Friday, December 23, 2011

Love is Fashionable

Yes, well. . . It has been a little while! Perhaps I've been a little busy, but I certainly did not mean to neglect you, my dear blog. =) So, I know this is dated information (haha!), but on November 18th (a month ago) I participated in the Love is Fashionable benefit fashion show to help drought victims in East Africa. It was at Weber State University and the donations went the the International Rescue Committee. Yup, right, no I wasn't a model in the show. I'm short, I know, hah, but I worked on the artwork to help promote the show. I designed the flyer:

And I also designed the programs (very last minute! Four in the morning last minute! You're welcome Cameron). It was a really bithchin' cool event because so many of my friends and such were involved. My dear boyfriend, David was running sound, my friends Cameron Morgan and Zach Stickney planned and directed the event, plus many other awesome faces were involved. (Zach's speach was sooooo very rather moving. Thanks Zach! You are so cool.) The stormy weather did not prevent the amazing support.

Around the same time of the show, I was working on a drawing for my Installation class about the ideas of drought. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture for you viewers to see yet, but I will someday soon, because I need to work on it more. (It's a giant drawing. . .)


Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 30, 2011

End Impunity

I'm certainly making a habit of posting once a month. Actually, it's pretty cool I'm at least doing SOMETHING in some tangible form of time! =)
Firstly, I would like to state how hilarious the Salt Lake City Undie Run was. Yes, I was among thousands in underwear attire!

(Photo thanks to Zach Stickney!) Yup, there we are.
Many people had statements written on their body like "equal rights" "yes for gay marriage" etc. And "Joseph Kony can kiss my ass." A run/walk in undies was a time and place to make Utah not so uptight. Well, I'm sure people just wanted to be in their underwear in public. Haha. . . It was pretty fun.

Nextly on the agenda, I recently put up an installation in my Drawing Installation class at the U of U. Each artist chose a specific topic dealing with recent events going on, and we somehow had to collaborate around each other in the space of the gallery. I was pretty quick to choose my topic, which was mostly sprouted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a religious group that rebelled against the government of Uganda starting in 1987. Joseph Kony, a leader of the LRA, is still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). This Christian group committed a lot of atrocities which included rape, pillage, and kidnapping of children for military purposes. Invisible Children is a good source to learn more information.

The art piece morphed itself into a theme of Africa, and Mother Africa holding her belly, as if to comfort her child. The imagery includes references to the children that were kidnapped. But I hoped it would evoke a sense of the pain that happened, and what will happen in the future. And the world's eye will look upon the pain without closing its eye to it.

During the critique we had in class, I was able to hand out post cards that I obtained from End Impunity, which is a "campaign to stop mass atrocities going unpunished, seek prosecution of the perpetrators, restore dignity to the victims, and provide healing to the affected communities." My class appreciated my activism and most seemed open to what I had to say.

My project.
A section of a collaboration of works.
Entering the gallery space.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Darfur Movie Night

On August 6th, I held the movie night for "This is Darfur: Guisma's Story" in the homely house of David Lindblad. (Fruit Heights, Utah.) My close friends attended, and I was elated to have planned and shared such a stirring, knowledgeable house party with them. (The three part movie can be watched online here.)

Julianne R., David L., Cameron M., McKenna P., Jake A., Cole E., and Nariman Z.

When everyone arrived, the short documentary, "This is Darfur: Guisma's Story," was screened. It portrays a little girl, once living in Darfur, Sudan, now living in a Chad refugee camp. Guisma survived a world with death all around her, and lost her home. Many refugees are living in terrible living conditions. Her family wants to return home to Darfur. Something needs to be done about the Janjaweed that performed and are still performing the inhumane tragedies in Sudan, and the man behind the monstrosity, Omar Al-Bashir, needs to be stopped.
According to the Save Darfur Facebook page,
Since February of 2003, the Sudanese government under Omar Al Bashir has been arming and financing Janjaweed militias to murder and rape non-Arab (African) Muslims in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Al Bashir's regime has also routinely conducted air strikes over Darfuri villages and refugee camps.
Stated on the Save Darfur website, "Overall, the UN estimates that roughly 4.7 million people in Darfur (out of a total population of roughly 6 million) are still affected by the conflict."
As a side note, the video below talks about how the Nuba Mountains, near the new North/South border of Sudan are recently being targeted by Omar Al-Bashir.

After the documentary, we signed post cards addressed to Obama and had a discussion. (My boyfriend and friends are much more knowledgeable on these topics! I have much room to learn!) Since the first film was fairly short, we played another documentary, "The Devil Came on Horseback." It's about an American named Brian Steidle that witnessed the horrors of the Darfur Genocide firsthand. It's a powerful movie and I would highly recommend it! The photographs were horrific and sad. It was moving to say the least, and put the genocide and refugees in an understandable context. Many voiced that this documentary impacted them much more greatly than the first one. But I believe both were a good pair to watch together.

I want to thank everyone that came to the movie night. I am truly grateful for the support. =)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roots Extending to Heaven

Hello, my dears!

I want to get as many people interested as possible to come partake in knowledge and know-how thanks to i-ACT , or else you are an oober lame-o, and don't deserve any title above being a super oober lame-o! But if you aren't a lame-o, and are cool and classy, then spread the word if you'd like to come hang out and be a cool cat with friends, learning about Sudan and the happenings in Darfur. Anyone and everyone slightly interested will be invited to chill on a couch and watch a story about a girl in Darfur named Guisma. I haven't seen the whole video yet, but I am eager to watch it, especially with good friends. =)

For years now, Darfur has been trampled with genocide, and displacement and death are still occurring today. According to the i-ACT page, There is "continuous fighting in the area, lack of access by humanitarian organizations, and little to no representation in negotiations has left the average Darfuri citizen in a dangerous limbo–with no end in sight."

Guisma’s eyes have seen what no child should ever see. Her home was destroyed. Brothers and sisters died. Most of her life lived as a refugee, with little hope for a safe and nurturing future — but Guisma still smiles. Guisma is Darfur, bombed and oppressed — but still beautiful and resilient. You have the opportunity to participate in creating a better future for her and all of Darfur. By participating, you shine a light on Guisma and Darfur’s road to peace.

This movie night will happen sometime in the next month, or so. I have signed up, but haven't set a date yet until I know when there's a best available time to do it.

In other news, I finished a mixed media drawing tonight, and I hope you interpret it in any way that inspires you. =)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Your iPad, What an Atrocity!

I recently did a 5K Benefit run on June 11th, my first benefit run of any kind. I had a strong urge to wake up at 7:30 AM, much earlier than I normally would on a Saturday morning and drive with my fellow homies to Wheeler Farm. Okay, that's pretty impressive in itself, because I HATE waking up past 11 AM, especially on a weekend! But I was too stoked to sleep in! The 5K run was for a cause that's pretty powerful to me. And my lack of sleep turned out to be worthwhile.

My home-skillets and me! Picture thanks to Natalie Cole.

The race was for spreading awareness and encouraged donations for a very dire human rights violation that is happening right now. 100% of the donations went to Women for Women International. This "Run For Congo Women 5K" was held by Utah for Congo. According to the Utah for Congo blog in May, a study was released by Journal of Public Health that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1,150 women are raped daily on average. "That comes out to 4 women raped every 5 minutes. We are talking about 2 million people here."

These rape victims are in the middle of war and conflict in the DRC, and this involves battle with conflict minerals that piece together our cellphones and computers, which affects us more than we can ignore. According to the project, Raise Hope For Congo These conflicts over power and minerals involve rape on a large scale.
For more than a century, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by regional conflict and a deadly scramble for its vast natural resources. . . In eastern Congo today, these mineral resources are financing multiple armed groups, many of whom use mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations.
Basically, rape may be used for a tool of power to gain more resources.

Since these conflict minerals are connected to the atrocities in the DRC, I believe that there needs to be more awareness about whether our cellphones, iPods, and computers are conflict free, or not. More "transparent" minerals is a term frequently used about this topic. However, this issue is complicated, and I don't fully understand the whole of it. I'm fairly new to the human rights advocate world, but I'm simply stating what I believe is important. As a woman, if I were to go to the DRC myself, not only would I witness the horrors, but surely I'd experience it first-hand. It's a scary truth. I can't just turn a blind eye on it. That's enough to send my energy to women, my sisters, to a place across the ocean.

The Utah for Congo 5K run was a success, and they were able to gather over $2,000 in donations! I'd like to host my own event like this someday. =)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

De Novo

Hello friends!

Thank you for taking an interest in me! By no means, this is not my first blog, but I have a way of starting things over, refreshed and anew. My blogs in the past were mostly based on petty things about life. "Oooh, omg that new vampire novel was sooo amazing!!" And yes, when I was a young-un, I was into that cheeze-like form of literature, but who could blame me? I was into it before it became a teenage-vampire-loving trend. But I'm a lot older now, and I desire to write about things much more meaningful about my life. The title of this blog, "Within a Journey Without Direction," is a way of saying that I don't have a major direction in life, but I'm eager and willing to keep experiencing new things. I have an affinity to service that I've had as long as I can remember, but I've always been a shy, introverted person, and I had a hard time getting out of my box. My protected, safe little space is so easy to cling to. However, I have some pretty incredible people in my life that can do just what my little heart has always long to do. They've shown me things I can do. It's a start. I want to keep expanding myself in all directions, and I want to use this blog to take record of these ventures, about service, my art, and anything that is relevant to ME. To write. To just do SOMETHING instead of lay around in lethargy, apathetic to everything.