The ever-growing ICBIE network is producing news that comes from many different places, and there’s never a dull moment. The operation in Salvador and the people in Rome are constantly cooking up new initiatives, and then there are other developments spattered across the globe: it’s clear evidence of a remarkable rush of vitality.
The first item of note regards the most faithful ICBIE student, Ricardo Gramoza, who everyone knows as “Bogus.” Not only has he been with us from the very start, but he is the most stalwart of all our kids. He takes nearly all the courses that are offered, and he has become our most valuable helper. Bogus loves to drive, and so he’s always ready to take off for the airport to pick up and deliver our guests, or to run errands and do the shopping. He is the best student of Italian, and now, after nearly four years of lessons and conversation with our many Italian visitors, he has developed a love of Italian cinema, and often stays up all night watching two or three films from Pietro’s impressive collection. He is good with technology, and helps with the computers and video equipment, and he operates the projector in the Cineforum. To honor his dedication, Pietro has arranged a wonderful prize for him: a trip to Italy! Building upon the experience of Julio and Bigode’s trip, a long list of Italian friends have both contributed for his air fare and offered hospitality for him. He will arrive in Milan on December 12, the starting point for a whirlwind tour of northern Italy, with stops in Verbania and Reggio Emilia before descending the boot to Rome. For Christmas week, our faithful supporter Marcella will take him all the way down to Ostuni, her beautiful hometown in Puglia, then it’s back to Rome for ten days (with an excursion to Naples) before a second trip north, including Siena, Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia (again), Venice, Bassano del Grappa and Milan, until February 11th, when he returns to Salvador. After the success of Julio and Bigode, we are delighted to welcome this new ICBIE ambassador to Italy.
The second bit of news regards the growing presence of the ICBIE on the web. Thanks to an old Italian friend, Marco Chelo, we have built a solid presence on JustOneTV, a community based media site in Harlem that has an extremely popular “Afro” niche, where all news regarding the African diaspora is heartily welcomed. Besides a main ICBIE page (link), there are others dedicated to Julio and Bigode (who dream of visiting New York someday soon) (link), to Mestre Pedro (link) and to our dear painter-benefactor Ele D’Artagnan (link). JustOneTV is a great place to put photos, videos and articles, and all of our friends are welcome to upload fresh material. For future reference, you can find the JustOneTV link in the right hand sidebar, in the group under the banner “ICBIE on the Web.” There are also two new ICBIE videos on YouTube, one dedicated to Mestre Pedro (link) and the other to D’Artagnan (link), and the permanent links are in the same sidebar, but higher up, under the banner “Pages.”
Finally, a word of encouragement for the courageous launch of ICBIE promotion and fundraising in Germany. Thanks to the unflagging efforts of Steve Whitton, the ICBIE story has been translated into German and printed in a sweet brochure. Steve is a core member of Lahn Artists, an artists’ collective in Limburg, and they are holding their annual exhibition from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16. ICBIE information will be disseminated (and donations will be gratefully accepted). Viel Glück, Steve!