Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Would you donate to see this amazing film documentary go ahead?

(Left: A carving of The Footy Man: traditional Tiwi art with a modern, twist)

(Below: The Tiwi Bombers - talented footballers from a tiny island community)

The Scene: Tropical Northern Australia.
This is the story of a new and sublimely talented Aboriginal football team from a remote island community. The Tiwi Island Bombers (picture above) are breaking new ground by entering the highly competitive Northern Territory Football League for the first time. The documentary follows the team as it strives to win in its first season, revealing not just the players energetic and entertaining brand of footy, but the hopes and dreams of their disadvantaged island community. There is a strong expectation that the Tiwi Bombers will make the finals and intense speculation about whether they can do even better by winning the premiership in their first season.
This documentary takes us inside the lives of some of the Tiwi players, their families, club officials and supporters – revealing the Tiwis as expert hunters of bush tucker and knowledgeable exponents of traditional ceremony. "In a League of Their Own" also explores the challenges to the Tiwi Bomber’s success - a community afflicted by the abuse of alcohol and "ganja", and where the youth suicide rate is one of the highest in Australia. The way this documentary explores the reality of indigenous community life is honest and inspiring.

Suitability for Philanthropic support

The Documentary is called “In a League of Their Own”. It is to be produced soon for Australian television. It carries an inspirational message for young, indigenous people. The Tiwi Bombers may come from a disadvantage community but as this documentary unfolds we see them emerge as role models – striving to reach their full potential and promoting discipline, health and well-being through sport.

As such, the documentary provides a compelling face for socially conscious organisations that support Indigenous Australia moving forward.

The positive messages contained in "In a League of Their Own" are universal. While the documentary tackles complex and difficult aboriginal issues, the football backdrop makes it naturally appealling to a wider, sports-loving audience. This means that many of the important key messages such as health and well-being, zero tolerance for drugs, and controlled drinking are universally accessible.


ZarganaLeading poet and comedian Zargana (pictured), has been released from three weeks in detention and is reported to be well but exhausted. Zargana remains under heavy surveillance and is restricted in his movement and activities, as he has been for many years. PEN - the international organisation that supports writers everywhere - understands that fellow comedian U Par Par Lay was also one of many pro-democracy activists reported to have been arrested in the ongoing government crackdown in Burma and is believed to remain in detention. U Par Par Lay was imprisoned from March 1996 to July 2001 for, among other things, scripting and performing comedies that criticised the Burmese authorities.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Burma: Grave Fears for Zarganar

Zarganar - a great Burmese talent
What has happened to one of Burma's boldest and bravest? I am referring to comedian and poet Maung Thura (popularly known as Zarganar)? He was arrested Burma's military government on 25 September as part of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy activists.

Information from PEN points to his arrest for supporting the monks demonstrating in Burma's capital, Rangoon. Zarganar remains in detention and there are mounting concerns for his well-being and safety.

PEN has long been concerned about freedom of expression in Myanmar. Since the 1988 crackdown on the National League for Democracy (NLD) in which thousands were killed and thousands more arrested, the numbers of detained writers known to PEN has remained largely unchanged.

PEN is currently campaigning for the release of nine writers serving sentences ranging from seven to twenty-one years imprisonment in Myanmar. All are detained for their peaceful opposition activities. They include Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the NLD and writer, who has spent the large part of the past eighteen years in detention.

To download PEN's latest caselist click here.
Click here for more details about PEN's work for Aung San Suu Kyi: