'Jamharics: The Children of Zion' - On The Truth Of The Rastafari Of Shashamane (Fundraising)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
October 17, 2013 12:52 PM
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Here's a project that's worth getting behind... or, at least, being aware of. The filmmaker has launched a fundraising campaign to raise $40,000 in 60 days. Full details, including pitch video, follow via press release below:

CROWD FUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR GROUND BREAKING DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE FORGOTTEN RASTAFARI OF SHASHAMENE LAUNCHES



Wednesday 18 September 2013, London United Kingdom ­­­­­ A crowd funding campaign has launched for a documentary that will unveil a part of Rastafari history that remains largely hidden.
One journalist wants to tell the story of a people on the brink of extinction. International journalist and director, Nadine Drummond, presents Jamharics: The Children of Zion. This groundbreaking
documentary tells the story of a group of repatriated Jamaicans who now face an imminent threat because of the scourge of the HIV virus.

In 1948, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie set aside 500 acres of land for the “black people of the world”. He wanted to reward those in the African diaspora who helped Ethiopian forces during the turbulent times of the Italian Occupation.Within four years a few West Indians and African Americans took Selassie up on his offer. But from the 1960s to 2000 Rastafarians from Jamaica began to make their way to the cradle of the Rift Valley in southern Ethiopia.

By 1984, at least twenty-­eight Rastafari had come together to help establish and develop the town of Shashamane. Armed with faith and determination, they worked to create their spiritual sanctuary and heaven on earth, their Zion. But these families experienced decades of upheaval in the intervening years ­­famine, regional conflicts, economic decline and, finally, persecution at the hands of the Ethiopian government itself. Rastafari faith and community helped them endure, but today, they are in crisis and facing serious questions about their way of life.

Rastafarians purposefully occupy the bottom rung of Ethiopian society and their children exist in a legal and political vacuum. Like much of the continent, the community is battling the scourge of HIV.  The community’s limited knowledge on how to treat and prevent the infection means the most successful example that repatriation to Africa is possible could be destroyed.

Drummond's campaign aims to raise $40,000 which will assist in producing an award winning documentary that captures the stories of these forgotten people. Her passion for people and their untold stories has sent the London-­born journalist’s career internationally which has included time working with CNN and her current role as a producer at Al Jazeera in Qatar.

Nadine has already committed a year of her life to telling the vital truth of the Rastafari of Shashamane. The aim of Jamharics: The Children of Zion is to raise awareness, document their legacy and, most importantly, galvanise the support needed to give the Shashamane Rastafari community a phoenix-­like emancipation from their current trials.

“The pioneering Rastafari community in Shashamane are the best examples of trailblazers. They stood against the prevailing norms of society and not only survived against the odds but fought to create their own! How could I not tell this story? You know, some of us grow up thinking we want to change the world, but we’re told it’s impossible. I never believed that and have been developing the skills to make a difference wherever I can. With your help I can make a huge difference here.”

The campaign for Jamharics: The Children of Zion runs until December 2013.

You can view the official crowd funding campaign at http://bit.ly/155WOmO.

Visit the website at www.jamharics.com.

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