My new video Liberty’s Child explores the bewilderment that innocence experiences when encountering brutality and violence. The video contains graphic images that are not suitable for young children.There is an irony in using a children’s story to illustrate a video that isn’t suitable for children, but children live with us in our horrific times and see things that shouldn’t have to see all the time. This contradiction is the heart of this video. And I think we are all the child in this video, who cannot begin to understand the horror before our eyes.
Hubert Flattinger, the author of the brilliant and touching children’s story Stormy Night featured in this video, closed his letter granting permission for use with the words “Give Peace a Chance!” This struck me as a poignant reminder of the goodness that exists alongside brutality in our modern world. Also, I am continually amazed and heartened by the increasing willingness of artists like Mr. Flattinger to share their work freely beyond the constraints of copyright.
With the death of American poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron last week, one of the great heroes of our time has moved on. I was tremendously moved by the very personal obituary written by his publisher Jamie Byng.
As I watch Scott-Heron’s famous work, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, I am struck by how much the times have changed since he released that fiery criticism of the media on his debut album, A New Black Poet – Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, in 1970. At that time, TV and the media were perceived as mind-numbing and controlling forces. Fast forward 40 years, and we have citizen TV, Internet videos, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, plus websites like AlJazeera, which provides a platform for citizen videos, and Global Voices, a community website that reports on blogs and citizen media around the world. The inherent freedom of citizen media is powerful; it is literally pulling down tyrannies across the Middle East and will probably continue to do so around the world.
If I may suggest a small update edit, “Not” should probably be “Now.”