Category Archives: Culture

13Mar/16
WinC Con 2016

WinC Con 2016 is Changing the Comic Game!

WinC Con 2016

WinC Con | © NayMarie Photography | www.NayMarie.com

WinC Con 2016 (Women in Comics Convention) was a great success again this year! With nearly 1000 attendees, dozens of vendors, and lots of panels and workshops, the Bronx Library Center was constantly buzzing! From gorgeous color poster  illustrations to fun on-the-spot doodles, the vendors filled the main floor with an art lovers eye candy, while panels and workshops discussed the real and raw of the comic business. On top of all of this dopeness, admission was free to the public, welcoming all to come and feast.

We enjoyed the Women in Comic Cosplay Showcase that discussed the powerful role of women in cosplay, specifically women of color. They came dressed as characters from Star Trek to Super Girl, modeled, posed, and explained what goes into making their costumes and why they choose the characters they choose. It’s important to notate that race should never matter. They made it clear that they didn’t have to be Black Super Girl or Black Black Canary, just the character as they are since they are embodying the character’s spirit. There is also no need to over sexualize their cosplay and harassment of any sort is not tolerated. They have fun but stand strong.

 

WinC Con | © NayMarie Photography | www.NayMarie.com

WinC Con | © NayMarie Photography | www.NayMarie.com

The organization that put on the showcase, The NY Cosplayer Network, Inc., also does a lot of charity work with shelters and military bases. They show up fully dressed to cheer up children and brighten their day. They collect books and hand them out and chat up the kids about their favorite characters. They even do events and birthday parties so people knowledgeable about the characters can interact with the kids instead of regularly overpriced agency finds who aren’t as invested.

Cosplay, or Costume Play, refers specifically to dressing up as a character but there is also costuming which is creating your own costume/character to bring to life. We’d love to see more of this happen with Black cosplayers. It’s good to break the mold, but it’s even better to create your own!

Check below for more images from the event and be sure to Like their page on Facebook at Women in Comics NYC Collective International!
WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016
WinC Con 2016  WinC Con 2016
WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016
WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016

   WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016 WinC Con 2016

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26Jan/16

Oya: Rise of the Orishas is an Action Packed Superhero Film

Oya: Rise of the OrishasOya: Rise of the Orishas is an action packed superhero film starring resurrected mythical deities from African Folklore, known as the Orishas, as modern day superheros. Oya is written, directed and produced by rising filmmaker Nigerian Nosa Igbinedion.

The films’ main star, Adesuwa, is administered with the mighty task of channeling the energy of goddess Oya to find her kidnapped missing daughter Rebecca. In the beginning of the story we witness as Adesuwa humbly calls upon her connection to Oya and is given electrifying new powers in the face of evil. Ade’s job is to keep the doorway between the world of man and the Orishas firmly shut because if the Orishas pass through they will reap their revenge and wreck havoc on Earth.

Ade’s challenges are no small feat. She is up against an army of many dangerous men and woman who would love nothing more than to kill her for sacrifice like her daughter – or worse – trap her and hold her hostage to use her powers against her will.

As we see in the Orishas’ trailer, Ade is strong, powerful and precise. While Ade’s challenge is no small feat, she skillfully knocks out the Orisha gatekeepers to get closer to saving her daughter only to be put knocked down in a trance by the next challenger who claims that the daughter she seeks was not the key to the Orishas, but Ade herself is the key and she has walked right into the trap.

We are left hungry for more as the twelve-minute trailer ends with Ade and her daughter being reunited only for Ade to realize that her daughter has been captured to be a hypnotized medium between Ade and the Orishas and it is Ade who the Orishas truly wanted.

According to OkayAfrica.com we can expect to see more from Igbinedion in the future as his talent has recently scored him a Rising Talent award for the Oya: Rise of the Orishas film and a 2015 Screen Nations Award in London. Oya: Rise of the Orishas has enjoyed successful screenings in Nigerian, Brazilian, American, and European film festivals and Igbinedion’s production company Igodo Films revealed that the film has been adapted for the silver screen1.

Igbinedion says he made the film “in order to prove that there is a market for sci-fi films revolving around African Characters and storylines1.”  Plans have also been confirmed for a comic-book spin off of the film.

Currently the twelve-minute trailer can be viewed below:

Oya: Rise of the Orishas

1  http://www.okayafrica.com/news/african-superhero-film-oya-rise-of-the-orishas-nosa-igbinedion/

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19Jan/16
Black Girls in Rome

Black Girls in Rome: Super Dope Web Series

Black Girls in RomeBlack Girls in Rome is a scripted web series that follows the life and adventures of a young Black woman who decides to give Italy a try after suffering a broken heart in New York. The storyline is loosely based on the life of Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, a native of Texas who has spent the better part of the last decade in the eternal city. Dr. Pizzoli is the writer, director & executive producer of the project. Renowned Dominican-Italian actress Iris Peynado plays a role in the series and serves as an associate producer.

Black Girls in Rome: Ever consider quitting your life as you know it and starting fresh… abroad?

Comprised of eight episodes, the show highlights not only typical Roman life, but the type of existence that can be crafted, honed and enjoyed in a new and drastically unfamiliar environment if one simply has the courage to leap. A reflection of modern times and struggles both in New York and Italy, Black Girls in Rome depicts a thirty-something year old woman of color’s narrative with an exciting amount of international mobility. Scenes for the show were shot in New York, Rome and Marrakech, Morocco. At a time when the need for positive Black imagery and narratives as well as accurate representation of Black culture is sorely needed, Black Girls in Rome offers a visually and mentally dazzling getaway for viewers and looks to delight with its content.

Black Girls in Rome will debut in the spring of 2016. The trailer can be viewed here:

For additional information and updates, you’re welcomed to visit pizzolimedia.com.

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19Jan/16

Boycott the Oscars: Should You Do it? See Chart…

Boycott the Oscars and #OscarsSoWhite have taken over the web with so much drama and controversy that, once again, the points have gotten lost in a sea of bitter pettiness…The question at hand is “Should the Black community boycott the Oscar awards?”, with the follow up question being, “Why are we seeking validation from an organization that cares nothing about us?” Let’s dive into this a bit…

boycott

So lately we have heard about Jada Pinkett Smith’s call to boycott the Oscars, followed up by support from Spike Lee, Snoop Dogg, and other celeb friends, as well as Janet Hubert’s response to Jada’s call to boycott. Needless to say, both Jada and Janet have questionable motives behind their posts, but the bright side is some of the conversation that has sparked among the community. Here are our thoughts:

#One: Boycott the Oscars… We should have collectively tuned out the Oscars decades ago…

We could yawn at this topic, and dismiss it as the bottom of the barrel of things we need to focus on in our community, but the fact is a lot of Black people still tune in every year hoping and praying to see their favorites walk away with the Ptah Oscar. When they tune in, they help to boost ratings, thus advertising dollars for the program. Us not watching might not make as much of an impact as us not shopping during Black Friday, but every bit counts.

#Two: Boycotting and seeking validation are not, I repeat NOT, parallel concepts…

I swear fo’ geez, if I hear one more person ask why we’re looking for validation in response to boycotting. Boycotting is merely abstaining from something. Yes, it can be used as an intimidation tactic, but it’s not the case here. Taji Mag abstains from including any news that does not help our community build and grow. We boycott the use of non Black Owned Businesses as much a possible. We do not do this in hopes that non Black Owned businesses start treating our people better. We’re not concerned with how they operate business because WE DON’T SHOP THERE. The same concept applies here. We do not boycott the Oscars in hopes for a seat at the table, we do it because we have our award shows and organizations that provide us with the proper recognition our people deserve, that’s where our focus and loyalty lives.

#Three: Quit wasting time being bitter and quarreling…

Both sides of the “argument” are basically saying the same thing while wasting time on semantics and emotions.

Bottom line:

Let’s boycott any and everything not checking for us and give our dollars to our community first. That is how we regain and maintain our communities. Work together instead of apart. Stop picking apart the messenger and absorb the message.

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18Jan/16
Tuskegee Heirs

Tuskegee Heirs: Flames of Destiny

Tuskegee Heirs, a futuristic sci-fi adventure from the minds of illustrator Marcus Williams (Hero Cats, Super Natural and D.M.C) and children’s book author Greg Burnham (Broken Glass and Grandpa’s Shoes), follows a small squad of young gifted aviators who are forced to become earth’s last line of defense against a menacing race of artificially intelligent villains bent on destroying civilization. Marcus and Greg look to pay homage to the historic Tuskegee Airmen, while bringing forth a new set of character rich young heroes. With a graphic novel set to release mid 2016, Marcus and Greg intend to push this project towards animation. Following in the Japanese animation genre’s age old practice of dropping unusually talented youths inside the cockpits of enormously powerful machines, the amazing pilots of this series will be no exception.

Tuskegee Heirs

Tuskegee Heirs, Earth’s last line of defense…

The Tuskegee Heirs will be set 80 years in the future where a world sculpted by rapid progressing technology will come to ban human pilots from operating aircraft and go as far as to criminalize the act of even training pilots. Our young pilots, however, have found a secret training facility and refuge in the historical airfield once used by the fabled WWII War Heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen.  Under the careful guidance of Col. Mars, a long retired veteran pilot, the team of young hopefuls are trained and educated about the strong ethics that made the classic airmen the formidable unit that they were. Not long into their training, a mysterious military force composed of highly advanced self-aware war machines fixated on destroying civilization as they know it, declares war on all societies. Suddenly the teens are thrust into the middle of a war for humanities’ right to exist. They will have to use their training as pilots, knowledge of history, and unique skill sets to defeat this fearsome enemy.

We appreciate the historical focus of Black legends being beautifully developed in a creative and educational environment. Currently in it’s Kickstarter phase, the series has already blown through it’s pledged goal of $10K and 2 stretch goals of $15K and $25K in just 4 days. Their other goals include development of Tuskegee Heirs T-Shirt line for Men, Women and Children, a family geared board game and sweet mobile game app, a full figurine lineup of all the Tuskegee Heirs Characters including the Jet and Mech, and a prototype toy of one of the characters and jets. Be apart of history in the making by becoming a backer of the project at www.kickstarter.com/projects/2120208298/tuskegee-heirso to achieve their ultimate stretch goal. $75K and UP will launch an ANIMATED PILOT (Short piece) to be enjoyed on monitors big and small. For gems and eye candy, follow their facebook page at www.facebook.com/tuskegeeheirs.

Tuskegee Heirs

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30Dec/15
Tweetie, Soraya

Dance: Tweetie, Soraya, & Cicely Murder “Electric Feel”

Electric Feel… There are lots of dope female focused dance pieces surfacing nowadays, but we’re still waiting for the one that can knock this piece from the number one spot in our heart. Tweet Boogie, Soraya Lundy, & Cicely Bradley MURDERED this perfect fusion of feminine and masculine energy. Don’t believe us? Just listen to the crowd 😉

Sirens: “Electric Feel” by Tweetie, Soraya, & Cicely

 

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27Dec/15
Umoja

“Kwanzaa: Celebration of Umoja” presented by Sankofa Community Empowerment 12/26/15

Sankofa Community Empowerment NY started off Kwanzaa 2015 phenomenally! Their Celebration of Umoja event was hosted at the St. Philips church in Brooklyn, NY, welcoming traditional Pan African celebrators while introducing the tradition to those experiencing it for the first time. At the opening of the doors, guests were welcomed with food and the children were gathered for a story as guests continued to arrive. The program started with a brief introduction and explanation of what Kwanzaa is, followed by libation, and then an award ceremony honoring community members who embodied a different Nguzo Saba principle. In between each award were crowd moving performances and, throughout the event, the amazing vendors were patronized, keeping the dollar circulating in our community where it belongs!

See some images of the event below, and be sure to visit Sankofa Community Empowerment NY for more on the organization, upcoming events and ways to donate to Sankofa so they may continue to produce amazing and imperative events for our community! Umoja!

Photos by NayMarie for Taji Mag

 

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