After two months of shooting hi-def video in India and Afghanistan this spring, I spent the summer re-living every digitized moment of the 5-week India leg. Most of these first twenty finished pieces were shot in India for the Dharma Boutique website - www.dharmaboutique.com.
With the change of season came a shift in focus to the Afghanistan portion of the project. I came home with the same amount of footage from each country - forty-five hours! - but I spent half as much time in Afghanistan; just three weeks. I just couldn't stop shooting. Diving in to footage of the rich, ancient landscape of this devastated country and the beautiful, amazing people who live there has been something like jumping into the relatively small (by our neighbors' standards) but still wildly overabundant autumn harvest in our new england garden - more than I can possibly eat.
What's that quote about the sculptor just carving until the sculpture reveals itself? Michelangelo maybe? He did say, "Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop." (Easy for him to say! He's Michelangelo!!)
The trip itself was intense - so far from anything I'd experienced before (nothing in the American media had shown me anything about what life is like in Afghanistan) - and the images so striking, that I find cutting things OUT of this material more challenging than any other project I've worked on before. What to leave out? There's just so much to say, show and share! I could probably spend the next few years dissecting these 45 hours of video into bite-size chunks, trying to tell the stories of the people we met.
In the coming weeks I'll be publishing some pieces and submitting others to film festivals, but in the meantime, I'll keep you posted here, and you can see a lot of my stuff on youtube - www.youtube.com/sarakarl
Back to it!