Monday, November 20, 2006

Book Launch: "Scattered Joy" by Alexandra Seegers



article written by Sonia Bhalla, NY, New York

Before I went to the book launch of Scattered Joy , I did not quite know what to expect. I thought this would be an event where the author would just be promoting herself and her book. But after attending the event, and speaking with the author, Alexandra Seegers, I came away inspired.

Alexandra Seegers started her book project 5 years ago when she took a trip to Tibet. Since childhood, she had always wanted to visit the place. She fell in love with the region, which inspired her to do more trips to South Asia, Vietnam and Thailand. And as a result, this book was created.

Author, Christina Morato describes
Scattered Joy as she says that it "shows the dignity and the spiritual and cultural wealth of the women that the traveler has met in the remote villages of Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, India, Nepal and Tibet." The book is a compilation of photographs showing women and children from these regions living everyday life, including depictions of cultural rituals. Alexandra Seegers integrated herself in these environments as she lived in these regions for weeks or months at a time and was able to capture moments that evoke emotion and give a true sense of reality to the audience. Although the subjects of the photographs may be living in rural areas and in poverty, the photographs show women with strength and beauty. These photographs inspire and motivate one to take notice of the serious issues concerning women in these third world countries.

This book is supported by a company called Gaia de Vida, founded by the author herself, which forms alliances with non-for-profit organizations in order to create multi-media presentations which focus on issues pertaining to under-developed countries, such as famine, health, clean water, micro-credit, shelter and safety.
Scattered Joy is Gaia De Vida's first project to be used as a tool to raise money for these countries and to promote the cause of Gaia de Vida associated non-profit organizations.

The book launch was a pleasure to attend. It was held at the
House of Tibet; a cozy setting for the book launch. The author was wearing an elegant Vietnamese embroidered top – an appropriate choice for the event. A lot of her friends came for support. The author gave a presentation, giving an overall summary of the book and explaining the purpose of this project. Alexandra inspired and encouraged me (and I am sure it also encouraged other people) to think about the various issues concerning these countries and to be more pro-active. Alexandra Seegers is an amazing woman, who is determined in her cause to better the future of the women and children in South Asia and South East Asia.

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