By Brendon Bosworth
Every day, a wash of 24-hour social media messaging tries to convince us about what to do, think, and consume. In this cluttered mental space, often fraught with anxiety and information overload, the simple act of going for a walk, clearing the mind, and observing the gentle flow of life is a powerful, therapeutic gesture.
For me that act is a necessity. And I’ve made a short film about it, ‘Intersections.’ The three-and-a-half-minute short is an invitation to engage in the simple observation of movement, light, and shadows at a place close to my heart — the mouth of the Zandvlei estuary at Muizenberg beach (Cape Town, South Africa). Here, freshwater mixes with the ocean and people intersect with the natural world. It is a site of change where shifting winds and tides sculpt the sand and alter the flow of water. It is a place where I find great peace.
I produced the film as part of the Making Waveforms course, taught by media artist Sarah van Borek (Rhodes University) and co-facilitated by Amber Abrams (Future Water Institute, University of Cape Town). Sarah introduced me to the concept of Slow Media and the work of Canadian film-maker Gregoy Coyes, founder of the Slow Media community. As the name suggests, Slow Media does not seek to compress time but rather offers a ‘real-time’ view. It allows the natural environment to become a character in its own right, born from the film-maker’s “deep knowledge of place.*”
I incorporated Slow Media elements into this film. The emphasis on slowing down and observing from a place of inner knowledge and connection to the natural world resonates with my exploration of mindfulness practice. I chose not to incorporate any dialogue. My aim is not to tell viewers what to think. Instead, the film serves as an invitation to observe whatever thoughts and emotions emerge while watching.
Pairing Slow Media with mindfulness offers deeper opportunities for communicating about the human relationship with the natural world. This approach speaks to our innate sense of connection to things outside ourselves. It’s something I feel we need at this point: a tool for healing and repair.
*Notes from Gregory Coyes’s lectures at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Canada, July 2018 & 2019, provided by Sarah van Borek.