Skip to main content

tv   Quadriga - The International Talk Show  LINKTV  May 29, 2016 2:30pm-4:01pm PDT

2:30 pm
>> welcome to this latest edition of "quadriga." this week, we are talking about developments in turkey among fears that president tayyip one-manis creating a state. the german chancellor has been in istanbul, expressing what she calls s her deep concern about turkey''s commitment to democracy. in the meanwhile, the rest of europe are increasingly dependent on erdogan.
2:31 pm
as the turkish leader has threatened to scrap a deal about migrants. the topic, is erdogan our friend? to discuss the question, i am excellentthree observers. beginning with maximilian popp who is a turkey expert. he says the refefugee deaeal is wrong. refugees of their rights. also with us is andreas kluth of the economist and he believes the only thing worse than sticking to the deal is not sticking with the deal. turkish journalist.
2:32 pm
i'd like to be in with you. i'd like to begin with ongoing merkel's visit to istanbul -- angela merkel's visit to the stumble. she spoke to members of civil society. i wonder what impact those kind of initiatives have in turkey? is anybody listening? deger: i have seen almost no article on the meeting about civil society. host: censorship? deger: i guess the press wasn't invited to the press conference. she wanted to get the message to the german media. a colleague of ours wrote an article where merkel said it is not up to her to fight for democracy in turkey.
2:33 pm
it is the duty of the turkish people to do that. course, it is important and it was expected from the pro-eu circles in turkey that that eu politicians would do something to support them. it is not merkel who is going to change turkish politics. meetingiscussed at that and welcome that she at least met civil society members. host: what do you say about that? people get angry when erdogan intervenes in german politics. maximilian: i don't to get would help the turks much. i don't think an intervention from the german chancellor wilil change t the humuman rights situation. no intervention in the past is going -- pleaded at t her in the past -- no intervention in the
2:34 pm it tha you see people getting uncomfortable with merkel being so quiet about human righghts violations. host: when people feel that discomfort, it is because a lot of politicians have been saying mr. erdogan has autocratic ambitions. do you share that view? andreas: i think there are tendencies, definitely. i feel uncomfortable myself about the discomfort of the people when we speak about turkey. we care so much about like the way merkel talks to erdogan. we talk so much about the question about whether merkel is in the hands of erdogan. but we talk about too little is
2:35 pm
the situation of the refugees and the consequences the deal has for refugees. doubleuffel standards -- standards. when we talk about president erdogan, people in germany 10 to act as if he is a despot. what is his perspective? rdogan? andreas: in a few senses he reminds me of vladimir putin to read even characters in german domestic politics. his relationship, his view on us in germany, over the past year is i think he felt hurt and humiliated. like a child almost, psychologically, that is how i view him. as putinin as well.
2:36 pm
he felt rejected it and he feels it is up to himself that he can take revenge. specifically when angela merkel iname chancellor, she -- contrast to her predecessor, she gave turkey the cold shoulder. in rejecting their ambition to join the eu. was notcorrect, erdogan an autumn on autocratic want to autocrat wannabe that he is today. part of the explanation is as simple as that. host: we are talking about whether erdogan is a friend of germany's. whether he should be. whether we should be engaging in the refugee deal. what you make of that analysis? deger: i agree.
2:37 pm
turkey, when you look at and the eu, the reform process started in 1999, there was a consensus between different groups and ideologies. goal. was a common you had less dispute. erdogan came into power in that time. they all agreed on the common goals. it was a huge mistake by merkel, i guess, when we look at that time now. i don't think erdogan forgives her. we know he feels betrayed. he is disappointed and doesn't trust merkel. we can see that merkel knows it because of the statement she made lately. words, deepes some
2:38 pm
discussions based on confidence. words,u elaborate on the that means there is a lack of confidence. she is trying to explain she is open to discussion. post: when we talk about turkish membership in the eu, there is a critic that says turkey is pretending. the eu is pretending. is that a fair a analysis? it is a missed a chance. if we look back to these days, decisionfrom now, t the of m merkel at 2005 4 2006 to tn away from turkey, to only s spek about this prprivileged papartnership, we will remembert as one of the crucial
2:39 pm
foreign-policy mistakes of her chancellorship. t: let's go back to turkey itself. the country is coming under pressure from the president. >> the presidential system is a request. to the systemse the country finds itself in. anyone who doesn't agree is going to pay the price. when the ousted prime minister grew to independent -- too independent, erdogan showed him the door and replaced him with a more loyal lieutenant. he has also taken a hard line
2:40 pm
with the opposition. opponents have been stripped of parliamentary immunity. erdogan use all kurdish politicians as terrorists. the turkish press is forced to remain silent. u up in court. is turkey on the road to dictatorship? host: is a question we have to talk about. you have been on the s show oftn have reflected on this. is he moving towards becoming a dictator? andreas: i think he is. the word dictator comes from rome. i wrote an essay on how populism, which also originated in rome, produces little caesars. he is one of the people we see a lot of. trump would like to be a little
2:41 pm
caesar if he could. it is part of a trend. after his perceived rejection, he decided like prudent to turn away from the west that rejected eo-ottoman,ld a n regain a certain standining. just asng in the past, putin removes opponents. that has always meant you were trying to become a dictator. the question is how far his society will let him. host: the prime minister was recently forced to resign. tell me what that tells us about turkey, about mr. erdogan. maximilian: the performance was not that bad. he was a loyalist. host: he had become too
2:42 pm
prominent? maximilian: and maybe too successful. it was right after the eu announced the visa liberalization was on track that he was removed. this was like the biggest success in his whole foreign-policycy carareer. a few w hours after that, , he s out. int shows there is no place turkish politics for a second man next to mr. erdogan. host: perhaps a one-man stateten the making. at the beginning of the short report, there was an trysting statement -- interesting said the from erdogan situation demands the of a presidential system. what situation and might he be talking about? deger: he usually talks about,
2:43 pm
you know terroror threats. he talks a lot about terror. it is really well-known, eu bashing. western bashing. rhetoriric that we know. you talk to people in turkey, you ask questions. yeah, the westerners. they don't want us to live peacefully. they support terror. it doesn't just count what what theays, i it counts party members communicate. there is a fear in society that turkey is left alone. yes, turkey is left alone and isolated. lots ofst of --
2:44 pm
intellectuals have been calling on europe to send a signal. when is enough enough? the red line i think has been crossed. even before the refugee deal.. the developments are disturbing. whether it wowould help to officialally announced a redline. we saw what that meant in syria when obama declared a redline. i'm not sure how much they help in politics. before, the troubling the toolsor europe, to intervene in turkey, to put pressure on the turkish government are very little. they are in a position where they can only watch. theeas: i agree and i think talk about red lines in this
2:45 pm
conflict is naive. redline and then what? what would you propose the west do? he finds himself in a difficult neighborhood. what is he trying to do? i find it shortsighted. i think he is driven more by psychology than strategic thinking. where is he trying to take turkey? i think he would like to bececoe the suntoman leader of ni world. but he is picking fights with everyone. to become the powerful person he wants to be, he has to find a lie somewhere. -- allies somewhere. that.not doining i see there is a limit to his ambition at some point. host: turkey very isolated, lost a lot of friends. have any dialogue
2:46 pm
with any other leader other than merkel. host: that is the ironic point. alternative?s the if you definepenn redlines? i don't think that is a solution to anything. i read an article on the policy related to russia. it is a selective engagement. when you look at what is going on between turkey and the eu, it is selective engagement. to be realistic, turkey and they u are cooperating in fields where they have common interests and nothing else. andreas: what else would one do? doing businesst with turkey.
2:47 pm
-- we are doing business with turkey, the refugee dealal maximilian, you have called it a farce. maximilian: we are doing dirty deals. the problem is the refugees have toto pay the price. the highest price is paid by the refugees. that is more the fault of the europeans than turkey. it was promised, and promoted, the deal was promised and promoted as something that would create an alternative to illegal migration. the refugees wouldn't have to step on the boats anymore and crossed the edgy and -- cross the aegean. so far, there have been a few people resettled. already, there is trouble.
2:48 pm
this is already the maximum number we can reach. this is not a credible, realistic alternative to illegal migration. the deal right now is outsourcing the responsibility for refugees to another country. europe has done that in the past. in libya. they are now doing it withh sudan. they are repeating the same thing with turkey. host: meanwhile, we are listening to what next million has to say, the german government has been arguing there is no alternative to the refugee deal. is that really true? rder external board an agency is patrolling the eastern mediterranean heavily. route is fences are a determinant.
2:49 pm
the eu is considering plans to give funds to greece. that could help the greek government set up a functioning infrastructure to provide adequately for the influx of migrants. asylum applications could be processed at these new hotspots and applicants who are turned it down could be returned to their home countries from greece. u stilill need a refugegee deal with turkey? question. maximilian says the deal is a farce. you said, the only thing worse then sticking to the deal is not sticking to it. andreas: at heart, the deal we have does represent outsourcing thee problem to that country jut outside our borders. host: out of sight and out of
2:50 pm
mind. andreas: however, what is the alternative? outsourcing it to another member of the eu which is having a different crisis, greece. the mysystic pressure, she e got herself out for the time being because of something she did not want which was a solution that the balkan states shut their borders. that dried up the refugee flows. there was a spectre they would all congregate on greece. esbos and other islands would become refugeeee camps. she said, what is the next best option in ththis real world? the only way she had, the only thing she had was to do a deal with turkey. sharelian: i still don't
2:51 pm
this view. i'm troubled by the fact that we the saying that there are only two options. the europe offensive and the turkey deal. there is a third option, follow our laws. the european constitution, the german constitution, they state refugees have the right to apply for asylum. please, let's go back to this and work on a third way. solutions asese solutions. there must be another. andreas: the law is a problem. the quote is you can apply in europe, the first country get to. if you enforce the law, you return the problem to those countries in crisis.
2:52 pm
maximilian: that t is a regeguln that you has to work on. it cannot be changed inin a wayt means no more refugees in europe. that is denying any responsibility. host: the refugee deal, what is the alternative? what is the best way to move forward? deger: i don't think there is an alternative. if the deal fails, it would have tremendous consequences on turkey germany relations. also, turkey would get more unpredictable than it is now. i fear the consequences. i don't think there is an alternative right now but i agree there should be alternatives respecting huhuman rights.. respecting refugee rights. at the look at it bilateral level between turkey eu, itmany and thae will work with changes.
2:53 pm
october forit until the visa liberalization. both sides have accepted it. o erdogan willl put forward his own interests. merkel will do the same with her political ambitions. she will focus and elaborate on her ambitions. we will watch a very tense negotiations. they will talk, they will continue to talk. the tension will remain. andreas: we will have interesting timing.
2:54 pm
theboat is berg -- interesting question is, let's say he does scuttle the deal. what will be refugees do then? they go where they expect success. whatat will their r next route ? everyone is looking for that. that is what is going to make the summer unstable. sober analysis. erdogan and autocrat? the way he governs the country is autocratic. host: should we be doing business? we do discuss with autocrats, i have no problem with that. we have to set up a deal with refugees. give me your vision, your idea of where german turkish
2:55 pm
relations are likely to go in the next couple of years. there are summoning people here in germany, good people with roots in turkey. is one of theis dramas we dodon't talk about muh right now. it is why i agree, if the deal fafails, the consequences wiwile bad. because i think this is one of the last chances those two countries, the eu and also german turkish relations, they have. mistrust will the be even bigger and i think dark times ahead. host: dark times ahead. thank you. we have given you plenty of food for thought on relations between germany and turkey. come back next week. bye-bye.
2:56 pm
2:57 pm
2:58 pm
2:59 pm
3:00 pm
announcer: this is a production of china central television america. walter: as the famous song says, "children are our future," but today, many young people are taking the future into their own hands. this week on "full frame," you'll meet some of them, their impact in their communities, and changing the lives of other children halfway across the globe. i'm mike walter in los angeles. let's take it "full frame."
3:01 pm
17-year-old leroy mwasaru is not unlike most high schoolers. he enjoys blogging, hanging out with his friends, and is a student leader at a school in kenya. but when the school wanted to build a new dormitory for its students, it faced a challenge. how to deal with the growing human waste problem that was contaminating nearby water sources? that's when leroy came up with an idea. create a human waste bioreactor that runs on, well, you guessed it, the students' own human waste.
3:02 pm
3:03 pm
walter: the idea and invention has garnered loads of positive press for the teen and rightfully so. his design has the potential to be a huge economic political and environmental game changer. and we're delighted that he's joining us now from nairobi. leroy, welcome to "full frame." leroy: thank y y for hostiting . walter: wewell, let's s get rigo it. tell us about how you came up with this idea. leroy:y: it was not ununtil i jd my first year of high school in 2012 that the school put up a nenew dormitory that housess 720 students. so, my teammates and i took it upon ourseselves to
3:04 pm
critically--to critically analyze and appreciate what the new dormitory had to offer. apart from the comfortable accommodation that i it had to offer, there wasas something ele and there e was a problelem that each attribubuted to--what a are this p problem? so t this problem wawas--we had other old dormititories that wee coconnected to the s same sewer sysystem. and the sasame sewer sysystem, during raining s seasons, will overflow to nearby streams, thereby polluting them w with the--this waste. soso this new dormrmitory meanat more stress on the--on the already stressed--already stresseded sewer s system and ao more w waste--more waste and moe pollution on the strtreams. so something had to be done e d really quick s since nody y wans feces in their w water. walter: so you knew something needed to be d done, so how did you come up with the idea? i mean, did you sit there and talk it over with your friends
3:05 pm
or was it just the light bulb went on one day and you said, "h"hey, i think i've g got a god idea"? how did it come about? leroy: ok, so mymy friends-- my team members and i drafted a--drafted a human waste bioreactoror that will use this waste that comes from this big dormitory that houses--that i is--that is housing a very big number of students a and also the other dormitorieinin schl anand so thatilill usorgaganiwaste e the hool. thisncncludeslasashegrass,s, it--thislslso inudeses c dungg fromhehe schl fafarmand alal food remai f frothe ststaf mbers analso thetudents. walt: so when yocame up wi the idea, en you wt to the ministraon the at the hool, we they exted with the idear how d they rea? becausa lot ofimes, yo know, ids, when ey come fromomebody o's adult ey tend be apprected more tn from aeenage perhs.
3:06 pm
ley: yea e schoolas very-as very pppporve of thidea and that clubub w formed d d alsowewe al had a mentor whwawas atched t tus so in this ub,, we are-- this cl, we h all sorts brainstming ereby--n-n only us but als other students who wilcome anbrainsto the ideas the ha t to pride locasolutions local proemems th have an cacal prlems that their communitieface. ye walterso you we ableo see this idea come to fruition, and it's nonow in place. what are some of the benefits that you've witnessed for the environment? leroy: ok. after building my second protototype, i implemented the same idea in our rural homee that is in t taita which is--which is in the coastal part o of kenya. so when we i installed t this biogas plant, we had a very large volume of f biogas being
3:07 pm
produced tt t eventuallyly, we had d to channel this gas toto r neighbors s at a very small fee. so in that project lies a very big g potential anand it will ao be used for lighting and electricitity. walter: so you're talking about the big potential and clearly, it''s there. do you--could you see this being utilized in other schools, other towns? i mean, what's your idea of how far this might spread? leroy: yes. i'm very-- i have very big--i have very big hopepes of--hopes for that. i had a--i had a aoman from m te prisons board in kenya approaoaching me a and requestig for the e same idea to be implemented in the prisons boboard because, currentlyly, ty have a problem on n their wawase disposal s system. so in it lies very--a big potential to mostly the prisons board and also in schoolols in that--currently, we are--we are looking on how we can reduce energy cost in schools and
3:08 pm
inititutio. so by cuttg g downhis s co thate e use nonon-rewable sources of ergrgy, f exaxamp, we have rerewoodhichch athe end oft t all useses gbal warming and soso caus clclime change. ye walt: : i me, thth could be a me chang in manyays, uldn't it? i mean, th has enoous poteial bend kenya, don't you thin roy: yesi ththin because i've alsseen m mconcept beg plied in, for exexple, the naudib] in, i thk, enand. yh, and i've als se it workg, and als we have gooexamplesn german walterteeneners a a loof times el likike,ou kno they can't really influen or r chge anything if the'young peop watchinghis, whaadvice would yogive tm if they-f they hava problein a counity d they wanto come up wh a soluon? ley: o ok. at i'like ttell them that ty shouldlways tr
3:09 pm
en if ththe seems that the's hope athe end becae at thend of itll, there is some personal--there is some personal growth that is usually cultivated in within him or her. and this, at the end of it all, builds into be a greater he or she in the--in the--in the specific sphere he's--he or she is championing against. walter: well, we've certainly seen some personal growth in you clearly through this whole experience and it has probably taken you in directions you probably never could have imagined. so talk to me about the future for you. you're still in high school, so what does the future look like for you, leroy? where do you see yourself going? leroy: heh. so, ok. thatat's a od q question.n. currentltly, i'm heheading to--. i'm about t to begin my final semester in high school. sooror me, it't's gettining done with high school first, then,,
3:10 pm
seeing on how i can uplift my ojoject and d develop it fururt. then frorom then on is--frfrom n onon is where i i can join the university. but at the end of it all, i plan to join the university. walter: one final question, leroy. you know, it's great whenever you see something like this, somebody has an idea, then it--then it's executed and it--and it comes off so well, flawlessly in a sense, but i'm sure there were probably frustrations along the way. were there ever times where you were discouraged as you were going through this process or did things go pretty well from ththe start? leroy: yeah. we had a couple of agendas but not all agagendas went as s we planned, so, o ok, some flopped and some went as we planned. ok. our first--our first challenge was in--determining the base material to use for our fifirst prototype. so at the end of i it all, we
3:11 pm
ttled at using twolalastic tanks to build a hydraulic biodigigester that we presenentd at our second camp in nairobi. then our second challenge e was after putting up our first bioreactor in school, we had p probl. and the oblelem s ouour hi----my hh scscho--my h hh schomamates. why? because theyueuenchetheieir curiosity s see wt ththe protote e was l ababou touching i a and sometime-t-then metitime theyy coulenend upumblblinwith i i so we ha-m-me anmy team d reconfire it. soso remememr one day, we had to reconfigure ifofor nolessss than 1titimes. walter: ha h w well,'glad you kept at because that' prty fanstic. roroy: aitioionay, i wld likeot t to ll these challenges because, i'd like to not--to not call these
3:12 pm
challenges but motivations because it's these challenges that were the stepping stones to us to get a lasting solution and even stronger solution in our mechanism to achieve greater heights. walter: i like how you look at things, leroy. thanks so much. and the best of luck to you as you go on with your future endeavors and on to university. leroy: thank you very much. thank you for hosting me.. walter: you bet. leroy's story is just one example of a new generation of young people choosing to make a difference in the world before they've even earned their first paycheck. philanthropy and being a leader for social change is no longer about the big checks written by millionaires and billionaires. and "full frame" contributor sandra hughes found that for this new generation of change makers, philanthropy often starts with small acts of kindness.
3:13 pm
hughes: it can be as simple as baking cookies to raise money so sick children can go to camp. girl: i don't know. what are you guys cooking? girl: you decide. [inaudible] flatten them out. hughes: it's called charity. and many say the idea starts at home. woman: i honestly believe that kids want to give back and kids want to help others. and i think the earlier you start with them and you tap into that impulse, the easier it is as they get older for them to make time to do that in their lives. and they find that it's important and believe that it's important. hughes: in dawn jefferson's sububurban los angeles kitchen, her kidsds and their friends are hard at work on a saturday morning. dawn: do more signs. we need some advertising signs and a couple of price board sign. hughes: they could be in front of the tv or playing video games, but instead, they're following a recipe that will stay with them their entire lives. girl: [inaudible] broken cookie? hughes: it's a recipe that teaches kindness.
3:14 pm
girl: thank you. girl 2: all right. here's some more. man: what's this for? girl: hi. it's for camp crescent moon. it's a camp for kids with sickle cell disease and basically... hughes: every year, camp crescent moon holds a one-week camp for kids with sickle cell disease. the jeffersons have family members who suffer from the disease. natalie: i feel like a lot more humbled by them and i'm like really glad to do this to help them. boy: sickle cell disease is a really horrible disease and it's important to help people in need and help those in need who have this disease or just anybody, and it just--it's good to just raise money and then just donate and help them. natalie: hi.
3:15 pm
hughes: the idea of motivating kids to be philanthropic may not be as hard as you'd think. this generation is already seeing examples, businesses doing good work all around them. dawn: i hope that they will realize that no matter what they're doing in their lives, there is an opportunity to get back up. natalie: here you go. woman: thank you. girl: you're welcome. thank you so much. hughes: when tyler page was 9 years old, he watched a tv show on child slaves in ghana, west africa. the next day, he took this invitation to school inviting everyone to join in a car wash to raise money to help those kids. tyler: i saw these kids all the way across, you know, the world and i was just kind of taken back, you know, wow, not everyone has the life i have and i just--i wanted to do something to change that. and i turned to my mom and i said, "hey, let's start this thing. let's do a car wash." hugheses: that was the start of
3:16 pm
kids helping kids. tyler: $1,129 for all the kids in ghana. we can save poor children right now and we're gonnana make more money throughoutut 2007. hughes: tyler and his mom went to ghana and helped negotiate the release of several children who had been sold into slavery by their own families. tyler: so the fishermen would go to these families who have, you know, 20 kids and obviously, they can't, you know, make enough to support that huge number of family members, so they say, "hey, i want to buy your child from you so you can support your family and i'll teach them a trade, fishing, and then they'll come back and they'll be able to make money for them." and so they take them and the parents thinking that they're gonna be, you know, taught a valuable skill, and they force them to walk hundreds of miles to that fishing area where they never returned from. hughes: laura page says while she'd always hoped her son would
3:17 pm
be a giving child concerned with his community, he plugged her into philanthropy. laura: i feel like the journey with him really opened up a door to my own passion and my own success. there are gonna be activities in there, so we're gonna start off by doing an activity in here right now so... hugheses: she co-founded peerspring alongng with lee fox. the organization works with youth to teach them to become social entrepreneurs, giving them tools to problelem solve ad create companies that make a difference. the idea of social entrepreneurism isn't new but what is new is the explosion on american college campuses of programs for students to major in social entrepreneurism. but having a socially conscious career isn't uniquely american. woman: it's absolutely not just an american value proposition for youth activating around social entrepreneurship. the reality is is that the same social [indistinct]
3:18 pm
technologies are penetrating youth at worldwide levels and there is this naturaral impetus for peers to wanna connect with one another and sort of group together and make a change. so i think the rise in social entrepreneurship is a phenomenon that we're seeing inn large part due to that connectivity. hughes: : for 6 weeks, peerspspring will teach isis grp of high schoolers how to be philanthropic social entrepreneurs. fox: today's youth are really starting to identify with impact and organizations that have impact and that word is a very powerful value statement for them. non-profit and charity doesn't mean much yet to them. they don't--you know, it's not the tax break that they're--they care ababout, it's the outcome of what that activity is that the organization is doing. hughes: many of today's youth seem already sold on the idea of giving back. whether it's taught at home or it comes from seeing so many business models already in
3:19 pm
place, this generation appears already set on finding, funding, and fixing the problems of their world. for "full frame," this is sandra hughes in los angeles. walter: coming up next, we'll meet young people making a difference through the world's most popular sports. sporting events like the fifa world cup, the nfl super bowl, and wimbledon, the pinnacle of tennis, have the unique ability to captitivate sports fafans ofl ages in every corner of the world. for our next 3 young guests, sports not only captivated them but inspired them as well. take for example, garrett weiss. he was 15 when he attended the world cup in berlin and witnessed the overwhelming passion of the angolan fans
3:20 pm
firsthand. so garrett along with his brother kyle created fundafield. a student-run organization, fundafield works with local communities to build soccer fields, provide soccer equipment, and to host soccer tournaments to help rehabilitate post trauma in post conflict regions around the world. younger sister kira serves as the director of operations, managing growth and expansion in helping to create fundraising initiatives to increase donations. to date, the group has raised more than $250,000 and has projects in places across africa and in haiti. austin gutwein was only 9 years old when he started hoops of hope, the largest basketball shoot-a-thon in the world. the global event raises money to support children orphaned by the aids virus. it helps build homes and schools. it also supplies medical resources for these children. since its inception, hoops of hope has grown to an estimated 40,000 participants across 25 countries raising over $3 million for aids orphans in africa.
3:21 pm
garrett, kira, and austin join us to share how all of them are working to change the world for other young people. we wanna welcome all of you to "full frame." guests: thank you. walter: so austin, let's start with you. you're 9 years old, mom and dad bring home this video, you watch it, and then you say, "well, you know what, i'm just gonna go ahead and change the world." i'm sure that's not exactly how it went but talk to us what happened. austin: yeah, i think--i think for me what started out was hearing about kids in africa who were being orphaned by aids. i had no idea what aids was, i had no idea that there really was this continent that lived with so much less than we had. and for me, that made e me wanna dodo something about it.t. i looked around and realized there's not a lot of stuff for 9-year-olds to do but i really like basketball, so i decided maybe i can play basketball to help make a difference. it's a lot like a walkathon except for instead of going on walking a bunch of miles, we shoot free throws instead. walter: and so the first time you did it, how much did you raise? austin: the very first time... walter: what was your objective and then how much did you raise? austin: yeah. the very first time, we raised about $3,000 and i just want to
3:22 pm
help people. it just was this very generic kind of goal and so we sent that money and were able to sponsor 8 different children, put them through school for a year, give them food, give them shelter. and that was the very first year. i remembered just thinking to myself, this is incredible, i mean, maybe there are other people who'd wanna do that with us and it just--it's blown up from there. walter: well, we'll get to that in just a minute but garrett, i wanna draw you in. obviously, you were a little slow. he did this at 9, you were 15, much older, much wiser, but talk to me about your experience and what happened with you. garrett: so i was 15 but my brother was 13 so there's sort of a balance there. no, no. walter: there won't be any fisticuffs here. we'll keep this clean. garrett: no. so we were lucky enough to go to the world cup in 2006 to see the--an angola versus iran game. and it was angola's first ever world cup. they had just finished a 20- year civil war. it was a huge moment for them to be at the world cup but no onone had any expectations of them doing well. so, you know, this was a game, we--it wasn't the most exciting--beforehand, we didn't
3:23 pm
think it would be the most exciting game. we just went because we had tickets and it's the world cup. the fans are crazy, let's go have some fun. and soccer was our life. so since i was--since i could walk--probably even before i could walk, i was playing soccer, same with my brother, same with my sister, and we knew how m much we loved it. that was, you know--i didn't think anyone else loved it more than i did. going to this game, it was the first time that i ever saw anyone that cared more about soccer than i did. and at first, i was kind of shocked, you know. we knew about big issues in africa, you know, just poverty in general, you know, hiv/aids. you know some of the big issues but you don't really think about what other, you know, norms that we have really and how they impact their lives. so soccer was just something that i grew up with. i knew it was played around the world but i didn't understand the importance of it in these, you know, these other cultures. so angola had a really small section. we happened to be right next to them and while talking to them, we decided, you know, we should
3:24 pm
send some uniforms over to them after--when we come back home. when we came back home, we talked with some o of our--my bestst friends andnd we were kid of naïve but we said, "if they don't have soccer fields, it doesn't matter if they have uniforms. they're not playing soccer how we play it, so let's build soccer fields." and it really happened like that. it built up from there but at that point on, we said, "hey, we're going to build fields in africa," and that's how it began. walter: i wanna give equal rights to you as well. kira is here. you started out as a dit, which most people don't know what that means, so tell us about that and you've clearly climbed the laladder within the dit organization, haven't you? kira: yeah. well, a dit is a director in training. we have--my two brothers, they were the co-founders and then we had all the managers and the directors. and i was a lot younger. i was 8 at the time, so my older brothers. walter: so you beat him. man: there you go. kira: sorry. i wasn't allowed to be a director yet so i was a director in training, but then
3:25 pm
they found out that me and my little friends, we worked a lot harder than the older kids, so we slowly moved up the ladder until we were directors, managers, and managing directctors. walter: and well--and now, you're really active, aren't you? kira: yeah. since my brotherers have gone to college, i've taken over most of the, like, domestic clubs and groups, chapters around the u.s. and then also, we're working on the haiti field right now and i'm working a lot on that, so... walter: let me ask you this question. i want all three of you to take a whack at it. we had james altucher on our show and he--and he's written this book and i--and i remembered clearly the chapter because i thought it was very funny. he talks about trampolines and how little kids see a trampoline and they run as fast as they can and start jumping up and down on the trampoline, and he said, "adults look at that and think, 'wow, that looks like fun,' that's the first thing they think, and then they think, 'man, i could break my neck, i could fall off, i could do this and that.'" and he talks about that kind of that attitude of young kids
3:26 pm
that they just go full steam ahead, whereas adults tend to like, "oh, this could happen, that could happen, that could happen." do you think if this kernel had jumped into your head at--you know, i mean, you're an adult now and you are as well, you're still young, that you might say, "oh, that'd be so tough to do or that," would you have approached it differently? and i'll start with you, austin. austin: honestly, i honestly don't know if hoops of hope, the idea had kind of come to me at 21, which is how old i am now, i don't know if i'd be sittingng here and would have gone on to do it because i think that there is something that when you're younger, you have--you have this idea that anything is possible in this world. and i think that we've been taught that really well but somehow we lose that as we get older and we believe that certain things aren't possible anymore. and the truth is that, hey, you can absolutely use your passion for soccer, your passion for basketball to change lives halfway around the world. and it--in our heads, i think even saying it out loud, it sounds like a crazy idea but it's not. it's really not. to a 9-year-old, to an 8-year-old, that's a great idea.
3:27 pm
walter: and garrett, same thing with you. what about you? do you think... garrett: so i had--we probably have a similar take on this but i think it's all about taking small steps because when we first started it and from your story, it's the same thing. we didn't say we're gonna build a hundred soccer fields around the world. it was, let's try and have a fundraiser, let's see if my soccer team will give us--i'll never forget, our first $100 check. that was mind-blowing that someone was giving us money and we had, you know, we had no legitimacy, right? so it was about getting that first check, then getting to $1,000, then getting to $5,000 and saying, "can we have some uniforms from our teams, having uniform drives?" and after that point, everything kind of--your next steps grow bigger and bigger and bigger, and nothing seems, you know, unstoppable. you think you can do everything. and so, it does take time but, you know, you--there's--no is never an answer, is really what it comes down to. walter: and austin, that's a--it's a big part of it, too, is taking a small bite at the apple because initially, you didn't raise that much, then all
3:28 pm
of a sudden, it spreads like wildfire, which is much the same case with the two of you, right? austin: absolutely. i think for us, i mean, my initial desire was to help aids orphans and that's a very open-ended goal, and so i think that's what it has to start with is, you know, shoot for the stars and realize that if you kind of land on the moon, you're still high up there, you know, you're still--you're still kind of out of this world and that's--and that was something that i always kind of latched on to was, i want to help aids orphans. i don't care how many we help, i just wanna do something. i want to take a--take a dent out of--out of the disease. walter: yeah. and the two of you have gone, i mean, places you probably never would have imagined, right? i mean, it's--that's the other thing that's really cool about this is, is you start out with this idea of, "maybe we'll get some jerseys or maybe a soccer ball or two, or whatever," and then it flourishes, it takes off. but not only that, it's that journey for you, it's actually going to these places and seeing it in action. what's that been like? and i'll start with you, kira. kira: i mean, i think it's
3:29 pm
incredible to go and see what you've done. i mean, for us, soccer--in africa, like, my brother always says, "soccer is religion." and so they are so passionate about it, we're passionate about it. and just playing with them and seeing like them on a new field that they never even imagined, it's incredible, and it's a common language and it really just connects and we're all just kids that wanna have fun basically. garrett: yeah. actually, that's what i would highlight, too, is you go thinking that you're going to this, you know, new world that's totally different in every regard, but at the end of the day, it's--we hahave the mot fun just playing soccer with them and hearing about their lives. and so the soccer kind of becomes the catalyst to get you there but once you're there, you know, you're hearing about their daily lives. we're living in the communities with them and just seeing that they have this--some of the same--the same daily problems that we have. they--the girls and boys, you know, they're the--they're trying to impress each other. we're playing soccer with them, they go to school every day, and they're learning with the
3:30 pm
same sububjects as us. and it never really hit--like hit me like that until we were there and just kind of hanging out with them, talking, you know, playing with them. we also start--you start getting friends as you go there and with all this, you know, advances in technology, they actually are able to have facebook and things there. so what--they're sending us messages, "when are you guys coming back?" and this--it was so surreal toto me the first t time someone ever sent me a message on facebook that we had met in a village in uganda. i couldn't believe it and then the next time we were there, it was like, "oh, it was so good talking to you and it's so fun following your lives and everything." it's really--it just--it is a small world and it's hard to imagine that becausese, you kno, you think of africa as this--just different world. walter: now, i saw you smile, too. you--this hits home for you as well, doesn't it? austin: absolutely. i think that the biggest thing for me that i realized is--it absolutely is a small world, but also, too, the difference that you can make over in africa. i mean, for me, you know, i
3:31 pm
look--i look at what we have here in america and a soccer field--a soccer field doesn't mean nearly as much to us as it would to them. they--that opens up a whole new world of possibilities for people in africa. and i think that's what is so incredible about doing work over there is--not only how appreciative they are but how much it truly means to them. how much it's going to impact their lives forever. walter: let me ask you this question, austin, because i saw a piece on you where you had soccer--you're a--the basketball guy but you had a soccer ball and you gave it to a kid and it made such an impression on him. tell the story about his thank you note, how you got it, and how did that affect you? austin: absolutely. so i love basketball. i also love soccer. i love sports, it's just the truth. very first trip over to zambia, i was 13 years old, and we had just gotten out of this little church service and there's this boy there, his name was george, and we had brought a ton of soccer balls with us. and so i pulled one out of the car, this olold, beat-up, pink soccer ball. i played soccer with this boy,
3:32 pm
george, for a few minutes and it was time for us to go and i said, "oh, here, george, you can--you can have the soccer ball." i thought nothing of it. i thoughght--it's this old, bea- up, pink soccer ball that's gonna go flat in a month anyway. but the next day i saw this boy george's mom, and she had walked 12 miles to find me to give me this little letter that gegeorge had stayed up writingng for me just thanking me for the soccer ball and saying how much it meant to him. and i think for me that's--that was the first time it really put a perspective on me, and it's a soccer ball. but what we were doing was having such an impact on them, that soccer ball to him meant the world and that's what--yeah, that was the story. and it forever changed me realizing that these little opportunities that we had to make a difference for others, whether it be in africa, whether it be here, when we take those opportunities it means so o much more to that person and giving is so much better than receiving. walter: you know, i wanted you to tell that story because i want the two of you to take a whack at this, too, because
3:33 pm
it's so easy to say, "wow. these young kids are doing these great things for these people." but you get something out of it, too. i mean, his story, that'll stay with you for the rest of your life and i'm sure the two of you have stories as well. why don't i start with you, kira, because something as simple as picking up something there and now you're selling it, and you know that you're having an impact, but that impacted you. talk to us about what we're seeing here in some of your materials right there. kira: yeah. so, well, when we were first in uganda we started seeing this paper bead jewelry pop up and we didn't really think anything of it, but then i decided to bring some back for my f friends and they actually really liked it. so we wanted to sell it for fundafield, and as we began selling it we began to supportrt 3131 women. and we didn't really realize what that meant but that it turned out that they had 198 children. and so just us selling a few paper beads back home was changing their lives. and they went from doing
3:34 pm
backbreaking manual labor for less than a dollar a day to making paper bead jewelry at fair trade prices, and all of their children were able to go to school. and just the impact that we can have was remarkable and the--they were so grateful for what we were doing that it's just--it's incredible and you don't wanna ever stop helping them. walter: and friends--you made friends along the way, haven't you? i mean, it must be great to go back and see these people and the kinship that you have. garrett: yeah. so speaking of going back, when-- our first trip to south africa--this was my first time. we had--we had been working on fundafield but i had never been to africa before. i had never been to any real communities like that in my life. and so we held this tournament and it was an amazing success out in very rural south africa. we--you know, we had coke sponsor it and they brought this truck out that became a dance stage. and it really became just like this party at this--at the soccer tournament. all the surrounding communities were there. and so it was like the center
3:35 pm
of event for the wholele year fr this community. so we brbrought uniforms, equipment, everything for all the teams. and we went back a few years later to hold another tournament in south africa at the exact same field. so kind of--like--not a reminder but, you know, to really support this--the--this community more. and every kid was still wearing their uniforms from that first tournament. what we found out is that it ended up being like a status thing. we were able to play in this tournament and you're kind of like a celebrity in the community at that point which blew our minds as well. yoyou know--again, soccer meansa lot to us but it isn't the defining part of our--of our lives, rigight? it's--this really was one of the most memorable events to ever hit mdluli high school and the surrounding communities. so, it was cool seeing the--how true that impact was on our second trip over there. wawalter: austin, one final question for you and i'll let the two of you answer it as well, but quickly if you can. if somebody is watching this and they wanna do something, is it just start t small and
3:36 pm
persevere? i mean, what's your overall takeaway? austin: absolutely. i would say start small, dream big. and realize that you can do something. so just do anything. and that's--and that's--the truth is we get so caught up in the fear of what might happen. we just got to take that first step. all of us have those ideas. all of us have those dreams about just taking that first step and doing something. walter: kira? kira: yeah. i would say for sure, honestly, support whatever you're passionate about because that's what you're gonna enjoy doing. and it doesn't matter if it's a bake sale that makes $5.00 or if it's a giant fundraiser. every little thing helps.. and i think most people forget that when they're thinking about if they can make a difference but every dollar goes towards helping others and ththe impact is gonna be there no matter what you do. walter: garrett, you get the final word. garrett: yeah. i--i-- you know, just to go off both of you guys, i think it's a combination of whenn you're passionate about something, that means someone else is probably passionate about it, too. not everyone can share that passion, though, and not
3:37 pm
everyone has a chance for that, so whether it's soccer, basketball, you know, playing the violin, speech and debate, there's always something that someone else cares about and you can help them succeed in that passion. it can start small and, you know, you'll never know where it'll take you. walter: loop them all together and pretty soon you can mamake a huge difference.e. thank you three for cocoming on. really enjoyeded it. man: thanks for having us. man 2: thank you very much. walter: when we come back, i'll be joined by one of canada's 100 most powerful women, whose career as an activist and human rights crusader began at the mere age of 8. it was a frozen winter day in canada when little 5-year- old hannah taylor spotted a man eating out of a garbage can. this defining moment would forever change hannah's life and the lives of the homeless community in her country as well. girl: hi. i'm hannah taylor, founder of
3:38 pm
the ladybug foundation. it was a cold winter day when i saw a man eating out of a garbage can. i beeve no onene should have too do that. and that everyone is entitled to have a warm bed to sleep in at night. but i learned that worrying and thinking about a situation is not enough. i had to do something. the ladybug foundation education program is called makechange. it is our hope that you u will learn n about poverty, homelessness, anand hunger.. and decide to make a change in your school, c city, country, ad world. together we can make our world a better place to live. walter: so 3 years after seeing that event in her life at age 8, hannah did found the ladybug foundation. the non-profit raises awareness and funds to support the needs of the homeless and near homeless. since then, well over $3 million has been raised directly and indirectly by the foundation to fund projects providing food, shelter, and safe haven for the homeless across canada. in addition, she's
3:39 pm
published--she's a published author and a jury member of the world's children's prize for the rights of the child, fostering her passion for human rights around the globe. she's also grown up now, and she's joining us from winnipeg, canada to share her inspiring story. we wanna welcome you to "full frame," hannah. take us back in time... hannah: thanks so much, mike. walter: ...when you were 5 years old, and this life-changing event. what were your thoughts? what went through your mind? what did you see? hannah: well, i guess the whole story, when i was 5 years old, i was driving down a back lane in my mom's car. and i looked out the window and it was freezing. it was december. i don't know if any of--you've been to winnipeg but it gets very cold here. and i was looking out my window and i saw this man in an orange toque searching through a garbage dumpster. and i'd never really seen homelessness or poverty before. i've always--i live an incredibly fortunate, very lucky life. and it just struck me. i was so confused. you know, i asked my mom, you know, "what's he doing?
3:40 pm
why is he doing that?" and she told me he was down in his luck and he had to do that to eat. and it was like there was this weight on my chest like hit me. and i couldn't get rid of that weight. my heart wouldn't forget about it. and so for about a year after that day, i, you know, would ask my parents questions about this man that they couldn't possibly answer, you know, questions like, "where is he sleeping tonight?" or, "where's his family?" that kind of thing. and then i started learning more and more about homelessness in winnipeg and in canada and i had even more questions and, you know, one night i was being tucked into bed and it was about a year later. and i asked another question and my mom said, "you know, hannah, maybe if you do something about it your heart won't feel so sad." and so the next day i went to my grade one teacher and i talked to her about, you know, doing something to help. i actually proposed a lunch meeting in the teacher's lounge. and--so she--and she took me seriously and she said, "that's a great idea." so i spoke to my class and we ended up having a fundraiser and donating what we had raised to a local shelter in winnipeg.
3:41 pm
and after that just kind of speaking with more and more people about how we can help and d it kind of grew anand bece ladybubug foundation a few years later. girl: you can help thehese peope if you're big, if you're small. even if you're from a different country, you can help them and you can make a difference. hannah: and what i noticed is that after i had that feeling, that weight on my chest for so long, as i started to do something about it and i started to see others become more involved in doing something about it, that weight started to lift. so, as--my mom was right, as moms usually are. walter: oh, always good advice to listen to mom. dad, too, on occasion. hannah: oh, yeah. walter: let's talk about that distance, because so often people contribute money and it does kind of lift off the heart a a bit, but you did more than go out and raise funds. i mean, you really got involved. i mean, i'm seeing some of the videos with you with homeless gentlemen and they feel very strongly about what you've done and you've kind of peeled back
3:42 pm
the curtain in a way. you've opened up who these people are i think in a refreshing way that many people may not recocognize. i meaean, therere'o many different reasons why people end up homeless. and i think they talk about that in some of the videos i've seen with you. hannah: yeah. no, they do. i think that ever since i was little, you know, i've always been--i--i suppose--because i was passionate about helping those who are homeless and passion is like breathing. it doesn't really stop. i learned really early on that those who are homeless, they're just, you know, they're people just likike us, you know, , wrad in old clothes with sad hearts. that's how i used to say it when i was little. and i ththink that's really important for people to understand because there's a lot of fear and misunderstanding. and you know, if you wanna make change a and you wanna connect hearts, understanding is so important. an so, it is--it is very--i think it's profound to hearar from thohose who are homeless, you u know, to get that human side of the whole thing because it's easier to connect and understand if you see that,
3:43 pm
so... walter: one of the gentlemen i heard say something that i thought was really kind of very spot on. he said, "you know, so many people walk by us and they're desensitized and yet hannah saw something and she did something about it." i mean, there's a huge distinction there and yet if everybody was like hannah, what would the homeless situation be like, do you think? hannah: i guess the thing that i wish people would do or would realize about those who are homeless and something that i try really, you know, that i--that i learned how to do through this work is to love those who are homeless like family. and, you know, because you would never let your brother or your mom eat out of a garbage dumpster or sleep on the street. so i think that that's important for people to try to do and--yeah. so i think that that would--that would really help make a lot of change. you know, hannah, you bring up the fact that your mom said, you know, "maybe if you did something, you know, it would lift the--it lift the--all that pressure from your heart." you talked about going to the teacher, how they embraced your ideas.
3:44 pm
i think young people kind of feel like sometimes when they have these ideas that people aren't going to take them seriously. talk to me about the power of a child and how they can--they can make a huge difference. you have. hannah: i think young people-- you know, i've met so many incredible, you know, innovative, driven, you know, passionate young people through this work. and i--it's one of my favorite parts of doing what i do, absolutely, speaking at schools and meeting, you know, kids who are also, you know, really wanting to make a difference. and i think unfortunately, you know, a lot of kids--i grew up believing that m my 5-year-old voice was just as s valuable and as strong as anynybody else'e's. and t ths such a an important thing g to understand and to remember and keep in your heart. you know, because i think a lot of young people don't realize that and until they realize that they're never gonna be able to put, you know, their heart behind their voice and use it to make a difference with what they care about. so you know, i--young
3:45 pm
people are powerful, and amazing, and i'm--and i see--and they're hopeful. that is the most--i think the most special thing about young people especially. i've seen it in all sorts of people but especially young people is that they--they're so optimistic and hopeful about their ability to make change, once they realize that they can. and that's something that i try to help people remember when i speak at schools and also through our education program. walter: talk to me about the world's children's prize and your involvement in that. hannah: well, the world's children's prize, it's sort of like a nobel prize for people helping children around the world, and this organization is amazing. you k know, it connnnes kids from around the world and it gets them involved in realizing their rights as children and also working for children's rights. and i was partrt of a jury withh about 14 other kidids from all ovover the placece who either rk fofor children's rights or r had susuffered human rights fractionons. and every year we would, you know, decide between 3
3:46 pm
candidates, you know, which would win an award for their work through this organization and it was always an incredibly hard decision because there are amazing people everywhere making a difference in children's lives. and the wcprc, i was part of it from the age of 9 to 18. and i think one of the most important parts of their work is that they put a face to all of the issues that you hear about in the news. and i was lucky enough to, you know, become really close to these jury members. they're like brothers and sisters to me, i just love them, from all over the world. and so when i hear about--and, you know, i watch the newsws differently because of them. you know, i hear about the israeli-palestinian conflict and i think about my great friend ofek and my friend humudi, who live in israel and palestine. and when we were in sweden together because the organization is based out of sweden and we would meet once a year in april. when we were all in sweden together they would play soccer together and they were just the best of friends, and once we
3:47 pm
came home and, you know, things became more violent especially in palestine. i got an email from ofek asking if i'd heard from humudi asking if he was ok. so i get to see all of that love and be part of that love. so the organization has just opened me up to, you know, not only all of these amazing people that i will carry in my heart forever, but also to all of these other human rights issues that i don't think i would've had a chance to learn that much about if i hadn't been a part of it. so--and it also has influenced what i'd like to do later in my life, too. so, it's an incredible organization and i just love the people that i've met through it. walter: talk to me more about the world's children's prize. like how would other kids get involved in it or learn more about it? hannah: well, they do have a website and you can get your school involved that way. you yourself can just learn more about yoyour rights that way. i think thatat's realally import to do. so, yeah, there's that way. yeah. just-- and also just learning more about, you know, the
3:48 pm
laureates, the people that are, you know, maybe receiving the award or nominated for the award and their work, that is incredible to learn about and it's inspiring. so, yeah, just through their website i think is the best way. walter: well, you've done so much from such an early age, so, what are you looking to do with your future? hannah: at the moment, i go to mcgill university in montreal and i'm majoring in international development and minoring in international relations, and i'm hoping that'll lead me to human rights law, eventually. because like i said, you know, i love people who, you know, live in refugee camps, or aids orphans, or, you know, people that--like it's just--it's a driving force for me because i want to, you know, i just--there's just such a connection for me to that. so, i think that's where my life is gonna go. i'm hoping that's where my life is gonna go. walter: what's the next best-- next big thing for the ladybug foundation? hannah: well, with the ladybug foundation, i hope to continue just connecting more hearts and
3:49 pm
doing what we can to help those who are homeless. you know, the message for ladybug has alwaysys been from the beginning share a little of what you have and care about eachch other always. you know, i hope to--our education program, there's 10,000 copies all over the world. we recently got a call from denmark requesting copies. so, that's pretty exciting, so, i hope to do more with that. through incredible sponsors, we actually have i can make change online, so much of our--pretty much our education program is online for anyone with internet access to see and to use, and so i hope to keep spreading that around. but the main--the main goal for me is just to keep--to keep connecting hearts. walter: hannah, we're gonna leave it there. thanks so much for your time. really appreciate it. hannah: thank you so much. walter: and we'll be right back with this week's "full frame" close-up.
3:50 pm
what was your favorite toy as a child? if lego has made your list then this week's close-up is just for you. nathan sawaya is an award-winning artist who creates awe-inspiring larger- than-life works of art, out of lego bricks. the former corporate lawyer has been creating these beautiful and whimsical sculptures since 2002. he uses only standard lego bricks and endless imagination. nathan is now the author of two best-selling books and his touring exhibition "the art of the brick" has broken attendance records around the globe. he believes art is not optional. we caught up with him in los angeles where he showed us how that inspires everything that he does.
3:51 pm
man: people go to a museum and they may see a marble statue and they can appreciate that marble statue for what it is, but whwhen they come home at night, very doubtful they're gonna have a slab of marble they can n chip away at. but people have lego bricks at home, , so when they go and they see my work created out of lego, often they write to me and say, "we came home, we got t all our lego bricks out, and we started creating as a family." and that's pretty cool. so i had lego bricks growing up as a kid but, you know, i grew up b by--went onon to other thi, i suppose. so i ended up practicing corporate law in new york city. and i would come home after these long days at the law firm and i would need some sort of outlet. i would come home and i would paint or i would draw or i would sculpt, and i would sculpt out of traditional things like clay or wire.
3:52 pm
one day i thought, "what about this toy from my childhood? could i create large scale sculptures using just lego bricks?" so i dug out all these old lego bricks from when i was a kidid and just started experimenting, and then i started putting photos of my work up on a website. and it was--not long after that i started getting commissions from folks, people requesting, "oh, can you build me this? can you build me that?" so it was really interesting because here i was working these full days in the law firm, and d then i would come home at night and take on these commissions for folks all over the world, where i was just creating their passion out of lego. and eventually i--it was actually when my website crashed from too many hits, i realized, you know what, it's time to--it's time to make a change. so i left the law firm behind and became a full-time artist.
3:53 pm
it was a big risk and it w was kind of start and stop but during those breaks where i wasn't working on commissions, i was creating art for myself. soso i'd create something f for someone ththat helped pay the bills s and then i'd create something for myself. and eventually i created a little collection of work. my big break came when i was able to do an exhibition of those pieces in my first solo show. that was t the first time i really realized the power of this artwork. that museum does 25,000 people annually, so over the course of one year t they were happy to gt 25,000 people. when we did the show, it was a 6-week show and we got 35,000 people. i love using the rectangular
3:54 pm
bricks because for me there's a bit of magic there when you--when you see my art up close, you see all these right angles, all these very distinct lines, and then you back away from it and all those sharp corners kind of blend into curves, and that's where it really becomes, you know, magical. i think one of the most important reasons that i use lelego is to make e the art accessible, because my job as an artist is to inspire. i want to inspire other folks and the best way to do that is to allow them to connect with the art as fast and easy as possible. so using lego is a way that immediately inspires young kids to go and create, and that's cool. a lot of my human forms, i like to put them in transition. they're going through a bit of a metamorphosis. so a figure like yellow, where this figure is tearing its chest open and thousands of yellow lego bricks are spilling out, he is going through a bit of a
3:55 pm
metamorphosis. they see it as giving their all, you know, like give everything you've got until your soul is spilling out or open yourself up to the world. i think part of that just--is from my own personal transitions in life, y you know, my--where i came from and how i've changed over the years, that emotion from those moments i put into the sculpture and that's what you're seeing there. it's definitely a transition from lawyer to artist and it--you know, you go from a job that's very secure where it's a secure salary and whatnot to, you know, very specific type of lifestyle as a corporate
3:56 pm
lawyer, to this s more bohemian lifestyle where you don't know if you're gonna be able to pay rent. you don't know what the future holds. so it was definitely a transition, and during that transition you really learn a lot about yourself and about the people around you because i had people whoho really questioned my decision, you know, that i was leaving the secure job to go create art out of a child's toy. it seemed crazy to some people and they really told me i was making a huge mistake. i often advise peoeople if they're trying to make a big transition in life, you have to cut that negativity out if you really wanna follow your dreams, and that can be hard because it might be a friend of yours who's telling you not to do it, and you got to really find out, well, who are your--who are your friends if they're so negative about it. what's next for me? i don't know. i'm gonna keep building. we're in my art studio here inn los angeles and i have over 4 1/2 million bricks.
3:57 pm
so i'll probably keep working with lego for a little while. walter: that's itit for this we. join the conversatioion with us on social media. we are cctv america on twitter, facebook, and youtube. and now you can watch "full frame" on our new mobile app available worldwide on any smartphone for free. search cctv america on your app store to download today. all of tonight's interviews can still be found online at and let us know what you'd like us to take "full frame" next. simply email us at fullframe@cccctv-america.comom. until then, i'm mike walter in los angeles. we'll see you next time.
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
(bell rings) philil: since time in memoriala, human beings have chosen to live in religious- or spiritually-based commmmunities. today, with the dramatic rise of the religiously unaffiliated, both in the e u.s. and in europ, long-standing attitudes towards spiritual communities appear to be changing. in this "global spirit" program, we will visit a community of zen buddhist monks in santa fe, new mexico and a community of youth activists in new york city. we will experience how a new and sophis


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on