2014 Venue Spotlight

Venue: Under The Mango Tree
Location: Berlin, Germany
Host: Mini Kapur
Featured Works: Photographs by Amit Pasricha

Press Release:

UNDER THE MANGO TREE presents the international artists whose works are representative of a number of issues resulting from the convergence of diverse ideologies and conceptions of life, which impact us most immediately today. 

Amit Pasricha´s „The Home Coming“ is a reminder of the reality on the crossroads of tradition and progress. The photographer has a unique relationship to present India which finds itself amidst a fast changing process. In individual atmosphere and architecture, each work establishes a connection with a spirit which could soon be a collective loss/gain for a society in the face of individualism and technology, he embraces this reality. 

 The Home Coming documents the lives of ordinary men and women, and reflects on, the nature of home coming; in the four walls of a home, a palace or in the spiritual being, which may be the essential of all.

While the major selection of panoramic photographs form a harmonious body of work, single new images add to the grip for the viewer and manifests the fascination of the power of expression, when looked at individually. 

Born in the family of photographers, he is well known for his architectural and social documentary work and has been exhibited in India, London and New York. Amit Pasricha lives and works in New Delhi.

 His book HEILIGES INDIEN has just won the German fotobuchpreis 2014, SIlver and is also available with us.

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Slow Art Day is an annual international celebration of art. For the three weeks prior to Slow Art Day 2014, April 12th, we will be highlighting some of the amazing venue opportunities around the world.

Meet Katrina Moore. Katrina is a graduate student at NYU’s food studies program, and spent 5 weeks in Ghana recently that changed her life. She’s now started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about Shekhinah Clinic, which offers free healthcare and meals to the mentally ill and handicapped of Tamale, Ghana. The film will center around the charismatic Dr. David Abdulai. After studying and practicing medicine in the United Kingdom and Austria, Dr. Abdulai returned to his hometown of Tamale with his wife, Doris, to start Shekhinah Clinic, a free clinic for anyone who cannot afford medical care. Together, David and Doris Abdulai, along with a team of volunteers, provide healthcare and daily meals to over 200 of the city’s destitute. Listen to this special recording as host Leah Eden chats with Katrina about how the idea for the film came about and what her experiences were like while in Ghana. This program was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Listen to the show here:

“The thing about making a documentary is you don’t know what’s going to happen until you get there! That’s part of the fun and excitement - we know the story and what they do but we have no idea how they will react to being filmed.” [04:00]

–Katrina Moore on HeritageRadioNetwork.org

Watch on oreillette.tumblr.com

Under The Mango Tree - Diana Coupland

posted by paul

Increases in agricultural production by introducing Apis cerana indica bee boxes, from Under the Mango Tree http://www.utmt.in/impact/ 

Results from a UTMT short-term research study on the impact of indigenous beekeeping with the Apis cerana indica on agricultural productivity, show that of 16 locally important plants studied showed increased productivity with the highest being Capsicum (Bell Pepper) at 227% and ridge gourd at 27% as compared to farms with no bee boxes. These remarkable productivity increases as a result of beekeeping have substantially increased marketable surpluses of both food and cash crops for farmer families, increasing their incomes by over 50%.

J'odie Finds Love Under The Mango Tree

J'odie, u too much o! *fake Nigerian accent* This woman has done it again.  With Under The Mango Tree, J'odie has another heartwarming song to put along side of Kuchi Kuchi (Oh Baby).  The 2007 West African Idols contestant has creativity that doesn’t come from outside, but within.  Whether she’s dedicating her song to her child or her lover, J'odie’s music has refined purity and personal introspection. In doing so, J'odie looks beyond current trends and releases timeless music for people of all ages.  Produced by Wole Oni, Under The Mango Tree has a Nigerian folk sound that reminds you of simpler times.  It’s gentle, steady rhythm and brilliant flute is as refreshing as a village breeze.  In a way that is innocent but also seductive, J'odie wants her lover to meet her under the mango tree.  It has a longing for intimacy that reveals a couple in love.  Twitter  Website

Under the Mango Tree

I could have had a mango tree.
With an abundance of leaves
To shield me from the heat.

I could have had a father,
Who sailed along the Niger,
Catching nameless fish
To feed my five older sisters,
And me.

I could have been the first wife of the dugutigi,
Or maybe the youngest,
Or most beautiful.

I could have had a life unplugged,
No TV, no internet.

I could have been the one to fetch the water
Effortlessly on my crown.
With grace,
I’d glide through my village streets
In the fabrics of Togo or Senegal.

I could have played with my children
We would have danced and sang under the sun,
My hands in theirs, we’d spin and laugh
Until we collapsed onto ground that was ours.

Yeah, I could have had a mango tree,
I would have slept under it every day.
The fruit, my life.
The leaves, my sky.
And my blanket would be the shade.

I remember why I loved my wavy hair so much. Because of the wind. The wind likes to mess with it all the time. Giving me a nostalgic feelings of walking by the shore or swinging under a big mango tree. Memories of a long road trip riding a vehicle with the windows down. How the wind blows against my face and play with my hair for long hours and do nothing but listen to it sound and let my hair scatter around my face. Whispering and murmuring a language I couldn’t understand. I remember how I really tried to listen to it. I thought the wind was trying to say something. I was a weird child back then. I didn’t speak much because I was stammering (until now) but I listen a lot. I listen to everything. To the birds, the cicadas and the trees. They make a lot of sound and I believe all kind of noise means something. They are expressing themselves. Just like the wind. Every blows is a whisper trying to express itself. Whenever I am outside and the wind softy brushes my hair, I knew it has a message from #nature. I regret shaving my hair off. I can’t feel the #wind without it. #random #thoughts #writing #essays #prose #traveldiary #travel (at Essaouira, Marocco)

I wish I was more confident, wish I was more motivated, wish I was carefree, wish I was more happy, wish I was a bit smarter, wish I had found my girl, wish I was less anxious, wish I saw less anguish, wish I saw more succeed, wish I was there, wish I was… wish I was…… wish I was eating watermelon, mangos, and chirimolla under a tree on a nice summer day

Communities have their say and their day: Justice Matters

By Maria Kamara

Under the shade of a mango tree in the Lukodi community of Northern Uganda, local leaders, women representatives and youth leaders met with me earlier this month to discuss how they would like to mark the Day of International Criminal Justice on 17July. When I asked what their preferred location was for holding a commemorative event, almost all those present raised their hands: One after another, the participants echoed similar sentiments – it has to be Lukodi.

One elderly woman spoke particularly passionately and persuasively to make her case: “We have waited ten years* for our suffering to be recognised. The moment has arrived…and we have every reason to celebrate justice and the return of peace in this community”. After listening to the unanimous calls of community representatives to celebrate justice day with them, I was still slightly hesitant, so promised to confirm at our next meeting. I first wanted to hear more from other stakeholders outside the Lukodi community. I therefore engaged with partners in Kampala, Teso, Lango and West Nile sub-regions, who all agreed: this year’s Day of International Criminal Justice would be held in Lukodi.

At the next meeting in the community, I relayed the agreement, which was met with applause from all, a gesture of gratitude and endorsement. For the next two hours, my colleague facilitated discussions to draw up activities for the D-DAY – 17 July. The chairman of the planning committee suggested a series of activities: “We shall mobilise 700 people from our communities to participate in the brass-band led ‘March for Justice’ procession, drama and cultural dance performances, a traditional poetry recital, and a ‘Play for Justice’ football match".

Seven hundred? I enquired, as it sounded a bit ambitious given that we had not had such attendance in one go for any of our outreach forums in the recent past. My doubts didn’t derail these forward and positive people. “Yes. Seven hundred people”, they pledged.

Behind the scenes, we were marshalling the logistics to make the day as colourful as possible to match the expectations for the occasion: we printed T-shirts, caps and wrist bands with the text of this year’s theme, “Justice Matters”, sourced out service providers for the brass band, PA system, tents, chairs, and refreshments, identified football officials, hired buses, notified community leaders in the Gulu District about the planned activities and managed a host of other issues.

It is common practice in Uganda for commemoration events to be graced by a guest of honour, in recognition of symbolic and meaningful contributions they have made related to the occasion. Little surprise that when I sent out the invitation letters/emails/sms, a number of the invitees replied by asking, “Who is the guest of honour?” I wasn’t prepared for this question, but the spontaneity of my response was informed by the courage and resilience of the community I have interacted with for over seven years. Our guests of honour for this year’s celebrations are the victims and affected communities of Lukodi and surrounding villages, my response stated.

At 07:00 on 17 July, a torrential rain broke-out in Gulu. For a moment, it dampened my mood and my certainty of having an amazing event waned. I thought of the Lukodi people, and their never ending hope, and I brightened up. Banking on the weather clearing up, I dispatched two 60-seat buses – one to pick up participants at agreed locations from 10 villages surrounding Lukodi, another to convey Gulu-based participants as well as partners who had travelled from Kampala, Lango, Teso and West Nile sub-regions to grace the occasion.

I arrived in Lukodi at 09:30 and it was awe-inspiring. Over one thousand people, including religious leaders, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), the Local Council Chairman V (LC5), local leaders, representatives of civil society organisations, women and youth organisations, teachers and school children had converged at the Lukodi market area to participate in the march and other commemorative activities. The number completely exceeded my expectations. Clad in uniform T-shirts, caps and wrist bands projecting twelve different words and phrases expressing varied meanings and appreciation of justice, the 30-minute procession around Lukodi village kicked off. The brass-band and traditional music, drumming and dancing created an atmosphere of excitement and euphoria.

Retired Bishop Nelson Onono in his opening prayers paid tribute to victims of mass atrocities throughout the world and urged all actors to galvanise efforts towards alleviating the suffering of survivors because “Justice Matters”.

The statements made by subsequent speakers, the RDC and LC5, community based organisations, and other representatives reiterated and affirmed that justice and accountability do matter and the Court should not relent in its efforts to execute its mandate on behalf of victims.

Next it was my turn to address the participants – armed with my never-failing strategy, I welcomed them in my well-rehearsed local Acholi-language greetings: “Apwoyo matek”. Thunderous applause filled the air; I paused, not wanting to interrupt their expression of appreciation. Then came the declaration everyone was waiting for, “The honoured guests for this occasion are… you”, stretching my hands towards where they were seated, “the people of Lukodi and surrounding communities”. At this stage, I humbly requested other dignitaries to kindly rise and applaud the communities (who remained seated). It was a passionate and gratifying moment for me, realising that I made the right decision to ensure the Day of International Criminal Justice would honor the affected communities.

The “Play for Justice” football match that commenced shortly afterwards was thrilling. It was another moment for all participants to connect and interact. Team Lukodi locked horns with partners involved in the field of human rights and victims’ advocacy. The kick-off was taken by Bishop Nelson Onono, who is also originally from Lukodi. And just as it should be, Team Lukodi scored, clinching the game and taking home the Justice Matters trophy.

If you had asked me at our first meeting under that mango tree only a few weeks ago, I could not have imagined a better ending to the story, nor a more powerful and meaningful way to commemorate 17 July. Lukodi and other communities affected by crimes have claimed the Day of International Criminal Justice as their own, and have affirmed just how much Justice Matters.

*Ten years refers to the period of the arrest warrants issued against top LRA commanders for crimes allegedly committed in northern Uganda. No suspect in the case had appeared before the ICC until early this year, when Dominic Ongwen was surrendered to the Court.