Little Boxes, a comedy film released in the spring of 2017, documents a mixed-race family moving from their former home in Brooklyn, New York to Rome, Washington, after the female character Gina wins a steady teaching job. There was a grim hilarity in seeing my life, as one part of a mixed-race family moving from London to rural Essex, depicted on film. But it also shows Gina, a photographer, struggle to convey the meaning of her work (which documents ‘urban street life’) in this new small-town and very white environment…
Will she alter her gaze? The film doesn’t get that far. But it is a familiar problem for many who make the move from urban to rural. This article is about city meets country, and whether creative vision can be remade in new environments.
I am a writer who writes about place. My hunting ground was London, and, as a person who writes through a close observation of her context, moving out of London was something of a creative shock. I could neither maintain my urban focus nor find meaning in my new context.
(Read more at Dilettante Army, a Brooklyn-based arts magazine).