Wednesday, July 18, 2012

High Level UN Meeting on Youth and Conflict

Today I'm looking forward to sitting on a high level panel at the UN on the issue of youth and conflict.  I was asked to participate in this because of a film and poetry initiative I did with UNFPA and the Women's Refugee Commission called Youth Zones (which you can view in English, French, Spanish or Arabic at

With Youth Zones, I traveled with youth activist Chernor Bah from Sierra Leone and poetry mentor, Luke Nephew from the spoken word/creative writing non-profit I work with - Urban Word NYC - to Liberia, Colombia, Lebanon, Northern Uganda and New Orleans to document the struggles and resiliency of young people facing conflicts and natural disasters.  My talk will focus specifically on the poetry workshops and how young people in emergencies can benefit and heal from such creative, safe spaces.

As part of my efforts to engage local artists in my film related outreach activities, I recruited Bajah from Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew to also sit on the panel to discuss his experiences as a youth growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone .Here is a really great 3-minute clip that touches on the experience of Bajah and his bandmates.

If you are attending the ECOSOC event at the UN or are interested in being a special guest, send an email to the RSVP listed on the invite above.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A new music video for the Olympics featuring Sierra Leonean Superstars - Be an extra!

TONIGHT, in Fort Greene Park, two major superstars from Sierra Leone will be performing a special track they produced to celebrate and cheer on the only athlete representing their country who will be competing at the Olympics - Olay Sissay, a long jumper.  I have been filmming the behind the scenes making of the track and will be shooting footage for an upcoming music video.  I need your help.

Let me introduce these two incredible artists and new friends.

Janka Nabay is considered a major figure in "Bubu Music", a traditional music in his native country that he mixes with the eclectic sounds of Brooklyn indie artists known as his "Bubu Gang".  He will be releasing a new album in August under David Bryne's label, Luaka Bop.

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang are collaborating with hip hop sensation Pupa Bajah from Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew, also from Sierra Leone, whose music blends many influences in hip hop, including funk, dancehall and reggae. They are part of a growing international hip hop movement, though they are among the first of these acts to gain an international presence, with their music being featured in the Hollywood film, "Blood Diamonds."

If you are located in NYC, please come to this FREE show, and show support by wearing the colors of blue, white and/or green in honor of the Sierra Leonean flag! 

And speaking of the flag...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Contest for Best Photography in the (One Life) World

Hi all,

I have some personal thoughts about my role documenting Africa, the Motherland.  Click the link below to read my personal perspective and while you're there, vote for my photos.  The One Life Photography Competition will give winners a New York City photo exhibition and a $25,000 cash grant!

Click "Collect Me" HERE...or