Music: Say Africa by Vusi Mahlasala
This show was produced in the Days of Covid. We had planned to all be in the studio together for this broadcast, but a virus had other plans for us. As it turned out, Alexa (Portland) and Neroli (Seattle) spoke by phone and recorded each end of the conversation. I added the music and host narrations from home and exported the file to the Program Director at WMPG who put it in the queue for its regular Sunday slot. Huge thanks to everyone involved for making big efforts to keep the things going that we can keep going.
Music: Say Africa by Vusi Mahlasala
Caroline is a storyteller who works in illustration, written word and audio. Born in Indonesia, she moved to Los Angeles, CA to live on her own when she was 12. She survived hustling in New York City for seven years before moving to Maine in 2018 to study Audio Storytelling at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. See her work at www.hadilaksono.com.
Caroline is the author and illustrator of Surprise! (Scholastic, 2018). It is a picture book about how hart it is to make friends. She says it is partly inspired by her online dating experience in NYC.
These days Caroline draws her inspiration from the artists at Spindleworks. They're teaching her about embroidery and fiber arts. One day she hopes to return the favor by showing them some watercolor techniques and working on some audio projects together with them. She enjoys bringing art into the community and sharing her skills in audio and visual arts with anyone who’s curious to learn. And, as she continues to make Maine her home, she hopes to find ways to get involved in art-related community projects here in her new home.
To follow her latest projects/updates, find her on Instagram for what she humorously calls "a not-so-accurate representation of her life." And, these are links to the two women whose art and work she admires: Eleanor Davis and Jillian Tamaki.
***This episode was pre-recorded from our home studios during the Covid Social Distancing period. Special thanks to Caroline for recording and sharing her end of the conversation and to the good people of WMPG who are keeping the station running with MP3's like this one being submitted from producers in the field.
Music: "This Land Is Your Land" by Las Cafeteras.
Joel grew up in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong and came to Portland, ME in 2012 to attend Maine College of Art (MECA).
He later attended The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies before completing his MFA at MECA. Presently, Joel is a graduate school admissions counselor at MECA. This is a link to his virtual reality project called The Penguin Club in the Salt Archives which he referenced in this interview.
Joel is a conceptual artist who works in an array of media to include photography, film making, virtual reality, interactive installations and sound design. He works under the pseudonym "Probably Joel" and you can see and hear his work at www.probablyjoel.com. or at instagram.com/peekuh.
The ambient street sounds heard in the background of this interview are from the busy market street that Joel grew up on in Hong Kong.
Music: "Rolling" by Grayhat, produced by a friend of Joel's.
Roberta grew up in big family in Cianorte, Brazil, the great grandchild of Italian immigrants. She lived in the UK for ten years before moving to Texas. Maine became her home in June of 2019, right as she became a US citizen.
Currently, Roberta is working toward her Master of Fine Arts degree at MECA, focusing in abstract painting combined with mosaics. She uses a color palate from her native Brazil in creating art wherever she is living. To view her art on instagram: #RobertaMarchArtWork.
Music: "The Girl from Ipanema" sung by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto.
As a boy, Sergio grew up playing soccer on neighborhood streets in Guatemala City and also got to release baby turtles on the Pacific coast with his Boy Scout group. His love of nature only grew stronger when he attended College of the Atlantic ('17) where he focused on International Environmental Policy and the humanities.
Since 2018 Sergio has been an Organizer for the Environmental Health Strategy Center in Portland, ME. He works with outreach and education around public health issues like arsenic in well water. Arsenic is naturally occurring and impacts one in six wells in Maine. He also supports legislation that can help rural Mainers to test and fix wells with arsenic in them. If you have a story to share or a question about well testing you can reach Sergio here.
Music: "Ice El Hielo" by the Mexican-American band La Santa Cecilia.
André was born in Buco-Zau, Cabinda, Angola. He was educated in DRC where he studied Electro-Mechanical Engineering. Eventually he moved back to his home region and worked for NGO's and government agencies before he became the Provincial Director for Water and Energy. His specialty is water treatment.
André came to the US in 2018 and moved to Biddeford, ME in 2019. He was joined in the studio by the Coordinator for English Language Learners at Biddeford Adult Education, Sam Smithwick.
Presently, André and some of his colleagues have organized a High Council of Cabinda. They met last fall at the Kofi Annan Center in Accra, Ghana for a planning meeting and peace-keeping training. He would like to make peaceful changes in Cabinda in order to provide for generations of people who don't have access to basic needs, while living in a resource rich land.
Music: "Paz No Mondo" by Oos Fieis, a group featuring André Massanga as the lead singer.
Samaa is an American who was born in New York, grew up in Ohio and earned her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She came to Maine in 2010 as an assistant professor at Bowdoin College. Now she is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.
She shares information for immigrants and all others regarding the programs and resources available to people experiencing domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence). Hotlines have translators available, if needed. Hot links are available below to supporting organizations:
*Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
*Immigrant Resource Center of Maine
*New England Arab American Association
*Domestic Abuse Intervention
*Nationial Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
An immigrant survivor of domestic violence may be eligible for special immigrant-related protections, due to their elevated vulnerability around legal status issues. See the legal aid organization ILAP for more details.
Poetry: Samaa reads an Audre Lorde poem which inspires her whenever she is feeling nervous about telling the truth: "Litany for Survival." Samaa will be reading her own poetry on Feb 6th at the Portland Ballet as part of the group called Renegade Writers.
Music: Dobet Gnahoré sings "Dala" from her album
Maya French, violinist from Palaver Strings, joined me in the studio with Alain Igiraneza, a 16 year old Burundian singer and one of the narrators for their upcoming Welcome Home tour. Together they explained about the group's mission to create a new interactive model for audiences which incorporates social justice issues with creative musical expression. Welcome Home is a tour through Maine that invites people to reflect on their own concepts of what "home" means to them, personally, while experiencing music and readings from three cultural groups in our state: Burundian, Franco-American and Iraqi.
Music: From Palaver Strings' album Simple Gifts, "Yorkshire Lass."
Humza left his home in Multan, Pakistan and arrived in Standish, Maine in 2005, as an 8 year old boy. He attended Gorham High School and then went on to study at the University of Southern Maine. While there, Humza was an active member of the Muslim Student Association. The club successfully advocated for more awareness of, and support for, the growing numbers of Muslims attending USM. In 2018 he received his Bachelor's degree in Finance and Political Science.
Presently, Humza Khan is the Talent and Diversity Specialist for Bangor Savings Bank. The bank is preparing for the future workforce of Maine. They prioritize workplace belonging by creating organizational capacity to make every demographic feel welcome there. Bangor Savings Bank additionally participates in programs to welcome veterans, immigrants, and low income youth into the banking industry.
Music: "Tu Kareemi Mun Kamina" is a Rumi poem put to song by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Sunday, October 4th