If you watched the TED talk I wrote about recently, you heard Nadia Al-Sakkaf talk about a documentary in the works called Shake the Dust.
I was intrigued – as usual. So, I did what she said and went to http://shakethedust.org/. And I loved it. A film maker who traveled all over developing countries around the world decided to make a film about the hip-hop sub-culture in places like Yemen, Uganda, and Haiti. (Places I’ve not been to… but I love!) And not only is it interesting to see into stories of people around the world and their love for the hip-hop culture but I LOVE the concept and motivation behind the making of the film.
The director shares his philosophy…
Upon returning from a trip to Uganda in 2006, I exhibited (along with another photographer) a series of images from my time backpacking through this volatile yet beautiful African country. Although the exhibit was relatively well-received, one newspaper article claimed the show “lacked honesty.” Their assertion was that very few of the images seemed to actually represent the reality of the suffering that was happening in Uganda. “Where were the M16’s, the child soldiers, the poverty, disease, despair?”
The honest truth was this: Suffering was indeed there, but it was not the majority of what I found. Many filmmakers enter into a place of crisis, and, with a multitude of motives good and bad, endeavor to capture nothing but agony and despair. Now, I believe there is certainly a place for that. But if that is the only story that is told, then the subjects of our words, photos, and videos, are deprived of their humanity. I believe we are called to empathize with suffering people– not just pity them.
When we are able to glimpse the whole of their experience– to taste their daily life, and seek to understand their culture– we will then begin to truly be moved to compassion for them– because we will not simply be looking at disturbing images– we will be looking at our brothers and sisters who are in peril. People need to see the full truth– both the suffering, and the humanity. This, I believe, will be the catalyst that truly stirs us to action.
It all goes along with the idea of needing to take the time and make the effort to KNOW the world if you really want to LOVE the world and seeing various sides of pictures/stories/realities. I just love it.
They are still in the process of traveling around the world and making the film a reality. For now, follow the blogumentary and follow along with the stories. But start with this: