Category Archives: This World

Art and Amulets

I spend my working life watching and filming the natural world – mostly underwater or on it. My job is to turn these experiences into pieces of film that eventually, mostly by other people, are condensed into wildlife television programmes. Perhaps unsurprisingly it occurs to me that there is a “nature” to our species that has always done this.  From the first “Caveman” etching an image on a Paleolithic wall, to the digital photograph posted on Facebook, the need to represent the natural world is distinctively human. Though it would make every anthropocentric postmodernist turn in their grave I do believe we are animals sniffing our way through an often unpredictable and uncertain world. I don’t really know why we are seemingly programmed to represent our natural world, and actually I don’t really need to know. What I do know is I am most attracted to “art” created through continual observation. Most often this work is found in cultures that still have a significant tie with the land or sea.

A couple of years ago I found myself in the Inuit community of Igoolik in the Canadian Arctic. We were filming Bowhead whales. Igoolik means “there is a house there” in Inuktitut because of the old sod houses out on the point. These are summerhouses that for several thousand years were used by the Intuit when the sea ice had melted. We were camping near by and in the evening, after a days filming, our Inuit guides would go up to the huts and conduct there own little amateur archeological digs. Often they would find stuff in the peat around the houses. One day one of the guides found an amulet (little good luck figurines worn on a string round the neck). It was a representation of a Loon – kind of a large water bird – we have similar in the UK called “Great Northern Divers”.  It was one of the most beautiful pieces of art I had ever seen. The representation of the bird, it’s spirit, distilled into a pure abstract form carved from a single walrus tooth. In this tiny object I saw the continued observation of generations of intuit living, watching, seeing and interpreting the land.

Carved Whale Amulet

Fig. Loon Amulet

That evening Louise – our Inuit cook – told me a story.  It was about a boy that lived in Igoolik long ago. He was about 3 years old when his father died out on the sea-ice. His mother became very protective of him and started making amulets. Each day she put a new one on him when he went out to play.  Soon he was covered in so many amulets he could hardly walk. He became known as “the boy with too many amulets”. On the last evening of our trip our guide Simon gave me an amulet for my boy Finn who was also 3. It was a polar bear head carved out of a walrus tooth. As I was leaving Louise said to me “now Finn can be the boy with just the right amount of amulets”.

Finn Amulet 3

Fig. Finn’s Bear Amulet

Art and Amuletsposted on by Doug Anderson in Art, Nature, Photo, The Road, This World


YJ_logo

Don’t you love it when you’re just willfully procrastinating and then you happen upon a site that’ll provide absorbing bedtime reading for the next month? This happened last night when I came across Yonder Journal…

yonder_scenic_overlooks-4

Separated into the comprehensive Reports, shorter but informative Briefs, and fully downloadable/usable Guides, this is the site for the backwoods-trekking North America fan who wants to learn of nourishing highlights from others, before or after they set off themselves. Or, if you’re locked down in another country with little spare cash and no holiday time left (grumble), it’s a place to get mentally lost in, gazing off sunny mountain-top lookouts from someone elses eyes.

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I love the simple, dispatch format – it lends itself to the philosophical nature of the site - it’s the places and the people’s experiences within them that fills most of the content, and it’s all the richer for the fact that it’s such a good range of contributors (or ‘animals’, as they’re known at YJ). It is also, at many times, splutter-into-your-cup-of-tea funny.

I asked one of the founders of the site, Argentinian-born Emiliano Granado, what Yonder Journal is all about… “The ‘editorial mission’ is to educate, inspire and entertain. Every piece of writing or photograph needs to illuminate – it’s not good enough just to be aesthetically pleasing. So many “outdoor” and “curated culture” publications simply show you something pretty. That’s not enough for us. Yj aspires to something greater. Something pseudo-academic, anthropological. We might fail, but at least we tried!” 

It’s a laudable celebration of nature and those who get out amongst it; transcendental at times and humbled at others. And whether I cogitate, emulate or continue to procrastinate – I’m hooked on it.

Yonder Journal
Web | Instagram

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Yonder Journalposted on by Cai Waggett in Brainfood, Nature, Photo, The Road, This World


Adventures in the California backwoods. I recently returned from one, and now I want another. Above is Vimeo staff member Ian Durkin having one of his own. Interesting chap too. See more of him via here: iandurkin.com

Gone Tomorrowposted on by Cai Waggett in Film, This World


Turned on to trash

photo 3

I’ll give it 2 minutes. Could you?

We all love being turned on, don’t we? I certainly do. It’s what H9 is all about. Sharing the things we love, that we hope you’ll love too.

Well… if I may, I have an idea. And if it’s okay with you I’d like to share it because it’s turning me on right about now. In fact, it’s doing more than that. It’s putting the fire in my belly and the stoke in my soul. It’s turning into an obsession.

The idea is so simple that you’ll get it straight away. And that’s why it works. It’s neat and tidy and easy to digest. And that makes it all the more likely to succeed.

What am I talking about? Trash.

As a surfer, ocean lover, thinker and humanitarian you already know that we have a problem with plastics in the ocean. You already know about the spinning vortices of plastic that are threatening to choke our playgrounds and kill all the life in them. You already know that every year more plastics get washed up on the beach you call home. You’ve seen the pictures of the barrels thick with trash in South East Asia. You know it.

So you probably don’t need the state of the ocean rammed down your throat, especially when you, as an individual can do so little. I feel the same way. Sometimes, when I go to the beach, I feel so small and insignificant when I see strandlines strewn with plastics. I can’t possibly see how I could do anything to make a real difference when all it does is keep coming, tide after tide. How could I begin to tackle this? Anything I do will be insignificant.

However, recently I’ve been trying to do something positive – and trying to turn people on to it too. I’ve been doing 2 minute beach cleans every time I go to the beach, walk the dog or exit the water after a surf. It couldn’t be simpler. I spend just 2 minutes picking up litter on my way home and put it in the trash, or I recycle it. Sometimes I focus on plastic bottles that can be recycled, sometimes I pick up nothing but fishing detritus or old shoes. Whatever it is, there is always something to pick up.

You might say that it’s a pathetic gesture in the face of the problem. It’s meaningless and futile and does so little good that it’s hardly worth doing. You might think it’s pointless, utterly pointless, when the next tide will only bring more.

But it isn’t.

Every piece of plastic I remove from my local beach is a piece of plastic that is no longer a threat. It is no longer leaching chemicals into the marine environment. It will not be ingested by wildlife. It will not strangle a seal, entangle a seabird. It will not end up in the stomach of an albatross, fish or cetacean. It will not continue to ‘ghost fish’ for eternity (the term refers to nets that are lost at sea and carry on fishing). Removing discarded or lost nets from the ocean means their killing days are over.

So it might be a miniscule piece of the global picture but it’s not without its significance. And it WILL make a difference.

I’m trying to make this idea a habit. I’m making an effort – like many people I know – to make it a part of my life. How about it? How about taking a little time each time you surf or go to the beach to do your own 2 minute beach clean? I know lots of you do already. But, if you don’t, think of it as returning the favour to the ocean for giving you some nice waves. Instead of selfishly taking pleasure from this greatest of natural resources you, like me and many others around the world, will be helping to heal it just that little bit.

There are side benefits too. Doing a #2minutebeachclean will help you to strengthen your resolve. It will stoke the fire. You’ll get to look at what’s happening on your patch. You’ll notice more. It might even help you to think about how you use plastics in your daily life or make you think twice about buying single use products. Then again, if it doesn’t but you simply remove just one plastic bottle every time you go surfing, it’s still worth doing.

So what if everyone turned on to the idea?

Then we would be getting somewhere, right? If ten of us spent 2 minutes every day picking up litter off a local beach (or from a local park) and picked up 5 bottles each time, then at the end of the year we’d have picked up almost 20,000 bottles. That’s not insignificant is it?

Every #2minutebeachclean makes a difference.

Post your pics to instagram and twitter using the hashtag #2minutebeachclean and we’ll soon be able to see what our efforts add up to.

Turned on to trashposted on by Martin Dorey in Brainfood, Nature, Surfing, The Road, This World


The Northern Light Cinema

The Northern Light Cinema

The Northern Light Cinema

Words. Daisy Campbell.

Wirksworth is a small market town, in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District. A creative hub to many talented companies and individuals, with a well established leading arts festival (a key event in the East Midlands cultural calendar). It was no surprise then, that a former electrical showroom, be transformed into a 52 seater auditorium!

The Northern Light Cinema is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Paul Carr and Esther Patterson, who saw beyond the wires and cables to bring the dream of opening a cinema in the town, closer to reality.

The vision is to provide a platform to showcase independent and local film, tied in with live arts performances, community film festivals, culture and to simply bring the glamour of the big screen back to town.

The Northern Light Cinema

 I, for one, am a huge fan of independent film. So after a few month’s of it being open, quite a few, I’m finally heading over to catch the Wim Wenders acclaimed documentary, Buena Vista Social Club. Following Ry Cooders journey to bring back together some of the original members, having been in retirement and putting them back into the studio, incompassing in a triumphant return to music.

Beautifully shot and of course, with stellar tunes to boot, it’s an absolute must watch for anyone who appreciates music and it’s roots.

The Northern Light Cinema

 With a night that includes Cuban appietisers, washed down with Cuban Libres, and suitable attair to match, it’s bound to be a night of Cuban cool at The Northern Light Cinema.

And there is lot’s to celebrate, three big birthdays in one month! Phew…

The Northern Light Cinemaposted on by Daisy Campbell in Event, Film, Food & Drink, Music, This World


Lamb + Sea

Lamb + Sea

Lamb + Sea

Words. Images. Sam Campbell

Sam Campbell is a director of London based production company, Lamb + Sea. The multi-disciplinary company works in film, print media, music videos, websites, books, magazines and film scores, all realised with integrity and a conscientious eye.

We had recently finished a short film/promo for electronic music Roly Porter which took many references from the beat generation of writing. In particular the cut ups of William S Burroughs. The film was edited with this spontaneous yet methodical process in mind. After sending the film around to festivals with not much luck, a friend of a friend saw the film and got in touch.

The friend of a friend was award winning playwright , actor and filmmaker Tim Plester (Blake’s Junction 7, Ant Muzak, Way of the Morris). He had written a play called Zapruder Highway ‘An actress, a politician and his kid brother take a road-trip through the pop-cultural heart of America, imploding the facts, the rumours and the downright lies that continue to surround the lives of three of the 20th Century’s most glamorous and enduring icons.’

Written 10 years previously, and performed as a stage play, Tim wanted to revisit a section of the play with the intention of making a short film to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on 22nd November 2013. After seeing the Roly Porter film he contacted us with the proposition to produce, shoot and edit the film with him as writer/director.

Lamb + Sea

ET IN MOTORCADIA EGO! is a spontaneous dream-poem, inspired by The Beat Writers, The American Counter-Culture and the iconography surrounding the assassination. Teddy Roosevelt may have been the first U.S. President to ride in an automobile, but John Fitzgerald Kennedy will be forever remembered as the first to die whilst in one. Shot like a red grouse, whilst incumbent on the backseat of an open-topped Lincoln Continental convertible. The fatal headshot sent echoes around the globe, and was captured for all to see by frame 313 of the silent 8mm home-movie footage taken by local Dallas resident Abraham Zapruder.

The whole process was one of the most rewarding short film projects I have worked on. This was mostly due to Tim’s humble nature, brilliant sense of humour and years of experience in filmmaking. We met a few times first and exchanged ideas via email before we set a date for the main character shoot. We were lucky enough to have Tim’s friend out in Joshua Tree National Park to shoot the desert section. The shoot was just one day with a crew of 6 people. We shot super 8 on the day too so we had a range of footage to cut too.

The fun bit came when were able to cut up and burn the super 8 which yearned some interesting results and really bring the text to life in an abstract way. The whole editing process was roughly 2-3 weeks. The sound was also a big part of the process and we were honoured to work with some great sound artists to really push the edit to another plain.

If you know nothing about the event then some aspects of the script might need repeat viewing and some long nights reading wikipedia articles but all worth it if you want get the most of the film. Enjoy!

WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY TIM PLESTER

PERFORMED BY KIERAN BEW

CINEMATOGRAPHY BY LAMB+SEA

EXTERIOR CINEMATOGRAPHY BY SHAWN DUFRAINE

EDITED BY TIM PLESTER & LAMB+SEA

PRODUCED BY TIM PLESTER & LAMB+SEA

ORIGINAL MUSIC BY ADRIAN CORKER

(containing a sample created by David Prior)

SOUND DESIGN & MIX BY MATT STRONGE

SOUND RECORDED BY MICHAEL LEE TAYLOR

HAIR AND MAKE-UP BY NATALIE BAINBRIDGE

www.timplester.com

www.adriancorker.com

check out the film at the link below:

www.lambandsea.co.uk

Lamb + Seaposted on by Daisy Campbell in Art, Brainfood, Event, Film, This World


The Explorer

Sorry for the quiet period: I’ve been exploring more of California, got back late last night, and I was keen to have this as my first post back as, in some small way, it’s relevant to a small change that’s developed in me and my relationship with the outdoors that I hope is realised completely over the coming months and years.

I was first made aware of Renan Ozturk by my friend, Bob. A climber himself, relatively new to the workings of instagram, he’s refined his feed to only quality stuff, so I’m always open to his suggestions – Ozturk was one of them. For those who still believe it to be a place where people are just posting inane pictures of drunken antics, or as a no-go cheaters app by photography purists, then you’re simply not doing it right. One look at Ozturks instagram feed (himself an accomplished photographer) should convince you otherwise: @renan_ozturk

renan_ozturk

Ozturk is one of The North Face’s professional athlete team, known as much for his expedition climbing around the world as for his breath-wrenching photos, videography and art. He was recently named as the National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year, for his zealous and accomplished work doing all of the above. He’s also part of the Camp 4 Collective – four extremely motivated, professional film makers and their associate crew who aren’t afraid to shoot award-winning high definition videos from the loftiest peaks and the steepest walls. They too are on instagram, and are also a worthy follow: @camp4collective

Below is The Explorer, their latest work for The North Face. It’s a beautiful little ad, featuring known moon-botherer and all-round stellar hero, Buzz Aldrin. Below that is the latest showreel from the crew at Camp 4 Collective, with more of their work available at camp4collective.com. It’ll likely blow your mind, just as it blew mine.

renanozturk.comcamp4collective.com | thenorthface.com

The Explorerposted on by Cai Waggett in Film, Nature, Photo, Snow, This World


Happy Future For Broken Girls

Route 66

‘We are broken, we are stolen
We see our life as a garden
Full of Flowers, full of daisies
We want to sail the seven seas.

We left our jobs and closed the door
There is so much left to explore
We packed our bags, opened our eyes.
This universe is oversize.

Thanks Illinois, thanks Missouri
You’re the first page of our story.
California, Los Angeles,
You make this road trip a success.

The 2448 miles project
sounds like a hymn to respect.
We are three friends across US
There’s nothing else that could be blessed.’

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On the 28th of September, 2013, 3 friends embarked on an inspiring adventure across America. Elisa Routa and her sidekicks Angèle Debuire and Florence Viala, took on ‘The 2448 (s)miles Project’… to cruise and weave the legendary Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, the birthplace of skateboarding.

Armed with rolls of analog film they documented their journey, through the eyes of dreamers, aboard the decks of sublime FootLoose Skateboards.

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 Always in awe of her effortless cool, l asked Elisa if she could sum up a months adventure in a couple of paragraphs, no easy feat, but damn she has a beautiful way with words…

‘We left from Paris on the 28th of September, direction Chicago.

We stayed in Chicago a couple of days. I fell in love with this windy city, with her light between buildings and the amazing atmosphere that make us forget that we’re in a 3 million inhabited place. It was a perfect start for an amazing road trip.

 We headed south. The road trip had begun. We spent our first night in Wilmington, Illinois, in a typical North American motel.

“You need a room?”

“Yes a room for three people, please”.

There was a group of men drinking beers around an outside wooden table. We thought they worked here until Tommy, one of them, said:

“We are just clients. We sleep here. But the boss has drunk all day and she is not able to work right now! So we’re helping!

Although this situation seemed a bit strange and sordid, we felt safe and good.

“If you need anything, knock at my door at any time. Knock strongly upon the door cause I’m a heavy sleeper.”

This was not the cleanest room of the world, not the biggest one, not the best one but our first night on the road remains special.

 Along the road, we met passionate people and some names still hit my brains while I dream. Henry, Gary, Joe, Ramona, Tim, Kim, Chris… They were all part of our trip and made our road trip an unexpected success.

I did not know what I was looking for and above all, I did not know what I was about to find. Everything I could expect was multiplied by 100.

There are never enough words to explain what we can feel on a precise moment. We travelled across Time, from the 30′s to nowadays. We even experienced the Commemoration of the Secession war in Kansas. Some places never changed, some people try their best to keep this country pure. My eyes have seen hugeness in Arizona, my eyes have seen vast green countryside in Missouri. My eyes have seen unique endless roads in New Mexico. My eyes have seen hundreds of cowboys singing the American anthem during a rodeo show, their hat on the heart. Probably one of the most deeply moving experience during this trip. My feet rode thousands of miles of roads on my FootLoose skateboard.

 This was not only a road trip but a part of our lives condensed in a month of time.

When we arrived on the Santa Monica Pier, where this sad “Route 66: End of the Trail” stood, we could only stay silent and think about everything behind us.

We touched for the first time the Pacific Ocean, a great reward. A great feeling. A mix between relief, pride and nostalgia.

But “we did it”, we said. ‘The 2448 (s)miles Project’ is definitely aptly named. I came back to France with strong calves and beautiful memories in mind. ‘

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There is no-doubt these free spirits have fuelled my desire for adventure. In a matter of days from now I embark on my own Californian adventure… who knows what I will encounter, but if its anything like Routa, Debuire and Viala, this broken girl will be very happy!

For more photos check out their Tumblr page – Happy Future For Broken Girls

 

Happy Future For Broken Girlsposted on by Bryn Hall in Books, Event, Nature, Photo, Skateboarding, The Road, This World, Wheels


Ice Cream by Globe | Featuring: Dion Agius, Staz Lindes and Katelyn Byrd

Ice Creamposted on by Cai Waggett in Surfing, This World


Bella Vita

I fell in love with Italy on my very first visit. Life seems just ‘more’ there. Every village and town seems to have a fascinating back story, the food and wine is literally life changing and the people are warm, generous and full of living.
This trailer is for a beautiful film that tells the story one man’s search for his routes, the country he re-discovers and the dedicated group of surfers who live there.

Lou and I have always day dreamed about living in Italy but there has always been one problem for me, no surf……seems I was wrong, Game On!

Bella Vitaposted on by Chaz Curry in Film, Surfing, This World