Fashion, Propulsion Hi Sneakers By Android Homme

Below, I've included some images of Propulsion Hi Sneakers by Android Homme.

These great sneakers bridge the gap between the nostalgia of the Hip-Hop cultures of the United States (--specifically of New York City), England and France that defined the 80s and early 90s with the present day and near future.

What's more, they've been recently worn by and consequently popularized by such recording artists as Kid Cudi, Drake and the New Boyz.

These sneakers are eye-catching based on the reflective quality of the composite material used to construct them alone.

From a distance these shoes seem like regular high top sneakers , but upon closer inspection they feature an intricate design, comprising of both a velcro strap and a zipper-based compartment/pocket.

More information on Propulsion Hi Sneakers and Android Homme can be found at www.androidhomme.com

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Propulsion Hi Sneakers By Android Homme
Propulsion Hi Sneakers By Android Homme
Propulsion Hi Sneakers By Android Homme
Propulsion Hi Sneakers By Android Homme

The "Fallen Princesses" Series By Photographer, Dina Goldstein

I recently came across a great series of photographs produced by Vancouver-based professional photographer, Dina Goldstein entitled the "Fallen Princesses".

When I first viewed this series I thought the images were hilarious, ironic, paradoxical and well-executed (at a technical level).

The "Fallen Princesses" places female protagonists from various well-known (Western) fairy tales in modern scenarios.

In this way, the princesses depicted in each scenario of the "Fallen Princesses" are placed in a conflict between current issues relating to the seemingly negative aspects of the human experience and the wholesomeness that's often associated with fairy tale princesses.

The "Fallen Princesses" series were inspired by the photographer's observation of her young daughter's fascination with fairy tales, princesses and so on.

What's more, Goldstein did research on many of the Brothers Grimm's original stories and discovered that many of [them] evolved from very dark and almost morbid origins--origins which were later altered by major corporations in the Western world, such as Disney.

As a result of her research on the Brothers Grimm's work and other fairy tales, the photographer began to imagine princesses depicted in Disney films, such as "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs" and "Beauty And The Beast" in juxtaposition to real issues effecting the women of today--especially in North America.

Below, I've included a few pieces from the "Fallen Princesses" series and more information on Dina Goldstein, the "Fallen Princesses" and the rest of the artist's work can be found via the following URLs:

www.dinagoldstein.com

www.fallenprincesses.com

www.jpgmag.com/stories/11918

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

"Snowy" By Photographer, Dina Goldstein From The "Fallen Princesses" Series
"Snowy" By Photographer, Dina Goldstein From The "Fallen Princesses" Series
"Jasmine" By Photographer, Dina Goldstein From The "Fallen Princesses" Series
"Jasmine" By Photographer, Dina Goldstein From The "Fallen Princesses" Series
"Belle" By Photographer, Dina Goldstein From The "Fallen Princesses" Series
"Belle" By Photographer, Dina Goldstein From The "Fallen Princesses" Series

Social Campaign, "Uncover Ostomy"

Jessica Grossman--an undergraduate media student at my former university--the University of Western Ontario, has recently launched a great medical and health-related social campaign entitled "Uncover Ostomy", which educates the public on the social issue behind life with an ostomy.

In addition to being very beautiful, Jessica is incredibly brave to launch a campaign of this nature, including images of her and her ostomy.

"Uncover Ostomy"  will undoubtedly motivate other individuals in North America and abroad who are living with an ostomy or another medical condition that has been stigmatized through social conditioning, to start campaigns and programs of their own that will end irrational fears of this nature and will also contribute to the end of xenophobia in general.

Below, I've included the official press release for the "Uncover Ostomy" campaign, as well as more information on Jessica (as described by the "Uncover Ostomy" campaign).

"Jessica Grossman, Age 20, Uncovers Ostomy for World Ostomy Day

Toronto, Ontario, SOCIAL MEDIA ADVISORY, October/1/2009 - Toronto-based actor and model, 20-year-old Jessica Grossman, kicks off the Uncover Ostomy public awareness campaign on World Ostomy Day, October 3, 2009. Uncover Ostomy is a provocative look at a hidden issue-the social stigma of living life with an ostomy.

"World Ostomy Day is a day we recognize the importance of ostomy surgeries as life-quality improvements for people suffering through terrible illnesses," said Jessica. "I've had my ostomy for six years and every day I am thankful for how healthy I feel because of it. World Ostomy Day is the perfect time to show this to Canadians."

Many ostomy patients, especially those who have had recent surgery, are reluctant to talk about the changes made to their body. Living in a society that shuns body waste discussion, ostomy patients often feel alone. Quality of life suffers as ostomy patients may be reluctant to participate in recreational activities they previously enjoyed for fear of adverse social reactions. Estimates suggest 50,000 Canadians are living with an ostomy, although the true number remains unknown.

In the Uncover Ostomy campaign, Jessica exposes what may be beneath the clothes of 1 out of every 700 Canadians. Jessica partnered with the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS) to create UncoverOstomy.com, a website serving as the hub for an ongoing social media discussion about ostomy related issues. A long-time performer despite a lengthy battle with Crohn's disease, being in front of a camera was natural for Jessica.

"Most of my friends and family are using Facebook and other social networking sites to communicate with one another these days. We decided to give them something really unique to discuss," Jessica explains. "We took some barely dressed photos with my bag completely visible. When people see these images they're going to be really surprised. I don't know if anyone has ever shown the ostomy in this kind of light before. A lot of people think of ostomy as an old person's problem. It's not."

"When Jessica approached us a year ago with her vision for this project we felt an instant fit with what IDEAS is all about," said John O'Shaughnessy, IDEAS board president. "Our programs raise awareness and educate people about intestinal diseases and the issues patients' face. A lot of people have ostomies because of intestinal diseases. We want to help Jessica uncover the ostomy and help frame a positive public discussion aimed at eliminating social stigma surrounding the ostomy."

Visitors to UncoverOstomy.com are encouraged to share the site's content with their online networks and make donations to IDEAS for awareness projects.

"It's a 10 plus 10 ask," Jessica explained. "Donate $10 to IDEAS and share the website with 10 friends and ask them to do the same. If 10,000 people in Canada do this, we'll raise $100,000. More importantly, we'll educate as many Canadians as possible about the ostomy and why having one can be really good for people suffering through terrible illnesses."

"About Jessica Grossman: Jessica is a 20 year old University of Western Ontario media studies student, an actor and a model. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 9, Jessica made the decision to have her diseased colon removed at age 13 and undergo ileostomy surgery. Professional studio photographs of Jessica, including her ostomy, are available for media reprint on request.

About Ostomy: Ostomies are a category of diversionary surgeries. There are three major types: a colostomy is made from the large intestine (colon); an ileostomy is made from the small intestine (ileum); and a urostomy is a diversion of the urinary tract. The most common reasons for ostomy surgery include inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, birth defects and trauma.

About IDEAS: The Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society is a Canadian non-profit organization with chapters in Vancouver, BC and Windsor, ON. The society’s mission is to eliminate intestinal disease and ostomy related stigma. Their website serves as an educational resource and their programs aim to enhance life-quality for children and youth suffering from Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other digestive illnesses."

A video introduction (by Jessica) to the "Uncover Ostomy" campaign has been featured below more information on the "Uncover Ostomy" campaign is available through the following URLs:

www.uncoverostomy.com

www.weneedideas.com

www.facebook.com/uncoverostomy

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

A Portrait of Model, Jessica Grossman For the "Uncover Ostomy" Campaign
A Portrait of Model, Jessica Grossman For the "Uncover Ostomy" Campaign By Photographer, Amber Hughes
A Portrait of Model, Jessica Grossman For the "Uncover Ostomy" Campaign
A Portrait of Model, Jessica Grossman For the "Uncover Ostomy" Campaign By Photographer, Amber Hughes

Recording Artist, Eminem's Exclusion From "MTV’s Top 10 Hottest MCs In The Game" List

Recently, a panel of experts known as "the Hip-Hop Brain Trust", representing MTV voted on "the Top 10 Hottest MCs In The Game".

In other words, they voted on and created a list of the ten most prominent recording artists in Hip-Hop today--as of fall 2009.

The list also took into consideration online votes and comments made by Hip-Hop enthusiasts around the world, via the MTV website.

With that being said, after the list was finalized and announced to the public, the list's accuracy came into question by Hip-Hop critics on a global scale, due to the absence of recording artist, Eminem on the aforementioned list.

Since 1999, Eminem has been a staple in Hip-Hop  and he's been recognizable not only for his lyrical prowess but also for the controversial subject matter that defines his music.

What's more, Eminem is by far, one of the most commercially successful Hip-Hop artists of the musical genre, since it first came into being.

He also single-handedly abolished the notion of a racial prerequisite for Hip-Hop music and Hip-Hop culture in general, on a wider scale than any other Hip-Hop recording artist before him.

His rise to fame was perpetuated by the most successful and arguably the most accurate "talent scout" in Hip-Hop history--Dr. Dre.

What's more, the only recording artist on "MTV’s Top 10 Hottest MCs In The Game" whose lyrical dexterity can be compared to Eminem's is Jay-Z--the number 1 "Hottest MC In The Game", and Eminem has already demonstrated his lyrical parallels to, if not superiority over Jay-Z through the Jay-Z single "Renegades", wherein Eminem was a featured artist.

Whether he's recently released an album or not, Eminem is always highly respected by Hip-Hop lyricists, Hip-Hop enthusiasts and all those individuals that define the commercial and corporate world of Hip-Hop alike.

At any given point in time, between the year 1999 and the present day, Eminem has been one of the "Hottest MCs In The Game" and for him to be excluded from "MTV’s Top 10 Hottest MCs In The Game" list this year, especially after releasing the most commercially successful Hip-Hop album of 2009--"Relapse", makes little to no sense.

MTV's justification for Eminem's exclusion from their "MTV’s Top 10 Hottest MCs In The Game" list can be read at the following URL: www.mtv.com/news/articles/1623360/20091008/eminem.jhtml and below I've quoted a Rap Basement article entitled "MTV Tries To Explain And Fails (Jay-Z Agrees)" in response to MTV's justification for Eminem's exclusion from one of the most highly publicized lists of commercial Hip-Hop recording artists to date.

"It looks like MTV decided to respond to our article on Eminem not making their list [view here].

Since posting their "list", MTV has been getting blasted for not including Eminem, even from their #1 Hottest MC, Jay-Z. "Eminem?!?! I think you do the credibility of this list a disservice if you don’t thoroughly explain his omission. As of this second he has the highest selling rap album of the year and a scene stealing verse on the best ‘posse’ cut of the year," Jay wrote to MTV.

So once again, we will use quotes from MTV to show how they not only were wrong but constantly contridict themselves.

In their response, they said the list was based on...

Mic Skills - Did they not hear "Underground" from ''Relapse", which was one of his most lyrical and hungry songs in years? Let's not forget his diss towards Mariah Carey "The Warning" , which is arguably his hardest diss in years, even if it was to some of the softest peops in the game (Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon).

Buzz - Anytime there is a single word mentioning Eminem as a feature or a producer, people come storming in requesting and commenting. Even with false rumors like the whole "Eminem Gets Fat" thing, the stories and headlines start buzzing immedietly.

Commercial Success (Sales And Airplay) – Eminem had the highest selling first week this year along with going platinum in 2 weeks. "Relapse" was #1 in sales in over 14 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Polish, Taiwan, UK, US) not to mention the first single from "Relapse", "Crack A Bottle" was #1 on the charts in both the U.S and Canada.

Business Ventures – Anyone ever heard of Shade 45 (the highest rated Hip-Hop channel on satellite radio) or Shady Records (which happens to include 50 Cent--one of their hottest MCs)?

Web Presence – No other Rap artist has as many fan and sites dedicated to them. It doesn't matter what music site you go to you will see Eminem somewhere.

Impact – Last year's "Hottest MC" was Lil Wayne. Eminem has had such an impact on Lil Wayne that numerous times throughout the year he's begged for a collaboration with Slim Shady. Eventually the two got together on "Forever" (featuring Drake and Kanye West as well).  So from last year's hottest MC, to one of the newest MCs in the game--Asher Roth, artists have expressed huge thanks to Eminem for his impact and contributions to Hip Hop even giving them the hope of becoming a rapper one day.

Achievements of the Moment--Not An Entire Career - what about winning MTV's own "Best Hip Hop Video" award?

The only real reason that MTV could use for not including Eminem took himself out of of the public eye after releasing his "Relapse" album. That means that appearing on both MTV's "Movie Awards" and "Video Music Awards" plus taking over Jimmy Kimmel Live, appearing on BET's shows, multiple interviews on his own Shade45 and even releasing three music videos, doesn't factor in.

MTV then says timing was an issue stating... "If the Brain Trust had compiled the Hottest list back in May, there's no doubt Eminem would have made the top 10," yet they included Kanye West and Lil Wayne who both had albums come out before Eminem, not to mention including Drake, who doesn't even have an album out yet."

More information on the controversy behind "MTV’s Top 10 Hottest MCs In The Game" and Eminem in general can be found via the following URLs:

www.mtv.com/specials/hottest/mc/index.jhtml

www.mtv.com/news/articles/1623360/20091008/eminem.jhtml

www.rapbasement.com/eminem/100509-mtv-gets-their-hottest-mcs-list-wrong-leaves-out-eminem.html

www.eminem.com

www.myspace.com/eminem

www.facebook.com/eminem

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Portrait of Recording Artist, Eminem By David La Chapelle
Portrait of Recording Artist, Eminem By Photographer, David La Chapelle

Interview, Matisse of Keys N Krates By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

Recently, I had a chance to interview Toronto-based R&B, Soul and Live Electronic recording artist, Matisse for Project T Dot--my black and white photographic essay on all the people, places and events that are definitive of Toronto's entire Hip-Hop community/scene.

Matisse's unyielding passion for music has garnered him considerable success in the Greater Toronto Area, as a solo recording artist within the realms of Soul and R&B.

What's more, he is now considered one of the founders of the ground-breaking musical phenomena that is live remixing, as a member of Keys N Krates.

With his inherent musical talent and a new found predisposition to combining various musical genres as part of Keys N Krates, Matisse's upcoming solo projects will not only be eclectic, but will be of a quality that will demonstrate to what extent the artist has rapidly evolved as a musician, over the course of the last three years alone (and in general).

Equipped with a great deal of talent and experience, Matisse and Keys N Krates are two musical acts that will not soon be forgotten and whose fan bases and musical capacities have been expanding synergistically at a staggering rate.

Ajani:

You’ve been part of the Keys N Krates collective for about two years now, right?

Matisse:

Yeah. For about two years.

Ajani:

I know you’ve been producing music on your own, but at the same time you’ve been touring quite frequently with Keys N Krates.

So, how would you compare and contrast the original vision you had for yourself as a solo artist many years ago and the current state that you’re in, career-wise?

Matisse:

When I started off, I had a very narrow view of how I pictured my career would evolve.

I came up watching the different R&B singers doing their thing—the Ushers, the Joes and the Craig Davids, and that was kind of the path I figured I would take.

However, sooner than later I realized that path wasn’t necessarily for me, because I found that style of music was very limiting in terms of what I truly wanted to do.

I like to be involved in a variety of different things music-wise, and because of that, my career’s been fluctuating and zigzagging in a sense.

Keys N Krates was just another idea that came up. I have a problem sticking to one thing at a time and saying "no" to interesting projects.

When I was doing my solo stuff, I was always thinking that it would be really cool to work with DJs to some capacity.

Up until then, I had always been working with traditional musicians—like drummers, keyboard players and guitar players.

I had always thought that the turntables were such a dope instrument and I had always wanted to work with someone who was a strong DJ. But, I had no idea how to get into that world.

It turned out that Jr Flo—the other founder of Keys N Krates, was in a similar boat. He was a DJ who had always wanted to work with traditional musicians.

We had a mutual friend that put us in touch with each other and we began talking about this idea of fusing live instruments with turntables and sampling.

At first, it was just myself and Jr Flo who began jamming out and experimenting with the initial idea of Keys N Krates.

Soon after, I asked my boy, Adam Tune, who I had been jamming with a lot in bands for years (prior to Keys N Krates), to check out and join in what we were doing.

The three of us began jamming out a lot and the music and the ideas that we were coming up with made us really passionate about the initial idea of Keys-N-Krates.

We basically locked ourselves in a room for six months and came up with about ten or eleven live remix jams.

From there, we started performing and it’s evolved to what you see now.

We would like to think that this is the third or fourth version of Keys N Krates, because every six or seven months we kind of leap into a new level of understanding of what it is that we’re doing as a band and we tend to build on that understanding and add new elements to [it].

Did I ever think that I would be in a band like this and this is how I would become known? No.

But, I always knew that if I always stuck to things that I liked, that eventually some of my projects would gain some attention.

It’s been amazing and very rewarding that Keys N Krates has caught on as quick and as hot as it has. And now, all these things that I’ve wanted to do musically and as a solo artist, I’m now able to do, because of this door being opened for Keys N Krates.

Again, I’m now working on solo music for myself on the side.  I’m getting to work with a wide-array of different musicians from the Hip-Hop world, from the Soul world, from the Electronic world and so on.

I really couldn’t be happier than I am right now, especially if I’m able to get some solo music out again and really capitalize on what I’ve been seeing and experiencing with Keys N Krates.

Ajani:

That’s really interesting.

But, what were some of the challenges that you experienced during that first six-month period, when you were in the trial stages—experimenting and trying to figure out what the sound of Keys N Krates would be?

It couldn't have been easy, to have three musicians from two different worlds coming together and attempting to come up with a sound that’s uniform, unique and that appeals to potential fans.

Matisse:

The hardest part of the beginning was just initially trying to figure out how we were going to communicate.

It was almost like you and I trying to sit here and come up with our own language.

Like, if we were to say, “Let’s come up with our own language outside of French, English, Spanish and all other existing languages.”

During the first six months, there was a lot of banging heads in regards to how to make Keys N Krates work, but then we would have breakthroughs.

Communication-wise, one of the first things we had to figure out was how we were going to communicate on stage—during live performances.

Flo came from one kind of world as a DJ and Tune and myself came from a different world--the world of traditional music. So, just for us to be on the same page, as to what a Keys N Krates track would actually be was very challenging.

As well, we had no idea what live remixing was. No one had really done it before. So, we had to figure out what the rules of live remixing were, break them to create new rules.

We had to figure out how to make this work, as a three-piece band. Could it be done? And would people be able to understand it?

We had to figure out whether we would communicate through text or if performances would be executed through memorization from practice.

I think with anything, when you have an idea; you just have to figure out how to bridge all the elements that you have in mind together. And once you get past the initial blueprint—the starting point, it gets easier and easier.

Ajani:

As a solo artist, what is it that you brought to the table, as far as Keys N Krates are concerned?

And now that you’re going back to writing and producing your own music, what are the skill sets and new realizations that you’ve acquired through being involved in Keys N Krates, that you can now apply to your solo act?

Matisse:

Those are good questions.

What I first brought to Keys N Krates, since I was an artist that had worked with so many different kinds of musicians, I felt that I had a strong sense of arrangements and melodies. That’s what comes naturally to me.

So, my responsibility in the band has been to come up with the melody side of things.

I usually take these samples that Flo brings to the table and flip them in such a way that they’re different from what you’re use to hearing.

Also, I’ve been performing for so many years, that I bring that element into our live performances.

I basically try to put on a good live performance behind my instrument, so you’re not just watching a keyboard player, but a musical story being told.

Ajani:

I did notice when I was shooting one of your earliest performances, that everyone in the band put a lot of physical energy into performing and playing their instruments.

Matisse:

Myself, Flo and Tune do take the performing aspect of our act very seriously. So, all of us have been attempting to develop personalities behind the instruments.

There is no live singer in the band.

If we wanted to, we could go on stage and just jam out in a straightforward way. But, all of us are very adamant students of live music and performing, so I’ve always done on stage what I’ve wanted other bands (that I’ve observed) to do during their live performances.

If you’re going to pay to see me play, I want you to see the music, not just hear the music.

So, I try to put on a visual show for you in addition to playing the music. And I take a lot of pride when people notice that we put on a very energetic show.

I think that Tune is one of the craziest live drummers around. He just has so much charisma when he’s behind a drum set.

And to go back to your question, I think I’ve brought a sense of melody, a sense of arrangement and my live performance experience to the band.

Now, what I’ve taken from the band has been priceless.

I’ve learned a lot working with Jr Flo, because his mind and the way he looks at music is very different from the way I think about music and look at music.

He’s a very strong and opinionated guy, so his way of looking at music has opened a lot of doors for me.

His approach towards music from a DJs mindset is a different one from mine, as a piano player. I think the differences compliment each other and help strengthen the band as a whole.

He uses samples and cuts tracks up in a way that I couldn’t even comprehend in the beginning of Key N Krates.

From that, I’ve been open to so many new elements and influences as a solo musician, which I can now bring back to R&B and Soul.

I can now incorporate so many different new aspects of music and think outside of what was once my comfort zone.

R&B is known as a difficult genre to switch up--people want their love songs and soul songs.

So, now I’m trying to find a way of being a Soul and R&B singer, while also being as innovative as Keys N Krates has allowed me to be.

I’m attempting to reach out to and collaborate with singers of different genres of music to create music that might make you think, “Look at that Matisse guy. He’s really stepped out and he’s different now.”

I don’t care if it gets on the radio, I just want people to say that “Matisse takes his music seriously, he’s left of center and he’s passionate about what he does.”

Ajani:

That’s dope.

What can Keys N Krates fans and potential Keys N Krates fans expect from the band in the coming months?

Matisse:

Right now we’re part of a 21-day tour across Canada called the Red Bull “Masters of the Remix” tour. It’s us, a great band from Vancouver called Love & Electrik and the Eh Team DJs are on tour with us, as well.

So, we’ve already started a bit of it.

I’ve had a few days off, but we’ll be back on the road again tomorrow.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Halifax, Friday we’ll be in Kingston, Saturday on a totally unrelated gig, Keys N Krates will be in Vegas, playing at the Hard Rock, which will be crazy and then we have to fly back to London, Ontario to resume the tour.

After that, we’ll be in St. Catherines the following day.

So, we have five shows in a row this weekend.

What you can expect from the tour is that all the bands that are involved are very energetic, very left of center and we’re all very passionate about what we do.

We’re also all very party-based musicians, DJs and bands.

So, you’re going to be dancing a lot, you’re going to be hearing a lot of cool new remixes and I guarantee you’ll have a very good time if you come out to any of our shows.

Ajani:

Cool.

Thanks for speaking to me and I look forward to seeing you guys perform live, because I haven’t seen [it] in a while.

Matisse:

Our Toronto stop is this Thursday, October 8th at Circa. So, anyone whose reading this, come on out!

Below, I've included some of my earliest photographic work of Matisse, a few of videos documenting Keys N Krates performing live, a video documenting one of Matisse's solo performances and finally, the music video for the first single from Matisse's "Love Life N Lust" EP--"Round N Round".

Matisse's "Love N Lust" EP can be downloaded from the following URL: www.megaupload.com/?d=6EC0ET84 and you can learn more about Matisse as a solo recording artist and also as a member of Keys N Krates via the following URLs:

www.myspace.com/ineedmymatisse

www.keysnkrates.com

www.myspace.com/keysnkrates

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Portrait of Recording Artist, Matisse By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

The Potential Health Benefits Of Flax Seed

Flax seed, which was first domesticated and used commercially in Mesopotamia, has recently become popularized (once again) in the developed world of the present day, due to mounting evidence in regards to its potential health benefits.

Flax seed contains soluble fiber, which essentially binds to cholesterol in the stomach, preventing it from being absorbed by the body.

The soluble fiber found in flax seed seems to also be beneficial towards the alleviation of constipation.

According to researchers, flax seed also helps lessen ones predisposition to developing inflammation (in general) and inflammatory conditions such as hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.

Because of this anti-inflammatory property, researchers have also found evidence that a table spoon of flax seed a day seems to help prevent or lower one's risks of experiencing strokes, heart attacks and heart disease(s).

Flax seed contains Omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid, which are now regarded as being essential to human health and also as being efficient antioxidants by many health care professionals.

Furthermore, University of Toronto medical researchers recently discovered that breast cancer patients who ate muffins which contained flax seed had slower-progressing breast cancers in comparison to those breast cancer patients whose diets did not include flax seed.

In addition to its anti-oxidative properties, researchers have found that flax seed may possess a low glycemic index , thereby rendering [it] beneficial for those with diabetes or with family histories of diabetes.

Finally, Professor Joe Schwarz of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society has described flax seed as having “its benefits, but it is not a miracle food. The trick is to add flax to an already healthy diet.”

It's important to note that flax seed oil is different from (whole) flax seed. The reason for this is because flax seed oil is a concentrated source of alpha-linolenic acid, which may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer (in men).

More information on flax seed and its potential health benefits can be found via these URLs:

www.flaxcouncil.ca

lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/flaxinfo.htm

www.cbc.ca/health/story/2005/11/04/flax-study051101.html

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Flax Seed
Flax Seed

Documentary, "E-@thletes"

I recently watched the documentary"E-@thletes" by Jonathan Boal and Artem Agafonov, which takes the viewer into the lives and careers of professionals (video) gamers and their managers who are specifically involved in the competitive online multiplayer game, "Counter-Strike".

As an individual who use to play a number of (video) games on a regular basis (including "Counter-Strike") when I was younger, I was astounded to find out through "E-@thletes" to what extent "Counter-Strike" and the (video) gaming world in general had evolved over the course of the last decade alone.

Presently, the (video) gaming market generates a revenue of approximately 50 Billion (USD) globally and many economists believe that the (video) gaming market, which includes competitive online multiplayer games such as "Counter-Strike" may reach a value of 70 Billion (USD) (or more) by the year 2012.

In fact, video games are presently more profitable than major motion pictures, in the Western world.

In "E-@thletes", not only is the profitability of the (video) gaming world made more than apparent, but the parallels between (video) games such as "Counter-Strike" at a professional level and professional sports such as football, basketball and so on are also presented.

In fact, the evolution of the video game, described in "E-@thletes" causes one to wonder whether competitive (video) games such as "Counter-Strike" or the more elaborate equivalents of "Counter-Strike" which will be available over the course of the next decade will replace professional sports, in terms of entertainment value, syndication/press and general popularity.

Professional "Counter-Strike" players are sponsored by major corporations, are involved in highly-syndicated tournaments, have fans on a global scale and enjoy many of the perks that professional athletes often enjoy.

It's also interesting to note that many of the managers and players that are documented in "E-@thletes" were once competitive athletes at the secondary school level and/or during university/college.

Feel free to view "E-@thletes" below.

More information on the documentary and on "Counter-Strike" can be found through the following URLs:

www.eathletesmovie.com

www.magnuscaput.com

store.steampowered.com/app/240

http://www.counter-strike.com

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

"E-@thletes" Promotional Banner
"E-@thletes" Promotional Banner


Recording Artist, Kayna Samet

I recently discovered French R&B/Soul recording artist, Kayna Samet and her music.

When I first heard [her] music, I realized I was experiencing one of those rare occasions when one almost instantly falls in love with a specific work of art or a specific artist's capacities to create their artwork.

As an artist, I personally dislike being compared to other artists and I certainly would like to avoid comparing one artist to an other.

I believe that true artists, regardless of where they've drawn their inspiration(s) from are intrinsically unique. In fact, all people, whether they're artists or not are intrinsically unique, based on genetics and individual life experiences alone. But, I believe that artists are definitely the strongest and most expressive manifestations of the human experience, human uniqueness and individuality.

There can only be one Barbara Streisand, there can only be one Spike Lee, there can only be one Jack Nicholson, there can only be one Salvador Dali, there can only be one Sammy Davis Jr. and so on and in much the same way, there is only one Kayna Samet.

However, it's difficult for me to not draw a likeness between Kayna Samet and American Soul/R&B vocalist, Alicia Keys, not only in terms of their music, but also in terms of their physical appearances (and also in terms of their upbringings in single-parent households in urban environments in addition to other similarities).

Samet, who is of Algerian origin, was born in the slums of Nice, France on September 27, 1980.

It was during her childhood, while living between divorced parents, that she first discovered her love of music through listening to the funk records that her older brother would listen to. Samet was also influenced by French singers such as Edith Piaf and Léo Ferré and by the age of ten she was a member of her elementary school's choir.

By the age of fifteen Samet decided to pursue the world of music more seriously and aggressively and she began collaborating with local Hip-Hop MCs and R&B/Soul singers in the Nice area. Through various gigs and odd jobs, she was able to sustain herself financially until she was able to acquire her first major recording deal in 2004, through Voix Publik.

Her debut album, "Entre Deux Je", which in English means "Between Two I's" was released in 2005 through a joint venture and distribution deal involving Voix Publik, Six-O-Nine and Virgin Records.

I personally speak French, but whether or not you can speak the French language, Samet's voice trascends the realm of semantics and  is unique, powerful and soulful.

I look forward to taking in "Entre Deux Je" and below I've included the music video for one of the first singles released from Samet's debut album, entitled "Ecorchée Vive"

To learn more about Kayna Samet, whose music is now distributed by and promoted through Universal Music Group (France), feel free to visit the following URLs:

kaynasamet.artistes.universalmusic.fr

www.last.fm/music/Kayna+Samet

www.myspace.com/kaynasametspace06

www.facebook.com/pages/Kayna-Samet/28649832475?v=wall&ref=ts

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Kayna Samet Entre Deux Je Album Cover Art Work
"Entre Deux Je" By Recording Artist, Kayna Samet (Album Cover Art Work)

Preview To Documentation of the 2009 Manifesto Festival By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of documenting (through still images) the third annual Manifesto Festival, produced by the Toronto-based urban arts organization, the Manifesto.

Select images from my documentation of the festival will be part of my black and white photographic documentary/photographic essay on Toronto’s entire Hip-Hop community--Project T Dot, as well.

The first two Manifesto Festivals were quite well organized and the performances were great, as well.

With that being said, what struck me the most about this year’s festival was that the organization was somehow able to improve on the orderliness and the quality of artistic talent that was apparent during the first two Manifesto Festivals.

In addition to the aforementioned improvements, the organization’s documentation team (which included myself) was far more experienced and communicated far more efficiently (internally) in comparison to previous festivals.

Because, of Che (Kothari)--the Executive Director of the Manifesto’s background in photography and videography, I had no doubt that the documentation of this year’s festival would be excellent, but I was definitely impressed by the improvements that had been made (in comparison to the previous two festivals) in terms of documentation and generally speaking, as well.

Through documenting Toronto’s entire Hip-Hop community as part of Project T Dot, I believe that Toronto’s urban arts community is so diverse, encompasses so many different cultures and artistically complex individuals that it’s impossible to accurately summarize [it] through a single event, piece of art work or piece of documentation (though I intend on coming as close as feasibly possible to such a summary, through Project T Dot).

However, I believe that if it were possible to completely manifest the energy, multiplicity and true essence of Toronto’s urban arts community in a single event, the Manifesto Festival would be that event.

I would like to congratulate everyone who was involved in this year’s Manifesto Festival, the first two Manifesto Festivals and the Manifesto as an organization on a job well done.

Because of the Manifesto, as an organization, Toronto's urban arts community is definitely gravitating towards becoming one of the most innovative, organized and interactive urban arts communities in the world.

Below, I’ve included a preview of my photographic documentation of the 2009 Manifesto Festival.

Feel free to learn more about the Manifesto (and consequently the Manifesto Festival) through the following URLs, as well:

www.themanifesto.ca

www.facebook.com/manifestofestival

www.twitter.com/manifesto_fest

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Recording Artist, Jahvon By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Recording Artist, Jahvon By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions
Breakdancer By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Breakdancer By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

Recording Artists, Tona And Ayah By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Recording Artists, Tona And Ayah By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

Breakdancer By Ajani Charles of a    j    a    n    i        photography: digital image solutions
Breakdancer By Ajani Charles of a j a n i photography: digital image solutions


Filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki is Japanese-based filmmaker known for writing and directing some of the most celebrated films in the world of Japanese animation. He's also known as one of the co-founders of Studio Ghibli--one of the most prominent film production companies in Asia (and certainly in Japan).

Miyazaki became well-known by the Western film community--especially within the realm of animation, after the production and consequent release of "Princess Mononoke".

"Princess Mononoke" was released in North America and Europe through Miramax and prior to being released in the West, it was the highest-grossing film in Japan.

"Spirited Away" was another great film written and directed by Miyazaki which topped the Japanese box office and what's more, it became the first anime to ever win an Academy Award.

Miyazaki has won the Animage Anime Grand Prix numerous times and he is often regarded as the Walt Disney of Japan.

In addition his many awards, in 2006 TIME Magazine considered him to be one of the most influential individuals of Asian-descent (of the last 60 years) and in 2005 he was added to their list of the 10 most influential people in the world.

The first time I watched "Spirited Away" not only did I find the story and the animation style captivating, but I found the film as a whole, in terms of its continuity, the writing style employed by Miyazaki and the character development within the film to be not unlike a major motion picture directed in Hollywood, involving human actors.

Miyazaki's anime films possess a quality that causes the viewer to seemingly forget that his films are animated, regardless of how surreal they may be.

The realism of Miyazaki's films are a testament to the meticulousness of his film production methods--especially during the infancy of his career as a film director.

Until recently, the writer and film director would oversee the production and editing of literally each individual frame of all his films.

However, due to the physical and psychological stress which this would have on Miyazaki he's given the aforementioned task to carefully hired editors (which he now oversees).

His stories almost always involve the topic of love and other themes that are prevalent in his films more often than not include humanity's strain on and overconsumption of the natural environment, humanity's relationship with technology and the concept of adopting pacificism within a violent environment or within violent times.

"Spirited Away" is one of my favorite stories and  I highly recommend Hayao Miyazaki's films to anyone interested in animation or strong story telling in general.

More information on Hayao Miyazaki can be found at the following URLs:

www.imdb.com/name/nm0594503

www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki

www.ghibliworld.com

Ajani Charles

a j a n i photography: digital image solutions

www.ajani.ca
www.ajaniphotography.com

Animated Portrait of Hayao Miyazaki
Animated Portrait of Hayao Miyazaki
Portrait of Hayao Miyazaki
Portrait of Hayao Miyazaki
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