EPHEMERA

A mobile documentary about a disappearing world

An intimate quest for the most evanescent things on Earth

Our world is changing fast and irreversibly. A big part of the things we can see, touch, smell and live today will have probably disappeared within the next thirty years. So, while turning 30, I decided to explore the rarest and most fragile places on Earth, before they vanish.
 I feel the urge to intimately experience mankind relationship with the land and tell about it in a poetic form, using the tools I master. This will be a life-changing experience but also an opportunity to testify the diversity of the world and produce long-lasting documents to be passed to posterity.
– Angelo

A mobile, social documentary

To spread a message today we need a format that can reach people where they spend most of their (digital) lives. 
To tell my stories I decided to use a new format designed with social media in mind, that takes advantage of their non-linear, multi-format and fragmented consumption. The challenge is to create short high-quality visual stories that can be both produced and consumed on mobile devices. 

With a
photographer's eye,
a designer's hand,
an Italian heart

I will experience my destinations with all the different sensibilities that are part of who I aim and of what I do.
 Being a photographer and filmmaker allows me to capture a situation with a sense for aesthetics and cinematics. Being a designer gives me an advantage for staying curious about a new situation and empathetic with the people acting in it. A designer doesn't just want to understand why and how someone uses a tool but also comprehend how it's done and works. Finally I’m an Italian and this makes me an extremely passionate, warmhearted and sociable person. 

Where
and why

Endangered landscapes

A big part of the destinations I chose are, of course, places threatened by climate change. Stunning islands with pristine landscapes menaced by the sea level rise, huge ice mountains slowly melting down. This will not just change the face of the planet but also cause the migration and the disappearing of whole peoples and cultures. 
It would be easy here to just talk about climate change and how human behaviour is reshaping the planet. However my primary goal is above all to preserve the memory of this places and ways of life.

Fading cultures

The second criteria I used is cultural diversity. Some of the destinations are home to societies disrupted by socio-economical changes.
 I want to experience and capture the lives and traditions of peoples who are still preserving their traditional ways and customs in an increasingly globalised world, but are losing touch with newer generations. 
I’m not just talking about the last surviving tribes in Southern Africa but also about the communities of small villages in Southern Italy. Here again my main goal is not to investigate the causes but first and foremost preserving cultural heritage.
300
Days
30
Destinations
1
Expedition
The journey will take place during ten consecutive months and touch at least thirty destinations around the globe, starting and finishing in Basilicata, my home town. Push on the following button to se a slideshow of each of the locations and the specific reason why I chose it.

Expected outcomes

Different kind of content will be produced and collected during the trip. All that will be published on social media, web platforms and later on more traditional, physical media.

Web-documentary

In addition to social media accounts, a traditional website will also be available to collect all the stories and present the project. This way the project will be accessible also by people who don't own a social media account.

About me

I was born in 1986 in Episcopia, a tiny village in the Southern region of Basilicata. Since I was a child I showed curiosity and talent for creative and technological activities. No wonder then that my favourite objects were machines that could be used to represent, capture, enhance the world around me: cameras, sound gears and of course computers. So I left my village to study Design all around Europe. Today I'm based in Paris where I research the past and present of technology to design its future with innovative projects. I'm also a photographer and film-maker to observe and tell about the present. 

I am a

Designer
 For my 9th birthday my father offered me a PC. I immediately started using it as a creative tool and eventually ended up thinking about an advertising career. However I wanted to use my talent not just to sell things but to invent solutions that could improve lives.
 That's way I chose a Design career. Today I’m a senior designer and associate at nodesign.net, an award-winning design studio in Paris.
Film-maker
I felt in love with photography the day I found an old dusty reflex in my garage and started taking pictures with it. After graduating and moving to France I used my first pay-checks to buy a professional camera. I soon realised I needed to use it in a meaningful way. So I decided to tell about what I left back, Italy. Today I’m a photographer and film-maker for cantforget.it and co-author of italiasenzatempo.it , a project about Italian natural heritage.
Dronist
Four years ago I started working on camera drones. It was for me a new magical encounter: a camera that could fly and shoot videos from a new point of view. However this time I didn’t just got to use it, but also to design how it works and more precisely how to make it follow you autonomously. But what's the point of having such capability when you spend most of my time at the office?  This time I needed to go further ! 

A film-making challenge

This project is also an opportunity to push the limits of mobile creativity, travel photography and film-making. Today most of travel documentary we see are from professional tv crews or at least a couple of travellers. For solo travels most of the time the images are all from an action camera first person view or shot on a tripod. In every case the post-production is done when the trip is over or on professional laptops. My goal is not only to shoot cinematic images while travelling alone using the most portable gears available, but also to edit content on the go using only mobile devices. 

A design challenge

As a designer I can’t help but thinking as well about the possibility of using this experience to explore possible solutions to help this fragile societies to take advantage of technology to improve their life and maybe save their future. 
This is a pretty sensible subject: you don’t want technology to be introduced in these cultures in an arrogant intrusive manner, but at the same time I’m sure that an enlightened and responsible use of modern tools could have a positive impact in every environment. 

Traveling alone

As a human and as a designer I feel the need to experience new situations and embrace greater cultural diversity in order to have a better awareness of the world. Being alone will force me to dive into a new situation without safety nets. 
Most importantly this will allow me to avoid the "Hawthorne effect", in which individuals modify their behavior in response to the fact of being observed.
The fact of being alone doesn’t necessarily mean the people would not be able to virtually travel with me following each step of the travel on social media.

Want to help?

To produce this project I'm using my personal savings. It's important to me to stay free of any editorial engagement that would come from a more traditional production. That said, I could use some help with traveling, insurance and gears. If you think your brand has the right tools for mobile creativity, you want to make a donation or you just want to share some advice, feel free to get in touch.
Thank you!
– Angelo