THE CIRCLE OF CULTURAL CONNECTION
The Jimmy Nelson Foundation empowers cultural expression. Within our philosophy we want to celebrate culture and give indigenous peoples worldwide the positive visibility they deserve.
So when are cultures at their most celebrative? Cultural festivals are fireplaces of people coming together in celebration of their heritage. Therefore, we will start documenting cultural festivals worldwide to represent the pride within cultures. What is new however, is that the portrayal of each culture will be directed by the indigenous people themselves. Young adults from the community are empowered to create their own creative project. After the festival’s visit, we will bring back the material in pictures and film to share these on a digital platform (ownership of the material remains with the indigenous photographers).
Cultural Festivals are not only about celebration, but also about bringing people together. So, we are investing in connection. The outcome of the project is a “digital fireplace” of stories and images: a testimony of celebration for future generations to see. This also means that by the technological means we can assist in and bring along, we can make the festivals an interactive place for people around the world to feel part of.
“Completing the Circle”. The idea of the circle of cultural connection began when Jimmy started using the 360-camera on his journeys in 2017, at the central point of cultural festivals. People in their most colourful appearances would be dancing or sitting around the camera together, creating a circle. Once back home, you would be transported back to that place as a ‘digital traveler’. The powerful part of it was that the people of the circle were connected not only in the moment, but also in their heritage and in their mutual celebration of it.
We found the circle to be symbolic for culture on itself. Culture bonds and unifies people and centres them. It also represents that what is inherently part of each other: the circles of life, birth to death, to life again. Circles represent movement and time – the abyss of time.
The circle is a continuation, it represents remembrance, tradition and heritage: the part of us that is eternal. Being human means we go through circles of traditions, birth ceremonies, initiations, marriages and funerals. And at the end of the day, we sit in a circle around a campfire – to share our memories and our stories with the next generation.
Each projects takes place in a different area of the world and costs on average €10,000 to realise. By the help of our Friends of the Foundation, Sponsors, volunteers who apply to come along on the projects and other donations, we will realise a minimum of three projects in the upcoming year (2018).