If you haven’t heard of MediaStorm yet, I urge you to go to their site as quickly as possible. Be prepared to spend an hour or so immersed in their gripping and compelling storytelling.
They just released two productions worth watching. One, Cleaning the Air: China’s Environmental Challenge, details the challenges China faces as it grows its economy, lifts more of its people out of poverty and asserts itself on the world stage. It’s a good primer about why the environment matters, for China and the rest of the world, especially the U.S.
The second, Common Ground, chronicles how development and progress can be intertwined with the past, perhaps eerily so. Photographer Scott Strazzante first chronicled the lives of a couple, farmers who had sold their house and land to a developer. He then followed a family who had bought a house in the new subdivision. It’s an interesting, though-provoking project. Some people I’ve talked to don’t like it, saying some of the comparisons feel forced.
Luckily, I had a chance to meet Strazzante at the Poynter Institute in May, when he was giving a presentation on his portfolio (I am only a ghost in his memory now). He was a self-effacing, humble guy. Really down to earth. He’ll be at the Olympics, I believe, working for the Chicago Tribune. Hopefully I’ll run into him and make some awkward conversation.