Tag Archives: activism

Pasta Nera: when Italy had nothing left to give but love, pasta and polenta.

PastaNera_Foto_22How does an entire country manage to forget over 100,000 of its children were put on trains and sent away from home? How can a country so critical of itself forget one of its kindest deeds ever? How can it be that one of its most organised and successful campaigns of social activism be relegated to the archives instead of championed as an exemplary example of what even the most poverty stricken citizens can achieve? While Pasta Nera does not try to answer these questions of why, it brings to light this wonderful story of great human generosity in a time of immense need, of the coming together of north and south in a postwar Italy reduced to rubble, and of the power of women at a time when they had very little money and even fewer rights. Continue reading

10 Arrests in 87 Minutes: How the NYPD Actively Suppressed the Occupy Movement

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10 Arrests in 87 Minutes: How the NYPD Actively Suppressed the Occupy Movement is a short film by two video activists, Paul Sullivan and Justin Sullivan, documenting 10 arrests during Occupy Wall Street’s first anniversary celebration. The protest that occurred on September 17th, 2012,  “Occupy Wall Street”, had over 180 arrests in downtown Manhattan and 10 of those arrests that took place over the span of 87 minutes were witnessed by the 2 brothers. The short provides a look at protestors individual arrests and displays NYPD’s action during crowd-control situation. For years, the NYPD have been criticized for their calculated actions and means of controlling such events and it has brought into question whether or not they are intentionally attempting deny civilians of their freedoms and/or taking advantage of their positions in law enforcement.

Paul Sullivan walks around downtown Manhattan with a camera strapped to him allowing the audience to experience the protest as another civilian walking the streets, however as he does so, he directs the audience to look in a certain direction or take notice of what is happening in the corner. Sullivan states what is happening and points out if there is a peculiarity in the action, informs the audience of any appropriate laws or current upholding legal barriers that are crossed, and even hints at his own beliefs in doing so.

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A Contaminated Democracy (That’s Fracked Up!)

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Typically film sequels only instigate eye-rolls from moviegoers, but I solemnly swear that “Gasland Part II” is worth viewing. The prequel “Gasland” invited viewers to join filmmaker Josh Fox as he educated himself about the natural gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of gas extraction – and in the process, he exposed the environmental repercussions associated with it. In the follow-up film, Fox drills into the gas industry again by documenting how natural gas companies are taking advantage of property owners, threatening and propelling them into financial ruins. Continue reading

The Pursuit of Happiness

 

The-Culture-High-2014-movie-posterWhen I began the search for the perfect documentary, I thought the film The Culture High, created just last year in 2014 with $240,022 funded on Kickstarter, was just another film about why marijuana should be legalized, but it proved to be so much more. Incarcerations, “Wars based on concepts,” militarization of police, prohibitions of all kinds, the race for more, the discovery of the motives behind the government, and money are just a few topics explained within The Culture High. Combining the use of animations and interviews with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifia, we also see very interesting and impactful interviews with medical professionals; former secret agents from various federal organizations; patients of diseases; former drug smugglers; experts on mental health and behavior; and even a few Neuropsychopharmacologists, we get a new view on the “War on Drugs” originally forged by Richard Nixon, through portrayals of very real proof of an ignorant nature displayed through very real video evidence. Continue reading

Film for Action: Love for Social Change

The film I chose is titled Love Has No Label and it is a very short (3:20) POWERFUL video campaign to fight discrimination and prejudism by promoting love as an indicator of one another’s acceptance of differences.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/love-has-no-labels/

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Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain)

For obvious reasons, I really wanted to pick a crowdfunding organization that was based in Europe, along with helping people in need, so I settled on Switzerland’s Gain. Gain is a worldwide organization that has set out to end world hunger and allow everyone on earth to consume food with nutritional value. Gain is a giant organization that helps people in over 50 countries and has dozens of different programs to end malnutrition, but one program stuck out to me specifically: Salt Iodization. Continue reading

Alzheimer’s Society

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William Utermohlen – Self Portrait
1967

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William Utermohlen – Self Portrait
2000

Alzheimer’s society is a membership organisation made up of over 20,000 members. They are working to improve the quality of life of people that are affected by dementia in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many of their members have personal experience of dementia, either as carers, people with dementia themselves and health professionals. This allows for a wide spectrum of insight and expertise that is channelled into making progress in all aspects of improving the lives of people that are affected by this degenerative disease, as well as supporting the families along through the various stages.

The word dementia refers to a set of symptoms that include memory loss and difficulties thinking, problem solving or language. Dementia is caused by certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or occasionally a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s society staff provide local services including day care and home care for people suffering from dementia in the community. The support that the family members and partners receive is invaluable in order for them to cope with the increasing demands of becoming a carer.

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Modern-Day Slavery

by Jessica Balko

In December of 1865, the United States of America abolished slavery with the addition of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 2007, Mauritania made slavery illegal. Free the Slaves provides an overview of slavery in history dating back to 6800BC. To date, slavery is illegal in every country; however, practices similar to slavery still exist today including domestic servants, sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor, and child labor. According to End Slavery Now, it is estimated that 28 million people are experiencing a modern-day form of slavery.

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Stop FGM

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Hi guys, Natalie here.

I’m ready to talk about an issue that people sometimes shy away from: Female genital mutilation. Commonly referred to as FGM, I first learned about this gruesome, inhuman procedure by reading “Infidel,” a memoir by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, where she vividly describes her clitoris being cut. It hurts just to type it.  I was shocked that this could exist – that this could be justified by a façade of religious beliefs. And yet, it does. It is estimated that 30 million girls are at risk of genital mutilation before their fifteenth birthday (Unicef).

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Let’s Crowdfund PoP

By: Kasey Wilcox

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Of the many important philanthropic causes I find an interest in, I value childhood education as one of the most important. Not because fighting cancer or childhood obesity is any less a priority, but because I know that I would be not be the same without it. An alarming number of 250 million children around the world of primary age lack basic reading, writing, and math skills (Pencils of Promise, 2008). Thus, I have developed a deep connection and care for Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that sends children to school with trained teachers with $250 scholarships.

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