So, this blog is dedicated to reviewing and keeping tabs on Caribbean films and film festivals, but a couple of days ago, we were contacted by this guy, . His name is Dan McMullin and he works with Operation Future, a non-profit in St. Kitts & Nevis, founded by members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force. So now, we an entire post dedicated to a music video.
Dan contacted us to tell us about the work Operation Future does working with children and inmates in St. Kitts, and to ask us to help the organization share a music video it produced, with performances by inmates from the Her Majesty’s Prison. The inmates have been incarcerated for gang related crimes and are now trying to deter youth from following in their footsteps. The supporting cast includes at-risk youth or serving inmates from HMP. The prison built in 1840, for 60 inmates. Today, it houses 385 inmates, in horrific conditions. Dan’s passion for his work with the inmates and children is clearly evident in his follow-up emails, so I will let him tell you the story of the organization and the video.
Hi: My name is Dan MacMullin. I am Canadian, but reside in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts & Nevis. I am actively involved in an organization called Operation Future, formed to address the issues of youth, crime and violence. Recent years have seen the U.S. styled gang culture hit our nation hard with devastating result. In 2011, we held the dubious distinction of being the most murderous nation in the world. Anyway, our organization is using the audio and video arts to reach our youth. Our program, the Creative Youth Academy, is modelled after a program in Winnipeg, called Just TV. Last week, January 21st to 25th, we had Paul James of Just TV, Winnipeg, Canada, and Mike Gerrand of Regina Street Culture Project, Regina, Canada (both programs are heavily dependent on audio and visual arts at reaching youth), here in St Kitts, training us on how to work with at-risk youth using music and video. It was an amazing week, and below is our first music video.
Music has the ability to influence change, much of the gang culture that is destroying our little nation, was spread through the music industry. Hopefully, music will be able to spread the message to youth to pursue more positive lives. We are very proud of the following and would like to see it promoted.
Watch the music video here:
About the Video:
The performers and writers of this song are members of our organization and serving inmates in Her Majesty’s Prison, for gang related crimes and are now trying to deter youth from following in their footsteps. The lyrics written and performed by Java “Jungle Shyne” Lawrence, and Amal “Soljah” Whyte, both of whom are incarcerated inmates for gang related crimes. Java has no release date and is serving for murder. Amal has been imprisoned for 7 years and is currently on remand for murder. Everette “Capital” Allen, also an inmate of HMP serving a sentence for murder, controlled one of the cameras. The second camera operator, Mini Dread, is a student at Irishtown Primary School and is involved in our Discovery Club. He took a real shine to camera work, which made for comical shooting, as Everette is about 6′ 5″ and Mini is be under 4 feet in height. Raime “Luminous” Gumbs, also a serving inmate, is working with us to encourage youth not to follow in his footsteps. We are pleased to say Raime has a release date in October, and will be a fixture at the Creative Youth Academy. I am hoping to encourage him to pursue his teaching qualifications, as he is very intelligent and a gifted speaker.