We are what we consume

Or to be more specific to this blog, we are what we watch.

Take a look at the content landscape in India. After wading through mind-boggling figures on the audience size and the enormous deal values struck by content producers and platforms, it does get a little difficult to ground yourself with “what exactly is going on?” It gets crazier when you watch user-generated content like this, Boys Who Cry on Tik Tok

You will realise that a large amount of content has been created only to lull our minds into an acquiescent mood. Certainly, every-body has a right to watch content with the least degree of involvement, but it also makes you wonder what happened to the stories that needed you to think, and to act?

People know what they want, but they also don’t know what they need

Estevão Ciavatta, CEO & Founder at Pindorama Films (Brazil)

Estevão is making a film on the illegal deforestation that has reduced forest cover in the Amazons. He contrasts the perspective of the impoverished population that sees these lands as get-rich-quick schemes, with those of the indigenous people, of whom he says, “the forests do not belong to them, they are the forest“. You can read more about his production and about being Brazil’s first carbon-neutral production house here

Estevao with indigenous tribes of the Amazon- “the forests do not belong to them, they are the forest“. Image is a photograph of his presentation at the SDG Global Festival of Action, 2019.

If you are reading this blog, and have reached this far, I am willing to place a bet (albeit a very small amount) – that you had access to documentaries and alternative content when you were growing up.

Maybe you were even the recipient of a welfare-state’s idyllic stories of living within a community. Morals of empathy, friendship, respect, perhaps even humility were driven into you when you watched content like “ek chidiya, anek chidiya”. Contrast that with the content that young children are now exposed to.

In Berlin, I went one night, alone, to watch a disturbingly-interesting film “The Golden Glove“. It was getting screened at an old-school theatre that had about 7 rows of seats, 50 seats at the maximum. The audience that night was even smaller, less than ten, with two women (self included). And yet, it will remain in my head as one of the most memorable nights when I had uncomfortable thoughts that grew from the movie, long after the lights had dimmed.

Babylon theatre, Berlin plays arthouse cinema. It’s in the Mitte district and you must visit if you have the time, or if you don’t…then you must make time!

Where is the high-involvement content for our young minds? The kind that makes them chew on thoughts long afterwards?

You can already sense how much we have to start taking back from the large commercial ventures. We need to start putting back meaning into what we consume, what we eat, what we watch. Or we could end up losing empathy and humanity amongst many others.