For No Good Reason – trailer & documentary

51F9gU6MVbL90e62b55294ceb82ebbbd5447a2d519fralph-steadman-illustration-for-fear-and-loathing-in-las-vegas3022030-inline-3022030-slide-stead65305ralph-steadman-steadman-whooo3022030-poster-p-steadman ralph-steadman-abject-misery-desaturated tumblr_lvybjiJRgl1qa0m3lo1_500    

this was really well done. a brilliant illustrator & thinker, Ralph Steadman was also a frequent collaborator of Hunter S. Thompson. Ralph’s distinctive work would help characterize and visually define Hunter S’s gonzo storytelling and serve to create some of Thompson’s most popular visual reference points today.

i was definitely left inspired to lend my doodles and passion for art to better use.

rl.

wangari maathai – revolutionary women pt. 2

I am empowered, as I continue to discover radical women across the world who have courageously challenged and defeated systems of oppression to cultivate environments for justice and peace.

These women remind us that the tools we need to mobilize change in our world are not defined by governments or economic conditions, but rather lie in the unfathomable and unbreakable realm of the human spirit. By exploring their inspiring movements, brought to life by revolutionary visions and fearless actions, our minds are elevated to a new level of consciousness that demands that we actively stand up against structures of violence.

With that in mind let us explore the legacy of political and environmental activist Wangari Maathai whose grassroots movement not only challenged old notions of peace but has completely revitalized the very air we breath.

Image

It was the late 1970‘s and Kenyan native Wangari Maathai was confronted by a serious problem. What once was a land abundant in natural resources was no longer providing the everyday necessities needed to live. Women in her village were the first victims of this environmental degradation because they were the ones who had to walk for hours looking for water, who had to fetch fire wood when it was scarce and who had to provide food for their families.

Image

Their inheritance, the land passed down to them by their ancestors, had been raped by corrupt governments that were overseeing the privatization and deforestation of land. Perhaps even more detrimental was the mismanagement and disempowerment of the Kenyan people.

Image
It was from this deprivation that the Green Belt Movement arose. Founded on Earth day in 1977, Wangari started an initiative that would focus on sustainable development by rebuilding the forest, practicing lifestyles inductive to environmental conservation, and empowering the people through civil education. To begin, they approached the women who were suffering from the deterioration of resources and helped them make a connection between their daily problems and environmental problems.

Then, Wangari empowered the women by showing them that the solutions to their problems were not outside their reach. All they needed to do to improve their living conditions was plant trees. Wangari was instrumental in this process. Not only did she develop the most effective way of planting trees; collecting seeds and than propagating the trees in the area for more seedlings, but she also developed a small cash incentive; for every tree they planted that survived, the movement would compensate the individual with four US cents. Before long, communities were exercising self-sufficient ways of living, planting various types of trees according to their unique needs.

Image

As the initiative continued, Wanagari realized that the Green Belt Movement was only addressing the symptoms to the real issues. To get to the root of the problems, Wanagri began to expand her focus to include a political curriculum. The Green Belt Movement saw the importance of getting people involved in an active civil society that held both the government and the people responsible for preserving and sustaining their natural resources and their basic human rights. Some of the accolades achieved by Wangari’s grassroots  movement  include the preservation of the largest public park in Kenya – Uhuru Park.

Image

They also saved one of Kenya’s major forests- Karuru forest by mobilizing the nation to protest against unlawful privatization  and deforestation.

Image

To further show the perseverance of this movement, they militantly fought for democracy by protesting for the release of political prisoners for eleven months under the Moi government.

Wangari Maathai is a globally influential women because she exemplifies the power of the individual as well as the greater power of an active civil society. This radical women’s message is clear; “ it is the people who must save the environment, it is the people who must make their leaders change (and) you cannot enslave a mind that knows itself, that values itself, that understands itself.”

1245_AC006

The integrity and wisdom of her principles lives on as the Green Belt movement has helped encourage many to protect their ancestral inheritance through protecting their environmental rights. It is only in knowing who we are and understanding our capabilities, can we begin to steer government policies in a direction that enriche the entire forest rather than a single tree.

AM

*RIP to this inspiring and incredible woman. her courage, vision and strength of character served to catalyze a movement that will only grow and reverberate throughout the world, resounding loudest as it echoes amongst the trees and foliage she loved so deeply.

rl.

Image

interlude.fm – engaging storytelling on a next level

The-Future-of-nergy
one of the most interesting advancements i’ve seen in a while in terms of engagement and storytelling. this post has nothing to do with shell or energy. nor does it have anything to do with shimon peres. this post is about a company called Interlude and the way they are playing with interactivity and storytelling. s/o the connectors for always connecting me to dope shit.

http://www.shell.com/letsgo/mix

now whether you want to stomach shell’s greenwashing campaign all the way through is up to you. but it’s probably worth it. the stats are relevant and startling when you realize their implications. it’s nothing new, but it’s a new way of telling the story and allowing people to be intuitive and curious as opposed to force fed a stream of consciousness.

seen in this way, i think the implications for this medium of storytelling get even deeper.

there is also an interview with Shimon Peres entitled Shimon Peres and You (click creative and explore) again, a really interesting and engaging concept… and also a masterful illusionary technique for making people think they actually have access or influence with the political elite…but that’s another story.

the possibilities are endless. and in a way, i guess that’s the point.

ill shit.

interlude.fm

rl.

marc mac - dusty motown crates vol. 2

you know this is exactly my type of shit… soul music. a classic mix to inspire the heart and soul on a thursday… plus a few more there in the vault for the rainy days.

click thru the photo for the music. tons of it. mixed by the legendary marc mac of 4hero fame.

rl.

“Part two. More Motown Magic from the Motor City Crates.

Marc Mac presents 60 minutes of Motown Dusty Grooves “mixtape style”. All “green light Technics” strictly vinyl.

Without doubt Motown has always been one of my fave labels and truth is you don’t have to dig to deep to find Motown gems as it was such a popular label. In more recent times loads of previously unreleased Motown tracks have surfaced solidifying my admiration for the Motown groove.

Shout also has to go to the many Hip hop producers that helped in keeping the groove alive through sampling.

check it out.

– marc mac”

radical women, liberia.

Over the years, I’ve often been invited to discuss the impact religion has had on our world. More times than not, these discussion lead to a discourse which charge religion for creating division, bigotry, and war.

With a historic reputation of oppression and violence it is often hard to plead any other verdict in the case of religion, except the most obvious, guilty. However in an attempt to broaden my own perspective, I decided to explore the scarcely told stories in history that offer a different perspective. On my conquest to broaden my scope, I came across Leymah Gbowee and the women of Liberia! These women forced me to look outside the box I had comfortably placed religion in. I hope their remarkable story will enlighten and inspire all who read.

Liberia was facing its second civil war. Women faced sexual brutality, mutilation and cannibalism, while their children and husbands were being recruited as soldiers. One night Leymah Gbowee, a mother of three had a dream. In that dream she was told to gather all the women from her church to pray for peace. So that Sunday Leymah did exactly that. As Leymah was rallying all her Christian sisters to pray, a Muslim woman by the name of Asatu Bah Kenneth got inspired by the initiative and decided to get her Muslim sisters involved. What started off as the Christian Women’s Peace Initiative became the Women’s Organization for Peace. It was the first time in Liberian history where Islamic and Christian women were united.

The logic behind placing their differences in beliefs aside was revolutionary, they thought:

if a bullet can’t pick and choose, if it does not know the difference between a Christian or a Muslim, why should they?

What happened next was remarkable. Thousands of women including the internally displaced went from praying and protesting in the fish market to marching to the Liberian Parliament demanding that President Charles Taylor (later to be indicted for war crimes), begin peace talks with the rebels.

PDBH.jpg

On June 4th 2003 the Accra peace talks began in Ghana. However General Leymah and her army did not stop there. After several weeks of unsuccessful negotiations, the prospects for peace looked slim. The violence had reached its peak as the war had finally made its way into the capital city, Monrovia. In a last and final plea for peace these women sat on the floor around the peace hall where the talks were taking place, linked arms, and refused to let any delegate out of the room until a peace treaty was signed. Incidentally, this bold act of courage was just what was needed to get the attention of the international community. Immediately after the IMF threatened to cut of funding, the UN Peace Keeping Force entered into the capital, and Charles Taylor was forced into exile. On August 18th, 2003 the Accra Peace Agreement was signed. Liberia could finally start moving forward.

Protesting_in_front_of_UN_Envoy_at_Mamba_Point_Monrovia_Liberia_180dpi_credit_Pewee_Flomoku

In a world where Muslims and Christians have often historically been at war, these courageous women provided their country, their continent and even bigger their world with an empowering example of the things that can be achieved when basic principles of respect are present. These women show us that it is a choice we as individuals make that either allow religion to be used as an instrument for division or unification, for war or for peace!

If it is true that we become what we focus on, we must begin to use these stories of religious tolerance to shape our world. We must set a new standard by fueling the stories in history that sing of solidarity and peace.

safe_image

peace,

A.M.

editors note:

240281257_640
A police officer for over two decades, Asatu Bah Kenneth’s story is also incredibly powerful and interesting.

“Asatu’s position in the police service gave her access to intelligence about the war. On one occasion,
as the war was closing in on Monrovia, Asatu called a meeting with Leymah, Sugars 
and Janet
and other key members of WIPNET. After that meeting the women issued the 
all-important position
statement that they would eventually take to their meeting with Charles Taylor 
urging him to sit
down at the peace table with the rebels.

Her nickname is the “stabilizer” because she doesn’t take sides. After the war she became Liberia’s
Deputy Chief of Police and focused on bringing more women 
into the security sector. Recently she
was appointed the Assistant Minister of Justice for 
Administration and Public Safety.”

this is the first contribution from asha mattis. from here on out, posts by asha, will contain the signature, A.M.

rl.