People of the Delta – A Passion of Joey L

Early concept art by illustrator Sam Spratt for "People of the Delta" by Joey L. Courtesy of joeyl.com

Early concept art by illustrator Sam Spratt for “People of the Delta” by Joey L. Courtesy of joeyl.com

Look what I stumbled upon while surfing the ofttimes life-sucking internet. (Jump ahead and watch his video HERE or wait and read a bit more….then you will be directed to it at the end of the story.)

Joey L. — a young Canadian professional photographer, director and published author living in Brooklyn, NY but with a yearning to show the world the people of a Delta far away from our Mississippi Delta.

Joey is raising money for a personal film project he will direct titled “People of the Delta.” No wonder I happened upon it. His “People of the Delta” is a cinematic narrative film collaborating with real people and stories from the tribes of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.

A woman of the Bodi tribe has fallen ill and died. The elder women of the village shout to the spirits and chant of her death to bring her soul to peace. The men perform a ceremonial procession and will guard the body of the deceased for 3 months. Bodi Me'en Tribe, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Photo by Joey L

A woman of the Bodi tribe has fallen ill and died. The elder women of the village shout to the spirits and chant of her death to bring her soul to peace. The men perform a ceremonial procession and will guard the body of the deceased for 3 months. Bodi Me’en Tribe, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Photo by Joey L

Joey is no lightweight. His advertising clients include National Geographic, Pennzoil, and Coca-Cola. His portraits include Robert De Niro, Jessica Chastain, Danny Devito, 50 Cent, and Robert Glasper. The original “twilight” images are his. Atlantic, Blue Note Records, Forbes, Capital Records, Vibe Magazine, History Channel, FX and Nickelodeon are a few others mentioned.

You get my drift? This young fella is gifted, gifted, gifted. Visit his website to view his work. Here is what a Dr. Peter Keller, President of Bowers Museum, had to say about him.

“Joey L. is an entirely new breed of photographer who brings photojournalism to the fine art arena.”

Photographer and Filmmaker Joey L. with a friend in Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of joeyl.com

Photographer and Filmmaker Joey L. with a friend in Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of joeyl.com

Artists, Musicians, Adventurers, Writers, Dancers or anyone willing to go outside of themselves to create something new or shine a point of light on something they feel passionate about gets in my craw.

A friend of mine, Dan Storper, also known as the Putumayo World Music man, once told me, years ago, while standing beside me in a gallery in a random mall in Los Angeles in front of a wall hanging of animals moving across the large piece of fabric, carefully and intricately hand sewn in such a fashion that it moved me to tears, “When you see a piece of art that elicits an emotion in you, do not let it pass you by.”

The impressive tapestry had a price tag of $300. It was the Summer of 1982. I was 24. I didn’t have $300 to spend on a piece of art. Dan did. He offered to buy it for me and let me pay him back, over time. But all I could do was stare at it and nod my head, no. If I couldn’t afford it, I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t really need it. I passed.

I have regretted that decision ever since.

Dreamcatcher by the Itinerant Worker I.W. - more original works by him can be found at the Delta Bohemian Gift Shop.

Dreamcatcher by the Itinerant Worker I.W. – This piece of art moved me. More original artwork by this special artist can be found at the Delta Bohemian Gift Shop.

Perhaps that is why I feel so compelled to share the stirrings of my heart with the world. Movements that are not mine but another’s.

Joey L. moved me today. Will you take the time to listen and watch his video about “People of the Delta?” Be a part of another Delta. You never know. Ole Joey L. may find himself in our midst here in Clarksdale, Mississippi someday. If that happens, I look forward to shaking his hand and saying, “Welcome to Clarksdale, Heart of the Mississippi Delta!”

There are all kinds of Rewards for contributing to this worthwhile project about a culture and people that, should you decide to get involved, could possibly change how you look at life. Watch his video and let it pass you by if it doesn’t move you. If it does cause a stir, then visit his Kickstarter site and become a part of this unique film. They have until March 19th to raise a total of $150,000. As of this posting, since their launch on January 18th they have raised $54,491.

Check out Joey’s blog post about this project by CLICKING HERE.

Share and Enjoy !


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