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Monday, October 09, 2006

Film at Watkins Art Institute reveals tragedy of “Invisible Children”

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As I was hanging out at the Watkins Art Institute on MetroCenter Blvd. last Saturday, I spotted a flyer hanging on the wall called Invisible Children. The graphic on the flyer was the most compelling thing about the piece. It shows a photo of a little black boy wearing camouflage and holding a huge gun. (I don't know much about guns, so I don't know what kind it is.) I tried to imagine where this child was supposed to be—was it Los Angeles, New York, Nashville?

I immediately thought of South Central LA when I saw the boy's picture because in 1992, very shortly after the Riots in L.A., I went to visit my friend Cheryl Noel. She took me to a play on Theatre Row and while waiting for the play to start, we saw an intriguing poster hanging on the wall that featured a young black boy holding some sort of weapon. It wasn't a gun, but some huge stick. He was obviously ready for some sort of battle. I don't know if the poster was advertising a photo exhibit, play, or film. The poster read, Flatfield Presents: "12th & Central: Through the Eyes of the Children."

But this disturbing picture on the Watkins poster was an advertisement for a film called, Invisible Children. The child featured on the poster is a SOLDIER in the the Northan Ugandan civil war. Evidently, children as young as 8 are being kidnapped from their homes by a rebel group called the
Lord’s Resistance Army.
The abducted children are forced to fight, but some do escape and hide in fear. The film features four young boys, Jacob, Thomas, Tony, and Boni who live in terror of possible abduction.

The filmmakers, Jason Russell and Bobby Bailey, were so affected by this tragedy that they formed a nonprofit organization, Invisible Children, to help give aid to these Ugandan children.

If you get a chance, check out this powerful film and tell me what you think. Showtime is Friday, October 13 at 7 p.m. in Room 608. It’s sponsored by the Progressive Artists League and it's free!

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