I’d like to nominate myself for the OWS Ambassador position to serve as an International Monitor for the upcoming Egyptian Parliamentary Elections.
For those that don’t know me, I’ve been involved with the OWS media group since Oct. 1. I have been shooting a lot of the events, marches, actions, General Assemblies, etc. on a weekly basis (few days each week). I’ve been a fairly regular meeting attendant and pretty vocal in them at times! More recently, I’ve been trying to help produce and organize our Media system to make us a more efficient and productive group, with calendars, shooting schedules, etc.
I have 10 years of social justice documentary experience as a director, producer, videographer and editor. In my films, I’ve done most if not all of the above positions, simultaneously, so I’m quite used to thinking on my feet and multi tasking…considering all elements of the filmmaking process. A lot of my work has occurred in developing or post conflict countries, in particular I made two, full length documentaries about women in Afghanistan and Haiti.
In addition, I’ve been on two separate delegations to the Middle East. The first was a large delegation with the International Action Center, founded by Ramsey Clark, to Iraq in Jan. of 2001, where we delivered medicine and protested the 10 year anniversary of the first US invasion of Iraq. The second was a small, female delegation, hosted by Global Exchange to Afghanistan in Feb. 2002. In both cases we met with government officials (including Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai), as well as community leaders, speaking with them about the current political situations and US involvement, and lastly how we could help and spread their message. In both cases I was documenting our delegation meetings and interviewing local citizens. (In the case of Afghanistan, this footage was used in my documentary, Sadaa E Zan, see below for link).
I have some media monitoring experience. In Nov., 2004, I was in Florida, video monitoring the US Presidential Election. My time and involvement however was extremely brief, 48 hrs.
Lastly, I have a keen sense and understanding of Arabic culture, in particular, Egypt. I’ve been studying and performing the music and dance of the Middle East for 20 years. I lived in Cairo for 6 months in 1997, where I continued these studies as well as learned colloquial Arabic. During this time, I also traveled to Jordan and Beirut. I just returned to Egypt last summer with an Arabic Ensemble where we performed at the Cairo Opera house as well as several venues outside of Cairo.
My speaking abilities are basic, but certainly enough to get by and hold light conversation. I also speak French semi fluently (I lived in Paris in 1990 for a year, 3rd year abroad exchange). So, I would say that my understanding of Egyptian culture is pretty adept.
My present gear is a Sony Z1U, and HDV camera which shoots to tape: 30 fps, 1080 x 1440. I have a great shotgun mic, boom, tripod and wired lavalier that I could bring.
For examples and information on my work pls visit:
Thank you for your consideration.
Renée Renata Bergan