Storytelling across the globe
Out of Eden - A “Slow Journalism” project
We probably all heard about slow food, slow travel and other things that are supposed to be better or of more value when prepared or done slowly. The so called slow movement is one answer to a society full of fellows trying to run faster, eat faster, work faster and even read faster. Now there is a new term that makes you rethink the digital overkill that hits us every single day: Slow Journalism.
Not all that long ago fast food was hip. No question having a Burger is still popular to kill your hunger quickly but it seems like something is changing. Even the fast food brand number one is now offering cozy corners with sofas and comfortable chairs in its plastic temples that used to be the home of the Burger. Are we ready to ease up?
If it was up to Paul Salopek we better should be. The American journalist, writer and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner is highly critical of the “tsunami of information”. “The sheer volume of news being generated from professional journalists, citizen journalists, from tweets and blogs or what have you, is nearly self-defeating. It's almost unprocessable”, so Salopek. His answer to the information overload is a project called Out of Eden.
Carrying only what he can fit into a backpack, Paul Salopek wants to do what our ancestors did some 50,000 years ago: Follow the migration pathways and walk out of Africa to explore the world on foot. Yes, walk - a walk around the world. Salopek started on 10th January 2013 in the Rift Valley of East Africa and plans to reach remote Patagonia, “the last continental margin of the globe to be colonized by our species about 12,000 years ago”, within seven years.
One of the legacies of the Out of Eden walk will be the narrative transect. Every 100 miles Salopek wants to take a narrative core sample of the surroundings. “The narrative transects will accrete over time to build a storytelling ‘line’ across the globe in the footprints of our ancestors - an ‘everyman's’ mosaic of what it is like to be alive today in the world, at the turn of the millennium.” “We don't need more information. We need more meaning”, says Paul Salopek. How true. If you want to follow how he translates his ideas into action follow the Out of Eden walk on slowmovement
“Stop and listen. It takes slowing down to see how the great global stories of our day, whether they be climate change, conflict, poverty, or mass migration, are interconnected.”
Copyright text & picture: Christin Schmidt - ICN 2013