2010 was a challenging year with a variety of projects involving trips to Bangladesh, South Africa , France and Brazil. We have made a summary page of our activities HERE. We also changed offices three times and we are now happily ensconced ( for the time being!) in Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane. Come and visit!
Six Oranges have completed a brief tour of South Africa accompanying the former head of the Special committee against Apartheid and UN Assistant Secretary General, E S Reddy to Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. For decades, Mr Reddy was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid struggle organising UN and international anti-apartheid activity and solidarity with the liberation movements. Mr Reddy was honoured by the Gandhi Development Trust with the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace and also by the ANC Lenasia Branch which awarded him the Sol Plaatje Award. We filmed Mr Reddy receiving the awards and meeting with stalwarts of the South African liberation movement. A feature documentary is being planned.
Brazil is conducting the world’s first fully digital national census in order to produce the most comprehensive and accurate survey of a nation. The census will be used to drive through social policies targeted at helping the poor and excluded which have been the centrepiece of President Lula da Silva’s 9 years in power.
Parminder Bahra of Six Oranges was invited to observe the census in operation across the diverse areas and communities that make up Brazil. The trip included a visit to a ‘quilombos’ community who are descendants of fugitive slaves that set up communities in remote areas to avoid recapture many centuries ago. Many of these communities only gained access to basic utilities such as electricity in the last six years.
The trip enabled Parminder to speak to residents of Rocinha, a slum on the edges of Rio, and also senior government ministers and census coordinators. Watch this space for further news and a small video piece showing how Brazil is using digital technology to produce an ‘X-Ray’ of the nation and how this will underpin public policy-making in the future.
We have created a new site with portraits of some of the artists we have filmed for the Brick Lane documentary. These include ( in no particular order) Blek Le Rat, Dale Grimshaw, Knowhope, C215, Remed, 3TTMan, David le Fleming, Nathan Bowen, Stik, Indigo, Macay, Grems, Zbiok, Dscreet, Sinboy, Joseph Loughborough, Joe Deane, Ben Slow and others.
Photos by Shafiur Rahman and Harjinder Bahra. Ably assisted by - Parminder Bahra, Ketaki Devasthali (camera), Dorota Halewska (camera), Brian Peters, Martina Mosna (camera).
Next up – trailer and virals!
A new short film directed by David Munoz and co-produced by Six Oranges has been completed (June 2010). Shot on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II on our last two visits to Bangladesh, the film tells of the forced repatriation of three Bangladeshi migrant workers after the financial crisis in Dubai, and the implications for their lives. For many in the world migration provides the only hope for escaping poverty. Equally, many who have migrated know about the other side of that hope – suffering. They leave behind their homes and families and everything they know to submit themselves to the mercy of their employers in distant countries as well as middlemen who recruit at home. This is a fact of life for huge numbers of people who pay large sums of money in order to go abroad to do honest work. This film tells the story of three such men from the rural village of Rajbari, Bangladesh who travelled to the Middle East. For more information GO HERE
We held a most successful week-long photo exhibition following the Ummid 2010 photo competition. See the winners here. Over 500 images were received, and we displayed the top 41 images at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka. The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Honourable Justice Amirul Kabir Chowdhury opened the photo exhibtion. We received good press coverage and TV channel Bangla ATN also covered it. Plans are afoot to publish a book.
Six Oranges found Belgian street artist Roa a big wall in Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane and gave him a cherry picker. Roa produced an absolute showstopper and the biggest piece of street art in London. See more pictures here. We filmed the incredible performance for our documentary on art and Brick Lane. It has received a lot of attention including coverage by street art and art websites/blogs like Unurth, Juxtapoz magazine and Vandalog. The London Evening Standard also carried a picture of Roa painting. Roa was here in London for his amazing show at Pure Evil gallery.
Given the recent tragic death of 23 workers in a fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh and continued struggles for a minimum wage, we are pleased that our film Bostrobalikara will be shown at the Nodo Doc Film Festival in Trieste, Italy on 8th May.
Shafiur Rahman and Bablu Sheikh are organising the Ummid 2010 Photo Competition along with Al-Falah Bangladesh. The competition is to mark the 2nd anniversary of a landmark court judgement which brought statelessness to an end for the Urdu-speaking people of Bangladesh. The issue was the subject of a an award-winning documentary, Swapnabhumi, co-produced by Shafiur. Visit the web site here. The competition will refocus attention on the problems that still remain and the difficulties of building an inclusive society.
We were in wintry Paris for three days - running around and filming some very interesting art and artists. From Les Lilas to Montbrieux to Vitry-sur-Seine we were welcomed like old friends and allowed to film and photograph to our hearts’ content. I will post up some snippets of interviews from Blek le Rat, Christian Guemy and Dale Grimshaw very shortly. The Brick Lane project, which is still without a title (!), aims to look at art, protest and social consciousness. These three individuals gave fascinating interviews concerning those issues. We also filmed Anwar Hossain, cinematographer and photographer, at his home preparing to depart from Paris and more… Thanks to Constance Cardon of the Ile-de-France Film Commission for all the last minute assistance she rendered.
(pic by Dorota. Found..on the streets).