Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 27, 2012.

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This project connects the rich, rhythmic African Diasporic heritage that is shared between two unique and not so different cities.

"Rhythms are spirits and spirits have their own rhythmic waves, like fingerprints, like waves of water… "  

ATTENTION PATRONS:

We have reached our goal, and we appreciate your support. However, the Kickstarter amount is basically a "roux," to help us travel to Cuba. We need much more to complete our film. Please consider giving more, or asking friends to donate. Thank you. For more information on the needs of our mission please contact us:

  •  Christopher Porche West: porchewest@earthlink.net
  • William Sabourin O'Reilly: wsoflim@mac.com

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The project reveals the rich, rhythmic African Diasporic heritage that connects, New Orleans and Santiago de Cuba, two unique, yet strikingly similar cities. This project is a journey of ecstatic collective street celebrations that transcend time, place and politics.  These celebrations are known as Second line parades in New Orleans and Conga parades in Santiago de Cuba and literally move thousands of participants to shared altered states of mind and affect the very fabric of art and society in both cities.

Over our 20 years of participating and documenting New Orleans Second Line parades and Congas parades in Santiago de Cuba, we realized that most New Orleanians and Santiagueros have no idea that their unique parade traditions are shared across the Caribbean sea.

That is why Bluethroat Productions is reconnecting these communities through the power of image and sounds that explore the historical and modern day aspects of these parade traditions.

What is a “Second Line” and what is a “Conga”?

So, you might be asking yourself—what is a Second Line?  What’s a Conga? Next time you are in the fair city of New Orleans, you must check out the Second Line parades!  Traditionally, the “Second Line”is known to have West African roots.  It represents the group of people who dance and follow the “Main Line” of brass band musicians. Second Lines typically roll every Sunday afternoon and represent a communal gathering of residents around the city to engage in street cultural performance. “Congas” from Santiago de Cuba are street dances as well, not so different from the New Orleans Second Line. The hypnotic melody of the Chinese cornet coupled with different drums and various other instruments create the rhythmic backdrop to this Cuban street procession.

The whole month of July is one big street party in Santiago de Cuba, and our team will use that platform to share with the people of that city, the results of years of documentation of their own culture juxtaposed with that of New Orleans.  At the same time we will be documenting the festivities that will occur during the four week period, such as; Festival del Caribe, Congas parade "invasions" (as one neighborhood invades another), and Santiago de Cuba's Carnival.

1- We will have several public screenings of Royce Osborne’s classic documentary on Mardi Gras Indians and New Orleans Carnival culture entitled 'All on a Mardi Gras Day'. Some of the funds will support the Spanish translation and subtitles for this film. This is turn allows us to share this iconic New Orleans documentary with Cuban and Spanish-speaking audiences. Santiago musicians, artists, and community members will have the opportunity to see and understand the impact of the centuries old cultural dialogue with New Orleans.

2- Bluethroat photographer Christopher Porché West, will have an exhibit and donate some of his photographs to the Carnval Museum of Santiago. With your help and support, we will pay for framing and printing materials.

3- We will have several public screenings of the Congas Series, these short videos were shot in Santiago over 5 years ago and people of Santiago have never before had the opportunity to watch them.

4- We are going to donate all sorts of audio visual materials, from parades recordings to photographs, videos and documentaries to several cultural organizations based in Santiago de Cuba.

5- We will also continue shooting material for the completion of our documentary 'Uprising'. This film part one in a three- part trilogy that explores the popular traditions of “Las Congas” of Santiago de Cuba, “Second Line” from New Orleans, and “Rara” from Haiti.  Our goals are to pay historic and cultural tribute to the unforgettable and timeless influence of these three cultural contexts and their similar roots in Haiti and Africa.

We are extremely grateful to the CubaNOLA Arts Collective, a New Orleans-based organization, that has been promoting cultural exchanges between New Orleans and Cuba for more than a decade.

We also would like to express our appreciation for your contribution and support. You are making a difference and helping many dreams come true.

Muchas Gracias.

HERE IS A RECENT POSTER FROM FESTIVAL DEL CARIBE (LIMITED AMOUNT, CHECK REWARDS)
HERE IS A RECENT POSTER FROM FESTIVAL DEL CARIBE (LIMITED AMOUNT, CHECK REWARDS)

For international rewards (prints to be shipped), please add $15 to your contribution to cover shipping costs.

Christopher Porche West's Eloquent Visages Series Poster (23X34)
Christopher Porche West's Eloquent Visages Series Poster (23X34)

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    3 backers

    A digital postcard send from Cuba of the Bluethroat Production team telling you how much we appreciate your contribution.

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    22 backers

    You receive a digital download of a 24 image gallery from our Cuban odyssey, completely captioned with photographer's field notes.

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    20 backers Limited (480 left of 500)

    Lucky seven!! You hit the jackpot...we will bring you an ounce of Cuban soil from the calles and byways of our travels. Our pledgers will have the satisfaction they have been there and back with us... if only in our hearts. This reward is only for backers at this level.

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    20 backers

    A free three minutes download of one exclusive Conga battle, plus the digital postcard above.

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    22 backers

    All of the above plus a digital download of our documentary Uprising, once it's complete. You will also get a link to selected deleted scenes from the film with director's comments.

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    57 backers

    All of the above plus a free download of five minutes of behind the scene footage with Bluethroat interacting with the Congas of Santiago and an cool Uprising T-shirt.

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    29 backers

    All of the above, plus an official poster of the Festival del Caribe. You will also get a hat from the winner Conga in the Carnival. Plus a free album download the Conga of your preference.

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    16 backers

    All of the above, plus a digital download of filmmakers William Sabourin’s 'Old Orleans' and Royce Osborne’s 'All on a Mardi Gras Day'. And a free download of three Conga parades (5 min each).

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    3 backers

    You will receive one authentic Chinese cornet or Corneta China from Cuba! The Chinese cornet is the only melodic instrument used in the Santiago Congas! Plus all of the above.

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    0 backers

    All of the above, plus a Christopher Porché West print from our trip. (16x20 archival glicee, signed). Also a free digital 10 minutes download of a New Orleans Second Line parade and a Conga parade of Santiago.

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    2 backers

    You will receive two archival photographs from Christopher Porché West (one from Santiago and one from New Orleans.) You'll also receive a co-producer credit of the film. Plus everything above.

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    0 backers

    All of the above, plus a package of several authentic Cuban instruments, including a Güiro, a Bongo, and Claves. You'll also get a select digital download of the conga parades from 2006.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    An executive producer credit on the documentary, an authentic tres Guitar from Cuba, plus all of the above (we mean everything above).

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    All of the above, plus a 12 day cultural odyssey to Cuba to explore Cuban music, dance, art, culinary and cultural traditions in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. This trip is organized by CubaNOLA Arts Collective. Complete details available by request.

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Funding period

- (20 days)