Sampling the Bridge Year — GCY India Capstone

Sunghoon Kwak - India


May 12, 2018

For my Global Citizen Year capstone project, I chose to cut up a video containing small one-second clips from several days of my bridge year. Although each clip is seemingly insignificant, as I strung them together, the collective experiences blossomed into something that symbolized my entire year; bits and pieces of memories woven into each other to create a holistic feeling. The feeling of worth, exhaustion, and nostalgia.
I tried to focus on the simple things. Rather than try to capture the extraordinary experiences, I attempted to record the aspects that resonated me routinely. Things I could point to and proudly proclaim, “This is India.” or rather, “This was my experience in India.”
Another thing I tried focusing on was capturing the positive moments of my time in the country. It’s so easy to let a negative experience tarnish the overall view of a country. I often caught myself growing frustrated at the amount of hardship India would throw at me, forgetting that frustration manifests at home just as much as it did there. The only difference was that I had an entity I could blame while in country. I didn’t want these feelings to exist in a permanent space. Whenever I had a rough day, I would often record the chaotic traffic or the snack-walla that would serve me a treat to cool my temper.
It’s only been about a month since I’ve gotten back from India and I’ve already begun forgetting most of the details of my day-to-day. Rather than being able to recount specific happenings, I’m reminded of the emotions I felt during my bridge year. I edited my videos to have a low-fi presence, almost like a nostalgic VHS tape that’s been rewound a few too many times. The song present, Answer by Phantogram, was shown to me as I concluded my year by Meg, a close friend I made in India. The repetition of the lyrics and instrumentals symbolize my year of routines. Slowly, the song crescendos into a climax as my independent travel days approach in the video, as I was able to use the skills I honed over the year while traveling through the other regions of India.
“I need an answer,” the lead singer sings. As I hoped to find my passions and sense of purpose during my bridge year, I was desperately searching for the answers. I quickly found that there was merit in being lost. I ventured through a year in a foreign land, and I survived, even without finding all the answers I had hoped to find.
[vc_video link=’https://youtu.be/OuCQ3oC5QBs’]
Unedited Version sans music:

Sunghoon Kwak