Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Video Short PSA: Native Hollywood Celebrities Come Together for "Idle No More" Public Service Announcement "2013 SOVEREIGNTY SUMMER" - "Idle No More and Defenders Of The Land Unite" + Information Education Documentaries (Photography by Josh Tousey and Videography by Sean Stromsoe)

Indigenous Hollywood: Natives in Hollywood come together for "Idle No More" calls on people to join in honouring and fulfilling Indigenous sovereignty cooperative caretaker stewardship of land, water and all life.

Video: Indigenous Hollywood Celebrities Come Together for "Idle No More" PSA
Colonizing ideals and forms of governing are slowly being revealed and rejected by citizens around the world. Talking and listening to people is important. It is time to heal damaging resource extraction, and honour Indigenous people's legal treaty rights. Heal abusive violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship. A call for truth and justice in action, reconciliation in words and actions, heart based protection of Mother Earth and her population reliant on her for life.

2013 Sovereignty Summer Idle No More and Defenders of the Land - World Wide Call To Action

2014 "Calls For Change"

Information short documentary
with powerful rap/hip hop lyric music "Young Warriors Happy and Alive, This Ain't Hollywood This is Our Home!"

Stay strong and united in Spirit.
We are the 7th Generation.                                                                                                                            

The Idle No More Movement started in Canada as a peaceful demonstration between tribes and government in December 2012. It spread as people world wide stood in solidarity for the Canadian government to honor treaty rights. These violations have direct bearing on the protection of our waters and land. If we don’t stand up as one people and start protecting our Earth’s greatest resources we are letting our future generations down.

Rolling Stone article: Idle No More: Native-Led Protest Movement Takes On Canadian Government First Nations groups organize to oppose controversial tar sands pipelines

Huffington Post article: DeSmog Canada: The Most Important Tar Sands Case You've Ever Heard Of (May 28th, 2013) ...

About R.A.V.E.N. (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs)

Everyone involved in this campaign volunteered their time and talent.
Take time to support their efforts
go to Idle No More and get educated.

Video: Gyasi Ross: The Future of 'Idle No More' and it's Impact in the USA

Video Library for More Idle No More activities and history

Grounded News documentary

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Video Animated Short Films "Zero" and "The Maker" by Zealous Creative

Click here to watch "Zero"

Click here to watch "The Maker"

Click here to watch the "Making of" videos

Click here to donate to filmmakers to download their videos

Zealous Creative, is a production company based in Los Angeles.
In 2010/11 their stop motion animated short film called "Zero", screened in over 50 festivals winning 15 awards including ‘Best Animation’ from LA Shorts Fest and the Rhode Island International Film Festival plus was nominated for an AFI Award.

Their latest stop motion short called "The Maker" has been screened at over 60 festivals and won 21 awards, including top honours at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival and SICAF 2012.

Video Music: Music of Tinariwen

Tinariwen in concert, an amazing experience. Videos of a short documentary and a GREAT CONCERT in LA playing with Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Desert Sessions

54th Grammy Awards Winner for "Best World Music Album"- "Tassili" by Tinariwen

Playing For Change Video: Groove in G Starts with Tinariwen in the key of G then travels around the world adding in other musicians also playing in the key of G (Playing for Change's Youtube Channel of videos)

Tinariwen's YouTube Channel and Tinariwen's Website (in English and French) and official Videos

 ABOUT Tinariwen and their Lyrics
"Tinariwen are often associated with just one image: that of Touareg rebels leading the charge, machine gun in hand and electric guitar slung over the shoulder.  The band ditch this cliché on their fifth album ‘Tassili’ and it’s for the best.  The founding members abandoned their weapons long ago and on this new album they have engineered a minor aesthetic revolution by setting the electric guitar – the instrument which became their mascot and made them famous – to one side and giving pride of place to acoustic sounds, recorded right in the heart of the desert, which is the landscape of their existence, the cradle of their culture and the source of their inspiration.  You might even call this radical move a return to the very essence of their art, a return which, paradoxically, has also opened the doors to some intriguing collaborations with members of TV On The Radio, Nels Cline (Wilco’s guitarist) or The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

There is some truth in that old cliché of the soldier-musician.  In the 1980s, Ibrahim, Abdallah, Hassan, ‘Japonais’ and Kheddou began to play together in and around the town of Tamanrasset in southern Algeria.  They would perform at weddings, baptisms or just simple youthful get-togethers.  They then spent several years in the same military training camp in Libya before the Touareg rebellion broke out simultaneously in Mali and Niger and sent them out onto the field of battle in the southern Sahara. In parallel, their songs, recorded on cassettes scattered far and wide, helped to broadcast the message of a rebel movement that set out to promote the rights of nomadic people suffering under the arbitrary policies of repressive and distant central governments. When peace was signed in 1994, their demobilisation coincided with profound changes in the way of life of those desert people, whose traditions had been irrevocably upended by years of drought and sedentarization. Such calamities forced many young Kel Tamashek – the people who speak Tamashek, the language of the Touareg – into exile.  Tinariwen became the spokespeople of a generation which looked on helplessly as their harvests thinned, their animal herds wasted away and their world slowly crumbled.

There was a time when Bob Marley and the Wailers lived a certain paradox, albeit on a different scale, to the one that was to greet Tinariwen: that of singing about the distress of their people whilst becoming global stars in the process.  For it was in the embers of this social trauma, which remains just as precarious today, that Tinariwen caught fire and went global.  The group, losing some of its original members and gaining new ones along the way, became a professional unit that toured the world, headlining at various important festivals including the Eurockéennes de Belfort in France, Glastonbury in the UK and Coachella in the US.  Their albums Aman Iman (2007) and Imidiwan (2009) were eulogized by the media and attracted the praises of Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Thom Yorke, Brian Eno or Carlos Santana, with whom Tinariwen performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006. Nonetheless, this success, this universal recognition didn’t alter the essence or spirit of their musical style, which mixes the bitter sound of spiky guitars with the often pantheistic approach of lyrical poetry that celebrates the sacred union between a people and their environment, and is the reflection of painful collective circumstances.

These circumstances have become considerably harder in recent months, to the point where the group were forced to record their new album far from their base in Tessalit, northern Mali, which is now deemed too insecure for outsiders to visit. Sticking with their desire to return to the roots of their music, and rediscover the age-old habits of their art, out in the wild, with acoustic guitars and unamplified percussion, they opted instead to record out in the deserts of southern Algeria, near the town of Djanet, in a protected region called the Tassili N’Ajjer. The place has historical significance for these old rebels. Back in the days of migration and rebellion it served as a refuge on the road to the Libyan training camps.  It was in this lunar landscape of white sand, rocky outcrops and astounding geological riches, in that mineral solitude which lends itself so powerfully to introspection and the outpouring of deep feeling, that musicians and technicians gathered between November and December 2010, under a Mauritanian tent, with 400 kilos of gear and a mountain of problems to solve. The wind that made the tent frames creak, the sand that invaded the electric equipment, the constant chugging of the electricity generators, these were just some of the unwelcome intrusions that had to be overcome.

In this natural open space it was decided to approach the sessions in an unorthodox manner and, unlike the way it’s done in most studios, let the musicians give their inspiration free rein during seemingly endless sessions around the campfire. It took three weeks to gather all the songs on ‘Tassili’.  Some are recent. Others have been dug up out of a much older, even traditional, repertoire.  The latter only become obvious candidates when the guitars were picked up and strummed and other acoustic instruments played.

During the last week of recordings the singer Tunde Adebimpe and the guitarist Kyp Malone from the New York band TV On The Radio arrived at the camp. The two bands had been forging links ever since they met at the Coachella Festival in California back in 2009, links which were consolidated at Tinariwen’s Hollywood Bowl gig in Los Angeles a year later when Kyp and Tunde were invited on stage to jam with the band. Out in the desert, the contributions of the two musicians on five songs and later additions by guitarist Nels Cline and the horns of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, recorded in their manor down in new Orleans, give ‘Tassili’ the intriguing character of an album which reaches deep into the essence of Tinariwen’s art whilst simultaneously opening itself out to the wider world.

Ibrahim Ag Alhabib sets out on a musical journey between sand dunes and vaulting stars with a solemn question: “What have you got to say, my friends, about this painful time we’re living through?”   The notion of a people in peril, fighting for their survival, both cultural and psychological, traverses ‘Tassili’ like a stick of rock.  The decision to use acoustic guitars, unamplified percussion, the jerry can ‘calabash’ and hand claps, suggest a great deal more than a closeness between these musicians and their desert – more like a communion.

‘Tenéré Taqqim Tossam’ is a declaration of love, tempered by respect and humility, for that desert landscape which is seemingly so demanding, so stingy with its water, but whose beauty and mystery are enough to quench the spiritual thirst that irks the soul of desert people and which they call ‘assouf’. Tunde Adebimpe’s added vocals reinforce the humility, even vulnerability, which that relationship requires. In the desert’s gruelling natural environment, everyone has to make sure that their honesty and integrity remain intact. That’s precisely what Ibrahim sings about in ‘Tameyawt’, an almost whispered song that invites us into the Saharan night to join him in spirit.  Or in ‘Walla Illa’, which is about a turbulent love affair that slips and slides between pain and hope.  Women, whose voices were so present on previous Tinariwen albums, have disappeared from this one, but never have they been so constantly invoked, especially in the songs ‘Tamiditin Tan Ufrawan’, ‘Isswegh Attay’ or ‘Tilliaden Osamnat’.

Tinariwen’s music and sensibility have always been close to the American Blues and on ‘Tassili’ they re-enact the emotions of an individual who finds himself face to face with loneliness and doubt, gripped by torment, the prisoner of inextricable circumstances (‘Djeredjere’). But that individual also manages to find hope in the strength of his community (‘Imidiwan Wan Sahara’) or in the simple pleasure afforded by insignificant daily moments, as on the song ‘Takest Tamidarest’, sung by Abdallah, which drops us right in the middle of the desert, with its slow-baked pace that lends itself to pure contemplation of man’s surrounding and to profound inner meditation.  For that reason, ‘Tassili’ isn’t just an extraordinary musical moment, in which Tinariwen repossess their own art to the extent that they feel completely relaxed about inviting others into their world, it’s also a shared human experience of rare quality."

- Francis Dordor
Translated from the French by Andy Morgan

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Eagle Touch The Clouds" - Building a Native American section in Public Libraries by Shawn Reynolds (Tsalagi Nation, Puyallup Tribe)

Facebook link ~ Eagle Touch The Clouds is a project to build Native American sections in all public libraries in all 50 states in the USA and through out Canada. On a winter day in 2011, three-year-old Kailee Reynolds asked her father to read her a book, and the two set off for the library. A member of the Tsalagi Nation, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Shawn Reynolds took his daughter to the Fife Library, which sits on tribal land, and they began looking for children's books about Native Americans."There were books on Japanese culture, Korean culture, Spanish culture, but none on Native American culture," Reynolds said. He posed a four-word question to branch supervisor Tami Masenhimer:"What happened to us?" Then Reynolds asked her; "If I can get you more media, will you use it?" He spoke with his tribal council and told them what he wanted to do – "spread our culture through the library system. Let’s put our language out there." Within a week, the tribe had donated 30 pieces.

Shawn Reynolds, Jr., 26 and his daughter, Kailee Reynolds, 5

Reynolds contacted small publishing houses and recording studios with Native American titles, explaining what he wanted and asking if they would give media to the library. He laid out his plan on social media – on Facebook, he is Eagle Touch the Clouds – and authors began contacting him. 

“This isn’t a business, it’s not a charity. It’s just a personal project,” Reynolds explained. “We got a CD of songs from pow-wows. Kate Elliott of the Chinook tribe donated a language CD. I’ve bought books on my own. Canyon Records gifted CDs on tribal drumming, tribal flutes and music.” 

The library cooperated. “Shawn talks to me, I talk to those who build our collection,” Masenhimer said. “We had what was available from the publishers we buy from. Shawn found small publishers, sometimes books that were self-published. He became our connection to them.” 

Shawn Reynolds, “I said a cultural prayer to the creator, asking for strength. I got all the hardships that build strength."

Above text excerpted from a story by Larry LaRue reporter for The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington, Click here for the full story.

For more information contact:
Shawn M. Reynolds
P.O. BOX 111259
Tacoma, WA 98411-1259
Cell: 1-253-232-9667 please feel free to text

Here is a list of 18 Libraries that so far have EAGLE TOUCH THE CLOUDS Native American sections in them:
Bonney Lake Library, Buckley Library, DuPont Library, Eatonville Library, Fife Library, Gig Harbor Library, Graham Library, Key Center Library, Lakewood Library, Milton/Edgewood Library, Orting Library, Parkland/Spanaway Library, South Hill Library, Steilacoom Library, Summit Library, Sumner Library, Tillicum Library, University Place Library

Video Trailer and Full Film ~ "Free The Mind" directed by Phie Ambo - A Documentary About People "Staying Alive" and "Creating Peace" (Ex-Solders, Children and Teachers) + "Project Welcome Home The Troops" Bringing Peace of Mind to Veterans

Watch Video Full Film and Trailer: "Free The Mind" directed by Phie Ambo

Watch (11 minute) Veterans talk about what they experienced in/after "The Power Breath Workshop"

Watch various video clips from film and new video

More American soldiers commit suicide after they return from war, than are being killed in the war. Most of the war veterans suffer from PTSD. Steve is one of the proud American veterans who just returned from Afghanistan. He was an interrogator and very good at his job. Now, back home, he suffers from sleepless nights and bad conscience because of all the terrible things he did during the war. He has a lot of anger and fear for the future and is struggling to be a good father for his two-year-old twins.

Brain scientist Professor Richard Davidson sets up his mind to conduct an unusual experiment: He will teach American war veterans and children meditation and yoga. Can veterans through meditation and yoga ease their pain and nervous system, find happiness and be more peaceful and get back to a life more like the one they had before the war?

By studying Buddhist monks Richard Davidson has found that it is possible to rewire your brain through meditation. Some of the effects are that you become more altruistic, compassionate and happy.

But Richard Davidson also wants to study how early in life you can start, using the same methods of meditation and yoga in an experiment with children with ADHD.

Davidson sets up his experiment and chooses the veterans for the experiment. We are following Steve, the ex-interrogator, and Rich who was a very successful leader for battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He feels responsible for not being able to save his friends that were killed during the war. Rich becomes more and more closed up and can't tell his wife about his memories.

Through the film, we experience what meditation does to human beings and we investigate, if we, by using other methods than taking medicine to ease our pain, can get less stressful, and happy.

Project Welcome Home The Troops ~ Bringing Peace of Mind to the Veterans
I spoke with "Project Welcome Home The Troops", shown in the film documentary teaching "power breath workshops for Veterans". They are very interested in getting the word out to Vets in the US and Canada about this FREE health and well being program being offered to support Vets to re-establish inner peace, Self-love, Self-forgiveness, compassionate re-entry into society and home life, stable health and well being. Please share with the Veterans you know about the screenings in your local theater and online viewing portal.

Project Welcome Home The Troops ~ Bringing Peace of Mind to the Veterans
Vimeo video viewing portal

Monday, May 13, 2013

Video Music: Commander Chris Hadfield Sings Plays David Bowie's Space Oddity in Space (on board the International Space Station) + Patrick LaMontagne painting "The Space Between Us"

"A couple of months ago, I finished the painting of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield just before he became Commander of the International Space Station.  Just painting the image was worth the effort because I really enjoyed it. But then Commander Hadfield saw it in orbit, sent me a short message and re-tweeted the link to his followers on Twitter. A tweet from Space is quite a thrill and I’ve actually had the pleasure of receiving two of them, the second after I did the editorial cartoon you see below when he took command. Had it all ended there, I would have been pleased enough." Click here for more of the story.

Image Credit: Patrick LaMontagne

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Video THNKR: "Sierra Leone's 15-Yr-Old Kelvin Doe Wows M.I.T. Visiting Practitioner's Program + Video of Kelvin Doe at TEDx Teen

THNKR Video 15 Year Old Kelvin Doe Wows M.I.T.
and THNKR Video of Kelvin Doe at TEDx Teen 

A 15 year old engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone, who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus. Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" at MIT. Kelvin embarks on a life-changing journey, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future. In the TEDx Teens VideoTHNKR films Kelvin as he returns to the United States to deliver a riveting talk at TedxTeen and grapples with the impact of new found YouTube superstardom. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Video Animated Short: "Blossom" by Julia Kwan

Click here to watch Blossom, the experiences of a young woman as she travels to a new country, are rendered in animation, sound and image. Throughout the passage of time, the persistence of love endures, as resolute and unchanging as the cycle of the season.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Video: "Les Archives du Cœur", the "Heart Archives" ~ by Christian Boltanski ~ the art of sound recording and archiving a global collection of heart beats

Heart Archives" (scroll around and down the Serpentine page, video located on screen-left side)
Video "Heart Archives" interview and Magazine Interview
About Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski is the critically acclaimed French artist whose primary purpose in art has been to remind us of our own mortality. The 65-year-old veteran with "Les Archives du Coeur", the "Heart Archives", has been globetrotting for the last five years, recording "heart beats" from the public and celebrities. The sound of a heart beating is sound-recored to live on after the mortal body of a Soul has passed on. This "Heart Archive" is a world transcript of our time, the lives that once beat their unique rhythm with each breath, each step, on each journey.

The same ongoing the "Heat Archive" has also been a part of other notable exhibits such as "Personnes" at the Grand Palais in Paris, "No Man's Land" at Armory in New York, the Serpentine in London, and Finland. Currently the exhibit is based on the remote Japanese island, Teshima, as part of Setouchi International Art Festival. 

Interview by Dazed Digital:

DD: What’s the inspiration behind Les Archives du Coeur?

Christian Boltanski: The idea came about six or seven years ago. You always try to capture people you love with photos: you know, you take a photograph of them to keep as a memoir? The recording of the heartbeats are like photographs: they capture a part of someone. Two or three years ago, I was asked by Mr Fukutake of Benesse Art to visit this island in Japan. I was inspired to make a library of heartbeats because it was so beautiful. It was very quiet and isolated, and you could hear the heartbeats of the person you love in a very quiet way. 

DD: So are the heartbeats constantly playing on this island?

Christian Boltanski: There are two parts: one is like an office and you can record your own heart if you want to. The other is like a corridor where you can listen to your own recordings, and you can hear the heartbeats of other people.

 DD: Who was first person to have their heartbeat recorded for the archive?

 Christian Boltanski: I think it was a Swedish man. The first time I did it was in Stockholm. A man called me and said: 'I love my dog so much, please can you put his heart in the library?” Now I have around six thousand Swedish heartbeats and one Swedish dog.

 DD: What does the future hold for this project?

Christian Boltanski: It will just travel all over the world. It has been to Korea, Sweden and London, and it's going to Finland next. The heartbeats will just be stored together in a big computer in Naoshima. After a few years, when you go to Naoshima you will find that the heartbeats all belong to dead people. Naoshima will become the island of death in fact. The idea of the piece is that it's impossible to preserve something: you can record the heartbeat of somebody, but you can't stop them dying.

DD: Are you planning to destroy the archives when it's completed?

Christian Boltanski: No, this will be a permanent piece of work and it will be ongoing.

DD: Have you given any thoughts to your final project and your legacy?

Christian Boltanski: I think this project will be my last, because it will not finish until I'm dead.