.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

London Calling - 7 August

London Calling … to the zombies of death.

For those who ain’t dead yet, go to this talk :

07 August 2007 (Tuesday)
Live and Let Die
Fear of a Voodoo Planet
Stephen Grasso
7.15 for 7.30pm start

At Treadwells, 34 Tavistock St., Covent Garden

It is stating the obvious to say that African-originated traditions such as Voodoo are hugely misunderstood and the subject of prejudice by the general public. But tonight’s talk argues that fear and loathing, often subconscious, is rife even in Western occultism. Even here Voodoo seems to occupy an odd space in the imagination, as a bizarre pop-culture collage: think zombie movies, images of Baron Samedi rising up from the grave to harangue James Bond, giant space scorpions in Grant Morrison's Invisibles, cameo appearances of Brother Voodoo in old Dr Strange comics, and Lisa Bonet snake-dancing in Angel Heart. The combination of limited information and media creates a climate wherein even occult practitioners absorb uncritically these images. Tonight's speaker, writer and practitioner Stephen Grasso, takes a sword to ignorance and explodes some of the pernicious myths.

I can’t explain what you ought to known, but … if I wasn’t 350 miles away I would be there. Stephen’s work is magick but from an engaged perspective. It is the real thing, it/ he deals with the ‘many worlds and many futures’ of this quote from Bruce Rich’s book on the World Bank:

Although modernity had its origins in the seventeenth century, the practical worldwide social and economic transformations it entailed only began to be fully realized two centuries later… Before, human evolution and history had consisted of many parallel, differing ‘narratives’, with different origins based on different ways of conceiving and ordering the world - indeed different worlds coexisting on one earth. The plurality of human societies , communities , and worlds mirrored and were in part based on the diversity and autonomy of the myriad ecosystems of the earth. There were as many ‘natures’ and ‘futures’ as there were different human societies with different pats rooted in different local ecological contexts. The Crystal Palace [ Great Exhibition held in London’s Hyde Park in 1851] was a particular timely and symbolic embodiment of the global triumph of one narrative, one history, and one future from that time onward.
Bruce Rich : Mortgaging the Earth: Earthscan: 1994: 221

The triumph of ‘one narrative, one history, one future’ is, as global warming starts to bite, the reality of No Future. Now Malcolm X’s chickens really are coming home to roost. Is this the End of the World - or just the end of the world as we know it?

I am an optimist. Go back to the early eighties and it looked like the world would be destroyed by a nuclear war… but it wasn’t. Now it looks as if economic/industrial globalisation (which emerged out of the end of the Cold War) is going to do it more slowly. But that depends on the continuation of the ‘one narrative, one history, one future’ process. Historically that process, symbolised by the Crystal Palace, emerged out of a feedback loop where industry and empire , slavery and colonisation, went hand in hand.

Resistance may have seemed futile, but it happened. One form resistance took was that enslaved Africans held on to their different ways of conceiving and ordering the world. This became ‘voodoo’ in the New World. In an occult continuation of the ‘triangular trade’, Stephen’s work brings this culture of resistance back to the Old World. To London as the heart of darkness.


Blogger David said...

Well actually, given the quality of Stephen's work you really should hitch or John Clare walk those 350 miles. If you left today you could get there in time.

9:49 am  

Post a comment

<< Home