Polio in Sierra Leone

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.



Poetry Challenge #24: Two Bodies

Two bodies speak to each other in smoke rings.

Signals blown back and forth. The mysterious air

between the pair: cloaking their mystery.

What are they saying? Is language extinct?

Are words with all their meanings pinned

down. Frozen. Stiff.

No map no GPS

Poetry Challenge #20: SOUL TALK

Hello, everyone!

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.


Poetry Challenge: #18: Time Lapse

Opening scene.


Journey on foot.


A series of shots.


Verdi’s Messa da Requiem fades in,


overlapping for a brief moment with a ghost image.


The scene freezes;


Opening credits roll and scene fades to black.


The Requiem continues an audible transition to the second scene.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Child of a polio victim

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.

Challenge #17: The Crack-Up Quarry

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.


I opened to a random page — The Crack-Up, a collection of writings by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book fell open at page 161; Scott Fitzgerald’s Notebooks, Section J, Jingles and Songs.

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.”

The second ‘fold-in book’ is a crime novel called The Quarry by Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt200px-TheQuarry

“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. 

Ghosts, slim

Girls and

Graces —

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,

answered Balach.

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?


Future Love Paradise


The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. 


Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. 


But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

— William Blake