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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Woah!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taliban imposing as a policeman fires on bank customers

posted by Travis, 11:33 am | link | 4 comments |

DocsBarcelona

I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the 2011 DocsBarcelona Forum. The main idea of the festival is that industry head weights are put in the same room as new kids on the block filmmakers. The filmmakers pitch their Doco ideas. The panel critique it. Then the organisers match filmmaker to broadcaster and you have one on one meeting and talk 'shop'.

Day 1, we pitched our ideas off the bat, most of us sucked, but we kept doing it and the tutors kept breaking it down for us until we had a better understanding of our films and their direction.

Day 2, they focused on teaching us what the broadcasters and agents wanted to see and therefore taught how to customise our pitch doco's accordingly. By the end of the second day we were actually starting convince ourselves!

Day 3 was D-day. The auditorium was packed with 25 industry budget allocators and 100 onlookers. I was lucky enough to be last on the first day, so I got to watch the others do there thing. Some were complete pros and had obviously done this before. Others were clearly nervous and were eaten alive by the sympathetic, but challenging panel.

My nerves had been building all day, but after so much repetition in the workshops, when it came to my turn I just went into automatic pilot and kicked into it. It went really well and the response from the panel was all positive. I was buzzing all through Lunch.

After lunch we were having the one on one meetings with the panel. Meetings were chosen on who showed interest in your project or who had slots in their programing that fitted your doco style. We were told that would have probably 8-9 meetings. I had 13. It was mad, I did not stop talking for 5 hours!

So after all that it is time for the wheeling and dealing behind close doors or on the phone. Thank god I have a producer to do that! Keep your ears out for Crack in the Radio coming to a cinema near you in early 2012.


posted by Travis, 11:33 am | link | 9 comments |

This is Uncanny...........

This guest post comes from Dr. Ashit Dey who works for the Foreign Service.

expressing solidarity with the local poor...

Expat Aid Workers love motorcycles.*

Riding motorcycles underscores an Expat Aid Worker’s “freedom” and simultaneous (not to mention ironic) “connectedness” to the local geography and people. Nothing says “I am in solidarity with the attainable aspirations of the poor majority” quite like weaving through traffic on a Honda Dream II or Soviet-era Minsk. At the same time, an Expat Aid Worker astride a motorcycle declares both a risk-embracing approach to life and sexual availability to potential partners (expat and locals.)

It is very common for Expat Aid Workers with motorcycles to also own a copy of “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work.” (Note: neither @talesfromthhood nor @shotgunshack own a copy of this tome.) A motorcycle can also help distinguish Expat Aid Workers from non-EAWs (normally foreign extractive industry professionals, diplomats, or private security contractors) who exclusively rely on white SUVs (preferably Landcruisers) for transportation.

one more way to be a "nomad"

Some Expat Aid Workers own multiple motorcycles. They first need a locally produced model or a second-hand Asian import (the Hongda “Wife 110″ is an old favorite) for daily use. They may also have a larger touring bike for road trips and “field work.” The selection of their second, more serious bike depends on the laws of the country where they are based, but should generally be as large as can be afforded without appearing ostentatious (must… remain… in… solidarity…). Chiefs-of-party, operations directors, and successful locally-based consultants may also own a third motorcycle. This one will definitely not be in running condition. It will be either a locally procured antique restoration project (everyone who visits them will be asked to mule motorcycle parts, purchased on eBay, which will prove impossible to get through customs), or an alternative fuel-source conversion to run (theoretically) on jatropha oil or a distillate of fermented cassava starch mixed with kerosene.

Expat Aid Workers who don’t own or ride a motorcycle themselves enjoy riding on the back of one, often without a helmet.

Expat Aid Workers were born to be wild**.

*Importantly, this does not contradict the Expat Aid Workers’ love of Drivers – it is just one awesome way of establishing field cred, and perhaps may also be an attempt to blend in.

**This link is not meant to imply that all EAWs are American or male or white.
posted by Travis, 11:32 am | link | 5 comments |

Trash

A good friend of mine John Harris sent me this pic. He says that my ol business cards just keep popping up all over the place......

posted by Travis, 11:31 am | link | 9 comments |

35 years on this planet we call home

Now Im not having a mid life crisis, quite the opposite. Im in my prime and every year since 2006 things gone from better to best, so Im pretty sure 2011 will kick ass.

But, yeh it was a good day:

- I woke up at 9am [one of the fringe benefits of working for yourself]

- The sun was shinning as the snow was melting

- I checked my bank account and the US State Dept finally paid me, so that was a nice surprise

- Then there was a bomb attack at a local shopping centre:

- It was the first time I didnt rush out the door. I was like fuck it, I shot the same location last year, let some other buck journalist go and chase the bang bang

- Maybe im growing out of combat journalism [finally! :-]

- Then I spent the afternoon sending a barrage of emails regarding my Doco [cant dally now that i have the cash]

- And I ended the day with an acoustic session at a friends cafe, where we mixed western psychedelia and Afghan traditional instruments until 3 am


Happy to be 35
posted by Travis, 11:31 am | link | 7 comments |

It is Possible

Congratulations to Egypt and Tunisia
I hope that this snowball keeps rolling: Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, maybe even Iran take another shot at it!
posted by Travis, 11:30 am | link | 4 comments |

a MUST see

check it out!!!!!!

http://www.lmff.com.au/2011-cultural-program/event-id/52


posted by Travis, 11:29 am | link | 7 comments |

Afghan Streets Expo

If you in the neighborhood, some of my images and video will be shown:
posted by Travis, 11:29 am | link | 4 comments |

Inside Art

THIS IMAGE IS BY A 15 YEAR OLD AFGHAN BOY HELD IN DETENTION IN MELBOURNE. HE IS ONE OF 433 UNACCOMPANIED MINORS, OF WHICH ARE YET TO SEE FREEDOM. THERE ARE 1033 CHILDREN CURRENTLY IN DETENTION ACROSS AUSTRALIA AWAITING DECISIONS FROM DIMIA.

The artist was really happy to have his art beyond bars.. we have been smuggling in paint for him..

posted by Travis, 11:28 am | link | 8 comments |

Kabul Dreams is EVERYWHERE!!!

Kabul Dreams - Crack in the Radio (Live at the AUAF)



Kabul Dreams - Don't try to freeze my mind (live at Tolo tv)



Kabul Dreams of peace - RT Top Stories


Kabul Dreams - My Friend (Live at the AUAF)

posted by Travis, 11:26 am | link | 5 comments |