Monday, June 9, 2014

Art to My City

I must say it's been a minute since I've written anything about anything. It's good to be back? Yeah I guess everyone needs an outlet and writing is mine. Gahdamn what has happened since I last spoke to the internet. Well my production company, Arriving Productions (Formerly the local35 we changed the name due to copyright issues) I'd like to say sailed pretty smoothly. We launched an Instagram page (@arrivingproductions) and stayed with the Islamic content on our YouTube page (it's still The Local35.) We were blessed to be able to work with the renowned scholar Yasmin Mogahed as well as support Autism Speaks, an international advocacy group that works with people dealing with autism spectrum disorders. We worked hard (Mr. Sameem Tursonzadah) well into the end of the Pitt semester. By that point unfortunately we weren't concerned with content but more so production experience which in my  opinion is/was one of our weaknesses.

Then tragedy struck(?)

Through a series of events orchestrated by God himself circumstances have placed me in Atlanta, my city for at least six months. I probably won't be returning to Pitt. At least not for a year. But that's a long sob story with great undertones of personal danger and adventure.

Pitt is in the suburbs and for two years I was blessed to live the life of a WASP with my Abercrombie button downs and Sperry-Boat shoes. With my discourses of modern politics and flings with blonde-haired girls. But that's all over for the moment. Being back in Atlanta re-opened my eyes to what I had been ignoring while away at school. Not much has changed gangs and drugs and money still rule everything around me. "Friends" I grew up with are still milling around and my enemies still recognise me.
Being back in my city Stone Mountain has made me realise there is an insatiable need for educated black men to reclaim our neighbourhoods. For culture avant gardes to redirect the focus of the youth. Our communities are in need of individuals incubating a lust amongst our youth in relation to the arts and sciences. To lead the charge against what has tragically become our norm, I'm not yet sure if I'm qualied but I sure as hell am gonna try.
God willingly I'm going to take everything I learned of film production at Pitt and use it to feed my city. Art to my city. Actively and passively encourage my peers and the younger generations to empower themselves through the visual arts. Give people the opportunity and appropriate platform to tell the world our/their struggle/story. We intend to display the actual lasting power independent cinema has on society at large.

 I'm starting a chapter of Arriving Productions here in Atlanta God willing we are successful.

Watch us because we intend to close the racial and socioeconomic gap separating us from you.

Oh you audience, this is cinema.

Zyzz Yusuf
Executive Director
Arriving Productions

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