The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. The renovation of the 113 year old museum in 2004 brought a bold modern glass entranceway that juxtaposes the classic beauty of the robust building. This is a short film on the study of the space.
My name is Alex Fischer. I'm a photographer/filmmaker at Human Condition. Today I'm in Ruhengeri, Rwanda shooting video for a foundation called WWHPS (check out www.WWHPS.org - the site will be redesigned by us in a few weeks). WWHPS partners with health centers in rural areas to help make them run more efficiently so that they can be sustainable and even profitable.
I'm following them for two weeks, interviewing anyone I can and recording the Rwandan people and the place where they live. It's beautiful here. Everything is lush and green. Every bit of land is being farmed– even steep hillsides (and most of Rwanda is hills). There are five volcanoes less than an hour drive to our west. As you drive around, people wave and smile. Kids chase the cars (sometimes they dance). The temperature varies between 60F and 75F degrees and there are no mosquitoes due to the altitude. In short, its a nice place.
I spend most of my time at the health centers. There are two: Shingiro and Kabere. The Shingiro clinic teamed up with WWHPS in the spring of 2008 and has gone from one of the worst-rated clinics in its district to #1. Kabere is the next project.
As you can see below, I am usually equipped with an HD camcorder, a wireless mic, a shotgun mic and a monopod. I'm pretty noticeable here. I can't get far without attracting a crowd of little kids who yell, "Muzungo! Muzungo!" which means, "white person!"
Notable 'scenes' so far include:
THE NUTRITION PROGRAM: Every Thursday there is a nutrition program for "reds". Every Rwandan has a color and their color corresponds to how malnourished they are. Green is healthy, yellow is not so healthy and red means they are in bad shape. So the clinic has this program every Monday and Thursday for reds and they are taught how to cook and the basics of nutrition, then they eat.
AMERICAN DOCTORS TRAINING HEALTH CENTER STAFF: The CCHIPs team is accompanied by two American doctors–Orthopedic surgeons, to be exact. They are here for a week primarily to learn about Rwanda's needs, have meetings and make connections. Their goal is to figure out the needs in the Rwandan health care system and find a place where they can make a difference. It's going well. Today they had a meeting at the hospital and I walked around filming. I went from room to room, trying my best not to make the patients uncomfortable. I was more successful in that respect than I predicted. The most significant moment was in the room with newborns in the incubators. They weighed only about three or four pounds and they could fit in your hand. (Don't worry, I didn't put them in my hands.)
Another update and photos soon.
Friday morning Jan. 15th, our Alex Fischer left for Rwanda with Wyman World Wide Health Partners to shoot a documentary and produce fundraising materials about their work in Northern Rwanda renovating health clinics and developing a sustainable health care model. He will be there until the end of the month shooting, editing and preparing content for the final edit. We will put a up pic of him at work soon.
I was able to go sailing aboard the ship Clearwater on Halloween as she made her final voyage of the year up the Hudson River to undergo a massive hull reconstruction. I met captain Samantha Heyman at the fundraiser for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and she invited Human Condition to take a sail with her and her crew. Due to weather conditions and great winds she decided to sail early and I was the only one able to make it. It ended up as a great, warm and windy day as we ventured from the 79th Street boat basin in Manhattan, up under the George Washington Bridge to where I hopped off in Yonkers. Here is a short film of the journey.
"Clearwater was founded in 1969 by music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger. The organization began with the launch of sloop Clearwater—a majestic replica of the sloops that sailed the Hudson in the 18th and 19th centuries. The 106-foot-long tall ship was among the first vessels in the U.S. to conduct science-based environmental education aboard a sailing ship, virtually creating the template by which such programs are conducted around the world today." [Clearwater]
Shot by Peter R. Cut by Alex F. Music by Pete Seeger