Thursday, February 17, 2011

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"Show me Your Life" Project by Real Stories Gallery

Art for Humanity in Partnership with Real Stories Gallery

Rachel Chapple, PhD
1 646 331 0117

Dear Friends,

SHOW ME YOUR LIFE : Real Stories Gallery / The Studio-Cinematique Films / Umthombo Street Children / Art For Humanity

I am writing to say hello and invite you to join us for SHOW ME YOUR LIFE : an international web-based, video-teaching art program designed to showcase the lives of homeless street-children, as they experience living on the street.  The project will be directed by Tim Barrus and the kids from The Studio/Cinematique Films (USA/Europe), in collaboration with Tom Hewitt and the kids from Umthombo (Durban, South Africa).  We are negotiating for the project to be replicated around the world.

We would be delighted, especially the kids, if you guys would help us facilitate part of the project.  What we are proposing is based on twelve kids over a one year period.  The teams are all set up to BEGIN today.

Our urgent shopping list.  We have set up a SHOW ME YOUR LIFE Amazon account, to raise the remaining $13,200 worth of equipment. All donations, whether named and listed on the project, or anonymous, will be hugely welcome by the kids.

Umthombo is an award winning NGO based in Durban, South Africa.  The kids are immersed in a dynamic surfing program that is drawing much international attention.  Tom Hewitt, the co-Founder, was awarded the M.B.E. in Jan. 2011 for his work.  Umthombo is a registered South African charity. 
Tim Barrus is an acclaimed international video artist, poet and writer, whose work has been exhibited around the world and who Founded The Studio/Cinematique; a safe-shelter and intensive visual arts program for international street kids.  The kids emerge as highly accomplished video artists.  Tim has years of experience working with ‘at risk’ kids and providing them with the skills so they may raise awareness and effect change.  Under Tim’s driven and compassionate leadership the kids emerge from the trauma of social cruelty, as highly motivated and creative survivors.

SMYL is giving kids cameras and inviting them to share with us the story of their lives.  The program is interactive with much visceral back and forth between the kids and Tim Barrus.  The year long teaching program will culminate in art videos, a documentary, visual art exhibition and publication.

Today SMYL is speaking with an international school in NYC, who are keen to join the project with their “typical” high school students.  The idea is these kids will create their own videos in response to those created by the kids in Durban.  All interactions and work will be overseen and monitored by Tim, who has vast experience protecting vulnerable identities and facilitating long-lasting and meaningful bonds between different social/cultural groups of kids.

The Umthombo kids are responsible and courageous; however, markedly noticeable is their motivation to learn new skills and to succeed.  They are driven by their passionate desire to play a role in alleviating the suffering of their peers and to CREATE new lives for themselves.  Their wit and spirit are highly infectious, and it is a joy to behold their determined and focused concentration. 

The final imagery produced, under Tim’s direction, will mount a serious challenge to that produced by professional video artists and photographers.  It will also inspire educators keen to teach their groups of kids meaningful ways to employ today’s technologies.   Tim will include demos and instructions on his Blip TV Channel to assist such teachers.

On behalf of the SMYL team and the kids, we simply cannot thank you and your international colleagues enough for your generosity and compassion.  And for believing that change is possible in the hands of a bunch of thrown away kids with cameras, and access to the internet and professional direction.

Yours sincerely
Rachel Chapple, PhD
**The following pages contain further information about the SMYL team involved in facilitating the project.  They are all donating their time and expertise to facilitate and run the project.  The first project is in Durban, South Africa.  The second SMLY project will most likely be held in Kolkata, India.

Tim Barrus
Director, Show Me Your Life
Founder & Director, The Studio/Cinematique Films

The Studio / Cinematique Films
Tim Barrus Founded The Studio/Cinematique Films : a residential 24/7 art program that serves as a safe house protection des témoins pourles garçons adolescents with HIV/AIDS who are also at risk for psychological, neurological, and developmental disabilities due to sexual abuse, gang violence, addiction, human trafficking, and cyclical prostitution.
The boys are reached and educated through painting, music, photography, video, film, dance, poetry, mentoring, and intensive counseling.
The idea of a safe house is fundamentally based on the dynamics of protection from what brought them here. Witnesses of a time and of a place. While the boys are very connected to the outside world through the interactive use of technology, their contact with that world is monitored in such as way as to prevent contact and/or relationships with abusers, pedophiles, and people from their past who would harm them.
The boys are thusly encouraged to utilize such features as banning within the context of social networks. Communications with the boys that are deemed as sexual invites will be banned immediately. Stalking, either physical or electronic, will not be tolerated and is specifically prohibited by EU law. Stalking is defined by us as seeking contact with boys who have either banned people or have requested that they be left alone. Any subsequent attempt to either arrange to physically meet a boy or continue electronic communication is reported to EU authorities.
Attempts to communicate with the boys that involve asking them questions about their personal lives, histories, relationships, legal status, physical whereabouts, private email addresses, or sexual preferences are regarded as stalking and will be dealt with accordingly.
We are a SAFE environment where boys at risk learn to empower themselves through the self-actualization and educational modalities of art.

**The Studio / Cinematheque Films: Arts Education: Students are allowed access to fair use art materials and mixed media in the teaching of iconic manipulation in photographic, video and film production. Representations and facsimiles posted here are presented as teaching tools and instruments employed to instruct students in the techniques and application of mixed media art and collage. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows art-teaching entities the fair use of such materials in classroom and teaching-research applications.

Tim Barrus.  International Photography/ Art/ Poetry Exhibitions 1980-2011

-- Harwood Foundation Poetry w/ Crow Call Press, Taos

-- Stables Gallery, Paseo del Sur, Poetry w/ Crow Call Press, Taos

-- Ville de graffitis de lumière dans les catacombes, Paris

-- Οδός Αναγέννηση Τέχνη της Μυκόνου, Mykonos
-- Arte de la calle de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Mazatlan

-- 東京のストリートアートは、群集の群れに踏ま, Tokyo

-- Vandalismus und Guerrilla Art: Die Street Art Berlin: Reichstag Plaza

-- Portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe and Crawford Barton together at the Ambush. The Satyrs Have Horns, 1351 Harrison, San Francisco

-- What You Can Get Away With, Dark Photographs, Darker Nights, Ambush. San Francisco

-- Just Measure it in Inches, Ambush, San Francisco

-- JunkieRivers, ID Gallery, Fillmore St. SF

-- City Lights: Galleria Design Center, SF

-- SM True Confessions: Virgilios, 524 Duval, Key West

-- The Homeless Children of Oakland, Photography International Gallery 218 Fillmore, San Francisco

-- The Children of War: United Nations International Year of the Child, NYC, SF, Williams Building, Mission and 3rd, Childrens' Rights Group (Ethiopia, Uganda, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, Lebanon), Ford Foundation.

-- Craie sur le trottoir Guerrilla, Centre Pompidou

-- Photos of Guerrilla Art: Dong Da Ming, Chunming Art Industrial, #50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai

Photographic Collage: Bois de Vincennes, Paris

Modaonnari, Pastelli Guerrilla sul marciapiede, Via del Romito, Via Casseria, Firenze