This edition: March 2006
Original tape date: March 23, 2006.
1/ La Sosso
In globalized times, the local has new value. Cultures can die as easily species of plants do. In the memorable words of Joni Mitchell, it happens when they pave “paradise and put up a parking lot.” Of course, some people believe it doesn't have to be that way. Cultures can be more than preserved. They can be shared for mutual pleasure and understanding. In Martinique performer and cultural leader Sonia Marc - known to her many fans as La Sosso - works to spread traditional Martinican song and dance. Canape finds her fulfilling that mission in New York City.
The savagery of World War I and the destruction it wrought upon a generation is hard to imagine today. Wave upon wave of young men jumped from trenches and rushed to their deaths as machine guns tore them to pieces. Wouldn't these men have been better off as friends? That's the simple question asked by the Academy Award nominated French film Joyeux Noel / Merry Christmas. Based on historical events, it tells of a remarkable, all too brief truce. Director Christian Carion shares the film's holiday spirit with Canape.
3/University of Chicago Center in Paris
It's getting windy in Paris. And it blows directly from the Chicago, the Windy City itself. One of America's great sites of intellectual life - the University of Chicago - has recently opened a center in the rapidly changing 13th arrondisement, the neighborhood of the French National Library and many premiere institutions of higher learning. The objective is to take Chicago's rigorous traditions of research and teaching back to their European roots. Academic Director of the Center Professor Robert J. Morrissey gives Canape a tour.
Poet, writer, and performer Anthony Phelps was forced into exile from his native Haiti in 1964. Although he may have left the island, he never left it behind. His more than 40 years in Montreal have produced more than twenty books and many recordings. They all bring into focus the many worlds of the French speaking peoples. It may be his origins in Caribbean oral traditions that motivated him to perform his own poems and those of poets. In any case, Canape enjoys the opportunity to listen as a master speaks.
Singer Rokia Traore from Mali had no normal childhood. But that wasn't a bad thing. The child of a diplomat, she spent time in Belgium, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. Years later, her broad musical exposure allows her to use many global styles while never rejecting the riches of her native West African traditions. Put simply, her universe can include hold both Tina Turner and Ali Farka Toure. Her three much lauded CDs have made her a celebrity in her own country and a favorite among world music fans. She shares thoughts about music with Canape.
Christian Carion Director
Sonia Marc Singer
Prof. Robert J. Morrissey Academic Director
Anthony Phelps Poet
Rokia Traore Singer