2018: A Year of Gratitudes

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2018: A Year of Gratitudes

SoSM REMIXes 2018.jpg

reflecting back on 2018 with gratitudes

One of our core practices within our team is to practice gratitudes with one another. For us, this means a moment in which we not only acknowledge for ourselves something small that we appreciate, but a moment in which we verbalize those things to each other. As 2018 had been a momentous year for us as an organization, we wanted to share with you a few small moments of appreciation.


“This year I felt grateful for the people and objects that helped ground me in my body and give sense to time.  My family in Colombia reminded me that I am a more than just a worker— I am a son, a brother, a cousin, a grandson and a partner. Family is a perpetual opportunity to practice love in real terms — at times effortless and at times very challenging. “

— Samuel



“2018 was a year of continuous learning - about new places (8 airports that I’d never flown to), new programs and new people. I am grateful for the choice, opportunities and support I have for me to work this way, as I look toward the new year, continuing this trend—returning to Thailand, Japan, Germany, Vietnam, the Philippines and perhaps beyond.”

— Akira

 

“I’m grateful for all the passageways and journeys in between destinations. I’m grateful for the persistent traveling and all it encompassed: airport lobbies, train stations, bus stops, and even bicycle racks. It was in those moments between Point A and Point B that I felt ‘suspended’ and in transition, remembering the people who I had just met and anticipating those whom I will meet. But our work at SoSM felt as if we were always moving towards the destinations farther than Point B, C, and more. I want to see where we all go in 2019.”

— Ái

 

“This was the year I formally signed on to become part of the School of Slow Media. More than anything, it has been a wonderful learning opportunity in being intentional with my thoughts, action and energy. In my past line of work in corporate sales, in spite of claiming to be the “no BS, straight-to-the-point” people of the company, there was still a surprising amount of politicking, feigning of appearances and raising of walls. It was an environment that also allowed you to get away with doing work in a half-hearted fashion since someone else could pick up the slack.

I’m thankful to have moved past that in the previous year.

Having the latitude here at SoSM to be open and honest with each other has been both liberating and also makes work easier to do. For example, taking the time at the start of any meeting to make sure we are all clear on what we are and aren’t discussing costs some time but saves a lot more in the long-run. Another more apparent one is the importance of checking in and checking out - this ensures everyone is fully present and invested in the meeting. We also never skip it even if we feel we’re running low on time. In the past I would have dismissed our practices for slowing down as either an unaffordable luxury or a waste of time. Now I see them as essential to how we function. The slowness allows us to intentionally use our energy to speed up when necessary.

With that, a big realization for me is the need to reexamine the definition of what it means to be efficient at work. For some it means filling your schedule to the brim such that you are rushing between meetings and are not fully present. But I believe that rushing brings more difficulties. It leaves you tired and unfocused. In trying to get everything done, you get nothing done.

2018 was the year I adjusted to this new mode of being. Of slowing down. Slowing down to enjoy the moment and to gather energy for the work ahead. Energy that I will use to share our message with the world.”

— Rafa

Share with us your gratitudes at hello@schoolofslowmedia.com

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Our Top Slow Media Diet Picks of 2017

Our Top Slow Media Diet Picks of 2017

A film should never feel like a closed arc. Here’s a look back at some of our favorite slow media pieces of the year: the works of art that transcended their medium, seeped into our bodies, and left us transformed.

Reflection: How I Learned to Meditate in Action

What does it mean to meditate in action? How does slowing down actually help you create faster? Remix Phnom Penh participant Kagna Mourng reflects on her experience during School of Slow Media's three day mindful media lab.

Is it Possible to Create 'Slow Media' in 3 Days?

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Is it Possible to Create 'Slow Media' in 3 Days?

REMIX is an incredibly intense experience, and it seems contradictory to tell you to slow down while asking you to make something that fast. But sometimes we are so close to our “problems” that a brief step back is all we need to see different ways of tackling solutions.

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Our Partners in Hanoi, Vietnam

Our Partners in Hanoi, Vietnam

School of Slow Media is all about relationships—the qualities, collaborations, and understanding that comes through them. To that end, we have always strived to form partnerships along the way that matter, and we have come to cherish our partners as our number one asset. 

In Hanoi REMIX, we have collaborated with two prominent members of Hanoi’s creative community: Clickable Vietnam, and VUI Studio. 

Clickable Vietnam is a "World-Wise Agency for brands that market Vietnam to the world” and has headquartered in a beautiful lake-side villa in Tay Ho, Hanoi. They work tirelessly to serve their clients and their creative team is top-notch! We should know: four of their current and former team members joined REMIX, and Ai Vuong, our communications director, double-duties there as a communications consultant. Seeing our mission of raising capacity in southeast Asian creative communities, Clickable agreed to sponsor their staff’s participation in REMIX and gave them blessings for the three-day creative challenge, away from their usual work. 

VUI Studio is a brand-new venue for the Hanoi creatives to “work, meet, eat & drink." A beautifully appointed with care and attention to every detail, from construction, chairs, lighting and sound, to arts and books and coffee brewed inside, it's a delightful space and a perfect venue for working and learning. Their owners resonated with the REMIX's "slow media" message immediately, and offered us their space for the 3-day workshop.  

We are lucky to have such friends in the community, and are excited to extend our invitation to anyone interested in working with us, across the region. Get in touch if you are interested or know someone who might be!  

 

3 days of listening

3 days of listening

Circles. That's what it boils down to. A concentric ring of people coming together to listen. 

REMIX Hanoi brought 14 people together for 3 days in June at the beautiful VUI Studio. Three teams from all over the world and with completely different backgrounds worked together to create 3-5 min documentary films from scratch -- in less than 48 hours of pre-production, production, and post-production time. 

What struck me the most about this group was how peaceful and in tune they all remained throughout the three-day process. Everything came together as intended: slowly, revealing itself gradually. Well, the last-minute changes and chaos are to be expected, as it should be in such accelerated programs! While each group was unique in their work process, they all shared a sense of calm and awareness. Our “points” (coaches)—Genevieve and Justin, SoSM alumni who flew in to help out with this REMIX, expressed their almost-bewilderment in one of our daily check-ins.

"I can't believe how they are so calm," they exclaimed. "I kept waiting for the drama, and nothing happened!" 

Teams were under stress, of course—they had to turn in their rough cut (the first draft of their work) by the end of Sunday for an audience of around 50 people who came to see the results. They were cutting footage, adding subtitles, cleaning up the sound right up to the last anxiety-inducing seconds. Luckily, due to our intention setting from the beginning, a sense of calmness permeated all of us.

We insisted in taking breaks of meditation.

We peppered our program with check-ins, short interviews, opportunities for listening.

We talked about the value of respecting our "participants"—the subject of their documentary work. Then we practiced respecting each other within the room. We began to SEE each other. And in that practice, learned to see ourselves. 

At the end of the program, all fourteen of us sat together in a circle, processing the whole experience as a group. We shared our innermost feelings, personal stories, desires and hopes, as well as sadness and disappointments in our lives, our world. But the most remarkable to me was how we started to listen together, a theme emerged, naturally, and ideas ran together. Before realizing it, we were talking as one.

More than anything the teams and Individual members had accomplished over this weekend, the moment of cohesion I felt with the group made me the most proud.

I'm very excited about the shift that we are causing. And more so, encouraged with each new encounter, each chance I get to listen to a new person.

 

Why We Must Look at the World

Why We Must Look at the World

True and lasting positive change becomes possible when we contemplate what is, before we try to transform it. So we must first look.

Embodied Stories

Embodied Stories

“The privileged” see STORY as something that can be separated from them. Story is an object they hold in their hands.  

This is a meditation on the relationship between STORY and privilege. 

A Year of Slow Media

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A Year of Slow Media

We are currently sandwiched between two new years: the solar and lunar. There is a double sense of newness—a chance of catching the tipping point again—so happy new year twice over! I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a time of the year where we get to be reflective and plan ahead. 

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The Moment I Seized My Purpose

The Moment I Seized My Purpose

Calmly and with intention, Youk Chhang turned to us and said, “If you want to get rich, start an NGO in Phnom Penh.” It hit me like a ton of bricks, sunk into my chest and irrevocably burned me from the inside out. It became the debt I carry.