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June 7, 2020

A week ago I crossed the border again, only this time it was not strictly allowed. The halogen streetlights swept across the dashboard in a forgotten rhythm as the sign for England finally came into sight. I pushed the little car way beyond its capacity as I always do, convinced that in order for everything to be okay on the other side I must not be overtaken before entering the country. This is OCD. I tell myself not to do it every time but inevitably find myself pushing ninety as I’m welcomed to what I have to call my real home.

The legal question over my permission to do this act highlighted more than my own nervousness; it made me think about which side I prefer to be on. There’s no clear answer to this, it depends on how the previous few weeks have been. I know that on occasion I breathe a sigh of relief to be passing back into England, yet have often felt a pronounced heaviness as I cross this imaginary line. For it is imaginary. We are in the UK after all. The confusing stat...

September 20, 2019

I'm very pleased to be screening my latest documentary OUTOFHERE at the Respect Human Rights Film Festival in October. This means a trip to Belfast which is a city I have always wanted to visit. 2019 hasn't been a bad year for my filmmaking and I've managed to be screened in a few film festivals. Respect Human Rights FF is a real highlight. The festival champions films and filmmakers who are using the power of film to highlight human rights concerns all over the world. The festival has been running for three years and has played host to many great filmmakers. It certainly makes me very proud to be screening alongside some brilliant works. 

February 16, 2018

After recent ‘issues’ in the ranks of the NGO community I felt I might like to drop this blog, written back in 2012 on the website. This, I have to confess, was written while in a foaming rage. Reading it back and watching the link below still makes me feel this way.

Oh and 6 years later, Tamara's video has still only got 300 views.

Sam Christie 2018

I’m sure you’ve all been following the International Institute for Environment and Development’s Sixth International Conference on Community Based Adaption that closed on Sunday in Hanoi. You’re not? What do mean you haven’t heard of them or their conference? Well the reason I’m surprised is that the whole conference is about bettering communication about how communities around the world are adapting to climate change. Sounds like they’ve got a lot to get through.

But don’t worry; it seems you’re not alone. For example, the keynote presentation given by Margareta Wahlstrom - Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk...

January 14, 2018

This is a blog I wrote in a different time, in a different circumstance, but I'm revisiting it here because of a burgeoning project I've decided to continue after much water has flowed under many bridges. I think the subtext here is a particular period, Modernism. I see modernism in a strange sort of way and as a consequence I think I'm probably inaccurate in some of my comparisons and assertions. I relate modernism to Structuralism, Keynesianism, Intentism and, most crucially, hope. What I like about all of these concepts and 'periods' is that they provide, or attempt to provide, answers. They place the need for order in primacy and try to lock-in - like a map does a landscape - facts. I like to know where I stand and I like to feel a connection, however imaginary, to truth. If you have the time to read this, please read it with an eye on a wider connections between ideas:

'I urge you to take a look at Rene Burri’s photographs of Le Corbusier’s Cite Radieuse, built in Marseil...

November 25, 2017

These days it seems that many things simultaneously eclipse and exacerbate long held fears for our planet. While Donald Trump meddles incompetently with the affairs of the world, his bumbling, dangerous actions apparently trivialise the very things he threatens. Surely only a fool would propose building a border wall with Mexico or set about operating global diplomacy on such an improvisational level that it's uncertain what relationship the US actually has with Russia or China?

Most satirical media responses are necessary and provide light relief, but concentrating on Trump's small hands, or whether his pronunciation of China sounds a bit like 'gina could perhaps be seen as a further distraction. We are ignoring the realities and embracing the fatalism afforded us by social media 'click'.

It was in light of this that I felt some pleasure contributing to the recent production by UK / Australian performance company Doppelganster of Everyb...

November 12, 2016

Of course this is not an easy question...oh yes it is.

 Esbjorn Svensson xx

 Here's a obit. I wrote about this wonderful musician for the Guardian:

Esbjörn Svensson's death is a devastating blow for jazz

November 12, 2016

Back in 2009 Tom Payne and I ventured to Krakow with a bare minimum of filming kit to make a film about architecture, eccentricity and neo-liberalism. What was happening in Krakow - a city I'd lived in - was disturbing us all. More importantly, the subject of the film, Karl Naylor, was being driven slowly mad by what seemed to be the gradual erosion of all the good things, replaced byshopping centres and 'executive apartments'. 

As a first featurette I love this film. It has an energy that can only come from Tom and I not really knowing what we were doing, but wanting to do it anyway. Karl was great too, just letting us have it with both barrels. It was a time when property developers and retailers were marching all over this UNESCO heritage city and eviscerating the place as part of the 'Shock Therapy' doctrine that had been sweeping, I would argue, the whole world for decades. By this point it had only intensified and what was great about Karl was that he showed the audience how this...

November 9, 2016

This is a short film shot in northern Iraq. It was compiled from footage from the extensive CCTV network that covered the street outside the house. 

We didn't live in the gated confines of Ainkawa on the edges of the city where most of the western types lived, but lived among the mix of residents of Havalan, an area on the east of Erbil. It was a strange place in many ways, with an imposing Kuwaiti owned mall forming the focal point in an area shared by Kurds, Iraqis and IDPs (Internally Displaced People). Some of these IDPs lived in the unfinished shells of buildings abandoned after the ongoing financial crisis spike of 2014.

These kids played outside the front. Seeing them on CCTV upset me for some reason. It was as if they were being framed by some bigger, more sinister entity. I suppose they were. The pixillated footage resembled the heads-up displays of Black Hawks. These monstrous hulking helicopters frequently flew over the house at night with no lights. Sometimes, for no good rea...

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