Bridging the gaps between us.

Bridging the gaps between us.

I have a friend who is a fantastically interesting chap, he has a vaudevillian mind crammed full of intriguing brightly colored facts and curiosities. He has a penchant for collecting interesting things, costumes, masks, rare prints, music and most recently, pre-world war 1 film footage which I watched with him last night.
I was immediately struck by how hard many of these people’s lives were. There were images of the suffragettes fighting for equality, strong, open faced women with fierce purpose in their eyes. There were people dancing in a village square, looking intently, honestly at each other with warm smiles as their bodies moved in unison. There were grime smeared miners walking home after a backbreaking day chatting amiably amongst themselves. One scene showed a group of fully dressed gentlemen (top hats, tails and all) swimming to a jetty, getting out, changing and swimming back. People seemed to enjoy doing silly things just for the sake of it.
Most of the footage showed people interacting, connecting with each other in such intimate and animated ways. It seemed that without all of the fancy communication technologies modern society saturates itself in, these long dead folk were able to reach each other, face to face, when they sat together, or ate together, or danced together, they were fully present.

Have you noticed how little eye contact there is out there? Or how a couple will sit together and be on their not so smartphones. How many people use technology as a transitional object (much like a favorite blanky) in public in an effort to show that although they may be alone, they are important and connected to something ‘out there’, but not here.

So I spent today trying to make eye contact with strangers, greeting people and trying to bridge the space that seems to have grown between us. I’ll load some of the footage on soon, its classic, but in the meantime check this out.

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