Cal Poly Pomona's Karen Brzoska Honored for Video of West Africa


Cal Poly Pomona's Karen Brzoska Honored for Video of West Africa
?The Light, The Heat? is a four-minute documentary created by Karen Brzoska that captures the beauty and hardships of life in rural West Africa.

Brzoska, lead designer in I⁢, visited West Africa three times collecting footage for her award-winning film.

Karen Brzoska, lead designer in Information and Instructional Technology (I⁢), recently received an award of distinction from The Videographer Awards for her video ?The Light, The Heat ? Images of West Africa.?

The Videographer Awards is a national awards program directed by communications professionals that honors talented individuals and companies in the video production field. The program was designed to identify communications professionals who are raising the standards of the industry and to give recognition to those who are producing outstanding work that is highly regarded by their peers.

?The Light, The Heat? is a four-minute documentary that captures the beauty and hardships of life in rural West Africa. Shot in various locations throughout Cote d?Ivoire and Benin, the colorful footage is blended with an ethereal soundtrack to create an atmosphere of emotion and hope. To view the video online, visit The Light, The Heat.

The film is a result of Brzoska?s involvement with a two-year grant project aimed at providing women scientists in West Africa the educational tools necessary to succeed in business, and in turn, assist women farmers living in rural areas. Brzoska first visited West Africa in 1996 as part of a Cal Poly Pomona team collecting source materials to include in a training program. She made three visits to the region in the next two years.

?I don't believe it's possible to experience life in another culture without being profoundly affected; your attitudes, beliefs and way of looking at the world are constantly challenged,? says Brzoska. ??The Light, The Heat? is a visual expression of the feelings I encountered while in West Africa. I guess I was searching for a way to make sense of ideas and customs that were so new to me. It's very personal.?

Brzoska says when she finally sat down to edit the video, the title was already in place.

?Throughout our travels in West Africa we were very close to the equator,? she recalls. ?In fact, you could count on the sun rising at the same time everyday, regardless of the time of year. Within minutes of the sun coming up, the landscape would seem to glisten with reflections of light. In Cote d' Ivoire, we experienced the heat of the equator coupled with the humidity of the coast and the forests. ?The Light, The Heat,? lyrics from one of my favorite Phil Collins song, would play over and over again in my head as we traveled the region.?

Brzoska began creating videos in the early 1980s as she worked toward an undergraduate degree in broadcast communications at Cal Poly Pomona. In 2000, she received the Video Producer of the Year award from The Videographer Awards for her work on a project promoting peace in the Middle East.