….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….
Note from Cecilia: Thank you Vina for distributing this to your tight knitted network of 3million Empowered Female Leaders in 190+ countries around the Globe. I am surprised and humbled for I am merely an Artist and occassionally a Sustainability Economist …. Namaste 🙏
Vina Sarker’s Article open sourced transparently to my readers:
Cecilia W Yu (余詠詩) is the Far-Eastern and Australasian Country Representative and Board of Adviser for VOICES OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE & VOWW-TV, headquartered in New York, USA …uniting strong voices for the ‘voiceless’ spread across 175+ countries. She is a Hong Kong Chinese-Australian Artist, Social Entrepreneur, Ambassador to UN Geneva, for NGO in special consultation with UN ECOSOC since 2017. She has also worked with her colleagues who co-won the Nobel Peace Prize 2002, the Nobel Women Initiatives 2012, Nobel Peace Prize 2010 and the Sustainability Nobel Peace Prize 2007.
Throughout her career, Cecilia has and is always raising awareness of the interconnected nature of Sustainable Economic development from the UK, Europe Far East, North America, Pan-Africa and Australia, and the possible intangible SDG solutions embedded, when creating her art. Her efforts to serve global public-interest as a citizen journalist by engaging wider global audiences on deeply reported topics and inspiring the next generation to value credible news and cross-cultural understanding. At times, she has found herself uniquely positioned and involved to serve and collaborate with journalists, newsrooms, schools, and universities as partners, by continuing to advance their core mission: enabling great journalism and education about underreported issues that resonate now—and continue to have relevance in times ahead.
Let me explain, while reading Cecilia’s e-column, I came across this particular story: https://ceciliayu.com/2023/03/06/pulitzer-and-ukraine/
Since her spiral muse days, where all modern women in her San Francisco Missions district based “Global Leadership Sorority” have some “blasts from the past” that were less than intelligent choices when they were younger and wilder etc!! But beyond the daily headlines, her stories have far-reaching consequences for liberal democracies around the world, with impact that will be felt for generations and its proper telling will require not only sustained in-depth reporting on the ground, but also close attention over an extended period of time.
Today, Cecilia stands as a global eyewitness to “cities under siege, civilians targeted indiscriminately, and a flood of refugees surging into neighbouring countries”, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine dominated her concentration on the news for much of 2022. VOWW supports Cecilia’s reports on Ukraine, from covering the 2019 election of Ukrainian President Zelensky and the Russian misinformation surrounding the elections, to diving deep into the causes and consequences of the eight-year stalemate in the secessionist regions of Ukraine following the Russian invasion of Crimea.
Cecilia wrote: “During my investigative journalism into the war zones, I had to take phone-calls from mothers and their children, legal administrators gathering evidence of war crimes against the invading army and female professors who refused to surrender the Academic freedom of their students to Russia! These incredible women continued their courageous task, sitting inside bomb shelters, recounting their experiences to me, while Putin bombed their worlds!
I, in turn, sent them photographic images of “normal” life; my afternoon high tea with my female friends, recordings of yummy mummies shopping for school uniforms for their children at Marks & Spencer and even some images of my attendance at Doctoral research workshops at the Shard in London, where I got annoyed by some pompous Professor!
They shared my laughter and my frustrations, while facing bombs! These images, for me, served to give HOPE to the women on the other side of the phone line! I felt so frivolous, yet the women in Ukraine, told me my reporting of daily normal life, helped a great deal! They were being bombed, and they told me they treasured the visions of “normality” like academic “office” politics, in a world of death and chaos! It was unbelievable! Even though I had published to 1.3million as a features writer and business journalist for The Boss (English edition) in India and Nepal, plus recent academic publication with a Kyiv University peer review journal during POTUS Biden’s secret visits….still, citizen journalism gave me an unique insight into the Truth (Veritas) of Journalistic Ethics i.e., to hold a trustworthy juxta-positioning of different realities, raw and free of manipulation, as much as one can!
Whereas Propaganda was the opposite of Truth, Trust, and Hope!
Russian #fakenews said that the lack of #Pulitzerprize winning Photos and Videos is an indicator that no #warcrimes were committed. It would be comical if it was not so sick and twisted because it is, Putin’s way of reminding the international community, just how many Journalists were killed and harmed by his thugs!
This issue of “credibility” of reporting is close to my heart…and somehow that was how I ended up being involved with yet another…Nobel Peace Prize 2022, engaging with some of the civil society stakeholders; to try to safeguard them!”
Cecilia enjoys “telling her stories like how it is,” having travelled to over 50 countries around the world & seen some interesting things every so often. Her need to support accurate, responsible journalism and to do everything she can to engage all people, across the political spectrum and the divides of class, race, and religion has never been more urgent!
When Cecilia honestly wrote “I am embarrassed to look back, there’s a cartoon drawn by a Danish cartoonist living in Paris about one of the times when I got a satellite phone call when I had zero bar on my cell in the back street of Soho, Chinatown on my way to Sunday Yum Cha with friends! …”
She had a call from Baghdad and confessed “it was insanely expensive (satellite mobile) and we were on the phone for ages ….”
The War Correspondence, who went on to win Baftas, Emmys and Amnesty Human Rights awards, on the other side of the phone was talking to a “younger, still artistic” Cecilia whom she felt they had forgotten about the danger he was in and she thought it would be brilliant to put their funny conversation into her monthly online e-column at Spiral muse!
Between them, quote:
“I reduced the bombing of Baghdad Hotel to a funny column that ended with some cheesy conversation about, “Are there any duty frees in Jordan? I love unique textiles! Can you find some for my St. Martins fashion design art class?”
He was like, “I don’t think so, but I’ll look … oh, don’t watch the news tonight. I am well.”
I said: “I don’t have a television. It interferes with my art process. What am I doing today? Taking photos of “food” around Islington for my fabric design…yeah…I’ll show you after!”
I share this embarrassing snippet with the ‘blast from the past’ because while my solution to dealing with problems of any kind was/is to Run Away to a different continent, I know I’ve changed in 2023! Honest! I don’t think like that roaring 20s chick from The Sun Also Rises (the only Hemingway I ever read from beginning to end!)….not anymore….
Today, I have grown up just enough to understand that perhaps “a fish may love a bird, but where would they live?”.
Cecilia has had 20+ years of putting together unusual partnerships into different 3rd world development projects & charities, as a Social Entrepreneur. She feels lucky she was introduced to Third world development and philanthropy as a teenager in Australia. The first grassroot project that she “banked on” started with picking up 4 street kids turned into a multinational Swiss based charity with over 170 + project sites around the world. Since she was just a kid at the time, the amount spent was not very much, and she confessed “that was how I learned that a small bit of money goes a long way in the 3rd world…but a lot of trust & hope goes further than what any money can buy!’
In 2009, she decided to venture into starting a Social Enterprise with the purpose of pursuing opportunities to create pattern-breaking changes in inequitable systems by fusing MBA level Sustainable business principles with Cultural Sustainability best practices of The Arts, UNICEFs & successful NGOs. Today in 2023, her Social Enterprise is part of a 1200+ Super macro-economic medical solutions/services network that inputs strategies with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to deliver post-pandemic global Healthcare and Wellbeing.
On her work as a Visual Artist, it is best to have a look at www.ceciliayu.com or check out her Saatchi online profiles. Occasionally, she is asked by fine Art purists why she chose to Art partner with a madman of an “original NYC Graffiti Art WildStyle Grandmaster ” Kel1st?
“I suppose like my social entrepreneurship work, as an artist, I refuse to accept limits imposed by society about what is Great Fine Art and “allegedly” populist Modern Design/Art. It doesn’t mean I would ever compromise on creative standards, as I am also a cinematic Producer for a UN NGO documentary about Female leaderships with Meryl Streep agreeing to compere; if Voww.tv gets the funding to get it to deliverables, I will be very proud of our work. I am proud of the interviews we conducted with various country’s female leaders already!
Until then, I have a life-long Nobel-endorsed academic “passion” research project about the Intangibility of the Arts and global Sustainability, which I lectured at an inhouse UN World Oceans Day 2022 Observance with various water sports world champions, Ambassadors from Costa Rica and Board members of UNESCO.
Being an artist brings me a lot of complex connections with a lot of people in the world …artists, we wear our hearts on our sleeves…sometimes… 🙂 ”
Vinanti Sarker Castellarin
Founder, Voices of Women Worldwide & VOWW-TV
“uniting” strong voices for the “voiceless”
Latest update 17/4/230 :
Cecilia: “It was wondeful to see Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker engage with Drone operators in Ukraine: His 1.1million likes and retweets helped to dispell propagandas a little….. May the Art Force be with you ALL. ❤️💛💜💚💙🖤🌏🏝️”
Cecilia is a Hong Kong Chinese-Australian Social Entreprneur, Artist, Directors of NGO in Africa, South Ameria, Asia and California who really really likes to "tell it how it is", having travelled to over 40 countries around the world & seen some interesting things every so often.
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This article is very interesting. I didn’t know about VOWW and I think it’s very important that we can know about artists and news ablut war and children and everythibg 😉
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Thank you. You are very kind. Ukrainian Women are fighting for their lives and for all those they love!