I sent the 100+ items purchased in the camp on a truck bound for the UAE (see photos from last blog post). They were sent in mid-July and they never arrived. I am very dis-hearted that this has happened. I hand selected and paid for every item from an entrepreneur who responded to our survey. In essence, that 9 days was a waste for the sculptural project and I am starting back at zero. I will have to spend some time reflecting on the progress or lack there of in the artistic output for the project.
Dr. Kim Gleason and I have teamed up for two extended research projects that span two disciplines - Business and Art. We are conducting surveys and creating artistic projects in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Northern Jordan. We are looking at the Psychological Capital of Syrian Entrepreneurs in the camp and exploring the business and art of bricolage of Entrepreneurs inside of the camp. The final results will include a documentary short, journal articles, a sculpture and multi-media installation. Please see "Projects" for more details.
I just participated in the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival.
This film was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research and the Ras Al Khaima Fine Arts Festival.
Aminah is a dialog between a poet, a critic, and an emirate. It is an experimental biography of poet Ahmad al Assam who has lived his entire life in Ras Al Khaimah. Ride along with Ahmad al Assam as he shares the intimate spaces around Ras Al Khaimah that have inspired his discourse on family, loss, love, and country. The environment, culture, and people are the catalysts for his poems that depict a greater narrative on the inevitable, change. The poet shares his stories in verse and prose. View Ras Al Khaimah from the sky, hear the words that are echoed in the sea, and feel the passion of critic, Dr. Haitham Yehia Al-Khawajah, who refused to give up on the importance of poetry to Ras Al Khaimah and to the region.
For more information about the festival: http://rakfinearts.ae/index/en/
For short instagram video about the premiere opening: https://www.instagram.com/p/BubI3SwAZ9_/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet
I am so excited to be involved with "How She Creates". The artist and business woman responsible for this gem is @laurenlikesblog.
This week documentary filmmaker Becky Beamer, who has worked for National Geographic, Smithsonian and more is here to tell us what it's like to travel to tell stories. She spends years and big money, planning, traveling, filming and editing stories that highlight the beauty in this world. She is a book artist herself, so she has a special interest in humanitarian craft work. This episode is such an inspiring one as we learn how to make a documentary interesting and compelling. Plus, Becky shares how you can document your own world and start telling your stories using the camera on your phone.
Add your voice to the conversation using the tag #howshecreates and by following me on instagram @laurenlikesblog. Full show notes are at www.lauren-likes.com/podcast
This school year I am working as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Media Arts at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. While it is many miles away from home, I am happy to report that the adjustment has been almost immediate. I am thankful for how easy has been for me to adjust. Part of this ease into a new country and new institution is the staff at AUS. They made sure we had all medical things done fast, a Drivers Lic. , and our working Visa done in a better of weeks. I'm living on campus and biking to and home from work. Driving is intimidating here but, I'm braving this challenge next weekend.
If anyone is considering this adventure - please get in touch and I'll give you some insight.
It is not easy to rush back into life in the US after nearly a year away. It's been a series of non-stop days looking for employment, catching up on bills, and delaying taxes. Although, I'm excited to jump into the final phase of my documentary post production: building an audience and dissemination of the process. The final film from my work in Lusaka, Zambia is called WARD B12. The filming took place at the University teaching hospital in Lusaka.
The trailer is available right now on Vimeo: vimeo.com/206996681
The full film will be available to the public soon.
I've had the opportunity to be a guest blogger for National Geographic's online commponent called Voices for Wildlife. I told my story related to the research and experience of the greatest mammal migration on earth. That is the Straw-colored Fruit Bats at Kasanka National Park in northern Zambia. It's all part of my #Fulbright2016 #Adventure.
Part I: Understanding the Mystery of the World's Largest Mammal Migration
Part II: How to Catch a Bat
I arrived in Lusaka, Zambia in mid September. Since I arrived right after the election, the government wasn't as inclined to keep electricity available to all at all times. So, that means that most areas of Lusaka are experiencing about 6-10 hours at least every other day of no power. It's called load shedding. Zambia is dependent on hydro-electric power sources and dry season has lived up to the name. Everything is drying up. I find this situation one of the most difficult combinations in which I've had to adapt . Also, I am walking about 2.5 miles to and from work in 95 degree heat. It is exhausting. I am looking forward to the rain.
On the up side, I have met many helpful people in Zambia who are eager to support my story. I have sat down with already over 25 people for preliminary interviews. The University Teaching Hospital has welcomed me with open arms for observation and I am scheduled to begin filming after the approval of my ethics proposal hopefully sometime in November.
I am also very involved with US Embassy events dealing with digital storytelling education. My first lecture was last week to about 45 people. I am looking forward to series that I am building around a brand new genre with a new curriculum in support of documentary storytelling though podcasts.
I am happy to announce that I have completed the MFA program in Book Arts at The University of Alabama.
The exhibition was titled A Functional Outsider: Namibia Collection. The bookwork below is titled Concrete Facts.
In June, I had the opportunity to do an internship with Cave Paper in Minneapolis,MN. I made a lot of paper! Amanda and Bridgette are inspiring and full of fun paper information and insights.
Thanks to the University of Alabama: SLIS & Book Arts for matching a grant from the Tuscaloosa Arts Council which funded my travel and lodging.