I love to stroll though a new city, walking the sunlit main thoroughfares, dipping into shadowed bazaars and shipping streets, walking through residential neighborhoods rich with street life, pausing to sit in a café and look at passing faces.
However, it takes at least a day to meander properly. ‘limited in the number of 3-day to one-week city breaks I can take, its a rare pleasure.
And, once I’ve formed impressions of place and people, the experience is difficult to share with others: photos and stories don’t convey the sights and sounds of the journey.
Thus, I was delighted to find the works of Dutch videographer Kees Colijn, an artist specializing in ‘single-shot’ city videos. Up to two continuous hours long, his ‘Walking in…’ project consists of slow walks through the streets recording everyday life as it happens. Shops pass by, people exchange glances, scenes open up around corners and onto open spaces as you would experience them. He’s working his way east, around the world, and has posted recordings made throughout Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
A bit like watching Bob Ross paint or reef fish swim, his journeys are calm and relaxing to watch, not at all rushed or ragged. I exchanged a note with him, he uses a simple Canon Legria wireless camcorder which captures a nicely stabilized and balanced image during his walks.
His street photography is also good, and I’ve learned lots by flipping through his travel portfolio. But his videos are, for me, his most compelling work.