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—Kinetic Journal: Tanzania—

KINETIC JOURNAL: TANZANIA
(Short Film Series)


In 2021, Guerra traveled across Tanzania with local big cat biologist Sosy Maira (The Wild Source) creating a series of site-specific screendances in response to the ecosystems of Tarangire, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti National Parks. These "kinetic journal" entries take inspiration from the parks' landscapes, inhabitants, and daily events.

All films © Merli V. Guerra 2021

Response to Tarangire

(2021 – 2 min)

 

This entry expresses the events of the day's 12-hour game drive through Tarangire National Park, drawing upon emotional, physical, and sensorial experience.

 

Sound: Original sound captured while filming, heavily featuring the rumble of the camp generator.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira, the Wild Source, and Ndovu Tented Lodge.

Manmade Tracks

(2021 – 1 min)

 

A brisk pondering on the manmade car tracks sprawling across Ngorongoro Crater, and their interaction with the crater’s inhabitants (who are now frequently found walking these roads themselves).

 

Sound: Field recording of biologist Sosy Maira's safari vehicle during a game drive.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira and the Wild Source.

Emerge::Submerge

(2021 – 2 min)

Created in response to the hippos rising and receding beneath the still waters of Ngorongoro Crater. Though difficult to see in this recording, several dozen hippos were visible in the water during this filming.

Sound: Original sound captured while filming, including the gorgeous song of a nearby rufous-naped lark.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira and the Wild Source.

Response to Serengeti

(2021 – 3 min)

Each day of exploration was so rich—at times, actively searching, seeking, roaming; at others, sitting with bated breath while communing with the space and its inhabitants. This entry shares phases of a single day's events in Central Serengeti, from moments of weary wandering to the rush of unexpected discovery.

 

Sound: Field recording of a wildebeest herd surrounding our tent (and knocking into it), grazing in the silver-blue moonlight of Northern Serengeti.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira, the Wild Source, Naona Moru Camp, and Njozi Camp. 

Acacia

(2021 – Film Coming Soon)

Inspired by the ever-branching limbs of the acacia trees dotting the Serengeti skyline.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira and the Wild Source.

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dis.integrate

(2021 – 1 min)

We stumbled across this hippo skull towards the end of a 12-hour game drive. With my own bones feeling achy and stiff from the drive, I found myself contemplating the skeleton as one’s most basic element, serving as scaffolding for the rest of our corporeal selves.

 

Sound: Real time field recording during shooting.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira and the Wild Source.

Setting Sun

(2021 – 4 min)

Evoking the gentle motion and overlapping tones of this Northern Serengeti skyscape, "Setting Sun" began as a meditative response to the park's ecosystem and broader atmospheric changes across the horizon.

 

Sound: Original sound captured while filming, including the ever-persistent call of the ring-necked dove and the soft "gnu" of nearby wildebeest; transitioning to an evening field recording from Central Serengeti.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira, the Wild Source, and Njozi Camp.

 

dis.integrate

(2021 – 1 min)

Inspired by the movements and camouflaging techniques of the mother leopard we observed living among the kopjes in Northern Serengeti. This work, at times, evokes the motions of the leopard and, at others, embodies the presence of the kopje formations themselves, created from metamorphic rock.

 

Sound: Original sound captured while filming, featuring an eclectic chorus of native birds.

 

Special thanks to Sosy Maira and the Wild Source.