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Paulette Giguere's "SafeHouse" lives on at OSBG
above: Student & Teacher rejoice at the empowerment of SafeHouse.
The signs say Thank You Paulette Giguere, OSBG Loves You, and ...heart Archy
Just over 5 years ago I sat where I now sit, at Mojo's in the French Quarter, gazing deeply into the screen of my newly donated computer "SafeHouse". I would oftren come to Mojo's to get away from the voluteer camps so I could work online undisturbed. At the time there were very few places open, even fewer with food; Mojo's became my SafeHouse from post Katrina hardship. When I arrived in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina I began shooting footage immediatly but lacked a computer that was capable of editing video. My hero Paulette Giguere recognized a need and donated my first Mac to the cause of supporting the New Olreans Anarchist emergency response efforts and allowed me the tools necessary to cover this important period in our history.
4 long hard road years later SafeHouse was just not keeping up with my media demands and I upgraded. I've been carrying SafeHouse around for about a year, loaning it out to varioous events and causes. Today SafeHouse found it's new home and casue, also here in New Orleans. Our School at Blair Grocery is an alternative school and urban farm in the lower 9th ward . At OSBG they are teaching at risk lower 9th ward youth not only the answers to the tests they'll need to take to graduate but more importantly they are teaching the youth to think and giving them the skills to feed themselves and orgainze within their neighborhood to thrive against the challenges present here. The gangs, unemployment, violence and police state that threatens at time to take over these blighted blank slabs and falling down 'hoods are an easy trap for youth with few alternatives. OSBG gives these alternatives and is creating the space for these youth to grow healthy in mind and body by employing them in the gardens and empowering them to be the next generation of leaders.
Paulette, your computer did not end up in the hands of some "woman" as you always said it would... it almost did. ;~) It has been donated in your name to further the cause of teaching kids in New Orleans ALL the values that you would want them to have. Your computer has already been used to write grants for the school and it is still fully loaded with media software.
OSBG is seeking further funding to outfit each student with Media capable computer and I'm on board to teach them how to use these new tools. To those who may have recieved a new computer for Christmas (or video camera); please consider making a tax deductable in kind donation of your leftovers so that a group of deserving lower 9th ward youth can learn to "be the media".