Practices of Hope

Hallie Haller

In the ways that a not-yet-metropolitan deprives, it also gives. Getting around on foot means walking past window vignettes of Zanzibaris weaving or mothers fanning babies in the leaning light of doorways. And the pedestrian’s rewards of narrow walkways that smell of clove-spiced coffee and fish.

When you go travelling looking for something, or to get away from something, it’s not always clear what question needs answering. And that pursuit can feel like running up a slanted earth towards nothing in particular. But in Zanzibar I found a way back to wonderment. The slow pursuit of the sun and not much else. Presence. I had just exited an intense burnout-inducing period in Johannesburg. But allowing myself time to be lost in Stone Town meant finding carts of fresh dates instead of the right route home. And the shade of buildings as a proxy for cool.

These film photographs hint at learning to sense again. Because the medium has something to say too. These images, definitively hazy, take time for the less-than-grand.

If what makes life memorable, makes life seem longer, is a sense of wonder then surely that wonder is worthy of its own visual archive. Travelling and moving can be a way of auditioning futures, a way of remembering to sense – rather think – through the world. And in this way moving through a new space, any new space, can be a practice of hope.

Hallie Haller is a South African creative who cares about media, the future and you. Currently based in Johannesburg, Hallie is interested in cultural production that creates opportunity, fosters community and examines how we may live more meaningful lives. She has written a multitude of unpublished pieces, received hundreds of rejection letters, invested unwisely in passion projects and lost it all for love – more than once. For love and money she is a writer, director and creative strategist.