Posts Tagged ‘vimeo’

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snap: beautiful city, ruined city — Montreal, Detroit

April 11, 2014

How do you think about where you live? Most of us, most of the time don’t think about about the city we call home any more often than we think about the air we breathe. It’s home. It’s there. But throw a little dust into that air and suddenly what’s taken for granted seems a little more precious or fragile or even gone.

In Montreal, having just come through a Quebec provincial election campaign that was unwanted, dirty and batshit crazy, AND being on the brink (knock on wood, fingers crossed) of spring after a season and a half of dull bone-cold winter, I’m feeling a big love for Montreal. Visiting student Stéphane Mong does too. He posted this Montreal love letter four months ago, on Vimeo, introducing it this way:

I lived amazing experiences while I studied civil engineering at Polytechnique. I’ve just graduated months ago and before I move on, I decided to make this timelapse to keep remember all the wonderful memories Montreal gave me. Memories… which wouldn’t be the same without my awesome friends, thanks guys!”

So that’s a happy thought about a city. But what about a place like Detroit, where bad decisions and bad people have left parts of the city in ruin? I’ve grown very curious about Detroit, compelled not by the stories of ruin but of resilience. Detroit: An American Autopsy is native Detroit son Charlie LeDuff’s memoir of his family, friends and city and an aggressive, often one-man fight to make city officials (and unofficials) DO something about it. Gorgeous writing that is funny, enraging and very moving. Then I spied this call out to writers, offering a house in exchange for living and writing on a street they hope to reclaim from abandonment, a gesture to try to write some life back into one house on one street. And here, below, is a photo homage to a mouldering, formerly vibrant school.

Click here to view Viral Forest’s photo gallery: Unforgettable: Then and Now in a Detroit School.

And then, when you’ve got time to click and browse, you might also enjoy Detroit Urbex’s Evolution of a City, a multimedia “interactive look at the growth, decline, and revival of the city of Detroit through historic and present-day pictures.”

So how do you think about your city?

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clip: Letter to a Young Man Starting Out, coming to a computer near you

December 11, 2013

You know how these things happen. You’re panicking about Christmas gifts. You remember Shaun’s grandmother said she wants a photo of us together so you go digging in photo albums and binders of DVDs and envelopes of negatives and a tower of external drives and a handful of loose thumb drives and NOTHING. But then there’s this cigar box and even though it’s from too long ago and can’t possible hold the photo you seek, you open it and right there, amid the loose photos of relatives there is no hope of ever identifying, there amid all these virtually anonymous photos there is a typed letter, a card really, on College de St-Boniface letterhead, dated “le 3 juin, 1956”. And you’ve seen it before, only now, your French is improved enough that you can read the whole thing. And to understand it and become very angry. And that leads you to want to burn it. But you think, wait. You should tell someone, should ASK someone first. Because the letter is not to me. The letter was written to my dad, Georges Euclid Duguay, who was 19 at the time and 67 when he died in 2004. So I showed it to my brother. And, well let me just say that there was no burning, but there was a spark of an idea of what should be done with this letter. He’s working on that and I’m working on this, which exists in my head and in this movie trailer, courtesy of the iMovie app’s ridiculously easy and fun movie trailer templates. I did this in about 45 minutes and I’m new to the app. I share that so you can also be emboldened to be brave and have your own fun. But for now, if you’d just be amazed, I’d be grateful. The fuller project, however it manifests, will come along when it comes along. With great gratitude to my brother, Richard Duguay.

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