A guilty pleasure to be sure, but I like them and the song.
ORAM, the organization that works to help LGBTI people life in unsafe countries to find safety elsewhere in the world. On their site they describe their mission:
ORAM provides clients with free legal counseling and assistance, including representation at UNHCR proceedings. We assist refugees through their passage to safety, often until they are permanently resettled in new countries.
Visit their website here.
The organization has released a series of narration free animated videos telling the personal stories of what the reality of life is for LGBTI people living in hostile environments. Deeply thought provoking and maddening. The countries featured in these three videos ( in order ) are Jamaica, Iraq and Iran. A warning – although they are animated some of the images are disturbing.
I’ll take a break from hyperventilating over stupid Stephen Harper to post a new and excellent live performance by the always wonderful Moses Melkonian – video by Aaron Leaman..
The latest from Moses Melkonian – a haunting song and another beautiful video by Aaron Leaman – Like Gods.
This was just uploaded on January 2, 2012 and offers a simple and cogent rebuttal to some of the arguments against marriage equality.
Every now and then the internet tosses up a little surprise in front of me and today was one of those days. I noticed that someone had liked a post I put up here and they also had a blog so as is polite in the blogosphere I checked the blog out. The last posting was a music video of him singing a totally funky song called ‘We Are Mighty, We Are Young”. I adore the song and what a voice.
Here’s the song.
Apparently , according to an interview with Steezy Street the song was inspired by the Occupy Movement which makes perfect sense. It also gives some of the only background I have been able to find on the performer.
I’ve been making music since I was a kid. My dad (Vartan Melkonian) is a composer and conductor of classical music… I remember being taken out of class to go and watch him record with the Royal Philharmonic in Abbey Road Studios… I had no idea how cool that was… I was just like “that’s loud!” I remember he put me in one of the booths to record whatever I wanted… I decided to play congas over his whole symphony without a bars rest! ha.
So I was learning piano at that time, but I stopped my lessons to pick up drums. I then began playing in many bands rock, jazz and avant-garde then guitar then bass… During this time my musical influences were ever growing and I never stopped composing at the piano… This is the first time I’ve been able to take all my influences, J-Dilla to Bach, and put them into one record.
The artist has a number of other performances on YouTube including this one in which he starts by explaining that his real name is Richard Melkonian and he has chosen his grandfather’s name to honor him.
So far I have enjoyed all of his performances on YouTube which you can search for yourself or try just clicking here. You can also support this breath-of-fresh-air artist by picking up the ‘We Are Mighty, We Are Young’ single on iTunes here.
I remember reading Gore Vidal’s excellent essay Pink Triangle and Yellow Star when I was much younger and finding it such a revelation. I thought at the time that while some people despised me for one thing , were I around in Germany in the Nazi era as someone also of mixed parentage I was a shoo-in for Auschwitz. When my thoughts progressed from that I realized that if there was nothing wrong with being of mixed parentage or just being fundamentally different because of who you are – I think you see where I am going with this. This led me to know that civil rights are civil rights no matter what group you are talking about. I see no difference between any of the struggles.
Apropos to that this evening I discovered Project Triangle in Merseyside. Other than Ferry Across the Mersey I didn’t know much about Merseyside but I am really impressed that the Merseyside Police were the first to fly the rainbow flag at their stations. Then to read that there was a five-day cultural exchange trip to Auschwitz and Warsaw for 12 young LGBT and young LGBT Polish people is just wonderful and tied everything together for me. Welcome to Project Triangle.
In the words of the project:
In September 2009, 12 young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender people from Merseyside took part in a five-day cultural exchange trip to Auschwitz and Warsaw working with a group of young Polish LGB & T people from the Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH).
The exchange provided the group with an appreciation of the Holocaust and fate of many LGB & T people and the impact on European and LGB & T social history as well as challenging past and present issues around hate crime.
The young people took part in making a short 30-minute film documenting their experiences and thoughts around the themes of the project, along with ideas and aspirations for the future.
The resulting film has been developed into an educational resource pack for schools and colleges, enabling teachers to tackle homophobia and all forms of hate crime in schools. The pack has been endorsed by NUT, Sir Ian Mc Kellern and Chief Constable of Merseyside Police. Since returning the group have provided hate crime workshops for teachers, pupils, youth workers, young people, housing associations and other employers. In the summer of 2010 they produced their own film “Sex Drags and Rock n Roll” documenting their efforts to raise awareness of homophobia and hate crime and promote equality and diversity. Directed by 19 year old Jess Wignall, the film has been chosen for the 2010 BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
The Telegraph is reporting that the UK government is in the process of rounding up the assets of the Libyan regime with an aim to forcing Gaddafi out in the most effective way possible – hitting him in the bank account.
“In total, the Libyan regime is said to have around £20 billion in liquid assets, mostly in London. These are expected to be frozen as part of an international effort to force the dictator from power. A Whitehall source said: “The first priority is to get British nationals out of Libya. But then we are ready to move in on Gaddafi’s assets, the work is under way. This is definitely on the radar at the highest levels.”
Read the rest in the Telegraph here.
Let’s hope this is one more brick being pulled out from the foundations of this ugly man’s regime.