Article and artwork for The NXT Magazine by OtherStory
What happens when we are confronted with the human face? The exposed face. The face with all its detailed mimicry and complexity of expression. When we face ’the Other’ and let ourselves listen, fully, actively listen. When we take the time to immerse ourselves in the encounter. This is what the members of the documentary project Other Story have tried to do since 2015, when they started traveling around in small groups meeting people. People who are all affected by the climate disturbances, asking them about life, identity, water, soil and love. Conversations that continue to find a shape as video portraits, showing the different faces and voices. In this way Other Story has become an ongoing documentary project, comprised of short films presenting personal stories in a world of monumental change. This is an alternative approach to news media, recording human testimonials based on heart-to-heart dialogues. Central to Other Story’s work is the belief that stories matter. Stories shape the way we know our world, each other and ourselves. In a time when it is crucial that we change our habits and ways of inhabiting the world, Other Story seeks to encourage this process by sharing the stories of ordinary people, the change-makers fighting for humanity and for the planet. Through a genuine intention to connect people on a deeper level, the Other Story films are a means to open up the possibility of sensitivity, empathy and awareness, reverberating across nationality, values and culture. The Other Story project facilitates an infrastructure for these short films to heighten the visibility of ordinary people, experiencing extraordinary things. In doing so, perhaps these people, their struggles and their stories are made more visible to the world and to each other, thereby empowering a new global network.
In this Other Story collage film, we experience a collection of voices from all over the world, showing the complexity and poetics of the climate crisis. Among others, we encounter the climate scientists with whom Other Story members have met, giving them an opportunity to speak of their emotions, and making them the advocate of non-human species such as bees and butterflies. We also see a Palestinian journalist and activist speak about her connection to trees and the poetic voices of Elders from the Lakota Tribe in Standing Rock, proclaiming that ’the linear age of man is over’.