Humanitarian Bazaar | Series: Journeys on the Edge
Humanitarian Bazaar produces projects focused on how peope survive war and disaster.
humanitarian, aid, humanitarian aid, human rights, peace, peacebuilding, war, disaster, frontline, front line, war music, festival, music festival, conflict mitigation, counter-extremism, cve, countering violence extremism, protection, war survivors, survivors, war survivors advisory, gerstle, daniel gerstle, daniel j gerstle, waayaha cusub, mogadishu, mogadishu music, mogadishu music festival, afghan music, afghan music festival, live from mogadishu, thunder spiral, syrian metal, syrian metal is war, adeso africa, somalia, afghanistan, syria, bosnia, bascarsija, sudan, ukraine
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JOURNEYS ON THE EDGE

Documentary series, 10 episodes x 20 minutes.  |  Humanitarian Bazaar and host/director, Daniel J Gerstle, present “Journeys on the Edge,” stories about inspiring local heroes we meet on our journeys producing creative projects on how people survive war and disaster. We travel from the front line of eastern Afghanistan to the frontline of eastern Ukraine learning how locals survive. We also explore how war-affected cultures adapted music, art, film, photography, humor, and food culture to warm people’s hearts in tough times. The series is already produced in Afghanistan, Austria, Bosnia, France, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Somalia, South Sudan, Ukraine, and with Syrians in EU. Along with tough and sometimes fun stories, the series includes music by Alsarah (Sudan), the Casualty Process (Iran), Gato Loco Coconino (USA), Qais Essar (Afghanistan), Waayaha Cusub (Somalia), YXFM (Israel), the people of Nyamlel (South Sudan), and others.

Format & Distribution

We created the series originally as Humanitarian Bazaar “behind the scenes” clips for the other work we were doing in emergency response, refugee assistance, and documentary production. That is why we funded it ourselves; costs were covered indirectly by the team as we were on contracts to do other work. That gave us complete freedom, creatively, but limited us in terms of production, timeline, and finances. However, now that these HB behind the scenes clips have grown into enough story for 24 short documentary video web segments (3-5 minutes each), or could be bundled and edited as 10 full TV or video web shows (20 minutes each), we find ourselves ready for partnership with the right distributor, funder, or may still consider running it to promote our own platform directly.

 

Storytelling

Episodes currently in production could be distributed as full TV episodes, or as individual segments, so we present them here so both options can be explored together. The order is flexible as follows.

 

Contact

If you would like to help us complete post-production and launch this series, or support future episodes, please let us know via Daniel J Gerstle, Executive Producer, skype: Daniel.j.gerstle

humanitarianbazaar@gmail.com

EDGE #1. PILOT. Afghanistan’s Danger Highway

(Afghanistan, 20 min) Opening scene posing question: How do people survive the toughest environments, and what can we learn from them? Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. Danger Highway. Driving from Kabul to Jalalabad, host, Daniel J Gerstle, and his colleagues must traverse one of the most dangerous routes in the world. Despite two attacks on the road, the team reaches Jalalabad on a quest to learn from survivors of the regions bitter war.
  • 2. Mountain Survivor Skills. Daniel, along with colleagues Omaid and Abasin, talks with survivors of heavy mountain fighting who fled Achin and Kot to the Jalalabad camps. They share advice to others on how to survive.
  • 3. Kabul’s Emergency Hospital.  After a peace protest is struck by a deadly terror blast, Daniel and colleague Zarlasht meet survivors and learn how Kabul’s Emergency Hospital is able to respond to save lives.

EDGE #2. Afghanistan’s Creative Minds

(Afghanistan, 20 min)  Opening scene posing question. Montage. Smash cut. Theme: ==>

  • 1. Kabul Photographers. With mountains, fortresses, and ancient beauty, Kabul’s new generation of photographers are ready to move beyond stories of social upheaval and document the country’s beauty. Zarlasht co-hosts as the team takes part in a workshop with some of Afghanistan’s leading photographers, including Mossoud Hossaini and Farzana Wahidy, and eager students.
  • 2. Music, Food, and Rickshaws. Daniel & Co-Host Omaid check out how Jalalabad artisans create the regions famous white rickshaws, and then take time to sample Afghanistan’s famous food dishes.
  • 3. Zari & the Girls of Shahada. With the tough situation for children, especially girls, parents are looking for brighter ways to raise their families. Co-host Tamana joins Daniel to interview Zari, Afghanistan’s first Muppet and star of the local Sesame Street TV Show, and trade a video message between her and a set of girls who are growing up in Kabul’s Shahada cemetery.

EDGE #3. South Sudan & Somalia: Responding to Famine

(Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, 20 min) Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

 

  • 1. How Somali Nomads Survive. Environmentalist Fatima Jibrell and local guide Abdirizak show Daniel and filmmaker Seth Chase how nomads live in the remote desert of Somalia. They meet a family who explains how they survive harsh droughts. From there, they find a project turning desert into grazing areas to save communities.
  • 2. Bringing Camels to Market in Kenya. Daniel and Seth meet local Somali community leaders in eastern Kenya and learn how herders trade camel in East Africa’s largest livestock market.
  • 3. South Sudan Famine Kitchen. Onward, hosted by Adeso Africa, Daniel and Seth explore how Dinka herders in South Sudan displaced by the war recover through fisheries and herd revitalization. Along the way, we try some traditional Dinka food.

EDGE #4. Bosnia’s Postwar Search for Meaning

(Bosnia, 20 min) Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. Rebuilding Sarajevo’s Heart. We take a look at modern Bosnia, it’s gorgeous landscape, cultural medley, and tough history. Daniel shows us around Sarajevo’s old town.
  • 2. Bosnia’s Search for the Missing. At Tomasica, Bosnia, Europe’s largest mass grave ICMP’s Jasmin introduces us to the local prosecutor investigating war crimes and impartial archaeologists documenting the remains and attempting to trace them to their families. After this, researcher Hikmet Karcic invites us to a panel event with the Missing Persons Institute where mothers of the missing demand more answers to what happened to their children in the war.
  • 3. Artwork & Graffiti over History. After Sarajevo and Tomasica, we head to Mostar where Daniel, Erika, Deniz, and Margerita explore a tower ruin which artists turned into an open air museum of art.

EDGE #5. Tough Music in Tough Places

(Syrians in EU, Afghanistan, Kenya, 20 min) Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. Afghan’s Rock & Rap Refugees. At Afghanistan’s rock festival, Sound Central, we get to know Hojat Hameed and his band White Page, and others as they play some of the last public concerts possible in Kabul before security and threats would force many of them to take refuge in other countries.
  • 2. Syria and Iraq’s Heavy Metal Refugees. With a cameo from Faisal of Iraqi metal band Acrassicauda, we then meet with Syrian metaliers Adel Saflou of Ambrotype and Monzer Darwish, director of the film, Syrian Metal is War.
  • 3. Somali Rappers in Kenya and Netherlands. We follow Somali rap group Waayaha Cusub from the refugee slums of Kenya to perform on the world stage in the Netherlands, along with Sudani, Afghan, Palestinian, and Kenyan bands.

EDGE #6. Muslims & Jews Searching for Peace in a Concentration Camp

(Austria, Bosnia, 20 Min) Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. Austria’s Muslim-Jewish Conference Building a Movement. Ilja Sichrovsky, founder of the Muslim-Jewish Conference, welcomes people from twenty countries to Vienna to forge a peace movement.
  • 2. Survivor Tells Nightmare’s of Matthausen Concentration Camp. Woman who survived the Second World War concentration camp of Matthausen shares her story. Many Muslim attendants hear evidence of the Holocaust for the first time before going with Jewish friends to see the historic site.
  • 3. Palestinian & Israeli Former Fighters, Together. Activists from the Combatants for Peace organization talk about how they turned from fighters to peace activists in Israel and Palestine.
  • 4. Advocates Carry Movement to Pakistan, Europe. Pakistani and Australian attendees talk about the future of Muslim-Jewish relations in a violent world.

EDGE #7. How Survivors Cope, Emotionally

(Afghanistan, Bosnia, EU, 20 min)  Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. Memorials from Bataclan to Demahzang. We arrive to vigils at the site of the Bataclan massacre in Paris and discuss how cultures of come to invest so much in memorials and catharsis.
  • 2. Music as Medicine; Songs over fires and candles. Musicians talk about the power of music and art to cope with trauma and loss.
  • 3. Family Reunification and Support. Daniel gets the chance to ride alongside six Somali refugee children as they travel after a long drama from Africa to Europe to reunite with their family.

EDGE #8. Filmmaking in Tough Places

(Somalia, Kenya, 20 min)  Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. On Location in Mogadishu. In Mogadishu, Daniel, Nur, Artan, and Ali cross town to Bakara market to see the site of the Battle of Mogadishu. Daniel recalls how he joined the US Marines just before the battle and never thought he could come to Somalia. But now he came to host a music festival. Filmmaker Jake Simkin, also in Somalia and Kenya, shares stories of his close calls in war.
  • 2. On Location with Fishermen in Remote South Sudan. Seth and Daniel look back at working with Adeso around Africa in a series of troubles and mishaps from a car accident to break downs and hitchhiking by air. How to keep filming when it’s hard enough to keep going?

EDGE #9. Ukraine’s Double-Edged Survivors

(Ukraine, 20 min) Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1. Traveling Back in Time from Kiev to Donetsk. Daniel profiles survivors of the war in eastern Ukraine. Starting off, there is Olga, a music teacher whose life was turned upside down.
  • 2. Life in Breakaway Donetsk. In the breakaway rebel region, Daniel chronicles how locals survived some of the heaviest fighting with bomb shelters and self-protection they had to innovate themselves.
  • 3. Survival Skills on the Contact Line in Avdiivka. On the Ukrainian government side, Daniel stays with a family over night to see how the ceasefire which holds during the day turns to active fighting in the night when most journalists and observers have gone to safer grounds.

EDGE #10. Humor in Tough Places

(Bosnia, Ukraine, Somalia, 20 min). Opening scene posing question. Montage of episode highlights. Smash cut to credits over series theme song. Then ==>

  • 1, 2, 3. The episode is still in production. We are considering including segments from the following: Poland’s Professor of Comedy on the origins of Europe’s darkest humor. Somalia’s theatrical comedian explains how Somali humor differs from the rest of the world. Syria’s war survivors create political satire to communicate what cannot be discussed openly in journalism. Episode in progress.

EDGE ONWARD

If the episodes already produced, now in post-production, do well, we have many other themes we would like to explore: How Native Americans Cope with Tough History; Finding Equilibrium Between Police & Threatened Communities in the US; Mexico’s Non-Political Refugees; Venezuela’s Hunger Solvers; Colombia’s Pre-Post-War; and much more.

 

CREDITS (SO FAR)

Produced in Afghanistan, Austria, Bosnia, France, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Somalia, South Sudan, and Ukraine, by Humanitarian Bazaar. Funded by Humanitarian Bazaar.

Director / Executive Producer / Editor / Host               Daniel J Gerstle

 

Featured Co-Hosts                                                          Dikriyo Abdi, Shiine Akhyaar, Tamana Ayazi, Zarlasht Sarmast, Seth Chase, Jake Simkin

 

Cinematography                                                             Daniel J Gerstle, Seth Chase, Jake Simkin, Zarlasht Sarmast, Erika Rossi, Attila Varfalvi, Shaheedullah Sangin, Naiemullah Sangin, Fanny Hagmeier, Ahmad Mahmoud, Hajooj Kuka, and more.

 

Field Production & Support                                           Nur Hassan, Mohamed Artan, Tamana Ayazi, Omaid Alokozai, Abasin Selab, Melad, Zarlasht Sarmast, Abdulwasay Hewadmal, Margarita Vismara, Erika Rossi, Attila Varfalvi, and many more.

 

Music By                                                                           Alsarah (Sudan), the Casualty Process (Iran), Gato Loco Coconino (USA), Qais Essar (Afghanistan), Waayaha Cusub (Somalia), YXFM (Israel), the people of Nyamlel (South Sudan), and others.

 

Host Organization Special Thanks                                 Sound Central Festival, The Venue, Adeso Africa, International Commission for Missing Persons, Impassion Afghanistan, Muslim-Jewish Conference, People in Need, Sesame Street, and many more.