Saturday, April 4, 2009
Matt Harding: Dancing To Connect
I found Matt Harding's video at the Deacon's Bench. It really pulls you in!
Matt Harding's videos of himself dancing around the world have drawn more than 20 million views. "I am in a world of over 6 billion people, all of whom are now inextricably linked together," Matt says.
I believe globalization is forcing our brains to evolve.
I've had the privilege to see a lot more of the world than anyone my age could reasonably hope to. A few years ago, on a backpacking trip, I made a video of myself dancing terribly in exotic locations. I put it on my Web site. Some friends started passing it around, and soon millions of people had watched it. I was offered sponsorship to continue my accidental vocation, and since then I've made two more videos that include 70 countries on all seven continents. A lot of people wanted to dance along with me, so I started inviting them to join in everywhere I went, from Toronto to Tokyo to Timbuktu.
Here's what I can report back: People want to feel connected to each other. They want to be heard and seen, and they're curious to hear and see others from places far away. I share that impulse. It's part of what drives me to travel. But it's constantly at odds with another impulse, which is to reduce and contain my exposure to a world that's way too big for me to comprehend.