New Leaf Yoga Foundation's Still We Rise Gala 2017

New Leaf Yoga Foundation is an amazing and impactful non-profit organization that I have recently partnered with, in addition to the Centre For Addiction And Mental Health, as cultivating the mental health and wellbeing of Torontonians, Canadians, and humanity are causes that are incredibly important to me.

If you are unfamiliar with New Leaf Yoga Foundation, it is a Canadian-based non-profit organization that develops and implements life-skills programming for youth, through yoga and mindfulness. The organization inspires and supports youth to tap into their inner strength and resources, so that they may cultivate seeds for peace in their lives and communities, and they have supported numerous youth within the city's underdeveloped communities, within the Canadian justice system, and elsewhere.

As such, I have offered my services as a photographer and cinematographer to New Leaf, pro bono, and I will also be collaborating with them as an ambassador, by sharing my story with the youth that they support and mentor.

Through my own experiences, through the myriad of challenges that I have faced over the course of my life, and through my observations of the challenges experienced by many other individuals (and organizations) around the world, I intimately understand the hardships and opportunities that anxiety, depression, other forms of mental illness, and childhood traumas can present in one's life. And it has taken me thousands of hours (and a lot of concentration) to process and transcend my own experiences of anxiety and depression.

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a j a n i photography: The Grand ‎Mosque of ‎Qatar

During my recent trip to the middle east, one of the most awesome sites that I visited was The Grand ‎Mosque of ‎Qatar, otherwise known as The Abdul Wahhab Mosque.

Located relatively close to Doha, Qatar's downtown core, The Grand Moque is the largest mosque in Qatar, and includes 90 domes, 18 entrances and can hold up to 30,000 people.

Built in 2013, it was named after the 18th century Islamic theologian and inaugurated by the Former Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Initially, I was overtaken by the mosque's extravagance and size, and I was impressed by the sheer volume of light fixtures and details within and surrounding its structure.

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Short Film: “Jetman Dubai: Young Feathers 4K" By XDubai

A professional pilot, Yves Rossy sought to move out of the cockpit in the continuous pursuit of flight through innovation and ingenuity to achieve mankind’s dream of engine-powered flight for humans.

Drawn initially to the world of free fall, he experimented with ways to increase his flight time and enhance his ability to select his trajectory, which introduced him to sky surfing and wing suit base jumping.

Still not satisfied, he developed his first real wing comprised of a rigid harness integrated into inflatable wing panels that he strapped to his back. The next step was towards maintaining and gaining altitude by improving efficiency with a rigid wing and adding propulsion. And thus, Jetman was born.

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Short Film: "Monolith: A Tribute To Stanley Kubrick" By Shaun Pitz

Stanley Kubrick is regarded by myself and many others as one of the greatest and most influential visionaries of all time.

Like myself, Kubrick began his career as a photographer (in New York City) and I have an immense amount of respect for his contributions to the art and film worlds.

Kubrick taught himself all aspects of directing films and production after graduating from high school, his earliest projects were created with shoestring budgets and he eventually experienced his first Hollywood breakthrough via the blockbuster, "Spartacus".

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Short Film: "Gravity Glue 2014" By Michael Grab

Michael Grab is an amazing visual artist that has been creating balanced rock sculptures for years and I recently came across his work this morning (via Sploid by Gizmodo).

His secret to balancing rocks in ways that seem to defy physics is a combination of dexterous hands, slow breathing,  immense amounts of patience and thousands of hours of practice.

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Documentary: "Ai Weiwei’s Appeal ¥15,220,910.50"

Ai Weiwei is an artist and political activist that I greatly admire, that I have the utmost respect for and that I have made a point of photographing one day, much sooner than later.

Not only is he a prolific and versatile visual artist that has excelled at expressing himself through every medium possible, not only is he at the forefront of the modern Chinese art movement, not only is his life story a work of art, but he has also successfully challenged the oppressive nature of China's government (and many other governments) through his poignant artwork.

"Ai Weiwei’s Appeal ¥15,220,910.50" was produced by the artist's studio and opens with Ai Weiwei’s mother at the Venice Biennial in the summer of 2013 examining Ai’s large "S.A.C.R.E.D. installation" portraying his 81 day imprisonment.

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Album: "The Blue Album" By JMSN

I first came across JMSN through hustleGRL and as I began listening to his recent "Blue Album" project, I instantly became a fan.

Initially, I had no choice but to regard him as a musical genius and I was and still am blown away by the Detroit native's production quality, lyricism, vocals and the fact that he directs his own music videos (which are awesome).

JMSN (real name Christian Berishaj) and his associates released the 14 track album on December 9th  and it's currently ranked third on Billboard's "Next Big Sound" chart.Read more