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THE PENDULUM

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2009 // PAGE 17

Performers let loose with no rules, expectations in talent showcase Angie Lovelace Reporter

No restrictions, no pressures — just performances. Strangers became friends on Feb. 26 when, in Dance Studio C in the Center for the Arts, Elon students came together to express their artistic talent. In a manner reminiscent of coffeehouse poetry nights, Elon artists took to the floor to perform. Music, poetry and visual arts came together at the event, titled “Dazed and Confused.” From a step show to a musical performance on the 10-string cuatro — the national instrument of Puerto Rico — the night was filled with a wide variety of talents. “In true hippie fashion, the outcome was what it was,” senior Elijah Martinez said. Martinez planned the event along with senior Anna Kimmel. Since most similar events do not allow people to perform in such a nonjudgmental environment, Martinez and Kimmel wanted students to have the freedom to do what they love without any expectations, and believed that “Dazed and Confused” would provide the opportunity. “This was really a night of selfexpression and celebration of how talented this school actually is, away from the confines of academia and in the watchful eyes of our peers, friends and rivals,” Martinez said. In the spirit of the show’s “gowith-the-flow” attitude, Martinez improvised when the multimedia screen would not set up. He and senior Matt Keffer held up a shower curtain for the projector’s image to display, and the shifting curtain gave the multimedia production more movement than was originally intended. Junior Laura Barnick sang “One Voice,” accompanied on guitar by junior Kevin Manship. Throughout the song she was intermittently joined by junior Lynnae Vana and sophomore Sabrina Bradley, and poster-sized note cards were provided so the audience

ANGIE LOVELACE | Staff Photographer

Senior Elijah Martinez, left, plays the guiro (scrape gourd) alongside junior Luis Sanchez on the Puerto Rican (5 double-course strings — 10 strings altogether). Martinez helped plan the event.

could join as well, bringing the group together as one. “It’s a way for students — whether they know each other or not — to come together and share their love of art in all its forms,” Barnick said. Sophomore Georgia Warner Freed took the stage and read a poem titled “Questions.” The poem, which she wrote when she was in 7th grade, urges people to not get carried away in seeking life’s answers. “I often have trouble forcing myself to be creative, and events like this help to give artists that extra push to create new artwork,” Freed said.

Closing the distance TH EATER REVIEW

Photojournalist presents African AIDS awareness art Lindsay Fendt Reporter

Some choose a career for money, some for a passionate love of the job and others, like Kristen Ashburn, for a profound sense of duty and desire for change. Ashburn, an accomplished photojournalist, spoke to an auditorium of students, professors and photographers at the University of North Carolina’s Photo Night on Tuesday about her project “Bloodline,” which focuses on the effects of AIDS in Africa. Ashburn created the project in spite of criticism that it had already been done. “I really felt with what I had been reading, and with the statistics that are out there, that if I didn’t go, and I didn’t work on it in my lifetime and cover this crisis, which I consider to be one of the largest crises of our time, then I won’t have done my job,” Ashburn said, while her photos flooded the screen behind her. “Bloodline” covers various parts of Africa, with specific focuses on Zimbabwe and Malawi. The photographs range from portraits of families to bedside hospital visits and follow individuals through their personal struggles with HIV and AIDS. Because of the personal nature of the photographs, Ashburn would usually spend some time with her subjects before beginning to photograph them. She became close with many of her subjects, and she even keeps in touch

through e-mail. Because of these close relationships, Ashburn said at times it was difficult to keep her distance and not interfere. “It’s hard,” she said. “Sometimes people would ask for help, and I would explain that I couldn’t, but I regret that now. I realize that I could have helped them in some way.” Despite Ashburn’s desire to show the world the devastation of the AIDS crisis, she has difficulty providing awareness beyond the publication of a few photos. “I was literally about to put my images on the top shelf,” she said. “I’d done what I could with this work. It had been published in various magazines, and I’d gotten grants for it. I didn’t know what else to do.” “Bloodline” went on exhibition in 2006, was turned into a multimedia piece through MediaStorm — a multimedia production studio — and was eventually scooped up by Madonna for her project “I Am Because We Are.” “‘ I Am Because We Are’ is a clarification of the phrase ‘Ubuntu,’ which means ‘I am who I am because of who we are,’” Ashburn said. “It really illustrates the African sense of community.” In the face of all the hype and coverage Ashburn’s work has received, she still believes people need to learn more about the AIDS crisis. “I don’t really believe that my work has changed anything,” Ashburn said. “I just hope that it will bring people to action.”

ANGIE LOVELACE | Staff Photographer

(left to right) Junior Kevin Manship on guitar, junior Lynnae Vana, junior Laura Barnick and sophomore Sabrina Bradley sing “One Voice” with the audience.


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