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Although the principal purpose of my travels is facilitating documentary filmmaking workshops, I also typically take a bit of time to explore the land after my teaching responsibilities are fulfilled. The highlight of this travel period while in Uganda was unquestionably a three-day safari trip to Murchison Falls National Park, in the Northwest of the country. While I have traveled quite a bit over the years, this was the first time I had been on an actual safari, and was exposed to such great numbers of large animal life in the wild.
Notably, before setting out into the wilderness, a couple of my students in Kampala had challenged me to make a documentary short of my own. And after all I had just put them through in the workshops, it only seemed fair. My time at Murchison was a virtual feast for the camera, as we were constantly surrounded by natural beauty, in many wondrous forms. It was almost like being behind the lens of a National Geographic documentary… perhaps despite the fact that the safari experience was actually a highly managed package tour 🙂
Now while we typically think of documentaries as being about something “actual”, from the outer world around us, in my workshops I also strongly encourage the participants to consider sharing something from their inner worlds as well. This includes making more personally-voiced “video essays” about concepts, thoughts, and feelings that they have. My latest Clackumentary, Sofari, indeed took this form, reflecting not only on the exotic wildlife I encountered in Murchison, but also on the more general significance of what it means to journey in strange lands and have encounters with the “other”… and how that, in turn, can equally impact one’s view of self and home.
So take a guided gaze now, through my lens of experience, as we travel in Sofari: