Kickstarter film, not documentary, seek to highlight the Omo Valley

August 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Kickstarter Campaign for: “People of the Delta” Film Project from Joey L on Vimeo.

I came across this kickstarter project and thought it was interesting. The director seems to be approaching his film in a way that respects culture, as well as individuals, and attempts to project the empowered, beautiful side of an environmental region in need.

“People of the Delta is a cinematic narrative film collaborating with real people and stories from the tribes of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.

The script was written with true events in mind, shaped from the collective wisdom of stories handed down from the elders of the Dassanach and Hamar tribes. These two tribes are historically known for competing against one another for the limited amount of fertile land found along the Omo River. This fragile way of life becomes the backbone of our film’s plot.

Conflict over resources extends to every culture and country on the globe today, and is expressed with an entirely unique perspective in the film.

The story is told in two chapters from two unique perspectives. Kulcho- a young boy from the Hamar tribe who becomes a warrior, and Bona- an elder chief of the Daasanach. Although they are from rival tribes, their lives become connected.”

Rape and Feminism

August 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

In an article published today by Salon, author Estelle Freedman discusses the role of feminism in changing America’s rhetoric and laws  surrounding sexual assault.

 As [feminism] evolved from the radical margins to the political mainstream, the movement proved far more effective than its predecessors in changing both laws and institutional practices. The rapidity of the shift, evidenced by an explosion in media coverage and legal reform, suggests that the spark of feminist politics ignited a backlog of fear and resentment among American women, many of whom had felt both physically at risk and politically disempowered by the threat of rape.

It’s a quick read, but an interesting read nonetheless–and one that discusses an issue relevant to all of us today. In fact, the BBC just published an interesting article about how feminist comedians are fighting back against the fact that domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape have become “open fodder for comedians at open-mic nights.”

As one of life’s odd correlations, just  before reading this article  I ran an ngram1 search for the words “rape” and “feminism” in all Google digitized books from 1800 to 2008. The result (click the image to enlarge):

ngram rape and feminism

1Ngram is a phrase-usage graphing tool which charts the yearly count of selected n-grams (letter combinations)[n] or words and phrases,[1][2] as found in over 5.2 million books digitized by Google Inc (up to 2008) (cite: wikipedia). In other words, it counts how many times a word was used in all google-digitized book for each year.

Recommended Post: Is it nuts to give money to the poor?

August 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Evidence-based Social Intervention

In a recent blog post, Columbia professor and development cash transfer expert Chris Blattman states the following:

“Neither the government nor the charity I worked with in Uganda were willing to try [giving people] just cash…[A radio show] talked to a woman from Heifer International, who give cows and training instead of cash. That could be the right thing to do. But she couldn’t bear the thought of finding out. She hated the idea of experimenting on poor people. They are human beings.
Let me be blunt: This is the way the Heifers of the world fool themselves. When you give stuff to some people and not to others, you are still experimenting in the world. You are still flipping a coin to decide who you help and who you don’t, it’s just an imaginary one.

You’re experimenting with your eyes closed.

This is a somewhat controversial statement that…

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