Tag: Activism

Dharma Punx NYC: Josh Korda

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Josh Korda

You’re looking for some fundamental answers in your life but are not the granola type who sits around in woolen socks cherishing a cup of chamomile tea? In fact you are sporting a bunch of tattoos, curse like a sailor, and in general have a rebellious streak in you? Well, welcome to Dharma Punx – not your mother’s meditation class.  We talked to Josh Korda, who has been teaching meditation with Dharma Punx in New York City for the past eight years.

S2S: Can you give us a little bit background information on Dharma Punx NYC. How and when did you meet Noah Levine, the founder of Dharma Punx? And when and why did you get involved?

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Kim Yaged’s Passion for Art & Activism

Conversations, Literature
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KimYagedArtist and activist Kim Yaged is a writer with a unique vision, and a passion for art and social justice. She has a creative flair, a positive outlook, and a passionate bent.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Kim Yaged is passionate about…well a lot things. But, where art and activism meet is of particular interest to her and she takes dedicated action in that regard. One could classify Kim Yaged as an artivist, but that might annoy her. But, certainly she sees — and creates — art through a lens that encompasses a social justice perspective and social justice programs that incorporate art. Her work is quirky and edgy, and her artistic range is impressive.

Stephanie Schroeder asked Kim Yaged for some insight into  her art and activism as well as her relationships with both New York City and Berlin.

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Making Art and Breaking Bread

Art, Theater
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Microsoft Word - ShattererPosterOnline.docxThe evocative and provocative artistry of The Bread and Puppet Theater is more than radical political statement or partisan dogma. Rather Bread and Puppet is and always has been a collaborative commentary involving local volunteers, a core theater company along with the active participation of the audience. The viewers’ gaze animates every performance and infuses it with meaning.

A highly imaginative and preternaturally creative spirit is present in the troupe’s every breath and every movement. From the second the large, old space at the West Park Presbyterian Church goes dark and Bread and Puppet’s chilling performance begins, the audience is transported, all to their own cold, dark places. Whatever agonies each person has experienced–or fears–is projected onto the performance piece as well as reflected back onto each individual.

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tag: Activism

Wash United: May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day

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MHDay_BOXOn May 28th, the first global Menstrual Hygiene Day will ‘break the bloody taboo’ and open up the conversation about menstruation. With more than 130 international and local organizations on board, people are coming together to raise awareness about the fundamental role that menstrual hygiene management plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential.

S2S spoke to Danielle Keiser from WASH United, the Berlin-based initiator and award-winning international social impact organization that uses the power of sports superstars, interactive games and positive communications to change attitudes and behaviors around sanitation and hygiene at scale. 

S2S: How did the idea to have a Menstrual Hygiene Day come to life? How did your organization become aware of the problems related to menstrual hygiene?
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Streets of Berlin

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Streets of BerlinNew Yorkers are often envious of the spacious and relatively affordable apartments many people in Berlin can call their home. But not all of its inhabitants are fortunate enough to have a roof over their heads. Streets of Berlin is a video platform, which focuses on poverty and homelessness. The page was founded by Omid Mirnour, a 22 year old from Aachen who came to Berlin in April 2012 to study Media Management. Mirnour noticed very quickly that Berlin has a much higher density of homeless people than other cities. In fact, the prominence of people living on the street is so drastic that it seems to have a desensitizing effect on the rest of Berlin’s residents. Many Berliners easily overlook and ignore others  in need. Mirnour wants to change that. 

S2S: What is your personal motivation for Streets of Berlin?

Omid Mirnour: I started to ask myself with every encounter I had how this person was put into this situation? What has to happen so that you become homeless? Did every single person living in the street have to endure a stroke of fate? How do you live as a homeless person and what happens to you on an everyday basis? All these questions built the foundation for this project. So one day, I rented a camera and asked homeless people if they would be up to telling me something about their lives. The first stories that I heard startled and fascinated me so much that I wanted to hear more from the streets of Berlin. This is how the project slowly started coming to life.

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Achtung Stolpersteine

Street
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StolpersteineI am among those who did not notice the Stolpersteine – the stumbling blocks or stones paved  into Berlin’s sidewalks, at the entrances to buildings where Jews and other Others (Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, people with disabilities, communists and other dissidents) used to live prior to their expulsion and extermination between 1933-1945. I’ve heard about them, naturally, but ever since I came to Berlin,  over a year ago, I simply couldn’t trace the Stolpersteine. And then, one day, my younger son stopped and stared at the pavement, and asked, ‘Mom, what’s that?’ And there they were, a few golden stones, remarkably reticent,  the inscription minimal, starting with ‘Here Lived’ followed by name, date of birth, date of expulsion, destination, fate (usually murdered) and date and place of death (if known). ‘Ah!’ I said and stared for a while.

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