Category Archives: Notes

Uganda government accused of ‘the perfect crime’

http://oneworld.org/2016/10/03/uganda-government-accused-of-the-perfect-crime/

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Check out this clip from my first trip to Uganda… Funny!

A BRILLIANT GENOCIDE

In 2009 I spent quite some time with the students and former child soldiers at Friends of Orphans Rehabilitation Centre in Pader, Northern Uganda. I was also lucky to re-unite with many of the youth when I returned to Northern Uganda earlier this year!

The short video clip below is from my first trip, and was taken on my second day at Friends of Orphans, just as I was getting to know the young women and children, who had in their recent pasts served as child soldiers in Joseph Kony‘s LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army).

The video is classic… Enjoy!

Ebony at Friends of Orphans from Ebony Butler on Vimeo.

Although my method is not a common technique used in child soldier rehabilitation and re-integration efforts (in fact I think it may have never been used anywhere in the world before this!) I do know…

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A BRILLIANT GENOCIDE

Child Troopers Teaser 1 from Ebony Butler on Vimeo.

This is the first cut of a teaser for my documentary film Child Troopers, about the war between Joseph Kony‘s LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and the Ugandan Government.

Much more to come with new footage from Uganda 2012 so stay tuned!

See: www.atlanticstarproductions.com
www.faceook.com/childtroopers

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Check out the amazing people we have had access to in Uganda and America, and interviewed for our feature documentary, Child Troopers (working title).

Join us on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/madvsbd and http://www.twitter.com/atlanticstar233

A BRILLIANT GENOCIDE

Radhika Coomasawary (NY)
U.N Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict
 
Dr. Kizza Besigye (KLA)
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President
 
DrOlara Otunnu (KLA)
UPC President & Former U.N USG CAAC
 
Bishop Odama & Bishop Ochola (KLA & GULU)
Acholi Religious Peace Leaders Initiative (ARLPI) 
 
Nandala Mafabi (KLA)
Opposition Leader
 
Major General Pecas Kutesa (KLA)
Uganda’s People Defense Force (UPDF)
 
Jo Becker & Rona Peligal (NY)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) LRA Experts
 
Milton Allimadi (NY)
Black Star News Publisher
 
Jolly Okot (KLA)
Director (UgandaInvisible Children
 

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Playing For Change – Brilliant!

Ebony Atlanta's Weblog

Playing For Change – Peace Through Music

This music video is so beautiful and touching… The concept is absolutely brilliant and the song and the amazing voices singing it are just as wonderful!! LOVE IT…

Stand By Me | Playing For Change | Song Around The World from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

http://playingforchange.com – From the award-winning documentary, “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music“, comes the first of many “songs around the world” being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Order the CD/DVD Playing For Change “Songs Around The World” now at amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/c6mhgd

Sign up at http://playingforchange.com for updates and exclusive content. You can also buy cool stuff in our new online store!

Join the Playing for Change Online Street Team…

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Please see the latest Child Troopers blog entry about Nodding Disease in Northern Uganda. We’d love your comments and for the truly concerned individuals of this world to help in sharing & raising much needed international attention to this tragic disease. On behalf of the children, we thank you!

A BRILLIANT GENOCIDE

I was recently in Northern Uganda (Odek) where I spent some time with the victims of Nodding Disease, and their parents / guardians or only surviving family members. It was a period, and experience in my life I will always hold close to my heart, and could never forget. The faces of these children still haunt me to this day. I hope through my work with children around the world sick or not, that I have been able to make them smile, cheer them up, make them giggle and laugh through their suffering… But this was a different story altogether. The suffering, the pain, the anguish and isolation of these poor, sick and neglected people, is a sad story that has its roots buried far beyond the first outbreak of Nodding Disease.

The sad truth is that the government of Uganda does not really care about the poor young

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Social Media: Giving a Voice to the Silenced

Social Media Analyst from Exclusive Analysis talks about the importance of social media.

Social Media Revolution… On your watch, and mine. Trends are changing and news agencies and traditional media publishers / broadcasters are having to move with the times, putting a lot more emphasis on social media outlets like facebook and twitter. Social media plays such a vital role in society today and no one can disregard the benefits it brings, such as transparency and good governance… Social media in many senses has become much like a corporate or government watch dog. Beware: Big Brother is watching you. The best quality would have to be the way in which is gives people a voice. More importantly, it gives a real voice to the most oppressed, marginalized and underreported people in the world who would never have had a chance to tell their story or expose one’s suffering… That’s why I like social media. It really has the power to bring about positive change. Social media and the social media revolution has the power to mobilize the masses with information that can bring about change. Social media is instrumental in exposing crimes against humanity and oppressive governments and regimes around the world. With social media you can shine a light on global issues of significant import that would never have garnered the interest from traditional media agencies. The underreported and underrepresented can now have a face, and a voice. There may be a lot of not so good points regarding social media, but no one can deny that the good outweighs the bad!

Music and Film, Two Powerful Mediums – Combined, What Can They Achieve?

Salvador (BA) - O Cantor Stevie Wonder fala na...

Stevie Wonder - Image from Wikipedia

Music and Film. They can achieve almost anything. They can bring about world-wide unity, create harmony, promote cross culture and cross border compassion, understanding, peace and care! They can both ignite social action, they can mobilize people all over the world with love, insight and empathy… and every other ingredient necessary for a better world… ‘for you and for me and the entire human race’. (R.I.P Michael Jackson)

I truly believe that the power of music can create positive social change throughout the world. Music being the universal language means that it is one thing that we are all bound together by…. People unite when it comes to music and I hope to see music (and film) being used on a much larger scale than it already is, to bring about social and political change, and to create a better world for all. The same goes for film my friends and fellow film lovers! – Now on a more personal note:

I have just got off the phone to L.A, where I spoke with the amazing Mr. Billy Griffin, Soul King of America… Billy Griffin (born in Baltimore, Maryland)is an American singer and songwriter. He is best known for replacing Smokey Robinson as lead singer of The Miracles in 1972. Griffin has written songs and sung backing vocals for Aretha Franklin, The O’Jays, Ronald Isley, Freda Payne, Edwin Starr, Evelyn Champagne King, Herb Alpert, Martine McCutcheon, The Emotions and many others. Billy has had so many more wonderful achievements in the world of music and was honored with the other Miracles, when the group received a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on March 20, 2009.

Billy Griffin found me through my human rights activism and awareness campaigns, which I am able to conveniently execute through my film production company, Atlantic Star Productions. Billy has been following my work in Africa for quite some time now. It was a year or so ago when he wrote to me and said, ‘Ebony, one day, we should work on something together.’

For the past two and a half years I have been working tirelessly on a documentary about the LRA conflict in East Africa and the child soldiers and other victims of war in Northern Uganda, entitled Child Troopers. In 2010, I set-up  a not for profit organization Bikes 4 Life, raising bicycles for neglected, impoverished  and isolated victims of war. Billy’s desire to get involved with me on a humanitarian project has never slipped my mind. We have kept in touch over the internet and planned to meet one day. However, until this afternoon, I had never actually spoken to him. (I had tried but he is harder to get a hold of than me!) So I called again today, and I actually got through!

It was great to hear his cool mellow voice, and even better than his voice was when I asked him to guess who it was on the phone. He was like …’EBONY  from AUSTRALIA!’. (I did however hint that we had never spoken on the hone before – but still, he got it straight away!)

Lately I’ve been writing to Billy quite frequently, as my film is getting closer to completion, or at least it feels like it is! I am heading to America next month to meet my new co- producer in Hollywood, Alec Pedersen. Alec was involved with the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary film ‘The Cove’ and not only does he bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the project, he he also brings much credibility. During my trip I  had also been planning to meet with Billy Griffin while in Los Angeles, to talk about what we would work on together. It was only a few weeks ago when I was looking back on a photograph of Stevie Wonder and Billy Griffin together, (Billy and Stevie are very close friends) that I had a revelation.. I had seen the photo before and loved it, but this time it really got my brain ticking… A few days earlier I had also discovered that Stevie Wonder was awarded the UN (United Nations) Messenger for Peace in 2009.

I had it. I had a brilliant idea, and I knew if I could somehow get it off the ground, that it would have wings, it would fly… it would be absolutely amazing. I told Billy straight away what I was thinking. I basically asked him if he would consider getting together with Stevie Wonder to write a song for the soundtrack in my documentary film, Child Troopers…  a song to represent peace, a song to bring about change, a song to end the suffering of the world’s children…  Music for Change. Movies that Matter. Music and Movies that Make a Difference!!!

We conversed back and forth and as it currently stands, I may be pitching the idea to Stevie Wonder myself when I am in LA next month! How I wish I had a team of people helping me on this project. Billy stressed the importance of creating media buzz and hype around the project and assured me that there would be no reason Stevie Wonder or any other musician of his caliber wouldn’t get involved! Billy Griffin was so far in. One down and one to go. Now I am after Mr. Wonder. That’s a challenge and half. But boy, do I love a challenge!!

Dear supporters, fellow music lovers and film fanatics, filmmakers and friends alike, I ask you to please help me with some ideas to create buzz in the States (and Oz), all the way from Melbourne Australia. Let’s get Stevie Wonder doing the soundtrack for an Australian production, let’s get these soul kings to help make the world a better place, by making a song that is sung in all corners of the globe, that is a message of peace, a message of hope…! A message to end world wars and to ensure we make it top priority of all political agenda’s to protect our women and children.

I will do my best to achieve these wild, but nevertheless attainable dreams for the very women and children who I dedicate this work to. However, even if it doesn’t come to fruition this time around,  I will continue to put my heart and soul into making this film, and attempt to reach out to the masses, to protect the innocent civilians caught up in brutal conflicts throughout the world and to help in the campaign to  bring an end to the use of children in war.

Film is a superior medium,  music some say, is equal in greatness.  However all things united, just like people united, are the most powerful of all. Therefore, when film and music are also united, what results is an integrated medium of the most greatest possible force, infinitely capable of creating significant social, political, economic and environmental change, capable of bringing about peace to the world, love to the planet and justice to all… And right now, such changes are needed most!

I welcome all your thoughts on this project… Thank you!

To get involved or to follow our projects see the links below:


http://bikes4life.com.au

http://behance.net/atlanticstar

http://vimeo.com/channels/asptv

http://atlanticstarproductions.com

http://childtroopers.wordpress.com

Please join us Twitter:            @ebony_atlanta       @atlanticstar233      @bikes4lifeorg

Or find us on Facebook:

facebook.com/ebonyatlantabutler     facebook.com/childtroopers     facebook.com/bikes4lifeorg

facebook.com/dancingthroughthepain           facebook.com/atlanticstarproductions

Award Winning Documentaries….

VHS Cover.

Image via Wikipedia

I have just rented 5 award winning documentary films to enjoy over the next few days (Network Video South Yarra).

In no particular order they are:

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