Tag: photography

Dennos Libertad (Give Us Freedom) music video

October 31, 2010

Back on September 26, I joined the band MoonSue and friends as they filmed a music video on the steps of the Oklahoma State Capitol. My photos are here. Now the video has been released. The song has been playing on some of the Spanish language stations for a few weeks, and reportedly getting good response. I’m not into music, but I am into the message this group and this song is about.

Dennos Libertad is a song written and performed by MoonSue, in an effort to promote peace and unity across the United States, between all people, regardless of background, ethnicity, race, or creed. It is also intended to reassure all citizens of this country that all anyone wants is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This song is an effort to encourage those who are being persecuted for their background, for their ethnicity, and sometimes for choices that they or their parents made in order to secure a better life for themselves and their children.

For more info: MoonSue Foundation for the Latino Arts

Poem I wrote 20 years ago about Tank Man

June 4, 2009

Most of the world was moved by Tank Man, the unknown rebel to the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on the student democracy movement in Tienanmen Square during the Spring of 1989.

But I was moved intensely enough write a poem that those who have seen my small body of work say is probably the best I’ve written. Anyway, I really identified with the man, since I was working then (much as now) as virtually a full time peace and justice activist. His solitary statement was a symbol of individual resistance, the importance of even just one person making a stand for what is right.

Today is the 20th anniversary of Tank Man’s stand. In some ways, it seems to me like much longer, but I also feel like it was not but a year or two ago. Most of those 20 years have not been particularly productive ones for me — but that’s another post. It’s a time to remember, and to be grateful that democracy continues to be sought and practiced more and more around the world, however imperfectly. Some of the students who were at Tienanmen Square 20 years ago even say that China itself has become better (an article in today’s Oklahoman quotes a man who now teaches as OSU), though there are many who would argue with that. There are protests taking place in cities around the world, to call for real change for the people in China.

The fact that China has blocked a lot of internet sites for the past week or so doesn’t indicate much improvement to me — except for the fact that the intrinsically democratic medium of the Internet is a bloody headache for tyrants to control. In my opinion, if the US really wanted to spread democracy around the globe, they would make broadband freely available via satellites to every spot on the globe.

Images of Tank Man are continuing to be newly revealed — enhancing our understanding of that moment — and art created. Because passion for and commitment to love, peace and human rights will always inspire.

So here’s my little contribution to the genre. I have only altered it from the version I produced in a few hours 20 years ago in that I removed Roman numerals over each stanza, which I now do not know why I thought was a good idea. It was previously published in the Palmetto Post, a newspaper of the Florida Green Party.

(I’ve posted the poem as an image, because I have not figured out yet how I want to publish my poetry, if at all, and would like to lessen the chance of it being used until that time. I would ask that if you want to share it, that you link to this post rather than download the image. Contact me for other arrangements. Thanks.)


May 11, 2005

[Image and article no longer available at original site. See update below.]

Kim Phuc, “the girl in the picture,” is 42 today, and works as a goodwill ambassador for the UN. She is still physically scarred from the napalm attack she suffered in 1972, but has an unblemished spirit. This interview was published by the bruderhof, found via Susie Madrak and Tiny Revolution.

Update (7/18/2008):

Bruderhof closed their website. The article (sans photo) is fortunately in the wayback machine, here. (h/t to Tiny Revolution, and the photos mentioned are at Sexuality in Art.

A more recent story is here.

A book entitled The Girl in the Picture is available, and Google search on Kim Phuc is fruitful.