HAFF 2012 Opening Titles

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HAFF 2012 opening titles from Kinetic Pixel on Vimeo.

created the titles for the second year in a row for the Helsinki African Film Festival. This year’s effort centered around 3 concepts directly related to the festival. Those concepts were the screening of a movie. a festival club or African party and African masks.

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Them and Us

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“Them-And-Us is an initiative aimed at bringing together 20 European and 20 African visual artists, designers, illustrators and photographers. The project aims to explore the similarities and differences between first and third world views and aesthetics by pairing up artists from Europe with their African counterparts.

Through a series of 20 double sided posters, artists are invited to explore the notion of ‘Them–And–Us’ and the broader theme of tolerance (or intolerance).

Working in two prescribed colours, each artist will create a poster. The reverse will feature a poster designed by an artist from the other continent. Each pair of artists will be paired and introduced at the outset of the project. Together each team will choose a specific theme, such as ‘Light–And–Dark’ or ‘Smart–And–Dumb’ and communication and cross polination will be encouraged. The final outcome should be two posters that talk to each other yet are distinctly the product of their respective makers.

The final 40 posters will be packaged together along with a 64 page publication profiling each of the artists involved and detailing the purpose and process of the project. Them–and–Us will be exhibited in Durban, Cape Town, Stockholm and London early in 2010. All proceeds from sales will go to Amnesty International to help in the global fight against intolerance.

Them–And–Us is curated by South African design studio, disturbance, Stockholm resident and graphic designer, Noel Pretorius and British designer/writer Adrian Shaughnessy who will also write and edit the accompanying publication.”

There is some inspiring work on display at Them and Us.

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Socotra Island

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Socotra Island…”has been geographically isolated from mainland Africa for the last 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic, i.e. found nowhere else on Earth.

The climate is harsh, hot and dry, and yet – the most amazing plant life thrives there. Situated in the Indian Ocean 250 km from Somalia and 340 km from Yemen, the wide sandy beaches rise to limestone plateaus full of caves (some 7 kilometers in length) and mountains up to 1525 meters high.

The name Socotra is derived from a Sanscrit name, meaning ‘The Island of Bliss’.”

It is an indescribibly bizarre yet beautiful place and you can see many more inspiring pictures of it here.

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Christian The Lion

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Alright this is completely not design or politics related and a touch sentimental but I just thought this was so cool. I love lions. They were my favorite animals as a child so I was pretty moved by this story.

Basically the story goes, in 1969 two men named John Rendall and Ace Berg saw a lion club for sale in Harrods. They felt sorry for the little guy I guess because he was alone and cramped in a tiny little cage with none of his original pride and no owner to speak of. So they decided to take him home and raise him. They were allowed by a local vicar to exercise the cub on the grounds of a local church and he lived with them at home. He quickly became too large for them to keep however and they decided it would be best to try to reintroduce the young lion back into the wilds of Africa. They decided they wanted to visit him a year later but local authorities warned them that the lion was now the head of his own pride and completely wild. He would not remember them and might even attack.

You can see how he reacted when seeing them above. A big ole lion hug.

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Women Are Heroes

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“Women Are Heroes” is the project of MSF and JR, two artivists traveling the globe to reveal the importance of the role of women in their communities. They have made way to some of the most distraught places in Africa. Sierra Leone, Liberia, Southern Sudan and Kenya are on that list. From what I can tell JR has been taking some really amazing photos of these women’s facial expressions and wheat pasting them up all around their communities to share their stories and uplift the local people. As of March 8th, an exhibition showcasing eight of these women were put up in giant scale all over Brussels. It’s a pretty amazing project if you ask me. Helping create awareness through the arts has always been a great way to spread information and change minds. Now if a whole lot more humans can look at things like this with more serious scrutiny, the world just might take a turn for the better.

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