There is a wild sea-forest growing beneath the wind and waves at the southern tip of Africa. Here, millions of creatures live in a borderless realm still ungoverned by man and it is strange and beautiful beyond the telling.
Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck grew up playing in these forests, and this early immersion in the ocean had a subtle and profound impact on the course of their lives. Return to the Golden Forest documents their rediscovery of the forests of their childhood and showcases Craig’s photographic work over the past 6 years.
Craig has become a world expert in kelp forest ecology and developed the world’s first form of underwater tracking. Diving without wetsuits in the icy waters, both Ross and Craig discovered how immersion in the cold generated new reserves of energy for their minds and bodies, and how curious forest creatures became more receptive to them. New scientific discoveries were revealed, as were insights into our human origins, and our primal connection with nature.
Most of all, Return to the Golden Forest is a love story about the unexpected relationships we can have with wild animals, each other, and the wildness that still thrives within us.
Return to the Golden Forest will be published by Quiver Tree Publishers and is due for release 2018.
The Octopus Teacher marks Craig Foster’s return to filmmaking after 7 years dedicated to immersing himself in deep nature and learning the secrets of the kelp forest – a marine wilderness that fringes the city of Cape Town. This feature documentary is the story of his relationship with the Superstar – an eight-legged, underwater magician who teaches him the oldest language on earth – the ability to track in nature. Craig spent years in the Kalahari learning to track from San Bushmen masters without success. He grew increasingly despondent about his inability to truly connect to the wild and fell into despair and depression. This is his personal story of recovery and renewal through rediscovering the power of deep nature and the true nature of humanity.
Craig’s story is told through multiple lenses, including biological science, indigenous wisdom and new political philosophy. He has been filming this project for over five years and The Octopus Teacher showcases the kelp forest with a level of intimacy and sophistication that has never been seen before and follows an individual animal (the Superstar) for the duration of its life – something that has seldom been achieved in the wild, let alone underwater.
Our goal is to translate the Sea-Change Project’s, film, book, photographs and research into a physical exhibit that can be shared with a wide variety of visitors across the world.
Our initial thoughts are to house the exhibition, called Water Memory, in a custom made structure informed by the shape of a giant Turbo Samarticus shell, a species of sea-snail.
We want people from all walks of life to be able to virtually explore the Golden Forest – an undersea realm on the Cape Peninsula of South Africa – and be inspired to reconnect with themselves though deep immersion with nature.
At the same time Water Memory will also be more tangibly educational with an exploration of the theories on the exact origin of the human species as well as an introduction to the scientific research conducted by our partners in marine biology, conservation, anthropology and archaeology.
We are collaborating with two award-winning multimedia design teams; Trace in South Africa and batwin + robin productions, in New York.
Water Memory is designed to easily assemble and dissemble, making it suitable for travel locally and abroad, for both outdoors and indoor venues.
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