What Took You So Long

Having a glimpse into the lives of others can often inspire change. Finding other lives to be inspired or changed by, in an age of communication, shouldn’t be hard. There is a group of adventurers who produce films, their ambition to capture and reveal the lives of others is simultaneously crafting their lives in a phenomenal way. Film recordings about little known communities, about lives affected and within NGOs, provide a perspective that no major film company could ever lay a claim to.

What took you so long are an independent group of non-conformist film-makers with an agenda. Their agenda takes them around Africa and between African NGOs into the heart of the local society. Led into cultural environments that would be otherwise inaccessible to a larger film company. This is where they make films. They are young, intelligent, inspiring, and they are challenging the norms, not just of the film industry but of a largely xenophobic Western society. What took you so long works to raise awareness about lifestyles and the conditions the people they meet are facing. And they are doing this is a direct and honest way, without the romance of commercial cinema techniques.

In order to integrate and capture such footage the team must learn to be a part of the society, they travel through each country using public transport where ever it is possible to do so. Engaging on a one to one level with indigenous people. In a recent TEDx presentation, group representative Sebastian Lindstrom poses the guerilla style of filming as a threat to the conservative and traditional methodologies typically used by filming companies. Everything is in opposition, from the way that the crew travels, to the equipment used, to the way the locals are approached, treated and respected.

Approaching travel  from such a perspective as this is refreshing and the principles that underly their project and their methods can be applied in many ways in everyday life. The organisation puts money to one side to undertake their project and a great deal of respect is given for the culture and the people whom they meet and work with. All xenophobia is set aside. At a time when many people are still reserving fears for their travels abroad, this open-minded group is dually inspiring for both the work and the attitudes that they exhibit.

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