Revolution & Identity via The Art Of Belly-Dancing In Joshua Bee Alafia's 'Havana Habibi' (Fundraising)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 29, 2014 5:45 PM
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Our first crowdfunding campaign post of 2014! Let's see if we can also make it out first successful crowdfunding campaign post of 2014!

From renaissance man Joshua Bee Alafia, the project is titled Havana Habibi.

I'll let the filmmaker speak for himself:

In 2003, Tiffany Madera aka “Hanan,” enraged her Cuban family in Miami by getting on a plane to Havana to participate in an artistic exchange that led to the formation of Cuba’s first Arabic dance troupe; Grupo Aisha Al-Hanan. The troupe founded by hanan was composed of eight women at the University of Havana’s History Department. A live band of musicians shortly followed from Havana’s colorful and diverse music scene. Guided by hanan, Grupo Aisha Al Hanan quickly gained notoriety around Cuba despite its departure from State- Sanctioned Culture and Art models. A grassroots cultural movement ensued which had a profound impact on many lives across the globe.

For Hanan’s family, her returning to Cuba was like an act of support for the Communist Revolution that drove them from their island to Miami. Havana Habibi begins three years later following Hanan’s visit to Havana for the International Dance Festival and workshops with Grupo Aisha Al-Hanan.  We meet the ensemble and see the sacrifices they make to create their art.

Ana has to take a two hour commute to get to the rehearsals, Aissa battles financial straits and must forgo a bigger paycheck dancing cabaret salsa to dance with Aisha, and Hanan confronts personal demons, crumbling health and family dissonance to teach in Havana.  We hear how bellydance has impacted the dancers’ and musicians’ lives and empowered them as people.  Havana Habibi looks at the cross cultural exchange and intermigration between Africa, Cuba, Spain and the USA; what it means to be a Cuban Bellydancer in Revolutionary Cuba as well as the Cuban Diaspora and travels throughout time, geography and space to tell the human story behind Revolution and geo-political Identity through the sensual metaphor of Bellydance.  

Now we seek your support to finish the film.  We will return to Havana in February to shoot Hanan teaching the new crop of dancers that her students have been teaching, from ages 4-60 years old.  We will spend this budget in the last shoot, editing and color correcting the film.  Please donate to our campaign today! Your donations are TAX DEDUCTABLE through hatchfund.org!

Thank you so much for your support!

Joshua hopes to raise $21,000 by Friday, January 31. Thus far, he's raised 11% of that, with 25 days to go. So, this is where you come in.

Watch the 7-minute pitch video below, and click HERE (or within the widget at the bottom of this post) to make your contribution:

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