Open Your Eyes, and Listen!

Why you should care

If the folks at NPR like these stories, chances are you will, too.

A breakthrough video, a breath-taking dancer and a photographer who will stop you in your tracks — here are the OZY stories NPR is talking about.

Ruddy Roye: The Conscience of Instagram

Brooklyn-based Jamaican photographer Radcliffe Roye has an iPhone and he’s not afraid to use it…to jar you out of your social media stupor. Roye is a Brooklyn-based street photographer who takes multiple portraits of the people he meets on a daily basis, passes them through filters on his iPhone and publishes them to 27,604 followers. His heavily processed portraits are intimate, soulful portrayals of humanity, but just as important as his compositional skills are the people he chooses as his subjects. Roye focuses on the underclass — the poor, the disabled, the homeless. He stands very close to his subjects and forces you to engage, dares you to look away. He likes to highlight inequalities in race and class.

”The whole point is to say to somebody, ’You can’t pass a homeless person and dismiss him as if he doesn’t exist.’ That’s one of the reasons why I photograph,” the 43-year-old says in his Jamaican accent. 

Calling Rachid Alexander a male belly dancer is like calling Picasso a Spanish painter: not nearly accurate enough. 

The 29-year-old was born in Curaçao, moved to the Netherlands when he was a kid, and is now a bright and shining light in the nascent world of male belly dancing. Yes, you read that right. 

Rachid Alexander is, by oriental dance standards (by any dance standards, really), phenomenal. While there are other notable male dancers in the field (Farid Mesbaah in Egypt comes to mind), it is Rachid Alexander who has managed to move the discussion about this dance beyond the whole “is this something men should even be doing?” question. His fluidity and gracefulness is nonpareil. 

Giving In To the Thrill of ”Thriller”

If you’re above the age of 35, you’ll probably remember the hype around the TV debut of “Thriller” on November 30, 1983 (not on Halloween). And whether you watched its world premiere on MTV or networks broadcasting it throughout the world — or didn’t watch it at all — you knew something special had happened. It was a 14-minute epoch in TV history, what Rolling Stone called a true “watershed” moment for the music industry. As the video that became one of the most influential pop music videos turns 30, OZY takes a look back.