Daily Archives: October 1, 2010

News (Americas)

Two bits of news to consider, students of the Americas. First the US government just apologized yesterday for deliberately infecting Guatemalan prisoners and psychiatric patients with gonorrhea and syphilis in the 1940s in order to study the efficaciousness of antibiotics on these diseases. This, in contrast to the infamous Tuskeegee  experiment, which used already infected African American men as test subjects to study the long term effects of untreated syphilis. That’s right: doctors recorded the symptoms of many of those patients for three decades, never revealing that they suffered from infection.

Also, the issue of whether or not there has been an attempted coup in Ecuador is becoming increasingly complicated”

“This is a coup attempt,” Correa told state-run TV. “They’re trying to get into my room, maybe to attack me. I don’t know. But, forget it. I won’t relent. They are a bunch of ungrateful bandits. No one has supported the police as much as this government.”

see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/01/ecuador-coup-president-rescued

Congotronica (ContCult)

As a complement to our screening of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars, here’s an example of a form of Congolese folk music, electrified to compete with the soundscape of the urban environment, known as tradi-moderne. Note the mbira– the thumb piano– features prominently. Apparently Animal Collective is producing a covers album based on the label Crammed Disc’s Congotronics series. The original series featured groups such as the Kasai Allstars (below) and Konono No. 1.