Blog Archives

A creative call to action

Stand up, fight back

This is a call for all of us creative types to use our talents for social good.

We now more than ever need to use our art and talents to highlight the real New Zealand, so that people will see it is not the 100% pure image seen in the glossy marketing.

We need people to see the eroded sovereign rights, the increasing poverty, the widening inequality, the unemployed, the polluted waterways and growing environmental issues. the downtrodden, sick and forgotten and the many, many other issues being experienced in our country today.

It is now time…

A bed for the night

“A bed for the night” Homeless in Dunedin

      • For photographers to use images to unsettle and enlighten.
      • For singer-songwriters to sing the songs that challenge the status quo.
      • For thinkers and poets to question authority.
      • For the media to be independent and investigative not swayed by biased political or commercial agenda.
      • For people to stand up for all those who need a voice to be heard.
      • For all of us to tell the world that everything is NOT ok in this country.

We can, we should and we will do something about it.

Paul S Allen

PS: if you know of an event that highlights the need for social change or for justice or other protest in Dunedin NZ please contact me. As a photographer I am happy to use my skills for a good cause.

Paul

Change is Inevitable

Community – What are your motives for getting involved?

What is  a community?

Community is a group of people who have some form of relationship with each other or share a commonality of some description or another.  Communities are as infinitely varied as the people who are part of them.

Communities can be very informal or strictly formal associations.

Communities exist for as many reasons as there are people on earth. They can be skill based, task orientated, faith/religion/church based, non-faith, political, secular, work related, geographic, ethnic, gender, sexuality, or age based,  anything at all.

There should never be an assumption of a unified reason that a community exists, as you can never know the true intentions of all the participants.

The best you can hope for is that everyone, or at least most, will have enough shared intent to work together for a stated outcome.

It is always good to be reminded that where there are people, there will always be politics and there will always be at least one person who will assume, or usurp, control or power.

People do good for many reasons, some reasons are selfless and some selfish, for many it is a combination at one level or another. None of us have 100% pure motives for everything we do.

Why assume community organisations do?

Never blindly follow a “leader”,  always be willing to question and act on the answers you get. I have said before, “People who blindly follow a leader, political ideology, belief or value system without questioning, are fooling themselves with a false sense of security.” (Think – your country needs it)

Do not let this stop you from getting involved in your community,  the only assurance is that change can only happen if people are willing to get involved, what ever the reason.

All you can do is work on your own motives for getting involved in community.

Paul S Allen

Thieves Alley Market Day 2013

Aotearoa Is Not For Sale – Dunedin Rally April 2013

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Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 13Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 14Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 15Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 16Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 17Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 18
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Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Aotearoa Is Not For Sale.
Protest in Dunedin, NZ 27 April 2013.
Photos by Paul S Allen
Aotearoa Is Not For Sale 15

I promise you this

Apparition in Chingford Park 1

I promise you this

Nothing is certain in this life except for death and taxes, according to the saying anyway.

There is one thing, however, I can guarantee without question or doubt. It is a certainty beyond all others and a promise I will keep even though I do not want to.

It isn’t riches, power, fame, comfort or security, it isn’t health, safety, salvation or peace.

It is a promise that will annoy and disappoint you, it will be frustrating for others and myself.

It will be something I can learn from and grow through but still it will happen again-and-again.

All I ask is that you will encourage me as I keep this promise, even though I will try to break it, and when I keep the promise, I hope you will understand that I am only human, nothing more and nothing less.

So forgive me…

My promise is simply this…

… I will make mistakes.

Paul S Allen

Caution

I am no superman

Over the last few weeks I have had my usually busy life curtailed by an injury.

I have had to have my leg elevated and take medication that has left me with a foggy brain.

The world has continued to turn, the social structure of the community has held together and all without me. This is a good thing, other people have had to step up and take control for some things and I have just had to step down from others.

This process has helped me re-evaluate certain priorities in my life and consider how much time I spend on projects.  Yes I have watched a lot of TV in this time, but thankfully the London Olympics has been on and I have been inspired by the single focus and dedication of the athletes. These athletes have sacrificed much to attempt to achieve personal bests and Olympic glory.

If I am to achieve success in community development or for particular causes I need to prioritize involvement’s. This will mean I will have to relinquish some commitments. This does not mean I am not concerned with the causes I let go, it means that I am deciding to focus on areas that I can make the biggest difference.

I have always been a busy person, but my body is not keeping up with my mind. Perhaps my badly sprained ankle with torn ligaments and chipped bone has been a blessing and a warning. It has forced me to rest and to slow down. It has made me realise that I am no superman, I cannot be strong all the time and I need to focus more.

Sometimes it is right and proper to re-evaluate life and it priorities. To step down requires a determination to overcome ego and self-importance, to concentrate on what is important not what is urgent.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel needs to remain squeaky, sometimes things need to be done by other people.

By holding on tightly to leadership or other roles you actually hinder the cause you are trying to help and from others that need to take over and lead it to the next level.

So what next? Time to workout where to focus, to develop skills and talents that I can pass onto others.

I am moving up not moving out; I am focusing not getting busier; I am getting values and priorities in order not just being driven by “good” causes.

When was the last time you re-evaluated your priorities? Why not take a few moments and make sure you are on the right road and make some changes if you need to.

Paul S Allen

Change is Inevitable

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