Timeless frames on 35mm
There is something with film photography that I haven’t ever been able to vocalise, for English is such a limited language that I just do not have the words.
Indigenous languages are intimately connected to the lands, they come from the land, the cultures, and stories they represent, they have evolved to encapsulate the depth of Indigenous knowledge systems. Terms that describe intricate relationships with the land, the kinship with nature, or the spiritual connection to ancestors are seamlessly braided into the fabric of these languages, offering a holistic and nuanced perspective that English often struggles to express. Beyond stuggles, it just can't. These languages serve as repositories of wisdom, embracing the interconnectivity of all living things and unveiling a world where every word is a bridge to a deeper understanding of the environment and our place within it. That is something we cannot say about the Queens’ English. But try we must. Metaphors must be created to at least attempt it. Maybe we can compliment with some traditional words, and bring them back.
Film photography, as viewed through the lens of Indigenous lore and storytelling, embodies a profound connection with the world that digital photography often lacks. In the ancient stories of Indigenous cultures, the act of taking a photograph is more than a mere click of a button a million times and culling 98% of your shots on a laptop; shooting with film is a different experience, a sacred dance with the spirits, a communion with the land, and a celebration of the timeless stories that flow through this ancient, ever-new world.
I would say, photography on film, much like the oral traditions of storytelling, is a tangible form of cultural preservation. It mirrors the reverence for the land, the creatures, and the spirits, echoing the deep-seated belief that everything in the world has a spirit and a story. When one captures an image on film, it is an act of recognition, of acknowledging the presence and significance of the subject. This is similar to the way stories, passed down through generations, acknowledge the essence of the land, the hero ancestors, the animals, and the people.
Like standing in front of rock art, or a carving from thousands of years ago, it is a tactile reminder of the connections that exist between all things. When we choose film, we choose a way of storytelling that honors the past, celebrates the present, and ensures that the voices of the land and its spirits are never forgotten.