Category: videos

This is where I put my videos or those of others.

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Art That Moves You: David Lester’s “The Listener”

The power of art should never be underestimated. All works of art, regardless of their form as mediated expression, offer a message to those that contemplate them. Some works of art are conceived as more deliberate acts of communication with specific intentions. Others allow room for nuance interpretation. Art can inspire to kill for social change and it can inspire to risk death for social change. Without question, art is a potent tool for societal inspiration. Leni Riefenstahl’s film Victory of Faith documents the Nazi Party’s 1933 Fifth Party Rally in Nuremberg and her later Triumph of the Will was...

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Radical Imagination and Direct Action with Pirate Radio

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 32°C] After reading Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada, all I wanted to do was become a pirate. Not the kind that steals from the rich in a capitalist bent to become rich myself at the expense of others. I wanted to appropriate what is already mine: the public airways, and broadcast what corporate media despise most: defiant free-form radio that encourages audio creativity and promotes social justice. The 246-page anthology, edited by Andrea Langlois, Ron Sakolsky and Marian van der Zon, is a collection of 16 essays and a docudrama in seven acts that explain...

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Citizen Media Rendez-Vous 2010 Livestream Archive

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 24°C] The 2010 Citizen Media Rendez-Vous is now behind me after three months of dedicated time to its coordination. As I contemplate my next moves, I invite everyone interested in citizen media to view the Livestream Archive of the two panel discussions. Montréal — Monday, August 23, 2010 10:30 am – 1:00 pm Panel A: Accessing and appropriating citizen media to better inform and mobilize the public Opening words by Alain Ambrosi “The long battle for the democratization of communication: citizen media at the cutting edge.” Introduction by the moderator, Patricia Bergeron Presentations by the invited panelists...

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Film Crews Abound Today in St-Henry Neighbourhood of Montréal

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 22°C] August 23, 2010 is a special day in St-Henry, a traditionally working class area of Montréal that is nestled southwest of downtown just north of the Lachine Canal. Parabola Films is documenting the neighbourhood’s cultural landscape in a single day with 12 crews roaming the streets and alleys. The project, St-Henry, the 26th of August, is directed by Shannon Walsh, a Montréal-based filmmaker whose feature documentary, H2Oil, traces the high human and environmental costs of the Alberta tar sands. It is co-written by her and Denis Valiquette who grew up in the neighbourhood, where he lived...

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Montréal Video Project Gets Results Keeping Kids in School

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 11°C] I can’t believe I’ve been offline for such a long time. Whatever, I’m back with a video reportage I edited and helped produce with a group of students from Louis-Joseph-Papineau High School in the St-Michel neighbourhood of Montréal. I was hired as a filmmaker/journalist to mentor this group of students make a documentary film / reportage. The subject they chose was themselves: Le Foyer 636, a special class of students that follow a particular curriculum to help them move forward with their learning and encourage them to stay in school and not drop out. They wanted...

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Voting Begins in Sudan Despite Rigging Accusations and Boycott

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 10°C] Today is election day in Sudan, the first of three days of polling. It is the first multi-party elections in Sudan since 1986, three years before the 1989 coup-d’état that brought Omar al-Bashir’s National Islamic Front – NIF (later renamed the National Congress Party – NCP) party to power. It has been five years since the end of a 21-year civil war between the government of Sudan and the southern SPLM rebels that killed two million people and displaced more than four million others in Africa’s largest country. According to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the people...

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Jacmel Youth From Ciné Institute Film Their Shaken World

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 6°C] Before the January 12th earthquake shook the ground from beneath Haiti’s foundations, pulling the roofs down onto the people of Jacmel, Ciné Institute used the power of cinema to educate and empower Haitian youth in the coastal city south of Port-au-Prince. Just like other educational institutions, Ciné Institute was devastated with its building—where it housed its equipment, trained aspiring filmmakers and held its weekly screenings—came crashing down two weeks ago. Students from the institute, whose own houses were destroyed, dug cameras and other equipment out from under the rubble and began capturing images of destruction and...

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Southern Sudan: Oil Exploitation vs Wildlife Protection

[Montréal, Québec, Canada -2°C] Before the last civil war started in Sudan in 1983, the country’s protected areas, according to the Wildlife Conservaton Society, “supported some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa, and hosted the second largest wildlife migration in the world.” According to their website, “During an aerial survey, more than 1.3 million white-eared kob, tiang (African antelope), and mongalla gazelle are thriving in Southern Sudan.” And apparently, an estimated 8,000 elephants are located within the Jonglei region and particularly in Boma National Park. This seems like such good news considering that all other information...

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Berlin Wall is Gone but Separation Walls are a Growth Industry

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 7°C] The celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was one week ago today. With that behind us, it is now time to acknowledge that the construction of separation walls throughout the world is on the increase. According to l’Observatoire de géopolitique de la Chaire Raoul-Dandurand at Université du Québec À Montréal (UQÀM), and a special ‘Section C’ in Montréal French language daily, Le Devoir, there are now 40 walls around the world that render passage across borders extremely difficult. In the article, The Wall Fantasy (Le fantasme du mur) by Élisabeth...

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Berlin, Check Point Charlie, and Giant-Puppet Theatre

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 16°C] Since my first visit to (East and West) Berlin in 1985, the city has never fully escaped my imagination. I remember walking up one of the platforms on the Western side of the wall near Potsdamer Platz to peer over the reinforced concrete barrier to get a glimpse behind the Iron Curtain. I remember at the time, how dangerous it felt to take a glimpse inside  of what looked like a prison, heavily guarded by armed soldiers from nearby watch towers. I remember later urinating on the wall as a symbolic gesture of defiance towards a...