Lights, camera, fiction! Leaving Neverland Has Been Derailed

© hannah kozak

Michael Jackson’s 1982 Thriller Album

 

Lights, camera, fiction!

Leaving Neverland is anti-Michael Jackson programming at its zenith, a clearly fraudulent movie that is collapsing daily—even hourly as journalists, activists, and writers such as Keya Morgan, Mike Smallcomb, Charles Thomson, Kerry Ward, Raven Woods and John Ziegler fire more cannonballs and Reeds’ ship continues to sink.  We continue debunking everything from its major plot points to its minute details.

Leaving Neverland was never about what truly happened at Neverland Ranch or about alleged victims of sexual abuse. It was meant as a smear campaign against Michael Jackson. And as the movie’s credibility continues to fall apart, I’m left with so many questions… Like, why is the U.K. press covering director Dan Reed’s faux pas but the U.S. media is ignoring the whole ordeal? Why hasn’t Oprah, who publicly promoted the film, made a public statement about the lies that have since been uncovered since it opened? Who supported this movie? Who financed it?

Defending Michael Jackson doesn’t make you crazy and stating tabloid headlines doesn’t make you woke either. The story of Leaving Neverland is a painted upon, crazy canvas of lies, frauds, and players with an agenda. The movie itself is a plot to bring down the world’s greatest entertainer ever.

And you shouldn’t buy it—I would know.

I watched my mother be abused by her second husband for five years on weekends from the ages of nine to fourteen until she ended up in intensive care at UCLA with brain damage. She has spent thirty-nine years of her life in aging facilities. That’s a fact.

As someone who has a background with abuse, I resent the lies meant to pull on our hearts with the end goal of a financial payoff. I’m also a photojournalist. To document my father’s survival of eight Nazi forced labor camps during the Holocaust, I spent more than eight years on and off conducting research. Reed said he did three weeks of research for Leaving Neverland. I know it takes more time than that.

So, unlike the movie, let’s get some facts straight:

1) Wade Robson insisted Michael was trying to turn him against women in the movie. Meanwhile, Robson asked Michael to properly introduce him to Michael’s niece, Brandi, after they met on a commercial for Michael. Brandi and Wade had a relationship for more than seven years, during the time Michael was allegedly abusing him. This throws off the narrative, doesn’t it?

2) Wade never stayed behind in Neverland alone with Michael while his family went to the Grand Canyon. In her 1993 deposition and during the 2005 trial, Wade’s mother testified that the whole family, including Wade, went on that trip.

3) James Safechuck’s lawsuit against the Michael Jackson estate claimed abuse from 1988-1992. But the train station where Safechuck vividly described this daily abuse didn’t even exist during that time period. Dan Reed admitted days ago that Safechuck committed perjury because the train station only acquired permits for construction in 1993 before opening for use in 1994.

So Robson and Safechuck are not victims. They made up allegations to sue for hundreds of millions and lied repeatedly in court to try to get money. And it’s evident now that Reed has placed himself firmly in the driving seat of these allegations.

The deterioration of Michael Jackson’s reputation and well-being during the 2005 trials wasn’t enough for the media. The American federal judicial system found Michael Jackson innocent, but years later films like Leaving Neverland are still attacking him and spreading lies that he can no longer respond to because he is no longer with us.

Michael Jackson was a globally renowned black icon. He broke barriers between racism and religion and was a true humanitarian. As I wrote in January, try as some people might to put another nail in Michaels coffin, his dedicated fans and followers know the truth: Michael was a kindhearted man.

Michael Jackson was a fan of P.T. Barnum and believed he was put here to entertain and the show must go on. This movie is a three-ring circus and the show must not go on. This house of cards is falling down.

The Dalai Lama recently said: “We have to learn how to use our time properly. It’s important to make our lives meaningful. Bullying and cheating others may give a short-term return, but leaves a nagging sense of unease. Money doesn’t yield real satisfaction, whereas compassion does.”

I’m going with the Dalai Lama and the compassion that Michael Jackson showed us while he was on this planet. We need more compassionate hearts, not people getting on board a train of lies.

Michael Jackson had a soft heart in a cruel world. Like him, I will continue to stand up for what I believe in, as I have for the past ten years. Even if it’s not always popular, it is the only truth in my heart.

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No More Nails in Michael Jackson’s coffin – He’s Already Dead.

 

When I think of Sundance, the first word that comes to mind is quality. After that, I think of Robert Redford, integrity, and honor. Integrity for his vision in creating the Sundance Institute to bring movies made with class and vision and honor for sticking with that vision. To hear that Sundance would be screening the “Leaving Neverland” documentary hit me like a punch in the stomach.

Did Sundance take any steps whatsoever to investigate the real criminals in the multiple Michael Jackson extortion attempts? In 1993 Evan Chandler, a dentist who wanted to be a full time screenwriter made an attempt to blackmail twenty million dollars from Michael. When his demands were not met, he was recorded saying, “Everything’s going according to a certain plan that isn’t just mine … and if I go through with this, I win big time. There’s no way I lose. I’ve checked this inside and out. I will get everything I want, and they will be destroyed forever. June will lose custody of Jordy and Michael’s career will be over.” He did not go to social services, which is where one would go if there was any thought of child molestation. No, Evan Chandler went to the “meanest son of a bitch” (his words) attorney he could find.

Is Sundance aware that Thomas Sneddon, District Attorney of Santa Barbara County, in California, falsified evidence in a court of law in his vendetta against Michael Jackson? Why Sneddon wasn’t imprisoned is the bigger question. Sneddon is best known for his witch hunt against Michael Jackson even though Jackson was acquitted of all charges because simply, there was no evidence, only lies.

I am an award-winning documentary photographer who has spent nine years on various photo essays covering topics such as my father’s survival in eight concentration camps during the holocaust and my mother’s life in an aging facility for thirty-seven years after her second husband’s abuse left her with brain damage.

Another project I have been working on is “Searching for Michael Jackson,” a book project for which I spent eight years researching who Michael Jackson really was, apart from the image the media fed us. During my research, I found that Michael Jackson had lawsuits brought against him almost weekly for financial gain. After reading the court transcripts it became clear that the Arvizo Family was trying to get their slice of pie from Jackson’s hard work by making up lies that were so preposterous that laughs could be heard in the courtroom in 2005.

Now, with the tenth anniversary of Michael’s death around the corner, the media has begun bashing the man who was a proven victim of blackmail and extortion. First there was greedy Evan Chandler, who committed suicide four months after Michael died. Next the “Me Too” ( I want Michael’s money) Arvizos, proven extortionists and the biggest player of all, the media who loved to smear his name from Diane Diamond to Martin Bashir.

When will the travesties against this man end? The media doesn’t reflect the facts and Sundance should. When it comes to Michael Jackson, it is about lies and profit and always has been. The Michael Jackson estate has issued a statement saying this film was “another rehash of dated and discredited allegations” and a “pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on” the singer.

Wade Robson applied for a job choreographing a Michael Jackson tribute show for Michael’s estate. And when he was not chosen, Robson filed fifty lawsuits, seeking money for abuse, even though he testified under oath, vehemently denying any abuse in a court of law in 2005 even going as far as saying it was silly to even suggest he was improperly touched by Michael. Wade’s actions since he accused Michael are simply not consistent with someone who was traumatized by him. There are videos where he was praising Michael. Wade Robson is bankrupt because his lawsuit was dropped due to a lack of evidence and he is seeking to get money because after all, why work if you can just sue the Michael Jackson estate? What is Robson’s motivation? In the immortal words of Michael Jackson, after the first allegations: “If you show me the cash then I will take it. If you tell me to cry then I will fake it. You do anything for money.”

I would look forward to and welcome Sundance to screen a legitimate documentary made about the lies by Evan Chandler, Thomas Sneddon planting fingerprints and falsifying evidence in a court of law, Harvey Weinstein peddling fake Michael Jackson stories to take the heat off his real sex abuse, the “Me Too” Arvizos and their false claims against JC Penney and all the other weekly, monthly, and yearly blackmails made against Michael Jackson, a victim of extortion attempts, who was humiliated over and over while the media crucified him. When are we going to see that documentary?

Bad move, Sundance film festival.

© hannah kozak

Hannah Kozak – Self Portrait with some of the books I’ve read on Michael Jackson over the course of eight years.


Untethered in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

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Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

 

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Self Portrait – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala @ Hotel Posada del Angel

Feeling the need to recharge myself and go within, I decided to head to Guatemala.  It’s a place that connects me to my family of origin (my mother is from Guatemala), to the indigenous Mayan people and to the Spanish language. I chose Lake Atitlan and made my decision to try Yoga Forest for the first time.  After a quick stop in Guatemala City, I made my way to the colonial city of Antigua.

 

Antigua’s churches remind me of wonderfully decorated wedding cakes, with white details on a pastel yellow background. Wandering on the cobblestone streets I passed  colorful, colonial churches, crumbling ruins, and terra cotta roofs with bougainvillea trailing down the sides of walls. My first day and night were spent at the luxurious, intimate boutique Hotel Posada del Angel in Antigua on a quiet cobblestone street, where every detail has been curated by local connoisseurs who want to share Antigua’s Maya and Spanish heritages.  Even the little soaps are designed by a local alchemist who created a signature scent called “Semana Santa” from frankincense, orange, myrrh, clove and cinnamon.  Raw honey comes from San Cristobal el Alto, coconut oil from Belize, palm oil from Guatemala, and cocoa butter from Guatemala.

© hannah kozak

Hotel Posada del Angel

 

 

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Hotel Posada del Angel

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Hotel Posada del Angel –

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This woman was selling the typical Guatemalan dolls that look like the ones my mother had as a little girl so I bought one from her. Her face is wonderful.

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Three brothers – Antigua, Guatemala.

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Man in Antigua, Guatemala speaking of his beliefs in a higher power.

 

I headed out on the Carretera Panamericana also known as Centroamérica 1 – the Panamerican Highwayto Lake Atitlan.  A three hour drive on a collective brought me to Lake Panachajel, where I hopped on a boat (lancha) to San Marcos La Laguna, my peaceful, spiritual spot to escape the world.

 

© hannah kozak

Local Mayan woman – San Marcos La Laguna – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

 

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Two sisters – San Marcos La Laguna – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

 

 

 

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Local Mayan woman heading down the route from The Yoga Forest

 

Lago de Atitlan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.  Nestled between three volcanos that loom over the entire landscape, (Volcán Yolimán, Volcán Atitlean and Volcán San Pedro) at an altitude of 5,125 feet, it’s the deepest lake in Central America.  As far as I can see are the deep blue waters that inspired Aldous Huxley to write. Viewing the lake in silence is a true recharge while being surrounded by jogate and mango trees.

 

A young boy came running up to me, asking if he could carry my bags and I let him because I wanted to give him work. As he lugged my bags to Circles Café, I began to see the familiar signs in San Marcos that I love. Mayan women selling basketfuls of avocados, children running up and down the main path, the smell of tortillas cooking as I passed shady coffee plants near the lakeshore.

 

It’s a twenty-minute hike up a steep hill to get to Yoga Forest and it’s worth it.   If you are looking to disconnect, here is the place. No wi-fi without a twenty- minute hike back to the pueblo, no electricity in your room and a compost toilet.

 

Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.”  By committing not to turn on technology first thing in the morning , I received so many benefits including going inside for all my answers.  It required discipline to power off but the benefits are a much fuller life. At night I lay in bed listening to the sound of the crickets, birds and animals singing to their heart’s content.  Solitude helps us ground to the world around us. Stillness and quiet is required to evaluate our lives and reflect on the messages our intuition sends us.

 

Off the grid, three local woman lovingly prepared meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh blue tortillas, oatmeal, and pancakes. Even the coconut to sprinkle on our food was freshly grated.  These women embody my belief of “in a world where you can be anything, be kind.”  Even when it’s not the easiest response, it’s always the answer.

© hannah kozak

Maria at The Yoga Forest – San Marcos La Laguna

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Magda at The Yoga Forest – San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala.

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Magda cooking vegetables – The Yoga Forest – San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala.

© hannah kozak

Magda cooking tortillas at The Yoga Forest – San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala.

 

The view from the top of the mountain of the volcanoes is the best scenery in all of Central America. Jungle foliage and trees were medicine to my heart.  The highland Indians’ colorful clothes that they make themselves, their traditional way of life of farming, their local markets, and the art they create, are all like stepping back in time before all our modern ways.  Add in the Mayan culture and it’s a place that comforts and speaks to my soul.

© hannah kozak

Shooting nearly my entire visit in film made the photos even more magical for me.

One terribly upsetting factor in San Marcos — and all of Central America for that matter —  is all the stray dogs running around.  One morning I saw a dog with a bloodied ear that had flies covering the wound.  I found the only pet food store in San Marcos and waited an hour and a half for a mobile vet that was due to arrive. He never came but I exchanged contact with the girl who worked at the pet store.  When I returned home I contacted her and a great big smile was on my face when she told me that not only had she found the owner of the dog but also that treatment to heal its ear had started.

© hannah kozak

Micaela Pichilla – the girl who helped me find the owner of the dog in San Marcos.

© hannah kozak

Micaela Pichilla at the pet food store she works at in San Marcos La Laguna.

There is so much to do once at the lake. Exploring other villages by boat, studying Spanish and of course, doing yoga and meditation.  Not to be missed is Las Pirámides meditation center on the path heading inland from Posada Schumann, where you can have a massage, yoga in the morning and early evening, and come to study metaphysical and meditation courses. Lake Atitlan is not a place just to travel to, it’s a place to come and live for an extended period.  Moving to Israel when I was twenty years old I developed a serious case of wanderlust and I have never stopped exploring.  I travel in order to have no regrets at the end of my days, because I will have explored places out of my comfort zone, traveled alone at times and had adventures. Not everyone has traveled to a place like Lake Atitlan. It’s a promise that you will never forget the beauty and sounds at the lake, and will return home with peacefulness from being surrounded by the beauty of not only the water but also the indigenous people and the warmth in their hearts.

© hannah kozak

Girl playing near Lake Atitlan.

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One of the yoga teachers adopted Mala and brought him back home to Berlin.

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Self Portrait – Lush in San Marcos La Laguna


Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts-Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts is on view until  August 20, 2018 at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Please come visit the museum at the Grove and see what the museum is going to further Holocaust education.

http://www.lamoth.org/exhibitions/temporary-exhibits/survivor-my-fathers-ghosts–a-/

© hannah kozak

Entrance to Dachau – May 2017

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Self Portrait – Dachau May 2017

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Majdanek Concentration Camp – Lublin, Poland May 2015

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Chelmno Extermination Camp – Chelmno nad Nerem, Poland.

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Sobibór – The Road to Heaven that the Jews were made to walk to the gas chambers.

Survivor: My Father’s Ghosts-Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust


Michael Jackson’s Love continues 9 Years Later

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Queenie – Hong Kong banner

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One Rose for MJ

June 25, 2009 – I was a stuntwoman hired to work on Iron Man 2. As I drove on the 101 Freeway in the late afternoon, heading to the location in downtown Los Angeles, I couldn’t stop thinking about Michael and wrap my head around the fact that he was gone.  The news of his death had been announced only a few hours prior, and a part of me refused to believe it. When I met the stunt coordinator, I casually mentioned it, not wanting to seem like a fanatic.  Boy, how I would let go of that need years later.  The scene called for three stuntwomen to be running away from gigantic robots. One of the stuntmen landed on me and, as I would find out days later, broke a few of my ribs. I couldn’t breathe but I got up and did the shot again.  For some reason, getting hurt always made me go inside and ponder.

© hannah kozak

Angel of Light card “Smile” – Michael’s favorite song

After researching, writing, blogging and sharing my photos with Michael Jackson fans around the world for nine years, I grew to not care what people thought about my “obsession” with Michael. Actually, I began to believe that if you tell me what you think about Michael, I will tell you who you are.  Thus, began my search for the truth about who Michael Jackson was.

This year, like annual clockwork, the media has begun the totally baseless smear stories one month before the anniversary of Michael’s passing.  The medialoid  (mainstream media infected by tabloid journalism) loves to feed a constant diet of trash and lies about Michael. And his fans begin to defend him, as always, standing firmly for the truth and defending his legacy.  I look forward to the day when Michael’s volunteer work for children trends instead of the lies.  In the meantime, I continue my work on the anniversary of his passing to remind the world who he was, an innocent humanitarian.

© hannah kozak

King of Pop – from Romania

Why did the media begin a witch hunt against Michael as soon as he started breaking every musical record? First of all, Michael was the archetypal misunderstood artist, committed to his art and his creative vision even though he was being judged.

© hannah kozak

Banner from Queenie, Jessica and May – Hong Kong

Did you know that Michael Jackson was personally responsible for cutting the number of starving people on this planet in half back in the 1990’s? The media didn’t report that.

Michael Jackson was the personification of love.  What do we do with someone whose heart is that big?

Tall Poppy Syndrome is “a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down or criticized because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.” That is what happened to Michael Jackson the moment he started to break every music record ever made. A simple walk through Twitter for example, will  show example after example of people who never even knew him or read anything valuable about him trashing him. Hence, my belief of “tell me what you think of Michael Jackson and I will tell you who you are”. Are you judgmental? Accepting of someone who did not fit in any of the neat little boxes that society loves to place on people? Do you see his giant, loving heart that gave to strangers and visited sick and dying children before and after his concerts? A man who would donate millions of dollars from touring to various children’s causes? Is that what you see?  Or do you believe the lies that the media feeds you?

A Jewish proverb says, Do not be wise in words, be wise in deeds.Michael Jackson was wise in deeds.  Other-centered does not even come close to describing his character.  Listed in the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star”, he supported 39 charities and gave away $500 million in his lifetime.  Even in his death his earnings are still going to charity, as specified in his will.

© hannah kozak

Marcela – Argentina

As I walk around Forest Lawn Glendale, I focus on the love that I see for Michael Jackson and I feel my heart chakra stirring. I see handmade cards so intricate, delicate and beautiful that my heart is moved to tears. I have been in actual relationships and not had such cards made for me.

Here is Robyn Starkland who tirelessly organizes One Rose for Michael Jackson, year after year. This year, there are 8,047 roses purchased by fans around the globe. On June 26, the roses are donated to various charities around Los Angeles.

© hannah kozak

Robyn Starkland – Organizer of One Rose for Michael Jackson

I met Sarah, who flew 5 hours to Auckland and 12 hours to Los Angeles, from South Australia. This was her first visit to Forest Lawn. She said when Michael died “I was overwhelmed with tears and I didn’t know why. I had dreams where he smiled, picked me up and spun me around.

© hannah kozak

Sarah – South Australia

Every year I see artwork by an artist named Siren. This year I actually met and spoke to her. Siren is from Canada and did not start painting until years after Michael died. Her drawing began two years after Michael passed but she did not paint until 2014. She said “I credit Michael with all of it, all my creativity. That’s my connection to him, the relationship, my spirituality.”

© hannah kozak

Paintings by Siren from Canada.

Here are Rieko Ishii, Miyuki Amano, Yoko Abe and Yuki Otsuki, who came together from Japan. They brought this glorious angel winged, red rose tribute for Michael.

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Left to right: Rieko Ishii, Miyuki Amano, Yoko Abe, Yuki Otsuki from Japan with their winged angel rose arrangement.

Here are Queenie Las, May Cheng and Jessica Kwok from Hong Kong. They layed out pictures for hours on Saturday but everything was gone on Sunday.

Yasuyo Kaneko was sitting with an umbrella and her 2 little MJ dolls, complete with miniature flowers. I found a framed photo I loved, which turned out to be hand made by her.

People like Yasuyo are why I come to Forest Lawn Glendale every years on the anniversary of MJ’s passing.

Yasuyo is kind, gentle, soft-spoke and other centered. She created a delicate wooden frame with MJ’s favorite flowers, and was part of the team that arranged the giant arrangement of red roses, and angel wings in gold.

© hannah kozak

i love the details of the miniature flowers on this hand made frame by Yasuyo Kaneko from Yokohama, Japan.

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Yasuyo Kaneko – Yokohama, Japan

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Queenie Lau, May Cheng, Jessica Kwok from Hong Kong.

 

Michael Jackson didn’t just love his own children: he loved all children.  Perhaps that’s why he was judged so harshly by people who did not know him.  In the end, it’s not just his music, dancing and videos that bring people from all corners of the world to Forest Lawn Glendale to deliver their sweet, homemade gifts. It’s because Michael Jackson was the personification of love and what we need now, more than ever, is love.

© hannah kozak

I love this delicate, hand made doll from one of the Japanese fans!

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Painting by Siren – Self Portrait

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I love the simplicity of the hands in glitter.

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Arrangement from fans in Iran.

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Letter from fan in Iran

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Banner from fans in Ireland

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Letter from fan in China – page 2

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Letter from fan in China

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Messages of Love

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Musical symbol arrangement

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We Love You, Michael arrangement.

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Emone Tsang from Hong Kong

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Miranda – Hong Kong

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Hong Kong banner

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Eliza and Pat

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May Cheng – Hong Kong


The Magic of Oaxaca, Mexico

The Magic of Oaxaca, Mexico

From the moment my plane landed in the tiny airport of Oaxaca, I knew I was in for an adventure. Oaxaca is a magical concoction of sights, smells, and sounds. With a combination of ancient and modern sites, the small city is full of fantastic restaurants and can easily be covered by foot.

Its official name, Oaxaca de Juárez, embodies the bundle of contrasts that is modern Mexico. Oaxaca has it all: a lovely colonial city, the ruins of Mitla, craft and food markets, churches, forest covered mountains, and my favorite place of all—Monte Albán.

© hannah kozak

Monte Albán, Mexico

Built by the Zapotecs, the temples of Monte Albán are perched atop a large mesa. Seeing the massive ancient metropolis is a mystical and spiritual experience. Monte Albán is one of the most important ruins in Mexico. To get a sense of its importance, it is said that 30,000 Zapotecs lived in Monte Albán at one time.

© hannah kozak

Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico

The Zapotec capital of Monte Albán overlooks Oaxaca and the view is incredible.

© hannah kozak

View of Oaxaca, Mexico from Monte Albán.

I find myself with many questions about Monte Alban because only 10 percent of the site has been uncovered. Did the Zapotecs abandon the city gradually or suddenly? It was founded toward the end of the Middle Formative period around 500 BC and by 1000 AD it was empty. What was it like living in Monte Alban?

For this trip I used my Rolleiflex 2.8F and my Fujifilm X-T2 along with the Fujifilm 16-55mm 2.8 lens.

When I travel, I use my camera to get to know people. I’ll approach total strangers and ask if I may make a photo of them. With that one question, we establish a sort of trust. If I am shooting digitally, I will show them the photo on playback and I usually get big smiles in response.

© hannah kozak

Woman in Teotitlan Market in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Woman in Teotitlan Market in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Woman in Teotitlan Market in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Couple in their vegetable and fruit stand in Teotitlan Market – Oaxaca, Mexico

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Woman in Teotitlan Market in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Children in Tlacolula Market – Oaxaca, Mexico

I like to write down their address and sometimes surprise them with the photo in the mail a month or two later. Sharing my photography is important to me, and I love being able to give the gift of a portrait.

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Frutas y Verduras – Teotitlan Market Oaxaca, Mexico

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Eugenia Zoila Hernande at La Olla Restaurant making corn tortillas – Oaxaca, Mexico

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Man selling on street in Oaxaca, Mexico

Whether I’m taking pictures or not, traveling through Mexico is always a unique experience. From the Spanish language (la lengua), to the food (la comida), people (la gente), and culture (la cultura). There is a lot of fear-based advice about traveling to various states of Mexico coming from the U.S. that I have never paid attention to. I find all the fear propaganda unwarranted.

I have met beautiful people around the world in my travels, warm kind hearted strangers especially in Mexico. Their warmth and kindness shines through where I meet them in every market, street corner, restaurant, and ancient site.

 © hannah kozak

Woman in Teotitlan Market – Oaxaca, Mexico

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Woman in Teotitlan Market – Oaxaca, Mexico

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Woman – Teotitlan Market

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Woman – Teotitlan Market in Oaxaca, Mexico

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Woman – Teotitlan Market – Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico gifted me with enriching, heart breaking, beautiful sights and though it left me tired, I felt new life running through my veins.

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Skeletons – Oaxaca, Mexico

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Self Portrait – Oaxaca Cemetery

The Magic of Oaxaca, Mexico


The Love Continues for Michael Jackson 8 Years Later

The Love Continues for Michael Jackson 8 Years Later

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My three MJ dolls

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Entrance to Forest Lawn – 24 June 2017

Why do I return to Forest Lawn year after year on the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death? In a word, love.

Every year around June 25th, cards, letters, roses, flowers, gifts, balloons and sunflowers begin arriving at Forest Lawn Glendale and Neverland. I spend days meeting and talking to fans and creating photos of the love he continues to inspire. I show up because love is in my blood. It’s healing to be surrounded by these genuine expressions of love for Michael Jackson.

© hannah kozak

I have always loved Hitomi Osani’s art work from Japan. She puts so much love into each piece of art she creates.

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Hand made, detailed card from Vania in Italy.

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Inside caption detail.

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Card from Romania

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The creativity that Michael Jackson fans pour into their cards is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

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I love the simplicity of this card.

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Card from Mary K all the way from Greece.

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Envelope of card from 16 Japanese fans.

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I found this card to be so beautiful. 16 fans from Japan, who met each other because of their shared love of Michael Jackson. Heal the World he sang…..

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“It has passed for eight years. However, you are still brilliant. I love you, Michael, forever. From Japan, Noriko.

Japanese fans work on their Michael Jackson tribute quilts throughout the entire year. The details of the quilt and what the fans write on their tiny sections of the quilt are creative and loving. I have always had a feeling that Michael can see all of the genuine heart-felt offerings that are left in his honor.

© hannah kozak

Quilt from Japan.

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Insert from Japanese quilt from Risa.

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Quilt insert from Japan.

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Quilt insert.

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Quilt insert from Mayuko

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Quilt insert from 9 Japanese fans.

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Sanae Himarwari

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MJ’s eyes and eyebrows are finely embroidered by Akko.

© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Yuko Katsumata

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Ikuko Ozawa from Japan.

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Wonderful drawing of MJ by Rita.

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“I am proud to be your fan.”

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Another stunning artwork.

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Yai Kojima from Japan.

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backside of card – Yae Kojima – Japan

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Haruyo from Japan.

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Tiziana Schelling from Italy.

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Marisa’s lovely card.

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Chris from U.K.

I am particularly moved and proud to be a part of the ‘One Rose for Michael Jackson,’ organization spearheaded by Robyn Starkland. This year, 8,527 long stem roses are delivered for Michael. We unload the boxes in the hot sun and set them up. Tomorrow, on June 26, I will join Robyn’s team and show even more love by delivering the roses to various charities across Los Angeles.

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8,527 red, long stem roses line the way to Michael’s resting place.

 © hannah kozak

Robyn Starkland – Organizer of One Rose for Michael Jackson.

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The team that set up the roses from One Rose for Michael Jackson.

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The entire team!

After arranging the flowers, a woman carrying a handmade Michael Jackson doll catches my eye. I meet Miyuki Amano from Tokyo, Japan. The doll was intricate and well made. I have a fondness of MJ dolls, so I asked her how long it took her to make it. “It took me three weeks,” she answered. “One day I worked on it for six hours.” She told me she has loved Michael since the day she discovered The Jacksons in 1978. I thanked her, and without a moment’s hesitation she said, “I love you.”

That is a shining example of the power of Michael Jackson. He brings people from different cultures and continents together, who don’t even know each other, yet they have no problem expressing what can sometimes be hard for close friends to say to each other: “I love you.” The magnitude of such authentic kindness made me teary.

© hannah kozak

Miyuki Amano – Tokyo, Japan

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Left to Right:
Naoko Sekomune
Miyuki Amano
Hitomi Miura

I saw my friend Fanny Fung from Hong Kong. We were happy to see each other. She said she saw my recent photos on Instagram. “I would like to give you a thumbs up,” she said. More tears.

© hannah kozak

Hong Kong group
Left to right:
Miranda Yuen, Queenie Jackson, Fanny Fung,
Holy Leung, May Cheng
Jessica Kwok
Amy Chan

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Gorgeous art work from Hong Kong.

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Card from Cathay Cat Cat from Hong Kong

I liked the gentle nature of Jose Manuel and Sylvia Siles Rodriguez from Aran Valley, Spain. They are getting married at Forest Lawn on June 25, 2017.

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Jose Manuel and Sylvia Siles Rodriquez from Aran Valley, Spain.

I was taken by Raquel Jean-Joseph’s aura immediately. I asked her about her practice and she told me her mother told her to meditate and then it came to her in a dream, because she had severe anxiety, that she needed to meditate.

© hannah kozak

Raquel Jean-Joseph was radiant in person.

And, here is Timmy Dolan, who is eleven years old. He said “I’ve been practicing Michael’s dances since I was eight. I discovered Michael by watching him on TV. I love his dance moves, he created a lot of dance moves.” When I asked him what he loved most about Michael he said “because he was kind.”

© hannah kozak

Eleven year old Timmy Dolan.

Singer Leonard Cohen wrote that there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Michael’s light guided him throughout his life, through the good times and through the bad. He always gave credit to a higher power for his songs and ideas.

Michael was the soundtrack of my life. Driving in my 1979 white Volvo while listening to Off the Wall, and singing as loud as possible. Michael said he was here for a reason and that he loved being on stage because it made people happy. He felt it was his job. “As long as the people enjoy it, I’ll always be happy.”

© hannah kozak

Flowers from fans in China.

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From fans in Japan.

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From Vicky in Japan.

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From Naoko in Japan.

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Sachiko, Takeshi Nakamura designed this arrangment for the 35th anniversary of Thriller.

He was a public figure from the time he could walk, talk and sing. He knew he was born to entertain and he never doubted his purpose. His commitment to his art was first and lifelong. Michael’s dedication to his craft and his discipline continue to inspire me. His message of heal the world, we are the world, and his messages of peace, love for nature, and love for each other have never been more important.

 © hannah kozak

“I will sing to achieve any purpose. I sing the only flower in the world! You look at me from heaven.
Love, Atsuko

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Dear Michael, I miss you so. I want to see you again.
Harumi Onuzuka from Japan.

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Quilt from fans in Ireland.

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The creativity is endless.

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Purple and white roses from France.

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 © hannah kozak

Aunque los años pasen la herida sigue. Abierta siempre estarás en mi corazón.
Te quiero, Michael.
Carmina (Spain)
As the years go by, the wound continues. My heart is always open.
I love you, Michael.

Whenever anyone said, “I love you” whether it was family, friend or fan, Michael was famous for saying “I love you more.”

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© hannah kozak

© hannah kozak

Rest in peace.
Petra

Teddy Riley, producer of Michael’s Dangerous album and co writer of Blood on the Dance Floor and Ghosts said “I’ve never witnessed anything or anyone as powerful as Michael”.

Michael was a powerful, young boy from Gary, Indiana who loved the innocence of children and animals. He would cry not only when he saw starving children, but also if he missed seeing James Brown on television. He dreamt of being the greatest entertainer in the world, and he was. Michael lived for his music and died for it too. Now, the world has unrequited love for Michael.

From Michael Jackson fans all around the globe, to the mighty boy from Gary, Indiana:

“WE LOVE YOU MORE, MICHAEL.”

© hannah kozak

I really got a thing for these MJ dolls!!!

© hannah kozak

Self Portrait with Michael Jackson

The Love Continues for Michael Jackson 8 Years Later


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