dregs of a nation.

JOÃO UBALDO RIBEIRO, Viva o povo brasileiro

ACCORDING TO THE RECORDS OF THE NAVAL HIGH COURT (Conselho de Guerra da Marinha), in June 1872, cabin boy (grumete) Cosme Monoel do Nascimento, was found guilty of gravely wounding fellow cabin boy Francisco Palmeira d’Oliveira with a razor. He initially received a sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment, though that sentence would later be reduced to ten years. Through the court records, we gain access to a laundry list of biographical detail. We learn that Nascimento was a black (preto) twenty-seven-year-old who was born in Pernambuco; his father was José Francisco das Chagas. Nascimento enrolled in the Imperial Marines (Corpo dos Imperiais Marinheiros, the more prestigious branch of the navy akin to the U.S. marines) in 1862, but in May 1871, due to dishonorable behavior, he was moved to the regular navy and demoted to the rank of cabin boy.1

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7 Conclusion: The Measure of a Revolt

Zachary R. Morgan Indiana University Press ePub

THE BLACK ADMIRAL

A long time ago in the waters of Guanabara Bay

The Dragon of the Sea reappeared

In the Figure of the brave sailor

Who history has not forgotten

He was known as the Black Admiral

He had the dignity of a master-of-ceremony

And when navigating the seas

With his assembly of frigates

He was hailed in port

By the French and Polish girls

And a battalion of mulattas

Crimson cascades gushed from the backs

Of blacks struck by the tip of the lash

Flooding the hearts of every crew

With the example of the sailors’ screams.

AT LEFT ARE THE ORIGINAL TITLE AND FIRST VERSES OF A SONG by João Bosco and Aldir Blanc, written about João Cândido and his revolt during the Brazilian military dictatorship in 1975.1 The military government censured the song for supporting antimilitarism; the title was changed from “The Black Admiral” to “O Mestre-Sala Dos Mares” (The master-of-ceremony of the sea), and the lyrics were rewritten. The whipped “sailor” became a “sorcerer,” and the “crimson cascades that gushed from the backs of negros [blacks]” would instead flow from the backs of santos (saints). “Hail the black admiral,” which ended the song, was changed to “Hail the black navigator.” The censured song went on to become a hit and has since been sung by some of Brazil’s biggest stars.

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6 Women, Regeneration, and Power

Walter C. Rucker Indiana University Press ePub

Sound the abeng,

Make ready the lowland raids.

Slaughter the English enemies

On lowland plains . . .

Victoriously we return

Oh chieftaness of the Mountain Passes.

MARGUERITE CURTIN, “NANNY,” IN GOTTLIEB, THE MOTHER OF US ALL (2000)

Clara’s Atlantic journey from the Gold Coast to Jamaica involved a rather ironic and dramatic personal transformation. As she related when interviewed by planter Bryan Edwards sometime between 1787 and 1793, she came from a small rural hamlet not far from Fante-speaking Anomabu in the central coast. Her parents and eight siblings were all slaves belonging to a “great man” named Anamoa. Given the multigenerational nature of their enslavement, they may have been war captives. Indeed, their master, Anamoa, may have been the ohene or warlord responsible for their capture and transformation into slaves. Their master’s untimely death precipitated the sale of Clara, two of her siblings, and several others to local merchants to cover his many debts. This separation from her parents and most of her siblings represented the second social death Clara suffered in her short life; she would undergo a few more over the course of coming months. She and her two brothers found themselves onboard an English slaver, disembarking in Jamaica by late 1784. We know little of their Atlantic journey other than the fact that Edwards purchased all three after 1787 and they joined a sizable contingent of “Koromantyn Negroes” on his holdings. The twenty others formerly owned by Anamoa who went unsold, including most of Clara’s immediate family, suffered far worse fortunes than shipment to the Western Hemisphere. Of their fate, Clara reported to Edwards all the “others were killed” at their master’s funeral.1

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John Libbey Publishing (20)
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A Brief History of Animation

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

This chapter begins with an overview of animation’s beginnings and a discussion of how animation, as both an art and as an industry, took shape in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. This is followed by a brief examination of two of the main animation studios in America in the 1930s and 1940s (and Disney’s main competitors), the Fleischer Brothers studio and the animation unit at Warner Brothers. These will help to underline and illustrate a comparison between how animation’s role and worth as a medium were perceived at the Disney studio and other studios. It is also important to outline, in general terms, animation techniques and practices of this period and at various studios in order to achieve a more complete understanding of how and why animated characters were created and presented as they were.

This chapter, despite its presence in a book on the films of the Disney studio, has very little discussion of topics which are directly related to Disney. While this may initially seem odd, there are in fact very good reasons: in order to appreciate the many ways in which the Disney studio differed (and continues to differ) from its competitors, it is important to become acquainted with the nature of Disney’s competition. From 1928 – the year in which the Disney studio achieved its first major success with the release of “Steamboat Willie” – up to the present day, animation at other studios has been defined, understood, and appreciated in relation to Disney (even if only to reject the Disney style and ethos), measuring achievements and failures by how much – or how little – the influence of the Disney studio can be detected. In other words, why the Disney studio did what it did, how it did what it did, what it did, how its ways changed (and how they stayed the same) over time, and even a sense of what Walt Disney and his successors hoped to achieve both within and for animation as a medium, are best understood within the context of how animation was approached at other studios. Because there were two studios in particular between 1925 and the 1950s which could be viewed as being equal to the competition offered by the Disney studio, it is only those two studios – the Fleischers’ studio at Paramount, then the animation unit at Warner Brothers studio – which will be discussed in any detail.58 Once the reader has a working knowledge of animation history and an idea of how animation outside the Disney studio was approached, it becomes much easier to understand the very real and important ways in which the Disney studio differed from other studios, and to appreciate the ways in which these differences contributed not only to the choices made by the Disney studio regarding its production, but also to the Disney studio’s ultimate success.

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Disney films analysed in this study, with plot summaries335

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

An evil queen asks the slave in her magic mirror ‘who is the fairest one of all?’ to which the slave replies that Snow White is. Made jealous by the subsequent sight of Snow White being wooed by the prince, she orders her huntsman to take Snow White into the woods and kill her. The huntsman, overcome by Snow White’s goodness, tells her of the Queen’s rage, bidding her to flee. Later, Snow White is led by the animals to the seven dwarfs’ cottage. Snow White and the animals clean the house, hoping to persuade the dwarfs to let her stay. Snow White becomes tired and goes upstairs to sleep. The dwarfs return home, and a comic scene ensues as the dwarfs notice that everything is clean and assume ‘there’s dirty work afoot’ and in which we learn each of the dwarfs’ personalities. They then find Snow White, asleep, laying across several of their beds. Upon awakening, she tells them of the Queen’s jealousy, asking if she can live with them. They agree. Leaving for work the next morning, they warn Snow White to be on guard. The Queen, meanwhile, has used her black magic to disguise herself and has learned Snow White’s whereabouts. The Queen goes to the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage, bringing Snow White a poisoned apple. Snow White takes a bite and falls unconscious. Meanwhile, the dwarfs, alerted by the animals that the Queen is with Snow White, hurry to the cottage to protect her, but succeed only in chasing the Queen to her death. We are then told (by means of an inter-title) that because she was so beautiful the dwarfs did not bury Snow White (whom they think is dead). The prince, having searched for Snow White all along, arrives and sees the dwarfs and the animals praying around Snow White’s coffin. He lifts the cover, kisses her, and kneels down. Snow White awakens. After bidding good-bye to the dwarfs, she and the prince head into the sunset to live happily ever after.

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Conclusion

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

In the London edition of Time Out for the week of 28 June to 5 July 2000, there were a number of articles relating to the film Chicken Run, released in Britain that week.324 Made by Nick Park and Peter Lord, the creators of “Wallace and Gromit”, Chicken Run was the first feature-length film made by Aardman Studio, for some years a maker of very popular, successful, and Academy Award-winning shorts. At the beginning of the television listings section, as part of the promotion for a BBC documentary on Chicken Run and its creators at Aardman Studios, was a large picture of the various characters whom Aardman shorts have featured as well as some of Chicken Run’s characters. And, superimposed over the heads of four of the characters were four human faces: Nick Park, Steven Spielberg, Peter Lord, and Walt Disney. Though Disney’s name and studio were not once mentioned in the article about the documentary, his image was nonetheless in the photo. In fact, because the maker of this picture chose to use a sepia-toned picture of a young Walt Disney’s face, he stood out from the picture in a way which the other figures – people all mentioned in the article and involved in bringing Chicken Run to the screen – did not.

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The Early Life of Walt Disney and the Beginnings of the Disney Studio, 1901–1937

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

The early years in the life of Walt Disney and the start of his studio are the subject of a high degree of myth and misunderstanding, much of it perpetuated by Walt himself. Late twentieth century folk wisdom on the subject maintains that Walt was not only not an artist, but also that he possessed no artistic ability himself and merely took credit for the artistry of his studio employees. One biography of Walt paints the picture of a man who was mentally ill in more ways than one (obsessive compulsive, megalomaniac, and paedophile are just a few of the accusations levelled104), while others prefer to paint an image of a kindly, loveable, albeit somewhat complex man, again at the expense of a balanced picture.105 But who was Walt Disney, how much was he involved in the output of the studio which bears his name, and what influence over Disney films did he have and does he continue to have? What was and is Walt Disney’s place in American popular culture, and how was that place achieved? While these questions and others will be addressed in the next few chapters, the roots of the answers will be discussed here in Chapter two. Walt Disney’s childhood, youth, and early professional years will be analysed in light of vast amounts of both information and misinformation which abound on the subject, and the founding of the Disney studio will be examined in conjunction with the biographical elements of this chapter since, in many ways, the story of Walt Disney’s life during the 1920s and 1930s is very much the story of the early years of the Disney studio.

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Disney Films 1937–1967: The “Classic” Years

Amy M. Davis John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

In what is currently believed to be the first American animated short, Winsor McKay’s “Little Nemo”, the only female character, and therefore probably the first female character to appear in an American cartoon, was a princess. Her name was the Princess of Slumberland, and in her role she was awakened by Nemo, who sketches her and thus brings her to life. In the twenty-six years between the release of “Little Nemo” in 1911, and that of Disney’s animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, a number of other female characters would be shown, but rarely were they central to the cartoons in which they appeared. The Betty Boop cartoons were the only instance of a successful cartoon series in which a female character featured, and Betty was certainly one of the few human characters to appear in animation before 1937. Instead, those female characters to be found were, by and large, foils for the male heroes of the cartoons: Minnie was there to support Mickey, Petunia was there for Porky, Clarabelle Cow for Horace Horse, Honey for Bosko. Rarely were they featured in cartoons of their own, and this happened only later on in their “careers”, after their association with their male counterpart had been well established. Betty Boop was the only real exception to this, since she was the main character in all of her cartoons. The only other possible exception would be Alice from Disney’s Alice Comedies, but since Alice was played by a real little girl (and was eventually all but phased out of the series which bore her name), she does not truly count as an exception in the same way as Betty Boop.

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