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This is the sign posted at the front entry. A similiar sign was also posted at the back door where the vendors and performers enter, as well as at the door to the cabaret stage.

Gilded Serpent presents...
Rakkasah Democracy Skips
First Amendment!
March 20, 2005
Richmond Civic Auditorium
Richmond, California

Report by Lynette, Editor

Friday March 18 2:30 pm -Shukriya's staff asked me to leave shortly after I arrived at Bert Balladine's Rakkasah workshop location! Bert had requested that I come to take pictures of him teaching. When I asked why I must leave, Shukriya's staff representatives, Fatima and Loywonner, answered that she had told them by phone to order me out or to make me pay for the class, even if I was only there for a few photos of Bert.

Sunday 9 AM. I received 2 phone calls from Shukriya each ending with her hanging up on me abruptly. The first conversation reprimanded me for "soliciting vendors for advertising" without renting a table as I had in previous years.Then she moved on to what seemed to be her real issue: She said, "You don't like Rakkasah!" referring to Aziza!'s recent article on Gilded Serpent.

The second call, a few minutes later, warned me not to come to Rakkasah at all. I told her that I had staff members to support there. Refusing to discuss anything any further she hung up again.

Sunday, later that morning I attempted to deliver equipment to my photographers and reporters but was confronted at the door by Shukriya's husband, Michael. He said "I think you have been told not to enter."

Shukriya's husband rushes around the table to bar Lynette from entering the hall.

Embarrassed security guard enforces Shukriya's ban. Warning sign is posted on door at level of guard's hip. No more cookies for him!

Lynette supports her staff and entertains visitors from the comfort of her new VW camper in the parking lot behind the building.
The back door to the hall is visible in the background.

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Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for more?
4-21-04 Rakkasah West Festival 2004 Friday Evening March 2004, Richmond, California photos by GS Volunteers including: Biram, Clare, Cynthia, Krista, Lynette, Michelle, Monica, Sandra, Valentino, Yasmine and probably more!

5-6-03 Rakkasah Festival 03 West Photos - Sunday by Susie
Fahtiem, Aziza, Mesmera, Amaya, Shanna, Akiko, Leila, and more...

3-20-01 Doing it my way by Bert Balladine
Pictures of Bert's Rakkasah Workshop, "For me, dance is not cerebral, but highly emotional."

4-28-02 Rakkasah West Festival 2002 Saturday Photos by Susie Poulelis
Bal Anat, Hahbi'Ru, Shoshanna, Domba and more...

6-13-01 Rakkasah 2001 Festival West: Sunday Photos by Susie Poulelis
Alexandria, Momo Kadous, Soraya, Leila Haddad, Elana, Suhaila, Jamila, Dhyanis....

4-14-00 Rakkasah Festival 2000 Photos- photography and layout by Susie Poulelis

Friday Night - Leila Haddad, Daila Carella and more!
Saturday afternoon Photos -posted 4-20-00
Saturday night Photos- posted 5-6-00
Sunday Photos- posted 5-6-00

4-12-03 On the Subject of Critique

The Critic; Real Critics Don’t Mince Words by Najia El-Mouzayen
Either we are a sisterhood of ego therapists and our instructors are politically correct in all they say and do—or we are tough artists in search of ways to improve our art form by ruthlessly weeding out the lame from our herd.

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Yasmela/ Shelley Muzzy
Until we see ourselves in the context of a larger society, no one outside of our community will accord us the respect we desire.

Critiquing, the “Agony & The Ecstasy” by Nisima
It’s an unnerving experience to be “critiqued” by your peers, but my personal opinion then and now is that when you perform in public, critiquing just goes with the territory of performing.




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