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Peña latinoamericana - May 11, 2013 - East Boston

NEW DATE! Join us for a night of folklore, storytelling, arte y amor, the poetry of struggle bringing histories to life, and life to our circles of song.

Saturday, May 11, 2013, 6:30 p.m. @TecsChange (Eastie Workshop), 46 Bennington St., East Boston, MA Accessible from Maverick T Stop - Blue Line! Wheelchair Accessible

A Peña is a gathering of musicians, artists, and friends who come to share their work and to play together. Peñas take historical root from Chilean social gatherings during the 60s and early 70s that expressed the spirit of creativity and resistance in melody, poems, and artwork under a brutally repressive regime. Though they exist throughout the Spanish-speaking world, they came into fashion in Latin America with the Nueva Trova musical movement that ran in tandem with the revolutions of the day. In some places the term 'tertulia' is used, where in English we don't have an equivalent word. (Open Mic implies a certain formality and performance that doesn't quite fit this atmosphere.)

Peñer@s are encouraged to bring your own stories, songs, poems, or artwork to share. Please bring your songs, bring your verse, in whatever language or on whatever instrument.

Each peña hosted by e5 will be dedicated to the great tradition of someone who fought with the instrument of song and the spirit that defied borders. Please accompany us at our events with live music and ample nylon-string guitars.

RSVP for the event on Facebook and invite your friends!

$5 suggested donation. No one turned away. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages provided | No alcohol on premises

South Africa - One Year after Marikana

Thursday, August 15, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. [NOTE - Date change] (at e5) Things are changing at rapid pace in South Africa. In the year since Marikana, the labor movement is embroiled in a fierce struggle over its ties to the Revolutionary Alliance; two new parties (one to the right, AGANG, and a more populist one, Economic Freedom Fighters, have emerged, in addition, of course, to the Workers and Socialist Party--WASP --which formed in the immediate aftermath of Marikana; the nation as a whole is finally contemplating the post-Mandela future (along with re-assessing his legacy); the ruling party seems torn between international puppet masters but the grassroots struggles that defined post-Apartheid South Africa continue apace. We will examine these developments in August, one year after the Marikana massacre.

By way of background, please check out the following short articles that address these topics:

An encuentro 5 and Mass. Global Action coordinator, Suren Moodliar, will share his observations based on his April visit to South Africa. The talk will include an update on the Marikana inquiries. He will then sketch out the different strategies being implemented that nation's diverse and changing progressive left. It will consider quiet opposition within the ruling party and former national liberation movement (the African National Congress), the faultlines within the labor movement, the burgeoning grassroots social movements challenging the state, and new political formations seeking to reconstruct the entire left. Each approach is described with a view to identifying the strengths and challenge of each approach.

CANCELLED: A Conversation with Richard Seymour, Author of "Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens"

A note from Richard: "I'm sorry to anyone who is disappointed, but all businesses are shut down and public transport is closed. Until the other killer is caught, I'm not even able to really leave the house. It's especially unfortunate, because there is an urgent need for a response to this that tackles Islamophobia, and the clash-of-civs narrative that the likes of Hitchens have promoted."

Friday, April 19, 2013, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  @ encuentro 5 - 9 Hamilton Place, Suite 2A, Boston, MA 02108 (note location change to e5)

Update: Because the original venue was located within the crime scene at Copley, the event has been moved to encuentro 5.

In light of the attack and the highly racialized response from some of the media, we would like to offer this event as a place to for people to freely discuss the attack on Boston along with the original subject matter. Hitchens' notorious echo of "turn tragedy into war," following the September 11th attacks provides a strong negative lesson. Let's bring our minds and hearts together to discuss how we could create a positive one.

Presentation and Q&A with author Richard Seymour

On Friday April 19th, join Richard Seymour, one of Britain's leading young radical intellectuals and principal contributor to the popular blog, Lenin's Tomb, for a discussion of his recent book, Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens.

In his younger years, a career-minded socialist, Hitchens emerged from the smoke of 9/11 a neoconservative “Marxist,” an advocate of America's invasion of Iraq filled with passionate intensity. Throughout his life, he played the role of universal gadfly, whose commitment to the truth transcended the party line as well as received wisdom. But how much of this was imposture? In this highly critical study, Richard Seymour casts a cold eye over the career of the “Hitch” to uncover an intellectual trajectory determined by expediency and a fetish for power, which is also a cautionary tale for our times.

This event is free and open to the public. See Facebook Event Page.

RICHARD SEYMOUR: One of Britain's leading young radical intellectuals, Richard is the principal contributor to Lenin's Tomb (, one of the UK's most popular blogs. A regular columnist for the Guardian, Seymour is also the author four books, most recently "American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism" (Haymarket 2012) and "Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens" (Verso 2013). He is a founding member of the International Socialist Network.

Art Sale for Cuban Hurricane Sandy Survivors

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Nelson Da Costa is an Angolan artist and war refugee who lived and studied in Cuba for 18 years. Part of that time was spent at the Anton Makarenko School which was recently devastated by Hurricane Sandy. To help his former school, Nelson is doing a special one night sale of some of his works. Proceeds beyond his expenses will go to the school.

Nelson emigrated to the United State in 2002 and received a Master of Fine Arts in 2008 at  Tufts University and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Boston.  

Peña Rebelde: Gabrilla Ballard-Thakore

Saturday, September 10th, 2011, 7:00 p.m. Come share your energies at the 5th monthly Peña Rebelde, a gathering of souls in verse and rebellion. Gabrilla Ballard, a recent transplant to Boston from New Orleans, will share her singer-songwriter creations.

Peña Musical

Green Chile and Songs of Love & Protest

Saturday, May 14, 2011, 7:00 p.m. It's Peña time again, the great Latin American tradition of music & rebellion, with your friends Sergio Reyes, Mea Johnson, Rafael Medina, and Simon Rios will host the singer/poet circle. Manuel Santos and Julian Carabajal will also be present, as well as other special guests.

 Bring your songs, bring your verse, in whatever language on whatever instrument.

The Peña is a tradition dating back to the times of revolution in Latin America and continuing through those of today. Over the 5 years of our community space, it has become a tradition at 33 Harrison to accompany our events with live music and ample nylon-string guitars.

RSVP for the event on Facebook and invite your friends to it!

Opeñas Folklóricas

Every 2nd Sunday (2010)

Celebrate the great traditions of Latin American and local radical culture through song and music in our next Opeña Folklórica, combining traditional Peñas with an Open mic. Bring your voice, history, song and spirit!

Musicians: Rafael Medina, Sergio Reyes et al. + Open Mic.

Light snacks and refreshments offered for suggested donations by MESA sin fronteras, a burgeoning worker-run social club @ e5.

Peñas take historical root in Chilean social gatherings during the 60s and early 70s that expressed the spirit of creativity and resistance in melody, poems, and artwork under a brutally repressive regime. They began to sprout all over Latin America in a time when songs resounded with a collective heart beat for a more just society and they continue to weave a fabric of solidarity through generations. Each peña at MESA sin fronteras will be dedicated to a musician from this great tradition who fought with the spirit of song that defied borders.
Our first Opeña (Peña + Open Mic) on May 9th was dedicated to the song and struggle of Violete Parra, who was one of the first musicians in Chile to host and perform in such Peñas. Her radiant songs are a testament to a creative and rebellious spirit who loved much too much, inspiring listeners with her bold, defiant lyrics and gentle voice, her enduring rhythms and volcanic passion for social justice.

Join us in the heart of Boston to commemorate our new series of Opeñas!

The Oils & Acrylics of Carlos Mora-Ninci

September 2, 2010 6:00 p.m. - Art Exhibit Opening with exhibits in Boston and Oxford (UK), Argentine artist Carlos Mora-Ninci connects the global community with textured struggles of rural Argentina and Cordoba Province. Each brush stroke refracts stories of the mountains and their people. Sinewy, tortured and even broken landscapes speak to both majesty and turmoil. In mid-September, the artist will join us via video conference for a reception and introduction to his work and life (watch this space for details).

See more previews at: (Click on 'Read More' for a brief bio of Mora-Ninci.)

Concert: Labor Notes or Bust!

Saturday, April 3, 2010, 6:30 p.m. Labor organizers, musicians and friends come together for a night of music and activism to support a local youth contingent to the 2010 Labor Notes Conference.

6:30-7:30: Labor Notes Co-Director, Mark Brenner about the conference and this year’s themes: Defending Jobs and the Public Sector, Holding the Line, Organizing and Building our Unions, Examining Labor’s Political Agenda, the Next Generation, Making Sense of Our Movements, and Connecting Our Fights

Music 7:30-11pmPat Keaney, Jake & The Infernal Machine, and Labor Power

Let us know you're coming on Facebook and invite your friends...

MESA sin fronteras (Table without Borders)

* New community club/coffeehouse at e5 invites you for a warm gathering! *

Sunday, December 27, 7:00 p.m. Good food, music, and dynamite documentaries from around the rebellious globe. We will explore some 20th century US propaganda through cartoons and magazine advertisements and counter-images of resistance art of the time. (It was also rumoured there will be a mini chess tournament...) Relax, enjoy the evening, make new connections for the new year, and support MESA's last stretch before the opening in January. This gathering will be a mini-fundraiser, with dinner plates at a sliding scale donation of $7 - $12 and drinks at $2-$3. Come join us!  Last time at MESA's... (read more).

Peoples' Music: An Evening with Sergio Reyes, Simon Rios and many others

The Music of Social Struggle from Latin America

Saturday, June 6, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Capping off events and actions on Bolivia, Chiapas, Colombia, El Salvador, and Venezuela, and organizing to mark May Day 2009, we will be enjoying the music of Latin America with Sergio Reyes, Simon Rios and many others.

Drum Circle Celebrates 2nd Anniversary!

Sunday, October 19, 2008, 8:00 p.m. Join host Taina Vargas for a celebration of the 2nd year of the 3rd Sunday Batey. The program starts at 8:00 p.m. and runs till late. The night will feature: an art exhibit by local activists & visual artists, emcees & poets, drummers & musicians, dancers, a potluck dinner and much more. A $5 donation is suggested.