Mortal Legacy - Nigel Aves Photography

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Mortal Legacy.
Produced by Mandy Godown and Nigel Aves.
Original Music by Derick Disterhoft

The one and only - Joe Ramas.
Mortal Legacy was a short slideshow/movie that used photographs and video to show the state of the world. It was originally produced for "The Visual Suspects" (Art Show) in Boulder, which was organised and produced by Joe Ramas. This slideshow was made about 14 years ago. It did upset a few people, but overall everyone understood the message that Mandy and I were trying to achieve. A number of people asked if they could use the movie as an educational tool. And of course, we agreed.

Sadly, on May 7 2016,  Shortly before midnight, Joe Ramas and Stacey Reynolds (Joe's girlfriend and fellow performer) were stopped at an intersection's red light in a left turn lane when a teen driver struck their vehicle at a speed upwards of 45 miles per hour. According to an arrest affidavit, police found no evidence that the teen driver tried to brake before the crash. The driver fell asleep at the wheel after smoking marijuana. Never smoke marijuana and drive; it's as bad (if not worse) as drinking and driving.

Joe was an amazing performer. I first met Joe at Cheers (in Longmont, now "The Speakeasy") when he played with his band. His guitar playing was incredible. He played the guitar in the style of classical guitar but produced "rock" music that was incredible to listen to. He could act, dance and perform aerially. We were begging to form a great friendship before the fatal day of May 7th.  

The quality of this video is not great (it was initially made for use on a 720X480 projector). The whole story is that I uploaded Mortal Legacy to YouTube, where it was seen by a large number of people. Then, in April 2024, I had a message that it was being taken down because of the depiction of violence shown. (Still photographs of real events that happened). I did appeal this, but it was rejected. I was able to download the video from YouTube. Unfortunately, the backup of the piece had become corrupted over the years.

In the context of humanity's state, "Mortal Legacy" paints a complex picture, highlighting both the triumphs and downfalls that define our existence. Here's a breakdown of the good and bad:

The Good:

  • Innovation and Progress: Humans are constantly pushing boundaries in science, technology, medicine, and the arts. Our "mortal legacy" includes breakthroughs that have improved lives and our understanding of the universe. From medical advancements to space exploration, we strive to leave the world a better place than we found it.
  • Cooperation and Compassion: Humans can come together for great causes despite our differences. We have a long history of collaboration to address global issues like poverty, hunger, and disease. Acts of kindness, empathy, and social justice movements showcase the positive aspects of our nature.
  • Creativity and Expression: Art, music, literature, and other forms of creative expression are a hallmark of human civilisation. These legacies enrich our lives, inspire future generations, and offer a window into the human experience.

The Bad:

  • Destruction and Conflict: Throughout history, humans have waged wars, committed acts of violence, and caused immense destruction to the environment. These conflicts and our greed leave a negative mark on our legacy.
  • Inequality and Injustice: Social and economic inequalities persist despite our aspirations for a better world. These inequalities create suffering and limit the potential of many.
  • Short-shortsightedness and Denial: Humanity struggles with considering long-term consequences. Climate change and environmental degradation are prime examples of how our actions can negatively impact future generations.

The Balance:

"Mortal Legacy" is a reminder that humanity is a work in progress.  We are capable of both great good and terrible evil. The state of humanity is a constant struggle between these two sides.  Our legacy will ultimately be defined by which side triumphs in the long run.

Joe  performing one of his many dances.

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