Paa Joe & The Lion

Feb 28

[video]

Interview with photographer David Severn

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David Severn
 is a social documentary and fine art photographer based in Nottingham. His work is concerned with the relationship between people and place.  More specifically, how individuals and communities interact with or are affected by their environment. Within this context, he is particularly interested in working class culture and the places associated with it both historically and today.

David attended the event marking the end of Paa Joe’s month long artist residency at Clumber Park (in May 2013). We were wowed by his photos from the day and how they captured the spectacle and atmosphere of the procession.

We will be posting some of David’s Paa Joe photography alongside this but If you would like to see more of his work you can find him at www.davidsevern.com. He is also on Twitter and Instagram.

How did you get involved with the Paa Joe event?

David: I’d met Ben been during the World Event Young Artists festival (2012) in Nottingham, which we were both working on; Ben as filmmaker myself as a stills photographer. I was blown away by his WEYA film and was intrigued to hear of any future projects. I’m often at Broadway (where Ben has an office) working and drinking coffee in the CafeBar, so would run into Ben quite regularly and on one occasion he told me all about his plans for the Paa Joe residency and the documentary he’d been working on. I thought the whole project sounded amazing and very exciting, something I’d love to be a part of. When the residency had finally come to fruition, Ben came back to me about being involved and invited me to photograph the Paa Joe event at Clumber Park. I was keen to shoot in my own style, using film and a rangefinder camera, so excused myself from turning over tens of digital images, which Ben totally understood. This meant I had freedom to consider more carefully which moments I would photograph and more importantly, what I would not photograph!

What are your favourite memories of taking part in the project?

On a simple level, the beautiful weather that day, drinking nice beer and being with friends. I spent a lot of my childhood at Clumber Park too, it’s where I learnt to ride a bike, so going back there brought a lot of good memories to mind. In terms of the project though, I thought the journey from Nottingham added so much theatre and excitement to the day. It really felt like you were going as part of a community to witness this incredible spectacle in these very opulent surroundings. It was a major highlight of 2013 for me.

How would you describe your work and your approach to photography? 

I describe myself as a social documentary photographer. My personal work takes the form of mid / long term projects whereby I explore place, culture, community and environment. I’m interested in the relationship between people and place, often pairing portraits with associated landscapes or interiors to build a narrative that suggests and hints rather than boldly describes. Coming from a mining background, my work is typically concerned with the working class and more recently, young people. I shoot almost exclusively using film with a 6x7 rangefinder camera.

Which photographers and artists have influenced you?

The list could go on forever but I will list a few:
Rineke Dijkstra
Doug Dubois
Alec Soth
Spencer Murphy
Laura Pannack
Richard Renaldi

Tell us about some of your other recent / favourite projects

In 2012 I completed a series of pictures looking at the reinvented social uses of former colliery sites in and around the former coal mining stronghold of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. The project also explores the current social situation in the area, particularly in relation to its post-industrial recovery. More recently I’ve photographed travelling showmen families at home in their trailers during the Nottingham Goose Fair. The portraits, which were exhibited during Goose Fair 2013, portray showpeople in a sensitive light and seek to quash commonly held misconceptions about the community. I have a few projects in the pipeline but I’d rather not spill the beans on them just yet!

Where can people find out more about your work? 

My website is the best place to start! davidsevern.com  
I’m also on twitter @davidsevern.

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Dec 13

FORGET BEAR HUGS! Team Paa Joe just wanted to thank EVERYONE that supported us on Kickstarter. 
So here, at long last, is the complete list of all our delightful backers - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!
 
Paul Boateng
Constance Brinkley 
Stephen Etheridge
Becky Morris Knight
The Worksop Loop
Jessica Hayes-Gill
Richard Frost
Susan Fraser
Eleanor Keys
Ali Emm
Jason DaPonte
Masato Taniguchi
Caroline Cawley
David Wayman
Jared LeftLion
Harry Wilding
Katherine Pan
Nail Jay
Oscar Lhermitte
Jeremy Salfen
Nell Brooker
Michael Ogura
Tom Devey
Penny Reeve
Chrisón Thompson
Robert Brinkley
Dave Deighton
Rebecca Brand
Simon Linder
Brandon Kahn
Lisa Oliver
Jennifer Tucker
Andrea ‘Drizzy Drake’ Quainoo
Gus Péwé
N3V Games
Brian Golden Davis
Jenny Lee
Stephanie Weston Smith
Jane Nicholson
Lucy Bowers
Kallina Brailsford
Sharna Jackson
Susan Morris
Ed Bannard
Melanie Diggle
Trev Coker
Miles Morland
Ama Karikari-Yawson
Paul Atchison
Tim Talbot
Nick Lawford
Anna Ray
Elhum Shakerifar
Natalia Ossowska
Tomas Leach
Jen Mazer
Graeme
Tracey McMaster
Rhys Fowler
Stuart Elms
Amy Rose
Tom Walsh
John Sampson
Georgia Bateman
Chris Black
Sarah Mosses
Alexa Smith
Philip Formby
Cheri Quincy
Luke McGibney
Jennifer L Smith
Kris Williams
Suzanne Alizart
Mandy Briggs
Gifted Scribble
Mattias Kiiehn Nielsen
James Edwin Bettney
Sophie Bower
Erik Fonseka
Susan Kattwinkel
Rose Tea
Laura Leighton
Carlton Solle
Kate Mytron
Zoe Brummell
Subjective Films
Dianne Thomas
Ian Dinwiddie
Nick Tyler
Will Massa
Kate Stoddart
Anna Maloney
Letty Bonnell
Rowland Jobson
Vercruyssen Maxime
Colin Shanks
Andrew Payne
Jonathan Carr
Anthony J Sullivan
Lauren Squires
Rosamund Ward
Sally Morris
Clare Hansen
Sam Goodman
Ben Chapman
Chris
Sara Bivigou
Jean Power
Camille Sales
Kevin Tobin
Hamish Lindstrom
Alexander Sarlay
Jon Saxon
Jenna Elizabeth Round
Segun Lee-French
Bettina Reuhl
Virginia Ryan
Jes Benstock
Amy Blackwell
Rachel Jolley
German Kral
Anna Jeffries
Caroline Eccles
Bethan Weston
Jeffery Baker
David Stewart
Topher Batchelor
Raechel Beardwood
Ed O
Holly Elson
Aiko Hiramatsu
Sarah Winfield
John Keville
Jeanie Finlay
Caroline Pick
Chloe Johnson
Tony Kelly
Libby Durdy
Lucy Atkinson
Deborah Fletcher
Andrew Knight
Philipp Enders
Century Films
Shana Ponelis
Maren Strenge
Steven Dhoedt
Mark Michel
Eileen Wigley
Catherine Simpson
Mari
Jonathan hamilton
Sophie Goswami
Aimie Glenn
David Louis Lankester
Jordan Brooks
Stephen Jon
Kevin Tennant
Paul Henegan
Sue Jolley
Jim Silverman
Anna Seifert Speck
bang Short Film Festival
Mary Ellen Mark & Martin Bell
Daniel England
Malcolm Calvert Stubbins
JD King
Ben Knapp
Sue Collins
Alma Cunliffe
Chris & Helen Osborne
Philippa Cracknell
Tom Hemmings
John Slee
Kate Duncan
Nana Asamoah-Twum
Imogen Sotos-Castello
Curtis W. Jackson
Lucy McDonald
Sarah Tolman
Ruth Heinemann
Cary Welling
Ayanna Witter-Johnson
Adam Lee
Megan Wigley
Sasha Andrews
A+W
Cheryl Gill
Tom Wood
Rosemary Parkhill
David Chamberlain
Jo Allen
Diana Pasek-Atkinson
Rachel
Meryl Somersall
Melanie Grant
Bryn Mabey
Gary Thomas
Adrienne Maguire
Abigail Landon
Karolina Lidin
Rob Mackinder
Julie Gibbon
Vanessa Merrill
Toby
Andy Eastwood
Joe Hardy
Elspeth Berry
Alison Little
May Davies
Clare Long
Mathew Trivett
Alison Denholm
John Turrell
Will Wilkinson
Ian Gardiner
Russell Noon
Russell Slater
Christopher M Shannon
Leanne Rhodes
Lydia Evans
Ben Govier
Gavin Humphries
Andrew Senay
Kate Ibbeson
Mary Kearns
Jamas Enright
Kate Webborn
Katy Wigley
Debbie Senior
Rebecca Gove-Humphries
Sue Cullen
Rebecca Ashton
Pippa Kahn
Kayleigh Hunt
Andy Batson
Miles Clark
Tom and Roxy
Victoria Broackes
Mayhem Film Festival
Zena Marchington
Rachel Dargavel
Dana Moffett
Meli Gueneau
Christopher Hird
Margaret O Brien
Mark Frost
Tony Roe
Gabrielle Smith
Cailin Yatsko
Karen waters
Chris Bray
Mark Pyper
Dan Pascall
Edward Yeoman
Kathy Brummell
Peter Talbot
Gideon Malitskie
Jem Talbot
Saira O’Mallie
Ellie Manns
Thomas Freshwater
Dan Hodgett
Alex giles
Mike Mcloughlin
Lisa Tehrani
Donna M Capin, MD
Diana Smith
Anne Jennings
Spaceships are cool
Tommy Rampling
Matt Scullion
Peter Hutton
Mara Sprengel
MyMoog
Sinae Ha
TSquared Films
Mathew Nixon
Sita Owen-Shaw
Simon Laws
Dense & Andrew Fett
Jon Benson
Nathan Shelock
Vpoint.TV
Doug Smith
Adam Gahlin
Beth Kagan
David Jolley
Wellington Films
Elly Condron
Wellington Films
Elly Condron
Rocket Scenery
Marc Godait
Francois Matarasso
Broadway
Bottletop
Deborah Joan Haywood
Carol Williams
Rob Coke
Benjamin Wigley
Andrew Peter Smith
Marie Luckett
Miriam Jackson
Kelly Knight
Ruth Paxton
Ursula Liang
Farmer Ted
Winifred Boyd
Christina Wood
Mark Grieco
Martin Morgan
Shona Powell
Ali Gavan
Charlotte Poole
Arif Mahmood
Christopher Thomson
Tom Cooper
Adrian Bhagat
Rachel Clare Williams
Yvonne Mustapha
Chas Palmer-Williams
Charlotte Meredith
Thais Lenkiewicz
Cheryl Bowles
Mary Mizuno
Andrew Coles
James Ollerhead
Anthony Hammond
Emily Morgan
Paul Scullion
Peter
David Wallis
Bridget
Anne Whiteley
Jamie Wolpert
James Wigginton
Sarah Stout
Ted Hemsley
Al Needham
Karen Hoy
Nick Aldridge
Sam Derby-Cooper
Ashley Carter
waynex
Sam Potter
Sarah Lucas
Tim Smith

FORGET BEAR HUGS! Team Paa Joe just wanted to thank EVERYONE that supported us on Kickstarter. 

So here, at long last, is the complete list of all our delightful backers - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!

 

Nov 12

JUST HOURS LEFT!
We are delighted that our project will definitely be funded now we’ve passed the £20k mark and would like to say a HUGE thank you!
If you want to join our successful campaign you’ve still got a little bit of time left to grab yourself one of our fantastic rewards - a Paa Joe tee, tote bag, Ghana print or even a mini lion sculpture by Paa Joe himself!
Any money we raise over the £20k will be put towards music licensing for the film - enabling us to use tracks by Ghanaian Ebo Taylor and more. If we raise over £2000 more we also hope to be able to work with poet Benjamin Zephaniah to bring his unique voice and words to the film, adding another work of art to a film full of them.
Extra money will also help us pay for post-production work, marketing and promotion and the Gala event to launch the film when finished.
Thank you all for getting involved… here’s to the last few hours!
#Team Paa Joe

JUST HOURS LEFT!

We are delighted that our project will definitely be funded now we’ve passed the £20k mark and would like to say a HUGE thank you!

If you want to join our successful campaign you’ve still got a little bit of time left to grab yourself one of our fantastic rewards - a Paa Joe tee, tote bag, Ghana print or even a mini lion sculpture by Paa Joe himself!

Any money we raise over the £20k will be put towards music licensing for the film - enabling us to use tracks by Ghanaian Ebo Taylor and more. If we raise over £2000 more we also hope to be able to work with poet Benjamin Zephaniah to bring his unique voice and words to the film, adding another work of art to a film full of them.

Extra money will also help us pay for post-production work, marketing and promotion and the Gala event to launch the film when finished.

Thank you all for getting involved… here’s to the last few hours!

#Team Paa Joe

Nov 11

Producer Anna tells us what Paa Joe & The Lion means to her

Back in 2011 I got an email from Ben that was, as is his way, very direct and to the point.  It just said something along the lines of “Here’s a trailer I’ve put together.  Do you want to help produce it and make it into a feature?”  I watched the trailer and as soon as I heard Paa Joe’s laugh and saw the images of the different coffins there was absolutely no question, of course I was going to help to produce it!

And so the whirlwind began - applications for funding, Documentary Campus Masterschool, pitch workshops, Doc/Fest good times, and of course, going to Ghana. I’ve only been over once, to collect Paa Joe and Jacob before their trip to the UK, and it was incredible.

I was supposed to go another time, around New Year ‘13, but, the powers that be had other ideas. Just a week or so before Christmas 2012, on the day Ben and I were due to go to London and meet James Hunt from Sky Arts, I fell down the stairs and broke my foot. I was absolutely gutted as it meant I wasn’t allowed to fly with a cast on my foot and was strongly advised not to make the trip. I couldn’t believe it. image

The reason for the January trip was to film Paa Joe building his mother’s coffin, who had died earlier that year, and then her funeral.  I so wanted to be a part of it.  At the time I was struggling with my own grief, as my Dad died just a week before I tripped down the stairs, and I thought that going to Ghana to visit Paa Joe and be with his family during their time of grief might help me in my grieving process.  But alas, it wasn’t to be.

When Ben came back from the trip and showed me the footage he’d shot, I found it incredibly powerful.  I was still going through the motions of what had happened and watching Paa Joe, this big, strong character, organise funeral proceedings, build his mother’s coffin, and be surrounded by his family was somewhat difficult to watch but very beautiful too.  As I watched, memories of my father that had been locked away were released back into my consciousness and I felt as though I could see this in Paa Joe - as I watched him putting the finishing touches to the stunning white coffin, I imagined that memories of his childhood and his mother were being unlocked too.

Paa Joe & The Lion follows a man trying to save his business and legacy, but it also shows a man, and a family, dealing with emotions and difficulties that each and every one of us have to too.  It is poignant, moving yet also celebratory and has had a deep impact on my life.  I treasure this film, and Paa Joe and Jacob, very much and am looking forward to the next stage of the journey.

Thanks, Anna

Nov 10

A great reward for anyone involved in film and documentary making - or who just loves an awesome film festival! Sheffield Doc/Fest is an acclaimed event with fantastic guests, a brilliant programme and lots of exciting opportunities for documentary film-makers.
If you’re a director, producer, editor, cinematographer or just looking to get into the film industry then you can grab this perk and get yourself a unique networking opportunity. As well as getting to meet the other festival-goers you’ll get a Professional Date with the Deputy Director Charlie Phillips, who will give you a tour of the festival and advice on how to make the most of it.Big thanks to everyone at Doc/Fest for their support throughout our Kickstarter campaign and for donating this awesome, one-of-a-kind perk!
Visit kickstarter to grab this perk now - only 48 hours left!

A great reward for anyone involved in film and documentary making - or who just loves an awesome film festival! Sheffield Doc/Fest is an acclaimed event with fantastic guests, a brilliant programme and lots of exciting opportunities for documentary film-makers.

If you’re a director, producer, editor, cinematographer or just looking to get into the film industry then you can grab this perk and get yourself a unique networking opportunity. As well as getting to meet the other festival-goers you’ll get a Professional Date with the Deputy Director Charlie Phillips, who will give you a tour of the festival and advice on how to make the most of it.

Big thanks to everyone at Doc/Fest for their support throughout our Kickstarter campaign and for donating this awesome, one-of-a-kind perk!

Visit kickstarter to grab this perk now - only 48 hours left!

Nov 08

A message of support from our Associate Producer

We recently received a lovely message from our Associate Producer, Constance Brinkley (who pledged over £1,500 through Kickstarter) and thought we’d share it with you.

Here’s just one of the many reasons people are supporting Paa Joe & The Lion, and we could couldn’t be happier about it!
If you’d like to do the same you only have a few days left to get involved. Head to Kickstarter to find out more now.
"I have a love of West Africa and the artists that live in these countries. My brother and his family lived in West Africa for about 10 years on two different occasions and two different countries.
I visited him for 35 days when he lived in Dapaong, Togo and 14 days when he lived in Abidjan, Cote d’ivoire.

I have such respect for the people who make their living through art and creativity. I have collected some of the most beautiful work on my visits. I have seen fantasy coffins and admired the work that went into them. I also am a photographer and have done some film work, so when I saw this project it was a “marriage made in heaven” art and a documentary.

I want to help preserve this craft and supporting this project brings awareness to the creativity of the great carpenters of Ghana and their gift of teaching others to carry on with this tradition.

Paa Joe’s craft needs to continue as an integral part of the local funeral culture and as a craft of creative art. I feel compelled to help you make this happen. Preservation through documentary awareness. Great project. When this is completed, and I know it will happen, I will be making a trip to England to hopefully meet you and the team and see the outcome of my investment.

Best wishes to you!
Constance”
Our huge thanks to Constance for becoming our Associate Producer and for these beautiful, inspiring words.
#TeamPaaJoe

Nov 07

[video]

Another mix to Get Down to!

The guys from Get Down Sounds have sent us an afro-centric mix for our (and your) listening pleasure. Enjoy…

Get Down Promo Mix #4 by Getdownsounds on Mixcloud

BIIIIIIIIIIIIG HUG!It’s time to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH to a bunch of our lovely Kickstarter supporters.So, to these very special people we send a big squeeze from all of Team Paa Joe…
Ben Chapman
Alexander Sarlay
Simon Linder
Christopher M Shannon
Sam Goodman
Clare Hansen
Russell Slater
Russell Noon
Rebecca Brand
Doug Smith
Jem Talbot
Ian Gardiner
Charlotte Meredith
Dave Deighton
Will Wilkinson
Sally Morris
Chas Palmer-Williams
If you’d like to join the roll call of awesome individuals head to our Kickstarter page now - we’ve only got a few days left and we’re SO, SO CLOSE!

BIIIIIIIIIIIIG HUG!

It’s time to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH to a bunch of our lovely Kickstarter supporters.

So, to these very special people we send a big squeeze from all of Team Paa Joe

If you’d like to join the roll call of awesome individuals head to our Kickstarter page now - we’ve only got a few days left and we’re SO, SO CLOSE!