Loading...
09Mar

Society needs to take a fresh look at difference

It´s time for society to wake up. We should stop looking with suspicion at the one who has skin too black, or not enough white, the one who is too old or disabled… At the same time, we shouldn’t ignore our differences either. And stop saying that difference is automatically good thing. To become a strength difference should come from a strong desire to succeed together. To have a common goal.

The French skipper Eric Bellion is the instigator of COMME UN SEUL HOMME (“Like a single man”) which claims that difference is a strength. After 15 years of sailing adventures with teams composed by valid and disabled people, Eric Bellion came to the conclusion that together we can push the limits of difference and reach summit, “like a simple man”.

His message: our differences are an added value, diversity is strength and handicap does not mean incapacity. With his project he promotes the value of differences in a European context, in a time where nationalism sentiments are vastly growing.

Bellion has decided to take the floor to counter the spread of fear and rejection of diversity and to bring a new perspective to diversity. He said: “This extreme situation has allowed me to realize just how far this message about difference has taken me. Thanks to this adventure, I have reached more people in a year and a half than in fifteen years of crewed sailing.”

THE UNKNOWN IS NOT A GREY AREA 

By nature, we are suspicious of people which are different. We are gathering with people who look like us, this is without a doubt more reassuring than the unknown. However, difference is neither a weakness nor a threat. This could, conversely, be transformed into an advantage, or an inestimable strength. It is to defend this crazy dream that Eric Bellion decided to launch the #APPELPOURLADIFFERENCE (Call for difference) and embarked on the adventure of the Vendée Globe 2016.

Eric and his team have been creating projects that beat common preconception about visible differences like handicap, but also gender, differences between generations, cultures and social backgrounds. The idea is to convince people that diversity is strength and a wealth.

But for difference to become a strength, we must be patient, benevolent and persistent. We have to go beyond the times of doubt and despondence, be confident and have the certainty that difference could be positive. Difference between people stimlulates creativity and opens new opportunities. We must have a strong desire to succeed.

THE INITIATORY TRAVEL

With the tetraplegic adventurer Laurent Marzec, Bellion embarked on the Défi-Intégration (Integration Challenge) to form a crew composed of three disabled athletes and three valid athletes. They set the record for sailing in sixty-eight days. It is the only mixed team to have a world record. A challenge in the challenge…
“I discovered the value of difference with a teammate named Oliver. Oliver was a blind person. At the beginning of the travel, he was not the best sailor but at the end, he was our best helmsman. He was the fastest, as is disability forced him to feel the wind and it became an asset. His difference becomes a strength.” said Bellion

“’Trying new things has always been the driving force of my life, until now I have always succeeded.” Eric Bellion

 “TAKING CARE, IS KNOWING THE OTHER”

Weakness in a team often creates a kind of rejection or contempt. Do you remember at school, where you had to create sport’s teams? There was always someone chosen in last. Why? Because their visible frailty made them a less competitive person.

Bellion: “A few years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in survival training to learn sea rescue. I was in a pool and I had to escape from a false helicopter frame. Several disabled people were with me and they were all comfortable with this training because they all practiced swimming. Conversely, a camerawoman, who was valid, but claustrophobics, failed the training. She was the one who needed help, and not the disabled people which were with us. This demonstrates that our vision of weakness is often wrong.”

This is when all the members of a team are able to accept their weakness that the performance is coming. Each person complements one another and weaknesses become strengths.

“We are looking to protect people but this is a mistake. Protecting and taking care are two different things. When we protect someone, we isolate them; however, taking care is knowing each other”. Eric Bellion

THE VISION OF PROMOTING THE WEALTH OF DIVERSITY SUGGESTED BY ERIC BELLION BREAKS WITH THE  THE GROWING NATIONALISM IN EUROPE…

Nowadays, the world is becoming globalized and people tend to be more and more scattered and mixed, but at the same time societies are in the way of becoming more self-centered and some people seem not to accept diversity.

The world has seen a sharp rise in support for authoritarianism, jingoism and racism, with a pro-Brexit vote in the UK, Trump coming to power in the US, Erdogan and Sisi further clamping down on their citizens in Turkey and Egypt, Marine le Pen and Geert Wilders making prominent gains in France and Holland, and far-right parties in Poland and Germany suddenly rising to the fore. In a global situation where ordinary people seem to be losing trust in their leaders or even traditional government structures, the risk is that they will opt for authoritarian leadership…


“Even if I am currently on the open seas, the news of  Donald Trump´s election has come to me. For me this means to curl up and to build borders, when we should, on the contrary, take risks and go toward the others. This is the price to get rid of our fears, and believe me, this is fabulous.” Eric Bellion

Through his projects, Eric Bellion is promoting the idea that diversity brings dynamism and wealth in a group, and this wealth is the key to success. His message: we should stop focus on our visible differences and start concentrates us on our invisible likeness.

At DUTCH PICTURE INDUSTRY, we create concepts born from our personal experience, our vision to create inspiring content, building cross media concepts and innovative media productions to make a difference in the world around us. Our productions are based on the unique story behind human beings, their experiences and their spectacular surroundings.

 If you want to read more about the project, visit COMME UN SEUL HOMME

 

17Mar

Comfortably ignorant

Since a few months I have passed my 40’s. I become more and more aware that a lot has changed in those years that I have enjoyed on this planet. More than I could imagine….It brings the question to mind what in the coming 40 years, more will change. What are the game changers and what will be solutions to the big problems that the last decades this so called time of prosperity have brought.

To show you how times have changed and at the same time unravelled the mist of so-called prosperity I take you to my childhood. In my street where I grew up, in Amsterdam in the nineties there was a bakery, a milkman with fresh cheese. A tobacco shop, a grocery store with great fruit and vegetables, and a store that we called ‘’Jantje van alles’’. All these shops had everything that a normal household needed. And these products were packaged for you in paper bags.

With the coming of the supermarkets, these shops disappeared and the immersive introduction of plastic became a reality. And without exaggerating plastic waste became one of the most critical environmental issues in the world. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is described as a 7th continent  and is a product of our way of living. It is made out of plastic and has direct impact on our ecosystem, livelihood and food chain.

Plastic is still an easy and cheap material to produce for industries and with the coming of 3D printers’, plastic has a bright new future. Knowing that only 10% of plastic is recycled, it’s time to raise the alarm and change our way of production and consumption.

A few years ago I was not so much aware of the impact of these changes. The realisation of fact that all you buy is packaged in plastic. Makes you aware of your role as consumer. With the effect that I can’t do any shopping without having guilty feelings.

Luckily more and more people has the same guilty feelings and are trying to have a more responsible behaviour and reduce considerably their wastes. This is just about new habits to adopt and more reflection when you are doing your groceries or throwing your garbage away.Groenteman

It started with bringing your own bag to the store, and re-used the ones you had. Separate the plastic waste, from the rest of the garbage. But that is not enough. A new mentality is needed, to avoid plastic packaging. By using paper bags and bringing your own sacks again. And even then you can’t avoid paradoxical situations: “should I choose the organic cucumber in plastic packaging” or “the non-organic one without packaging”. When you want to have a responsible behaviour, this kind of decisions matters: you have to choose between supporting this “plastic mania” or eating these pesticides poisoning our lands.

Some still see a positive side to plastics as an opportunity for sustainable development. It is actually a cheap material that we can reuse and reuse again through recycling. Some entrepreneur and communities are inspired to change from a linear to a circular relationship with plastic. This is always motivating to see people thinking out of the box and looking for alternatives solutions for the good of our planet.

An inspiring story is that of Wilco and Edwin from Clean 2 Antarctica, they are convinced we can have a zero waste community. And to prove that they will go on expedition to the South Pole in a vehicle entirely built from recycled plastics and powered by solar energy. This is a way to demonstrate that “Zero Waste” and “Zero emissions” are possible… Imagine the relief of clean air and clean oceans! It is not only their opinion but also that of the younger generation. That is why children in this project to collect plastic waste and shape them through 3D printing in a message to the world. This project is a message of hope showing the promises of plastic recycling and clean technology to live in a cleaner planet. It is just one of many great projects only here in the Netherlands. Possibilities are infinite with recycling and reusing. Each time that you are closing your garbage you can make sure that nothing belong to the recycle bin and ask yourself in which way you could reuse these wastes. You will awake your creative spirit and reduce your environmental impact. Give to your wastes a happy ending, a second life, much more brighter than ending in one bird’s stomach.everything1-1200x686

 

And although older generations and mine will have to a make a major change in their behaviour, the hopeful finding is that when I can’t separate my garbage I feel awkward. As doing something really wrong. That is in my point of view the confirmation that humans a custom animals. And with a little effort we can change the beautiful world around us.

More info on great plastic projects in the Netherlands:

WASTED Laboratory: a neighborhood Laboratory for Plastic Waste Upcycling in Amsterdam Noord

PLASTIC: Promises of a Home-made Future; explores the relation between plastic and the 3D printing market

Precious Plastic: built machines able to build new objects thanks to recycled plastic

 

 

07Jan

Welcome 2016

blog pic 2

If I look back and reflect on 2015, it has been a year filled with peaceful mountain peaks and beautiful views. Collecting memories and feelings of the sun on my face and the wind in my back. Wonderful days of quiet sunrises and unique sunsets… But this year has also seen unreliable storms, and experiences that left a feeling of uncertainty and disbelief. Happenings, that left me without a view and no sunshine in sight. On those days, I have to find my inner power and keep believing in the bigger positive picture.

One specific individual reminds me of that inner power, Public Protector; Thulisile Madonsela. When she walks into a room and begins speaking, people sit up and listen. Her mission is to establish a trust in South Africa’s young and fragile democracy. She is a big inspirational example and we believe she can inspire many people. Last two years we have made big steps in getting access to her and capturing her amazing story. Also, this year we will keep going, keep believing in realizing a captivating story, in telling her unique part of history in a fight against corruption and perseverance. A fight not for someone’s own well being, but that of the society.

amazone green

2015 also had experiences that made me happy and hopeful for a better future, like the climate talks in Paris. For years people have demonstrated to make our voice heard, our concerns, of how we manage this planet. In Paris we didn’t win the war, but you can say we won a battle. There seems a momentum and governments seem to take serious steps to move away from oil, gas and coal. Meanwhile, energy from clean, renewable sources will grow. We know the agreement isn’t perfect – and it’s not, but over the past year, we saw a truly unprecedented show of support for a strong agreement. Friends like you who cared so much about the future to take action during the climate march. So take a moment to reflect on what you helped accomplish. It’s not every day you can say you were a part of history in the making. Be proud of that. Be very, very proud.

A mayor step is the fact that an organization, like Urgenda, and some international affiliates have won a court case against the Dutch government. And now the government need to take serious action to avoid the impact of climate change. Again an example we could not think a few years ago.
At the same time entrepreneurs and many designers in the Netherlands are taking up the challenge and renew our economy into a circular one. The ambition is to become a worldwide circular hotspot. Currently, there is happening so much in the development that makes us very proud. With the Netherlands as circular hotspot, we are going to inspire and motivate the world.

birds or ghosts

The amazing thing about reflecting is there are no rules. A new year is the symbolic starting point for new possibilities and the way to achieve these; is by doing, by making a change every day. Making a positive change NOW, sets the tone for the beautiful adventures in the year ahead. Erase all negativity and bring happiness and lessons we’ve picked up along the way. The good and the bad and learn from our experience. After we have learned we are able to grow, to give love, to acknowledge and to be thankful.

We are going to set sail on creative and unique adventures, and share this in as much as possible ways with you!

Wishing you all an enlightening, happy and healthy new year!

10Dec

Art and Activism

we are nature

Brandalism Project
Just before the start of the COP21, 600 anti-advertisement posters have been placed in public outdoor spaces through the streets of Paris. Over 80 artists, from 19 different countries were involved. Joe Elan from Brandalism: “By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France an GD-Suez-Engine can promote themselves as part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem.” It all started in 2008 when two friends started to reclaim billboards in London. They were tired of the visual pollution that stems from large public advertisements.
The Brandalism artwork illustrates the connection among advertising, marketing, consumerism, fossil-fuel dependency and climate change.

4samen


Where the Tides Ebb and Flow

Land art project “Where the Tides Ebb and Flow” is all about raising awareness for global sea level rise. The artwork is located at Montsouris Park in Paris. The artist Edro Mazorati placed 30 sculptures of blue men in water that appear slowly rise up and then sink down again. The artwork was first introduced in 2008 at an Art Festival in the Netherlands. Since 2008 it has been moved to raise awareness all over the world.

9b5bb1e332ad6fd2f0cd48e9d050ae4c

Empty shoes
A sea of footwear, from high heels and flip flops to sportive sneakers and outdoor boots standing at the Place de la Republic in Paris. With the state of emergency making it impossible to demonstrate, the protesters used the empty shoes as a personification. More than 20.000 shoes were placed. This made a strong impact on the worldwide audience (picked up by many broadcasters), maybe even more than if there had been protesters.

parisshoes.jpg__800x600_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale Our feet are what roots us to the planet earth, so the shoe is an beautiful metonym for sustainable consciousness

Artist brings icebergs to Paris
Olafur Eliasson brought 12 large blocks, from the Nuuk fjord in Greenland to the middle of Paris. By displacing the ice, the obvious result is that it melts. The huge blocks are a visual reminder of the change climate happening now, at this instant… and that we are creating irregularities on earth. The artist said: “The ice we are going to put in Paris is a tenth of what melts in a second in the Greenland summer.

e9908a9485e77918da80ffbdf68b5a129f7296b9_840

1 Heart 1 Tree
This artwork is transforming the Eiffel tower into virtual forests with light. People all over the world, will have the opportunity to give life to a virtual tree. After downloading the smart phone app, you can participate in this collective project. You place a finger on the sensor to record the rhythm of your heartbeat; which grows a unique tree on the Eiffel tower. For each virtual tree, a real tree will be planted in one of the 7 reforestation programs over the world.

1heart1tree

These are just a few of the inspiring and creative art projects, presented in Paris.
Want to see more art projects, join them or make one here

Art activism is just one of the many ways to let people look at the cause with new eyes. But it’s also important to taking up real space and real time, attaching the cause to real faces and real voices who care enough about the cause to go out there in a public protest.

Art may often used as a medium to express extreme impulse into simplistic flares, but I believe it intended to have a small part in a beneficial purpose. Considering, those ghostly shoes and billboards are not an individual wave. They have a collective spirit and that unity; the small suggestion, hidden within each, that is what can work towards collective goals. Protests are not persuasive themselves but they invite persuasion, they invite change.

12Nov

Arctic heroes

When the bodies were found, they discovered Scott’s diary. In the diary he described harrowing experiences during the last weeks. He described the fight against the extreme weather conditions and the lack of food and fuel. He knew they would die. The last words written were: “For God’s sake look after our people.” This was an SOS message to the world to take the right turn before it’s too late.

The importance of expeditions tend to be forgotten but there are still important polar expeditions undertaken, even in our current time. In May 2015 two experienced Dutch polar explorers went on expedition in the Arctic, Phillip de Roo en Marc Cornelissen. Their aim: to do research on the ice conditions. Exploring the effects of climate change on our Arctic.

Phillip en Marc

The first days, the harsh Arctic conditions made it hard to do what they came for, but after some days the weather cleared up and everything went smooth. Then fate struck unexpectedly, Marc sank through the thin ice and Philip tried to help him and got into the freezing water himself. Leaving their third companion, Kimnik, the sledge dog alone on the ice. Remains were the footsteps and the sledges with all the measurements and results of the research.

We consider Marc and Philip as heroes, because the pushed the boundaries of what was possible because they cared so much about the Arctic, and about the earth. With their research they took their responsibility to help to protect what is so precious to us.

We commemorate them as lifesavers, driven to create a better the world. They are a personal inspiration to us by their power and courage, with a common grateful goal. We have to build further on the things they have accomplished and left behind. All together, everywhere and every time.

When you are fighting for something, you care so much about. You mostly want direct results. But making progress never comes easy. From the moment it becomes a personal goal. Let’s say it becomes your ‘why’ in life, it becomes very powerful. Follow your dreams, day by day to make this a better world and do it with a smile on your face.

If you want to go fast, go alone! If you want to go far, let’s go together.

 Previous  All works Next