Blackboard Africa is changing the views of African youth

first_imgTwo young women from Gauteng were prompted to create Blackboard Africa by the negative portrayal of young Africans. Their goals include inspiring youth through different forms of art and sharing the experiences of Africans.Zingisa Socikwa and Amonge Sinxoto of Blackboard Africa host events such as history talks, artists’ evenings, young art exhibitions, book club meet-ups and youth workshops. These events are a platform for African youth to speak to their peers and get guidance from mentors. (Images supplied)Melissa JavanTwo young women from Gauteng created the social movement Blackboard Africa to changes the perceptions of black youth to a positive narrative.Through live events and its social media platforms, this initiative is a platform for African youth to find and freely express their voices about the past, present and future, say its founders.They are 15-year-old Amonge Sinxoto, a Grade 11 learner, and her cousin, Zingisa Socikwa (21), a film student. The two explain that they were not happy with the conversations their peers were having regarding the image of the black girl.“We want to redefine and model how people in the world view our African identity and move away from negative, preconceived, colonial settings,” says Amonge. “Blackboard seeks to paint a beautiful picture on a clean blackboard through the eyes of the vibrant youth.”Their vision of Blackboard is a place to share ideas, she adds. “[We want to] intrigue our creative appetites through literature, music, drama, spoken word, art and sharing of beautiful stories.”The meaning behind Blackboard Africa“We called our movement Blackboard because it carries a timeless metaphor that we want all young Africans to remember,” says Amonge.“We are black and made of hardened material but at the same time we are smooth and soft. We have been written onto by society ‘the white chalk’ since the beginning of time.“Blackboard is about us erasing all of that and being the ones to portray ourselves in the way in which we feel we need to be portrayed.”How it startedThe cousins saw the need for this movement on hearing a disturbing conversation by teenage boys about black girls, she said.Such conversations were doing the rounds and gaining popularity in schools across Johannesburg. “It led to some heated exchanges of differing perspectives from young people as they shared hair-raising arguments with interactive text and voice notes in their group chats.”She and Socikwa were surprised at how beauty, intellect, strength and esteem were perceived in these conversations. “It was rather appalling to see how black girls are increasingly being viewed in a strange and distasteful manner in our society.”“Similarly, we see that popular culture and media has played a critical influence in defining what the ideals and model characteristics of a perfect girl should be,” Amonge said.The founders of Blackboard Africa, Amonge Sinxoto (left) and Zingisa Socikwa. Amonge says they hope to inspire youth with ideas from a fresh perspective while maintaining a clear view of the mixed memories of our past.The eventsBlackboard was a collaborative project, Amonge said. “[This is] so we can try to get people in our immediate access to share their experiences and stories.”For example, the Blackboard Africa team organises events where youth can engage with each other on various topics and share their experiences. Already this year, the group has held the Big Sister Little Sister x Big Brother Little Brother conversation.It was hosted in collaboration with another initiative, Bloom.org. The theme was about “the things we wish our mothers had told us about love and relationships”.Six panellists discussed a variety of relationships such as individuals in a romantic relationship, friendship between males and friendship between females. “[It] really opened the floor to a discussion that everyone could relate to,” said Amonge.The second event hosted this year was the launch of Blackboard Books, an interactive book club for the youth. “The novel we discussed was Coconut by Kopano Matlwa and the topic of conversation was identity.“We had the three panellists, including author Niq Mhlongo and television and radio host Penny Lebeyane.”Blackboard is planning more events, including something special for June, which is Youth Month in South Africa.Featured storiesOn the Blackboard Africa website, stories of people such as Zoe Modiga are told. Modiga talks about her musical journey. She is also asked what she would tell her 15-year-old self.Cuma Pantshwa, an HDI Youth Marketeer, is also profiled. She talks about working with youth. Besides learning about her background, you also hear what excites her about being a woman of colour. HDI Youth Marketeers helps brands and organisations connect with youth and families, through schools, malls, communities and digital playgrounds of urban, peri-urban and rural South Africa. HDI is part of global marketing and advertising group TBWA.Amonge said they profiled several people on their site, each of whom was seen as inspiring. These people were not necessarily celebrated in the mainstream media. “[They are] women and men we can look up to and would like to celebrate.“We also feature amazing young talent from the continent that are history-makers who are changing the narrative in their respective industries,” she explained.“We try to get a thorough understanding of the individuals we feature to make sure that they affiliate with what we are trying to do with the youth.”Blackboard has a variety of contributors who send in content from opinion pieces to poetry. “We also have a monthly feature called Phenomenal Black Woman in which we interview women in different industries.“[This is] to give some insight to our readers about the various industries and the black woman within them.”HighlightsIt had been encouraging that people wanted to join Blackboard and contribute in any way possible, Amonge said. “The team and movement are growing.“We have different committees from community projects, to book clubs, to art and culture committees, to the actual writing.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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How to Create Text Effects and Animations in Premiere Pro

first_imgWhen you’re getting into text effects and animations, workspace is important. Master your motion graphics workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro with these tips.In 2017, Adobe added the Essential Graphics panel to Premiere Pro. This gave users a vastly different workflow from the previous handful of title panels. Now, everything is in one panel where you can design, animate, and apply presets with ease. Let’s have a closer look.Creating Text Animations from ScratchTo show you around the Essential Graphics panel, I’ll give you a step-by-step look at how to recreate this motion graphic from scratch.This particular graphic will consist of four elements — a line of text, two colored rectangles, and a mask. The background rectangles and the text will animate on, with each element slightly offset in time.Step 1 — Add TextFirst, I’ll go to Window > Essential Graphics. I’ll create my title using the Text Tool (T). Once typed out, I’ll have a new text layer in the panel under the Edit tab. To view all of the corresponding properties and tools, I’ll simply select the Text layer.To center my text, I’ll use the tools in the Align and Transform section. I can change the font and style in the Text section. Under Appearance, I can adjust the color, add a responsive background, drop shadow, and even multiple strokes.Step 2 — Create a BackgroundFor the background elements, I’ll create two new Rectangle layers. The New Layer button is located at the top of the panel, just next to the existing layers. I’ll make these slightly large, as I’ll be adding a mask to crop everything. I’ll change the color of each shape via the Fill in the Appearance section, making one white and one red. Finally, I’ll rearrange the layers, placing the white background at the bottom, the red above it, and the text at the top.Step 3 — Mask the GraphicOne of the latest features in the Essential Graphics panel is masking. To add a mask, I’ll first add a new rectangle shape layer. After I adjust the size and position, I’ll select the Mask with Shape option in the Appearance section. The mask will apply to any layers beneath it, so I’ll need to position my layers accordingly. If I’m working on a complex project, I can also group the layers.Next, let’s animate these elements.Step 4 — Animate Text and BackgroundsWith all of the assets in place, I’m now ready to bring the title to life. As you can see in the animation, both the text and the backgrounds animate in via a simple Y Position shift.I want my animation to take place over the course of the first two seconds. The white background will appear first, followed soon after by the red, then finally the text element. Let’s begin by animating the text layer.To animate the Y Position, I’ll first move my Playhead to the two-second mark, where I want the animation to end. Next, I’ll select the Text layer, then press the Position symbol in the Align and Transform section. This will toggle animation on for the attribute, adding a keyframe at the current time indicator’s location. I can tell animation is toggled on because the symbol will turn blue.Now, I’ll drag the Playhead to the one-second mark and adjust the Y attribute to place the text in its start position. As I change the attribute, a keyframe will automatically add to the location. Next, I’ll animate both background rectangles using the same steps, offsetting the time of each asset.Step 5 — Fine-Tune the Text EffectsI can further fine-tune the timing of the animation by slightly adjusting each keyframe in the Effect Controls panel.To view the keyframes of my animation, I’ll go to Window > Effect Controls. With this panel, I can see all of the effects I adjusted via the Essential Graphics panel. Clicking on a graphic layer in the Essential Graphics panel will immediately reflect and highlight in the Effect Controls panel, and vice versa.To smooth the animation out for each element, I’ll add an Ease Out to all of the first keyframes and an Ease In on all of the last keyframes. You can find Easing via a simple right- or control-click on a keyframe, under Temporal Interpolation.I can further finesse the timing of each animation by adjusting the Speed Curve. To access the curve, select the dropdown arrow to the left of the Position attribute. Manipulate each keyframe via a Bézier handle.Voilà, my animated title is ready to go.Using Motion Graphics TemplatesIf you’d like to seriously streamline your workflow, you’ll want to tap into the power of MOGRT files. MOGRT stands for Motion Graphics Template, and you create them in Adobe After Effects. What’s great, however, is that you don’t even have to open up After Effects to use them.To get started using MOGRTs, download our free pack of twenty-one MOGRTs here. You can get up and running using them in just three simple steps:Step 1 — Install the FontsWe designed these templates with specific font families in mind, all of which are in the pack. Be sure to install them prior to using the MOGRTs.Step 2 — Install the MOGRT FilesTo install, navigate to the Browse tab of the Essential Graphics panel. Click on the button at the bottom right-hand corner of the panel.Step 3 — CustomizeThe beauty of MOGRTs is the ease of use. Not only will you save time when creating your graphic, but you’ll also have a very intuitive interface — much nicer than the default tools in Premiere’s Essential Graphics panel. Check out this graphic from our free pack, and compare this editing layout to the cluttered mess of the default tools. Once again, these are custom layouts in Adobe After Effects, specifically designed for use in Premiere Pro. With MOGRTs, it’s as simple as drag, drop, and customize. What’re you waiting for? Download the pack now and go make something.Looking for more Premiere Pro tips and tricks? Check out these articles.7 Essential Tips and Tricks for Mastering Adobe Premiere ProNLE Showdown: DaVinci Resolve vs. Adobe Premiere Pro — Text EffectsNLE Showdown: DaVinci Resolve vs. Adobe Premiere Pro — Processing PowerNLE Showdown: DaVinci Resolve vs. Adobe Premiere Pro — The CostCreating Beautiful Slow Motion in Adobe Premiere Prolast_img read more

Committed to Your Excuses or Your Goals – Episode 101

first_imgYou can have your goals, or you can have your excuses. You cannot have both. Whichever you are more committed to determines which of these you will have.last_img

Kafeel Khan’s brother shot at in Gorakhpur

first_imgThe brother of doctor Kafeel Khan, who is out on bail in connection with the BRD Medical College incident, was shot at by unknown assailants in his hometown Gorakhpur late on Sunday. Two men on a scooty allegedly fired at Kashif Jameel at around 11 p.m. and fled from the scene leaving him grievously wounded, his family said. Kashif was hit by three bullets — two bullets pierced through his shoulder and arm while the third was lodged in the neck. It was removed after an emergency operation early on Monday. The victim is stable, said his family.  Doctor Kafeel Khan said he had apprehended a murder attempt on his family members. “They was an attempt to murder by brother. I always said they would try to kill us,” said Kafeel Khan. He alleged that the police caused a delay of a few hours in his brother receiving urgent medical care. Doctor Kafeel said the police forced them to take the patient, who was rushed to a private nursing home initially, to the medical college for a medico legal test despite the emergency to get the third bullet removed.  “Medico legal done in sadar hospital but SSP is forcing for one more medico legal in medical college gorakhpur by medical board,” doctor Kafeel said. Doctor Kafeel said the attack on his brother reflected the poor law and order in the State as it took place around 500 metres from the Gorakhnath temple where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was lodged for the night. Copy will be updated with police inputs. A police case is not yet registered.Kashif Jameel, 35, runs a battery inverter business.last_img read more

Disney greenlights top secret VR short film project

first_img Sundance Festival Share your voice Post a comment Scoop Virtual Reality Disney Augmented reality (AR) 1:50 Russell and Gipson could discuss only limited details about the next VR piece. It’s likely to also be a short that falls in the three- to five-minute range. And the company is allowing Gipson and his team to explore using Disney’s existing cast of characters in VR, Russell said. “The studio is super excited about it,” Russell added. With a look and feel that’s unmistakably Disney, the 3-minute-long Cycles depicts the history of one family in their midcentury modern California home, with vignettes about them that jump back and forth in time over the course of about 40 years. Beyond demos at film festivals like Sundance, the company hasn’t defined a release plan for Cycles. Most of the shorts created in the internal shorts-development program led by Russell are never released. “Because this is our first VR, it’s raised so many questions for the studio” that challenged presumptions about how things are always done, Gipson said. But the team that created Cycles is open to wide public release on a platform like the Oculus store. “That’d be nice,” Russell said. “Talk to our bosses, let’s get that sorted out.”Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers. Now playing: Watch this:center_img Disney doubles down on VR entertainment Tags 0 TV and Movies Wearable Tech Cycles was Disney’s first virtual reality short film.  Disney Walt Disney Animation Studios has been showing off its first ever virtual-reality short film, Cycles, at festivals for the last five months. Over the weekend at Sundance, Disney revealed that Cycles isn’t going to be its last venture into VR.In the last month, Walt Disney Animation Studios gave the greenlight to another “top secret” VR short from Jeff Gipson, the director of Cycles. That was the word from Gipson on Sunday, as Disney showed off Cycles — about the life of one family — to press and movie industry insiders on the sidelines of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. “What Cycles is proving is VR is something the studio wants to explore,” said Nicholas Russell, one of Cycles’ producers and the head of the Disney professional development program that created it in four months. “The fact that they greenlit another one this quickly is proof that they might not know exactly what tomorrow looks like for Disney and VR, but we’re going to keep exploring.”Disney’s interest in VR — as a storytelling medium in its own right rather than simply a marketing tool — comes as the media titan is poised to make several big leaps. Set to take over much of 21st Century Fox later this year, Disney is not only expanding into the biggest traditional studio but also reorganizing itself around launching a Netflix-like streaming service, Disney+. With Disney CEO Bob Iger calling Disney+ the company’s top priority, Disney Animation Studio’s VR experiments like Cycles and Gipson’s next project suggest Disney’s embrace of risky new tech is broader than streaming. If VR is to survive, it needs heavyweights like Disney buying in. VR was one of technology’s buzziest trends in the last three years, attracting giant investments by heavyweights like Google, Facebook and others. But its hype has fizzled lately, as widespread adoption of VR proved elusive. Without gotta-see-it content compelling people to try the unfamiliar format, consumers have been ambivalent about these odd headsets you strap to your face.But Disney has show a wider interest in VR over the last several months. Earlier this month, Disney showed off a Marvel-based VR game that you play in the back of an Audi electric car. In September, the company was among the lead investors in virtual-reality startup Jaunt VR’s $66 million round of funding. And it made a location-based VR game based on Disney Animation’s Ralph Breaks the Internet.last_img read more