Read any Good Books lately? (#15) – Afghanistan ….. with a twist.

It seems like Afghanistan is a bottomless pit of war and violence. It has been that way “forever”. The locals have fought and killed each other in tribal disputes for centuries. In the 19th century they fought the British to a standstill in the wars of the North West Frontier. In the 20th they defeated the Russians before renewing their own inter tribal conflicts. Following the expulsion of the Russians the Taliban rose to the top of heap and ruled with a religious ferocity. Following the terrorist attack on the “Twin Towers” in New York the country caught the interest of the USA and were perceived to be a haven for Islamic terrorists. Rightly or wrongly, in the American world view they needed to be eradicated. To that end the US embarked on a military adventure to win “the war on terror”. By invading the country there was a hope of pacifying the country and ushering in an era of democratic peace. Under US patronage and with the  help of an international military force the occupation has lasted eighteen years. Think about it! Eighteen years. During that time attempts have been made to introduce democracy into the country and protect the rights women and, despite the best of intentions, that seems to have failed. Like the British and the Russians before them the US is now preparing to leave. The golden rule of any occupation is that the occupiers eventually have to go home. The other part of the golden rule is that all insurgents know this. They just have to keep up the pressure and wait until the time is right for the occupying force to come up with some face saving pretext to leave the country honorably. The only occupying force to achieve a measure of success against insurgents has been the British in Malaya in their fight against the communists in the 1950s.

Like any war there have been a multitude of novels, war stories  and pages and pages of political analysis. In most publications the context has been one with an American perspective. The Americans were perceived as the only allied heroes, and villains, fighting the Taliban.  This is despite the fact that the allied partners from many counties have participated in the “war on terror” and suffered significant casualties. One of the partners in the “adventure” is Denmark. Danish, Canadian, German, French etc soldiers have fought and died in Afghanistan and their stories need to be told. One of the partners in the “adventure” is Denmark and this is an Afghan story with a  Danish perspective.

Carsten Jensen is a leading literary figure in his native Denmark. He is the author of the international bestseller We, the Drowned, which has sold more than half a million copies in twenty languages. As well as being an acclaimed novelist, essayist, newspaper columnist, and political commentator, Jensen has reported from war zones in the Balkans and Afghanistan. He has been awarded many prizes for fiction and nonfiction, including Denmark’s coveted Golden Laurel for the travelogue I Have Seen the World Begin, and Sweden’s prestigious Olof Palme Prize for his “work, in words and deed, to defend the weak and vulnerable in his own country as well as around the world.”

 

Andrea Superstein at Stage 64

“Live in the Gallery” with Jazz Guitarist  Don Glasrud

This new series of pre-concert performances has been made possible by a grant from the BC TOURING COUNCIL, BC ARTS COUNCIL and THE BC GOVERNMENT. The grant has been made available to support performances by BC musicians. Don is a well known Jazz Guitarist in the community and has been a fixture on local scene as a teacher and performer for around 20 years. For the evening’s performance Don was playing his new GODIN Nylon Strung guitar. His repertoire, as usual, consisted of tunes from the Great American Song Book and well known Jazz standards. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear Don up close and personal in the Centre 64 Gallery .

 

Andrea Superstein – Jazz and Blues Fall Concert Series #3 – Stage 64, Kimberley  2019/11/23

Andrea Superstein is a Montreal born, Vancouver based artist. Her music combines the jazz sound of the east and the indie scene of the west. She has been featured on a Women in Jazz compilation, has received international radio play, on top of being interviewed for a number of jazz publications. She was also invited to perform at the first jazz showcase at Canadian Music Week in 2012″.  On this tour she was supported by fellow Montreal native Elizabeth Shepherd on piano and two young musicians,  James Meser on bass and Kyle Hutchins on drums. James is a full time professional musician from Vancouver while Kyle works out of Montreal.The performance was mostly a mixture of originals from Andrea’s CDs with a few cover songs added to the mix. Of the originals the French song De Temps en Temps was the standout with some great textural percussion by the drummer Kyle Hutchins. Thoughout the performance he switched from jazz brushes to mallets with lots of sonic shadings before finishing with traditional sticks. Elizabeth Shepherd was responsible for the arrangement. A jazzy version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, it’s Alright was a novel interpretation of a well known Dylan song. Elizabeth also added to the mix with one of her originals Feeling Good from her CD release Rewind.

  

      

As always, thanks to the MC Keith Nicholas, the volunteers and staff of Centre 64 and the merchants around town who donated their food (The Burrito Grill) and accommodations (          )for the musicians. Together they make this series possible .

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