Everything looks normal, nothing is the same

How are you? How are you feeling?

Everything looks normal, nothing is the same is a roughly 45 minute film comprising of 12 short chapters shot on mobile phones in 12 different locations. The artist-filmmaker invited 12 of her ‘Instagram friends’ to video their surroundings and send her the footage to edit. The result is an evocative and poetic non-narrative journey through a collection of twelve 3-4 minute videos that can be viewed separately or together as one long poetic film; a contemplation of how we humans are connected to each other and the planet that sustains us. The preview of the long film will be held at Bibliotheek Het Kruispunt near Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in June 2024. Only three of the films have voiceovers, Alta, in Norwegian, Istanbul, in Russian and Rabat in Daria. These films are sutitled in Arabic and English.

Music by composer Andrew James Hunt. (he/him) Andrew is a British designer and composer. Andrew started at the Royal Shakespeare Company as a costumier, going on to design sets for a variety of theatre shows for the London stage. In 1997, he made the leap to film and has since become known for his work on major film productions such as 47 Ronin, Harry PoVer and The Alienist. Music, is a lifelong passion. His soundtrack on “Everything looks normal, nothing is the same” is a personal and emotive audio interpretation of the footage.
Everything Looks Normal, Nothing is the Same soundtrack is on #soundcloud

Film by Tan Kim. (she/her/they) Tan’s projects are personal, diverse, sometimes collaborative, often spanning many continents. All her art projects attempt to explore the “deep ecology of everyday life” – a quiet practice that helps her to navigate everyday life and question the limitations of traditional identity barriers. All projects are personal, diverse, collaborative, and often spanning many years and continents.

Graphic design and illustration by Chaima’a Lahnin. Chaima’a is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based near Rabat in Morocco. Tanya and Chaima’a met online and have become firm friends and collaborators since. Chaima’a was the surrogate videographer for the Rabat film and she also designed the project poster, booklet and flyer, and graphic profile for the films.

12 ‘surrogate’ artists were invited to do the following:
1. Change mobile settings to best possible high-resolution quality, (4K) and the highest frame rate – a minimum of 60 frame rate per seconds. Deactivate stabilisers.
2. Turn the mobile sideways and shoot in landscape format without zooming. Pan slowly. Shoot 5-30 seconds long video clips.
3. Send the video clips in batches imaginarylife@hotmail.com via the app Transfernow.
4. Wait for the first film edit and further instructions!
The clips provide the raw audio and visual and  material for the final films that are edited together by TAN KIM in Sweden. Composer Andrew Hunt created original music and sound for some of the films.

The films so far

Alta is located just below the 70th latitude. It is closer to the North Pole than it is to most of Europe. When you live that far north, it’s impossible to ignore nature. Nature dictates how you live, what you work with and when you work. Nature can be cruel or kind, but it is always breathtakingly beautiful. And its beauty is far more than a view that can be captured in a picture postcard. The real beauty is in the rhythm of everyday life, the shifting seasons, the vast skies and mountains, the proximity of animals and the interconnectivity of all life. Moving north has given me a perspective on life and a renewed purpose.

Laila Kolostyàk

Curlwaa was the first Government irrigation scheme in New South Wales, Australia, and it was established in 1890. It is strictly an island, bordered by the banks of Murray and Darling rivers, and Tuckers Creek. My uncle lives there, right in the flood zone. The Murray river doesn’t often flood, but can be unstoppable when it does. The water can flow
inland for many miles and take years to completely evaporate.
When the last flood came, I met up with my uncle and cousins one weekend to take the boat out and look at the water around my uncle’s house. The house was built in the 1980’s, above the flood levels of the 1956 flood, which the 2022 flood stopped short of. As we puttered around on the boat through what is normally dry bushland, we noticed some Aboriginal tree carvings. These trunks marked tribal borders.
My uncle lost all his fruit trees in the flood, but he is quite philosophical about the damage. He sees it as part of the natural cycle of the land, and part of the price of living there. The floods aren’t all bad, he says. They bring vast quantities of water to a parched landscape and replenish inland aquifers for dry years ahead. From the air you can see the black barked box eucalyptus trees delimitating the extent of the flood plains. They only grow where floods come. They survive many long dry years in between floods, which can be several decades apart.

Graeme Robinson

What strikes me most about the places I visit along the Northeast coast of Scotland, particularly the salt marshes, is the ability of wildlife to flourish in abundance, even in a harsh and unforgiving environment that is constantly changing. Just like the nature and the land, I think defiant resilience is a characteristic of everyone who chooses Scotland as a home.

Christopher Bird

I live in Sweden. I couldn’t fly to home because of the war, and my mother couldn’t visit me for the same reason. Istanbul, Turkey, was one of the few places we could both travel to easily and spend some time together. It felt strange, as if we were hiding, or meeting in secret. The first night we were so excited we couldn’t fall asleep. We stayed up late chatting and then listened to a guided meditation together. I think I fell asleep first. The next day, we wandered around like tourists. My mum wanted to see the parks, the market and the Blue Mosque. We were both sad to leave. It felt so strange to say goodbye at the airport, not knowing when or where we could meet again. It reminded me of everyone who is affected by war. I felt grateful that we could at least meet, unlike so many others.

Pavel Matveyev

We often go to the coast to spend time together as a family. Sometimes we go to Kilifi, sometimes we go to Diani, Watamu, or Tiwi. The whole coast is enchanting and mysterious, but for me, Lamu is the most magical of all and it holds a special place in my heart. I have so many happy memories there. When I first explored it 30 years ago, I was struck by how resolutely Lamu had maintained its authenticity amidst massive change, as one of East Africa’s best preserved Swahili settlements. It’s dunes, donkeys, unique architecture, and incredible people offer us serenity. Every day we rise before dawn to float out to sea on a dhow, and watch the dawn moon from the water. We clamber over huge white dunes under Lamu’s brilliant pink, early-morning skies. Lamu reminds me that the most profound connections are always to be made with each other and ourselves.

Judy Kibinge

A favourite place of mine is Kilmacreehy beach, in Liscannor, County Clare, Southern Ireland. I call it “my” beach, as if I own it. It is one of the few places where dogs can run free. It is rich in wildlife all year around; I am never alone. There is always a haunt of curlews, oystercatchers, herons, kestrels. I kept a list one year & counted 38 species of birds. Every day is different, but it always brings me peace.

Kathy Sambrook

I’ve lived in London all my life. It is a multi-faceted, multi-layered city that is never boring. There is something for everyone, but for me, London is all the ‘secret’ and often overlooked parts that most people don’t know; the back streets away from the crowds, the quirky architectural details, the hidden oases of green, the history that lies preserved under layers of paint or behind modern shopfronts. I love knowing that all I need to do is walk around the corner and I’m back in the hustle and bustle again.

Miranda Dutta-Schöller

I moved to Los Angeles after years of living in Norway and Sweden. Traversing continents, climates, and cultures was a huge change for me. Los Angeles is megapolis, one of the most diverse places on earth, with almost every culture and ethnicity represented within its county’s borders. It is quite a contrast to the Nordic region.
Everyone’s Los Angeles is a unique experience depending on where you live. LA’s nature and the weather is just as diverse; nestled between mountains and earthquake faults, the city, like most of coastal California, is made up of micro-climates.
The pacific ocean cools the beach areas and the Westside while further East it’s burning, dry, hot desert. It can be cloudy and 15 degrees Celsius on the Westside and 28 degrees on the Eastside. Beneath it all are drained wetlands that were home to diverse indigenous peoples for thousands of years.
These are the vast contrasts that make up Los Angeles. Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live. It is a place where dreams are born, but also where dreams die, but there’s always an escape from the dream, or nightmare, of Hollywood. The pursuit for true authenticity is futile unless you turn towards Nature.

Philip Berger

My studio is my home. The place where I work everyday. It is full of stuff, like a brain. I go out for walks to my favourite parks and then I come back and see what I can make. I try and use simple materials to point towards two universal truths; everything is connected and everything is flowing. The wind drawings are an example. I give the wind some paper and pens and suddenly we can see and feel the nature of the wind. This living nature is there all the 4me and we are part of it. We depend on it as biological beings. But we easily forget it and we are in danger of losing this knowledge altogether.
A long 4me ago a friend gave me a poem for my birthday.
Now I am giving it to you to remind you.
Please take it with you, and when the 4me is right, share it with a friend.
“I think we think too much and fail to see That simple things reflect an eternity
We are cut off from our own life source And love is lost,
The source of all joy and ectasy.” – Peter Ryth

Rikuo Ueda

My life in Querétaro was a life within a life. A decision to move towards love, to embrace the home of another, and to weave my life with his. I was welcomed into a new culture, taken into some of its deepest corners, witness to every detail.
Querétaro is located in central Mexico in semi desert. Its earth is dry and red. Outside the city’s historic Spanish colonial centre, arid plants grow wild. Cactus, giant agaves, glistening palms and surreal yucca forests scatter its perimeters. Each day was bright, loud, fragrant and alive. It was my home for four years.
After Querétaro, I moved to my birthplace, Vancouver, Canada, after fourteen years away. A city of rain in the Pacific Northwest. A cool, coastal temperate rainforest, quite opposite to Mexico in many ways. Old growth cedar forests are blanketed with with wet moss and fern, where the mountains meet the ocean.
After living in other places for so long, returning ‘home’ felt foreign. A familiar and comforting landscape, yet unknown and new again. Mexico felt like a dream. I was transitioning between these places, beginning a new life again.

Leanne MacKay

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco. It blends a modern, fast-moving world with a more traditional, slow living. It is loud and full of life during the day, but calm at night. This city has witnessed all my laughter and tears, all the ease and all the hardship. Life can be a real rollercoaster; it is constantly changing and surprising us in every possible way. No matter how sad or hard life can be, the world we in always offer moments of peace amidst the turmoil. Everyone deserves this kind of peace in their life.

Chaimaa Lahnin


A few years ago, my brother and I decided to move to the mountains and start living a creative and ecologically sustainable life. The place we chose is near Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, on the foothills of the Himalayas, by the Ganges. It is known as a holy and spiritual place. We call our home the Tiny Farm Lab. It is a place for small and big projects; from art and ceramics to hand-sculpting a house. There are ups and downs, quiet and contemplative times and busy, productive times. Some days we don’t have Internet, or the road washes away and we can’t get down the mountain easily, and other days everything goes according to plan. Like life itself, creativity isn’t linear, but every day is a chance to feel alive and part of the world.

Ansh Kumar


EVERYTHING LOOKS NORMAL. NOTHING IS THE SAME is an Imaginary Life AB not-for-profit production licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

If you are interested in arranging a viewing of the film or in participating in future collaborative projects please write to: preciousillness at gmail dot com.


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