Who Decides How History Gets Recorded?
Vann Alexandra Daly is a Miami-born, New York-based crowdfunding producer who gives life to art she believes in. Alex was recently named the “crowdsourceress” for her expertise in crowdfunding. Over the course of a year, Alex has raised millions of dollars for clients including Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmakers and Neil Young. She has served on panels at distinguished film festivals and universities and consults Knight Foundation art grantees. In addition to her crowdfunding successes, Alex is a producer for the feature length documentary Cocaine Prison, which has received support from the Macarthur Foundation, Cannes Film Festival’s Fonds Sud Cinema, Sundance Documentary Fund, Tribeca Latin America Fund, Bertha BritDoc Journalism Award, and more. Her other films have been selected by the world’s most prestigious festivals including Sundance and Tribeca.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
After tragic events, as most recently evident in Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, and Ferguson, there is always a swarm of headlines that follows. Often times, the media spotlight around these stories can become a sensationalized frenzy blinded by heavy speculation. This begs to ask how we outsiders bear witness to events and what exactly is it that draws us so closely to pain and tragedy?
In the aftermath of tragic events, communities come together not only to alleviate the situation, but also to lend insight into the injustice and suffering hoping that these events can be prevented for future generations. This marks our best attempt to prevent the cursory path of history repeating itself. Beyond the direct community, there is a fascinating responsibility left for journalists and photojournalists to document how these events get written.
While the loudest, most apparent voice present in media may be that of the writer, news anchor or photographer, the most powerful is the gained voice. If instead of trying to impose a subjective understanding, the journalist presents the story in an unbiased way that allows the stories of those directly involved to transpire beyond the bound pages of history.
This shows how the responsibility to record history is not left solely in the hands of journalists. With the mass amounts of information circulating the web, each of us has the responsibility to be mindful individuals by using these readily available tools. With this, every individual has the power to decipher all the circular muddled conversation and use their own voice to impact global affairs.
One crowdfunding project I’ve been extremely proud to be a part of is citizen journalist Brown Moses’ site, Bellingcat. The site is a supreme example of how a small, dedicated group of individuals can change the history books. In the first two weeks of operation since the Kickstarter campaign, the site already went on to pinpoint the location of a Buk launcher in the procession of pro-Russian rebels, locate a training camp for Islamic militants, and source the true perpetrators of the Sarin attacks in Damascus last year.
We are left with the beginning questions of what should history mean and why we should be obsessed with that question. In filling this absent place, the importance of names takes over. This summer we all felt the impact of Michael Brown, James Foley, and Robin Williams, each a human with a face to give reality to events that occur. At this point, we as readers and viewers are again able to question the objectivity of accounts and formulate personal understanding based on the ability to empathize and connect with another individual.
In The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton describes this best in writing “It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us.”
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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