Manning's current work on The Odyssey Project film grows out of the belief that relying on that "sophisticated machine" of mainstream media to tell the truth about incarcerated young men of color would be an exercise in futility.
The Odyssey Project, now in its fifth year, is using the arts to combat recidivism for juvenile offenders in a completely unprecedented way: by creating an arts-based "intervention" at that critical point near the end of a juvenile offender's teen years, when, like Odysseus, they have life choices to make that will indelibly determine their future's path.
"I am experiencing a kind of crisis," Tchaikovsky wrote gloomily, after being ordered by the tzar's flunkeys to compose a ballet score for a flimsy tale centred around children, rats and a candy kingdom. After the glory of The Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker commission seemed like an insult.
The boys shuffle in from the bright Isla Vista heat outside, eight teenagers dressed in the navy blue polo shirt, slacks, and black-and-white converse sneakers that constitute the uniform of the juvenile detention center a few miles outside of town.
Lustig reminds us that the company is an integral part of Oakland's vibrant arts community, and cites strong support from the City of Oakland, as well as from his board, that this year has enabled him to commit to three performances of The Nutcracker.
In August, Michael Morgan, 33, rode up to a pub called "The Club" and poured fuel over the front of the bar, the BBC reports