About this project
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- William Sabourin O'Reilly: email@example.com
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.
For international rewards (prints to be shipped), please add $15 to your contribution to cover shipping costs.
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