Children of the Snow Land – Education is a Sacrifice!

children-of-the-snow-land, david emmanuel noel, film interviews
Children of the Snow Land

‘Children of the Snow Land’ is an extraordinarily moving, inspirational and absorbing documentary, filmed from the ‘roof of the world’ where families struggle and sacrifice everything to help their children.

From the age of 4 years old, children are sent to school in the city, hoping education means a better life. Unfortunately, this comes with the likelihood they will not see their parents and families again for 12 years. Children of the Snow Land documents the life experiences of children born in the High Himalayas of Nepal and follows the journey of three students as they embark on a perilous trek back to their respective villages.

One of the directors is Zara Balfour. Zara is an award-winning director, producer and writer with 18 years experience in all forms of documentary, film and content, specialising in films about the world we live in and people and cultures worldwide. She has filmed in over 20 countries, often documenting community projects in developing countries.

She began her career as an actress before moving behind the camera as producer and director. Zara set up Picture on the Wall Productions and has won awards at film festivals including Berlin Film Festival (winner of the Prix UIP for Best European Short Film), London Film Festival, European Film Awards, Telluride, Warp Records v Creative Review Awards and Cannes Lions. I was fortunate to catch  up with her ahead of the film’s general release and ask a few questions.

What support did you get from the Nepalese Government or national agencies?

We didn’t ask for support in the beginning but the school organised a fundraising gala screening in Kathmandu after we completed the film. The Mayor of Kathmandu and the Vice President of Nepal attended. Now we have their support and we hope we can facilitate further fundraising events.

Was the filming of the documentary much of a logistical challenge?

The villages are off the grid. It was only ever two film crew plus a guide, porters and the children. Half the time it was me and co-director Marcus Stephenson or I was accompanied by our cameraman/photographer Mark Hakansson.

We used solar charger kits and backpacks, enabling us to film in difficult and remote areas. We did have porters and donkeys to aid our travel but  the journey was treacherous. At times the donkeys would panic in the face of treacherous river crossings. All the rivers start in Nepal and head down towards southern Asia.  Some of the dangerous moments aren’t on film and  I am scared for the children going back home this year because they won’t be accompanied. It isn’t an easy journey and it’s tougher than it’s shown on film.

What about a sequel and is there anything you would do differently?

I would like to revisit the children in future to see how their lives have changed. Perhaps film them in a similar style to Michael Apted’s ‘Seven Up’ series, which followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964. On a technical level, a bigger crew and more resources would have been nice.

So what are the next steps?

The documentary will be streaming on demand and on general release from 14thMarch 2019 at Curzon Cinemas in the UK, Ireland and Malta.

The aims of Children of the Snow Land are:

David Emmanuel Noel, Children of Snowland,
Zara Balfour with co-director Marcus Stephenson (Photo by Ina Ballik)

To show a global audience what some young people have to do for an education – and allow the Children of the Snow Land to inspire people around the world with their tenacity, grace, courage and wisdom.

To increase awareness and help improve the lives of Himalayan children attending school far from home by helping them to stay connected with their families, and to ensure they make full use of the education for which they have made such a sacrifice.  The film has already inspired donations of over $30,000 to directly help the children.

To encourage development of the Himalayan villages so that eventually children won’t have to be separated from their families to achieve an education.

For further information please visit the Children of the Snow Land website http://childrenofthesnowland.com/our-aims

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Rise of the Phoenix

Hi all! I’m please to share the video of my recent mural.Rise of the Phoenix is a recording of a commission by Phoenix FTA, an environmental consultancy. The brief was to create a mural on an office wall, incorporating the company logo and using primarily primary colours to bring the wall to life! The phoenix was adapted to fit centrally to a wall against a narrow corridor above a heater. The accompanying music, suitably entitled ‘Purple, Blue and Red’ is from the very talented Duane Eubanks and features on his album ‘Things of That Particular Nature’ distributed by Sunnyside Records.

Phoenix FTA’s mission is to empower businesses across the globe to implement practical sustainability solutions that fulfil their wants and needs. Through respectful dialogue and empirical knowledge sharing it aims to inspire individuals and help identify opportunities that will improve the effective use of global resources. For further information on Phoenix FTA please visit http://www.PhoenixFTA.com

For further information on Duane Eubanks please visit http://www.DuaneEubanks.com or read my interview with him on his impressive career via this blogsite! 

Wishing all a fantastic and hopefully creative weekend. Make it count!

Here and Now- Expressions of the Black British Experience

David Emmanuel Noel, Here and Now , Black British Artists, Black British Artist GroupI’m happy to share news that Black British Visual Artists, a collective of contemporary artists, presents ‘Here & Now.’  It’s a showcase of art which excites, challenges and explores multiple themes within the context of the United Kingdom from a contemporary black British artist perspective. I’m looking forward to seeing this collection of art by several black artists in the UK. The show runs from 6th to 10th of March, 2019 at the Oxo Tower. For further details please visit Black British Visual Artists on Facebook.

Rising Like A Phoenix

Hoping you’re all well and taking care of yourselves. I know some of you are now experiencing difficult weather.  Here’s wishing the year will hopefully unfold with good fortune and better weather for all of us! I’m currently keeping warm in an office, working on a mural featuring a phoenix. The image is based on the logo of Phoenix FTA, an international sustainability consultancy empowering businesses across the globe to implement practical sustainability solutions that fulfil their wants and needs.

With respectful dialogue and empirical knowledge sharing, the consultancy aims to inspire individuals and help identify opportunities that will improve the effective use of global resources. For further information on Phoenix FTA please click on the link. I hope to share a short video, showing the completion of the commission shortly. Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable weekend.

David Emmanuel Noel, Phoenix FTA, Phoenix FTA Mural, Ina Ballik, Sustainability Consultancy, Environmentalist, Environmental Consultancy, Ina Ballik, Management Systems Lead Auditor, ISO auditor Ina Ballik
Working on the Phoenix FTA mural

‘Pictures at an African Exhibition’ at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC

Pictures at an African Exhibition at the Kennedy Center, Darryl Yokley, David Emmanuel Noel, David Emmanuel Noel Art, British Artist David Emmanuel Noel, Kennedy Center, Kennedy centre, Art Exhibition, David Emmanuel Noel New York, New York Artist David Emmanuel Noel, British Artists, Darryl Yokley's Sound Reformation,
Pictures at an African Exhibition at the Kennedy Center

Good day to you all! For those in or planning a trip to Washington this Saturday, please visit the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center!  I’m happy to announce my art will once again be exhibited and accompanying a performance by Darryl Yokley’s Sound Reformation, as part of the Pictures at an African Exhibition promotion. The hour performance starts at 6pm and is part of a series of free events at the venue! For further information please visit the Kennedy Center website. Watch the event live from the link attached http://www.kennedy-center.org/video/live 

Wishing you a great day!

 

Two Artists of Colour Boldly Provoke a Conservative Museum Locked in the Past — Repeating Islands

A report by Yxta Maya Murray for Artsy. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, opened to the public in 1928 to showcase the rare English tomes and early American paintings that Henry E. Huntington acquired with the wealth […]

via Two Artists of Color Boldly Provoke a Conservative Museum Locked in the Past — Repeating Islands

In Conversation with Artist Andre Dane Parchment

Andre Dane Parchment

Last year I attended the Elizabeth James Gallery’s second anniversary event and met an extraordinarily talented, humble and interesting artist by the name of Andre Dane Parchment. Andre is originally from Jamaica where he studied printmaking, graphics and drawing. Showing entrepreneurial flare, he started an arts and graphic business but, after a particularly difficult period concluding in the loss of his business, he made significant changes in life, including migrating to the UK to become a British soldier deployed in Iraq.

Since becoming a civilian, he has exhibited at the London Battersea Affordable Art fair (exhibiting with the Army Art Society), Charlton House and the Canary Wharf Window Gallery. Andre kindly agreed to answer a few questions, share his ideas and tell me about his current projects. I’m genuinely excited for him and look forward to following his career. The full interview is featured on Occhi Magazine.

How did you get involved in the arts?

I got involved with the arts from an early age. Maybe it was the beautiful sceneries of the Caribbean island of Jamaica that squeeze the artistic juice out of me. In fourth grade, I would look out from the classroom sketching the sea, birds and fishermen boats passing inside my lesson book with my 2hb pencil. I then moved on to higher education at St. Elizabeth Technical High School specializing in the arts during the last three years of secondary schooling. It was art class that help to fund apart of my bus fare and school meals doing commission works when times were financially challenging.

You were in the armed forces. Can you share some of your experiences and did your art provide therapy during this time?

I served in the British Armed Forces for over six years. When I first joined it was a total culture shock, the treatment for Commonwealth soldiers were different in many ways even though we were all in the same army to protect and serve. But being an immigrant comes with its struggles and stigma, on the other hand it gave me great opportunities and experience which I have no regrets, for each trial encounter made me a better and stronger person.

Andre Dane Parchment

I was deployed in Iraq in 2006 as an infantry soldier, served alongside other regiments and nationalities. We had near misses of mortar rounds exploding just a few feet away, snipers shooting at random to kill, the fear of not knowing when or if we would walk or drive on explosive devices that can either kill or cause fragmentation.

I wanted to find a distraction that would keep my mind occupied from what was happening in Iraq, something to build my morale on, this was where art became a therapy, in the midst of the madness of war It made me found peace, something beautiful amongst the devastation and destruction, art was my calming influence.

You’re currently working on a series of work and an accompanying publication. What’s the project and what we should expect?

I am writing a book with a series of paintings in accordance with the title Blind Vision Possible Dreams.

It is a semi-autobiography depicting memories of youthfulness, love, failures and success. In it, I am writing my dreams of being a songwriter, an author, and an artist having exhibitions in London and around the world. Secondly, I have also been inspired to write a number of short poems that will be illustrated through sketches. At present, a publisher is having a look at some of them, but I’m still not sure what form of publication I will be using.

For 2019 I will be hoping to have a book launch and art exhibitions which include a series of paintings titled Street Sleepers, with the aim to give back to charities that support the homeless.

What’s the motivation behind your current theme of work?

The motivation behind my current theme of work comes from wanting to view life from a different perspective through painting and writing, taking on new challenges that would help me grow and develop in order to encourage and motivate others not to limit themselves or live in the land of procrastination, but to be the best they can be.

You’re involved in local mentoring initiatives focusing on youth development. Are any of these related to the arts?

Andre Dane Parchment
Andre Dane Parchment

I do training and mentoring at my workplace a supervisor and at Refuge Temple in South East London, especially with young men. Apart of the mentoring and development I include art, music, and poetry, working with instruments and art materials that help them to be more creative and think differently, not to be conformed to the bad influence and negativity of their environment, but to try a make a positive change.

 

For further information on Andre, please visit  https://andredeartist.wordpress.com