bucharest below ground entry page

Through Geoffrey Hiller I have discovered the Bombay Flying Club, one of the new breed of online storytelling sites, and what storytellers its documentarians are.

Geoffrey, in an email that dropped into my box this morning, is no mean storyteller himself, so when he points to something, it’s worthwhile. Bucharest Below Ground is one of three stories currently up at BFC. It’s a full-screen web documentary that, through photos and sound, explores the lives of those left behind by the Romanian revolution and who now literally live below ground, along sewer lines in Bucharest.

Poul Madsen’s photography is stunning: harsh and beautiful at the same time. (Poul, with Henrik Kastenskov and Frederik Hoelge, make up the Bombay Flying Club.) The story is harrowing, and the full-screen Flash presentation is stunning in its impact. Above all, it is solid documentary storytelling, taking us into the lives of the people, if only briefly, and showing us a little more of the world.

While at the site, I also watched the other two pieces. Both are worth the time.

The tagline for the Bombay Flying Club (there’s nothing there about the origins of the name) is “Online journalism as it could be.” It’s reminder that the internet is not just threatening journalism, it is giving rise to news forms of documentary storytelling and delivery. We gain immeasurably from the eruption of such storytelling skill. We often hear of the “golden ages” of photojournalism, or the written word, and, as much as I distrust the appellation for the whiff of nostalgia that carries it, it’s entirely possible we are such an age now.

The work of the Bombay Flying Club is very much in the spirit of Geoffrey’s own storytelling: if you haven’t checked it out, you should. And you should be subscribed to his blog Verve Photo, which highlights “a new breed of documentary photographers.”

Currently playing in iTunes: U Koso de Odak by Hrdza

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