British award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker Michele D’Acosta is seeking to transform the lives of 170 African polio victims who are struggling to stay alive in the former British colony of Sierra Leone.
With the help of an international photography competition, D’Acosta’s goal is to bring global attention to the desperate plight of these forgotten people – and use her photo-journalism as a tool to help leverage medical attention, food, clean water and proper housing for the men, women and children that live in cramped and unsanitary conditions in a bombed out building on Pademba Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Michele D’Acosta began her film and television career as a reporter for the BBC – reporting on the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and then going on to produce a slew of television documentaries with the high profile and controversial director, Nick Broomfield. However, it wasn’t until D’Acosta had a wake-up call to change her life from television producer to a photographer and filmmaker working for positive social change that she took (for her) the unusual step of submitting her images of polio victims to the fifth annual EXPOSURE photography competition hosted by the See Me Gallery in New York City.
The winner of the EXPOSURE competition will be decided by public vote. More importantly, if she wins, D’Acosta will donate the winning prize money of $1,500 to set up a fund to kick-start a lifeline of financial support and medical help for these forgotten polio victims.
It is Michele’s personal belief that a country is judged by the wellbeing of its most vulnerable citizens. Sierra Leone is one of the ten poorest countries in the world and one of top ten diamond producing countries in the world. In supporting this critical Worldwide Wave of Action — please join her in taking action on behalf of disabled people whose plight is invisible to the mainstream media.
To vote now, click on https://icosta.see.me/exposure2014. Voting closes on Monday March 31st, 2014.
For more information, Michele can be reached at Michele@thepeaceproject.com By phone on +44 (0) 7417436097, on Twitter @michelepeaceday or Skype at micheleadacosta.
Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you.
Today’s Poetry Challenge is to re-write Frank O’Hara’s Lines for the Fortune Cookies.
The ideal fortune is a one-liner. Please send me your ideas for fortune cookies!
Here are my offerings:
Which came first the fortune cookie or the egg?
The future starts any minute now.
When I look into your eyes I see a Do Not Disturb sign.
Your dream is still to be claimed by you.
Run your own marathon race don’t walk a mile in my shoes.
If you’re going somewhere over the rainbow take an umbrella.
Instead of taking the stairs two at a time live on the ground floor.
Every picture tells a story so where’s yours?
Invisible ink is no reflection on you.
The next person who asks you to dance will understand you.
Enlightenment for Dummies? Be Zen for the hell of it!
If you want to meet me in person leave your gun home.
You can take a horse to water but don’t expect the horse to pay for the drinks.
An African boy looks up at the camera.
His father is disabled and he’s playing with his father’s crutches.
The family live on a $1 a day and these crutches are the only ‘toys’ the boy has to play with.
For this week’s WordPress photo challenge on the theme of ‘Up’, I’m wondering what is uppermost in this boy’s mind at the moment I took the photograph.
For today’s poetry challenge, I’m inspired to create a poem using the fold-in technique, made famous by William Burroughs.
Splicing together paragraphs from different books offers interesting juxtapositions of text and image. “When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” said Burroughs. I walked over to my bookcase and selected the first two books that caught my attention.
This is the story of Fitzgerald’s “crack-up”, his quick descent from success to failure and despair and his determined recovery. Fitzgerald died in 1940 at the age of 44. “Sometimes,” Scott Fitzgerald once said: “I don’t know whether I’m real or whether I’m a character in one of my own novels.”
“Inspector Hans Bärlach, at the end of his career and suffering from cancer, is recovering from an operation. He witnesses how his friend Dr. Samuel Hungertobel turns pale and becomes nervous when looking at a photograph in a magazine he is reading. The person pictured is the German Dr. Nehle who carried out horrific experiments on prisoners in a concentration camp in Gdansk (Poland) and is believed to have committed suicide in Chile in 1945. Dr Hungertobel explains that his colleague Fritz Emmenberger, who was in Chile during the war, closely resembles Dr. Nehle.”
I opened The Quarry at a random page and used a piece of plain white paper to cover half the words on that page. I used the same technique with the Fitzgerald book.
I merged half lines of two verses from the poem ‘Clay Feet’ on page 161 of Fitzgerald’s book with a paragraph of half lines from Dürrenmatt’s book.
This is the result of the fold-in experiment. For clarification, Fitzgerald’s words are in regular typeface, Dürrenmatt’s words are in italics.
The Crack-Up Quarry
I can see them, sometimes
was completely baffled.
Glasses. He always did that when he was…
Noon burns, and soon there come
Times said the Commissioner. He readily
The pale and ravaged places
Wasn’t always easy to give shelter to
ago adorned. — And Seeing,
and he, Barlach, would have to bear
falters as an invalid…
Clandestine alcoholic. He would
Did something in their being
to call the clinic Sonnenstein in Zurich.
From them when my ideal did?
A bed for Barlach under the name of
Ghosts, cast down by that young damning,
He should describe him as a freshly
answer: I heard but you say,
but rich patient
weak. We failed a bit in shamming.
Want to go to (his colleague Fritz) Emmenberger? Dr Hungertobel
Will freedom always weigh…
and sat down.
My heart? For your defection,
Who had me in your keeping, break! Fall
(Doctor Samuel) Hungertobel, “I don’t understand you.”
Height to this great imperfection!
“is dead” corrected the old man. “Now…”
weep. — Yet can I hate you all?