Finding our way home
There's a headiness here that is hard to resist: just ask the butterfly that came to drink with me in the marketplace in Tlacolula. In the overheated afternoons, the sun pushes us out of focus. The revolutionary horseman becomes quixotic, endlessly tilting at the traffic on the highway intersection. Sometimes his absurdity is all that makes sense.
It would be easy to get drunk on all this. What sobers us is the words, still to come.
These are screen grabs from the footage Nick Stewart shot during our trip to Oaxaca and Cuernavaca in December. Together with the conversations we filmed with Gustavo Esteva, this forms the material for the film essay on which we are currently working.
Out of this material, we're now working on a film essay, which centres around the conversations we filmed with Gustavo Esteva. Here are a few screenshots from some of the other things he filmed.
We reshaped our stories, our dreams, our lives, into a one-way shot for the stars; projected heaven, that internal and eternal kingdom, out into the future, a paradise which reason and effort could bring about; and found ourselves, like the dog Laika, shot into space, drifting into disastrous oblivion.
Our recent human history is shot through with this broken pattern. It is there in the archetypal journey of the modern artist, born in some nowhere place, making his way to Bohemia, celebrating the incomprehensibility of his work to those he left behind. It is there in the stereotype of the economic migrant, leaving her village for the magnetic draw of the city.
Yet these one-way, extractive patterns are never the whole story. Fragments remain, memories, clues to a kind of completion that might still be open to us: not a perfect circle, but the turn of a cycle, a remembering of the social reality we left behind, a reweaving of new knowledge into old relationships.
Within the conversations and encounters into which these Euroaxacan collaborations lead us, ‘Finding Our Way Home’ will trace these patterns: in the stories of economic migration of our companions in Zegache and Europe, in the work of our friends at UniTierra, and in the experiences of those from the United States who have settled in Oaxaca city.
Among its results will be a film made by Dougald Hine, founder of Space Makers Agency and co-author of Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto.