A Day At Zuccotti Park

I first went  to Zuccotti park on day three of the occupation.   I biked over mid-morning and there were maybe 200 people present who had camped out from the night before. Their purpose was unclear, but their determination was apparent and their presence raised the question: Why is there not a bigger movement taking place across the United States?

Soon the movement was growing, and as it grew- it began to encompass more issues, drawing attention to more and more of the countries problems.   As I spoke to people involved I realized that any one person’s opinion on these issues may clash completely with the next.  I realized that OWS was serving as a platform for many, a podium for anyone and everyone to voice their frustrations with the government.

There is no telling how this movement will grow and what change it will inspire- to document it seems almost to do it a disservice, to attempt to turn it into something static, to try to contain it.

I decided to  film what I saw and not focus on any one person’s agenda, to put politics aside and try to capture the energy of the spectacle that has inspired so many.   To show the frustrations, the anger, joy, excitement, knowledge; unity that I saw on people’s faces, emotions that we all share even if our opinions ultimately differ.

-Dylan

dylan@therippleproject.com

The Ripple Project: Reconsolidation Production in New York

This past Friday, The Ripple Project marked the end of production on “Reconsolidation” the story of neuroscientist Daniela Schiller’s personal and professional struggle with the legacy of the Holocaust, a journey, which grapples with the very notion of fear, and our ceaseless efforts to surmount it.

Directed by Liron Unreich and with cinematographer David Stragmeister, this past week and a half of shooting has featured Daniela’s groundbreaking research at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan alongside her talents as a storyteller and musician, her rocky-esque training as a kick boxer, and her ongoing experience as the daughter of a survivor.


We, at The Ripple Project eagerly await the fruit of out labors as “Reconsolidation” enters postproduction.

The Ripple Project Vignettes: What is Missing, Rethinking 9/11 Memorials

In collaboration with the Brooklyn Arts Council Dumbo Improvement District, this past Saturday, The Ripple Project marked the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with an interactive memorial alongside nine other stations featuring prominent artists on the streets of Dumbo. In a continuing effort to explore stories which lie behind the headlines and as part of the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Rethinking Memorial: Ten Interactive Sites for remembering 9/11, The Ripple Project sought out ordinary New Yorkers and asked a seemingly obvious yet oft overlooked question: “What is missing in the conversation surrounding 9/11?” The responses we received ran the gamut: many thoughtful and reflective, others colorful and controversial.

 

In documenting these responses we hoped to inspire a diversity of reactions: anger, renewal, denial, indignation, apathy, conspiracy theories, paranoia, patriotism, prejudice, and sadness, all while preserving a common thread of humanity in shared experience.

In the coming weeks we hope to edit this footage into a short, lyrical piece, which reflects our belief that the best memorial we can give to those who have passed is to continue to reflect and find new perspectives on the events of Sept.11th in the attempt to examine why the events of Sept.11th happened and what we can learn about ourselves in their aftermath.

The Ripple Project Vignettes: Paul Angell Plainfield, VT

Paul Angell is my uncle, he has kept Plainfield, VT as his home base since 1975 but has always come and gone to travel and work abroad. This Vignette focuses on Paul’s time in Uganda in 1986 and 1987 as AIDS first began to take it’s toll on the country.

-Dylan Angell

Read/See more about Vignettes: here

The Ripple Project: Reconsolidation Production in Israel

Director Liron Unreich and Producer Michael McDevitt have just returned from Israel after completing an exciting and revealing week of shooting The Ripple Project: One’s latest chapter with Cinematographer David Stragmeister.

Reconsolidation” begins with a clinical look into a neurological experiment as neuroscientist  Dr. Daniela Schiller, labors to discover the key to rewriting fearful memories — reconsolidation.
From Daniela’s research laboratory in New York she begins her personal search and returns to her native Israel to compel her elderly father to reveal his Holocaust remembrance for the first time.
What follows is a haunting exploration into the nature of memory, its power, its vulnerability, its promise and its generational effect.
Please click here to learn more about “Reconsolidation” and The Ripple Project : One‘s exploration of the multigenerational effects of the Shoah.

Shared Memory trailer

Shared Memory is the one of the six chapters in our feature film The Ripple Project: One which examines the multigenerational effects of the Shoah, the inheritance of creativity and the responsibility of survivors and younger generations to impart the lessons of the past. The films will offer an inspirational message that reaches across time to engage a diverse audience and to ensure the memory of those who came before us will not fade away.

Painting helps a man express horrors beyond words.

“This was. This is.” Brooklyn-based artist and Shoah survivor, Fred Terna, declares gesturing towards two paintings—one ominous and dark, the other lighter, with hues of hope.  “This is how the memory changed.”   Shared Memory is part oral history, part private gallery tour where Terna invites the viewer into his home and discusses pieces from his carefully catalogued collection spanning the history of his artwork. Together, the paintings and Terna’s stories describe his path from the Czech Republic to Brooklyn, from surviving Theresienstadt to his taxing marriage with a fellow survivor. In Shared Memory, Terna reveals how painting is both a way of coping with the horrors he has experienced and a means to preserve his memories.

Click here to learn more about The Ripple Project: One.

WATCH: A conversation between Fred Terna and Rwandan genocide survivor and educator  Eugenie Mukeshimana, which took place after a private screening of Shared Memory.

The following letter was written to Shared Memory Director and The Ripple Project Cofounder, Liron Unreich, by Fred Terna.
Dear Liron,
I’m awed and delighted with the film.  You and your team have done a superb job, telling the story of my paintings.  Other film-makers have tried to make films about art and artists during the Shoah.  When they focused on me they somehow stayed on the surface, there was a distance, a gap, between my feelings and ideas and what I saw on the screen.  You are telling the story with great skill and insight, and I thank you.

During the Shoah we promised each other that the one who survives will tell about it. The burden is getting heavier as our numbers decrease, and you and  your group are carrying this obligation with us, and for us.

Please give my thanks to all who are working with you on The Ripple Project. Looking forward to hearing from you before long,

Fred

Helga Hošková-Weissová: An Introduction

“Draw what you see,” Helga Hoskava’s father told her 70 years ago before they were separated in the Jewish concentration camp, Theresienstadt. Now a renowned Czech painter, Helga passed on the passion born from her father’s words to her son and then her granddaughter—celebrated cellist Dominika Hoskava.  Despite coming from a long line of secular artists and a non-Jewish mother, Dominika surprises her family by converting to Judaism and moving to Israel in an effort to reconnect with her heritage.

To learn more about The Ripple Project: One, please click here.

Ripple Project Vignettes: Benjamin Graham: Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, USA

The first meal I ever shared with Fayaz was over a year ago. I was an intern at the International Rescue Committee and Fayaz had just arrived in Washington DC via Afghanistan, carrying little more than a green card and a suitcase. As an intern, my primary responsibility was to help resettling refugees adapt to life in America, and on one particular afternoon, this meant driving with Fayaz to a social services office in northern Virginia.

We spent the afternoon filling out food stamp applications and sitting through inconclusive interviews, all of which left us annoyed and hungry by the end of the day. On the drive back, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce Fayaz to the most American of cuisines, a value meal at McDonald’s.

Up to this point Fayaz had taken to America rather easily, navigating the DC metro system and applying for a credit card by himself, but he was completely stumped as he stood in front of the McDonald’s menu. I advised him to stay away from the Big Mac for a while, and that the grilled chicken sandwich would be a safe choice for a beginner.

Eying the sandwich suspiciously, Fayaz took his first bite; chewed slowly – paused – and then spat the food back into its bag. “You didn’t tell me there was pork on this!” he snorted, pulling a translucent strip of bacon from his mouth with his thumb and index finger. I apologized and explained that I didn’t eat at McDonald’s often and I hadn’t known that the grilled chicken sandwich came with bacon. I had also momentarily forgotten that Muslims don’t eat pork.

Fayaz wouldn’t take another bite, but he did enjoy the fries. As he munched, he explained to me that there weren’t any pigs in Afghanistan, except maybe in a zoo, and their certainly wasn’t any bacon. I was fascinated that he could be happy in life without bacon, but he assured me it was possible. I continued to ask more questions about his country and his home life, all of which I knew surprisingly little about considering the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

This would prove to be the experience that propelled our relationship past the realm of just work, because a few weeks later, after my internship ended, I got a call from Fayaz inviting me to an Afghan restaurant. I had introduced him to American food, now it was his turn to return the favor. We kept in contact over the next couple months, sometimes meeting up for Afghan food, but never going back to McDonald’s.

I didn’t stay in DC for long, and after a stint working for a newspaper in Nepal, I began making plans to move to New York. I was already in the city, going down my list of acquaintances and moving from couch to couch as I hunted for apartments, when Fayaz called. It had been several months since we last talked, and coincidentally he was now living with a friend in Brooklyn.

When I asked about his couch situation, he said that he didn’t have one, but that I was welcome to stay with him and his friend for the entire month if I was okay with being a little cramped. I was okay with it.

-Ben Graham

ben@therippleproject.com

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