Thursday, July 30, 2009

It Takes A Village...

(Dennis Flores, Photo Credit: Dennis Flores)

I want to borrow the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child...", yet I want to place it in another context. In my example the village would be the proponents (village) surrounding the culture (child). Nothing exists in a vacuum, and never is this concept more evident when you live, work and play in NYC. The same goes for Afro Caribbean culture in the city. It draws from so many wells, and it is expressed through so many mediums that interlock so seamlessly that you have trouble dissecting them. My point is that instead of dissecting and analyzing we should probably just lump it all together because in the end, the parts make a whole.

Case in point: Cinematographer/Photojournalist- Dennis Flores

Dennis has been on the forefront of visually capturing much of what's been happening in the Afro Caribbean music sphere for quite some time now. Not only are his videos extremely professional and well done, they also evoke a quiet seriousness while maintaining a very open and familial atmosphere. He ain't no slouch in other words. Here is some more info on the man himself.

Dennis Flores is a community based human rights film-maker committed to using the camera as a tool for education and a weapon for survival.

His work has centered on placing skills, cameras and editing equipment in the hands of communities in resistance so that they may be able to document their own histories and human rights situations.

He also has worked on developing multi-media workshops on a wide range of social justice issues for the last 6 years, teaching community based video documentation in people of color/immigrant communities throughout the world.

Dennis uses the camera to tell the stories of his family, community, and the work that he does as an organizer.

You may be asking yourself, well ok, he does good work but what do his videos have to do with rumba, bomba, palo? Well my friend they have everything to do, because just as much as Dennis needs the drums, the drums need him. If it weren't for the likes of guys like Dennis, blogs like this wouldn't exist, and there would be much valuable information that would go down the proverbial toilet. We are aware because he chooses to share. Let me put up some examples of his fine work.

(Ernesto Rodriguez, Video Credit: Dennis Flores)

(Obanilu Ire Allende, Video Credit: Dennis Flores)

(Yaya, Video Credit: Dennis Flores)

You can expect to see more from Dennis in the future, that I can promise.

1 comment:

Milagros said...

Thank You for this post. It is certainly a plus to see and know that an Afri caribbeano is so exciting when it comes to our children. I am from Cuba, and my family was/is huge and all that i have ever known was the "it takes a village mantra"..This was passed down from Tomasa cardenas Villamil my grandmother and Garcia Garcia GF to my father Felipe who made this the rule of law in our household from Matanzas to Manhattan. I am not sure if it will ever become the way of life again but i hope so .
One thing that i am surprised about however, is that caribbean islanders have in some way forgotten the rule of law within our homes..Perhaps coming to amerikkka or being born here has tainted our view?

Good article
Milagros Garcia Villamil