Best of the Web
Sean Mullens’ film “BirthRight” shows one man’s struggle to claim his birth right of being free, regardless of being confined to a wheelchair. After a surfing accident broke his neck, rather than being resigned to living in a wheelchair Mullens finds freedom through his daily ritual of surfing. Set to a building soundtrack that perfectly matches the tone of the film, the black-and-white and cinematically slowed-down visuals show the story of a man doing what he was meant to be doing — being free.
“Our Dreams Are Different”
Since starting in 2007, the Soul of Athens project continues its tradition of telling big stories in a small town. Created in an effort to push storytelling and journalism, the team of students from the School of Visual Communications and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University use a different theme to explore and understand local communities, the world at large and ourselves. Through stories ranging from young love in a small town to finding faith in the midst of disaster, the latest edition “Our Dreams Are Different” examines the American dream and how the dream has changed, how it persists and the realities of pursuing our American Dream.
“Lost and Found”
Commissioned by Refugees United, Rick Gershon of Media Storm’s film “Lost and Found” tells the story of the nonprofit and why the program is needed. In usual Media Storm form, the individual stories of families lost and displaced are heart-wrenching. At the end of 2009, more than 43 million people had been forcibly displaced and separated from their homes and family. Whether the cause was natural disasters, conflict or war, the result was the same — families torn apart. Those who are lost or have been separated are in a sort of limbo not knowing of each other’s well-being. In response to refugees who have had little to no chance of reuniting with loved ones, Refugees United was created to uses the modern technology of mobile tools and the Internet to streamline the family-tracing process for both nongovernmental organizations and individuals.
“Life Without Lights”
Peter DiCampo, part of the VII Mentor Program, was living in Northern Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer when he ventured out into the small town he was living in and discovered a whole life and culture living in the darkness. An estimated 73% of the people in Ghana are living without electricity. Lit by dim flashlights or fires, life goes on. Progress on the other hand is hard to come by, as most of the villagers’ work is bound by the schedule of the sun. If there were light in the village, they would be able to grind meals and continue working into the night. The lack of electricity in Ghana is a microcosm of a larger worldwide issue — nearly 1.4 billion people live in a state of energy poverty. Around the world, people are living without easy access to electricity, which greatly impedes progress in health, education and progress.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the School of Visual Communications and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University as the School of Visual Journalism.
June 4, 2011, 5:28 pm
*School Of Visual Communication for Soul of Athens, not Visual Journalism
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