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COMMUNITY EVENTS


Free or low cost Community Events and college courses are intended to provide background on the yearly topic and to touch on areas related to the February Conference that may not be covered in its three-day format. The views of our presenters are their own and may not represent those of the Camden Conference.

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September 2015

Professor Eames on The New Africa

September 2 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Witherle Memorial Library,
41 School St.
Castine, ME 04421 United States
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Bates College Associate Professor of Anthropology, Elizabeth Eames, will speak on The New Africa, Wednesday, September 2 at 5:00 pm at the Witherle Memorial Library in Castine. Eames is the 2nd in the three-part series, The World in Your Library made possible by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council. Since the late ‘80’s, Dr. Elizabeth Eames has been teaching courses in Comparative Gender Relations, Contemporary Africa, Economic Anthropology, and, more recently, Cinema Studies. Dr. Eames received her first degree from Bryn Mawr College and her PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. A book, based upon her fieldwork among the Yoruba, called “The Politics of Wealth in Southwestern Nigeria: Why Ondo’s Women Went to War” was published by Mellen Press in 2013. She is currently engaged in research with Somali immigrants to the state of Maine. She is a proud resident of Lewiston’s downtown. This presentation is hosted by…

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SIERRA LEONE’S REFUGEE ALL STARS (Live @ the Strand)

September 5 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Strand Theatre,
345 Main St.
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of war and enflamed the passions of fans across the globe with their uplifting songs of hope, faith and joy. The band is a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands. They also now play an important diplomatic role as spokespersons and for the ever-increasing millions of refugees worldwide. Rooted in West African highlife and palm wine music, as well as Jamaican reggae, the band takes on elements of many other genres of African music and pop in their songs. Though the group is not…

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A Glimpse Into The Lives of Women and Girls in Rural, Southwestern Kenya

September 10 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Rockland Public Library,
80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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Diana Coleman will give an illustrated talk on her work with Mpanzi in rural, Southwestern Kenya on Thursday, September 10, 6:00 pm at the Rockland Public Library.  This event is free and open to all. An advocate for women and girls, Diana Coleman is a board member of Mpanzi, which promotes education, microenterprise and ending violence against women and girls in rural southwestern Kenya. Her story, Glimpses of Kenya from a Mzungu Woman is in the Goose River Anthology 2015. Believing in the power of stories, Diana is interviewing and writing about inspiring women who are having new experiences their second half of life, for presentations to motivate others. With thirty-five years of leadership and fundraising experience for nonprofit organizations in health care, education, international relief, social services and technology, Diana has raised over $200 million with teams including Save the Children, the California Academy of Sciences, University of California-Berkeley,…

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Phoenix Rising; China’s Expansion in Africa and Latin America

September 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Camden Public Library,
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
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Anthropologist Robert Wasserstrom will give a talk entitled “Phoenix Rising; China’s Expansion in Africa and Latin America” on Thursday, September 24, at the Camden Public Library. This event begins at 7:00 pm and is free and open to all. Robert Wasserstrom received his undergraduate degree and Ph. D. in anthropology from Harvard University. He lived for five years with Mayan Indians in Chiapas, Mexico, and then taught at Columbia University in New York. After leaving academia, he held various positions in Washington and Houston, Texas. In 1995, he and Susan Reider co-founded the Terra Group to help international energy and mining companies with their overseas operations. Until retiring last April, he worked extensively in South America and West Africa, primarily Ecuador, Peru and Nigeria. Over the past few years, Rob has taught in a graduate program for mid-career energy officials in Latin America and continues to lecture in the U.S.…

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October 2015

Henry Kissinger and Africa (Library talk in Belfast)

October 13 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Belfast Free Library,
106 High Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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Bob Rackmales will give a talk entitled “Henry Kissinger and Africa” on Tuesday, October 13, at 6:30pm at the Belfast Free Library. This event is free and open to all. In the summer of 1975, three months after the fall of Saigon ended the Vietnam War, a new front opened in the Cold War in the remote Portuguese African colony of Angola. Although Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had paid little attention to Africa in his previous years in office, his controversial decision to involve the United States in the warfare in southern Africa would have long term consequences for the people of Angola, for US relations with the USSR, Cuba and China, and for Kissinger’s reputation as a statesman. Using recently declassified US, South African and Cuban documents and graphic documentary footage, we will critically examine the events leading to the military defeat of the forces backed by the…

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Henry Kissinger and Africa (Library talk in Union)

October 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Vose Library (Union, ME),
392 Common Road
Union, ME 04862 United States
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Bob Rackmales will give a talk entitled “Henry Kissinger and Africa” on Wednesday, October 14, at 7:00pm at the Vose Library in Union. This event is free and open to all. In the summer of 1975, three months after the fall of Saigon ended the Vietnam War, a new front opened in the Cold War in the remote Portuguese African colony of Angola. Although Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had paid little attention to Africa in his previous years in office, his controversial decision to involve the United States in the warfare in southern Africa would have long term consequences for the people of Angola, for US relations with the USSR, Cuba and China, and for Kissinger’s reputation as a statesman. Using recently declassified US, South African and Cuban documents and graphic documentary footage, we will critically examine the events leading to the military defeat of the forces backed by…

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What’s New About North Africa? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

October 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Rockland Public Library,
80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841 United States
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Professor Paul Holman will give a talk entitled “What’s New About North Africa? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” on Thursday, October 15, 6-7:30 pm at the Rockland Public Library. This event is free and open to all. The five countries of North Africa reflect the same trends that have been troubling the Middle East and much of Africa. All have suffered from violent attacks by Islamist terrorists, but they have not forgotten the high hopes of the “Arab Spring” that began in 2010. Morocco’s ancient monarchy is experimenting with constitutional reforms, while Libya has collapsed into chaos and tribal warfare. Military dictators rule Egypt and Algeria, but Tunisia has held the freest elections in its history and moved toward stable, tolerant democracy. This lecture will ask some hard questions. Why does democracy work in some places, but not in others? What has America accomplished by providing weapons, training…

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Girls Education in Tanzania

October 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Camden Public Library,
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
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Nano Chatfield will speak about Girls Education in Tanzania on Thursday, October 22, 7-8:30 pm, at the Camden Public Library. This event is free and open to all. Nano Chatfield has volunteered extensively in northern Tanzania for the past 10 years. She has worked with early stage non-profit ventures that provide financial and organizational support to local NGO’s. From 2005-2010 she served as Chair of the Board of the Tanzanian Children’s Fund, which conceptualized, built and funded an orphanage in Tanzania. She is now Founder and Chair of the Board of The Girls Foundation of Tanzania, which helps top academic girls in financial need go to school and excel in their studies by providing them sponsorships and support throughout their secondary and high school years. (www.girlsfoundationoftanzania.org) She grew up in the Northeast spending her summers in Maine where she’s been living with her family for the past 30 years. She…

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November 2015

West African Drumming

November 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Belfast Free Library,
106 High Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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West African drummer Jordan Benissan will perform on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 PM at the Belfast Free Library. This event is free and open to all. Jordan Messan Benissan is a member of the Ewe People. He was introduced to music and dance at an early age through ceremonies and rituals. He received his traditional music training from several West African master drummers. Jordan has taught and performed for all levels, from elementary school through college level, and teaches at Colby College. Some of his performances include an opening show for the West African drummer Babatunde Olatunji, a performance for a national NAACP Conference and performances for the Mayo Clinic’s Multicultural Program. Benissan has performed traditional African drumming and Highlife music with master drummer Obo Addy at Colby College, and with the Portland Symphony orchestra. This presentation is hosted by the Belfast Free Library and offered as a free…

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The Gift of Tangier

November 17 @ 7:00 am - 8:30 pm
Camden Public Library,
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States

Professor Anouar Majid returns to the Midcoast to speak about “The Gift of Tangier” on Tuesday, November 17, 7-8:30 pm at the Camden Public Library. This event is free and open to all. Born in Tangier, Morocco, Anouar Majid is the author of five critically acclaimed books on Islam and the West, including Unveiling Traditions (2000), Freedom and Orthodoxy (2004), A Call for Heresy (2007), We Are All Moors (2009) and Islam and America: Building a Future Without Prejudice (2012; reissued in paperback in 2015 with a new preface). Majid has written for the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications. His work and life were the subject of a Bill Moyers interview and an Al Jazeera television program, both aired in 2007. Anouar is a novelist, the author of Si Yussef (first published in 1992) and is the editor of Tingis, a free online magazine dedicated…

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February 2016

29th Camden Conference: “The New Africa”

February 19, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - February 21, 2016 @ 12:30 pm
Camden Opera House,
Camden, ME United States
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Africa - Photo Jacques Bonneville

29th Annual Camden Conference The New Africa February 19-21, 2016 Africa is home to the world’s poorest nations, but also has a dozen economies that maintained 7% growth rates over the last decade. Africa is the last major frontier for resource development, while simultaneously struggling with some of the world’s oldest, most corrupt and filthiest oil and mining ventures. While Africa suffers from ethnic and religious violence and poverty, it is blessed with rich and creative cultures and vibrant civil societies. These are only a few of the contradictions and conundrums that will frame the 2016 Camden Conference on the theme of Africa, a massive and often mysterious continent. On the economic front, the reasons many countries are making impressive advances include stabilization after years of civil war, more effective economic management, transformation to open market economies, and improved governance. Elsewhere, poverty is sustained by corruption and grievous economic mismanagement…

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