Written by Razali Samsudin, Co-founder of A Samsudin Brothers Projek - Streets of ADA
A world where people and communities live in peace and come together to build a sustainable and equitable world for all.
Streets of ADA aims to take the #NFT4Good, #Blockchain4Good and #Cardano4Good concepts to another level for real-life impact.
We are doing this by bringing together fans, enthusiasts and practitioners of martial arts, anyone with a love and nostalgia of 80s and 90s world cinema, pop and counter-culture, retro gaming, anime and manga, all in an unprecedented fashion within the Streets of ADA universe.
Utility and a return on your investment
Joining the Streets of ADA community is an investment in your own well-being and in others. A percentage of the NFT sales will act as a financial investment in impactful positive social and environmental, grassroots-led, community projects. Our primary partner is Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI), based in the Philippines, and composed of 39 NGOs/POs in Palawan, the largest island province of the Philippines.
A Samsudin Brothers Projek - Streets of ADA are supporting the Palawan NGO Network (PNNI) for our ‘Tiger Unit’ first drop, with a percentage of the revenue made from sales, going to support their efforts on the ground in defending the last ecological frontier and combating climate change, illegal logging, mining and fishing. The exact percentage will be announced once we have ironed out further details and analysed the market as we approach our public purchasing/mint date for the first drop.
Owning a Streets of ADA NFT will give you a key to join a global community. This NFT 'key/passport' will unlock in real life and digital utility. Utility such as access to a global network of heroes and changemakers, as well as exclusive perks for our Impact NFT holders who have contributed to our mission of making a measurable positive social and environmental impact.
Holders of the Streets of ADA NFT will see a ‘return on their investment’ via updates to their evolving NFT in their crypto wallet. This NFT will act as a certificate of proof of impact for helping the PNNI activists protect their environment and livelihoods. Purchasing a Streets of ADA NFT will financially assist PNNI Para-enforcers in their mission of combating climate change, and protecting old-growth forests and marine ecosystems, all of which make up our collective cultural heritage.
Owners of a Streets of ADA NFT can rest assured that their investment is being put to good use by our project partners PNNI through the transparency and trust offered by the Cardano blockchain.
The NFT will evolve over time as actions on the ground are carried out by the PNNI team.
Influences on Streets of ADA's art and story
Streets of ADA is an art and story-driven martial arts, beat-em 'up gaming, anime and 80s & 90s era inspired, Cardano NFT4Good.
Here is our teaser trailer.
Being a child of the 80s, and with my older brother, Kuya Affendi, a child of the 70s, we grew up fascinated by stories on the big and small screens of action heroes fighting injustice and corruption, and how such stories and protagonists have evolved since this era.
Anime and manga art have moved from being an unknown, niche and ‘geek’ hobby in the majority of the western world to now being part of a broader global and western consciousness through pop culture, and supported by the rise and influence of streaming sites such as Netflix bringing anime and a glimpse into Asian culture into homes like never before. This can be seen in the numerous NFT projects, and comic and animated series' with an anime/manga aesthetic. If you haven't watched an anime before, a good place to start would be the Studio Ghibli collection, and I dare anyone to watch Grave of the Fireflies and tell me they didn't feel a lump in their throat or welling eyes!
A scene from Grave of the Fireflies.
We also made a Streets of ADA teaser trailer (be warned, viewer discretion is advised) as a homage to the VHS Manga video tapes we grew up with in the UK in the 90s, and that I was definitely too young to watch. Nonetheless, these Manga VHS tapes hit the spot when it came to carving open imaginative new worlds and visual storytelling styles that seemed to only be found on VHS tapes imported from Japan back then.
Cyberpunk representations and cultural references have been edging out of the fringes. This has largely been helped by movies like Robocop, Blade Runner, Terminator and The Matrix, and more recent films such as Tron: Legacy, Ghost in the Shell (with Scarlett Johansson), Alita: Battle Angel.
Cult classic manga and anime such as Akira volume 1 books are now often sold out in bookstores. The gradual mainstreaming of this pop culture wave where animation, graphic design, advertising and visual merchandising is brushed with an anime/manga influenced aesthetic can be seen across the entertainment industry with games, movies and TV shows increasingly bearing such influences and finding an ever growing audience.
The recent Netflix series ‘Edgerunners’ is praised for its visuals and story that talks of a dystopian, futuristic and cybernetic world full of contract killers, corruption and injustice, and a character on a journey of self-discovery.
A scene from Edgerunners.
These influences and our tendency to indulge in feelings of nostalgia as we grow older and look back at the ‘good ol days’, are carried by those who spent their youth and golden years growing up with synthwave sounds.
By those who spent after school or skipped class to join friends in coin filling arcades, to a soundtrack of drum and bass beats, in neon lighting and a spectrum of analogue, blurry and flickering TV set colours. Weekends were spent adjusting VHS video tapes with tracking wizardry to get the perfect picture, and overused game cartridges were revived to life with a blow of air, like an act of CPR, thus keeping the party alive.
Spending pocket money or the precious giro on import games, film magazines and comics, and reading them until their edges furled. These are some of the memories we hold and bring to our collective table, for the enjoyment of all who wish to join us at the Streets of ADA.
My Kuya and I grew up in London and Essex, as well as Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Labelled on UK census forms and diversity monitoring forms as ‘British Asian’ or ‘other’, with our mixed Asian, Malay/Filipino ethnic and cultural cocktail roots, we were often seen as or remarked as being ‘foreign’ or ‘exotic’ or ‘immigrants’, by classmates or Teachers, neighbours or shopkeepers in England, despite being born and raised in London.
We grew up during the era of the ‘pure’ hero. When being a hero often meant being a martial arts master, or protegé of a master. Having philosophical reflections, and living with a code and sense of justice was made cool. When that code was broken, and lines were crossed, kick ass justice, often in slow motion, and from multiple camera angles that bore no resemblance to fighting in real life, and witty one-liners, would inevitably follow.
With action heroes on film, TV and in games, using martial arts, philosophy, the power of love and the fuel of vengeance to fight injustice in society, as young boys we were heavily influenced by films starring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvestor Stallone. Films like John Woo's A Better Tomorrow Trilogy, John Carpenter's Escape from New York, Paul Verhoeven's Robocop and Total Recall, can on one level be seen as violent, mindless macho action films, however, to the discerning viewer, they are arguably satirical, polemical and artistic manifestos to all who are watching, tales of caution of a world and society we may be dangerously building, if we're not careful.
A scene from Robocop.
Such cinema and VHS home video films brought ‘villains’ into the safety of our homes. Bad guys that often took the shape of corrupt and cowardly Government officials, secret intelligence agencies, and greedy, ruthless corporations. Such narratives and their protagonist’s arcs have undeniably influenced and shaped us into the men we have grown and chosen to be, and the choices we have made and those that were made for us.
A scene from Rambo: First Blood.
We have also found inspiration in contemporary stories and takes on the genre of martial arts action and social justice, in films like The Raid. Set in Jakarta, Indonesia, an Elite SWAT team takes on a crime lord and his tower block full of armed criminals, with a SWAT member seeking to rescue his brother who is deep undercover as the right hand man of the crime lord.
Scene from The Raid.
Other Streets of ADA influences are found in Snowpiercer, a film based on a graphic novel made in the 80s, about a post-apocalyptic world reeling from the effects of an environmental catastrophe induced ice age, with the remaining survivors living on a train circling the world, where social class and inequitable divisions are represented across the train's carriages.
Art imitating and inspired by life
2009, in Taman Negara, Malaysia, the world’s oldest rainforest with my childhood friends and family. From far left: Amir, me (Razali), Imran, Kuya Affendi. Amir would soon fall into a coma due to leptospirosis a day after this picture, while we were deep into a 10km jungle trek…thankfully we all made it out alive. But the experience changed us all forever.
We have lived a life full of love, but have also experienced loss along the way. I lost my childhood friend Imran, who committed suicide in 2016. He left a note to his family, with a list of instructions that included calling me on my phone number, and the note read amongst other things, “Through the highs and lows of life, we are all heroes.”
The story and artistic vision that my kuya and I are crafting together as A Samsudin Brothers Projek, with Streets of ADA, and our partners PNNI, is a personal one, an emotional one, and an urgent call to action.
"If you have ever lost a loved one, if you have ever been touched by the story of the underdog fighting injustice with odds stacked against them, or the journey of heroes fighting inner demons on a path for redemption, then Streets of ADA will resonate with you!"
The unique martial arts, action story and visual art of Streets of ADA that we are developing will include themes of love and loss, justice, and corruption, heroes and villains, and be a love letter tinged with nostalgia, and much more.
With Streets of ADA we aim to demonstrate to global and diverse stakeholders that Cardano’s blockchain technology and its impact oriented community can and do rally together, to support causes and changemakers that are working on solving local and global problems.
Changemakers and citizens who are yet to benefit from the advantages offered by blockchain, crypto and NFTs, but who stand to benefit greatly, if only they were given access and knowledge of how to leverage it for their benefit. The Philippines is #2 for Crypto adoption in the world, #1 for NFT adoption and yet is also one of the deadliest countries in the world to be a land defender, environmental activist, and journalist.
We hope that Streets of ADA will help strike a chord in the orchestra of activism, direct action, and social justice, not just to help PNNI but for people to rise up and fight against injustice in all its forms, in all corners of the world, so that living in a safe and healthy world and environment is not a privilege for the minority, but a right respected and lived by all.
We aim to build bridges between existing communities of action and impact-oriented individuals who are looking to support and collaborate with others for greater impact. Those who are seeking to invest in a project and people with a view of being the owner of something more than just another speculative cool looking PFP Non-Fungible Token (NFT).
Streets of ADA is a projek that we hope others will find not only has ‘sik art’, ‘rare traits’, and a cool story and music but also holds unique and unprecedented utility in the NFT ecosystem and NGO world.
Purchasers and owners of a Streets of ADA NFT will be owners of an NFT, a digital file and asset, a key and passport that holds value due to its connection to verifiable, trustworthy, real-life impact, thanks to our collaboration with on-the-ground partners, Palawan NGO Network Incorporated (PNNI).
Read part 3 and the final part of the 3-part series of articles on A Samsudin Brothers Projek - Streets of ADA here: