A message of reassurance and questions

A message of reassurance, and questions.

This is a message of reassurance, and of questions.

I am still here.

I am still thinking.

Since the end of the campaign My son’s mother has been away so all child care duties are with me for the time being. I have had little time for much else. Also in the last ten days I have found out about three friends suffering from major illnesses & 4 sudden deaths (one of whom was my Mother’s companion of the last 30 years) so peoples’ welfare has been occupying my time. Also this has bought with it a very distinct question of ‘What is the best use of my time.’

To be honest I am also feeling a bit low, not low so much but a bit sad. Aside from two and a half months of work and just over a £1000 (the last of my savings) I put into the Independence in Democracy film project, I had invested a great deal of belief in it too. I had believed, for a number of reasons, that it would all come together and that I would be spending the next 12 months helping raise public awareness and watching an increased political engagement. Despite the amount of work it would have taken to pull it off it feel like it would have been a good use of time and a part of me was already there doing it. So I feel like I am still waiting for that part of me to return before I can decide what to do next.

The £520 pounds that was raised (This is what is left after the fees levied by the transaction and fundraising platforms) came from such a generous place that I am still feeling deeply touched by it, but as I stated in my last post, this project was never intended to be funded by such a small community. This leaves me with a bit of a dilemma:

How do I make it go as far as possible without undervaluing my own  time and needs beyond it (which is something I have had tendency to do in the past)

I still believe that communities need their own media projects to highlight the need and emergence of a more inclusive democratic form almost as much as they need the democracy itself. The vast majority of us learn because see that something is possible. Ideologies are all well and good but it is the practical manifestations that generally have a greater impact in inspiring people to action.

So, I’m not sure quite what to do next, how best to use the contributions.

I was always going to spend it wisely, the question is, what is the wisest way to spend it.

Options are to spread it out until the end of May next year, which was the filming deadline I proposed for the original project. This was because the initial proposal had been to follow the rise of independent candidates through to Country Council elections on May 17th of next year – at least this would have been central to the whole exploration. Coverage of this process feels a bit pointless now though.

Alternatively I could use the money to finish editing the footage that I have already shot.

Or I could create something different, something that deals with the fundamental issues that have underpinned the project but in a way that can be delivered effectually and might reach the greatest audience.

To my mind any attempt to make 1% of the project I was proposing feels desperate. Like weeding only 1% of a garden, or washing only 1% of ones body. Sure, you can be selective but the question is “Is it really worth it?”

What I would like to propose is that I make a short series of films – or a single film – that deals with the core issues that I perceive to be underpinning the larger ones. Namely, how we live, what motivates us to choose the paths we do and what holds us back. Why people value things in different ways and what are the sorts of things that alter our perspectives.

Educating Independence at it’s core is really about seeking answers to the following questions, questions that underpin the above – all human activity actually:

‘Who or what are you dependent on?’

‘Does it serve you?’

‘If not, are you O.K. with that?’

‘If not, can you change it?’

‘If you can change it, How will you change it?’

‘If you are going to change when will you start to act?’

So perhaps making a film that applies these questions to the area of local or national politics, or even broader, to life in general. Maybe this would be the most useful.

This is currently what I am thinking.

I am still waiting for that gut feeling though. Currently that is what is missing.

I value the larger project but it feel foolish to pursue it in the same way with such limited resources as the reality is that I neither have the time or money to do so. For this I feel sad.

That’s the way it goes sometimes.

If you have any suggestions or comments please let me know.





All material ©2016 Clive Austin


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Clive Austin

Clive Austin is the founder of Educating Independence.
He is a Writer, Filmmaker and Educator.
His background is in curiosity, extreme sports and being creative.
He likes some things more than other things, and the things he loves are generally not things at all.


  1. I like your idea of making one film that explores the issues at the heart of this. Maybe that would be something that you could use to publicise further projects? As your audience grows so will your funding I presume. Take heart from the support you have and grow from here!

    • Thank You Lindsay,

      Sorry for the late response, for some reason your comment ended up in the spam folder!

      Yes. I think this is the way to go.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  2. Not much really but the immediate thought, which is probably wrong track but thoughts do count.
    What about selling the same service to organisations i.e. democratise your organisation through film. A day to a week of film making production that captures how your organisation works or does not work

    I know it’s probably not really you but I was thinking of ways you could support the work through a little more financial gain elsewhere.

    • Thank You Tony.

      Actually I feel like that is more of a possibility these days than ever before.

      My idea is to return to the core principles and share those and take it from there. My sense is that delivering that to organisations could work too.



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