Remix Round 2…Contrasting Worlds

I recently watched “Life In A Day” for the first time. For those who don’t know, it’s a documentary comprised of clips of people’s daily lives in over 190 countries. It is basically one big mash-up. What the documentary did so well was show the contrast between the lives of the people in the difference countries – the jobs, poverty, lifestyle, morals, etc.

Something that stuck with me after watching this video is that we are so unfamiliar with the way that other countries live – more specifically, those that are not as fortunate as us. I have a ten year old brother whose main concern throughout the day is whether or not he’s going to play with his friends, fight with my sister, or spend quality time with my Mom. Yet in this video they showed a boy around the same age as my brother going to work every single day to make money for his family by polishing shoes. His main worry was whether or not he was going to get enough customers that day in order to put food on the table for his family. I can not begin to imagine living like this. Yet, the boy seemed so happy…

That’s the next thing that stuck with me. I’ve noticed it at different times before, but it always amazes me…how happy the people are that have so little. That seem so unfortunate according to the American standard of living.

In my new remix proposal, I’d like to take a look at mix of two things. The contrast of poverty in different countries compared to our own. How much we take for granted every single day…but also, how happy and fulfilled some of these people are with their lifestyles. I think there is a huge lesson to be learned in that.

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This entry was written by tarrmart and published on April 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm. It’s filed under Semiotics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Remix Round 2…Contrasting Worlds

  1. kelpeterson on said:

    Well, at least now I know I’m not the only one on proposal 2…or 3 in my case. ^^;;

    Good luck!

  2. This is an interesting proposal; I had forgotten about the Life in a Day project and just now had the opportunity to watch some of it. What strikes me about the video is how artificial much of it seems. How the directors are presenting the videos with a certain goal and perspective. The boy you mention, for example, may be happy–but he is shining shoes and not getting an education? And what about the lifes of those who don’t have access to video cameras and access to YouTube? Their stories aren’t told. Some of the clips, too, are quite disturbing—the clip with the people who have to tie their son up so he doesn’t wander. And so on.

    It is generally true, if you look at the research, that most people are happy. Indeed, it seems that those in less developed parts of the world are happier than those in the more developed world. But, too many generalizations about people are dangerous because it is often too easy to find the example or examples that disprove that generality.

    What your proposal makes me think about, however, is what if the movie was solely based on videos and images that were found online, either on YouTube or other video archive. What would that look like. What if we found videos that represent certain times of the day and build a representation of a day. These videos would contain the good and the bad, news reports and life experiences, life and death, wealth and poverty, vloggers and academics, the orinardy and the average, and so on. What would something like that look like? What point would you be able to make?

    I encourage you to watch An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube, which makes many wonderful points, but a huge one is that most videos on YouTube are viewed less than 100 times. The videos are community-based—for friends and family and not for the wider audience.

    So, from your topic, that is something I might suggest you consider doing. I am concerned with what you have written you are going to wind up with a video that just contrasts good versus bad conditions with lots of smiling people. That isn’t really nuanced enough. Somethng like I have suggested, would, I think, have a more nuanced understanding of what life is based on what is already online.

    Let me know what you think!

    • tarrmart on said:

      I love that idea! I understand what you’re saying, with it not being enough to contrast through videos – and there would always be an easy argument against the points that I make. I knew it was broad, I was having trouble coming up with something that I could really get involved with. I think it’d be really cool to come up with a mini version of Life in a Day, but through YouTube videos – that’s what you’re saying correct? Most of the clips that were created for the video were taken from YouTube – but they were purposely taken and uploaded to be put into that project for that specific day.

      I’m struggling with trying to come up with a solid argument that I could make through this video. Every time I start writing something I begin rambling.

      I don’t have time before class to watch that video but I will have time tomorrow during the day.

  3. “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key of life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me that I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them that they didn’t understand life” John Lennon.

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