November 2, 2007

Calendar of Events

Tony Gleaton’s Photography Features Indigenous Peoples of Mexico and Guatemala
“In Land of Heart’s Desire” Tour Scheduled for Three County Libraries

The San Diego County Library will display “In Land of Heart’s Desire,” a collection of images by internationally acclaimed photographer Tony Gleaton, at its Lemon Grove, El Cajon and Vista branches from November through March.

The exhibit tour begins with a free public reception at the Lemon Grove branch library, 8073 Broadway, on Wednesday, November 7, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. County Library Director José Aponte will speak and classical guitarist Magdalena Loza-Flores will play music from Latin America.

Gleaton’s collections, including the famed “Africa’s Legacy in Mexico,” have been exhibited nationwide in museums, universities and libraries, and have toured Mexico and Cuba, under sponsorship by the Smithsonian. Photographs from “In Land of Heart’s Desire” are part of the Southwest Collection/Special Collection Archives of Texas Tech University, where Glea-ton has served as artist-in-residence. They depict the indigenous peoples of remote regions of Mexico and Guatemala. The Southwest Collection is the archival home of Gleaton’s collected photographic works, including his field notes, journals, audio/video archives and support materials from various projects over the past 25 years.

“The photographs I create,” says Gleaton, “are as much an effort to define my own life, with its heritage encompassing Africa and Europe, as it is an endeavor to throw open the discourse on the broader aspects of ‘mestizaje’ ... the assimilation of Asians, Africans and Europeans with indigenous Americans.”

Working alone, and traveling long distances from his California home by bus and by foot, Gleaton visited these locations. He lived among the Tarahumara in the deep canyons and high mesas of the Sierra Madre Occidental, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Their traditional lifestyle had changed little since the Europeans first encountered them in the early 1600s. Yet, their culture faced an increasing assault from outside sources, such as the Spanish crown, the Catholic priests, forestry officials, and even now, the narco-traffickers, who covet their rich and remote agricultural fields.

In Guatemala, Gleaton spent most of his time in the Central highlands, traveling with local itinerant photographers and taking portraits of villagers. He later photographed the coastal dwelling Seri, who live on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

“I love ‘the other,’ ” says Gleaton, “those people who are separated from any dominant cultural group.  My subjects differ from project to project, yet there is this common theme…My work examines our common elements and the disparities, which in making us different, also bind us together in the human condition. These photographs are metaphors for the state of grace which lies within us all.”

Exhibit sites - there is no charge to view the exhibit.

• Lemon Grove Branch Library, Monday, November 5 – Saturday, December 8; 8073   Broadway

• Exhibit Reception, Lemon Grove Library, Wed., November 7, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

• El Cajon Branch Library, Monday, December 17 – Sunday, January 27; 201 East Douglas

• Vista Branch Library, Monday, February 4 – Friday, March 28; 700 Eucalyptus Avenue

For more information, please call (858) 694-2415.

African Drumming and Dance Come to San Diego Miramar College

San Diego Miramar College is proud to bring the talents of Kwame Debor to the campus on Friday, Nov. 9 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for an exploration of African drumming and dance.

Kwame Degbor is certain to enlighten and entertain participants with an exploration and demonstration of the music and dance of Ghana-West Africa.  Degbor has brought African drumming, dance, songs, storytelling, games, history and culture to countless schools through the Center for World Music since 2004 and as artistic director for Ho-Asogli, traditional music and dance, Ghana, West Africa, for UCSD.   

Joseph Kwame Degbor was born in the Kpando District of the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa. At age six he started competing with elderly drummers on the talking drums, Borborbor, Zigi, Agbadza, Asafo, Adowa, and others.  After training as a teacher, Kwame raised a dance group in Agate, a village in the Hohoe District of the Volta Region. In 1982, the Arts Council of Ghana appointed Kwame as a representative for the Hohoe and Kpando Districts. He was transferred to Hohoe as the District Dance Coach in 1986. Kwame graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon in Theatre Arts (Dance), where he was nicknamed “Ghanababee” for his prolific performances on drums and his visually mesmerizing dance movements. Kwame became so popular that people have said “There is no village or dance forms in the Volta Region that he does not know.”

“Music and Dance of Ghana-West Africa” is offered through the college’s “Evening with the Experts” lecture and performance series.  Presentations are free and are held in Lecture Hall I-101 at San Diego Miramar College.  No reservations are necessary and no parking permits are required on Friday evenings.

San Diego Miramar College is located at 10440 Black Mountain Road, one block west of I-15 between Mira Mesa Blvd. and Carroll Canyon Road.  For more information, call the college Public Information Office, 858-536-7876.

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