Capital Letters – “Wolverhampton” (Full Album HD Audio)

wolverhamptonThe legendary, yet more obscure than Aswad or Steel Pulse, UK Jamaican Reggae band is back with a brand new album.  All the tunes are instant classics, more than worth a listen… Nuff said!

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“The Modern Greek Enlightenment and Revolution” – An original history research paper by rootsnwingz

Historical Background

On the 29th of May 1453, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, was conquered after a long siege by the Ottoman armed forces, led by the twenty-one-year-old Fatih Sultan Mehmed II. The siege of Constantinople by the Ottomans signified the fall of Byzantium and the end an era, that is its millennium-long reign in the Mediterranean region. In addition, it meant that most of the geographical area that is today known as Greece, fell under Turkish rule.   The Ottoman occupation of Greece lasted for the following four hundred years, a period commonly referred to as Tourkokratia (Τουρκοκρατία) (Cogg C 1992, 3). The Tourkokratia is usually considered an oppressive time, mainly due to the imposition of religious restrictions, heavy, unjust taxation and the practice of Paidomazoma (Παιδομάζωμα) or Janissary levy, which translates from Greek as the gathering of children. This practice refers to the enforced obligation of each and every Christian family to surrender their best looking and most intelligent children to be raised as Muslim; the corps of the Janissaries would then conscript these Greek-in-origin youths and train them to be elite soldiers (Clogg C 1992, 14). Significantly, because of the Paidomazoma, Greeks were forced to fight alongside Turks and, most often, against fellow Christian populations.

However, the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, also known as the Greek War of Independence, did not begin until March 1821, after nearly four hundred year of atrocities, economic decline and oppression. The outbreak is celebrated on March 25th every year by tradition not because the revolution actually began that day. In the 18th and 19th century, we observe in Europe the growth of certain liberal movements, including revolutionary nationalism, Philhellenism and the Diafotismos (Διαφωτισμός), i.e. the modern Greek Enlightenment. Furthermore, in 1814, a secret organization, Philiki Etairia (Φιλική Εταιρεία), is founded. Driven by the ideas of the Enlightenment, the goal of these Greek revolutionaries was to overthrow Turkish rule.

In 1828, following seven years of violent revolts and battles, both on land and at sea, the Ottomans surrendered and were forced out of the Peloponnese and Central Greece. In May 1832, the Convention of London takes place, where Greece is finally recognized by the Great Powers (Russia, France, U.K.) as a free, independent, but monarchical, nation. The Greek Kingdom’s initial territory after the end of the revolution solely included the limited territorial gains of the war. Interestingly, Greece did not have jurisdiction over the entire geographical region it controls today until as late as 1947, that is after World War II.

Introduction of Topic & Methodology

            In a nutshell, my project consists of using primary sources in order: a) to assess to what extent the Diafotismos was an anti-imperial and anti-colonial ideology and b) to gain an in-depth understanding of how the transmission of its radical ideas contributed to the successful Greek uprising and revolution in 1821 against the Ottoman rule. These were my central initial research questions. Therefore, my intention is to take advantage of my knowledge of modern Greek and use the writings of the key intellectuals of the movement, i.e. Adamantios Korais and Rigas Pheraios, with the goal of forwarding my central argument, mainly that the Diafotismos was vital to the Greek uprising. Since there is notable overlap between the Greek Enlightenment and the Philhellenism in Western Europe, I also intend to use the writings of second-generation English Romantic poets, especially Lord Byron. The aim here is to better comprehend the Western powers’ attitude towards Greek nationalists as well as the Turkish rulers. In effect, the literary work of these intellectuals, both the philhellenes and the proponents of the Diafotismos, prepared the grounds for an uprising and influenced the outcome of the revolution. Finally, I will attempt to determine whether one can rightfully speak, in general, of a subaltern, anti-colonial Enlightenment. Secondary sources on the Philiki Etairia and its role are also implemented. Moreover, some secondary sources are used on the humanitarian intervention at the battle of Navarino to better comprehend the Western powers’ a) sympathetic attitude towards Greek nationalists and b) their problems with the Turkish rulers.

Thesis & Original Contribution

Essentially, Greece’s successful revolution was not an isolated event but more of a seven year long process. It can be attributed to numerous anti-imperial factors, both internal (e.g. Philiki Etairia, Diafotismos) and external (e.g. philhellenism, the decline of the Ottoman Empire, military and navy assistance, other European intellectual movements, complex diplomatic relations, etc.). So how important was the Diafotismos really? Would Greece have gained independence regardless? In this essay, I will argue that, as a matter of fact, the Modern Greek Enlightenment’s most important accomplishment and contribution to the War of Independence is that it served as the awakening instrument, which laid down the intellectual foundations for the Greek struggle of independence by exacerbating nationalism and by planting the seed of freedom. Beyond that, other factors led up to the ultimate success of the revolution and Greece’s recognition as an independent nation. In this light, my essay’s original contribution to the subject of Empire is the challenge to the notion of a general anti-imperial European Enlightenment movement, whereas its chief goal is to delineate the roles of philhellenism, Diafotismos and intervention within the framework of the Greek revolution. Continue reading

Fi Di Youth Dem

Two all new motivational roots reggae tunes caught my attention today: “Get It In Your Head” by Jamaican singers Exco Levi and Romain Virgo and “Generation” by UK / Jamaican MC, Gappy Ranks.  Romain Virgo’s and Exco Levi’s track is a reminder of how important knowledge and education are, while Gappy Ranks tells the story of how he grew as an artist and how he never gave up trying to reach his goals.  Both tracks have that oldschool roots reggae feel; “Generation” is in fact off the upcoming “Old Fashion Riddim” by Kemar “Flava” McGregor, which is a tweaked rendition of the classic “Ba Ba Boom Riddim” aka “Shine & Criss Riddim”.  “Get it in Your Head” is off Exco Levi’s new album “Country Man”, produced by Penthouse Records. Get Your Education and remember Knowledge is Power!

OldFashionRiddim

“Woman Yuh Strange” – Beres Hammond & Dennis Alcapone (360 Riddim / Heavy Beat Records March 2015)

Beres Hammond’s and Dennis Alcapone’s brand new track “Woman Yuh Strange” is my kind of tune.  Good vibes, skillful vocals and original lyrics by both artists complete this riddim nicely.

Livicated to the women who pass through my life.

“Criminal” – Lutan Fyah & Turbulence (Official HD Music Video March 2015)

The Canadian label Riddim Wise, based in Montreal, produced and released the Empire Riddim a couple months ago, in November 2014.  Lutan Fyah’s and Turbulence’s “Criminal” is my personal favorite tune on the riddim.  Check out the awesome brand new video, released two days ago.  A massive one indeed, you’ll agree…

Taken from The Empire Riddim produced by Riddim Wise.
iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the…
Juno : http://www.junodownload.com/products/…

Video Credits :
Directed by Vincent RC (Les Gamins)
Director of photography : Marco Gilbert (Les Gamins)
2nd DOP & Steadycam : Jeremie Boivin
Stylist : Amanda Van Der Siebes
Art Director : Élyse Bédard
Executive Producer : Julien Houle
Production Manager: Sebastien Olscamp
Editing : Vincent RC (Les Gamins)
Colorisation : Jonathan Tremblay
Titles: Kilian Amendola
VFX Artists: Charles Labbé & Emile Massie-Vanasse
https://vimeo.com/lesgamins

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Steel Pulse – “Put Your Hoodies On [4 Trayvon]” (3rd Anniversary Edition) (Official HD Music Video 2015)

I was still in Amerikkka when the innocent 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot down.  I had attended a candle lit vigil in his memory at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, where the violin was played and certain professors made speeches about injustice and racism.  The moving speeches aimed to remind us that brutal incidents such as this are not a new phenomenon (remember Amadou Diallo?) but neither a thing of the past.  Indeed, police brutality has been in the forefront these last couple of years all over the world. I take this opportunity to send my prayer for the end of unjust human suffering that plagues the earth today.  Big up David Hinds and Steel Pulse for paying a tribute to Travyon and spreading the positive message of unity and equality against injustice…

“Steel Pulse originally released this track and music video on the second anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, which occurred on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, FL. This is an updated version released to mark the third anniversary of his slaying. Gone, but not forgotten.

This song marks the first official contribution to a Steel Pulse studio track by Baruch Hinds, son of Steel Pulse lead singer David Hinds. Shot on location at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington D.C., and in Sanford, Florida.”

Directed by Yonathan Gal // Cinematographer: Trishul Thejasvi // Editor: Rory Gordon // 1st AC: Raul Rivero // Camera Assistants: David Revenkov & Brandon Gordon

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