Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

Jim Jones, the dark cloud.
"I represent divine principle, total equality, a society where people own all things in common, where there's no rich or poor, where there are no races. Wherever there are people struggling for justice and righteousness, there I am." - Jim Jones, founder, Peoples Temple

The Rev. Jim Jones began his small church service in Indiana, as his congregation grew, he moved to Ukiah California. It seems as if in California his madness and paranoia began to show itself, yet his followers gave little attention to the signs, instead they were completely overwhelm by the Reverend's persuasive and fiey speeches. Some of the followers sold their homes and gave all their savings and earnings to the cult. As the madness of Jones was about to be exposed, they migrated to Guyana. In Guyana everything fell apart, the once good preacher became a monster. What began as a small church service open to all ended in mass suicide, over 900 men, women and children died.

The documentary is a good historical highlight of the tragedy, all of the major events were covered. However, not much is said about Jim Jones, except as a boy he did quite a few unusual things with his school friends that involved animals and funerals. These isolated communities and cults take time, the journey is long with deception, the swindling of the poor and disadvantage by a man with an excellent voice.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Another exceptional documentary from the BBC. The documentary follow the recruitment of Collies (Indians) from Calcutta India to the Caribbean (Guyana and Fiji) and then to South Africa. Slavery was officially abolished, yet the Empire where the sun never sets found a way to work around the horrors of Slavery with another shameful practice, Indentured Servants.

Over a million Indians were taken from their homes and spread across the British Empire to work on the sugar plantations.

There are highlights of Gandhi and the work he began in South Africa as a young lawyer. The documentary also include and interview with Gandhi's great grand daughter, Dhupelia Mesthrie and David Dabydeen whose grandfather was recruited to work on the plantations.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bob Marley, The King, for sale by family.

As they say, "Rohan Marley has created a line of clothing designed to honor the spirit of his late father, reggae legend Bob Marley."

The Letter-Writer of Mumbai

This is only the second entry and I have already moved away from my intended region. Anyway, the entry certainly have a feel of the Caribbean, except its all about the lost art of Letter-Writers in Mumbai. The mobile phone is replacing the hand written letters. A link to the article, and a link to the video.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sister Marie Ignatius Davies: 'the 'nun who nurtured reggae'

As a teenager growing up in Nottingham in the mid-1970s - there was a big Afro-Caribbean community and reggae was everywhere. It was fantastically exotic - against the background of freezing cold winters there was this sound wafting in from the Caribbean, very different to English life at the time. In a way that interest in the exotic is what led to me wanting to travel and eventually to become a foreign correspondent, a feeling that there was more life beyond the United Kingdom.
The Interview