Tuesday 6 October 2009

Art Harvest LA - November 14, 2000

November 14th, 2009
The Stephen Cohen Gallery
7358 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles 90036

Bringing together good food & libations, music, art & photography from emerging international and local artists
all to benefit local non-profit organizations' current grassroots projects working with refugee children and other vulnerable populations in Africa

The Niapele Project
Voices for Umoja

At the door:
$20 donation includes open bar, appetizers and 5 raffle tickets
$10 donation includes open bar and appetizers



Food by A Catering Company

Sweet treats by Whipped, Beat & Battered


Silent auction and raffle with awesome prizes

Fair trade sale featuring items made in Kenya and Ghana

Photography & Art by: Chris Leombruno, Pierre Letulzo, Kenyan youth, and an exhibition of work from emerging Los Angeles artists curated by Alexis Hudgins and Laura Kim.

For more information & pre-sale tickets contact celina@theniapeleproject.org.

Sunday 9 August 2009

The Birth of the Opuk Jakinda Cooperative

In the last year, Kisumu has undergone a social transformation over as it grappled with the effects of a bitterly contested presidential election that resulted in extreme cases of violence. Unfortunately, the women and children bore the brunt of the violence. Given that the society is patriarchal in nature, many women were victims of sexual violence, others lost property, while still others lost their breadwinners in the violence and since have been exposed to increased poverty and ill health. At this time of economic recession, the country is unable to adequately provide its people with basic needs and food prices continue to skyrocket. This has lead to cases of increased incidences of HIV/AIDS and food insecurity as women are forced to use various means to make ends meet.

Following the trauma, fear, and injustice of the December 2007 elections and their aftermath and given the economic challenges facing the community, Voices and its partners have facilitated trainings and networking for groups comprised of primarily women in the Kisumu area in an effort to develop viable and sustainable income generating projects to assist them in providing livelihood for both their families and orphans in the community. Through these trainings, the Opuk Jakinda Cooperative was born.

Opuk Jakinda means hardworking tortoise in the Luo language. Opuk Jakinda Cooperative makes marketable products such as jewelry, paper products, and woven mats from recycled materials and the water hyacinth plant, a plant that spreads over Lake Victoria at an alarming rate and is linked to increases in vector borne diseases, reduced supply of clean potable water, blocking irrigation canals, and a decrease in biodiversity. Voices is working to connect this cooperative and others with partners in the U.S. to earn them a fair wage.

Friday 25 April 2008

A First Step Into Fair Trade

Okok Widows Group is working with voices to begin distribution of fair trade avocado oil and other products to American company Anti-Body.

Monday 17 September 2007

Youth participate in the production of Pengle Entertainment's newest movie!

Pengle Entertainment hired youth trained by voices and Abila Creative Center to work on its latest production PENGLE 5, the fifth episode in the popular Luo language comedy series.

Open auditions were held at Abila Creative Center to find fresh new comedic talent for the production.

Abila Youth Club member Agwata was chosen to co-star in PENGLE 5.

At Abila Creative Center children look on as PENGLE 5 director and star Geoffrey Omondi preps the cast for the first day of shooting.

Cameraman and Abila staff member Victor Ombonya films a scene providing social commentary on the traditional Luo practice of wife inheritance.

Upper Hill Youth Group member Nick, trained by Abila Creative Center in video, works the camera as cast member and Abila staff member Allan Juma and community members watch Geoffrey Omondi's performance in a storyline about married life.

The director oversees as the crew sets up for a shot in the storyline about language barriers and communication.

Cast members take a break between takes while filming at Abila Creative Center.

To purchase Pengle Entertainment's Pengle and Kipara Ngoto films please contact pengleentertainment@gmail.com.

Thursday 21 June 2007

Screenwriting Trainings - 12 to 16 June, 2007

Screenwriter Dennis Feldman traveled from Los Angeles, CA to Kisumu, Kenya to lead concurrent 5-day screenwriting trainings, one at Tuungane Youth Center and the other at Abila Creative Center.

Kisumu June 2007 005
The class views a movie

Kisumu June 2007 068
Dennis teaches screenplay format

Dennis and Collins illustrate story development

Judy and CJ work on their screenplays

Kisumu June 2007 046
Gloria and Joshua read an original scene

Monday 11 June 2007

VOICES trainings continue

Kenya June 2007 027
The Upper Hill Youth Group works with the digital camera

Kenya June 2007 032
Aspiring cinematographer Nick from Upper Hill works with the video camera

Kenya June 2007 043
Elvis leads the Upper Hill Youth Group as they develop the main character of their screenplay focused on promoting professional treatment of STIs

Emmanuel of Victory Post Test Group shoots their film entitled OPTION IN LIFE

doing a personal story
Victory Post Test Group's Andrew films as Esnas tells her story

The ladies of Sophisticut using the video camera

Kenya June 2007 019
Victor oversees as the ladies of Sophisticut view their footage

Tuesday 23 January 2007

photo la

Thanks to our supporters new and old, Voices was a big success at photo la! An especially big thanks to Stephen Cohen and Artfairs, Inc. for giving us this invaluable opportunity and to Pro One for the printing and Finishing Concepts for the mounting.

Here are some of the responses:

"These images are amazing. I am currently attending Brooks Institute of Photography and it has always been my dream to visit Africa. These images bring an awesome realism to my eyes! Great work."

"Thanks so much for sharing your lives with us. The exhibit was an extremely eye opening experience. Thank you."

"I really enjoyed the work. It has a great message that everyone needs to hear. Let me know of future things."

"This is important work to see your community from a perspective that is from within rather than from an observer who is disconnected. These images and messages are invaluable."

"Good for all of you - God Bless!"

"Your pictures make my heart feel big!"

"this project is so fascinating. thank you for sharing your world with us. please continue to document and share your community."

"Keep creating...And keep singing your songs...Let your voices be heard far and wide."

"Thank you for sharing your world with us. You are beautiful and brave and your story must be heard."

"Keep telling your stories and sharing your pictures. We are listening."

"Very inspirational + beautiful!"

"This is important work. It shows a part of the world we seldom see. Voices brings a voice to the youth of Kenya. I admire all of you."

"I really enjoyed your photos. Thank you for the chance to have an insight into your life, which is so different from mine."

"To the inspiring youth of the world. Thank you for sharing what you see. I appreciate the gift."

"Beautiful. Thank you very much."

"I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful photos of life and realize how important it will be to document it for more people to see. Thank you."

"The combination of teaching + allowing their students to learn from their own picture taking is amazing. Maybe their students will be inspired to become photographers themselves."

"I have had the great opportunity to have studied the art of photography since I was 12 years old and love that you are all embracing the art form so well. Continue taking wonderful pictures such as these, they are truly amazing."

"Thank you for sharing your photos with me. I am really touched by everything I see here. I love everyone in this world so this makes me really happy to see more expression and love everywhere."

Photo LA 015
Alexis hard at work in front of the youths' photographs and words on one side of our 20 foot booth.

Photo LA 013
Alexis' photographs of the process on the other side of our booth.

Photo LA 016
Our beautiful banner, which thanks our gracious sponsors Pro One and Finishing Concepts.