One of the most often asked questions about the planning of HUMANS is about the photo and video gear we took with us on the trip to Africa. As you might know, we fully went with Panasonic equipment and during and after the trip I was very happy that we did so, even when I had my doubts at the beginning.
In the video below (that I recorded in Rwanda during the trip), I take you through the equipment that we used for video and stills and why we used it. Everything I say is something what can be translated into gear from other companies as well when it comes to the choice of lenses for instance. At the end what is important is what you want to tell with your pictures and that should determine what gear you use.
What’s going on with HUMANS (or what’s cooking as a friend from Haiti would say.)? What happens with all the material from Africa? Where is the project going? Today I want to give you a little view behind the scenes of HUMANS.
Since we came back from the big journey through Africa, we saw the project develop in different directions. Not only saw we the first film by Yann Verbecke in December about Francis from Southern France, a month after we came back, a new team started travelling to India and still are till beginning of April. Right now updates are sometimes a bit slow caused to the big milage they have to cover on their motorbike at the moment, a challenge in itself in Indian traffic, I can tell you. So far about what you have been able to follow on here on the blog.
A longing for stillness. A need for fresh air and time for thinking. Emotions like these are strong while the appetite for more is knocking on the door. That is how I feel after a few days in Delhi, where thousands of glimpses from peoples lifes, fragments of stories that could be told but never will be fill my mind. Though it seems impossible I have chosen a few of these very first impressions to pass on to you.
The charm and kindness of the people is clear to see even through the haze and dust of the city: if you go where people live their lifes, where they eat, sleep, work and dream, you’ll feel their warmness and opennes as soon as you greet them with the respectful ”Namaste”. As a tall, white person you can’t hide from anyone here, but most of the glances are curious in the way a child would look at a strange animal for the first time. You’ll meet hundreds of brown eyes when you walk through the busy streets of Nehru place or the bumpy, dirty paths of Pahar Ganj, one of the busy bazars in Delhi. Here, the sounds of motorbikes honking, children laughing and windpipes blowing blend with a constant murmur of the soft and lively Hindi-language.
After being home for more than a month now, slowly we get an overview over the material that we recorded in the last half year in Africa. And while I slowly get into the editing mode to bring you all the interviews and shortfilms from the great people we met along the way, a new team is bringing HUMANS to India now. Yes, that’s right. We are far away from stopping.
Two great friends of mine, Emile Carlsen and Sasja Nordbrandt (Maja’s sister), just embarked on a journey to India for the next months, travelling from Dehli the 4000 kilometers south along the coastline. A massive journey that the two will travel by motorbike. And while Emile is a avid freelance photographer that also started shooting video last year, Sasja is a medical student like Maja. The story repeats itself somehow one could say. What makes this thing special for us is that Emile has worked extensivly in India for the last years, knows a lot of people as much as about the culture. A good starting point for a lot of sensitive and in depth new HUMANS films. And with Sasja’s open and engaging way of handling people, we are excited to see where they will take the project on their journey through India.
Emile and Sasja will from now on post regularly here on the website from their journey, about the stories and people that they encounter and at some point share some nice films with you that will give you an insight into the life of different people in India. Welcome to the team, Sasja & Emile!
He is walking around on the compound with a fresh and athletic tread. From behind this watchman looks not much older than in his late twenties. He works full-time (at least for European standards) and obviously seems to enjoy his job here at the FloJa Foundation, a small organization that operates a pre-school here in Northern Malawi, the most dry and dusty part of the country.
John is 93 years old. And because no one believes him, he had to show his birth certificate more than once. The 19th september 1918 is written there, but you could easily also write 1950 and everyone would directly believe it. John looks by no means older than that we think and if there would not be the birth certificate and his amazing remembrance for all numbers and dates that shape his way through life, we would have had our doubts for sure.
Some weeks ago we visited the museum about the Red Terror in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In one of the rooms schoolchildren had made posters about what they had seen in the exhibition. The quote on one of the posters that was made by a whole class, striked me:
Peace can not be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.
- Albert Einstein
It felt as if this quote summed up in a elaborate way why we started HUMANS six months ago, maybe adding the thought that we can only help each other when we understand each other.
Broad, warm, dirty and immensely long: the asfalt road stretches through the city form north to south heavily loaded with all kinds of vehicles. Cars, trucks, rickshaws, motorbikes, scooters, busses, bicycles and pedestrians are drifting in and out of the lines in a stressful chaos; a chaos that doesn’t let your heart keep its normal pace.
We love people. And their stories. This is why there is HUMANS, a visual exploration of the human condition.
Ten simple questions about life, love, dreams and realities, shaped into shortfilms about the life and living conditions of the people portraited. Join us exploring the human condition!