This video, directed and animated by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell, features the words of Eugene Hütz—leader of the gypsy-punk-cabaret band Gogol Bordello—sharing his views on ‘globalization’ and putting forward an alternative vision of what he calls “multi-kontra-culture.” This animation, with sound production and arrangement by Judith Sloan, is the newest manifestation of Lehrer/Sloan’s multi-media project, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, which documents and portrays new immigrants and refugees in the United States.
Warren and Judith were hanging out on a Lower East Side rooftop one hot summer evening, drinking vodka and sharing stories with members of Gogol Bordello, when Eugene came out with his critique of multi-culturalism, and offered up a kind of extemporaneous manifesto of multi-kontra-culture. They liked his vision so much, they ended their 400 page, 4-color book with it (W.W. Norton). Judith mixed it with some street noise and the accordion of Yuri Lemeshev, also from Gogol Bordello, and made it the last cut on the Crossing the BLVD CD. That cut called “Globalization” is the soundtrack of this 4 minute 15 second animation, which Warren recently completed in collaboration with artist/animator Brandon Campbell.
The project was supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
is an artist-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying stories of the uncelebrated. Founded by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan in 1999, our projects bridge the divide between documentary and expressive forms in books, exhibitions, on stage, in sound & electronic media. We are committed to fostering understanding across cultures, generations, gender and class, through artistic productions and education. We bring our work to theatres, museums, festivals, schools, universities and prisons.
Warren Lehrer is a writer and artist known as a pioneer in the fields of visual literature and design authorship. His books are acclaimed for capturing the shape of thought and reuniting the traditions of storytelling with the printed page. He just completed an illuminated novel entitled A Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, which contains 101 books within it. Judith Sloan is an actor, writer, radio producer, and oral historian whose works have been performed and aired around the world. Her award-winning radio documentaries and audio essays merge reportage with music and sound art. Her new play, Yo Miss! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide, is part documentary, part music, part poetic autobiography. For more information about EarSay, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan, visit www.earsay.org
Combining elements of punk, gypsy music, and Brechtian cabaret, Gogol Bordello tells the story of New York’s immigrant diaspora through debauchery, humor, and tremendous musicianship. Gogol Bordello is arguably the hardest working—and hardest rocking—group of our discordant new century, maintaining a touring schedule and an onstage energy level that would send the average combo running for the emergency room. Their encounters and adventures, as well as the band members’ own immigrant histories, fuel the subversively upbeat story-songs on their latest recording, Trans-Continental Hustle. Front-man and lyricist Eugene Hutz spins out scenarios that are, by turns, hilarious and heartbreaking—from the outsider experience of gypsies in his native Ukraine to the struggles and celebrations of Brazil’s favelas. For more information about Eugene and the band, visit www.gogolbordello.com
join the conversation…
What does Globalization mean to you and how do you see it affecting the world around you, for better, worse, and/or otherwise?