Sunday, August 02, 2009

TEDx Conversations III

Jehan Noujaim: is an Egyptian American documentary film director best-known for her films Control Room, and Pangea Day.Link

The 3rd TEDx conversations held at Simon's place at KK Nagar, quite fell in place driving home the simple message on taking the effort to understand and appreciate various facets of life. And we decided that it has to start with us understanding our neighbours. The beauty of these sessions are when we engage ourselves with some great minds in a video and trying to learn how to take what we learn in our own lives.

Its started with Jehan Noujaim, who spoke the power of image and spoke of the impact of her first assignment of the garbage collecting village in Egypt and then went on to discuss the Iraq War. The American propaganda of being the 'savior of Iraq' and the demonization of Al Jazeera TV actually drove her to the hotspot to find the truth. Two contrasting videos one a journalist, Sameera Khadar, of Al Jazeera who actually wanted to send his children to America for higher education and the other was Josh Rushing, an American paratrooper, who started hating war and eventually left the military to join Al Jazeera TV. Both these videos had cross culture undertones, rather powerful at that, and the reaction from America and the Arab world was incredible.

Film may not change the world but it can start. (We discussed the power of the word and its sustaining effect contrasted to the video that can be powerful but ephemeral)
Films have the power to change things.

Jehan Noujaim's wish was to get the world to come together (afterall it was one landmass) rather in minds by watching film together and become part of the Communal experience... she calls it the Pangaea Cinema Day... A Day that can echo into the future.

Sara Jones a gifted impersonator who goes beyond comedy

The second video was fun.. with a great message. It was Sarah Jones, who showcased the speech and mannerisms of different cultures.... French, Arab,Indian, Chinese etc.. It was amazing... The take away was the importance of appreciation of various cultures and its uniqueness... went very well with what Jehan had to say earlier..

The topping was a video that will stay in minds for long - The Keynians singing the Indian national anthem.

These sessions are too costly to miss...

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