I Give You Global Voices en Français for Francophonia Day

March 20th was la Journée Internationale de la Francophonie (Francophonia Day) and I had this to say on Global Voices for the occasion. Please please please check out Global Voices en Français and tell your interested friends when you get a chance. (Lire le billet en Français à ... Global Voices en Français, traduit par Claire Ulrich.) And please contact me in the comment section to volunteer if you are a French-English bilingual.


Today is March 20th was Francophonia Day. About 50 French-speaking countries and territories, some belonging to the Organisation Mondiale de la Francophonie and others not, will reflect on what it means to have French as a language --often alongside others. (Not to worry we will tell you what the bloggers said as soon as they've said it.)

At Global Voices, this day has special significance as well. One year ago, I was barely getting my feet wet as a novice Francophonia Editor, translating into English blurbs from the blogs of French-speaking countries who don't get much coverage in other media. Today as Global Voices Lingua team leader, I and wonderful francophones like India-based Haitian blogger Pascale Doresca, French journalist and Le Monde contributor Claire Ulrich and Malagasy blogger and GV author Lova Rakotomalala have been translating in the other direction, i.e. from English to French at Global Voices en Français. The goal is to bring more and more Francophones online into the global conversation. By translating Global Voices content into French, we hope to do just that.

See for yourself, the Global Voices en Français site is a work in progress but volunteer translators have been generating French-speaking GV content for Francophones for over a month. If you are a French-English bilingual, please contact us to join the team at francophonia [at] globalvoicesonline [dot] org.

Flashback. Inspired by Global Voices Latin-America Editor David Sasaki's workshop on GV and language at the GV 2006 Summit in Delhi, a group of francophone bloggers approached Global Voices co-founders Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca MacKinnon and Portnoy Zheng about starting a Francophone GV page similar to Portnoy's then year old GVO China site over lunch at Delhi Day 2. Other language communities expressed interest and Project Lingua was born.

Lingua, which is still in its infancy, brings you more than just GV en Français. It comes in:

-Bangla http://bn.globalvoicesonline.org/
-Chinese (simplified) http://zh.globalvoicesonline.org/hans/
-Chinese (traditional) http://zh.globalvoicesonline.org/hant/
-French http://fr.globalvoicesonline.org/
-Portuguese http://pt.globalvoicesonline.org/
-Russian http://ru.globalvoicesonline.org/
-Spanish http://es.globalvoicesonline.org/

Please join me and the whole Lingua team by contributing your language skills to any of the above groups.

Francophonia Day is truly a multilingual day for us at Global Voices.

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GEMS/Fokal Masquerade Ball Pictures

As you know, I attended a ball to benefit Haiti's Fokal foundation two weekends ago. The event was organized by the ladies of GEMS, LLC and I thought I'd show them to you. See other pictures of the evening here.

FokalBall 020
From Left to right: Aster Tekabe (from Ethiopia), Jackie Prosper-St. Fort, Michelle Lamarre, Rose-Vony Duroseau, Laurette Backer, Nadja Giglio-Joseph, Kherlyn Veillard-Marcel, Cassandre Lamarre-Williams.

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Haitian Bloggers on Women's Day

My colleague Jen Brea from Global Voices summarized what two Haitian bloggers had to say about Women's Day. Check it out.

(I should have pictures for you soon of the recent Fokal Masquerade Bal Benefit. Hang tight.)

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Latest on Mathieu Eugene: Towards a Re-Vote

I just got the following press release from Councilman-Elect Mathieu Eugene's office:

Dr. Mathieu Eugene was overwhelmingly elected with 43% of the votes and was certified the winner of the contest by City of NY Board of Elections on March 8, 2007. Thus, he became Council Member Elect for the 40th District.

Despite this clear mandate, ambiguities in election laws and other political challenges led us to believe that the best course of action was to call for a new election with clearly defined rules, in order to ensure effective representation for the residents of the 40th District.

We salute Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership and his quick action in calling for a new and expedited election in the coming weeks.

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Zouk Song Opened French César Awards (Videos)

Check out Valérie Lemercier, the hostess of the French César awards this year, performing a boisterous rendition of Zouk Machine's 80's hit Maldón, and in Creole too. The Césars are the French equivalent of the Oscars. Check out francophone blogger reactions to both the zouk performance and the Oscars and Césars in my latest Global Voices post: Francophone Bloggers on Oscars and Césars.

Oh and to take some of you down memory lane or for other's viewing pleasure, here is the original's video:

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Jamaica Robotics and Youth Experiment

I just viewed this video on Ethan Zuckerman's blog and I thought I'd post it here right away. It is about the amazing work that Jamaican Marvin Hall is doing in his country, teaching robotics to young people who need to channel their creativity toward something constructive.
Take a look.

Read the background in Ethan's post.

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Bonga and Drums of Haiti House Concert Photos

I've been meaning to post pictures of a wonderful event I attended in Brooklyn in January. A house concert by Bonga (a.k.a Gaston Jean-Baptiste) and the Vodou Drums of Haiti! Yes, one of the musicians, our generous host Rufus Cappadocia, opened his home to concertgoers! Of course the event was word-of-mouth. Please see the fun for yourself on Flickr. They are a roots music band.

Bonga House Concert

Bonga House Concert

Bonga House Concert

One of the evening's highlights was undoubtedly the songs featuring Indian singing over Haitian drums with Rufus Cappadocia's cello! Sadly, I only have visuals for this:

Bonga House Concert

Artist website: www.bongamusic.com

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Carnaval in Ouanaminthe, on the Haiti/DR Border

Marie-Christine from the Contempororary Stationary blog (one of my favorite readers) left this picture and message on the Carnival Here, Carnaval There, Carnaval Everywhere post and I thought I'd share:

Carnaval is long gone in Haiti and elsewhere. But I thought it would be nice to take a quick peek on how folks celebrate it outside of Port-au-Prince. Below is the link to a picture of the carnaval celebration in Ouanaminthe (my father's home town and where my brother lives now). Ounaminthe is in the département du nord d'est (North Eastern part of Haiti) and right at the border with the Dominican Republic.

Oh and yes, I've just added her blog to the Haitian diaspora blogroll to the right of the home page.

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