First of July 2012.
We are staying in the doorstep of Mimmis house in Seiland, a small Norwegian island in the most northern part of Europe. We should go now to catch the next ferry. But we would love to take a later one. We would love to shift the end of our project to another day.
But it`s time to say goodbye. Before we leave the house Mimmi says, that we should tell our parents that they have raised two wonderful people. We spent just one week with her – but leaving this wonderful people makes us sad.
Mimmi lives here in Seiland with her husband Anton. She was five years old when she told him, that she will marry him once. Now they are grandma and grandpa.
We are now on the way back to the south – for the first time in the last three months. We are driving through the tundra of Lapland looking out the window. We see ourselves looking back. It is a mixture of gratefulness and sadness of what we have experienced and a little bit of pride that in the end we really made it.
But it is a goodbye without really saying goodbye. The little moments which we shared with the people and all the different encounters will live on – in us and in our pictures.
Our project goes on. From now on, we will look through all the material and sort it to tell the stories of the people we met on our way.
The scenery passes by and we are coming back – home.
A look back…
04th of April 2012.
We just arrived at the airport in Thessaloniki. We are looking for Alexia. A few weeks ago we sent her a request on couchsurfing.org if we could stay at her place for the first few days.
There is a young woman with curly hair and a little dog. She is smiling. We are smiling back. Few seconds later we are sitting in her old red VW-beetle on the way to her apartment. Our travel has started, our project too.
Four months in which no two days will be the same. 120 days in which we often won´t know in the morning where we will sleep in the night. 2880 hours which we will spend with new people. But for the moment we have no clue how we will even find them.
Around three months of preparation are lying behind us. We organised equipment, did some research and thought a lot about the little details and the big picture.
Now we just started and beside the ending point and the 24th longitude as a travel guide we don`t know anything yet. We will see what we find on our way.
11th of May 2012.
The interview is over, but the camera is still on. Vica is sitting on the wooden swing in the garden. In her hands she is holding her walking stick. Vica is 92 years old. „Haide!, Haide!“ (come, come). She is calling Susan. Few minutes later we are swinging together. Sitting beside this little lady let me feels so big and really, really young. She is pushing the swing with her stick, we are swinging higher and higher and she laughs. „A grandmother’s swing“ she says and looks at me with her almost teethless smile.
We are in Groşii Ţibleşului, Romania, We had to walk three kilometers out of the little village to get to Vica´s house. Over 60 years she is living here with her daughter, who is also already grandmother and their family. A farm with animals and fields, but without electricity.
Where does she get her energy from? „You are too young to know it. Health is the most important thing in live. Clean water, good meet, homegrown vegetables and work.“ She smiles and keeps on swinging.
5th of June 2012.
Today is a good day in his live as a journalist. Didzis is participating on an international conference of european financial politicians in Riga. In his pocket are his five questions written down on a little paper. Five questions about the current situation, the latvian point of few. We are shadowing him until he enters the conference building, sourrounded by security guards. We are feeling the excitement before and the happiness after his job is done. A good day for Didzis Melkis – and for us.
Now we are back at home. We collected some impressions of what we saw and filmed in the last months. It will take a while until the real film is ready. We now have to think about the concept, find translators to translate Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Latvian, Estonian, Finish, Norwegian into English, musicians for the soundtrack, help for the postproduction and the whole project.
So, there is a lot of work to do. And .. if you know someone who could help us in one of these points, we are happy to hear from you 🙂
We would love to thank all of you again for your interest, your support, for offering us a place to sleep, for your ideas and tips. The project lives through and with the people who take part in it!
First Impressions – on vimeo
We made a short unordered collection out of 50 hours video material to give you a first impression. Enjoy and leave some feedback if you want:
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You will hear from us – or see 🙂
Susan and Christian
What does elama (an estonian word for living) mean for you?
„Life for me is to enjoy the normal days. Of cause there are highs and downs during a lifetime. But what is in between, that`s life for me.“
(From the interview with Eirick Bæivi, Hammerfest, Norway)