15/04/2021

"On a Journey".... In my dreams

 

This morning, I was woken up at 4am by a sad dream... 

A person I hardly met a few times in my life, but who seemed and felt extremely dear to me in this dream, worked nearby for hours, ignoring me, busy as a bee... Until suddenly he came over in the room I was in, crashing into my arms, crying and expressing his feelings, utterly betrayed by his surrounding, so fragile and vulnerable. I remember I was thinking of drought, and that he needed me to "water" him, fill him with the liquid of life... 

This all felt so real; I suddenly woke up and sat in bed for a while, to calm my emotions. Then decided to put my iPod on and get some music, as I often do when going through insomnia. I was listening to music via the earphone, in silence, as I always do, though the house was for once totally empty that night...

Then I thought about what a dear friend once told me, that all the characters in our dreams are different parts of ourselves...

I had a wonderful day though yesterday, with myself, with a bit of work, with a couple of good news, a Zoom meeting, and later researching articles for a coming project, then walking through our local City farm later in the day, delightfully sunny and in bloom with red, orange and yellow tulips, also buzzy with life, new-born lambs... 

But here in the dream spoke the unconscious, I guess.

I'm not going to call my half-stranger to ask if he is ok, I kind of want to but can't. 

But I send my best thoughts. To him and all the people currently struggling with feeling of loss or isolation. 


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The songs I played that day are by the mighty Nitin Sawhney. From his albums Philtre (2005) and Prophecy (2001). 

Here are two songs that spoke loudly this morning.


'Street Gugu' (Prophecy)


I wrote on Twitter:

That sad dream about a half stranger woke me up. My iPod is trying to help. And I realise: how prophetic was that song...? @thenitinsawhney 

Nitin Sawhney- "Street Guru" youtu.be/ZvoZcYZmMwA


Nitin Sawhney - 'Journey' (Philtre)



Lyrics:


Every now and then
I fall into deep thought and self-examination
Figuring out
If I really belong in this world
Who am I? What was I born to live
Will I succeed or will I fall short of my dreams?
I know, I've got to find a way to move on
Yeah, to a place where I can be stronger
On a journey
Deeper inside
On a journey
Deeper inside my mind
I know, I've gotta find a way to move on
Gotta move on to a place where I can be stronger
Stronger, stronger, stronger, stronger
I'm on a journey deep inside my mind
To see if I can find the answers
To all the questions I've been asking myself
For a long time, a long time
A long time for a long time
I'm on a journey deep inside my mind
To see if I can find the answers
To all the questions I've been asking myself
For a long time, a long time
A long time, for a long time
I'm on a journey deep inside my mind
To see if I can find the answers
To all the questions I've been asking myself


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Yes, that: 

"I know, I've got to find a way to move on
Yeah, to a place where I can be stronger"


That's part of the reasons for why I, melissa, am here, in Bristol.

But of course, today's England isn't the England I fell in love with in between 1997 and 2007, when I came to London so often, and listened to Nitin Sawnhey so much. Or even the one of 2009, when I first moved here.

So, can I even stay? 

Yet, England, you can tell me as much as you want that I don’t belong here, oh, don’t worry, I know too well!!
 
I was born in a place that made me 'homeless' from my very first breath.  

There will come a time when... I don’t know... Like, I’ll love the world and myself so much that it would not even matter where I am or why.

Not "on the road" anymore, well, global health crisis oblige, but still "on a Journey". 


On a journey
Deeper inside
On a journey
Deeper inside my mind


07/04/2021

Artists, Artwork and Upcoming Exhibitions

 

I don't know about you, but I cannot wait for museums, art contres and cinemas to reopen! Here in the UK, many of them should have art on display from next week or very soon after that.

As I'm working on the final addition to my text on African & Caribbean artists whose work has been exhibited at Arnolfini here in Bristol, and as I'm about to write for the Africa Centre's Website, I keep on an eye on contemporary African artists.

Here are two shows I can't wait to see! 

Lisson Gallery - Upcoming Exhibitions

John Akomfrah
The Unintended Beauty of Disaster

67 Lisson Street, London
13 April – 5 June
An Infinity of  Traces
Curated by Ekow Eshun

27 Bell Street, London
13 April – 5 June 

02/04/2021

Discussion - Influencers: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This event is finally cancelled by the organisers... Sorry.

Maybe another will take over... 


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Hello everyone,

just a head's up as England is slowing reopening this month. I'll be part of this online event in a few days, organised by the People's Republic of Stokes Croft here in Bristol: 



Discussion - Influencers: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A round table discussion on how influencers influence our culture – looking at the pros & cons of a world in which social and cultural influence is formalised and commercialised.


Thu 8 April, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Pay-what-you-can


With your phone in your hand you can browse Instagram and other social media and see people like you living a life that may come with the hashtag #ad or #gifted. What is this world? Where did it come from and where is it going?

This open debate will feature influencers, psychologists and others and presents a chance to look at what is working, who it’s working for, and where we all might be heading.

We’ve all had a chance to live in a different world for a year now so let’s debate what we now see and feel about social media influence and influencers, their role going forward, and changes we can see or feel coming down the pipe to a bubble near you.

The discussion will be hosted by photographer and influencer Colin Moody and topics covered will include:

1 – Mental Health

2 – Tiers of Influence (the likes heirarchy)

3 – Social Bubbles (who ar we talking to?)

4 – True Voice vs Sponsored Content (and when the line blurs)

5 – Culture vs PR

The Panel:

Colin Moody – Street photographer, community activist and influencer

Alan Bec – psychologist, cultural commentator, mentor and business owner

Charlie Harding – Social media manager and former food blogger

Melissa Chemam – Writer and freelance journalist


“From a social psychological perspective, there are three elements to being influenced and being influential – Authority, Power & Control. Grasping the significance of these elements as behaviours can and will change your world. I can’t wait to refer to these as a structure throughout our round table discussion, so you can know when you are being influenced and enact your influence for social good”. Alan Bec of Balance Consulting Bristol.


This will be a zoom event, but if we are allowed into the venue we will invite a live audience to enjoy the debate together (all covid guidelines will be followed).

Tickets available now from Headfirst. The suggested donation of £4 will help us keep the School of Activism as accessible & low-cost as possible, £8 will subsidise a ticket for someone else – but no-one turned away through lack of funds!


This event is part of the School of Activism 2.0, a two week programme of workshops, talks and activities brought to you by Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft over the Easter holidays. The workshops are intended to be empowering experiences equipping people with the tools to challenge the status quo, contest power structures and ultimately to change the world.


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Link: To book https://www.headfirstbristol.co.uk/whats-on/prsc/thu-8-apr-influencers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-63932

Details: https://prsc.org.uk/event/influencers-good-bad-ugly/

More from the School of Activism: https://prsc.org.uk/soa2/


27/03/2021

Bristol - Riots or Protests? About the Current Media Coverage

Bristol, 26 March 2021

 

Dear readers, 

Let's talk about protests as this week comes to an end... 

As an independent writer, journalist, broadcaster, since 2015 I've been writing and reporting extensively about Bristol's tradition of protests and activism. First as a foreign journalist, in French and English for French, German, Canadian and American media, such as Radio France Internationale, France24, the Public Art Review, Nouveau Projet, Socialter and Deutsche Welle. 

I've documented past event through interviews with local historians, artists and activists, including Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack, graffiti artist Inkie, Dr Edson Burton, Councillor Cleo Lake, Dr Shawn Sobers and many more, notably for my book about Bristol's music, art and activism. 

I'm currently conducting more research on the media coverage of protests, from the 1960s to our days, with a strong focus on the 1980s, the mid-2000s, the 2011 protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the events of the past 12 months. In the UK but also France and the USA. I recently wrote about the toppling of the Colston Statue, the Anti-racist protests in Bristol and education, the Students' Rent Strike, NHS workers' demands for pay rise and other issues. 

After following the recent protests here in the city, discussing them with protests, other news producers, activists and students involved in the movement, and while reading reading multiple reports, it remains quite clear that these few days' protests in Bristol have been mostly peaceful. 

But did the media coverage reflect that fact? Online media have largely displayed photos of police vans in flames and used headlines such as 'Bristol Burns', instead of detailing the facts. 

Yet the public shouldn't have to look too much into the sensationalist images from - mostly - freelance photographers enamoured with the glamour of close shots on 20-max rioters at night. And the media should be more careful about clickbait posts and zoom-in, as they focus mostly on fire and brutality. 

The consequences of such coverage is an increasing discredit of these legitimate protests against a bill attacking our rights... to defend our rights. Representation of the protests matters. And especially in such case that concern all of us. 

 I've been lecturing a class on the matter of visual journalism and representation to students since December 2019, at the University of the West of England. In this case, the protests against the "Police and Crime Sentences" Bill are legitimate and will go on. 

More protests took place on Friday 26 March, again, peacefully. But the media has betrayed part of the reality, even local media here in Bristol. This should be corrected and serve as a lesson in good journalism. Another issue that shouldn't be forgotten or overlooked is: Safety for women, which sparks this affair... Where is the coverage about that matter? 

 Bristol has a long history of protesting for the good of us all and that shouldn't be undermined by a few extremists or the police's response. I've lengthily detailed part of that history in my book, such as the Old Market Riots, the Bristol Bus Boycott in 1963, and St Paul's Uprising in 1980 and 1986. 

But what is a book compared to free online content in these days? In my exchanges with fellow Bristolians, filmmaker friends, news producers, broadcast journalism students and podcasters, this worry hasn't faded away for now. 

So I hope a few more days of reflection, as the protests grow and rally more supports, will resonate further from here.


24/03/2021

'Exterminate All the Brutes': Official Trailer


Here is Raoul Peck's new documentary series


 'Exterminate All the Brutes' 
(2021)
 Official Trailer | HBO

 


The past has a future we never expect. 

Exterminate All the Brutes is a four-part HBO documentary series from filmmaker Raoul Peck that challenges how history is being written. 

The series premieres April 7 on HBOMax.



16/03/2021

Spring News//Letter: The Markaz's New Issue, Music & Radio, Film, Art Book...

 

 Dear friends and music/art lovers,

I hope this email finds you all well, and ready for better days!

All over Europe, we can feel that spring is almost here and I hope it is as inspiring where you are as where I find myself, back in Bristol, after a couple of weeks in Paris... 

Here are the newest links to my writing and collaborations, which I thought might interest you. 

Remember that all of my articles and productions are free to read / listen to. My goal is mostly to spread and share ideas.

 More focus on the role of the media this season and on post-colonial / multicultural cultures and ideas.


TMR - Issue 7 ! 

The Markaz Review is busy working on its 8th issue! After six months of existence. 
Thank you everyone for your support. 

unnamed.jpg

Here are our latest pieces and highlights: 

 > Issue 7 - on the issue of 'Truth?' 
There are also contributions on endangered literacy (Marcus Gilroy-Ware), natural-born liars (Preeta Samarasan), and the truth about Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, where assassinations of journalists are the new form of national censorship.

 > For International Women's Day: Faïza Guène’s Fight for French Respectability

 > Condemnation of threats against so-called "Islamo-Leftists" in France by Pinar Selek and other academics

 > Issue 6 - As we comment on the 10 years of the "Arab Springs", a piece on Revolutions through History

Next: All Eyes on Marseille! And especially its Music Scene through 30 years of hip hop...  Out mid-April. 

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Music/Book: Bristol & Massive Attack - 30 years of Blues Lines 

Speaking of music... In the very same timeframe, the Bristol Sound is also reaching a milestone: MAssive Attack's first album, 'Blue Lines' was released 30 years ago in April 1991...

More on 'Unfinished Sympathy', 'Blue Lines' and 'Daydreaming' in my article in the Reader's Digest.

My book, which came out two years ago, is now available on UK Bookshop:  'Out of the Comfort Zone'.

For the 'Francophones', here I am on France Inter discussing more in Pop'n'Co with Rebecca Manzoni: Pop N Co for more than half an hour ! 

popnco_massive.webp

And there'll still be more to say...

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Film: 'Exterminate All the Brutes' - Docu series on HBO 

Meanwhile, a project I worked on for years is about to come out on television! First in the US, then in the UK and in Europe.

exterminate.jpeg

PREMIERES APRIL 7, AT 9PM ET, ON HBO

Exterminate All the Brutes, by acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your NegroHBO’s Sometimes in April), is a four-part hybrid docuseries offering an expansive exploration of the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism, from America to Africa, and its impact on society today.

Based on works by three authors and scholars — Sven Lindqvist’s Exterminate All the Brutes, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past— Exterminate All the Brutes revisits and reframes the profound impact of the Native American genocide and American slavery as it fundamentally informs the present.

I was the main researcher on this project, from 2017 to 2019, and orientated the project on its American angle.

Do watch and let me know what you think!

PREMIERES APRIL 7, AT 9PM ET, ON HBO


> Viewings to come for UK and Europe


I'd love to organise a screening/talk/debate in Bristol to discuss some of these ideas. Three years ago, a debate was organised at the Watershed around I Am Not Your Negro and I literally forced Raoul Peck to come!

Do get in touch if you feel you'd come and see the film, online or maybe in a cinema later in the spring... when they reopen. 

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Arnolfini Art Book > Release postponed to September 2021

We're waiting for the coming reopening of Arnolfini's Archives in Bristol to perfect the visuals. 

And by waiting for September we have a chance of organising a real event in the art centre's auditorium.

More on this soon... 

See here for my previous texts for Arnolfini:
and here for more on the book: 

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PODCAST: The Quarantini @ 1 year

And finally in the 33rd episode of our Quarantini Podcast we have some Somali stories and Algerian music: 


We started the podcast almost a year ago in April 2020. Unfortunately, Covid-life is still here and positive responses are more useful than ever. 

Get in touch if you think you want to be featured as a guest


q-orange-1.jpg

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Many thanks for your attention for now. 

Do get in touch if you're interested in my writing, joining efforts for an online talk or event on these issues, or if you want to commission any writing on related topics.

With my very best wishes, and a delightful long-awaited spring!

melissa

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Melissa Chemam
Writer, Cultural Journalist, Reporter
Writer-in-residence @ Arnolfini Gallery
Associate Lecturer in journalism @ UWE Bristol


12/03/2021

La scène musicale de Bristol et le groupe Massive Attack: sur France Inter ce samedi

 Un peu de radio...

Ce samedi sur France Inter !


Samedi 13 mars 2021

La scène musicale de Bristol et le groupe Massive Attack

Une plongée dans la scène musicale de Bristol des années 90 et de son groupe phare, Massive Attack, précurseur de la musique trip hop. Avec Melissa Chemam comme guide, autrice de "De Massive Attack à Banksy, l’histoire d’un groupe d’artistes, de leur ville, Bristol, et de leurs révolutions".


Les invités

  • Mélissa Chemam est journaliste, elle vit à Bristol et a écrit "En dehors de la zone de confort - De Massive Attack à Banksy, l’histoire d’un groupe d’artistes, de leur ville, Bristol, et de leurs révolutions" (Editions Anne Carrière).
  • Thylacine est musicien et compositeur de musique électronique.


Programmation musicale

  • One Love - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • The Look of Love - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
  • The Look of Love - THE WILD BUNCH
  • Unfinished Sympathy - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Safe From Harm - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Blue Lines - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Five Man Army - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Karmacoma - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Protection - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Song 2 - BLUR
  • Teardrop - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Angel - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • Paradise Circus - MASSIVE ATTACK
  • La jetée - LAURA CAHEN


Bibliographie

En dehors de la zone de confort - De Massive Attack à Banksy, l’histoire d’un groupe d’artistes, de leur ville, Bristol, et de leurs révolutions de Mélissa Chemam, Editions Anne Carrière, 2016.


L'équipe


Contact

Twitter


POP N' CO

Samedi 13 mars 2021

par Rebecca Manzoni

La scène musicale de Bristol et le groupe Massive Attack

53 minutes


Pour écouter, c'est par ici !


'Souvenir'

 I'm in love... with a song. Or even a few. 

And finally feel so French again... 

'Souvenir'




J'aimais ta peau dorée
Toi qui me donnais tout
Dans ta main délivrée
J'aimais la peau dorée
Et maintenant je pleure ton nom
Et maintenant je pleure ton nom
Un oiseau chante je ne sais où
C'est, je crois, ton âme qui veille
Les mois ont passé, les saisons
Mais moi je suis resté le même
Qui aime et qui attend
Que revienne le printemps
Qui aime et qui attend
De reconnaître un jour le printemps
Nous ne nous reverrons plus sur Terre
Dit le poème, le passé vient plus vite qu'on le pense
À genoux j'implore ciel et mer
Et ce brin de bruyère
Un souvenir pour récompense
Quel est cet endroit, où, dans l'ombre confuse
Les démons et les anges se mélangent
Ah je te rejoins dans cette brume épaisse
Que le tabac, le bon joint, obscurcissent
Alors je pleure ton nom
Oui je pleure ton nom
Un oiseau chante je ne sais où
C'est je crois ton âme qui veille
Les mois, comme toujours, ont passé, les saisons
Mais moi je suis resté le même
Qui attend que revienne le printemps
Qui aime et qui espère
Connaître la fin de l'hiver
Nous ne nous reverrons plus sur Terre
Dit le poème, le passé vient plus vite qu'on le pense
À genoux j'implore ciel et mer
Et ce brin de bruyère
Seul souvenir pour récompense
Ouais, comme Apollinaire
Un souvenir pour récompense
Nous regagnerons la confiance
Nous regagnerons la confiance
Comme une terre ferme
Comme une terre ferme
À jamais
Nous regagnerons la confiance
Nous regagnerons la confiance
Comme une terre ferme
Comme une terre ferme
À jamais
De l'autre côté, de l'autre côté de la mer
Il ne me reste plus rien de toi
Que seule ton absence m'appartient
On s'est laissé à l'orée de ce bois
C'est un joli jardin, je crois
C'est un joli jardin, je crois
C'est un joli jardin, coloré il se voit
L'orée de ce bois, où l'on s'est laissé
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Que de l'autre côté de la mer
À jamais
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Nous ne nous reverrons plus
Que de l'autre côté de la mer
À jamais
Il ne me reste plus rien de toi
Que seule ton absence m'appartient
On s'est laissé à l'orée de ce bois
On s'est laissé là




Le passé qui nous hante est un jardin vivant.

ALBUM - L’OISELEUR :

https://feuchatterton.lnk.to/LOiseleurYD Ecouter/télécharger le titre ici : https://FeuChatterton.lnk.to/Souvenir Réalisation : Antoine Marie Images : Elisabeth Marie, François Marie & Antoine Marie Montage : Antoine Marie & Arthur Teboul Assistant réalisation : Elie Gattegno Régie, cookies et maquillage : Victoria Werlé Typographie : Edgard Teboul