The Movement of Mandala

obit_frame_Nelson_Mandela_1918_2013_16x9_992 In South Africa their was a set of laws called the apartheid laws. These laws restricted the black Africans from living in the same conditions as the white Africans. Not only did they not get to live in the same conditions, but they did not even have the opportunities to achieve the same lifestyle. The black Africans wanted change, but were trying to make it happen in a less than productive way. The violence that was caused by these scenarios only made the whites more prone to adding more restrictions instead of just having blacks what the want. The man that helped make that change happen was Nelson Mandala. He invoked peace into the equation for change and the movement took a turn. Even though the government did not like his way of trying to provoke change they eventually came around. Mandala was arrested and put in prison for life, but only served 27 years because the government saw that they needed him because of all the violence that was happening. They released Mandala and he continued his fight in government. The way Mandala would talk made people believe that change is possible and that it can happen peacefully. Mandala recognized that the government was where the change had to come from and that there needed to be someone in government that wanted that change to occur. So, he went on TV and said that if people wanted change that they needed to vote because he ran for president. And won in a landslide. From that the apartheid laws where demolished and South Africa has become a much more peaceful place. This all because of the movement of Mandala.


Art or Manipulation of History?

Ava DuVernay is the director of the movie Selma. The purpose of this movie was to educated people on the Civil Rights movements and the events that happened in Selma in particular. She also wanted to highlight the works of Martin Luther King. All of these reason are great and I agree with all of them. But, her movie went under fire for the pretrial of President Lyndon B. Johnson because he was shown as someone who was not as open to helping Martin Luther King as some may have thought. If you do research of this topic there is no evidence the Johnson and King’s relationship was as hostile as portrayed in the movie. Now am I saying that there was not moments were it got heated. No, this time in history needed to be handled very delicately because of the high level of violence that could breakout at any moment. With that said I do not think that the pretrial of Lyndon B. Johnson is very accurate. The only reason I have a problem with this is because of the reason that Ava DeVernay made this movie, which was to educated people with the history of this period in history. If you are going to manipulate the aspects of the history then you are not accurately educating people. Which is completely defeating the purpose that she has said is the reason she made the movie. Her defense of this criticism is that parts of the movie are art. I love art, but I think that she could have put artist value in the movie and also kept the historical accuracy.  Do you think feel the same why? If not, why?

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selma-movie-poster The film Selma is the story of a period of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Civil Rights movement. Specifically the famous march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge through Selma to the Alabama state capital. This march and all the other events that happened in this film were to make a point that the restrictions put on blacks to gain access to vote were racist and unlawful. Through out the film you really got a look inside the life of MLK throughout the years of his movement. Whether it was being physically harmed/restricted or his wife being harassed he and his family went through a lot. Another thing you got a closer look at in the government officials behavior in this time period. George Wallace and Lyndon B. Johnson were the two that were the prominent representatives of this side of the Civil Right movement. George Wallace was undoubtedly racists, but tried has hardest to keep an open-minded look. LBJ, on the other hand, is one who was portrayed as being very stubborn when it came to the voting right law and the movement as a whole. This, to some viewer of the film, was not the truth and he did not have as big of a problem with it as portrayed in the film. The biggest thing you got a up close look at was the treatment of blacks in society.  They were beaten and arrested for the smallest things. And even though there were laws in place that had given blacks the right to do the things that the were fighting for in this film the government officials were not being enforced. This allowing the racists that lived in these towns to take over, and treat people so unjustly. Coming from this was the leadership and guidance of MLK. The reason people followed him because the felt that he had the answers to get the justice the they all deserved. And he did. This film sums up the impact that MLK had and the reasons he has a legacy today all in one scenario of his total movement.

The Art of the Mandala

In the movie Kundun there was parts where there would be sand being spread in designs and then when they were finished making this they would sweep it away like it was nothing. This, we then learned in a mandala ad the tradition that comes with it. The way these things are created is very precise and all around amazing.

They first start in the center with the smallest part the design and work their way out. The main shapes are circles and squares, but have smaller designs made up of various shape within them. The mandalas are made out of grains of sand being shaken out of a  chakpur, which is tube tool used to put the sand in place. The way they use the chakpur is by putting the color of sand they wish to use in the top and gently shake the tube so that the sand comes out of the small tip. When they want to switch colors they pour the sand back into the designated container and scoop up the next color.

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The thing I love the most the attention to detail. As you can see above the is no space that does not have some type of detail. Also, the colors always standout and are so vibrant. Now when they are done that when it get painful to watch. After the mandala is completed they have religious ceremony and sweep each piece of colored sand in towards the center of the table to destroy the masterpiece the that just took them days to complete. If you would like to watch this click here.


Education Destroys Power

This week we read the chapter in I am Malala where Malala is shot in the head by a member of the Taliban. The Taliban put out to the media that the reason of the attack was because she admired and spoke in favor of President Barack Obama. This we know is not the reason or not the only reason. The main reason was because she stood for the education of girls. This whole event made me think about why the Taliban is so against education that they would shoot a young girl. Most people think and say that it is because they do not want girls/women to have the same rights as men. While I do not think that is far fetched I do not think that this is the biggest reason. I honestly think that they do not want to have to compete with anymore people then they already have to with all the educated men. They love to have power and if women were to given the equal opportunity to be educated then they would be on the same playing field. This would then lessen their power and give some to women. Power is fuel by the fact that people believe whatever the person in power says, so if you educate more people then the chance of people believing the people in power lessens immensely. It is like when your in groups in class and you get put with the really smart kid, you know you want them to answer the questions because you believe that they know the curriculum. Do you think this is why the Taliban is so against education for girls, or do you think it is something else?

Bin Laden Mission

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On May 2, 2011 the world was change by the death of Osama Bin Laden. This was the result of a United States Military invasion into Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound. As happy as the U.S. was about the death of the person that was a major part of the 9/11 attacks the Pakistani, however, was not happy at all. The reason behind this anger was because the U.S. had not notify the Pakistani government, while the U.S. and Pakistan were somewhat allies on the subject of killing Osama Bin Laden. Some the the people in Pakistan where also  upset by this fact. This is a little understandable but the fact supporting why I think the U.S. did this justify their actions.

The government had no idea that Bin Laden’s compound was about 40 miles away. His compound was also right next to a military training center. This is careless and could put the mission in danger, because any U.S. military personnel that went to the capital of Pakistan would have probably been seen by Bin Laden’s people.

Also, the mission needed to quick so taking the time to translate the message to the Pakistani government. This mission, once all planned out, needed to be acted on and trying to get two sets of soldiers to do the mission would have taken to long. This also may have compromised the mission.

I understand the frustration with the lack of communication. But if was the difference between getting Bin Laden or not I think that all the people of Pakistan,even the government could forgive the U.S.

If you would like to want to see a newscast explaining how the mission happened click here.

New Meaning To Being a Gangster

In class this week we watch a TED Talk about this man named Ron Finley and his gardens. In the area in which he lives there is not a lot of options for healthy real food. The only option they have in this area are fast food and gas station junk food, and this was not the way Ron Finley wanted to continue to live. So, he did something about it, and that to me is admirable because he did not just complain and continue live in a way he did not want to he did something about it. What he was start growing a small garden on the grassy area next to the sidewalk, but the community did like this so they got the city officials to get him to remove it. But Finley did not stop there, he then started growing these gardens in the empty lots in the area. Majority of the other locals that felt the same as Finley  started to help him and they all start to grow these garden everywhere they could, they call themselves Green Grounds. And Green Grounds has provided a place for people to get real healthy food that they need. They also have a program where at risk teens come a learn to garden and how to help their community instead of hurt it. Finley has also stated that because of this they are redefining the meaning of the word gangster. That means instead that if you are not a gardener and a shovel in your hand you are not a gangster. Finley is giving people that live in a poor area a chance to eat healthily and help their community.

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Visit their website here.

Reviewing I am Malala (So Far)

In class we are reading I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, she is the young woman who was shot by the Taliban on the way to school because she stood up for the rights for other females to go to school. This book very well written, inspiring, and the story is a great look into the world of the lives of the people and culture of Pakistan. So far we have learn how the Taliban slowly has made its presents known and is implementing its ideals into the minds of the Pakistani people. But even with all the destruction that is happening around her and her family Malala still stays consistent with her studies and determination that something will stand up to the Taliban. Little did she know the her and her father would somewhat become the face of the movement in their village of Swat. Learning about there culture and religion is very interesting as well, because with the exception of some of the advancements, our culture is not that much different then their culture. People love to watch TV and listen to music, and  Malala even mentions talking about the Twilight series with her friends. And as far as there religious practice, they pray and believe in God which is the same thing as Christianity, the only difference the way it is expressed. Is this the way you feel, or do you feel different? If so, how?

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